Changing Seasons

I think it is safe to say that autumn is properly upon us.  It is still pretty warm but there are now lovely, crunchy leaves lying about and this week I had to ride in a coat for what seemed like the first time in months.  Of course, I overheated and it promptly stopped raining but it had been absolutely pouring!

I am very much enjoying seeing the fruits of the season as I ride.  Obviously there are plenty of blackberries but I have also noticed a huge number of toadstools this year.  We did have a proper fairy ring but this is all that is left of it now.

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This morning I also noticed this beautiful, tiny little one on my walk up to the yard.

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It really is a lovely season!

Pony Reading

When I am not riding I spend some of my time selling vintage books at book fairs.  I collect books I love for my stand and strangely  a lot of these are pony books!

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I often feel very sad to see them go because I do still enjoy reading them – they are especially perfect if I am feeling a bit ill or low.  I console myself with the thought that I can use the money to buy new books!

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I spent today at the book fair at Appledore Book Festival and had a great time.  I really enjoy talking to people about the books and this is one of my favourite festivals.  Who wouldn’t enjoy this view?

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New Jumps

It has taken me a while but I finally managed to get our logs moved to a suitable place for jumping.  It was lovely to be able to jump them at last and I did so at the first opportunity.

Galahad was not at all sure about the logs when we first entered the field and didn’t really want to go anywhere near them.  When we did get close he had a very good look at them and from then on we had no problem.  When we got to jumping though he ran out twice.

I  then gave myself a stern talking to.  Galahad has been round a proper cross country course and although we did have a couple of run outs we got round most of it with no trouble.  The only thing stopping him was me and my nerves so I told myself to look up and ride positively.  It worked!

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The next time I rode was with my sister who suggested trying some pairs jumping.  The ponies had never done it before but they took to it really well.

They jumped very nicely together and Cookster was more forward going than usual.     It took a bit more practise to jump our tyres – round a corner – after the logs.  Cookster kept drifting right, pushing us both around instead of over the fence.  We got there in the end though and we had so much fun!

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Not every fence is a dressing fence!

Autumnal Riding

It is definitely feeling autumnal around here these days.  Most mornings I am riding out in the mist.

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This rabbit was not at all bothered by the pony bearing down on it!

The mist means there are lots of beautiful, dew covered cobwebs all over the place.  Our morning rides are just magical.

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Having said that, the last few mornings have been bright and sunny so perhaps autumn isn’t quite properly here yet!

Teamwork

Galahad and I recently got another chance to compete as part of a team, this time with the riding club.  It was again teams of four with each person jumping a different height.  Obviously with my little pony I was jumping the lowest height.

The warm up was again on rather damp grass and given our mishap on our last outing I was very careful over the practise fences and didn’t come out of a trot.  We still slid into one of the jumps and Galahad was a bit wobbly trying to avoid the muddy take off spot so I didn’t over jump him.

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Our first round went very well and we whizzed round clear.  My team mates did the same so after one round we were in the lead and quite excited.

Galahad was also great in the second round but I messed it up for him.  Between fences three and four we needed to change the canter lead but I got my whip tangled in my reins and was distracted by trying to untangle it.  I didn’t even think about the leading leg until it was too late.  We had to jump off the wrong leg so Galahad wasn’t well balanced and we knocked the fence down.

It was such a silly mistake and it really wasn’t necessary to untangle my whip – I felt pretty bad about letting both Galahad and my team down.  The next two members of my team both got four faults as well and the last got twelve.  We ended up eighth out of ten which wasn’t bad but was rather disappointing after our good start!

Friends and Relations

The ponies have been continuing their education in meeting new people.  My Uncle came to lunch recently and he was a brand new person they had never met before.  Galahad wasn’t too sure about him but didn’t actually shy which is an improvement.

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The puppy is also assisting in their education – and being educated herself.  They have met plenty of times before but it was new for them to meet when I was riding.

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Neither of them were particularly bothered so it was a good lesson!

Special Moments

It is often the little things which give the most joy.  I went up to the yard to let the ponies out and found them both in one stable (we keep the doors open so they have the run of the yard all day) having a nap.

It isn’t that unusual but for once Galahad didn’t get up when I appeared.  He so rarely stays lying down around people that it feels incredibly special when he does.

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It was a good day!

Evening Gallops

On one of my rides with my sister this week we went for a canter in our neighbour’s fields – for the first time in ages.  Galahad can get overexcited when we do that and has been known to take off across the field from a sheer love of going fast.

20160831_193854.jpgThis time however,  he was incredibly steady and his canter was in fact slower than Cookster’s trot.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable time and I was never worried about him running away.  We even separated the two ponies so my sister could take a couple of photographs and they were both as good as gold.

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Later in the week I took Galahad in the field by himself to see if it was just the company which kept him steady.  He did go considerably faster that time but I still felt pretty much in control and was very happy with him.  It has been a lovely week!

Summer Joys

We are certainly having some lovely weather at the moment. We have had rain but most days have been beautiful.

In the mornings when I bring the ponies in they loom up at me out of the mist.

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If I ride in the mornings we go up the hill and pop out above the mist into glorious sunshine.  The view is wonderful,  especially looking down over the mist in the valley.

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If I ride in the evenings after work the sun is generally shining everywhere.  My sister and I have had some beautiful  evening hacks this week.  We don’t get to ride together too often these days so it is especially lovely when we do.

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Galahad Goes Adventuring

Galahad and I have been exploring new horizons.

We found some new off road riding.

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It was too stony to canter but lovely and peaceful with no worry about cars.

We admired the view.

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We were met by an ambush.

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We even battled our way through a jungle.

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We had a lovely time and Galahad was brilliant.  I set off early to avoid hoardes of children on holiday but ended up going through the village just as people were leaving for work.  It wasn’t ideal but the only problem we had was a dog barking through a gate at us.  It was a fantastic way to spend a sunny summer morning.