It’s fair to say that I’ve been a bit lazy this month.

Over the last few weeks Abbey has barely been ridden more than once a week.  The weather has been dreadful with a number of storms bringing lots of rain and wind, and being confined to the evenings I lost motivation.

I should really remember that this happens every winter and not put myself under pressure to keep the horses fit and just enjoy having some time off, but like most of my horsey friends, I don’t I just feel guilty!  Abbey doesn’t seem to mind, in fact I think she’s enjoyed having a rest.

That all changed as the Christmas holidays arrived.  On Tuesday 23rd December, I took Abbey to our first showjumping clinic.  There were 4 other horses in the class. We were all at around the same level; jumping 70-80cm comfortably.

Abbey was her usual excited self and it was until we’d jumped a couple of fences that she started to relax.  I was surprised at how fit she was considering how little we’d done in the preceding month.  The main thing I took away was relaxing my shoulders.  When we go out Abbey gets excited and while I try to relax, the tension shows in my shoulders.  This blocks Abbey and she starts to lean, which means my half halts are ineffective. Easier said than done!

On Christmas Eve I tormented my poor pony.  Considering she’d not been out on the roads for well over a month she was a jingly, jangly angel as we did the block with bells on!

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Since then we’ve taken advantage of the wet conditions and been for a 2 hour hack including playing in the ford (I’m saying it’s x-country practice!) and had a jumping lesson.

Before I return to work I am planning on using my new membership to Solihull Riding Club and doing the boundary ride there with some friends.