Making progress on Olly

Making Progress : Making Choices

I’ve been wanting to write a ‘making progress’ update for a while now but every time I go to write a new post, it’s like I have writer’s block.

Making Progress

Not because I don’t have anything to say but because I constantly ask myself who’s going to read about my trivial shite.

Also, because I own a business I do worry about remaining professional in everything I do so not to affect it.

BUT, do you know what?…

…apart from, never starting a sentence with ‘BUT’, it really does not matter what anyone thinks!

Trivial Shite

I am not hurting anyone with my trivial shite and if some people decide that they don’t like me because of what I write on a personal blog, then so be it, they know where the unfollow button is.

There are around 7 Billion people in the world today (can you believe that? Trust me, Google it lol), so there has to be someone out there who can relate to my trivial shite. lmao πŸ™‚

Anyway, since my last post Procrastination back in September 2019, I have made progress far greater than I ever thought possible.

Finishing The Book…

Eat that frog

I read the book ‘Eat That Frog’ and felt a somewhat warm and fuzzy feeling and knew I needed to do something proactive.

I was already making lists and planning action, but the actual ‘doing’ of these things was a different matter entirely.

However, I pulled my socks up, took several large breaths and swallowed my fears (whatever I was fearing) and got on with the jobs required.

Working Three Jobs

My main priority at the moment is to bring in as much income as possible to cover my half of the bills.

In order to do this I’m currently working three jobs, but it is so worth it, just to keep my boy, Olly.

Olly – My Saviour

Olly my saviour

Talking of Olly, he is my saviour.

He was partly the reason for my breakdown in 2013 when I had to give him up (totally not his fault) but now HE is the whole reason for keeping me on track by giving me a responsibility that I have to fulfil everyday.

Actually, talking of Olly, did you read my other recent blog post ‘Olly – End of Summer Update’ that I wrote back in September 2019 about getting back on board but struggling with my own negativity towards him and fearing riding again.

Well, that has spun on a sixpence (uncanny, to say I own a racehorse and that is usually what he sometimes does to me). lol πŸ˜€

Getting Back On Board

After taking a knock like I have, getting back on board is very important. He’s an expensive field ornament if I don’t ride him. lol.

I enjoy hacking out on him in the past and he did too, schooling in an arena, going round and round just bores the hell out of him and me, so I bit the bullet and arranged to hack out with one of the ladies from the yard.

It was going to be just the two of us as no one else could ride on the same time, at the same day. It didn’t matter, it was progress!

Having A Melt Down

On the morning of the hack I woke up, got myself into a mental frenzy and pretty much had a melt down.

I knew that if I bailed out now, I was going to let the other lady down and I couldn’t live with that, knowing I let someone else down through my stupidity.

Getting On With It

I took a DEEP breath, pulled my boots on and got my arse up the stables. PRONTO!!!

I was running late for our planned riding time, but that didn’t matter too much, I was there and getting on with it…that was progress!

I brought Olly up from the field, quickly brushed him, tacked up and with the help of our yard owner, got on in the arena (where I was most comfortable).

We did a couple of laps of the arena, to steady my nerves more than anything, then out we went to meet the other lady on the yard.

The yard owner walked us to the gate and let us out. From then on it was just me, Olly and the other lady and her horse, leading the way.

Calming Cookies

I have to confess I did slip Olly a calming cookie, as a treat, when I went to get him from the field.

Whether it is mind over matter, or the fact he is now in regular work or the the actual cookie was doing it’s job, Olly didn’t put a hoof wrong.

As it happened, it turned out to be the same morning that the Sheepwalk Shocker fun run was taking place locally over some land that surrounded where we were hacking.

It wasn’t until we were a third of the way into our ride that we noticed the Marshall’s getting ready that we realised what was happening.

Never mind, Olly didn’t seem to mind the extra Sunday morning traffic.

However the other lady’s mare did spook at a bright yellow and pink tabbard the marshall’s were wearing and did a dance on the spot.

Normally Olly would go into his fight or flight mode, resulting in him spinning on a sixpence and bolting in the opposite direction, but that didn’t happen. Another step towards Progress!!! πŸ˜€

Wish For A Miracle

I don’t know how or why but he didn’t react. Other than to look at the mare as if to say ‘what’s your problem?’ I felt myself freeze in the saddle and wish for a miracle.

I don’t know which one of my guardian angel’s was watching over me in that moment but something kept him calm enough until we got moving forward again.

It was only seconds but it felt a lot longer. It could have escalated into something a lot worse, so I made a fuss of Olly as we continued forwards.

After that, I relaxed more. Not completely, but just enough to start enjoying the ride.

Olly and Buz

Thirty minutes later we had completed a half loop of the village and was progressing back to the yard.

Positive Achievement

Both Olly and I were damp with sweat.

We trotted every hill and walked in between, and we returned to the yard with a smile on my face and a warm sense of achievement.

We had done it….we had ridden out and survived!

Making It A Regular Thing

We planned for me to exercise Olly the following week in the arena during the week and then go for a hack again on the following Saturday.

The following Saturday felt much better, and I actually looked forward to it.

I knew I had one more calming cookie to give him, and extra time was available to us as the next ride was in the afternoon.

I got on him in the arena again and did a lap or two just to work us both in, and to help him settle enough so I could pull his girth up one more notch before going out.

More Confidence

We walked with more confidence and true purpose this time.

Off we went on almost the same route we did the Sunday before albeit a little shorter due to the light fading on us quicker.

We trotted up the hills and walked in between them; Olly was golden, didn’t put a hoof wrong.

I could feel myself beaming from ear to ear all around the village.

We returned to the yard a little less sweaty than the time before and in fact Olly was so chilled out, he looked like he wanted to sleep.

The calming cookie had probably kicked in by then lol. πŸ˜€

The plan for the rest of the month was to continue exercising him twice through the week days and then go for a hack at the weekend.

Last Weekend

The following Saturday was indeed last Saturday. πŸ™‚

Olly was amazing! Such a superstar and without any calming cookie this time too.

Riding home - progress

I wanted to check if he could behave so well without any intervention, even if they are herbal, as it is still something else to purchase if he needs them.

We trot up all the hills and walked down them too. He passed all kinds of traffic and felt like he was enjoying the ride himself.

Dancing on The Spot

We even survived a little situation where two racehorses in a field we passed galloped hell for leather from one end of their field to another.

Although he breathed in sharply, pricked his ears, grew another foot and snorted before starting to dance on the spot, with the support of my fellow riders, we got through it without too much drama.

Me an Thee

OMG this was progress beyond belief.

So, as you can see my conscious effort to do something about my stupidity, and maintain the regular riding has helped to grow my confidence and strengthen my ability to believe in myself and deal with situations like this.

Being Grateful

There is no way that I want fear to rule my life the way I allowed it to recently.

There is always a way through fear. It helps massively if you have people surrounding you to push you through the barriers, as I have.

I may not always show it or even say it, but I am eternally grateful to everyone who believes in me and shows me the way when I get lost.


Off the back of all this action, I had a feeling last week to create a space online where I can share my life experiences and get people taking.


It was strange, I had a thought come to me to call it ‘Choices’.

Madness really as I’m not really into all that physic stuff but it was something I felt I needed to do.

After watching the Vikings recently on Amazon Prime (I know it’s not real but it spurred something within me), something one of the the main characters said during a scene has really stuck inside my mind and I feel is linked to this space called ‘Choices’.

“We’re all fated to die on a certain day, but it is our own choice to do as we please until that day comes”

Ragnor Lothbrook – Vikings

How true is this statement?

It may well have been created for the script of Vikings but nevertheless our death is not in our power as our birth also wasn’t in our power, but we sure can change what we do in between it, even if we make a few mistakes along the way, we can always change direction and progress forward.

So, if my crazy feeling to set up the group helps anyone then maybe just maybe that is what it is there to do. Take a look here if you are intrigued.

Until next time….Clair x


  • Collette Clark

    So lovely to read Clair and so glad you’re being really positive and enjoying your hacking and gaining confidence. Great that you have such a fabulous support team too on the yard. Keep enjoying it and keep believing in yourself xx

Leave a Reply