Feeling sad but getting back into it.
About a week after I shared the news that I could no longer ride Mya due to her injury. I went for my first riding lesson after lockdown with my coach Noelie. Noelie had been coming to my yard to teach me on Mya. But as I no longer had a horse to ride I went to her yard for the first time.
To be honest I sat at home feeling very sad for a few days before this happened. It was soo sad that I could no longer ride Mya. I was sad that our journey was over way too soon. I loved her like my own horse. Sharing her with Kate was just the best. My other friend Nic had also just bought a horse and had started to keep him at our yard. The thought of having to leave was awful. It actually felt very much like when my horse died, a sudden end to something I wasn’t ready to leave. (Mya is happy in her field, she wasn’t put down by the way). But I didn’t know what the future held in store for me. I really wasn’t ready to leave my friends and my yard.
However as the days went on and I went to see my friends (as we had just been released from lockdown). Even though I didn’t really feel like doing anything and it made me feel better. I realised that although this had happened and that part was out of my control. I could decide what happened now. So I picked up my phone and I messaged a friend who had offered for me to riding with her and I messaged my coach to book a lesson. Suddenly I felt a bit more optimistic.
Hang on everything might just be ok..
That weekend I went for a wonderful ride with my friend Trudy on her horse Loulou. Then the day came for me to go to Noelie’s and I was pleased that I didn’t feel nervous. I actually felt excited!
I have written before about how pleased I was that I have found an amazing instructor here in France. I was reminded of this when I was reunited with Noelie. She is very kind and was very aware that I hadn’t ridden for 10 weeks! I rode a lovely chestnut called Tacio and the lesson went very well. We worked on inside leg to outside rein, something that I had started to work on with Mya. I have gotten into the habit of riding with very little contact in the horses mouth and if I want my dressage marks to improve that needs to change!
I have ridden for many years but it is now very apparent that I have not taken any lessons for years. I have some work to do! We worked on my positon and being lighter with my hands. I like the way Noelie treats her horses, she is very strict with me not pulling too much on their mouths and that I should use my seat for everything rather than my hands. I agree with this, but have noticed more and more how little I use my legs! Its something I am trying to improve as I would never want to pull the horses I ride anymore than I have to.
I also have realised that I really don’t use my core like I should to help stop either. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, In the past I have felt like I can’t ride at all and particularly as my lessons are now in French it can be very tough, but I am already feeling an improvement after only 4 or 5 lessons with Noelie.
Looking to the future…
It was great being back having my lessons, as this was something I was enjoying so much with Mya. Noelie also said that it will be good for me to ride different horses, so I will continue to go to her yard every fortnight. We have arranged that my next lesson will be a jumping lesson! Now, I absolutely love jumping but I have not left the ground for many years. However Noelie has assured me that she has the perfect calm slow horse for my return to jumping! So I am very much looking forward to that!
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