Monday was a glorious day so Galahad and I went out for a hack. The road was quiet, the birds were singing and everything was right with the world.
Until we came home.
We had to come down a narrow lane which is closed off by a hurdle at the top. The hurdle needs lifting and really needs to be opened dismounted. As it is a little awkward to manage I always seem to end up on the off side of the pony when I have closed the hurdle again. Without much room to manoeuvre it is far easier to hop on from the wrong side and on Cookster I do that without thinking.
Never with Galahad though. I tried it once at home and he panicked. Partly because he isn’t used to it and partly because my muscles aren’t tuned enough to mounting from the wrong side so it isn’t as smooth as my mounting usually is.
On Monday I was feeling lazy and hopping up from where I was seemed a good plan. After all, sometimes trec competitions ask for the rider to mount from the off side so practising is a good idea. At least, that’s what I told myself.
It did not end well. He shot off forwards when I was only half on. I ended up in a patch of nettles minus my hat cover and with only one boot. I had to paddle through the mud to find that – there is a spring at the top of the lane so it is wet all year round.
We were only about a hundred yards from the house so as I plodded home I was imagining the concern Galahad would cause when he careered into the yard witout me. In the event, nobody saw him and I found him unconcernedly munching grass. He was nicely decorated though!
Obviously mounting from the wrong side is something we can work on – especially if I want to be able to use it in a trec competition. I will improve my own ability by practising on Cookster before I try it on Galahad again though!