Saturday, 11 June 2016

Rayon and Benson

I went for another horse riding lesson 
In the centre near my house
I was just getting suited and booted 
When a tall blonde girl came over and introduced herself 
She said her name was Lisa
And did I mind if she came and joined my lesson 
Of course I didn't 
The more the merrier
Lisa told me that she had been riding her whole life 
But hadn't been at all in the last three years 
And get this
She was a show jumper no less!
All of a sudden 
I was afraid I would be out of my depth in the lesson
But Lisa assured me that she was unfit and out of practise 
After chatting for a few minutes 
We went around to meet Roisin the instructor 
She brought a horse called Benson for Lisa
And Rayon for me 
Usually I ride Princess
Who is what they call a confidence giver
But today Roisin assured me that I was ready for a bigger and faster horse 
We walked across the road 
And over to the outdoor arena
I mounted Rayon
And straight away 
I could tell she was going to be a lot faster 
We walked around the arena at first 
To get a feel for the horses 
And then on to a trot 
And holy shit!
With not much coercion from me 
Rayon took off like a rocket!
She was was so fast 
And she was paying precious little attention to me trying to stop her
It's funny 
For the past few weeks 
I've had trouble trying to get Princess to go
Now I had the opposite problem
When Rayon was in front 
She was tearing around the arena
And when Benson was in front 
Rayon literally had her nose to his behind
Lisa took to it like a duck to water 
And Benson was definitely slower than Rayon

A while in to the session
Roisin asked if we wanted to try to canter 
Lisa went first on Benson
And she was looking good 
Then came my turn 
And again
Rayon shot off
She galloped around that arena at top speed 
And only stopped when she came behind Benson
On my second canter 
I felt like I was bouncing a lot 
And I don't think Rayon liked that 
As at one point she dropped her head 
And I thought she was going to buck me off
I started to slip off one side of her 
And had to reach for wards and grab her neck to hang on
Poor Roisin
She nearly lost her life watching 
She said she was sure Rayon was going to buck 
Roisin then suggested we swap horses 
So Lisa could experience a faster horse 
And I could get my bearings again on a slower horse 
Benson was lovely 
He was in no panic to get around the area 
And cantering on him felt lovely 
But again 
At one point 
I thought he was going to buck 
I had a chat with Roisin afterwards 
And she thinks they might be trying to buck because I'm bouncing so much 
That it might be agitating the horse 
In a canter 
They say to 'Sit in' to the saddle 
And wipe the seat with your bum
I gues for me 
There are so many things that I am trying to remember 
That sometimes it goes a bit pear shaped 
Lisa also found Rayon like a bolt of lightening 
So I was glad it wasn't just me 
I was more than ready for the lesson to be over 
I felt like I had no control over Rayon
And he was just sprinting as fast as she could 
She wasn't taking heed of my commands 
And heck if I could get her to stop!

We walked back to the centre 
Laughing about what had happened 
But I seriously think that Roisin was worried I was going to be bucked off
And now that I am home and thinking about it
It was freakin'scary
Even watching Lisa canter on Rayon
She struggled to control her too
I swear that horse was like a bat out of hell!
But apart from the fear of being thrown off
I loved it 
It felt amazing to be on a bigger and faster horse 
And to be making progress
As I always do 
I asked Roisin at the end of the session if I am making progress 
She assures me that I am 
I really hope I am 
But as she said 
If I enjoy it 
To keep doing it
I mean I know I'll never be a champion horse rider 
Or anything like it 
But I would like to reach my potential 
What ever that may be 

I haven't told Eilish and my friends at horse therapy that I am doing extra lessons 
But I do have a plan 
I'm going to continue to ride at both centres until September 
Then I am going to ask Eilish if I can do two lessons with her on a Wednesday 
As it's such a trek from my house 
It would be more worthwhile for me to do two lessons instead of one
So until then 
I will continue to ride with Roisin at the stables near my house 
It's a very different experience riding at both stables 
In the ones near my house 
We concentrate on all the little details 
But with Eilish it's a lot more gentle 
I want to say more caring and nurturing 
She brings us along gently 
So between the two
I think I am getting a good foundation in in horse riding 

So that was my Saturdsy morning 
Exciting no?
I'm back to work tomorrow 
Just for two days 
I'll be working with the other new girl 
And she is lovely 
So I am looking forward to that 
I got paid for the first time last Thursday 
And even though the emergency taxed me
And I only got about half of what I'm owed 
It was still very special to have my first legitimate pay check in years
I can already feel the benefit of working 
My confidence is improving 
I feel more sure of myself 
And more capable and able 
Which is exactly what I hoped would happen 
So happy days all around!!

I'm off to make a cuppa and s ham roll
See you on the next post...


  1. omg i wish I could go horse riding with you!! If we ever meet we have to do that :D xx

  2. Wow!!! I would be terrified (and also delighted) to experience a horse like Rayon. haha! The adrenaline rush....

    Trotting was always the most difficult gait for me. I always bounced more while trotting than I did with cantering. I wonder if that's normal?

    1. I think a lot of people find cantering easier than trotting
      I think I am bouncing too much on the horse though
      And it's agitating him
      And makes him want to buck
      But hey ho
      We live and learn... X

  3. sometimes having longer stirrups helps with the bouncing,or getting rid of them altogether if you feeling brave! sounds like you're getting on really well and getting more confident. hope work goes well today. love, jo xx

    1. Thanks Jo
      Yes I will definitely try that
      I'm just on a break at work now
      And having a cuppa
      Then have a few days off
      Utter bliss! X

  4. It's tough to get the hang of cantering in the right position when you're on a different horse from lesson to lesson. Every horse has a different rhythm, so you have to adjust your position to fit the horse. That's why school horses can lean towards the crazy side--they have so many different riders, they can't really rely on a consistent position or rhythm either. It makes some of them frustrated, and from what I remember of riding school, horses lower their heads and swings their heads when they're frustrated.

    Take a deep breath when the canter starts. Heels down, knees tucked in towards the horse's middle. A tighter grip with your legs will let you feel the movement of the horses's muscles, and adapt to move with the horse. Then you can use your arms primarily for balance, and not rely on them to hold on. Like you said, there's a lot to remember considering you have only a few seconds, but it sounds like you've already got a natural feel for horseback riding. Sidney the Psycho riding instructor always stressed the leg thing when cantering (usually while screaming at me), but it was a good lesson learned...

    I love fast horses. They used to let me exercise some of the privately owned horses where I went for lessons (if the owners didn't have the time to come ride them), and 2 of the horses were retired racing horses. They were CRAAAAAAAAZY. You couldn't do anything with them except gallop, they wouldn't listen to most commands or trot or do jumps or anything. They just wanted to run. It was good craic.

    uuuggghhhhhh I miss riding!!!! Take more pictures and share them.

    1. Thats really interesting Mich
      Thanks for the tips
      I will definitely try those
      Sorry for the short comment
      At work
      And just on a quick tea break
      Really appreciate your taking the time to share some insider knowledge with me
      And yes!!
      I keep forgetting to take photos
      Must do that

      You are a star x

  5. Sounds like you had an amazing Saturday ! Ive got to say, km little jealous, I love adrenaline so much, a fast horse sounds like blast!
    I used to ride when I was younger, and I do miss it. My therapist has mentioned equone therapy a few times, maybe I'll have to give it a go!


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