Gosh I have missed the feeling of being in the saddle!! Even now, hobbling around John Wayne style with legs like jelly, I am over the moon my back is finally holding up.
And I couldn’t have chosen a better place to be at – Ten Oaks Equestrian in Hawkhurst, Kent with lovely Ann and her son Lewis at the helm, is just the right yard – peaceful, calm, welcoming. On my first visit, I chatted with at least three people I had never met before, the horses calmly munching in the background or having a lie down in the straw.
Ann herself is amazing as a teacher, totally tuned in to the horse as well as to the rider. Despite the fact I was mostly doing walk in the outdoor school, I learnt about whether my horse stood squarely or a tad askew when we halted, to feel the movement of the horse underneath me, to try to coordinate my flailing limbs, and every stop gave me a little breather and a chance to relax a little more. Lovely Indie, the skewbald cob, was only too willing to please, and I have been itching for the week to go by for my next lesson!
This week, there was a lot more wind, rain, plastic bags, trailers and also trotting. Meaning, a lot more work on my part as Indie was focusing on absolutely everything but me. The absolute highlight of the lesson was to find I had managed to get the horses full attention and was actively riding her despite the most disgusting weather.
Unfortunately, my back would tell me otherwise, and I am making use of the hot tub at the gym to loosen those cramping muscles.
I am definitely back next week, come what may, to further teach those muscles what to do. And if you are looking for a place with encouraging teaching, lessons tailored to you, it is definitely worth driving all the way to this lovely riding school which I can wholeheartedly recommend!! 🙂