The other day Cookster and I went for a little adventure in a neighbour’s field. I had ridden Galahad in there before but it was all brand new to Cookster and he was more than a bit excited. He is not usually the most energetic of ponies but on this occassion he was offering me a canter every time I asked for trot.
This particular field slopes steeply down to a stream with very marshy banks. The hill is almost terraced by a path zig-zagging its way up the slope so we skirted our way round the marsh and set off up the hill.
The path isn’t particularly wide and the hill is very steep but I was still enjoying myself immensely. Then I got to the top and had to come back down and I realised that the branches I had happily avoided on the way up had become much more intimidating. Ducking under branches when riding downhill is pretty nerve wracking anyway but I was suddenly very aware that I was sat on a pony who has occasionally been known to nap and try to canter home. It was amazing how such a small moment could rob me of all confidence.
Of course, Cookster was in fact perfectly well behaved and my momentary panic was a complete overreaction. It made me very aware though of how fragile a thing confidence can be.
Yesterday Galahad and I went for a hack along our most overgrown route. Given the trouble I had to get him to walk through the brambles last time I decided to just lead him from the start. The trouble was that the stream was a bit swollen by the recent rain.
Galahad was not impressed and categorically refused to be led through. I had to get back on and ride him – apparently that was no problem at all!
I did have to get back off again to navigate the brambles but after that we had a lovely ride. I had got rather wet riding Cookster but it cleared up nicely for Galahad and I. Definitely worth the hassle!
We have had some simply glorious weather this week. I don’t think there was any rain at all and although the last couple of days have been distinctly chilly we have had some wonderful sunshine. The fields are beginning (touch wood) to dry out nicely and things just seem a lot more cheerful when the sun shines.
The ground is really a bit too cut up for serious schooling but I have taken advantage of the drier ground to vary our rides by hacking round the fields. It makes things more interesting for the ponies and it means we can have a bit more of a canter than the six strides we can fit on the verge.
It has also allowed us to have a paddle in the stream which is something we don’t do very often. Strangely, although Galahad has an aversion to puddles, he is quite happy walking into the stream. Granted his head normally goes straight down to play with the water but at least he isn’t worried by it!
We had a lovely relaxing ride with no pressure to school and no worry about cars. A perfect afternoon.
It has certainly been raining this weekend! We went out on Saturday morning and when we got back the stream had risen higher than it has for years. We have a field gate over the stream which we had to fight to open as bits of wood were being swept into it. We were a bit concerned they would damage the gate!
I took advantage of the the time when I should have been at the dressage to clean the ponies’ trough and our rainwater tank which is something I have been meaning to do for a while. I got filthy cleaning the tank and rather wet. Now I just need to wait for it to refill – which shouldn’t take too long at the moment!
When we got out for our ride we found that the end of the lane had flooded again. This time however Galahad walked straight through it – I was so pleased with him! By the time we got back it was already starting to go down and the stream was a bit lower again too. It is still flowing pretty fast though.
The good news is that the ponies’ colds definitely seem to be getting better – they got less puffed when we were out and they are coughing less too. Hopefully they will be over it soon.