Taking Charge

The ponies naturally keep me pretty busy. I ride them as much as I can and they are always needing feeding, grooming, turning out or bringing in. My parents are very generous with helping out but I always feel guilty if I go away and leave them in charge.

When I was away last month though, my sister decided to take charge. She came over every day to pick out feet and spent hours here most days practising for the Exiefest competition. There was an in-hand jumping class which she did with both ponies and of course the utility pony class needed a course to be built and practised. You can’t really present a pony with scary objects and expect them to just deal with them!

By all acounts it was a lot of fun. Cookster in particular took great delight in apple bobbing and would clear out a bucket very quickly. Galahad did not really get it – he just drank the water!

Pony Obstacle Course

Galahad and I had one last ‘outing’ for the year when we took part in the utility pony class for the Christmas Exiefest. I was very tempted by the dressage and Prix Caprilli tests as well but decided that the field was too soggy for us to perform at our best. The utility pony gave us plenty of work to do by itself!

Most of the obstacles didn’t worry us too much but I did have some issues with the curtain. Galahad didn’t even want to go near it to start with and it took a lot of patience and cajoling to get him walking through. Even then, we had to pin the curtain to the side. Luckily the test sheet specifically stated that we wouldn’t be penalised for dismounting for this obstacle.

Any other problems were mine rather than Galahad’s – things like my getting the scarf completely tangled up in the reins on our first attempt. Galahad stood like a rock though, just turning his head to see what on earth I was trying to do to him.

Despite letting myself get frustrated by the curtain I had a lot of fun doing this class. I didn’t think we had done well enough to place but I was glad we had taken part. I was therefore astonished to get the results sheet and find that we had won the class. Galahad had worked very hard though and he definitely deserved the win.

I was so proud of him and I would definitely recommend that anyone who gets the chance to do a class like this should take it – it is a lot of fun!