The start of May was quiet for Ben and I. After all the hard work he did over March and April he went out to the field for a week and half for a little holiday! I went back to my old riding school, The Railings, on the 4th and 5th of May to help out and got a chance to ride some of the ponies. One of the ponies I got to ride was Rosie and she was so lovely! Then the next week I did some work experience at a veterinary hospital. I’m still undecided about whether or not I’d like to become a vet but it was a great week of learning. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any horses but I loved taking care of all the dogs and cats. I also got to go into surgery and watch a few operations which not many people have the stomach to do!! After my last day at the vets, we were straight back to Ben to take him to Piperstown for John Ledingham training. Ben had only been back in work 2 days and he certainly gorged himself and fattened up on his break!! He was super though and we really worked on getting him to wait and do the pony strides instead of the horse ones (which he has a habit of trying even though he’s only 14hh!!). Although at the end he decided he was done jumping and refused a simple upright which caught me by surprise, I honestly have no idea how I stayed on because I was hanging off the left side of him! We got him over it and left him at that as he was a bit unfit after coming back from his break. We were back at Piperstown again on the Sunday for another dressage lesson with Sorrell Klatzko. Ben is slowly but surely improving with every lesson we get. He’s gradually learning how to bend and accept the contact but it’s a lot longer process because he’s 16 and never got any proper schooling in his life! He naturally has a very fast rushed canter and Sorrell told me when I’m cantering him say one word over and over again in a slow rhythm and he might decide to adjust himself to that rhythm. Luckily that has done the trick and he’s so much calmer and balanced in his canter. Next Thursday and Friday, I was back at The Railings and got to ride another lovely pony Coco out on the little cross country course. I really enjoy getting to ride different horses and ponies and it really helps me sort out bad habits I might have whilst riding Ben. Then on Saturday the 20th of May we had some more riding and road safety training. This time we were out on the lanes and practising all of our different signals. Ben was a lot better behaved this time and managed to keep all 4 feet on the ground!! Then on the 24th of May I had a dressage lesson with Kevin McGuinness. It was really good and Ben worked super even though it was really hot! We really concentrated on circles and serpentines as Ben has a habit of looking out and not bending correctly but he was really starting to understand what we wanted of him by the end. Although unfortunately when we arrived back home we found out Ben had pulled a shoe off in the box. He was absolutely fine though and wasn’t sore at all! Luckily we managed to get the farrier out on Friday morning so we could still go to john ledingham training that evening. Ben was very good at the start but he’s started to get into a habit of refusing that were still trying to figure out what’s causing it. It’s really strange because he’ll jump some fences fine and then others he will just point blank refuse to go over! We got him over everything in the end though so that’s all that matters. I decided on Sunday the 28th to take him down to the beach for a few gallops. We are extremely lucky that were only a 10 minute drive from the beach and he really loves going to it! I was doing a lot of fitness work with him to get him ready for eventing in June and the beach is a great place to do it! When I was finished I took his saddle off and did a bareback gallop with him. It was so much fun but he was a bit bouncy coming back into trot!! The last day of May, my friend Alex came over to help me jump Ben. He jumped so well and we got up to 1m which I was really happy with as I’m having a bit of a confidence crisis ever since he started refusing. After we rode I got out the clippers and took all his feather off! His legs looks so different now without feather but he looks a lot tidier. He then got a bath and we left him out in the long grass for a while to dry off. Overall I think May’s been a really good month for us. We’ve had a few setbacks in jumping but I feel his flatwork has really improved and is the best it’s ever been! I made a small video to show you what we got up to in the month of May, I hope you enjoy it! Until next month, Klara & Ben
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