As much as I love owning Riley it does feel as though I am on a roller coaster (which I do not enjoy anyway), and talking to other equestrians it doesn’t seem as I will ever be able to get off. There are daily highs and lows, one moment its euphoria, the next tears. Everyone says that’s the way it is with horses and to expect good and bad days. Not something I had felt before Riley.
I am at times, challenged to my limit; sometimes it is his fault, sometimes mine and the breadth of feelings and emotions has been exhausting. Feelings range from questioning am I good enough for him? I can’t ride him, I’m not skilled enough, and did I made the right decision to buy him in the first place?
Mucking out with huge smiles on my face to mucking out trying my best not to cry. Deep down I know Riley has already come so far, I can see it for myself and this is supported by comments from the other liveries.
Hacking Out With a Sheep
I arrived at the yard on Monday 18th May, wondering what this week would bring. It started with a lovely cuddle over the stable door. I managed to mount unaided, so the day began well and after a schooling session we hacked down the short but picturesque country lane at the back of the riding school. We were even joined briefly by a sheep who found an escape route out of its field, but after a short time it turned around and made its way back to safety. At the end of the day when walking to Riley’s field to catch him and bring him in, I noticed that he was close to the gate instead of being at the furthest spot in the field which is where I usually have to catch him. I was momentarily chuffed thinking I won’t have to walk far but Riley had different ideas and began walking away. I speeded up but so did he and then he trotted off to the bottom of the field clearly under the false impression that I enjoy chasing after him.
Yay it’s Horse Riding Lesson Tuesday again
Tuesday was exciting as Horse Riding Lesson Tuesday was to resume and Riley and I were going to get some much-needed help with schooling. We had a brilliant lesson and what felt like the best schooling session we’d ever had, so I was beaming as I walked him back to his stable. He didn’t even put a foot wrong when the yard owners dog ran into the manege twice, once straight under Riley’s feet and was almost trodden on.
I Could Have Cried
Naturally I took this riding high into our schooling session on Wednesday but somehow our success had all gone and I couldn’t seem to get Riley working nicely nor going the way I wanted him to, he just seemed argumentative. As I sat on him, I wondered how it had all gone so wrong and could have cried.
Luckily, on Thursday I had another lesson booked so I knew the schooling session would be better, and it was. For the first part he misbehaved as he had gotten away with too much the day before but resigned himself to working eventually. Our mounting block work was also getting better and he stood at the block perfectly although I think more focussed on the Polo mint he knew he was getting than anything else.
On Friday, the indoor school and manege were busy so I decided against waiting to ride and simply groomed and turned him out. I was a bit disappointed not to have the opportunity to ride him but figured he would appreciate a day off.
Finally, A Glimmer of Hope
On Saturday morning I had another lesson, and Riley worked well throughout. Becky, my instructor said I was overthinking (I overthink everything) so I knew she was right. She decided that alternating my lessons with one of the school horses would be a good idea, particularly as I hadn’t cantered for a few months.
I wasn’t quite sure if the week was going to end on a positive note as the schooling session on Sunday didn’t start well. Riley was argumentative and I travelled around the arena beginning to think that I could only ride him well when my instructor was telling me what to do. However, by the end of the session things started to click into place; I felt I was actually riding, and Riley was listening. Finally there was a glimmer of hope.