Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Sea of Mud

After the frozen wastes of last weekend when I only managed to ride for half an hour on Sunday afternoon because the mud had turned to concrete with a layer of ice on top, this weekend was slightly warmer but, inevitably, very muddy. I rode yesterday, but I was far too tense and nervous which obviously transmitted to Santana and he spooked and flinched at everything imaginable. I held him too tight and sat too rigidly, it was altogether not very impressive. Poor Santana, he did his best for me but I wasn't giving him clear signals.

Today, after retrieving him from the sea of mud around his field gate, there was an altogether different vibe. Elby held him for me while I mounted from the hay bale. He flinched while I found my other stirrup, but was fine as soon as we walked off. I made a concerted effort to relax, to give with my hands and to sit back. We managed to pass the area in "the pit" where the monsters hide with only a cursory glance. We managed a lovely swinging trot on both reins, we cantered on the left rein and then ... our worst bugbear, cantering on the right rein. The first time he got his front legs right but the back legs wrong. We tried again and he got it right, cantered half a circuit and trotted the rest. Then we had another go, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke and he did it right again. We cantered for a circuit and a half, no leaning, no pulling, just nice controlled cantering. By jove, I think he's got it!

I don't want to speak too soon but I really feel as though he's so much more comfortable in the Pennwood saddle that it could have been the other saddle which was causing the problem all the time.

All in all a lovely, confidence giving ride. Just what you need on a Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like our current state of life...mud, mud and more mud. Ugh! Nasty stuff, isn't it?

    Love the good rides! Hope you have many more as the mud dries and the rides become more frequent.