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Covering our tracks...

barefoot, one eyed ex-racehorse being ridden in a bitless bridle and treeless saddle at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington, Somerset near Devon

Up until now everything Pip has been teaching me about riding has been a completely different (and, it has to be said, a much more effective) way of doing the things I was taught when I was a child. It has been so frustrating at times as I slip into old muscle memory despite the best of intentions. Extension and collection is completely new territory and it’s rather wonderful not to have a load of old ingrained teaching to correct but rather to be planting seeds in fresh soil, as it were. Bronson and I have been doing really well with our new exercises and I suspect it is because the only knowledge I have to call upon is the right stuff! Very refreshing!!

However, I found out today that I still have at least one old habit to break. After our session, whilst Bronson was eating, I walked my dog Luke around the fields. I came back to find that Nicky and Puzzle’s lesson had been made rather more difficult than it should have been as they were having to avoid the mariana size trench Bronson and I had left around the menage! Apparently this is something you often see in riding schools but never in the menage of good riders. They do not get stuck in a rut, literally or figuratively!

I made the point of filling in the trench myself, as this chore has been falling to Pip and Imogen. I have to say it was pretty back breaking stuff as the menage surface is heavy so it was a good incentive to remember not to leave a track!

With so much to think about already I honestly hadn’t considered that we were just following a path I was making and, if I’m honest, I would have thought that following the same line was a good thing. Once Pip explained that it wasn’t because it showed that Bronson was just following a track rather than me being in control of where we are placing ourselves it all became clear. So another thing to add to my notes!

I’ll be really interested to see how we get on tomorrow and whether I can manage not to leave a track…..I sure hope so! I’m certainly not in any rush to have to fill one in and that’s for sure! This exercise will also help massively with making sure I am in charge of where we are going which will set me up well for our hacks and anything else we do in the future.

I am loving learning to ride properly! Happy days!!

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