Another fall…

So there is a reason why I have left it a fortnight updating the blog. Literally hours after making my first entry about my new horse, she bronked again and this time threw me into a fence and caused an almighty bruise on my back.

My knee-jerk reaction was to get rid of her. She’d thrown me off twice in the five times I had ridden her. She is clearly too much for me to handle and I could do without all the stress thankyouverymuch.

Then came the reality that her price had over halved in two weeks. Her former trainers weren’t willing to take her back in good faith but rather wanted expensive sales livery and commission on resale. I had a couple of enquiries from an ad I put up but the moment I revealed that it bronks the enthusiasm of the prospective buyers deteriorated.

I booked her in for physio who noticed some muscle tension and spasms along the centre of her back, so she’s been on a course of anti-inflammatory drugs to bring that down (reduce £100 from Laura’s bank account). Last Friday she had her teeth checked and she has wolf teeth, which are nuisance little buggers that sit close to the bit.  She expects pain when anyone puts their fingers in there and has been resisting the bridle. It’s also a common cause of rearing (did I mention her front end tends to go up before her back?). Anyway, upshot is, with an extra £70 from Laura’s poorly bank account, she’ll have those removed.

In the meantime, she had started bronking on the lunge for me. It had almost got to the point where I was too nervous to do anything with her and was looking at desperate measures, like selling her off quick to a dealer.

I then swallowed my pride somewhat and agreed a weekly deal for the local professional to lunge and ride her four times a week. She’s had her first week with him and has taken big steps forward. She apparently tried it on with him on the lunge during the first training session but has been amenable since. “Very green,” is the verdict. “Like she’s only been backed a week.” Just goes to show what can happen when a young horse is put in the rough and over-confident hands of an amateur trainer who then tells the innocent new buyer to not give the poor horse a settling in period when being moved for the third time in as many months.

Hopefully now she’s had the chance to get to new her new place and new people we will start moving forward. I got to watch her being ridden on Friday evening, though I bottled out of riding her. Today I went and rode a riding school horse so I could get a critique of my riding position (nothing major, just need to bend my elbows, be more assertive, and fecking relax!) I lunged her for the first time since her last major bronk sesh and she was absolutely fine, if anything a little lazy.

So maybe the updates will come a little more frequently. If I go quiet, you know why …



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Reconquering my confidence

I have decided to re-open this blog to talk about my experiences with my new young horse, Amber.


She is a 5 y/o 15.3hh Irish Draught X. This is her:

I bought her last Friday and she bronced me off within ten seconds of sitting on her last Sunday. Any rider who has had this happen knows how horrible it feels. A mixture of questions and feelings run through your head – most of all, self-doubt. I’ve seen it happen to someone else before – horse reared right up the moment the new owner got on. Nearly went over backwards. You just don’t think it will ever happen to you, with your new horse.

My first instinct was to send her back whatever the financial fallout. It took me an hour to get over that feeling, with my mum and one of my best mates giving me some straight talking reality. The horse has just arrived. New place. New rider. New saddle. Wormed that morning. Stabled. In season. All too much too soon for what has otherwise been an impeccably behaved young horse.

I rang Amber’s former trainer and spoke to her at length about what had happened. She was shocked but supportive, which is what I needed. She came the next day and rode her for me to watch. The following day, she came and watched me ride her. Since then I have ridden Amber twice by myself and taken her long-reining along the local bridlepaths. Apart from one broncing fit while lunging, she has been as good as gold. A real sweetheart.

However, I know that it’s going to take time before I’m confident riding her again. When I tried her, I walked, trotted and cantered her, rode her through a field of sheep and past tractors, then down a road past walkers and cyclists. That’s not going to happen again for some time. It’s the reason I have decided to re-open this blog: to track the progress I make, no matter how small that progress is.

This week my goal is to simply feel confident getting on her, even if I only walk a twenty metre circle before dismounting again. I need to slowly feel more confident getting back on her and simply riding her, even if I have to lunge her for twenty minutes first. That’s this week’s goal. Then I go to London for four days and we both get a well earned break. So let’s see if I can manage that 🙂

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