Tuesday, 22 March 2011

No Need for Blue Circles, Robert Pattinson, or Tapping!!!

Oh, and I forgot to say a moment ago on my earlier post that I had no nerves!!!!!

Holy Moly, you heard it right....no nerves!!!!!

A few butterflies, yes, but there is quite a big difference between excitement and butterflies, and fear and nerves, as I'm learning to discover.

So, as a result, I had no requirements for blue circles, the lovely Robert, or any tapping........

Should we be adding the word 'healer' to Lisa's title I wonder??????????????

Tuesday 22nd March 2011 - Hacking Out With Company!!!!

Woooooohoooooooo!!! We have hacking buddies....Lucy (the rider) and Ed (the horse) rode up to meet us at our yard this morning and we rode out for an hour together. I am sooooooooooo excited I can hardly contain myself. Trying very hard to though otherwise she will think I'm some weird desperado (which I kind of am, but obviously I don't want her to know that!!!).

Anyway, Kermit was exceptional. She exceeded all my hopes and dreams and behaved perfectly, even when the lovely Ed was jigging and jogging. She took absolutely no notice and was so chilled - it was heaven.....

I had no idea how Kermit would react as she has only seen our shetland for 5 mths (plus a couple of riders coming past our fields who had lost their way) and so I thought she might be strong, excited, mareish.... Anyway, she was very very interested but that was it. She soon settled down and we walked around our 1 hour hack route across big open fields on long reins for the whole ride.

This is such a big thing for me I can't tell you.... In so many ways, but to avoid rambling, I'll sum up by saying that it feels like the start of a very exciting new chapter in my life - yiippppeeeee!!!!!!!!

Thurs 10th March to Sun 20th March - update....

Wow, what an amazing 10 days. I have completed 4 hacks and one schooling session and one of the hacks was my longest ever - about 2.5 hrs in the sunshine and it was utter heaven. Had some really long trots all through the woods, saw loads of deer, buzzards and squirrels and smiled from start to finish. My lovely instructor was with me for moral support but I went off for long sections by myself.

I guess a good sign of my increased confidence is that I am feeling very miffed that my husband's ankle is better and he is wanting to ride at weekends, and I am finding it very hard to let him!!! On Saturday I had to have half an hour practising mounting before his lesson as I couldn't bare not to have ridden at all that day......weird eh???!!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tues 8th March 2011 - Celebrate the small successes

The absolute secret to building confidence is to celebrate the small successes....

It's all too easy to focus on the negatives and build them up into great big things, whilst overlooking the very small successes!

I hadn't even realised that I'd had my first canter today in the big field until I was writing about it in my blog earlier, even though it has been a major goal I set myself 7 weeks ago. Even when my instructor said 'That was a nice little canter you had there' I just said 'I know, and she came back really easily', when what I should have done is wallowed in the moment!!! To be honest, I think what I'd just done really hadn't sunk in and I was in shock, or maybe it was because I was so relaxed about it that it had just become part and parcel of what I do when I ride now - even better I guess!

Even so, my confidence coach, Lisa Venables, said that we absolutely must wallow in our moments of success and mentioned something about champagne, so I'm off to the shops!!!! .....

Tuesday 8th March 2011 - Spring has Sprung! Canter Canter........

Isn't it funny when you suddenly realise how far you've come? Its like you're making laods of progress but it still just sits under the rader until something triggers the realisation.

My realisation came today when I was out riding across the huge field next to us that when my mare really began to walk out (and she never walks out, believe me, she really does plod...unless she is being a bit spooky), I was up for it just as much as she was. And it felt really cool to have a horse under me that felt like she was up for it!!!!! Whoa, hold up, I hear you say, what's going on???? I thought you were a nervous rider???

Well, I still am nervous about lots ot things to do with riding, but the point is I'm heading in the right direction. I've learnt that if we go across the big field on a long rein that Kermit will just walk, but that if I shorten them up she'll jog.... I've also learnt that if I check her she will come back to me, and as for voice, well that is the absolute beauty of her. One 'whoa' in canter and she's back to walk before you know it.

Oh yes, that brings me on to the small matter of the lovely balanced canter we had up the field

Sun 6th March 2011 - Family Hack

Amelie and Charlie rode out today. Its only the second time that Charlie has ridden since he bust his ankle about 7 weeks ago, so he was a bit tense to start with. But gorgeous Kermit walked along in front and was v relaxed and good as gold for the duration of the ride, even when a herd of between 50 and 70 deer ran across the field away from us - she didn't bat an eyelid!!!!!

Amelie rode really well and it was an absolute pleasure to all go out together across the fields.

Sat 5th March 2011 - Lunge Lesson in the sunshine

Had another lesson on the lunge this morning...

Oh, I should say that I caught Kermit perfectly yesterday in the middle of the day and brought her in, gave her some nuts, and then turned her straight back out again .......

Anyway, really good lesson practising weight aids and also my downwards transition from trot to walk. Really focussed on not gripping with the knees and sitting down into the saddle to minimise 'bounce'. I think Charlie is starting to understand that there is so much more to riding a horse then just getting on and going for it, especially if you want a really safe and responsive horse. He has asked to have a lunge lesson too - woo hoo!

Thursday 3rd March - Perfect Girl

Its amazing how easy it is to catch a horse when they have a headcollar, and they seems to know it and so just don't protest in the same way.....

Anyway, she came straight over to me this morning and I took her in, gave her some nuts, and then took her out and lunged her. She worked really well and it seems that all signs of her lameness have gone so really looking forward to riding her on Saturday. My Mum is here so she will look after the children and then Charlie can watch me ride and (hopefully) see how far I've come, as its been ages since he's seen me on her.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tues 1st March 2011 - Let's Play a Game of Catch! ......

So when my instructor arrived this morning he found my still out in the paddock trying to catch my mare. She had run at me, tried to kick me, and tried to bite me every time I tried to go near her to catch her....ho hum....

I knew that if I got a bucket of pony nuts I could probably catch her but as she has been so nippy lately I didn't want to use food to get her in. So my instructor and I decided to just try and get her to come to us by walking around the field, making up jobs to do, and completely ignoring her. She eventually came up to us after about an hour and I just rubbed her and walked off, purposely not catching her. We did the same for another 40 mins and again she came near us. This time we did put her headcollar on but agreed that we wouldn't work her that day, Instead, we took her in and gave her some pony nuts and a love, and then turned her back out again.

Over the next couple of weeks we're going to do this every day, i.e. bring her in once in the day and aske nothing of her, just give her a treat. But we will be leaving her headcollar on when turned out to start with !!!

Sat 26th Feb 2011 - Still Stiff

Kermit still seems a bit stiff this morning but is moving much better. My instructor is booked in for a lesson on Tuesday so we're going to rest her until then and see how she is.....

Thurs 25th Feb 2011 - Farrier

Our farrier has been this morning and all ok with Kermit's hoof so will see what she looks like in the morning...

Thurs 24th Feb - Lame Pony!!!!!

Oh Man!

My baby is lame!!!! Started lungeing her this morning to warm up for my lesson on the lunge and we noticed that Kermit is a little lame on her right hind!!!!

Got farrier coming tomorrow so will get him to test  her hoof, but I think it seems more muscular and higher up. Me and my instructor have had a good look at her and have decided to see what the farrier says tomorrow and then probably give her a few days rest and see what happens........

gutted .......