Monday, February 18, 2013

Riding at Stoneleigh

Sunday was my day for riding at Stoneleigh. Needless to say, after two weeks of being grounded, I was pretty excited. My advisor drove me and the other girl who sometimes rides with me to the barn. Our instructor put me on a horse called Bandit. He's a pretty small chestnut and seemed to be worried that the world was going to eat him, but he wasn't as jumpy as some horses I've ridden. When we started trotting round the ring I found that he's very stiff and it's hard to get him to bend. However our instructor did say that when I was warming up at the trot and the canter I did a good job keeping him quiet and relatively soft, and the jumps started off quite well.

He started getting a bit fast as we progressed through the little course. At the third fence we had to circle because it was a tight turn and I didn't get him well enough bent to get around it properly. That was the start of our woes. Then at the fourth fence, a diagonal, he got very quick and I didn't half-halt strongly enough. It should have worked out but someone on the other side of the fence accidentally kicked a standard. This horse, who thought the world wanted to eat him, wasn't having any of that so he went left and I continued forward. I wasn't hurt at all--I rolled onto my back and although the back of my head sort of cracked the ground I had a good helmet on. I got up quickly and our instructor said it was a good fall. After that we didn't have much time left in the lesson so Bandit and I just jumped the one he refused and finished the course.

Although I felt pretty ashamed about falling off, the rest of the lesson was actually pretty decent. Bandit never did want to bend to the inside but I kept him moving at a steady pace on the flat and as far as my equitation goes, it wasn't terrible. My advisor was there taking pictures; from what I could see on his camera's screen, my leg has improved a lot since I last saw photos of myself riding. If he sends them to me and gives me permission to post them here, I will.

After the lesson both my advisor and I went outside to take some pictures of the horses. It was really cold so I only got a couple of shots.

You may recognize this horse from one of my previous posts. He's probably the most photogenic horse at the barn, or at least he perks up his ears the most often.

Until next time!

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