Making Friends

The ponies have had another new visitor recently.

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The lamb actually lives in the field next door but its mother died and now it spends most of its time in our field instead.

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Normally I find it right across the field from the ponies but it turns out it isn’t bothered by them at all.  It’s always nice to make new friends!

Shepherd Pony

We had a very exciting ride yesterday  – we were halfway up the hill when a lamb appeared in front of us.  Then there was another one and soon the ewe materialised as well.

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We obviously wanted to get them off the road and back into the field.  Unfortunately,  they took one look and ran away from us – and the gate.  I left  my sister and the ponies guarding the gate and set off in pursuit,  wondering how I was going to pass the sheep to turn them back.

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Luckily they darted off to the side and it looked like they had found the spot where they escaped.  They popped back over the bank and into the field.  It may have been the wrong field but at least they were safe and off the road.  It was a very satisfying job done.

Early Morning Schooling

Whilst a lot of my friends are complaining about the dark evenings now that the clocks have gone back, I am very much appreciating the lighter mornings!  I just have enough light and time to ride before I go off to work in the morning.

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I am not really a very good morning person but it is amazing how much easier it is to get up when I get to ride.  It is lovely riding in the early morning and I have had some very good schooling sessions.  It feels like Galahad is listening quicker when we start and his right bend is starting to improve too.  It is not at all consistent but it is there and with a bit of work it will improve.

It is beautiful at that time in the morning.  A bit misty at the moment and very peaceful.  Our resident kestrel has been flying over us and we have a trespassing lamb. In the spring he kept breaking into our field and every morning this week he has been between the hedge and the fence.  I thought he was stuck at first but it was easy enough for him to get back through the hedge when I approached!

Small Steps and Giant Leaps

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!DSCN3336

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.20150628_191742

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!