Every year I seem to write a post about the joys of spring but I just can’t help it! There is just such a wonderful feeling in the air as the season changes.
Of course, all the blossom appearing helps a lot too but one of the very best things is having enough light left to ride out after work. That’s even before the clocks go forward!
The lambs are alreading pinging around the fields and everything seems right with the world.
The ponies can be very good at letting us know when they are hungry. I got home the other day to find them waiting patiently for lunch.
Today being beautifully sunny and the ground drying up nicely I took the opportunity to give the ponies some extra grazing. It is always good to make as much use of the grass as possible so I padlocked our gate (just so nobody could accidentally let the ponies out onto the road) and turned them out into the lane.
They certainly appreciated the grass and cantered off happily but they would keep coming back. I had parked my car across the lane to keep them in but they climbed round it – it seemed that all they wanted was the grass just outside their own gate!
Our neighbours have just been away for a few days and while they were gone I volunteered to fill up their bird feeders. The best way to do it seemed to be to use Galahad to transport the food. It promised to be fun!
We set off on our hack loaded with bird food and had a lovely ride up the hill, despite the fact that it was pouring with freezing cold rain. Obviously I couldn’t take Galahad into the garden so I had to tie him to a nearby gate – I took some binder twine with me specially.
He waited very patiently while I went off to fill the feeders. The poor thing got absolutely drenched and I was not thrilled about sitting on the saddle again afterwards!
We had a great time and it was nice to have a purpose on our ride – I’d be quite happy to do it again!
Today has been somewhat blustery! My ride with Cookster was rather interesting as he regressed back to trying to nap for home and we had to have a discussion about which way to go!
I thought Galahad would be spooking all over the place but in actual fact he was very relaxed and well behaved. There is a for sale sign on a field gate halfway up the hill and now Galahad knows it is there he is always prepared – he slows right down and stares very hard towards the gate so that as soon as it comes into view he is ready to spook. Today, however, it wasn’t there – it had blown off and was lying on the other side of the lane. Galahad kept looking for it on the gate though and it was only when the sign was right under his nose that he noticed it and had a mini spook the other way. It was hilarious.
Galahad has also been earning his keep this week – we needed to move the ponies into a new field and he took me round to check the fences and for poisonous plants and litter. The field runs along a road and passing motorists seem to think it’s okay to throw their rubbish over the hedge so we have to keep a close eye on it. At least it’s quite fun on a pony!
My riding of the ponies has been a bit curtailed recently as I had the opportunity to ride on my riding club’s showjumping team last weekend and I had no hesitation in taking it. Obviously the jumps are too high for Galahad – hence the riding of other horses. Before we had the ponies I used to ride so many different horses in my lessons and it really did make me a better rider – I was reasonably confident sitting on anything. These days I am much more nervous and it feels like it takes me longer to get to know new horses – just because I have got so used to the ponies’ way of going. These couple of weeks have really brought home to me how much I have lost and I am determined to keep riding other horses.
It has been several years since I jumped proper grown-up sized jumps and even longer since I competed for the riding club so I was somewhat nervous but very, very excited. We had a much earlier start than Galahad and I are used to – we do stick to the local shows after all – and I am certainly not used to getting the horses ready in the dark. We also had an interesting journey as the lorry broke down and we arrived as the class was starting.
I didn’t have my usual support crew with me so thank you to Wayne for taking some brilliant photographs!
Of course, that meant we could not walk the course but we are nothing if not determined and it certainly wasn’t the first time I have jumped without a course walk. I overshot one turn slightly but overall we got round pretty well with just one pole down.
We did manage to walk the course for the second round but annoyingly we still had a pole down and time faults as well – which meant we were the discard score for that round. I was still so proud of us though – I had only ridden Murphy a few times and we were working well together. I learnt so much too which I can hopefully use another time.
In the end our team came third overall and second of the qualifiers. We actually had the same score as the qualifying team but were slightly slower – which makes that pole and time faults extra frustrating!
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I had the most amazing day though and am very much hoping that I get to do it again soon.