Back to Riding

I’ve had time off from riding, cutting short last term and starting late this term because my previous horse at The Drum – which hosts an RDA stables – told me he was simply too tired to carry on. I’ve been tired too, lately, so I sympathise, but because of a series of sad losses at the stables – horses working for the RDA tend to be older than average, they have to sedate and require a lot of careful training – there has until now been no suitable replacement horse available. But I have wanted to get back to riding.

So I was delighted to receive a phone-call to let me know that we were hopeful of finding me a new horse. Mr Bob is currently the front-runner, the lucky winner of my seat, and actually, he is such a cute boy, with big eyes, long lashes, a dark, soft coat, and ears that whisk around like radar at the least murmur of approval. I imagine him picking up a signal from the worldwide web…. One of the helpers said, he is a sway back, and from certain angles he looks pregnant, but he has narrow enough shoulders for me to hitch a lift, and frankly, his perceived imperfections simply make him more loveable. None of us is perfect, and if he is happy to carry me then I shall be content. Tomorrow will be only my second ride on Mr Bob, so it’s early days.

The care that is taken to place horses with suitable riders was borne in on me two weeks ago, when I was riding another horse. The coaxing noises that I used to deploy for an old, patient soldier were distracting to a new, keen recruit, and it took real concentration for me to stop that automatic murmur. My leader carefully pointed out that my ride would be only ten minutes, because it is so important not to teach new horses bad habits.

I’m always asking, “Why?” and wanting reasons, but as soon as I understood the care that goes into training each horse with the RDA, I was more than willing to do as instructed. And I shall be biddable and content with whatever happens next.

Thanks for reading.

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