I have come to the conclusion that my daily ride on Solo is the make or break point of my day. If my ride on him is good, I am on a high for the rest of the day. If my ride is so, so, then I tend to be thoughtful and spend a lot of time planning tomorrow, and when I don’t get to ride him at all, for whatever the reason, I am pretty grumpy and frustrated. So this week has had highs and lows so far.

Monday off. Tuesday, I was really short handed, and just ponied him myself from another horse. Taking advantage of the clearing ice, I made him go up and down a fairly steep hill two or three times but I really didn’t have time to ride him ….a grumpy day for me. Wednesday morning I woke up and knew immediately that my day was going to be limited. I had pushed it a bit too much the day before, and my back was too stiff to do more than computer work…ugh. Solo was ponied on the hills once more….another VERY frustrating, VERY grumpy day for me.

Today dawned pain free and I started riding all my babies at 7.30, I couldn’t wait to get out there after a day in the house. Each horse went better than the last, the odd rare day is just like that, no matter what you get on, you can’t get it wrong. I expect if you are Bruce Davidson or Leslie Law, most days are like that, but for me, they are sufficiently rare to be worthy of note! Finally I got to Solo. Since he had been ponied for the two preceding days, I wanted to ride him in the arena. He was at his best and getting more and more ‘rideable’. I am still up there on cloud nine. I carried a whip (still with a grounds person, my working student Janice Joad) and when he slowed down and started to threaten to lift his shoulders towards me, I gave him a good tap to keep him going. He took it better than the leg and voice I was trying to use, and I was able to keep things going.

He is getting better and better, and when I think about it, he gives his opinion out less and less, but he is still a real handful, and I find his progress frustratingly slow. However, he is barely four and the things he has finished learning, he has learned really well. I will just have to be patient, I want the end result to be as good as I know how to make it. I have felt from the beginning with this horse that I was going to wait until he wanted to do the job, he is very clever and I would not want to have him looking for a way out, as I imagine he would be very good at it. I hope to have him use his intelligence to look for ways to please me, not evade me.

In addition to having had a wonderful day on all of my rides today, I am picking my camera up tonight and hope to be taking pictures again as of tomorrow. Some days are just perfect.