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A different horse? A different rider!

I was really pleased with how our first ride on the Quantocks had gone and was smiling for days at the sheer joy of it all! My Husband was so happy for me, as he knows all the effort that has gone into getting Bronson and me to this point and I couldn’t wait to go again. I had been reflecting on the fact that Bronson had been wanting to go in front of Jazz at times during the ride and Pip’s observation that me being relaxed wasn’t quite the right energy, instead I should be calm, assertive.

We arrived at the car park on the Quantocks, tacked up and headed out for our second ride there and this time I was sure to be calm assertive! Well what a difference! This time Bronson was perfectly happy to be behind Jazz and was waiting to be asked for each change of pace, he cantered along on a loose rein never asking to go on ahead at any time. He was like a different horse! Of course what was different was me and my energy. I will always remember now that being relaxed is for in front of the TV, being calm assertive is for horsemanship!

Pip upped the ante and instead of just sticking to the tracks we went off piste. We also took the horses through some water, between trees and had fabulously long canters along tracks that went up hill and down dale. Being able to ride with complete confidence on this more challenging terrain is just wonderful and all thanks to Pip’s training in her menage that is deliberately undulating and the canter fields where we have been cantering up and down hill. I would never have had the confidence to even trot downhill before I met Pip! Having been taught to ride with balance, I found that I was always with Bronson and my seat felt very secure. It’s the most wonderful feeling!

We cantered up a very steep hill and I was blown away by Bronson’s strength and power. I’ve simply never ridden a horse as fit as Bronson before and it’s astonishing how long his stride is, how fast he can go and how much ground he can cover with complete ease! My Husband has a sports car and when I got home today I said to him “now I know how you feel driving your car on an A road…..having to drive to the conditions but knowing there is so much more power available!”.

It’s been a lot of work getting Bronson and I to this point and it has been worth every single moment of endeavour. To have the privilege of being able to ride a horse like Bronson on challenging terrain with complete confidence in one another, is a dream come true! Pip began teaching me how to lead on this ride, explaining how I needed to adjust our pace and gait to the terrain, always being aware above, below and behind, reiterating the need for that 360 degree awareness she has been teaching me since we met. It’s clear how every single skill Pip has taught me so far comes into play when riding out like this and there is still so much more to learn. I’m loving every minute and Bronson is too!

When you consider where we started out, with Bronson being a fruit and nut cake who would rear and buck if he felt under pressure and me being a mentally and physically unfit, beginner rider, for Pip to have guided us both to where we are today is simply miraculous! Bronson and I are but one of many Pippsway success stories and I am just so grateful to be living my dream!


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