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Getting there!

Today's video is of Bronson enjoying his first ever fun ride with Pip! To think he used to be terrified of water!

It had been a couple of weeks since I’d ridden as my RSI had been particularly painful. So I read my lesson notes today before heading up to the yard. I always try to remember the new things I’ve learned at each stage of the process but it’s good to have my notes as a reminder. The last time I mounted, Bronson had stepped forward. This meant my intention wasn’t strong enough and also my reins were too loose for me to respond when he walked off. So, today I remembered to have a light contact with my reins, asked him to stand still and mounted. He was perfect!

We set off and Bronson was rather sluggish. He’d had a few days off, as Pip had been particularly busy, and like myself if he doesn’t do much he slows down! I know how well he can walk out now, so set about upping my energy and getting him to engage and think forward. Pip had given me a few tips about my posture and the difference was tangible. I felt much lighter in the saddle. Also having seen Pip walking, when she was leading me, I’d seen how much she moves her pelvis when she walks and I’ve been practising that. Well it paid off and my hips felt far more flexible. Pip let Luke, my rescue greyhound, come along with us and he happily trotted along with Pip’s wolf dogs. Our little crew of people, horses and dogs went off around the lanes, the sun was shining and it felt marvellous!

I remembered to focus on where we were going, having a sense of purpose and dictating where I wanted Bronson to walk to the centimetre and it went really well! I was so chuffed and it felt fantastic. Riding this way is a state of total absorption and yet, unlike when you become absorbed in a book or film, rather than shutting out what’s going on around you, everything is heightened. It’s taken time to get here, but I’m starting to feel my body and Bronson’s all at the same time rather than thinking, are my hands right, are my shoulders right, are my feet right, in rotation, now there is an awareness of all of these things at the same time. Obviously I am a work in progress so this isn’t a constant state but it’s coming and I’m delighted.

When we got back, Pip said I could open the yard gate and shut it again, mounted. I forgot that it’s important to do everything with confidence, even the things we are not so confident in, and it all went a bit wrong, so Pip stepped in and sorted us out. On the upside we walked up the yard with the same gusto that we’d achieved on our hack, he halted exactly where I asked, (last time we’d ended up with his head over Pizarra’s stable door oooops!) and he held his head nicely whilst I dismounted. I even remembered to ensure he didn’t move his head when I took his bridle off and supported it until he dropped his bit. So I’m getting there!

I would never have believed that a walk around the lanes could take quite so much focus and more importantly that it could feel so amazing! Feeling so connected to Bronson is just a joy! Pip is working with us to get our confidence, both in ourselves and in each other, to the point where we can ride out unaccompanied. That goal certainly feels closer today hurrah!

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