Once again we thought we would leave him for most of the day in the field - great way to use up all of his energy before we ride him.
We headed to the yard about 1400hrs and made a start on sprucing up the parlour - will post on that one seperately.
It was such a lovely day that when we stopped for a cup of tea/coffee and a sandwich we sat outside his stable.
Checked out the school and there were 3 ponies with young riders and a few parents hanging around - some of whom were yard staff. We thought this an ideal situation to bring in Cooper as he seems to appreciate company in the school with him.
OH volunteered to catch him - took him ages - Cooper was as far as the eye can see and around the corner in his field.
OH was pooped by the time he got back
Once again - this was to be a short session of only about 10mins max each.
Thankgoodness, it was just great!
Whatagoodoyyyy!! How many times have I said that this week
He was very alert and aware of the horses in the field outside and was equally interested in the small furry animals half his size in the school with him.
I mounted first and began in walk doing 10m circles in the corners of the school as part of our homework exercises.
Then we did a trot - still in the treeless YES! -
It wasn't too bad really once we got going - I used the neck strap to make sure my hands were not too bouncy. I think my problem all week was getting used to the bounce, his spookyness and my nervy nellyousness (I think I just made that word up )
He moved in off the track quite a bit on one occasion going down the long side that was next to the field but I was firm with him and used lots of inside leg and opened my hand of the outside rein to put him back on the track.
Yeah! I am riding my horsey!!
Changed the rein and repeated the excercises on the right rein and then dismounted - all totally uneventful. He was certainly no ploddy ride which was good but needed encouragement to listen but I think I got there with him.
As I managed to trot so much I got a lot of practice in the new saddle and as a result managed to get used to it.
As you can see from the clip I am no dressage girl but given the issues that I was having during the week I don't think I did too badly at all.
With all of the parlour cleaning and the sunshine we were able to ride without jackets but I still had 3 layers on!
After a whole 15 mins and I had finished his exercises and was bursting with glee inside I dismounted finishing on a truely great note
OH then rode him. Once again, like me, he did much better than on previous days - hands not quite so bouncy but still having the problems where his legs are going a little too far back.
I'm sure RI will help us work on that while we wait to get another saddle sorted.
I was absolutely and utterly thrilled with Cooper and myself for todays achievement. I feel that I can ride my horse now.
Spoke to yet another few liveries today who said their horses spook in that school and they only ever go into it if there is another horse exercising as this seems to settle them.
Now in the long term it would be nice to have a non spooky horse and we can work on that over the years but in the short term I will be happy to try and coincide my rides with others exercising. Only time that is a problem is when we book it for lessons with RI but she may be able to help us overcome such problems and help us to make him spook proof and at the same time ensuring that he is just not taking the mick!!
Lots of grooming, cuddles, carrots and hay followed.
We don't hand feed him anything in order to avoid any nibbling issues - we just break up the carrots and hide them in his hay and he gets a surprise crunch every now and again - usually only when mum and dad are around
He picked up all 4 feet again, no barging and when I brought his hard feed in which he adores I made him back up and 'stand!' and he did while I set it on the floor and walked away! Marvellous!
We then headed back home to get myself and my clothes ready for the dreaded W tomorrow
I remember reading on a different post of how someone who used to be quite houseproud then bought a horse and all of a sudden she was happy with saddles, tack, hay and all sorts of stuff hanging around the house.
This is the dining room with saddle.
This is the back of the kitchen door with the bridle.
Please note the wine, the rosettes, the apron and the bridle - I think Cooper has well and truely integrated.
I am sure there will be many more ups and downs to share with you all but I am delighted to be ending the week on a high after all I have got work to deal with tomorrow.
Thank you all so much for your help and encouragement through the week. I know that you know you havn't heard the last of me and Cooper.
I'll probably give you a weekly and not daily tale of our journey together from now on as I'll be a busy girl trying to cope with work and horse for the first time.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Best wishes for now,
P.S. Please no critiques of my riding we'll save that for another day.