This weeks blog post is live and I am SO excited about it… because it’s my January ride reports! 🙌🏻 Firstly can I say hallelujah that January has finally come to an end, this month goes on forever, I’m sure all the calendars are wrong and there are really 131 days in this never ending sodding month! However, we have made it to February and the days are gradually getting lighter, so I no longer have to go to and from work in the dark!
Despite the cold, wet weather and an illness I have managed a number of rides this month and completed 12.7 miles! Now I know to some this will seem like an insignificant amount but to me it is amazing, seeing as this time last year me and Fred could barely get out the yard alone. Most of the rides this month have been alone, due to work commitments and a poorly field companion who we ride with, as she has had some box rest this month!
Early on in the month I pulled on my big girl pants and made the decision to take my saddle out for the first time when riding alone, as normally I have been taking my bareback pad. However, we also have some new hi-viz items and I wanted to try these out too and needed my saddle. This ride was amazing and we managed a few canters all by ourselves, again something that we have done little of alone. We passed a cyclist, dog walkers and cars with no problems, we had one small spook mid canter but he looked after me and I stays securely in my seat. One thing that bareback riding has helped with, is my core muscles and I have found a big improvement in my normal riding since using this.
Alongside hacking, we have also completed two schooling sessions this month, which were the best we have ever had, not to mention this longest! We concentrated on some flat work with poles and the second time we did some jumping too. Fred is rising 6 this year, so I have made the decision to increase his schooling this year and to do a lesson every 2 weeks, so far so good and he has taken to it well! He used to nap terribly to the gate and this has improved so much, he certainly knows what to do and keeps a nice outline, he really does seem easy to train and is a quick learner!
In other news for January, the blog was listed as one of the top 25 UK equestrian bloggers to follow, Feedspot emailed me to let me know and I thrilled to be included. Feedspot has a team of over 25 experts whose goal is to discover and rank popular blogs, podcasts and youtube channels in several niche categories. Do take a look and see if you can find your next equestrian blogger to follow!
I hope you have enjoyed our ride report, I may not complete these every month but will update more regularly on our progress throughout the year. If you like what you have read please give us a like or even better feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you have been up in January, the month that lasts forever!!
Anyone who knows me will know I don’t really like New Year, I just don’t get it! However, I couldn’t not reflect on the past year and how much progress me and Fred have made. Now don’t get me wrong it has not been without its ups and downs and the beginning of 2019 started out badly with a bit of a confidence knock after a hard fall in the school. We went back to groundwork and continued to hack as this was still fine, most of the time and only in company. If I tried to hack alone he would try to return to the yard which was frustrating and put me off trying.
Then in April we moved yards and everything fell into place, he settled well and once again was the horse I knew before moving to the previous yard, it is strange how they react at some places. We started to hack out alone and he has grown in confidence doing so and we are now also schooling alone, both of these things seemed impossible this time last year and it is amazing to see the difference. We have been doing bits of jumping also both out hacking and in the school, he loves to jump and will now go well once pointed at the jump, in fact, it is hard to get him away from it and wants to repeat it again and again!
First proper jump in a year
Schooling all by ourselves
We have been doing lots of bareback work this summer (can definitely recommend the comfort plus bareback pad) and this has helped to improve my balance and core and I do now prefer it where possible. We even had a few canters bareback which was funny, to begin with as Fred really wasn’t sure about this new concept so would attempt a really fast trot, to begin with until he decided it was ok and that he could canter without a saddle. We have been increasing our hacking miles both alone and with others as I often ride with my daughter and her horse also. I am still working on my #Hack1000miles, we might finish it in 3 yrs time haha.
We also made it onto the equestrian bloggers list written by the talented Team Tunnah Eventing, this was a lovely surprise and spurred me on to keep blogging.
Looking forward to 2020 I have invested in a dressage saddle and plan to do more schooling as Fred is rising 6 this year, I would like to take him to some pleasure rides, as much as I like the idea of hunting I am not sure he is quite level headed enough for this yet! I would like to do some more jumping and try a small course rather than just the one and of course, we will continue to hack as this is our favourite thing to do. Most of all I hope that we are both happy and healthy and continue to love what we do as this is the most important thing. I am sure the year will start slow as so far we have been lucky with the weather but I am sure we have more winter to experience just yet. I am looking forward to the days drawing out now Christmas has gone as by the end of January it should still be light in the evenings for a little longer.
Here’s wishing everyone a happy 2020 and happy riding to all!