Thirty Minutes of Heaven….

That’s all it was, 30 minutes but how good it felt.

After an enforced two and a half months out of the saddle today I finally got back on. And how wonderful it was! The weather was not playing the game however, wind is not Finn’s friend. He hates it with a passion. It makes him flighty and sharp, spooking at the slightest thing.

I have to admit I was feeling anxious about riding him again. Being anxious is quite an alien feeling for me. I’ve always happily sat on anything and having had Finlay for nearly four years I have never felt unsafe or scared. But this morning I was definitely nervous. I hastily tacked up… think my speed was to just get it done and get on a soon as I could so I would stop feeling anxious. Finlay has been lunged for the past two weeks plus on the walker to try a build up a little fitness but he had stood in yesterday as I was working all day. Being aware of this added to my nervousness. I had put on a martingale too which I don’t normally ride with.

Anyway I lead him out the door and popped on. And relax…….

Well sort of! With the wind up his tail we has some nonsense but nothing too serious. The school was busy with some practising for tomorrows competition so we just calmly walked around doing some stretching. With a little trotting and a walk down the drive we were finished. Thirty minutes was enough after such a long time off… for both of us.

Tomorrow we will try again and knowing the yard will be quiet with the others away competing I will have space to potter around without horses jumping and flying past. Maybe even do some proper schooling! The IC seems calmer but this can change hour by hour. Riding today hasn’t totally lifted my spirits, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are strong but its a start and maybe one day soon I will find me again. How noticeable the change in confidence levels. I have felt this in my day to day life over the last few months but I wasn’t expecting to feel so unsure of myself this morning tacking up Finn. Maybe this recent IC flare has had a deeper effect than I first thought. Or maybe its simply the lack of my daily therapy in the saddle……. x

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Finlay v Kids!

And the kids won!

Okay we’re not talking the human variety here, more the four legged cute kind. As I was feeling a bit under the weather today I decided on a ride out instead of working in the arena (much less effort for me lol) So we set off down the drive.

We’ve been this route four or five times. I always do this with Finlay when we move yards, go the same route for a week until he relaxes and feels more secure. So I didn’t think we would have any problems, how wrong was I?

The road seemed busier this morning, we met quite a few cars and not all of them slowing down either! Its a quiet road but can be a fast road too. Ten minutes away from the yard there is a small garden centre, we’ve been past it a few times and admittedly he is spooked by the geese (they also have a few animals) But I’ve always got him past safely.

Today however the kid goats were in full few twenty yards away. And that’s as far as we got! I tried all the tricks in the book but he was not going to walk past the goats. His heart was thumping so hard I could feel it. Eventually I got him to stand then I asked him to walk on which he did then before he decided it wasn’t going any further I turned him around and we walked back.

It may seem like I gave in but I knew there was no way I would get him past the goats so the only option was that I would make the decision when we turned around, not him. You’ll never win a fight with half ton of horse, so picking your battles and how you negotiate the issue is the only option. So we will keep hacking out to the garden centre until he feels brave enough to walk past. This may take a few days or a few weeks it doesn’t matter how long it takes the important thing is that Finlay learns there is nothing to be scared of.

I know him well enough to understand that nothing he does is out of badness, only fear. You would think a 17hh horse wouldn’t be scared of many things but you’d be surprised! Being a flight animal makes them very sensitive to possible dangers, some have more awareness of this than others. Some will overcome their fears quicker than others, they’re like people, all unique! x