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Enter in working trot

practising on a warmer day. We did OK on our test although Riley was a little sluggish to begin with and we could of course have done better
Enter in working trot and proceed down the centre line without halting, Turn right. This was how our week began as we did our “Intro A” test, which my instructor Emma, recorded for our online test. I had been memorising the test and found myself with a layout of the arena, moving my finger around it trying to get the test in my head. Once I had the direction and movements firmly embedded, I focussed on where I would need to ask for the transitions.

Come the moment, the test itself went well enough and Riley did everything that was asked of him although like any other dressage rider, I came away knowing that so many things could have been better.

A group lesson for one!

The weather this week has been bitter. This has taken some adjusting to after a mild winter to date. It was extremely blustery on Friday as Riley and I were all tacked up ready for what was to be the start of a series of group lessons. For the first one there was to be four of us. Now I say four, as I noticed that the owner of one of the horses wasn’t on the yard, nor was her horse tacked up, so concluded that she wasn’t participating. Then I became aware that another one of our group wasn’t prepping for riding either. She explained that she wasn’t feeling very well and so wasn’t going to be in the group lesson either.

This meant that two out of the four were down. I did spot the other livery tacking up and so once I was ready, I headed to the manege to warm up, expecting her to follow on. Instead, as Emma arrived ready to teach, it became apparent that I would be the only one to participate in the group lesson, as even though the other livery had tacked up, she had decided against it due to the inclement weather. She had commented on how dedicated I was as she saw me walking Riley to the arena, so this should have been a heads up I suppose. Nonetheless Riley and I enjoyed a super lesson and whilst it would have been fun to ride with the others, I came away with a real sense of satisfaction with our efforts

I took him for an in-hand walk

Out for a stroll
Winter arrived with vengeance at the weekend. On Friday there had been a terrible storm which had caused much damage, with trees down everywhere, parts of the roof missing on some of the stables and a telegraph pole cable had come down by Riley’s field. Unfortunately, this meant that he had to remain stabled all day on Saturday and so to stretch his legs, I took him for an in-hand walk. This was not something I had done for a long time and I enjoyed it immensely. I had forgotten just how special it can be.

I must find some warmer gloves

Hope the weather warms up soon
The week ended with a schooling session which was meant to have been a hack with Sophie and Onyx, however it rained all day long so we decided to school indoors instead. Sophie timed it better than I did as the indoor was busy. Luckily by this time it had stopped raining, and so I rode in the outdoor school. It was a very short session as my hands were so cold, I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I made a mental note that I must find some warmer gloves, otherwise it is going to be a long winter.

If you enjoyed reading this, you can catch up on all of the earlier instalments of the life of Riley here
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Sharon Howe

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