Hitching up those brave pants!

I have been having a look at what I need to do in order to achieve doing my ultimate goal, which is my ODE.

Harry has now been with is nearly 6 months and he is such a sweetie.

I had to do a bit of soul searching as here I was, amazing horse and me, a bag of spuds who couldn’t even take him anywhere on my own, hack out on my own, or indeed, still anxious about hacking full stop.

I had to have a good talk to myself and dig deep. I had a week of feeling rubbish, feeling like a failure, as you do........

So! What do we do when this happens? Hang up your boots? Or dig deep and remember why you got a horse, what you wanted to do when you got him and just what it means when you don’t ride, for him and for you.

For him, it means he’s not getting the exercise he needs and if you’re not doing anything, you’re not teaching him anything, and you’re not bonding as much.

For you, it means you are missing out on many special moments, you‘re not getting the exercise and he’s not teaching you anything either (plus they are an expensive lawn ornament!)

After giving myself a good talking to, I decided that in order to succeed needed to make myself a goal and then I made bitesize piece in order to obtain the goal.

My goal is to

a) solo hack

b) canter in an open space.

So, instead of lessons, I asked if we could go over to my instructors and to hack instead of school.

A couple of weeks back, a friend and I went over and we all went out for a hack.

Harry was a good boy and the three of us had a lovely ride with walk and trot.

Then on the Bank Holiday I took Harry back over and Sarah and I had a very sweaty hack with a lot more trot.

We then went back over on the Friday with my friend and the three of us went back out for a hack, more trot this time.

By now I had felt better and more relaxed hacking out, so on Tuesday, instead of schooling, I went back over with Harry, tacking him up, loading him up solo, driving over and going for a hack.

We had a longer trot and then we had a canter.

Harry was quite excited and gave a cow kick, to let me know he knew what he had to do (it’s a Harryism), and off we went.

The ground was ploughed and a little soft, but he felt steady and I felt balanced (after the initial expletive!).

I was grinning!

We crossed the field and we did it again. This time it was more balanced, level and I was able to get in a lighter seat and off we went.

Sarah asked if we wanted to go again, but I declined politely, as by now he and I were knackered, so instead we did a long trot and then walk back to the stables.

I did it! I only went and bloody did it!!

Showered him off, back on the trailer and home.

Knackered but happy!

So we are going again on tuesday, and maybe hopefully again at the end of the week, so I can build up my confidence and my mojo.

I know that to horse riders a canter to some is something they do every day, but having gone splat with my previous horse, it’s taken a lot not to tar Harry with the same brush, and to find my brave pants and do it.

Sarah is right when she says that until I can canter in an open space in a controlled and balanced way, in a light seat, there is no way I would be able to do an XC. She’s absolutely 100% right.

Shes also right that if I do want to do an XC then I need to be able to solo hack without getting all worked up.

So I have hitched up those pants and pulled them up hard and we have achieved some of my aims, and are working on the rest in bitesize bits.

I am hoping that that once I have hacked a few more times with her that I will be able to go over and hack out with others or on my own, and then come back here and do the same at home.

I am feeling far far more positive, which is great, as I hate the rollercoaster when it dips so fast and your stomach is left behind and you just feel sick.

Onwards and Upwards.

I am hoping by keeping my diaries that I can at least give people hope that if I can do it, they can too.


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