What is this word ‘Fitness’ you speak of?

This week we actually managed to get over for a lesson as I have my car back!

Harry loaded straight on and we got there in good time, tacked him up and ready to mount.

One foot in the stirrup, Harry moves, the stool moves, and I am doing some sort of high leg kick with one foot in the stirrup whilst hanging on to him so I dont fall on my bum. I free my foot and drop the mane hair I have in my hand and start again! 🙄

Now we are on!

Initially I am just walking him round on both reins to get him aclimatised again. He’s a lot calmer, I remember to breath and we wander around aimlessly for a while doing various potato shapes in the school.

Then we begin.


Why is it, that when you practise at home it feels so good and right, but when you go for a lesson, you ride like a sack of s**t? it was like that with my piano lessons too when I was a kid! 🙄


We started on the right rein and I had to keep sorting my position out, so relaxing the legs, body upright and keeping my hands still, which then all went to pot when I started trotting, so I ended up having to rest my hands on his mane to start with otherwise the bit would be banging around in his mouth and he’d hate it (obviously!), and thighs down and pelvis and sternum out not up, shoulders straight, head up....... so much to think about.

As we did more, the more it improved. I know I am not getting any grace, as Sarah has said she is going to give me ‘tough love’ because she knows that I do need pushing. I love it though, because I *know* when she says ‘Good’ that she means it and doesn’t say it if it isnt.

Both reins mastered and a LOT of trotting today, more than I have done in such a long time.

Then it came....... I knew it was coming...... Sarah used the word ‘Fitness’. When she said it my brain went ‘What?!’ and my body laughed at me!

Sarah has told me that if I want to keep inproving then I have to get ‘Rider Fit’.

I know she’s right, I have been waiting for it. In order to be ‘Rider Fit’ I need to ride more, so she has said I need to ride about 4 times a week, and NOT just flopping about on the back of Harry having a plod, but actually working ......... now I realised what all the trotting was.

Those who know me will know that once upon a time I used to be super fit, I had to be, however, after my body had a meltdown and hit me with several chronic conditions and 14 operations, lets just say that my fitness isnt quite the same......by MILES!

There are days when I struggle to get out of bed, let alone function as an adult, so its going to be tough, however, the difference is with Harry is that I WANT TO RIDE!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Bart and I still miss the miserable twit, but I would make excuses not to ride. I dont with Harry, he is just so lovely to be around and we have a lot of fun and I trust him. Yes, its been 9 weeks, but I have done more with him in that time than I ever did with Bart.

My determination is greater, my enthusiasm is more and my mojo is back. So if I am to succeed then I need to crack on and get fit.

I decided last night, whilst eating a share bag of Milk Buttons, (no I didn‘t share), that I would do some daily ‘Planking’ too.

I am NOT going to con myself or anyone and say I will be out running or hill walking or swimming, because I wont, but Planking whilst watching ‘Made in Chelsea’ or other such drivel, I can do, so I will make a start today..... maybe.

I have to set realistic bitesize targets, so I will start with being a plank (not hard for me), then I will do some of the equestrian exercises and get on and ride.


It got me thinking (dangerous I know), but how many people realise that in order to be able to do a BE80 you and your horse need to be fit? I have seen some horses who struggle round, I have seen riders too who struggle, so I think I owe it to Harry and I to get fit(ter), so we can enjoy our time out together and not need oxygen and to be carried off after we have finished doing something.


So..... wish me luck.... I need to

add ‘Rider Fitness’ in my vocabulary and I need to get fit. For both our sakes!


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Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony is Registered Charity No: 1166416

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