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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.
Alison

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Sunday, 9 September 2012

100% Concentrate. No (fluffy) bits


This summer because Oscar was off recuperating, I have had the pleasure and benefit of riding three different horses, a return to my schoolmistress Flaire, Latina and Oliver. All very different and all teaching me something new.

Latina Oscar and me on Flaire
My biggest lesson of all though was returning to dear old Oscar. He had been lame and had been in receipt of a whole raft of intense therapy and care and is now sound again.  He had been out with the grooms at the stables and he was eager and lovely. After my lesson riding him this week, I felt like I had ridden in a rodeo and felt a little disappointed. Where was that special bond gone that feeling of togetherness. Vaporized like morning mist.

I looked and felt like a sack of spuds on his back when we cantered, my legs started to shrink and my back bent forward, he felt all out of shape with lumpy bits. I was frustrated and felt like one of them Roman generals, “bring me another one this is no good”. How callous am I how spoilt?. I did recognise it was my riding that was letting us down but I wanted Oscar to carry both of us.



Me and Oscar I should have listened more!
I had my lesson on Wednesday but only today Sunday have I had my, “Aha!” moment. I was walking the dogs and started reliving the ride we had had. I had got on him like the old friend he is, but whilst I might have patted him and given him a polo, I didn’t  engage with him, I didn’t enquire how he was doing I didn’t explore how he had changed  what mood he was in. He had put weight on (his girth was tight) but I didn’t think how that might make him feel breaking into a Canter. He has new super dooper shoes on with gel cushions and over reach boots a whole lot of new things for him to accommodate. He had been sleepy in the stable but pretty perky once we got in the school and I just wanted to get on with it. I didn’t respond to him or ride him with my brain and my legs and seat just went to bits.



How we were and how we will be again!
Of course we learn early on that all horses are different and need to be approached and ridden as individuals.In addition to that each horse is a bundle of contained energy and intelligence each having his own good and bad days. Oscar is not a car that has had his brakes fixed and a swift check of the brakes and off we go. He needs my care and respect and 100% concentration. Lesson learned Oscar I will be ready for you next time, no fluffy bits. I promise.

2 comments:

~Allison said...

It is hard to go back after some time off and realize that the horse had time off, too! Poor guy was out of shape, it seams! Glad you got it sorted out and know how to approach him next time! I am sure your special bond with him will return in full force!

Alison Barton said...

The really sad news is that Oscar isn't as "sound" as I thought and his owner has very regretfully had to accept that he needs to be retired and is trying hard to find a home where he can have a fitting retirement I can't think of the alternative.