I must admit I had lost a fair bit of courage when it comes to horse riding after the accident in February when I broke my ribs. What's more, young Ruby has gone to Europe for an extended holiday with her family. So, Elara has no rider, and I had less incentive to get out among the horses. I felt I really wanted to do something about getting my courage back.
With practice comes confidence, I know, so I enlisted the help of Helen, a young backpacker from Liverpool who is a rider of considerable experience, to come and ride with me (if I commit to a riding appointment, then I *have* to go through with it you see). So now John, Helen and I are aiming to get out on the horses at least twice a week ... and yes, my confidence is coming back. These past two weeks we've had some stunning rides, very exciting, up hill and down dale, crossing creeks and making mad dashes up steep rocky gullies. Most of our rides are held in our neighbour's 60-acre wood; and a couple have been through the village. Here are some photos...
John's an amazing rider and is forging a very good bond with the beautiful mare Saturn, who he rides bareback. Look at the loose rein, and the balance .... just lovely. And to think that years ago I out-bid the dogger (horse butcher) for this mare.
And here I am, flying along on my young Brumby x Arab horse, Rascal Darius. He's gallant and willing, but being young and 'green' still a bit on the wild side. We get on well with each other though.
Helen's doing a great job schooling Elara and she's now getting much braver on creek crossings. She still puts her ears back when cantering, though! (Elara, that is, not Helen :-) ). I'm really glad Helen can put the time and energy into Elara who - also very green - needs more training, so when Ruby returns she will have a nicely schooled pony to ride.
The photo above is John on Gandhi, taking a photo of our reflection in the butcher shop window in the village... That was at the end of the day we joined the Northern Rivers Trail Riding Club ride and rode a 15 km loop. The horses were tired that day!
View RRTHC ride July in a larger map
So, here's to increasing confidence and more successful rides in the near future ...