Escape!

Yesterday was simply beautiful and the ponies took full advantage of the sunshine by simply walking through a gate that was accidentally left open and gorging on the lush grass.  It wouldn’t really have been a problem except that it is quite a steep slope and the ground is still very slippery.  Luckily they were far too interested in the grass to run about!

We thought we would have terrible trouble catching them and dragging them away for a ride but actually Cookster  just stood stock still.

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Galahad was another story and would not let me near him.

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He was quite happy to follow Cookster up to the stables though!  We found some very interested visitors when we got there – waiting for their breakfasts.

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Sadly we didn’t have any for them.

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When we did get out for our ride we had a lovely time.   The primroses are suddenly flourishing  – I thought there were plenty of them before but overnight they seem to have multiplied and now there are whole banks covered in them.  They were beautiful!

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Living the Dream

After our busy day on Saturday, Sunday was wonderfully restful.

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I had two lovely hacks, the ponies behaved well, the sun was shining and everything seemed right with the world.

My reward for riding and looking after Cookster – my sister’s pony after all – was to find him absolutely covered in mud.

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At first I thought t was highly ironic that I was wearing my ‘Living the dream’ gilet.  Who dreams of spending their Sunday afternoon scrubbing mud off of a pony?  Especially one who is moulting.

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However, as we pottered up the hill, I realised that actually it was an amazing day.  If anyone had told my twelve year old self that one day I would be able to spend a sunny afternoon playing with two ponies and riding them I would have been thrilled.  I really am living the dream.

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Hail!

This week we went out to tack up the ponies in beautiful sunshine.  It was a glorious day and I was looking forward to a lovely, relaxing ride.

By the time we started up the hill,  the sky behind us had gone ominously dark and we could see the weather closing in.  It was still beautiful though.

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Before long the hail started and Galahad’s mane was filled with pretty beads.

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For the first time  I felt that my riding skirt was serving a genuine purpose – protecting my poor little clipped pony from all those hailstones.

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We did have a lovely ride nonetheless and despite the hail it was nice and relaxing.  A wonderful way to spend a morning.

Glorious Mud

It seems to have been raining solidly for the past few weeks and I have never known the ground to be so wet.  We will definitely not be schooling here anytime soon!

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However, on Monday Galahad and I got out for a hack which was miraculously dry.  We got a little further afield than usual and found distinct signs that spring is on its way.

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It’s hard to tell in the picture but there is a whole bank of snowdrops in front of Galahad. It was beautiful!

There have been primroses out since before Christmas and the snowdrops have been around for a while too but a bit further up the road we found daffodils and even some campion.

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Then on Thursday morning I stepped out of the door to find the sky was a gorgeous blue and the birds were singing like crazy.  Make sure you have the sound on when you play the video!

It was a beautiful morning until the rain came back.  Definitely promising signs of spring though – it’s amazing how much better it can make one feel!

Festive riding

On Monday my sister and I took the ponies on our instructor’s annual tinsel ride. It has been so long since I have actually been able to go with the group instead of having my own private ride and I had a wonderful time.

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Waiting for our lift!

We could not have asked for better weather.  The sun was shining and we all got rather warm.  One of the valleys was full of mist and the views were absolutely beautiful.

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I was a little concerned about the ponies’ fitness levels for a long ride (four hours!) but they actually kept up pretty well.  They even had rather too much energy in a couple of places where they shied spectacularly and barged into other ponies.   We were fine but I am always terrified of making a small child fall off.

In fact, the only issue we had was that Galahad felt a little footsore on some of the stonier tracks – he pretty much dragged me through a hedge at one point so my knee is a mess of bramble scratches.  I expect Cookster to be footsore sometimes but it is most unusual for Galahad.

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My sister also came away wounded – she banged her knee on a fence post at a gallop. She has an impressive bruise!

At one point we took a shortcut to avoid some particularly stony tracks and began walking down the grassy gallop to meet the others  half way.  Of course, they could not pull up so rushed past us but I was so proud of our ponies as they didn’t whip round and take off – we were very much in control.

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I had a wonderful day and even came away with a lucky dip Christmas present. I am not a proper grown up yet!

Dawn Ramblings

Now the clocks have gone back my riding has had to move from after work to before work.  Which is just as well – it was starting to get a bit tight for light after work anyway!

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I have never thought of myself as a morning person (I do not like getting out of bed!) but once I am up I really do love the early mornings.  I love being up before the sun and I so much enjoy the chill that we have at the moment.  It is great being able to ride above the mists too.

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One of the best things though is the light from the sunrises.  It is just beautiful, especially when it is shining on the autumnal trees which are looking particularly lovely at the moment.

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It is a beautiful time of year.  I love the autumn!

Summer Days

My routine has changed a little this week.  I have been too tired and/or lazy to get up in time to ride before work so I have had to do so afterwards.  I have been getting home a bit later than normal but thanks to the lovely long evenings there has still been enough time to ride.

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We have had some wonderful, relaxing hacks in the evening sunshine.  The evenings have been very still and beautiful this week and it has been lovely to be outside.

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I have been enjoying myself very much – our rides have been the perfect way to end the day.

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Getting to Grips with Gates

All this wonderful weather we have been having for the past couple of weeks has meant that the fields are drying out nicely.  That is good in itself but it also means that I am able to school again – hurrah!

The very first thing I wanted to work on was our gate opening. We have another trec competition coming up next week and I really want to have improved before that.  Plus, if I work on it then the chances are it won’t come up in the course!

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I wanted to take things slowly so we started by just walking past the gate.  Working on a circle so Galahad’s head was slightly turned away from it definitely helped.  That wasn’t a problem so we moved onto stopping and standing still but still not trying to actually touch the gate.  That took a bit more work as Galahad wanted to swing away from the gate so he was facing it and could see if it tried to attack him!

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From there we progressed to lifting the rope and putting it back again and before long we could open the gate and walk through it – from both directions of course.

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We still can’t close it again but we made huge strides in just one session and I am thrilled with that.

Enjoying The Sunshine

We have had some wonderful weather over the past few days.  The sun has been shining and it has been really warm.

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Galahad has spent most of the days without his rug and he has definitely been making the most of the time – he is constantly covered in mud!

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Yesterday I was out for the evening so it was my Dad who had to put the rug back on.  Galahad did not want to cooperate.   He was apparently quite happy for my Mum to feed him apples but he kept one eye firmly on my Dad and whenever he moved the headcollar Galahad would jump away.

In the end, he had to catch Cookster and take him up to the stables.  Galahad then followed, walked straight into the stable and was quite happy to have his rug put on.  He  is usually fine to catch but he certainly likes to keep us on our toes!

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The forecast suggests that we should continue to have some good weather for the next few days so I am looking forward to some lovely hacking.

Enjoying the Sunshine

Today has been absolutely gorgeous.

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Galahad and I had a wonderful ride in the sunshine.  We met the postman (and had to backtrack out of his way) twice and stopped for a chat with my neighbour.  Galahad was very relaxed and stood beautifully still for a good twenty minutes.   He is so good at talking to people now.  Not so long ago he would have hated anyone patting him, especially with me in the saddle.

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It wasn’t only sunny  – it was lovely and warm too.  So much so that I rode out in a t-shirt and Galahad got to spend a few hours in the field without a rug which I’m sure he appreciated.

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