BRONWEN HEALY PHOTOGRAPHY

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24 June 2013

Working Snips out.

Monday is riding day.  Actually, jumping day too!  I am just loving it.  And I'm feeling my riding coming back, like really coming back.  I rode Snips again.  I really, really like this horse.  However after last week, and to begin with this morning, I began to worry that he was too much for me because he was as fresh as buggery and I was struggling with him a little bit.  He wanted to get strong, and above the bit, and hoon around.  

But in the last 20 minutes of so of the lesson, I really felt I began to 'get' Snips and I remembered to ride my horse, instead of being a passenger.  This core body strength and seat thing returning is a huge help too, because (particularly in the last 10 mins) Snips and I started talking the same language, and I began to 'feel' him and ride with my seat and once I did this, he came back underneath me.  

I believe firmly with horses it's all about this thing we call 'feel', which in part is about understanding and working each horse out.  Getting my seat and the balance back is also really helping too.  It's a wonderful thing, when you suddenly begin to feel the connection with the horse and you get it right.  

I wish I could get a friend to photograph a few lessons, so I can actually see how I'm doing through the lens, because seeing an image of you ride is insightful (ok, yes and it can make me cringe at times too.....), and tells me, literally, 1000 words.  Plus it would just be nice to have.  But the indoor is poor light and something is telling me I'll be jumping in the indoor for most of winter, and most of my friends can barely take a photo, let alone take one in poor and dim lighting. 

I'm trying to explain the concept of both horse and rider having good and bad days to Jessica.  Some days are just better than others, and other days things just go wrong.  Crystal, who used to be Heath's instructor, helped me tack Snips up and she's nice.  We talked about riding and jumping while we got Snips ready, and I said "I'm probably only jumping 40cm jumps".  She laughed, and said 'you're jumping much bigger than that!"  And when I looked at them today, they are much bigger than that!  

I admit I am still experiencing a 'oh bloody hell that's big!!' feeling when I ride into some of the jumps at a canter but the confidence from riding a trained horse can't be underestimated, and I am helping myself, by riding him instead of being a passenger.  There's a very big difference.  

Snips is still lugging and hanging on that left rein.  So my shoulder and arm and neck ache again.  But I felt I did so much better today, and because as I mentioned him I was able to control him through my seat towards the end, this took the pressure off my weak left side.  He and I had a big cuddle afterwards, and I'm becoming fond of him, and I like the challenge of getting better on him.  I wish I had photos of us, but I don't.  Alas and woe....  

Grant said again I'm doing well, and he was really pleased when I started getting Snips underneath me.  If you've never ridden, or if you've just only ever bumped along on a horse, you won't understand the thrill that comes with having a horse 'there', underneath you, and just feeling like you've got him and it's like all this harnessed energy and power, and you feel at one with the horse.

So nothing can dull the joy of this morning, because Monday is riding day, Monday is jumping day.. And Snips and I are starting to get it together.  My day ended well, although it's been busy, with the jumping lesson, completing my tax return, feeding Freelance, picking the kids up and going to Myer to buy them each an electric blanket.  On the way to Myer though I called back home and picked up another blanket for Freelance and we went back to the paddock because it is truly cold today.  Canberra has hovered around the 5-6 degrees all day today, with steady rain and a cold wind, giving an apparent temperature of 1 degree.  Her rug is very wet, but holding and she was dry underneath.  I feel much better knowing she has a 3rd layer on.  

So it's time to check my emails and get dinner finished.  And I simply must finish those Black Caviar images, and look at a couple of other images that have been sent to me, seeing as I've effectively been out all day.

Ahhh...  I hear you say, what is for dinner?????!!!  ,Well!!  I am doing my best domestic goddess impersonation, and I've tried my very first pot roast in my new slow cooker.  But I have to admit that on returning home my lovely pot roast is actually resembling roast beef soup so I've taken the lid on to try to reduce the liquid.  Perhaps there's a knack to this?  You can't be good at everything right?  The kids might get their wish of pasta tonight after all.

I'd had a text from a friend at Arrowfield Stud, and I'd told him I'd had a great jumping lesson and had cooked a pot roast for dinner, and said 'what a woman, right???"  He said that was "serious 'keeper' material there!"  Then again, he won't be tasting it, and he hasn't heard the 'my pot roast looks like roast beef soup', so I should probably stop trying to talk myself up.

Freelance on Saturday.  She's a soppy wet pony today, and came trotting and whinnying to me this afternoon.  Then when I went back with an extra rug, because I went with a headstall she tried to bugger off.  Stupid horse.  There was no way I was riding in this weather!!!!


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