Return to riding 2 - Convalescent


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
eml has said my suggestion helped her - great - but hers has helped me.

The day my RI agreed I shouldnt ride Poppy any longer, after walking about, I noticed cones up the centre of the school O that happy day with eml teaching me trotting through cones!

So I turned Poppy up the cones. Trotting that short distance didnt hurt.

I asked my RI to remind me of the technique (age wipes your memory) - then back through the cones. Perfect. But no credit to me. Poppy did it on her own.
RI said horse would hardly trot through cones uninvited but this question really obsessed me last April. How much was due to me? Flooding in our school delayed my experiment. After trotting alternate cones, I tried leaving two right, one left. Fine. So then random.

Poppy knew the game. She turned at the top quicker than I asked - but she responded to tiny requests for variations. This convinced me that she was a priceless horse. She was using the skills she had learned, but listening all the same.

We often describe dreadful lessons on NR but it was the days when I was most fragile and least comptetent that (in restrospect) gave me clues about how to ride Poppy. I was feeling really bad the day that Poppy gave me unsolicited canter (forwardness found) and trotting through cones (thank you eml) showed me I could steer Poppy in trot.

We older people on NR assume one needs physical fitness for riding, forgetting that kids ride before they have much strength. As my stamina returned, like Cinderella's ball gown, my new-found magic disappeared.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
Typed a long & meaningful reply & promptly lost it by pressing the wrong key :banghead:.


Well done Skib:biggrin: Proof that strength isn't the key, brains & the ability to listen to your horse are! I'm sure you & Poppy will go from strength to strength now.
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