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If you follow us on social media you might have already seen the good news. But we are back!
Scottie had his back done on Saturday and after a few little niggles most likely from being out of work and being silly in the field, we were all clear to get back on. While I was keen to get back on, I wanted to make sure I set us up for success. Scottie has always been so good when it comes to getting back on. But I always think that when a horse has had a long time off, bad weather or a lot going on on the yard can quickly become too much. So I said to myself I would wait for the next good day.
Luckily for me, I woke up Sunday morning to sunshine. No one on the yard was going out hacking, so I could rock up early and get started before horses started going out. Scottie seemed quite pleased to see his saddle and was more than willing to have his bridle put on, although I wasn’t sure I was going to get his girth done up at first!
For safety, I wanted to make sure someone was on the yard when I got on and thought I might need someone to hold him too. But I knew everyone was on their way, so I decided to walk him around the school in hand until people arrived. I like to walk him in his saddle as he can occasionally be a bit cold backed and I think this just helps take some of the shock out of it.
But Scottie wasn’t really feeling walking around at all! He was very grumpy, pulling faces and stamping his feet and just generally being a bit frustrated. All of this is quite unusual for him. I didn’t want to wind him up any more so I thought I would take him to the mounting block and see if he was happy to stand and put some weight in the stirrup. He was perfectly happy standing there, a little bit fidgety when I first put weight in the stirrup, but not walking away or any of his usual cold backed behaviour.
At this time I saw one of the girls cars pull into the car park and since he seemed happy, I decided to go for it. I got on and he didn’t move. I let him stand for a while as it is usually the first steps he is most reactive if he is cold backed. But when I eventually asked him to walk on there was nothing! Relaxed and loose straight away.
We had a good mooch around the school on both reins on the buckle of the reins before calling it a day. It wasn’t much at all, probably 5-10 mins. But for me, that first ride back on is just about making sure we are both happy and there are no major problems.
Excitingly Dressage Riders Online have announced a walk only dressage class aimed at those coming back into work. Any tack is allowed and the movements are nice and simple for those in rehab, medium walk, free walk, centre lines, 20m circles and a turn across the centre of the school. Nothing we shouldn’t be doing. So if the weather holds off this weekend I am hoping to film their walk ridden test as well as our long reining test.