Character Study

Having the ponies in at night gives me a fascinating insight into some of their differences which are not normally particularly apparent. Cookster, for example, will almost always leave a neat little pile of droppings all in one place which makes mucking out quick and easy. Galahad leaves his all over the stable and tramples them in well. Of course, the trampling is aided by the fact that he invariably lies down on them.

On the other hand, Galahad is a fairly neat and efficient eater – he may leave a few wisps of hay about but it is very minimal. Cookster dribbles his hay all over the place and is incredibly wasteful (he doesn’t have a problem with his teeth – both ponies have just seen the dentist).

It is very interesting to compare them but on the whole I think I prefer Cookster’s brand of untidiness. It is easier to clear up afterwards!

Hacking Joys

When Galahad and I went out for our hack yesterday morning he was clearly feeling particularly nosy. At every single gateway we passed he wanted to stop and have a look at what was going on in the field or garden. Or perhaps he just wanted to admire the view.

We took a letter which had been delivered to us in error round to our neighbour and were rewarded by a lovely ride through their woods. I hadn’t ridden that way before but I will definitely be doing so again – we had a great time! The leaves are looking glorious at the moment and as off-road riding is so scarce here it was a joy to find some more we can use.

Riding along a different track we came across a horse which has been turned out there to graze. He seemed delighted to see us and followed us for some way. I began to be worried that he would follow us out onto the road but thankfully he eventually grew bored with us and went back to the grass.

It was a gorgeous morning and and there can’t have been many better ways to spend it.

Taking Charge

The ponies naturally keep me pretty busy. I ride them as much as I can and they are always needing feeding, grooming, turning out or bringing in. My parents are very generous with helping out but I always feel guilty if I go away and leave them in charge.

When I was away last month though, my sister decided to take charge. She came over every day to pick out feet and spent hours here most days practising for the Exiefest competition. There was an in-hand jumping class which she did with both ponies and of course the utility pony class needed a course to be built and practised. You can’t really present a pony with scary objects and expect them to just deal with them!

By all acounts it was a lot of fun. Cookster in particular took great delight in apple bobbing and would clear out a bucket very quickly. Galahad did not really get it – he just drank the water!

Compensations

I have never particularly liked getting up in the morning. I want to get up early but sometimes it is very hard to actually get out of bed. Of course, having the ponies means I don’t really have a choice and I have to force myself up.

There are a great many compensations though. Obviously I get to play with the ponies but I also get to see the sunrise – and be outside to appreciate it fully rather than just noticing a bit of pink through the window. We have had some glorious sunrises recently and I have even taken the dog for an extra bit of walk just to soak it in. All the mist in the valley glows pink and it is wonderful.

The ponies are spending a week away with my instructor which made Friday evening feel very quiet and odd. However, when our neighbours said they were holding a fireworks display, for once I didn’t have to worry about how the ponies would react – not well usually – but instead I could just enjoy the show.

Just another compensation!