Hi I am Finn, the other side from Luke in the Boys Ride Too Magazine Head Quarters ! In October we were lucky enough to get a new horse on loan, Halley, she is only 6 and she has done a bit of Pony Club Show jumping and had a foal, but she has spent the last year or so relaxing in the field, so we have lots of work to do and it will be a steep learning curve for us both. We have stared back at the beginning with Halley working on trust and ground work in walk and have now introduced trot and lots of pole work to keep her calm and focused while she regains her fitness. When I am at school or too busy with homework and revision my mum does some work in hand with her, and long reining which is really helpful to get her out and about, seeing new things.
We moved yards on New year’s day, so we are taking things a little slow for a bit until she settles again. We took her out twice last week in hand hacking, which we had not had the opportunity to do at our old yard – she was amazing crossing a broken bridge over a stream twice, talking steep slopes, both up and down, navigating a narrow spooky stone bridge and numerous foot gates, cows and energetic dogs bounding out of the woods – she was great and didn’t put a foot wrong. There were a few moments when she snorted like a dragon and began shaking, but we just kept her moving with lots of positive praise. I can’t wait to rider her out next time!
I was also lucky to have a flat lesson in the indoor school, which made her tense and spooky initially as it’s quite dark – but we worked on exercises to calm and reassure Halley that there weren’t ghosts and ghouls in ever corner about to jump out at her. We are so lucky to be able to ride indoors, so it’s really important that she gets used to being inside! I am hoping to have another lesson next week and try some ridden road work with Halley, with a view to taking her to a Le Trek training day in the Spring!