Riding is the art of keeping a horse between you and the ground

Earlier I headed up to the riding school for the last lesson of the term! On Friday I’m going home for a month!  Today I was riding Ferdie – 15.2 of skinny ginger grumpiness! Doing up his girth he threw his head about and swished his tail; especially grumpy today, this was going to be a good lesson ;).

I mounted and walked up to the school. In the garden next the other side of the hedge there was a many cutting down  a tree so I walked Ferdie around the end of the school on both reins so he could have a good look at it and when I was at the C end of the school, furthest away from the noise, asked him to trot.

Well, Mr Grumpy was not going to play nicely today! I put my leg on and he backed off my leg, giving out a warning kick, but he wasn’t going to win that easily! It’s a trick he knows he can play with younger or more nervous riders – he threatens to throw them off and they back off and he doesn’t have to do anything. Not today Mr! I pushed him forwards and asked again. Bigger kicks this time. A smack down the shoulder with my crop must have been a rodeo cue, because Ferd let out a squeal and bucked repeatedly on the spot. All I can say is thank goodness for the horse I used to ride at my old riding school, he really taught me how to sit bucks! I’m not having any of that today thank you Ferdie, another use of the crop and we were off in a  really nice trot! That didn’t stop him trying it on for the whole length of the school though!

Having warmed up and popped a few cross poles on both reins, my instructor raised them up a bit. Ferdie can be a lazy horse and was really making me work hard today, focusing all my energy on pushing him onwards and over the jumps. He ducked out of one to the outside, but that was soon remedied by holding my crop in the outside hand and giving him a tap on the approach to the jump to remind him it’s there. Coming towards the end of the lesson I was absolutely knackered, Ferdie was knackered but we just had one more jump to do. I’m sure he knew I had nothing left to give and a split second before the jump (I’m SURE his legs were off the ground!) he dodged to the side, and I ended up hanging off the side of his neck!

During a stroll up the driveway to cool off, my instructor said that Ferdie hasn’t been himself recently. The grumpiness is always there, but normally you have to ride with the break on rather than push him forwards over everything. Poor little chap, I hope he feels better soon as he is such a great horse when you get him going as I experienced last week when he really flew over some jumps!

Maddi x

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