Today we went for a long ride around the boundary of Solihull Riding Club. We went with three friends, including Abbey’s next door field neighbour. We took a couple of opportunities to take Abbey away and bring her back to her friends as she’s quite clingy.
The first was in the members’ field which has a handful of show jumps, cross country fences and an a dressage ‘arena’. Abbey was quite ‘narky’, constantly checking out where her friends were and we called it quits before she got too wound up. She did go where I asked so we’ll call it a win!
From there we went round the boundary ride which is fields upon fields of countryside, woods and a river which can be crossed in at least three places. Abbey is getting more and more confident with water (we take every opportunity to go through puddles, brooks and streams) and she confidently led the group into the river – a big change from last year when water was a no-go!
In the woods she had to negotiate plenty of fallen logs, over hanging branches and swamp-like terrain.
I was rather proud of her canter work. In one field we split up and Abbey & I went off with a horse she’d never met before. Needless to say when we stopped she was a little anxious as to where her mates had gone and jig-jogged until we were safely reunited. I was very proud, for Abbey this was a big deal and a positive experience.
A member of the group isn’t very confident and has only cantered twice in open space on her new 4yo. Abbey baby-sat him and we had two short, controlled canters and she returned to trot the moment that I asked. All that practice at home has paid off! I’ve a polite pony that doesn’t get excited about cantering in a group 😀
She loaded both ends of the journey and stood quietly at the box while we ate lunch. All in all it’s been a lovely Sunday. The OH cooking a roast for my return was the icing on the cake!
The lighter evenings have been wonderful and Abbey is now on a fitness programme which involved interval training in the fields at home, lots of hacking (we did 7 miles on Saturday) and a lot less schooling. I think she’s appreciating the break!