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Well it’s been over a week since my last posting, but just over a month since the riding holiday.  While it wasn’t my original intent when I first booked the ranch holiday, I have continued with the riding lessons.  Originally I was going to have some lessons to get used to riding again so that I had some experience before the holiday and would get something more out of it.

Now I wouldn’t think of not having lessons (or going out riding when I get to that stage) on a semi-regular basis.  Two things have led to this.  Firstly, undoubtedly, the fact that the holiday was a good as it was has left me wanting more.  The better rider I can become, the more I’ll get out of future holidays.  Be it feeling more comfortable with the fast rides from the word go, rather than feeling somewhat nervous at the start, through to maybe having lessons in things like barrel racing, which I know they do at the ranch (strictly in a non-competitive way of course).

I think the other thing that has helped has been that I enjoy the time I spend riding.  I have to focus on what I am doing still as things are quite automatic and it’s nice to have that element of challenge and I know there’s still quite a way for me to go.

This week I did my first canter in the sand school.  I was looking forward to this as it’s the closest to the loping that I was doing on the holiday.  One thing that was clear was that the holiday had helped here and helped a lot.  I was able to progress much quicker than expected and the instructor was really happy.  They want to check again to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke, but it’s been good to be going at that sort of speed again, even if it’s only in a 40 meter arena under floodlights with more layers than I chose to count rather than through the Arizona desert under a warming sun.

I’m now looking at getting my own gear, having the fun of trying to find some breeches that I feel comfortable in, and I’ll have the job of finding a helmet.  I’m not sure my skiing helmet will suffice.  Do have to wonder what it says for me that I now do two sports that require specialist head protection!  At least I’ll be able to use the Contour camera in the summer when  have my own helmet!  Good job that it’s nearly Christmas.  I can see my Christmas list taking on a different tack this year (sorry for the pun, couldn’t resist).