I was rather short of riding time the other morning – I think I have mentioned before that I am not the best morning person! I decided that it would be a good use of our time to do some work on opening gates or – more specifically – rope pretending to be a gate. I have booked a trec training day with mini competition in December and I know that one of the obstacles is likely to be a rope tied between two posts which needs to be opened and closed like a gate.
Galahad is normally pretty good with gates but not so great if I try to keep hold of them – which I would need to do with the rope! One of our gates has a piece of rope tied to it and I have been getting Galahad used to me moving it about. I have never actually managed to use it like a gate and it seemed like a good time to try.
Unfortunately though, I picked a bad day weather wise. It wasn’t raining that hard but the wind was blowing well and so Galahad wanted to turn away from the rain. That was unfortunate as it meant he absolutely would not stand parallel to the gate but was determined to face it and so I couldn’t reach the catch to open it.
In the end I got off to open the gate. Galahad doesn’t really have an issue with gates and I wanted to spend the time playing with the rope. I finally managed to be in the saddle holding the rope when Galahad spooked. It was only a very small spook but it was enough for the rope I was holding to slam the gate hard – right in his ear. I then dropped the rope – which probably hit him – and we went charging across the field.
I decided to call it a day. I was already going to be late leaving for work and it was clear by that point that I wasn’t going to achieve a great deal. We’ll have another go soon but I’ll pick a day when it is neither windy nor raining!