Hello and welcome to the second riding challenge for the WARider November Lockdown series. Seeing as this post is going live on Friday the 13th, I did suffer from a little bit of trepidation before settling on the idea – hence the name! All I’ll say is falling off is not allowed!
This week is all about having a little bit of fun and if you should decide to take part and rise to the occasion, I totally welcome your own personal interpretation of the challenge.
So what is it?
Well, it’s what ever your 14 year old self would have loved to have done with your horse or pony, or what ever your current (adult self) is willing to do to put a spin on it!
So what gave me the idea? When I was growing with Solas, we.. Well hang on, I, not we – Solas couldn’t give a curse and spent more time trying to buck me off for fun.. anyway…
When I was younger I would search for the highest and steepest sand banks I could find. In my head, I was about to ride down the Hickstead Derby bank. And this is what we would do. Sometimes we would be lucky enough to find a ditch or a stream close the bank and create our own little cross country course… super fun times!
If we weren’t riding in the imaginary Hickstead Derby, we were bareback on the beach, wading out into the water as deep as we could – swimming with horse is a bizarre feeling, but very special and fun!
Ok, now fast forward. Giselle – you’re up!
I have only sat up on Giselle bare back for the very first time this summer. I couldn’t believe that in over 8 years, I had never sat on her without a saddle. It brought me right back to days of messing around the fields and beaches, and to my earlier days working as a riding instructor. Those days we would ride bareback, with head collars and lead ropes, and challenge each other to the most ridiculous games (anyone who has done a pony camp with me will know!)
So now I’m challenging you to do something this weekend with your horse that is completely out of the ordinary.
To help you get a bit imaginative, I have roped in two friends who have kindly shared their own interpretation of the challenge.
Derv, a event and dressage rider, who writes a blog called Ginga Ninga and Co, is riding BE91 with her dressage mare, Tilly (the pair normally compete up to Elementry level). But this is a dressage test with a difference… Derv and Tilly will be riding BAREBAREBACK and in a head collar – Derv’s dad challenged her to do it in a head collar.
That has NOTHING to do with me…. I laughed so much though when she told me..
Ailbhe and her event horse Raphi will be taking on some old school pony club games for a change. Ailbhe and Raphi compete up to CCI2*L and have some serious eventing goals for the 2021 and you can follow their eventing journey on their blog, AMCG Evening here.
And finally, my fellow westie, Connemara based Sarah Lou, will also be taking on some old school pony club games with His Royal Orangeness, with the added twist of removing her saddle! You can follow their antics on Facebook and Instagram and I highly recommend her TikTok – very creative with “equestrian attire” is all I’ll say!
Have a watch of our antics on the YouTube Vlog below!
So now, it’s up to you. Enjoy your weekend getting back in touch with the lighter side of equestrianism, and if you decide to take on the challenge do get in touch, tag us in your posts and let us know what you got up to! Until next week!