It's been a perfect weekend. I had a play with this lovely boy yesterday, and a tumble after a trip followed by a flying stirrup leather meant saving my seat was an absolute no-no. You'd be forgiven for thinking this would be a crippling setback in my recent progress. In actual fact, it didn't phase me at all, and I got back on and schooled him a little more afterwards. He was very sweet and spun away from me when I was down, and it was actually one of the most gentle and graceful falls I've had yet. Just stop, drop and roll! Despite the ground seeming hard, I'm pleased to report that the only damage I seem to have sustained is a slight pull in my shoulder where I tried to hang on to his reins. I'm getting good at this falling malarky... It's more a shame that he had just started to relax when he stumbled!
On Saturday, Rio and I braved the wind all on our own and went for a hack up the lane. We encountered tractors, got blown around a bit, and I still managed to get lots of sense from him. The ground was quite hard in places, and very pitted, so we mainly walked. We managed a trot and canter up the track, and he was beautifully relaxed and listening to me all the way. He got a bit antsy coming back down to cross the road outside the yard, but I turned him in a circle, and he waited better the second time. Such a fidget bum.
We are on countdown to the dressage clinic next Sunday, so I could really do with getting a session or two in between now and then. I'm hoping to get a quick one in tomorrow evening. I've been advised that the test we are riding is prelim 12, which is a little daunting, given that we've never done one before. However, we will take it all as good experience, and not worry if we can't maintain the canter throughout! If he takes the attitude he had on Wednesday with him, then I'll be happy whatever the outcome. If not, we could be in for a challenge! Haha.