Getting In Touch With Your Inner Child Riding Challenge

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!

Cat x


5 thoughts on “Getting In Touch With Your Inner Child Riding Challenge

  1. When I was 14 I had a little Mustang and we evented at Pebble Beach in California. I will not be doing my 14 year old thing on the weekend as we have a lot of rain forecast and that makes things in the forest with the fallen leaves a bit slippery. But in the summer I did this: I picked up a canter in the big grass field on the hill behind the barn, I cantered on up the hill onto a narrow forest trail and 3,2,1…jumped over a fallen tree trunk and cantered on up the hill. I let out whoop as we cantered on up the hill because I love it that my upper level dressage horse will do that and take it in stride. I also love it because it reminded me of being 14 again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fantastic Anne! Have watched or followed Abi Lyle at all on social media? She regularly brings her top dressage horses for an odd blow out in the field or even a little cross country jumping. It’s fantastic to see the upper level dressage horses turning their toes to a little bit of jumping. That sounds like so much fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This winter I am going to do a bit of jumping. The woman who is my coach’s assistant trainer is teaching my coach’s daughter and they do jumper lessons on the weekends. With our weather I may not be able to get out to the forest trails and doing a bit of jumping in the indoor arena will be fun and good for both of us mentally. I have done some with her before and the really cool thing is how adjustable a dressage horse is. You want it in 5 no problem, 7 no problem or 3 also no problem. Biasini loves a bit of jumping too . But we only do tiny jumps!


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