Just four weeks after starting to ride following my accident I headed of to Riding club camp. Since starting to ride again I have only done road work and mostly walk with a bit of trotting, I did go out with someone else last week and have a short canter up a bridleway with a lead.
To say I was nervous about going was an understatement, think I spent 2 days in the loo beforehand and on many occasion thought about pulling out, with the lorry off the road I had a good excuse, I couldn't get there! but a lift was arranged so off we went, I decided to do just flatwork and avoid the jumping for the time being.
I couldn't have been more pleased with Ells or myself for that matter, it was my first time riding in an arena since the accident and with other horses around in my head I doubted he would do anything silly but I was still a bundle of nerves.
To sum it up we did flatwork, poles (raised as well) and lateral work, the first session the instructor was telling me to sit up straight about every half a lap of the arena (see photo) second session she only had to tell me twice and on the third session zero times! I would call that a huge improvement as I know leaning forward is one of my biggest vices which is why I fall off! I had never done lateral work before and had no idea what to do but we mastered leg yielding and shoulder in. Pole work we were managing to trot the exercises which when looking at them I did wonder if they were physically possible for such a big horse but we managed it, we did raising poles also in trot which was great for making him pick his back feet up as he does drag them.
We also achieved a couple of short hacks around the fields, we used this to cool off and did on a loosish rein and at walk, second one was a group of 5 of us, again he behaved brilliantly.
I have had so many compliments about this wonderful horse this weekend it is unreal, from someone putting water in for him as he had drunk it all and saying "I can't believe how polite he is in the stable, he doesn't barge out", yep his stable manners are A1, that has to be thanks to previous owners! The instructor saying that he is amazing nothing seems to phase him, I have had, wow he is beautiful and so kind. All of these are true and now the biggest task to learn is how to ride him to get the best out of him. I know he is capable I just need to get my confidence back which has improved greatly over the weekend thanks to the wonderful group of people at East Mendip Riding Club.