For the past few days Galahad has been feeling nice and forward. Not in a spooky or dangerous way – just in a not having to push him on way. We have had some lovely hacks! Perhaps it is the springtime.
Cookster has also been feeling the spring in a different way – he is moulting with a vengeance. I’m sure I spend more time grooming him than I do riding!
I happened to pick up a magic brush at my instructor’s yard one day and I loved it so much I bought one for myself. It is great for cleaning hairy ponies!
Yesterday was the ponies’ official birthday – they were born on the moor so we don’t know their actual birthday. Of course, we couldn’t let it pass without a carrot at dinner time!
Today has been very hot for us so my planned morning ride didn’t happen – it was too hot for me and it would have been unfair on the ponies too. Especially as Galahad is still moulting. Even when I did eventually ride at half past seven it was still pretty warm!
On the bright side though his summer coat is finally starting to show through in patches. It’s about time! My best friend at the moment is this rubber curry comb which is amazing at getting the hair off. My sister got it years ago but until this year Galahad hasn’t been able to tolerate it. This year I am loving it although it does mean I am covered in hair all the time.
We also have exciting news on the schooling front – he is really beginning to get the hang of clockwise turns on the forehand. His off side has always been stiffer which we think may be because he used to favour his near side when he was branded and overcompensated so he damaged his off side as well. This week for the first time he managed turns on the forehand both ways under saddle and it felt like a major achievement.
I have just sent off Galahad’s first real competition entry. He has done mini training competitions at my instructor’s yard but never an outside show before. I have only entered the walk and trot dressage test which seems like a good introduction for him. I’ll see how he feels on the day and decide whether he can cope with a baby jumping class or some showing. My main worry with that would be when the judge comes to look at him – he doesn’t like strange people approaching him. Sometimes he isn’t even keen on people he knows!
Two days ago we had an interloper in the field.
This is one of our neighbour’s lambs come for a visit and not able to find his way home. He started following us and asking for help when we rode through the field. He wouldn’t let us near him when dismounted though!
At the moment it seems that every time I ride after work this is the view I get.
It doesn’t matter where we go, I always manage to be riding directly into the sun and I can’t see a thing. I was congratulating myself that at least the cars I met would be able to see me when a car behind approached us rather too fast. It then dawned on me that cars going the same way as me couldn’t see either. Not very comforting.
We didn’t have that problem today though as instead of riding we had a mammoth grooming session. Galahad’s summer coat has always been rather slow to come through and I decided it was about time I attempted to do something about it. I’m not sure I really had much of an effect but hopefully the pony will feel a bit better for it.
I am thinking of making a horse hair cushion!
I also did some in hand work with him. We have been doing a lot of it recently, particularly turns on the forehand. He needs to build up muscle in his hindquarters and his off hind is particularly weak. He really struggled with these at first but is starting to move really nicely now. He is even beginning to get them when ridden, at least when he is moving away from my left leg. The other way still needs some work but there is a definite improvement.
The picture doesn’t really do him justice, he is doing well with his turns on the forehand now.