Yesterday was freezing!!!! I went out to Viv and Em's to meet Tinks Pottinger and to see her give lessons. She is really down to earth, and fun to be around. No airs and graces, which made my visit lots of fun. She was giving lessons for much of the day, and there was a chilly wind and intermittent showers. Never mind. Tinks was amazing. She had an incredible understanding of the fine details of getting the best out of each horse, and came up with exercises each horse would benefit from. To be honest, it was way, way above concentrating on keeping my chicken wings in when cantering, and focusing on being on the correct diagonal at trot. I'm guessing she would be just as fantastic at getting the best out of a rider like me as well as the highly experienced riders she was teaching. Viv was excited to show Tinks Frazer, and she had lots of positive things to say about him, thank goodness. Viv is so proud of him, and he was happy to go along with show and tell, especially since I had been giving him and Zanny lots of carrots just before they came along. Tinks said Zanny looks very young! She could only see her head peeping out from under her cover, but I was thrilled because I've been putting lots of work into making her beautiful. I had a wee laugh to myself when Viv told her that she is 18.
Today Johnny had plans to do some school work, and since it was fine I though I'd better make the most of the warmer day and have a ride. I went out and Zanny was very pleased to see me (more carrots). There was no-one in sight, which isn't a problem, but there were no jumping saddles in sight either, so I had to use a dressage saddle. I did encounter a few problems with it.
1. Getting on - the back of the saddle is so high that I got my leg hooked on it and was dangling on Zanny's back. She started moving off, but realised I was in trouble and stopped patiently to wait for me to sort myself out.
2. It was so uncomfortable compared to the jumping saddles because of the position of my leg and how that worked with my dicky back. I had to drop the stirrups quite low to be remotely comfy.
3. I felt too forward compared to usual - and we know being tilted forward is closer to over the side and into the drink!
4. Finally, getting off I got my leg hooked again, and thank goodness there was no-one around to see the embarrassing fumble as I headed groundward.
Thankfully Zanny and I are getting more and more in sync, and she tolerates my inadequacies without taking advantage. I think she isn't a beginners horse, but not because she isn't super quiet. She has her little quirks, which would alarm a beginner- she needs speed management, but has a very sensitive mouth, back and sides, plus the head flick can be pretty intense. We're working on that. Being blind in one eye, she needs to look around more than regular horses. But what a treasure she is. Perfect for me . We went for another out and about ride down the local roads, and didn't have a single spook, shy, disobedience or scary moment. The grass verges are lovely and wide, and we even had a trot today. I chatted away to her about this and that, and she listened politely.
I think it will rain a bit tomorrow, but is supposed to be fine for the Three Day Event. I think Johnny and I should spend some time doing some stuff together.