As we had a bank holiday on Monday I was working slightly shorter hours and just about had time to ride before work. I almost didn’t make it – I am not really a morning person – but I am so glad I did. Galahad and I had a lovely hack and we got to watch the sunrise which was beautiful.
Galahad’s antlers and tinsel are all packed away for the year now but there is still rather a lot of glitter around. Not so much on him any more (although there are a few traces in his mane and tail) but it seems to be all over the floor. The yard looks quite magical!
Today has been a mixture of beautiful sunshine and heavy showers. Luckily, Galahad and I went for our ride in a gorgeous, sunshiny part of the day.
We had a lovely hack, enjoyed some cantering in my neighbour’s field but also spent some time walking round the field to make sure he doesn’t think we always canter.
It has been a wonderful day!
Galahad has needed a new saddle for a while now. My original saddle no longer fitted him after a year of riding had bulked him out a bit so for the past eight months I have been riding in a borrowed saddle which wasn’t ideal. The main reason for my delay in buying a new one was that I really love leather saddles but it has become obvious that we really need an adjustable one. A leather adjustable seemed out of my price range but I was a bit reluctant to commit to a synthetic.
However, I finally visited our local saddler just after new year to book a fitting – I did really need the saddle after all. The saddle he recommended comes in leather or synthetic and although the leather was a bit more than I had been hoping to pay it was less than I had imagined it might be and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t take it.
We had our fitting this week and although Galahad rolled his eyes at the saddler he behaved very well. He only shied once (whipping right round when I was riding) and was even happy to have the saddle prodded and adjusted when I was on board.
Test riding the saddle
I have ridden in it twice now and I love it already. It is wonderful to be back in a leather saddle again. It is beautiful, very comfortable and it creaks! Such a lovely sound.
Galahad’s second show was on Friday and a lot drier than his first attempt! For the first time he just walked straight into the trailer without even a pause on the ramp. He has never been bad at loading but he does normally stop on the ramp for a bit of a look so it seemed like a good omen. He was a lot more settled at the show itself than he was last time as well – he wasn’t calling for his friend all the time which was more restful for me! He did reply to the other ponies though. He was a bit more distracted while we were warming up this time but he did eventually settle and start listening properly.
Our first class was the 2’3″ jumping but I decided that we might as well have a go at the clear round too as a warm up. He felt quite strong over the practice fence but once we were jumping the actual course it was better. For one thing I didn’t want to stop him! He jumped the clear round very well and only looked at a few things. We knocked the last fence down which was a shame but I was so pleased with the way he jumped that it didn’t matter.
It was then a race to see which of my classes would be next as the showing rings were progressing much faster than the jumping ring. I put myself down to jump early in the hope that I could squeeze it in before my showing class. In the end I almost managed it – the showing class started as I was jumping. He jumped just as nicely in the actual class, although we did have two down this time. Just like the last show he was more worried about things in the hedge than the jumps themselves. That is definitely something to work on.
We then had a mad dash across the showground for the rare breeds class – the first in hand showing Galahad has done. We were obviously a bit late but he behaved very well, the only trouble being that he was scared of the chairs being moved about in the next ring. We got pulled in sixth out of seven but were moved up to fifth which seemed a pretty good result!
Next was the mountain and moorland class. Whilst we were waiting for it to start an old friend came up to speak to us and Galahad was very good about letting her stroke him. Much better than he usually is with strangers, especially with me riding as well. The class itself went well. There were several lead rein combinations so we didn’t do individual shows, just a walk up and trot back. He wasn’t too happy about the judge looking at him – he has a thing about hats – but she was very nice, letting him sniff her hands and get used to her. Again we were called in sixth and moved up to fifth but this time it was out of nine so was even better!
That was Galahad’s day finished. He had a couple of spooks but nothing major and overall behaved incredibly well. I had the best of days.