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A lovely lesson today - what nice horsey things have you been up to?
32

lurch3r · 18/10/2020 18:36

I've come back to riding at a school this summer after a nasty accident 4 years ago. Am pushing 50 so it's been physically tough but worth it. Today, I had a lovely 'no reins' lesson over poles, just using body aids and really nice transitions and shapes. Schoolmaster horse perked up as soon as I left his head to its own devices and we had a lovely time. What nice horse things have you been up to today?

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Bufferingkisses · 18/10/2020 18:45

I sold my last horse about 3 years ago due to work, really lovely kind mare. Today I was out for a walk and saw her out hacking with a couple of others in the sun. She looked really well, fit and content. It made my heart smile a little Smile

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lurch3r · 18/10/2020 19:29

It"s so nice when that happens - we just want them to be happy.

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MrsM36 · 18/10/2020 19:45

I had a lesson on my 6 year old cob with my instructor this morning. My mare has only been properly ridden since earlier this year (I backed her as a 4 year old with the intention of turning her away until she was 5... then I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant so everything was delayed by a year). It was a slightly eventful lesson as my yard owner has recently got a pair of goats which my mare hadn't met until today when they were in their pen not far from the school... my mare decided she must keep her eyes on them at all times so was not looking where I was desperately trying to steer her lol! Overall though I am so proud of her progress - I've known her since the day she was born & have owned her since she was 16mths so it makes it very special.

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Shannith · 18/10/2020 20:06

I've got a nice one. I've returned to riding as an adult and have a share in a Welsh d x cob mare. Love her but she can be strong. She had me off, on trot 4 times in the first month. So I've had a total panic about riding in general and especially cantering for about 3 months.

Just could not get the transition and panicked if she did canter. I've done so much yoga and got generally fit but still just dreadful.

My conclusion was I needed to improve my seat so for the last month I've been building up from a few stride to 10 mins walking and trotting no stirrups every time I get on. I'm amazed how natural it feels now, it's almost weird with stirrups!

But still couldn't canter. It was so bad it was comical to watch and totally soul destroying for me and my confidence was in shreds.

So I tried lessons on the lunge - conclusion was weak lower leg so I've done loads of simple calf exercises.

Had a lesson on another horse and the instructor very gently said it's nothing physical, it's all in my head and I needed confidence.

So I very nearly gave up but I bit the bullet in desperation and have started an online fearless riding course.

I've literally skimmed through the first 4 chapters - it NLP stuff and I'm such a cynical old fart but...

This week I cantered her twice in one session, only down one side of the school and I wasn't entirely in control and probably looked like a lunatic riding a very confused horse, but somehow I've reprogrammed my head to what I'm feeling is excitement and joy and not fear. It was great. I was so amazed.

Friday I cantered again and then went over some trotting poles and she started cantering I've them and I LAUGHED! 2 weeks ago I would have cried. And then I took her round and we went over them again in canter . A week ago I could not canter at all.

Today we had another canter and then I took her over the poles, again in canter - and I was smiling. This is nothing short of a miracle.

Went to canter down the long side and she totally spooked and lunged to towards the poles in canter....she loooovvvvvessss poles) and I felt myself go but with my new and improved seat and confidence I stayed in and pulled up laughing at the silly mare.

I cannot overstate how amazing this is and how amazed I am.

I was terrified and now I think it's fun.

And...I'm taking DD on a riding holiday tomorrow for 4 days of reasonably fast riding and now I'm looking forward to it rather than panicking.

So happy.

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lurch3r · 18/10/2020 21:32

That is so nice to hear Shannith. It's a magical feeling when it all goes well. I have to improve my fitness, I just feel so weak in the legs and core. My canter is not very pretty right now but will get better.

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maxelly · 18/10/2020 22:44

What a lovely thread! I've had a real stroke of luck and just as I found out my own mare needs 6 months (or more Sad) off work I was offered the ride on a friends DDs teenage connemara while she (the DD, not the pony!) is off at uni. He's great, a total character and really makes me laugh (the other day he managed to ransack my bag which I'd foolishly left him with unsupervised and methodically removed and threw all the contents over his stable door looking for the pack of polos he could smell and decided he fancied there and then Grin). Its lovely to ride a horse that really knows the ropes and has been well schooled (compared to my own tearaways/reprobates), just been having a few lessons, pootling about the lanes and even doing some jumping which he love love loves and is super at, if a little over excited when he sees the poles (I'm getting there, need to order some new brave pants I think as I've been very much flatwork only for a few years now!). Great to hear of everyone else's progress, lovely memories to keep you warm on a cold/damp autumn night!

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plominoagain · 18/10/2020 23:00

I got a new pony this week , does that count?

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HappyGirlNow · 18/10/2020 23:10

shannith I could have written your post, I’ve just got over my developed canter phobia using NLP (administered by myself, I’m an NLP practitioner but I’d let the phobia develop almost without realising!). 3 weeks ago I refused to (couldn’t as negative physical reaction was sooo string) canter. Now happily cantering again in school I’m now gearing up to canter on hacks.

Today I had wonderful hack on my joy (as I do every Sunday morning) with a wonderful view of the Forth Bridges 🥰

A lovely lesson today - what nice horsey things have you been up to?
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HappyGirlNow · 18/10/2020 23:10

*on my BOY 😬

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HappyGirlNow · 18/10/2020 23:12

plominogain a new pony def counts! 😊

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plominoagain · 18/10/2020 23:45

This is her - she’s a Redwings’s rescue, with a pretty face, and a bum like the back of a bus

A lovely lesson today - what nice horsey things have you been up to?
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1990s · 18/10/2020 23:50

Smile this thread.

Very interested in the cantering stories, I have less of a mental barrier but definitely a physical one after 15 years off, very weak legs!

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HappyGirlNow · 19/10/2020 00:07

plominogain lovely! 😍

1990s I had a few falls in canter due to v spooky horse 😬

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QueenCranberry · 19/10/2020 12:16

Spent an hour this morning watching my 5 year old DD smiling and laughing in a lunge lesson on her pony in the field. She's not the most confident child and we've spent a lot of time bombproofing Dpony and persuading her that he loves her and can be trusted after she'd had a nasty fall from rider error.

She lost her stirrup in trot today and instead of crying and panicking, like we'd expected her to, she carried on trotting minus stirrup, pulled him up, put her foot back in and carried on.

It's just a very little thing, but I was so very proud of how she coped.

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maxelly · 19/10/2020 12:52

Re the people with canter issues, I can't recommend lunge lessons enough (for physical issues that is, if it's a confidence thing then work on the lunge can help as well but sometimes it can actually make it worse as you pretty much surrender control of the horse to the person at the other end of the line!).

The usual problems with canter - feeling wobbly/bouncy esp through the transition up and down, bouncing out of the saddle as you are cantering and/or not being able to get or keep the horse in canter - tend to get much better if you improve your seat, balance and stability - core strength and/or lower leg are the usual culprits! Lots of work without stirrups and/or reins on the lunge will help, not necessarily even in canter, you can do it in trot or walk to start with. Its hard work though so do 20 mins max at a time to start with, make sure to warm up/cool down properly and have your hot bath and deep heat ready for the muscle aches afterwards Grin I've also been doing lots of hip flexor and calf muscle stretches on the ground after realising my lower leg really is pants and has a life of its own especially when things get stressful and I'm thinking about something else e.g. a jump, it seems to swing halfway up to my horses shoulders or quarters Blush - even after a few weeks I think I feel a difference!

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Shannith · 19/10/2020 16:06

Agree completely with @maxelly.

For my lower leg I've been doing simple calf raises on the stair. Built up from about 2 until I can do 20 at a go without holding on the anything.

I can't recommend yoga enough for hip flexibility. I use a load of free yoga with Adrienne videos on you tube. She has one specifically for equestrians which is good. I've started to do her deep core (gentler than it sounds), deep stretch and some balance one's answering they are good and make me feel much more secure in the saddle.

For seat and balance no stirrups is amazing. An instructor gave me a great tip which was without stirrups it's tempting to just hang on whatever it takes. This is fine to start with but as you progress to being able to trot down a long side and not feel like you are going to come off then make sure your legs are in the right position.

It's almost as if you are kneeling on the saddle with your legs wrapped round the horse rather than dangling down and gripping with your inner thugs and knees.

It takes it it has certainly take me a LOT of practice to do this. I do it religiously for 10 mins every time I ride. I also do it before I've woken my horse up and she's too bouncy after I have!

I'm doing fearless riding online because despite wall this I was a mess in canter. In a very short time I've gone from canter = panic to canter = weee fun!

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Shannith · 19/10/2020 16:13

Also and do t knock this until you've tried it Grin

Try and do a gentle forward fold (as close to touching our toes as possible but don't lock your legs)

Rotate your feet one way and the other and see how "sticky" they feel.

Get a tennis ball. Stand up and put the sole of one foot on it. Now roll is around for 2 1/2 minutes and then swop.

It's hard work and hurts and it's best if you do it keeping great posture and not holding on to anything.

Try the fold and feet rotation now.

Be amazed.

It's a faff but I do this most days now a a I have strong flexible calves fir the first time ever!

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Deliaskis · 19/10/2020 16:22

This is a lovely thread! Mine is less impressive as I've not been doing challenging schooling or overcoming fears or anything, but I had lost my mojo a bit....

I've been off riding for 3-4 weeks as we stopped loaning our beloved highland due to some logistical and health challenges (but we'd have him back like a shot once we have resolved them), and I had been mainly running around after DD (9) putting up jumps, coaching her schooling etc.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon she had her loan pony and had ridden in the school for about an hour, and then the riding school owner practically forced me to take one of the bigger cobs out for a hack with DD. You know when someone is REALLY pushing you and you end up with nowhere to go but 'OK then thanks'.

Well it was lovely! We went up the track and then across what we call 'our canter field' and DD and I had one of those moments where we were both cantering and looking at each other with big grins plastered on our faces.

I had planned on being out for maybe 20 mins but we were nearly an hour.

Good to be back in the saddle....I'll refind my mojo I hope.

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Shannith · 19/10/2020 21:53

Aww @Deliaskis that's lovely. I've just arrived in Wales with 9 year old DD for a 3 day riding holiday. We are riding for 6 hours tomorrow and there's the opportunity for lots of lovely long canters (hence all my practicing.)

I'm hoping for a few moments like that. I know what you mean about getting your mojo back and I hope you do.

I want her to have one of those moments that when I say this, this is why mummy does it despite being old and a scaredy-cat she really gets it. She loves horses but not as much as me.

In no way am I trying to live vicariously through my child. Nothing to see here. Grin

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Deliaskis · 19/10/2020 21:59

When you get chance could you let me know where you are? Not in a stalker ish way but because I have struggled to find a suitable mother/ daughter riding holiday but it's something we'd both love to do!

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Heathercob · 19/10/2020 22:53

Two lovely beach rides as the tide was right out this weekend 😊! Followed by new shoes today, and the carrier said that her hooves are in good condition 😊😊.

A lovely lesson today - what nice horsey things have you been up to? A lovely lesson today - what nice horsey things have you been up to?
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WaltzingBetty · 19/10/2020 23:05

Not ridden since a plod along hack with inexperienced friends 10 years ago.

Used to ride a bit in my 20s but only started riding late teens and relied on work experience/mucking out labour for rides through my 20s so it was always fairly sporadic

Last week I hacked out with friends (all competent riders) and we managed several canters - was a bit anxious to start but lovely, well schooled horse and as soon as we started cantering it just felt natural.

Was a real confidence boost - and I've fallen in love with riding all over again - need to get back in the saddle!

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percheron67 · 19/10/2020 23:21

plominogram. I love your thread. What a super soul. Bless you for giving a rescue a home. I would fill my home with rescue horses/ponies and greyhounds if i could!

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Shannith · 20/10/2020 06:09

@Deliaskis we are in the Brecon Beacons. It's via Unicorn Trails who I highly recommend. You tell them what you are looking for and they match you.

We are riding at Ellesmere Stables. We are so lucky we have 2 weeks for half term. We were booked to go next week but I changed it because of the rumours of lockdown.

They close for the winter at the end of the month but I suspect some places will stay open to try and recoup their losses, especially if they have a riding school attached.
Fingers crossed it's going to be fun. The people are lovely and it's stunningly beautiful

I'll report back!

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Deliaskis · 20/10/2020 19:39

[quote Shannith]@Deliaskis we are in the Brecon Beacons. It's via Unicorn Trails who I highly recommend. You tell them what you are looking for and they match you.

We are riding at Ellesmere Stables. We are so lucky we have 2 weeks for half term. We were booked to go next week but I changed it because of the rumours of lockdown.

They close for the winter at the end of the month but I suspect some places will stay open to try and recoup their losses, especially if they have a riding school attached.
Fingers crossed it's going to be fun. The people are lovely and it's stunningly beautiful

I'll report back![/quote]
Thank you! Looking them up.... Smile

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