Saturday, 22 November 2008


It's been so cold today - I rode this evening in the indoor school and the snow was blowing in through the door - it was funny actually - Echo kept spooking at the patches of white on the floor! Infuriatingly, I had to wait for ages after riding her before turning her out, as she was so sweaty (really got to clip her soon...!) and I then felt pretty bad putting her in the field when it's supposed to be -4 degrees tonight! But she was tucked up in two rugs and the field has now been extended into some trees, so she'll have plenty of shelter. I kind of have to remember that she is a horse sometimes!!

She went well this evening, actually. We had a bit of a fight on Wednesday, and I wasn't planning to school her tonight. I just could not get control of her left shoulder that night- no matter what I tried. It was frustrating and pointless, as we both just got stressed. Tonight, as it was so cold, I decided to warm her up really well before asking her to work hard. I did my usual walking holding the buckle, turning her in serpentines and circles, then had only a really light contact and a very long rein and trotted her quite strongly forward - not asking for an outline, but asking for a bend with my legs. I then cantered her with the same length of rein and took a forward seat and pushed her really forward down the long sides. It was really beneficial, as when I went back to do some exercises like leg-yielding and shoulder in in walk, she felt much more supple. She felt much more solid in my left hand too - hadn't expected that, so that was a bonus!

I've started to do a little work without stirrups recently - I'm determined to improve my position. I imagine Johnny Depp riding a horse in front of me to stop me looking down and really use the mirrors to look at my position! The sitting trot is improving again slowly... I spent so long when I worked in the dressage yard improving my seat and getting supple enough hips to really sit still in sitting trot - it's a little frustrating that I seem to have lost this, but... I'd be bored if I had nothing to work on!! I've found that is a good motto to live by when it comes to horses!

I have requested a set of travel boots for Christmas and this is going to force me to get organised and start taking Echo to places. I want to start competing in the spring, so I need to take her out a couple of times just to work her and then go home. Every time she's been on a lorry in her life, she's ended up moving house. She needs to get used to going somewhere to work, rather than seeing it as an exciting new adventure where she'll get to run in a new field with new friends.

So, I sit here - tucked up in my warm house with central heating, desperately trying not to think about my poor horse in a freezing cold field. Oh well - knowing England, the temperature will be back in the teens by next week!

Daily adventures while training my young horse.