Speedy Pony!

This has been a fun week for Galahad.  We don’t have any shows lined up in the near future so we have been having a bit of a play.  We had a go at some gymkhana games which can be tricky as things like flags are often scary.  Just how scary varies day to day.  We haven’t played games for a few months now so Galahad needed building up to the real scary stuff.  I got a very bad grip on a pair of socks and dropped them.  They hit one of his forelegs and he took off across the field.  Still a lot of work to be done!

Jumping is something Galahad really does like though.  He is always keen to jump and touch wood seems to run out a lot less now.  He has been such a good teacher for me.  Looking down has always been a bit of a weakness of mine but I found that if I looked down at the jump he almost always ran out.  That gave me an incredible incentive to look up!

Yes that pole is going flying.   It was the only jump he knocked down but the best photograph by far!

Yes that pole is going flying. It was the only jump he knocked down but the best photograph by far!

Our hacks have been pretty wet, over the weekend especially.  It turns out that my waterproof trousers are now not so much waterproof and more just trousers!  In one of our dry spells we went up to have a canter in the exciting galloping field only to find that it had sprouted scary round things. 20150820_181927

After a careful look we decided perhaps they were safe. 20150820_191404

I didn’t ride him round them though as he felt pretty wound up and I was by myself so thought I’d be sensible.  The next field hadn’t been cut so we had a nice canter round that.  At least, that was the plan.  He started the first canter with his head well down which always unnerves me as I remember his bucking very well!  The next canter started better but I could feel him wanting to go and as we got round the corner he took off and properly galloped up the hill.  I don’t think we’ve ever been so fast!  I almost left it at that but decided to try the last canter.   Before we had even got down the hill Galahad was ready and he galloped across it then round in a nice curve.  That was enough and we went home.  Without someone to watch me it seemed a bad idea to have an argument with him when he was so wound up.

All in all it has been an exciting few days.  This evening is much calmer – I rode before work so am now catching up on the European showjumping.  I will miss having the Europeans to watch every day!

Galahad’s Riding Club Debut

Sunday was the day of our riding club’s dressage show.  I have only recently rejoined after an extended university break so it was both mine and Galahad’s first outing to the club.  The entrants were almost all novice combinations and it was quite a low key event which seemed ideal for us.

Galahad was upgraded from the trailer to the big lorry for the first time which I thought he might worry about – especially as he was also wearing his new boots in earnest for the first time.  Surprisingly he walked straight in but he did put in an enormous leap getting out again!

He seems to be getting used to shows now and was nice and relaxed as we walked around.  Unfortunately the judge had a very scary (very small!) dog so the C end of the arena was pretty much off limits as far as Galahad was concerned.  It didn’t help that there was also an apparently dodgy looking trough and a few spectators.  This all meant that our centre lines were ‘not at all straight’ and riding in that half of the arena was a bit interesting!

See the scary dog lurking in the background?

See the scary dog lurking in the background?

It was only Galahad’s second dressage test though and his first canter test.  Apart from the spooking he behaved very well and was sometimes working in an outline.  Overall I was very pleased with him – he might have been spooky but he didn’t take off which he would have done last year.

Our first test was walk and trot and we managed to come fifth so even bagged a rosette!  Strangely he got more spooky in the second test and we came ninth.  Some of our canter work was rather unbalanced but for a first go it wasn’t bad and it is something we are working on.DSCF5630

I came home and spent the rest of the afternoon being inspired by the professionals at the European Championships.  I can only dream of riding like that!