During lockdown we have of course been limiting our trips out shopping as much as we possibly can. Given that it is difficult to buy all of our own food and the ponies’ food from the same place I have been so grateful that a local tack shop has been driving around to make deliveries in the area. Not just of pony food either – I’ve been able to top up my fly spray, training treats and even dog food too.
We’ve been getting all of our deliveries dropped off at the gate which meant I had an excuse to drive the lawn tractor too which was fun.
I very much appreciated getting the delivery – I do not cope so well with the heat and standing for an hour or so in blazing sunshine queuing to get into the shop would have made me feel terrible. This way was a lot less stressful and I am so grateful.
One of the exciting parts of Christmas for me is delivering our local Christmas cards by pony post. We always dress up the ponies with tinsel and set off around the lanes carolling – although usually only when we think we can’t be heard!
This year for the first time we were spotted by one of the recipients who very much admired us. It is always nece to feel appreciated!
Of course, such a ride has to be rounded off with hot chocolate and Christmas goodies. The ponies got some carrots too.
If you celebrate I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
On Friday we made our annual Pony Post excursion.
When I was a child I once rode out with my instructor’s daughter to deliver their Christmas cards and it seemed so wonderful that I have always been determined to do the same with our ponies.
The tack is still mostly decorated from the tinsel ride so we were very festive again.
We didn’t actually meet anyone on our rounds but when we got home we went carol singing at our own front door and the ponies were rewarded with apples. We had a lovely time.
This week I had the most wonderful hack on Cookster. He was completely calm and relaxed and it was a fantastic feeling to be riding him.
Walking back down the hill I became very conscious of how relaxed I was feeling myself. I was also weirdly aware of my own breathing and how much it had slowed down. It felt like a form of meditation and it was pretty amazing.
Galahad was not quite so relaxing but still very good. We actually made use of the saddlebags to deliver a parcel which was fun. It was heavier than the newspaper we carried up before and the bag did flap a little bit but Galahad didn’t react at all. Hurrah! Galahad was paid in apples and I had a cup of tea – Galahad got to visit a strange stable whilst I drank it.
Our ride home was a bit more eventful. There was something (goodness knows what) scary in the field so naturally we had to have a bit of a spook and a canter. He slowed down when I asked though which is a good sign.
It was a lovely morning and I definitely felt the benefit of riding that day.
The ponies and I have again been acting as a delivery service for my neighbour. She had asked me to get some shopping which Galahad and I carried up with no trouble in a backpack. The pony express is a lot more fun than using the car or delivering on foot!
I then rode out on Cookster and noticed that there was a newspaper waiting at the bottom of the hill so we took that up as well. It is something we have done often before but this time I was wearing a hoody so I could actually carry it hands free which was such a luxury!
It was good to have two hands for the reins but the paper was a little in the way of my arms. I probably didn’t look the most elegant!
On Easter Monday morning there was glorious sunshine when I let the ponies out. My sister and I missed the best of the weather for our hack but it was still nice enough to ride without a coat. At least, I didn’t wear one. She has no pockets in her jodhpurs and so needed the coat to carry her phone. It was starting to get a bit warm to be comfortable though.
We collected our neighbour’s paper and set off up the hill. I have to admit to hurrying Galahad a bit as there was a nasty black cloud off to the right. Sadly we didn’t hurry enough and before we reached the top of the hill the heavens opened. Not just with rain – with biting hail which numbed the side of my face and sent both ponies straight into the hedge so they could turn their heads away. Apparently that wasn’t much relief though as they were soon keen to be moving again – faster than before! – and we soon reached the postbox which is handily inside a barn. It gave us a very good excuse for sheltering inside!
Galahad was quite happy to stay indoors but Cookster prefers moving about so was pretty soon outside again.
Luckily the worst of the shower was over by then but my sister was suddenly very happy to be wearing her coat!
As Galahad and I went out the other morning I noticed my neighbour’s newspaper waiting at the bottom of the lane. I normally take it up if we have time to get as far as her house so we collected it and went on our way. We were having a lovely ride and enjoying ourselves very much. I could hear a saw somewhere but it wasn’t bothering us and I didn’t really think very much about it.
Until we got to the top of the hill. The postbox is inside a barn. In the doorway was a tractor with a belt running from it into the barn and powering the saw. It was all suddenly rather noisy!
I clearly couldn’t get into the barn and I was a bit reluctant to take Galahad through the garden to the front door. In future I will try to remember to take a headcollar and leadrope with me – then at least I could tie him up. Luckily, as I stood dithering my neighbour saw me and came out to fetch the paper. She was very impressed with Galahad and kept saying how brave he was (he was behaving very well and we were only a few feet from the tractor and saw).
A Very Brave Pony
It wasn’t until afterwards that it occurred to me that I had just led him past the tractor without really thinking about it. A year or two ago I would have been worrying about his reaction to all the noise but now I just assume that he will be okay. Obviously I am still alert to the possibility of spooking but it shows that he really has improved. Brave Pony indeed!