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16 August 2013

Riding, riding, riding....

It's mid afternoon.  I'm again outside with Maxie.  And we've again ended up on my front step.  Well, I'm on my front step, Maxie's repeatedly tangling himself around the trees.  We've been outside for a while now, because I hung washing on the line (so that's where my dressing gown was.... - it's been cold and miserable, ok, so I've been drying most things on the clothes horse).  First I picked up the many large pieces of bark and big sticks that the big gum trees discard.  Then I spent a while raking leaves and sticks. 

Who's sick of hearing about Snips?  I'm not..  I think about him too much.  I'm getting the hang of him though.  And that's delighting me.  Last night I went to a group jumping lesson, just for more mileage on him and to be on his back more, and because I'm not confident of jumping him without an instructor.  Not because he's not good enough.  He's super.  It's me!  So I was worried about whether I could keep up with the group.

As it turned out, I had no cause for concern.  They were all older, adult riders, riding 'real' school horses.  By that I mean the riding school horses, the ones that Jessica is now riding.  I saw Woody and Johnny, the two big horses she's ridden in the past couple of weeks.   I was on the sleek and gorgeous Snips, who is one of Grant's horses.

Snips hasn't been ridden at night much lately.  It was very exciting for him!  And being ridden in a group of (slightly slower) horses, so exciting!!!!!!  And having to wait his turn to canter around and pop over a jump.  Mind boggling!  In the end, he danced and snorted so much, getting impatient for his turn, I would have to stand him facing Buddy (who I rode the very first lesson with Grant, before the next time putting me on Snips), so that he could calm his nerves.  Silly boy.  We had one turn where he squealed and carried on a bit.  But Snips is easy to sit to, and he doesn't buck me off when he has an attack of the rats.  Not like the terrible Freelance.  Although she would think getting so over excited was terribly undignified......

But I really enjoyed myself.  I did..  The people were nice.  It was lovely to see them enjoying their riding, and seeing Snips, well, I just like him so much.  When I arrived, Kay, who I've known for awhile, and who works out at Horseland with my friend Angela, said "Bronwen, the showjumping photographer!!!!", and then proceeded to tell me how much she loved the recent jumping photographs I'd taken.  Which reminds me that I need to put the latest images from last weekend on a USB stick and take them in.  And she wants to get me to photograph her on her own horses.  I said 'you've got till Christmas!!!!', and she said she was onto it!  That was nice...

This morning, I ran  late for my neck exercises (no excuses, must me being hopeless), and Andrew instead tried to get some knots out.  It was agony.  Good agony, but agony nonetheless.  But I did feel better when I walked out.  I've probably made it tight and tangled again though, because I went straight back out and rode Snips again after that.

This time, I really got him.  We have finally clicked.  It's a magical feeling.  I have him between my legs and my hands.  He wants to rush, and he needs to find his rhythm.  But he was 'round'.  For my readers who aren't riders, 'round' means on the bit.  To look at, it's when the horse has a round neck and outline, with a contact with the bit  We felt great, and a couple of people who know him stopped and said 'wow, you're a wonder'.  Actually, I'm not, at all.  I'm out of practice, and still rusty.  And have many gaps.   But it's coming back.  And I do like him.  A lot.  I filled my pocket with sugars, and took him some carrots as well.  Snips and I will have to work on him correcting his being bridled, he's a bit of a bugger.  I'll have to work on that.  He's one of the more difficult horses I've bridled.  He refuses to open his mouth and wants to throw his head up.  And he's tall.  But I persist gently, and we get it sorted.  And I always have a sugar for him after it's on.

I'm going to do some more photographs for Emma and Grant.  I sigh, and wish yet again I had some of me on Snips.  In my lesson with Krystal even she commented that it must be hard for me to take wonderful images of others working their horses, and have none of myself.  I've love some nice shots of Snips and me.  Perhaps after Christmas when we are settled that's an option.  I guess here in Canberra though, it's not going to happen. 

Emma said I can ride him both Saturday and Sunday, which is great, and gives me something to look forward to this weekend.  I stop to untangle Maxie, and realise he's gotten out of his harness.  The toad.  He hadn't gone far though, and I get him back.  Jessica has her riding lesson this afternoon, and it will be nice to see her.  And then I must get back into some invoicing, because I've not started it, despite my good intentions.  I also really need to order another few items, before the travelling starts in earnest. 

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