My day started when the alarm went off at 5.50, less than an hour later I was picking up my friend M and driving us to the yard. We hitched up in record time (its so much easier with 2). After mucking out we chucked her horse and another livery's in the field and loaded up with 3 saddles (2 side and 1 astride), 2 bridles (one normal, one double), various bits and bobs and a packed lunch. Mischief decided to muck about loading by showing how beautiful he is when he rears! It only took 10 minutes to get on and we were off. It was then I realised my sat nav didn't recognise the postcode so rang my instructor who told us she would meet us at junction 10 of m11. We finally caught up to her and before we knew it we arrived at 9.30. We only had 1/2 an hour before my instructors lesson so we got him out and tacked him up. As there was not much time and he is well behaved we started straight off with the side saddle. R from another forum I am on also tuned up to watch so we had a chat and went to the gallery to watch
It's lovely to see someone else ride Mischief. My instructor H had Simon Somers and he concentrated on Mischief rather than the rider as there was not much to correct. He soon deduced that any issues were not due to the ss but just general scholing ones and told me to lunge him a lot and only hack out in an outline. H had only ridden him once for 5 minutes so it took her the first session to get back into ss and get used to him. I must apologise as I was so busy listening to the commentary I didn't take any photos but r took loads.
I took his bridle off for a break and H's daughter had made me a fairy cake which I ate happily. Before we knew it H was back in after 1/2 an hour break for session 2, he worked much better this time and really started to round and relax his neck. Simon commented that although he was a lovely hunting weight he would need to build muscle and gain weight to show him.
We went back to watch 2 other people have lessons, both of them hunt and team chase ss, they had beautiful horses and looked very secure. At this point OAS arrivedwith her beautiful arab. She was ever so clean (the horse although C was clean!) and was chilling out in the lorry with a massage pad. After making a fuss of her it was time to get tacked up. I was rather nervous as my instructor F had got the previous people doing a lot of trot and canter and had shouted a lot at the first person on a small and fat coblet called marmite!
It was actually fine, she was lovely and we did spend a lot of time in trot and canter it was all useful stuff. We worked on my robot arms and the left canter as his near hind really throws me in left canter. I felt a bit wobbly once but other than that felt really secure. I did almost canter into c at one stage (she was down the other end having a lesson with Simon). When I ventured large Simon commented how much better he was looking in his snaffle than the double H had ridden in.
1/2 an hour flew and before I knew it it was break time. By the time I had taken his bridle off for a break and said good bye to R it was time for the second session. Mischief was tiring but worked really hard and we got some beautiful moments when we both just got it. I got a lot of lovely positive comments from Fran, I left with a huge smile. C and I then joined the endless saddler queue, I had a saddle to try from a friend but sadly it was far to forward cut on him as he has huge shoulders. The saddler made a very slight adjustment to my rental saddle.
By this point Mischief was falling asleep and followed me up the ramp like a puppy first time, he then stood quietly on the trailer. The kids arrived for their lesson with H and how cute were they? there was a gorgeous 20 year old dun pony who had looked after all 4 kids in 1 family and was bombproof but oh so pretty, we all agreed we wanted a pony like that.
We set off home and got back and cleared out in a whirlwind before tucking Mischief in with a full hay rack and a big tea.
It was great to meet R who is very calm, friendly and took loads of photos which I hope to get hold of and claire and her mum with such a gorgeous arab who she rides so well.
M was great all day taking photos, calming down when I drove on the motorway and holding M whilst I sorted things out for H.
I have 8 weeks before the show so need to do all I can to improve us both in that time. I really feel so safe ss now compared to what I did, Fran even had me practising jumping position and has told me to hack ss as much as possible.
Can I just say my horse is amazing, he did 2 hours of lessons all ss and was greatly admired for his look and temprement all day, I felt very proud of him.
I am shattered but all smiley
Now for the photos and vids
on my way to the lesson
My horse the poser
last tips from my instructor
chatting with the instructor
For those that would like to see the rest the album is here