Over the past few years I have been lucky to ride some amazing horses, and also assist in training and educating young horses up to competition standard, with the help of my family. In January this year, I had the greatest experience, breaking in my first ever pony!
His name is Merlin and he is a little bit smaller than 14hh and is approximately 3 years old. Under the experienced guidance of my dad Grant Hughes I set to work on Merlin after New Years. It was exciting seeing him learn and grow in confidence around me, and also for me becoming more confident around him. I spent a few days getting to know him and spending a lot of time brushing and befriending him.
I had never before long reined a horse, and i found this a very difficult and rewarding exercise. I never knew how similar to riding long reining was and how important it is for a young horse. After a few days I became more used to it, and was excited when I was able to long rein Merlin around the bottom arena and over poles.
For the first two rides Alan West did a fantastic job on Merlin and after this I began to ride him from the third ride. Over the next couple of weeks I rode Merlin every day and was extremely excited and impressed at how fast he learnt! By the 8th ride he confidently trotted over poles and cantered around the indoor arena with me. Every day he improved and I am so excited for when he comes back from his holiday to work with him some more!
It has been a great experience for me and definitely makes me appreciate all the work that goes into the beautiful animals that we ride, and how truly amazing they are!