‘When you know, you know…’

It’s a simple statement that sort of makes no sense really and yet it has the heads of many nodding when they hear it.  It’s certainly seems to be applicable as the relationship between myself and Dudley grows.  

♥︎ ♘ ♥︎

He’s now been with me for 1 month and since the last blog, which ended with us going on a Fun Ride, I’ve continued to build on what we’ve done so far.  Moose is currently on a bit of a holiday to help his 4 year old body to grow and his brain to cope, so it’s meant all the work I do with Dudley is without the safety blanket of another horse. Whether that’s out hacking and dealing with all things that come our way, or schooling or actually going off for a lesson.

He just keeps delivering in a sensible way without being ‘dead’, if you catch my meaning.   It just means I’m able to concentrate on so much more, rather than “I’d better not go this way as there’s lots of gates to open”, or “will he load and travel on his own”.  He might be more awake hacking on his own but he’s not silly. Even the simple things like stabling him through the day (fat and heat control!) has been so easy as he’s just not calling for his field mates.  Although he’s pleased to be reunited with Moose over the fence from his field, he’s not fretting about being apart.

He’s just a very content boy…

… OK so he blotted his copy book the other day the first time I lunged him when something spooked him and he shot off up the field with his head and tail up high.  I did finally let go once gravity and speed got the better of these little legs.

Just another bruise in life.

I’m starting to get my little legs in a better position to ask him to do more from a flatwork aspect.  It is a bit of a downside being 5’2″ and finding your ‘ideal pony’ to actually be 16.2 (finally measured him), however he’s clearly be ‘done’ well and he knows what’s needed even if he’s only just realising that the aids are coming further up his sides than normal.   I can say that with confidence as Rachael, the lady I bought him from, was head and shoulders (probably 2) above me in height.

Here’s a bold statement (caveat, I may reverse this in time as the lessons get harder) but I’m actually really enjoying the lessons – whether that’s polework or full blown flatwork.

There’s progress being made too, I’m starting to see things from a different perspective and Dudley responds too.  It’s still very much work in progress and I’ve got SOOOO much to brush up on, but when you ask and you get the required response then it matters not that it’s baking hot outside, you feel like a bag of spanners that probably should have stayed in bed that morning and you’ve forgotten to put gloves on, again… Once upon a time the very idea of a lesson was enough to really consider what my aims were.  I’m not the most stylish of riders, a bit tilted at the shoulders and one hip.  Concepts in schooling often went over my head when I last rode regularly all those years, but I’m not so worried about that now.  I’m enjoying it.

I’m letting myself have aims with Dudley too.  Bearing in mind when I originally bought a horse last year it was just to hunt and hack.  When things went pear shaped with Tiny much of that was down to the realisation that I wanted to do more and he was the wrong horse for me to do that ‘more’ with, a true case of the blind leading the blind with some things.  With Dudley he’s already done some of the ‘more’ so it’s not a blind route for both of us!!   We’ve got a couple more months now before Autumn hunting starts and I’m going to make the most of that time with more fun rides and maybe even some shows!

There have been a few comments about my size and his size.  A few months ago I’d have taken offence to it and then over analysed what was being said and got into a bit of a fret about it.  However, he never feels that big when I’m on him and because he’s such a gentle chap it never crosses my mind.  I just feel at home on him.  Cliche?  Maybe, but who cares!

I said at the start of the blog, ‘when you know, you know’.

♥︎ ♘ ♥︎

Until next time…

Rachel xx