As a child I loved to ride my instructor’s ponies in from the field (and indeed back out again) bareback. It was something everybody did in my pony books and it was the best feeling.
On a visit to Scilly I saw a girl riding her pony bareback along a road in flip flops and that seemed like the ultimate goal for me. I should mention that this was one of the islands with no cars and obviously I am not advocating the wearing of flip flops around horses – it is dangerous. To a child it seems idyllic though!
I have always wanted to be able to do the same with my own pony but Galahad has been too tense and spooky for me to feel safe. The trouble is that if I’m nervous he can tell and it makes him nervous and tense which makes me worse. It’s a vicious cycle.
The last time I tried it I ended up being thrown into the fence which is never good. It was a shame as it was going so well before then but he did not react well when I got unbalanced. That was two years ago now though so I would really like to try again now.
In the meantime, I have Cookster to ride and he is not fazed by much.
Riding a pony in from the field at home is every bit as good as I imagined.