Coming back to riding after a 5 month break and needing to break myself in gently, so I didn’t set off my RSI injury again, Pip suggested that we go out for a hack. When Bronson first came back to Pippsway, he had lost his ‘racehorse walk’ as Pip calls it. The enormous extended walk he had once been capable of was off the menu. Instead, we had the choice of sloppy walk or jog! Five months training with Pip has put paid to that and his racehorse walk is back! I was stunned! He also felt much more balanced. Added to this, he had put on so much muscle that I had been able to invest in a new saddle, which Pip had very kindly broken in for me. So, as we set off around the block everything was feeling rather wonderful.
Pip walked alongside us and we worked on my posture, keeping the pace and my focus. This was the first time I had ever ridden Bronson out without other horses and he was reacting far more than I had previously experienced to things like drains. Pip explained this meant that he was feeling insecure, he wasn’t happy with my level of focus and didn’t feel able to trust me. So, I spent the walk really concentrating on everything I have been taught, all the things I had been practicing whilst I was unable to ride and we did an ‘ok’ job.
When we got back to the yard, I took Bronson’s bridle off and he threw his head up in the air, his bit banged off his teeth and it was all a bit of a shambles. Pip explained I needed to make sure that when I took his bridle off that he didn’t throw his head up in the air, I was to support the weight of the bridle and, when he let go of the bit, let it drop from his mouth without hitting his teeth. It was a reminder that I have to be considered in every moment that I am with Bronson. In every single thing that I am doing with him.
So, I came away from my lesson with lots to think about! Who would have believed that walking around the block could be so involved? And yet, that feeling of togetherness that I experience when it all comes together is like nothing else on earth.