The year started off looking wonderful. The morning of New Year’s Eve Nonie and I canter along the back stretch of our trail ride riding tempi changes. The canter pirouettes were coming together. I was certain that Nonie and I would dance down an advanced …
“And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention
I haven’t met the new me yet
There’ll be happiness after you
But there was happiness because of you
Both of these things can be true
There is happiness
Past the blood and bruise
Past the curses and cries
Beyond the terror in the nightfall
Haunted by the look in my eyes
That would’ve loved you for a lifetime”
Happiness – Taylor Swift (Evermore)
In the weeks following the loss of my beautiful mare Nonie the words of this song brought me many many tears and a little comfort. A huge thank you to my beautiful friend Laura @wannabedressagequeen13 for reminding me of the words of this song
Horse girls – easy to love hard to afford. Thats how the saying goes, however I think my previous boyfriends would beg to differ. Sure we are hard to afford (not that I ever asked anyone to pay my way), but easy to love…?
In my newly found single state I started to ponder what equestrian girls would say on their dating profiles if they were entirely honest about the commitment, sacrifice and obsession that comes with the life we choose.
You know that saddle sitting in your barn thats worth thousands of dollars. You are protecting that investment with your tip top leather care routine, right? You wipe it down after each ride. You store it carefully. You soap it up to get rid of …
In the whirlwind that has been 2020 I realised that it has been quite some time since I’ve given everyone an update on how Nonie and I are getting along in our training.
Early this year I made the decision to focus on consolidating the medium work and getting ready to move up to advanced rather than to chase points at medium level. Little did I know just how fitting this would be for what would unfold in the first half of 2020.
Prior to ‘lockdown’ Nonie had been working super, the basic paces and her way of going was so much better that we started to work on the flying changes again.
In doing that I had been asking for a lot more collection and made the fatal mistake of slowing her down, rather than truly collecting her. As a result the canter got stilted and was lacking in throughness. We managed to work through that just in time for lock down to hit.
In Australia we were actually able to continue taking our horses out for lessons and trail rides. However because I have asthma (albeit mild), I made the decision not to travel any more than was absolutely necessary in order to reduce my risk of contracting COVID as much as possible. So we took a bit of a hiatus from lessons.
Of course we didn’t stop training, and I managed to sneak in a few rides through the Koala Bushlands to keep things fresh for Nonie!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram @the_sand_arena_ballerina will know that I recently broke up with my long term boyfriend. While it was a totally amicable break up, the whirlwind of emotions set me on edge. Nonie couldn’t help but react to this. Consequently over the proceeding week or so there were some pretty tense rides. There were days where the thought of riding felt exhausting. It’s a relief to be past that stage.
The last few weeks have brought some brilliant work. In fact I would go as far as to say she has given me some of the best work we’ve ever done.
We’ve had two lessons with Paula Price now where the vast majority of the flying changes have been clean. The left to right change has been quite sticky at times, so I’m absolutely thrilled to feel like we are making progress with that. In our last lesson we even managed to string two together across a long diagonal!!
Outside of that we’ve been focusing on Nonie working in a deeper outline to make sure that she is really offering me her back. We’ve also played a little with the lateral work and I really feel like she is getting more supple and stronger.
Fast forward to July and we are excited to be heading out for some competitions. This weekend we are off to our local club RASDEG!