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Getting it right and getting it wrong...

one eyed ex-racehorse Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

Well I’ve been absolutely loving my time with Bronson. I don’t write a post every time I ride as much of what I am doing is practising what I have already talked about here, but suffice to say I am having the time of my life and he’s the most fantastic horse to be learning with. He has the patience of ten saints and whilst he is always relieved when I get my act together I am humbled by what he tolerates whilst I find my way.

Pip has been working with us each week, helping me improve and riding Bronson to keep bringing him along as well. I love watching her riding him as I get to see him at his absolute best. He really is a stunning creature as well as being such a lovely character.

Today I arrived to find that Pip had set up a fantastic selection of obstacles in the menage for us to do some ground work. There were poles, jumps a tarpaulin and cones. So many possibilities! Pip walked me around the course explaining the point of each obstacle, what the end goal was and how best to get started. She then covered how best to approach each one to give Bronson the best chance of success. I brought Bronson up to the menage and off we went. He went around all the obstacles with such ease it was a non event! He was in a really good mood and seemed very happy to do everything I asked. We tried some more complex manoeuvres and managed those too and I was chuffed to bits at getting him to place his two front hooves in a hula hoop! So as you can imagine we left the menage feeling good about what we had achieved.

That’s when I made a mistake….as we walked back to the stables I saw my Husband and Step-Daughter sitting there and my focus was off Bronson for a moment. In that moment he went one side of the beam and I went the other which brought us both to rather an abrupt stop! Worse than that when he looked to see what had happened he bumped the blind side of his face on the beam :-( I am so disappointed in myself. Bronson had worked so beautifully for me and yet in that moment I let him down massively. I am gutted. It’s been awhile since I have made such a big mistake, the last time being when I didn’t do a good job of leading him through a gate and it bumped him. That time he was upset with me for quite a while. Thankfully today he accepted my apology and waited happily whilst I popped my tack away before bringing him up to the field. Like I say, he is a saint.

I hate it when my mistakes are made at Bronson’s expense. It is the most upsetting thing about learning Horsemanship. Today was the perfect reminder that no matter how well things are going, no matter how simple the task you are completing is, you must always be focused on your horse, have that connection and be mindful of what you are doing and how you are doing it. I’m confident that I won’t be making that mistake again.

I’m seeing Bronson again tomorrow and look forward to spending time with him giving him the level of focus that he deserves.

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