I am a nervous rider and even Sam worries me sometimes. At our new agistment place the main riding paddock is a 30 acre paddock that has a small gully running through it but it is mostly level. Lovely big trees and different size logs to pop over. Currently there is about 50 head of cattle in there but they are leaving on Monday. I am scared of cows. I like them on the other side of the fence, but Sam loves them and is happy to chase them.
I have been worried about riding Sam in this large paddock that has sheep over the road (which he has never seen before) and things to look at etc. Also if he decided that he had had enough and wanted to go home he would have to go through the small gully to get to the gate.
Today was a lovely warm sunny day with a slight cooling breeze. I decided to be brave and have a go in the large riding paddock. I took Sam for a walk through it a few days ago and he didn't stir up so I figured it is now or never!!!! I walked him down and lunged him to begin with. He was fine looking around a bit but listening to my voice. I asked him to canter and he had a good strong canter. I haven't seen one like that from him for a long time. He was really very calm so I thought 'Nina just get that butt of yours up in that saddle!!!!'
I went through my pre mount check, give to the rein left and right, wiggle the saddle so he can adjust the way he is standing if needs be, I place my foot in the stirrup and look at him - my way of asking him if I can mount, standing up in the stirrup and make sure again he is comfortable before I swing my leg over and land lightly in the saddle. He stood stock still and waited until I asked him to walk off. We walked around, halted, walked on again all on a very light contact. We looked at the tyres strewn across the arena, looked at the sheep across the road. He was walking out boldly so I decided to trot. He didn't listen to my legs so I used my voice and asked for trot. Up we went into a powerful, forward trot. I didn't now he had that kind of impulsion and power. It was awesome. He was slightly round with his nose sticking out a bit but thats ok. What I really liked was that he listened to my outside leg and rein when he was falling out.
Back to walk for a bit. Up into trot and this time I felt brave enough for a canter. I asked with my voice and he didn't rush as much as he normally does, he 'popped' into canter. It was a lovely big, bold canter once again on a light contact. He listened and came back to me when I asked. I am sure if anybody was down there watching they would have thought I was crazy - the grin I had was bigger than ear to ear!!!!!!!
I will be fine now to ride down there and I thanked him a lot for looking after me. I think Sam was a bit put out that we finished so quickly but I am still concerned about his hind end and it looks like the chiropractor is happy to come out on Sunday. That is awesome but it is meant to be raining, windy and 10 degrees!!!!!!! Hopefully he will be happy to stand int he shed for the treatment.
So it was a great ride and I over came a little fear. I am sure Sam thinks his mum is crazy!!!!!