Update from our brand ambassador, Julie Jones
Like many of us in these strange times I have lost my riding mojo somewhat as there’s nothing to train for. The first rides have already been cancelled and we are looking at the end of April for the first one now. Pembrey with 2k of beach – woo hoo!! The weather isn’t great also – we seemed to have all 4 seasons most days last week, with rain and snow as the predominant feature! Anyway, having seen my fellow brand ambassador and friend Sophie’s blog about her new challenge, I decided to pull myself together, and although I will never be as amazing as she is, I can at least get on my horse a bit more regularly!
So, I set my alarm and got up in what seemed like the middle of the night – but was actually 7am and wandered out to do the horses. They were snug in the barn, and it wasn’t too icy on the yard, so I went for it. By the time I’d fed everyone and tacked up it was light so a quick trot round the block on a lovely winter’s morning was on the cards. When I haven’t ridden for a few days Raf is either Puff the Magic Dragon, a Diva or My Perfect Pony – and we never know which it will be until we are off the yard! Given that some of the lane was like a skating rink I had my heart in my mouth for a bit in case he ended up like Bambi on speed!! Anyway, it appeared that he had his sensible head on – so my perfect pony and I toddled off down the track.
He has a sensitive mouth and is ridden mostly off the seat and it was really lovely as he was being careful because of the ice and so came under me beautifully (for most of the ride….) with the lightest of contacts. Not his usual extravagant movement but really using himself on the hills – both up and down. We only did about 6K but although chilly the weather was sunny and we could see the snow on the hills around us, watch the squirrels and pheasant doing their thing and smell the haylage in the sheep feeders as we went past the fields.
His perfect pony stance started to get some diva in as we went back up the lane for home. The water cascades and salt piles that he had ignored on the way out now had to be looked and shied at – at a trot more like his usual one! We cantered home up the track, back into the barn where I untacked and let him have the rest of his breakfast. I always make sure that the horses have something in their bellies before a ride and as they’re fed a fibre-based diet it is fine to let them do this. But they only have half their feed before and the rest when we get back. As we are doing mainly road work, he had Hilton Herbs TLC Lotion on his legs before being turned out, all snug as a bug in his rug.
Not as mind-blowing as Sophie’s chilly dips in the sea, but it did me the world of good and my alarm is set again for tomorrow. So, for all of you whose riding mojo has gone, get back on and get it back!! It will soon be spring and hopefully we will be able to get out properly soon.