It’s been all go recently, and these past weeks have left me feeling incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from all my clients (old and new!) keeping me busy since getting back to work post lockdown.
I’m doing a lot more teaching at the moment, and it’s been truly wonderful to be a part of all the goal achieving that has been going on with everyone I visit. It’s so uplifting to see lockdown has not dampened enthusiasm despite many shows and competitions being cancelled.
A couple of weeks ago I was working with a special little mare at Equine Rehabilitation and Rehoming (ERR) who came back this month from a good friend Amy – Amy was looking after her for the last couple of years while she matured, and now that she’s turned five, she has come back to ERR to begin her ridden education.
Now, I’ve known this little mare, Medini, for a long time (her whole life!), as I was lucky enough to be present at her birth five years ago. To have been able to see her grow over these last five years has been really special, but even more special that I had the privilege of being her first rider!
Kay (the owner of ERR) and I didn’t suspect she would have an issue with the backing process, given how laid back Medini is and sure enough, she was more than happy to accept me as a rider and go for a walk around the round pen in her first session. It’s always really important during the backing process to go at the horse’s own pace and wait until they are 110% comfortable with something before moving on to the next step. It was green light after green light with Medini, and I think giving her the extra time to mature and just be a horse at Amy’s has made all the difference. She’s more than ready to begin her ridden career and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this girl – she’s going to make a very special little horse for someone!
Two of my regular lesson clients, Karmin and Elaine have also been joining me for forest rides around Aberfoyle. Working on practising group canters out in the open safely and comfortably is an invaluable skill if you’d like to hack out more, so we’ve been doing just that in a recent hacking lesson! Showing Elaine and Karmin round the forests really reminded me how lucky I am to have access to hacking in such beautiful places. ♥
Moose the Highland gelding I’m working with at ERR is also coming on leaps and bounds. He’s been backed and went out on his first big boy hack with me. As always with the young ones, I had my solid ground person (Kay!) with me on foot in case Moose needed the reassurance, but he was off the lead rein, and more than enjoyed keeping up with the other horses and doing our own thing.
These past couple of weeks have felt like a good reminder to leave your horses as long as possible before starting them under saddle. Not only are they not physically mature – remember the last growth plates fuse around the ages of six or seven (even later in larger breeds!) – but think of their mental maturity/ability to cope with tasks at a younger age too. Horses need time to be horses and I can say from experience that there’s a high chance your four, five or six year old will cope much better with what you ask of them than your three year old will.
Obviously this is quite type/breed dependent but do your horse’s skeletal system and brain a favour and don’t over do it with ridden work when they’re still just youngsters!
Oh and ERR Cassie and I won a photo competition! We were both mighty chuffed with the first place rosette from SRUC after winning the Best Horse and Pony category in their Virtual Country Show.
Anyway that’s all for this post on what’s going on with me at Megan Simpson Equestrian. I hope to be bringing more regular updates and ramblings on the goings on with my business in future so feel free to stay tuned. There’s been some exciting new things going on this past week (too much for this post) so I will save that for the next one!
All the best for the week ahead!