Galahad and I have made it to our first show of the year! Granted it was a virtual show but still – we had fun. This was the Exmoor Pony Society‘s annual Midlands Pony Show which of course we would never normally get to but as it had to go online and was open to all we thought we might as well give it a go.
I was attracted initially to the utility class – essentially a combination of handy pony and trec elements and it looked like it would be a fun obstacle course to try. We built the required course and set off.
Galahad was amazing. A couple of the obstacles needed a bit of practice to get him feeling comfortable but that was completely understandable. Funnily enough I’ve never actually asked him to stand still while I put up an umbrella before! However, he behaved perfectly and the only problem we had was that I was fighting the wind and took what felt like forever to get the umbrella down again.
Since we were entering one class I thought we might as well do an actual showing class as well – although I fully expected to come last in that one! The ground is getting a bit sticky and Galahad does not really appreciate being asked to canter on it.
The results and clips of everyone’s entries were posted on the society Facebook page and it was a lot of fun to see how others tackled the obstacles. Our rosettes came this week and I was amazed to find that we had come fourth in both classes. That was definitely not something I expected but I was very pleased indeed. Galahad definitely deserved them.
I have been very much enjoying the autumn colouring recently. The hedges and trees have been simply glorious with colour and I have been revelling in it. I know that the lockdown in England means many people are not able to ride at the moment so I thought I would share one of my rides with you.
It all started out well as I headed off up the lane but before I reached the road I realised that I didn’t have my hi-viz tabard on. I did debate about going out anyway but it wasn’t really sensible – it may be a small, quiet road but it it is also a small, twisty road and cars coming round the corners don’t have much time to see you. I was riding a brown pony and wearing a dull green jacket. I was basically invisible.
So, here is a very small section of a hack.
I didn’t really have time to grab the tabard and go out again so Galahad and I had a little canter in the field to use up the time we did have instead.
It was just as well that I hadn’t gone too far as I found that my paranoia about having not shut the dog away in the tack room was for once not paranoia at all and she had wandered off. I panicked terribly but found that she had just gone back home and was waiting patiently outside the back door. Evidently the tack room is far too boring!
This year – for what is probably the first time – I have actually put all my jumps away for the winter at a decent time. As in, not in February when it is nearly time to get them out again. Although when I say I did it I really mean we – my parents were brilliant and helped me out.
Not that this means I am suddenly super organised. No, this productivity is just because I have entered an online dressage competition and I needed the space to set out a dressage arena. My flatwork is usually done around the jumps but that doesn’t really go down so well in an actual test.
Once again, my parents helped me mark it out properly – it would have taken me forever to do it all myself. We even did the maths to make sure the corners really were right angles.
The dog was not at all interested in the process but she did have fun making one last use of the jumps before they went away.
The ponies of course couldn’t care less.
It is all looking rather lovely and I am very pleased to see it. All it needs now is the actual riding of the test!
The ponies have had a very exciting week as the tractor came to trim our hedges. They have obviously seen the tractor before and as one of their fields is next to a main road they see both tractors and huge lorries go past all the time without turning a hair. They still had to run away from this one though – maybe it was more threatening because it was invading their space.
However, they didn’t panic and it wasn’t long before they stopped running and stood to watch. They were still jittery though and kept a close eye on the tractor’s movements. They were very careful to keep a safe distance away from it!
It was good to get the hedges done – they look so much nicer and neater now. We were lucky too that although we have had a lot of rain recently – and the fields are rather wet now – the tractor didn’t actually make too much of a mess of the ground. I thought it would be a quagmire but it stood up pretty well. Hedgetrimming smells so nice too – it was a good day!
Galahad and I haven’t been out to a single show this year, for very obvious reasons. We don’t normally go to all that many shows anyway but still it has been something fun that I have missed so when I got the chance to spruce him up and show him off I jumped at it.
I have an online book club with an amazing group of friends and we were inspired by some great book swap videos to create our own. With our shared love of the works of L M Montgomery we had to focus on her books and somebody mentioned that it would be great if we could have a pony and trap in the video. I don’t have a trap (I would love one!) but I do have easy access to the pony so Galahad was roped in to help.
It was a lot of fun to smarten him up and – until we added the flowers – it really did feel like a show day. I even painted his toes with hoof oil. Not that you can tell – they got muddy again befre we started filming. That’s pretty typical for a show day too though!
My sister was standing just out of shot while we were filming, ready to catch him if he got bored and wandered off but he was too busy wondering what on earth I was doing! He stood still and watched me the entire time we were filming and generally behaved perfectly. He really stole the show and was generally very cute.
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