The ponies are spending a couple of weeks with my riding instructor – partly so Galahad can have a bit of a trim and partly so we can get to our dressage competition in a fortnight.
Of course, I am taking full advantage of the facilities while they are there. They were collected on Friday afternoon and I went over straight after work to school Galahad. He hasn’t been ridden under lights for months – probably not since last winter – so he was a little tense at first and had to have a very good look at the darkness beyond the lights to make sure there were no hidden monsters.
I just worked him quietly round the school and before long we could ride on a loose rein with no problem.
We actually had a very good session. Galahad was working nicely, although he did tire a bit. He got pretty hot as well – definitely time for that clip.
Galahad and Cookster are spending the week at my instructor’s yard. As they went for the back check on Friday and will be staying until at least Sunday for the dressage, it seemed like a good opportunity to use the school.
I have been working all week so my riding has been restricted to after work hours. Obviously it is dark then but being away means we have the luxury of lights!
Cookster has never been ridden under lights before but, although he was a bit nervous about them (or the inpenetrable darkness behind them) at first, he settled really well and we had one of the best schooling sessions we have ever done.
Galahad is used to the lights but has been having a few days off after his back check. I was allowed to start lunging him today and I think I can see some improvement in his movement which is good news. I will be able to ride him again on Saturday so I’ll be able to see haw he feels then. Hopefully, we should be able to do our dressage test on Sunday after all!
This week the ponies went away for a few days which meant Galahad and I were able to have our first lesson in months. It had to be after work which meant Galahad was also ridden under lights for the first time ever. He has never been particularly keen on things like torches which I have always assumed is because he can’t see anything behind them. I wasn’t at all sure what he would think of the floodlights but actually he wasn’t too bad. We had a bit of stopping and staring and quite a lot of bending away from the lights but he settled pretty quickly.
I was very pleased with him. He was looking at everything very carefully but felt very relaxed and not as if he might explode at any moment. My instructor was impressed with him too and thought he was moving better than the last time she saw him which was very gratifying. I was paranoid for a few days before that he would have stiffened up again. In fact the only problem – and is wasn’t really an issue – was that he is starting to grow more of a winter coat and is obviously not as fit as he was a few weeks ago when I could ride every day. He did get a bit tired but was working hard.
We even managed a little bit of jumping which of course Galahad enjoyed very much. Again my instructor could see an improvement in him. At one fence we saw a really long stride but he now has the strength to keep going and not send everything flying.
It was a very good lesson and I came away feeling very positive. Looking forward to the next one now!