I don't think I could have picked a more unsuitable time to back a young horse than lunchtime today! Usually lunchtimes are the quietest time at the yard, as it is a busy riding school and finding a free slot in the arenas is sometimes tricky. However, this week has brought other challenges, not least the fact that there are about forty children with ponies staying for pony club camp! Moments after I had closed the gate of the outdoor school, a recently gelded three year old arrived in his new home, a little anxious and calling frequently. Echo had a look, but was unfazed.
Regardless of the excitement, I started to lunge her; we had just got going, when hordes of excited children on ponies started to pour back from their morning of lessons. She was a star: there was so much going on and so much to distract her, but she trotted round calmly, with the stirrups flapping by her side, ignoring the chaos around her and behaving like a professional! After 15 minutes lunging, most of the action had subsided, and I prepared to get on.
I lay across her while she was led around, as we did yesterday, then did the same but this time with my left foot in the stirrup. When we came to a halt, I simply swung my leg over her back and that was it - I was sitting on my horse! We walked around with me sitting on her for about five minutes, then finished on a very good note. Hopefully, I will be able to do the same tomorrow and include a short trot as well. Going well so far!