Oh my aching limbs!
Sonya decided to torture us today. All in a days work in the world of horses! In the middle of our lesson she called us into the middle and announced that we were going to do some work in “jump jockey” position. This involved putting our stirrups up ridiculously high (I had to put a twist in mine and have them on the top hole) and then trot around in jump position. Thus commenced the most undignified five minutes of my life; heels jammed down as far as they would go, shoulders low and bum up in the air. Ladylike, it was not!
It was good fun though. And funnily enough my calves didn’t hurt at all. They’re obviously stronger than I realised. My thighs burned a bit though. Ouch! The main thing was my back, it twinged away like crazy. If it hadn’t been for that I think I could’ve maintained it a bit longer, but with my lower back feeling the way it did, it would’ve been stupid not to stop every so often.
My noble steed this afternoon was Mr Fox, who I very much enjoyed. I hadn’t ridden him before, so I was pleased to finally get the chance to hop on board. He was very good, although a little lazy at first. We were walking fine, his head gradually coming down as he relaxed into the contact. I kept my hands soft, like I’d been told to, and just rode him forwards nice and chilled. The problems came when we went into trot. At first, he was great. We trotted around happy as you like, the head having shot up and come back down again. We were trotting…and trotting……and t-r-o-t-t-i-n-g and t…r…o…..t….t…i…..n……..g. Honestly, I didn’t realise it was possible for a horse to trot that slowly. We were basically just hopping very gently on the spot towards the end. I had to pull in eventually and ask Sonya to fetch me a crop, because my little legs were working like billy-o and we were going nowhere fast.
The second I had a whip in my hand, we were sharp as a knife fresh off the whetstone. “Oh, I see you have a whip there” he said, “trotting, yes I can do trotting”. All of a sudden he was forward off my leg like a shot, super responsive and keen. When we popped up into canter, Sonya had already advised me to ride him in a light seat rather than driving from the saddle. I certainly felt the difference in control and balance of his canter when I was in the light seat to when I dropped into the saddle momentarily. But I felt in control and balanced with him and he pulled back to trot when I asked him to, like a good boy.
It was after the canter that we did our jump jockey exercise. Which he was great for to be honest. Apart from his head. It was a little unnerving to be in that position with his head so close to my face. He really does carry himself vertically half the time. When he relaxes down though, he’s a lovely ride. I really enjoyed riding him today and hope I get to do so again. I gave him half of my apple even though it was a really nice apple and I wanted to eat it all. I’m nice like that.
I also taught the level two girls how to long-rein today. I gave them a demo first and then each of them had a turn while I walked with them, giving them directions as they went. They all did really well, I was very impressed. I like Fridays. They are fast becoming my favourite day of the week. Hopefully we’ll get to re-start the BHS progressive test cards again soon. I’d like to have my Stage One done by Christmas. Best crack on I guess!
There are a lot of potato tractors around at the moment. That’s tractors pulling trailer loads of potatoes, not tractors made out of potatoes. I felt I should clarify. I mention it because one just went past the cottage making an awful lot of noise with orange lights flashing in through all the windows. And I’ve had to pull in for three of them so far, just today! Grumble.
For the most part I am feeling quite happy today. The sun came out and threw some golden rays in my direction, which was lovely; I rode a new horse and got on with him just fine; I taught long-reining successfully and I learned that the brownies I made yesterday are SO GOOD. Oh my god the chewy gooey chocolate deliciousness. Mmmmm. To anyone who ate my diabolical batch of brownies that I made while at Eclipse; the ones I made yesterday are what they were meant to be like. I know that doesn’t alter the fact that you ate the worst brownies I’ve ever made. But honestly, these ones are the best. You should taste them. It’s like heaven on a plate.
Oh man. So good.
Better not eat them all though or Angie and Nizz will kill me tomorrow! But that’s okay because my grandmother just produced baked apple and custard. I’ve never had baked apple before. It’s tasty!
And a cup of tea too.
Now that’s what I call a Friday night.