As happens most years, this week I went up the lane from our house for the first time in a couple of weeks and poor Galahad had to fight his way through a wall of greenery.
I’m sure it’s worse this year than it has been before – probably thanks to the rain we have had over the past few weeks. The picture doesn’t quite do it justice as I took it on the return trip after we had already trampled it down once.
It’s amazing how quickly it gets overgrown – nature rally is powerful. Galahad was also extremely impressive in the way he just ploughed through it all – I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much on foot! As it was I got badly stung by all the nettles. We managed to bring a fair bit of it with us too.
It was pretty dark under the trees, hence the rather blurry picture.
It was an exciting adventure but I must remember to keep using all our routes regularly if I don’t want to get stuck!
This morning dawned beautifully foggy but once it cleared it was a simply glorious day so Galahad and I went exploring.
We couldn’t get along a lane which was blocked with a van but had permission to ride in some new fields which was very exciting – we don’t often have new places to ride. These fields are incredibly steep but are shelved, making handy tracks to ride along. They can be a bit unnerving though – I was very aware that one spook could send us down the hillside.
Nevertheless, we were having a lovely time. It was wonderful to be out hacking again after a long week at work and we were very much enjoying ourselves in the sunshine. Then this happened.
I somehow failed to duck properly under the tree and a branch caught me round the face. I genuinely thought I was going to be pulled off backwards – I stayed on but I have some very impressive scratches which look rather like cat whiskers. They are just a bit sore too!
Things got even more exciting on our way home. I stupidly let go of Galahad when I was closing the gate back onto our land – it’s an awkward gate which needs two hands. Galahad thought it would be a great idea to canter home and caused great consternation when he arrived with reins and stirrups flying but no rider.
All in all, it was a lovely ride but I was quite glad to be home!
As I mentioned last week, the ponies have been spending a few days away. On Sunday I was meant to be taking my dog to an agility competition but it was cancelled due to the snow. Of course I was disappointed but I took the chance to go out on a longer hack with some people from the yard.
Although the roads were mostly clear of snow there were still some nasty icy patches so we spent a lot of time playing follow my leader to ensure we all stayed on the safe path. It was rather an exciting adventure really!
We had two lovely long canter tracks to enjoy – which Galahad did very much! One of them was a little stony so he kept wanting to duck onto the verge to save his feet but otherwise he was bounding along.
In fact, I was very much impressed with him. Normally on longer rides he can start to fall behind the bigger horses and we do a lot of jogging to keep up. This time though he was full of beans the whole way round and kept up beautifully.
He did get very warm though and needed a wash down afterwards. We borrowed a lilac headcollar which although slightly big I thought was rather fetching.
We had a fabulous ride and finished it off with tea and cake. What could be better?
On Thursday Galahad and I were very lucky and were given permission to ride in a field on our neighbouring farm.
We were very happy to set out exploring and it was wonderful to have such a big field to play in.
There is a wood along one side of the field with lots of little entrances I would have loved to explore if I hadn’t had Galahad with me.
In fact, I did dismount and take him along this path. It led to the most delightful glade.
It had been a pretty stressful day at work and by the time I got home I was not feeling great and wasn’t even sure I wanted to ride. The lure of the field took me out though and before we got round it once I felt so much better.
In fact, the only (unimportant) downside was that my boots filled with grass seeds. They look so beautiful though.
It was the best end to the day.
Galahad has had some time off this week as I am just back from a couple of days in Surrey. I had a lovely time pottering about and found a simply wonderful bridlepath.
I would love to have that a little nearer to home!
I came back home to some very good news. Firstly, the grass is starting to grow.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture but I promise it is sprouting!
Secondly, the field is finally dry enough to school in. It is still a little soggy down one end so we have to be careful but today I managed to school both ponies and Cookster and I even had a little jump.
I didn’t jump Galahad – instead we did some semi cross country training. We went up and down pretty steep hills in a different field and splashed in and out of the stream.
I had a thouroughly good time and I think Galahad enjoyed himself too.