About me and this Blog

I am a woman of a certain age who has finally been able to enjoy my love of horses Initially to ride them but as time has gone on I have learnt there is more to horses than riding them and want to share this with you.

I have 2 other blogs, feel free to browse,

you can follow me on Twitter @alisonbarton1

Saturday, 31 March 2012

If I won the lottery would I......?

We had another “if we won the lottery" chats last night and it throws up a real conundrum for me. If I had the money would I then buy my own horse/ horses.

I am a novice in all ways riding and Horse care, but I know enough to know how little I do know. It seems to me owning and caring for horses is a huge responsibility that some people don’t think enough about.

The situation is bad enough with dog ownership in this country (the UK) I don’t know if laws in other countries control owners and protect animals better?

I have two dogs the oldest is 13 the other her daughter is nearly 11. I am very comfortable looking after them. But a great big horse is another issue. I take my hat off to all of you who obviously do a good job in your care schooling and riding of your horses. The stories you tell of your adventures together and that wonderful relationship you build is very tempting, something I yearn for inside. But my head tells me I couldn’t manage and I should just go on with my lessons and learning as I go and enjoying that OH!

Good job I haven’t won the lottery then so I don’t have to really have to make any decision and occasionally I can just dream ahh!But how would winning the lottery (a big win) change your horsey life?)

Love Alison x

Thursday, 29 March 2012

With a little help from my Friends

Last week’s lesson was a bit of a wash out in terms of satisfaction, not weather

Getting last week’s disappointments behind me meant moving on with confidence. Going along with friends, who clearly care and understand the phenomenon that is the horse riding rollercoaster, does help. No hiding under a duvet then.

Flaire my trusty schoolmistress, was waiting for me .I could swear she was smiling! I was determined to have a good ride, dangerous territory I know, relax relax, I told myself.

 The sun was marvellous and we were all smiling and happily warming up, on a long rein. No sloppy walk at all .Spring was in Flaire’s step she has been on a new diet and had some Spring grass. No one told me this before I got on, but I definitely felt the difference.  We went through our paces trot and canter and although not perfect I felt happier coping with my deficiencies. Flaire’s increase in energy was making it easier for me. I had plenty of encouragement and laughter with friends in the sunshine. So really a non event, no drama then, but perhaps that’s just what I needed.

Until next time,, a happy Novice (ahh!)
Alison x

Alison x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wow you’re a tough lot out there!

I thought there has to be advantages, as well as the obvious disadvantages of learning something new at my age.

After all I have had a career, a family, negotiated my way through a host of challenging relationships, my muscles might be stiff but surely I have a well developed  muscle in my head to carry me to success on horseback.

So you would think my preparation would be excellent for starting a new, physical activity. That’s what maturity has taught me right? “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Well not exactly initially I had no intention of riding, I got amongst horses again helping out at RDA(Riding for the disabled) and then inspired by our clients I thought go for it. No preparation, not even a limbering up. I went along in my “tracky” bottoms borrowed boots and hat and jumped on and was cantering before the end of the lesson.  I say cantering but it wasn’t pretty, I pursued this two more times until my back said whoa and went into spasm. What exactly did I expect, never mind poor technique, lack of knowledge my body was just not fit for that purpose.

After I re started my lessons I slowly got a bit fitter but I could have helped myself and prepared!

Joining Haynet has been a great help though because I do read and try and learn from others which is a sign of maturity (little pat on the back for me then). Still it has been a bumpy ride and I am sure there are more “down”s to come, as well as the rare but wonderful, “ups!”

Reading other people’s blogs , there seems to be a pattern developing whilst I find everyone ,without exception, tremendously kind supportive and encouraging to others, we all seem to be pretty hard on ourselves.

It doesn’t matter whether someone is a beginner, novice, intermediate or top of their game, “we”, I include myself here, are so intense, easily disappointed, demanding and critical of ourselves it is hard to read sometimes. I never thought I would come home in tears after a riding lesson, or doubt whether I could go back for another lesson because I was so hopeless. It’s a hobby supposed to be fun ha, no its not its horse riding and “we” who undertake this glorious adventure want to be more than good we want to be great “thoughtful” riders connecting with our mount in a seamless partnership which takes us to new highs.

You are tough you lot out there, tough on yourselves. I read about your abilities and go green, yet you worry and want better from yourself. C’mon guys cut yourselves some slack. One thing I promise myself to do from now on as a mature student is to learn, work hard but also be fair on myself and not to be too hard when things don’t go well, but, I know I will still expect to do better next time, because “we” demand it of ourselves and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Beginning again!

If I’m so crazy about horses now, didn’t I love them before? I am middle aged (and a bit) and I love riding so why aren’t I an Olympic champion by now? Well I should be right, but, no I am not, I am a middle aged Novice and here’s my tale.

I was smitten with Horses probably from birth well shortly afterwards then! I often dreamed my Dad would bring a lovely little pony home and pop it in our pocket sized garden. Of course it never happened but I did have my first ride quite young. I can remember I was about three or four on holiday camping in Scotland and the ponies were brought to the campsite early one morning. I was put on a small white Pony and no sooner was I on than I was off, sliding down his neck, as he grazed downhill. I was put back on but was off again as he went into a trot! So I was put on the back of my brother’s pony holding tight round his middle, he booted his steed into a trot and off I came again. This time no amount of coercion could get me back on.  There you are then game over, or so you would think but no, all through my childhood, I rode out on hacks snatched rides at farms even enjoyed donkey rides on the beach, but had no lessons.

For a short spell in my twenties I had sporadic lessons and slowly gathered boots, hat and “Jods”, but not a lot of technique or skill. Then work and family commitments grew, so no riding for ages and ages. I gave away my riding clothes and gave up hope of finding time to ride again.

Then all of a sudden I was an old gal retired with time on my hands. I didn’t think I could ride myself, being a bit stiff over weight and scared, so got a safe inoffensive, horse fix by helping out at the Forest RDA (riding for the disabled). All of a sudden leading the horses round wasn’t enough though, so last July I started lessons.  It hasn’t been a smooth ride to say the least and I have posted initial progress on my other Blog site    · http://cupofteaandachat.blogspot.com/      

But this is getting serious now and my equine adventures deserve their own special Blog also if you’re particularly interested in horses and riding you don’t particularly want to read my rants on NHS, Family life, renovating our cottage our dogs or walking in the forest.
I am not on my own, in being a late bloomer, a lot of us don’t have  the time or  the money  to ride when we are young it just so happens we have all the other things ie the energy strength, physique, flexibility and bounce  to do it well.

Now I have the time and enough money and I am determined to drag this middle aged body onto a horse and ride it well. I am interested in all the horsey things I can acquire to make me ride better (is that possible). I want to get fitter so I can ride longer, lighter and with more style. I am also interested in what others think and what other late bloomers experiences are, so tell me is it going smoothly for you?
Alison x