A lot has changed since the last time I wrote on this blog – I have now officially moved back home from Manchester, begun learning to drive and I’ve also started a new job, which so far I am really enjoying.
I have also been doing a lot of horse riding: things are really starting to come together with it now and I am becoming increasingly excited about my future with horses.
One thing that I want to avoid now that I am back home is riding the same horses all of the time. Whilst I am continually making progress with Dusty, in order to keep improving I really need to be gaining experience with a variety of different horses.
A few weeks ago I began searching for a potential horse to part loan… so, allow me to introduce Bob.
He is a Welsh cob cross standing at 14.2hh and is probably about nine, although his exact age isn’t actually known.
I am very fortunate that he is actually kept at a yard I know well (the same yard where Flash, Buddy and Leon live) where there are lots of friendly people who I can ride out with and go to for advice.
I have only ridden Bob four times so far and am still getting to know him, but I thought that I would talk a little about what he is like and how I am adjusting.
Due to his owner’s pregnancy, he has only been doing light hacking for the past few months and is fairly overweight at the moment. Unfortunately as a result of this, his actual saddle doesn’t fit him so I am having to exercise him in the one pictured below… I guess it is sort of like a bareback pad, only with a bit more support (and stirrups of course). It isn’t particularly comfortable and does tend to slip (we had a funny incident with that the other day where I had to do a quick dismount) but I suppose the upside to this is that it will work wonders for my balance!
He’s been well schooled and I am starting to be able to encourage him into an outline, but he’s very soft-mouthed and doesn’t like the reins being held too tightly. If my reins are too short on him he over-bends, which I really don’t like to see, but at the same time I can’t have them too long as this doesn’t get us anywhere! I’ve been working on finding the length that he is happy with.
I was warned that he can spook quite badly: so far I haven’t really seen this side of him – we’ve had a few instances where he’s taken a look at things but apart from that he hasn’t done much except for spooking at some chickens near the school. However to be on the safe side I won’t hack him alone until I know him better.
He has been pretty fresh when schooling, and often when I sit to change my diagonal he tries to break into canter. This is something that I need to be prepared for so that I can prevent it from happening at all – at the moment it is sometimes taking me a good half circle before I can get him back to trot. Due to him being so soft-mouthed, this is where I am really having to ride with my seat more. I have found that a combination of small amounts of pressure with my thighs, a tiny bit of extra pressure on the reins and me talking to him keep him in a consistent rhythm.
I am excited for the next few months with Bob: I think that I can learn a lot from him and it will be great to spend more time on such a friendly yard.
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Thanks for reading!