Milkshake’s First Week, Fresh Boys & Mental Barriers

Woweeee! Milkshake’s first week at the farm! Unreal. I’ll be honest. I have struggled a bit with my confidence with her. She has done nothing wrong. She has been a sweet, little thing. Sensitive and fidgety perhaps but absolutely nothing I cannot cope with. No more sensitive than Storm and no more fidgety than my old hunting pony Jack. I realised quite quickly, the fear that Jazz put into me is still there. It isn’t Milkshake’s fault. It is a mental barrier for me. It is something I must work at quite hard each day to overcome as I completely believe confidence is key. If you are confident then you are half way there to completing anything with a degree of success. I purchased a Sports Psychology workbook aimed at equestrians. Last year I signed up to something called the Pegasus Personal Growth programme which is run my Parelli co-leader, Linda Parelli and it is fantastic. Having not re-visited it for a while; clearly now is the perfect time to do so and to continue reading the manual in order to instil a more positive frame of mind within me. Like I say, it certainly isn’t the lovely mares’ fault at all. It is my fear of past events and mental barriers.

Despite this, I have ridden Milkshake every day. I have tested her in all the ‘home areas’ as i refer to them. So that would be:

  • Schooling on the flat
  • Hacking out in company
  • Jumping (up to 90cm – in this instance)
  • Hacking out short distances solo

All these things we have managed to do this week. And yet despite my shaky (pardon the pun) confidence we have done pretty good. I repeat a simple mantra to myself whenever I feel doubtful or anxious. It quite simply is: I can. Which once I am on board and going, changes to: I can and I am. It is a shortened version of I can do it and I am doing it. It does sort of work actually. I have had a few moments of balled up anxiety. I have to remind myself to not curl up. Relax and sit up tall. But I already feel a little better. It is just going to take time. In company she is an absolute delight to hack out with which is brilliant as obviously with Jazz this was really difficult. We went on a longer ride (with my mum and Jack). She behaved immaculately and I was thrilled with her.

I had a lesson today with Kristina on Milkshake. She was fab. Kristina is such a good teacher and it felt really positive to work on her flatwork and feel a response. I feel it gives me more control when the flatwork is in better order. Really pleased and I look forward to the next lesson. On a sider note, Milkshake took to the ‘new’ arena (up at Kristina’s) very well indeed. I want to keep introducing her to new places so she learns it is ok and really not very different to home. Everything asked of her stays the same. She calls a lot and is very vocal when she is on her own. But credit to her, she really doesn’t do anything very much at all. It is all in my head. But I am working on it!

Storm has been a little nutty pony this week! He is so bursting with energy. He is ready to go out on the grass now. I took him for a lovely long ride with some friends this weekend. We went miles and cantered all over the place on lovely long stretches of tracks and the edges of fields. But he started bucking! Alot! Naughty Storm 😂😂😂 He didn’t frighten me at all. I laughed and pulled his head back up from under his knees and we carried on. It just showed me how he needs to get out and going. He’ll run like the wind at his next Event in 2 weeks time.  It is at Breckenbrough having been balloted out of Norton Disney. I haven’t been there before but I am told it is long and quite flat. Good! He can get a good run out! He certainly needs it, despite the fact I ride him every single day. He’ll be good though!

Dicey is doing lovely too! I need to now start building up his workload a little more now. He is ready for more doing with him and I think he is bored just stood in his stable. He defiantly needs his mind occupying. He was very good for his second rider at the weekend. Full of energy but he behaved himself. I am almost tempted to hire out our nearby jumping arena and take him up there just to let him have a go at a proper course and get some energy off him.

The weather over this week has been absolute BLISS. So much warmer with Spring in the air and sunshine that just makes for the most beautiful days. Personally as much as I don’t love being freezing cold, I really struggle in the very hot weather – which for me is anything like 20 degrees celsius plus. So I relish these glorious Spring days. It always seems to be over too soon, but I will bask and revel in it happily until that time is over. Spring is the reward for surviving Winter. FullSizeRenderIMG_0691

Lovely Milkshake in our lesson today

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Storm taking after Dice – LOVES rolling in the sand.

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A still from a short clip of our lesson again. I like to analyse the footage after and see how my position needs correcting. 

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Dice being a pro at life. Ready for more!

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