Sunday, 15 January 2012
Days for smiling.
Hillary and I were definitely building a great relationship. Things were looking up. I even started hacking out, mostly thanks to Halina who when I felt nervous, just kept talking to me, about anything . I even went on a few hacks with some of the other riders on the farm, who whilst being aware of my problems, had no idea really how bad I had felt. I still got pangs of fear, but I managed slightly better to hide them.
I decided I wanted to 'show the world' how great Hillary and I were, so I decided to go to Mottram show. Mottram show is a county show held twice a year in our local area. I always, always went to it, even travelling down from Lancaster on a 70plus-mile journey just to go and look round it. I had always dreamed of entering in it, but up until now, had only entered the dog show part in 1993 with the beloved and much missed Candy. I still have the rosette. The last show I had entered with a horse had been a Pony Club show held at the farm I rode at as a child, where I broke my thumb in the absolute beginners class riding another of the ponies owned by the wonderful family that had owned Sugar. I cleared the round and did the jump off, before doing the jobs and going home for tea. It was sometime later that I went to hospital. I don't know how I managed to break my thumb.
I deliberated again and again over taking Hills to Mottram. I hadn't done a show for over ten years, I didn't know whether she had done any, my family were away, and so the only 'groom' I had was Ric, who even now, knows nothing about horses. Eventually, I remembered Gaynor saying to me that sometimes you have to "live by the seat of your pants." I sent the form off, and this became the centre of my thoughts for the next few weeks.
Olivia helped me sort out Hillary's mane and tail, which were long and rather scruffy, and lots of people lent me different things. One person even give me a bit, as I had given her a couple of head collars some time before, for her foal. Some people even went as far as setting up mock show rings in the menage for me, and gave me advice on how to do the class. I felt so excited. The day before, my friend spent an hour plaiting Hillary's mane, and by the end of the long day, she looked amazing.
The day was a blur. It was a brilliant experience although we didn't come anywhere, and Hillary was impeccably behaved. I don't think I have ever slept so well though, as I was exhausted. It was a super day. Ric even managed to look after things well, carrying everything he could physically lift.
The lessons were going well too, and Olivia started mentioning doing a dressage test. I never thought I would be capable of sitting a dressage test at any level, and so the idea was a huge confidence boost. I felt as though I was on top of the world once again, and even felt as though I was a fairly competent rider. I felt amazing, beyond anything I could possibly write in words.
I began riding in the menage on my own, which was something that I never thought I could do. In the menage, I would work on whatever Olivia had set for me as a target, and I would work and work on it, each time being more confident and able than the next. These truly were days for smiling.