With all the extra competing I have been doing for the riding club, I have been making sure to have lessons as often as possible – and on horses other than my own two ponies.
Before I had Galahad I used to ride so many different horses and it was such a good thing for my riding. When i competed at university (where we had to ride unfamiliar horses at a yard near the host university) I had a huge advantage over the riders who only ever rode their own horse and didn’t know how to cope with one which reacted differently. Not that I won but it did give me a head start!
Since I started riding Galahad though, I have ridden far fewer other horses. I hadn’t realised what a difference it made until I started practising for my first riding club competition earlier this year. I suddenly found myself sat up on a strange horse and I didn’t have a clue how he would react. It was quite scary and is part of the reason I have made sure I kept having the lessons. Of course, the extra practice also makes me much more likely to do well!
Incidentally, this pony was pretty much my dream horse as a child. I was hooked on Patricia Leitch’s Jinny and Shantih books (although I was quite scared by some of them) and so I always dreamed of a chestnut horse.