Winter is Coming

You can definitely tell that winter is well on its way.  For one thing, Galahad now frequently comes in from the field covered with mud and I have swapped from using a body brush to a dandy brush.

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The fields are holding up pretty well so far but there is still enough mud to cover a pony!

Another sign is that Cookster is now wearing these stirrups.

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My sister likes to ride in her wellies when the ground is muddy and these make it that bit safer to do so.

I on the other hand am still sticking faithfully to my jodhpur boots.

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They might be falling apart and they definitely need replacing but until it gets cold or very wet I will be wearing them!

Brrrr!

Didn’t it get cold suddenly!  I was not at all prepared for that.  Obviously I knew that cold weather was forecast but somehow that didn’t translate to, ‘Wear more clothes.’  It was rather chilly riding on Saturday!

Monday morning was absolutely beautiful.  The ground was completely white with frost and the sun was beginning to think about coming up so the sky was turning pink.  It was magical.  I was rather cautious when riding though – once last winter we went up the hill and hit a patch of ice at the top.  Poor Galahad had a proper Bambi moment and I definitely do not want to repeat that!

I am doing less work without stirrups this month than I had hoped simply because the field is too wet to school.  What we have done has gone well though.  Walking is no problem at all and trotting is fine as long as I remember to cross my stirrups.  Galahad is not a fan of them dangling down and hitting him!  My sister’s pony seems to find the whole thing fascinating; but then he has always been a fan of boots.

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No Stirrups November

No Stirrups November is something I heard of for the first time this week but apparently it has been around since 2010!

I have done a fair bit of riding without stirrups in my time – practically every lesson ever – and it really has been helpful.  Not least when I lost my stirrups in a jumping class and finished the round without them.

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I have never ridden Galahad without stirrups except for dropping them for a few minutes on quiet rides.  To start with he was always far too spooky and although he has improved incredibly I somehow have never got around to it.  No Stirrups November seems like the ideal time to start.

However, I will not be losing my stirrups for the whole month.  Firstly I have to ride on the roads when I hack out and it seems like a really bad idea to have no stirrups when a car might come hurtling round the corner at any moment.  Secondly, Galahad can still be spooky – usually when I am least expecting it.  If I can fall off with stirrups I certainly can without!  Also Galahad has barely been ridden without stirrups before and it is something that should be built up slowly.

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My plan is to use this as the impetus to introduce some work without stirrups in our schooling sessions.  I’ll warm up Galahad with them and lose them when he is properly settled.  I know it will be beneficial for me at least!