Thursday 19 August 2021

Pony Camp Part2

 By Sunday, the sleep deprivation was really starting to hit, along with some anxiety. I was returning to work the following day after a week off I really couldn't afford to take from a workload perspective, so I knew it was going to be tough.

So, despite the majority of my friends firmly encouraging me to tack up Sophie for a final lesson, I opted to do what felt right and brought in the reserve team - Ms Bridget. Life is too short, my ride time was later in the day and I really just wanted to have fun on the final day of my vacation rather than sit and worry over things out of my control.

 This might not put me in the best light, but I planned the weekend around having a vacation with horses included, rather than 'A Training Opportunity'. My lessons with EC work for me as far as being serious about this riding thing and I am quite happy with her methods, so in my mind this past weekend was more about just getting out there and having fun with friends - no pressure, no serious goals or expectations.

I'm entirely pleased that Sophie came along for the outing, travelled well, settled in reasonably well, and for the most part coped with a new and very busy environment. I took her on a trail ride, I had a lesson, I think she learned a lot, and the end result was a positive for her. So I was quite happy to leave it there - my hope was to simulate what she'd experience travelling to a show, but in a lower pressure situation for myself where it didn't matter how things went. Goal achieved.

Anyway, I know I don't need to defend my decisions here. It's all about enjoying the horses, celebrating the positives, and not taking it too seriously. I don't have the head space right now to tackle anything else.

Best pony

So, I had a super fun ride on Bridget. She was also feeling very spicy, but with B that just manifests itself in forward and some little dolphin bucks in canter. I basically told the clinician I just was there to have fun and she fully supported that plan after my ride the previous day :) She set up a very challenging pattern and gradually increased the difficulty. I really enjoyed it as it had all the components of a dressage test, but was more like a horsemanship pattern - lots of transitions coming up very quickly, and some poles, lateral work, and spirals thrown in for good measure.

I was losing B's left shoulder a little in the smaller canter circles and shoulder in, but nothing major, it's a fitness thing for sure. I am seriously impressed with how much she retains given I don't school anything regularly or make any concentrated effort to really keep her fit. Plus my fitness is really lacking - I wasn't stiff or sore, but I definitely was overheating with the hot weather and my cardio was suffering.  On the plus side, B was totally fine with the heat, and was again moving confidently throughout, which gives our working theory that firmer, more supportive footing is more to her liking some credence. Clinician was a huge fan of Bridget and her training, which was nice - B means a lot to me and  a product of my riding and decision making :)

With that, we had a nice pub lunch and another float in the river and then it was time to pack up and head home. Pony Camp 2021 was over far too quickly, but there's good news - we all had so much fun we're already planning for two 2022 camps. I'll arrange for pictures of us next time too :)



  1. I have made similar decisions with Carmen and they always work for her and me. I think you were wise to let her cope and digest a little bit then push her too far and lose trust. Also, riding Bridget sounds awesome. It sounds like a fun weekend

  2. Sounds awesome! Taking your time with baby horses always pays off in the long run. The key is to not use other horses training vs age progress as a measuring stick. You are your own measuring stick. Enjoy the happy moments!

  3. I'm glad you had back up B so you could have fun with it