If I’d have known just how windy it was, the mood Abbey was in, or not needed to get to grips with 15m circles, I’d have cancelled my lesson.

Abbey is a little sensitive and hot at the best of times, but when the wind is up…..

Thankfully my RI understands Abbey, knows what she is like and is adaptable.  The object of my lesson was to practice my up coming test.  Before I’d even started warming up she said ‘we won’t try to do medium canter-working canter transitions today, I’ve a feeling Abbey isn’t in the mood and it’ll just wind her up!’.  She was right.  Abbey was argumentative from the get go.

I can’t get too cross.  In high winds, one of her primary senses for detecting danger is completely useless. So in her head, she’s vulnerable and got to be ready to react to anything that could be a threat (better safe than sorry when it comes to horse eating dragons!).  Still, she tested my patience and here’s why…

…The corner Abbey took particular offense to was the one where the jumps are stored.

Yes, the arrangement of the jumps had probably changed.  They do on an almost daily basis and have done for the 3 years.  She also walks passed that corner to and from her field. Apparently the dragon only takes up residence during lessons; it wasn’t there that morning and had left shortly after our lesson when I turned her out for the night.

I tried most of my tools – working small circles and getting closer to the scary corner/letting her have a short look. Normally I would go back to walk and be insistent that we walk that corner without a change in frame and then progress to trot, and then to canter. I probably should have done this anyway, what I learnt from this lesson was limited because I chose not to deal with the spooky corner. Hey ho! Next time.  Live and learn, as they say.

Here are the outakes:


It doesn’t look half as bad as it felt. And my instructor did note at the end, that Abbey has come a long way.  Last year, I would have been way round the school before I’d regain her attention.

To find out what I did learn…see part two.