For one reason or another our schooling has been a bit lax of late. I have always had a reasonable excuse for not schooling (the builders are here/it’s too windy for Galahad to concentrate on me/the field is too wet…) but I have definitely been feeling a little guilty about it.
Yesterday was pretty windy, the builders were still around (although they had stopped for lunch) and it was raining but I decided enough was enough and Galahad and I marched purposefully into the field. I was actually pretty impressed with him. He could have had a bit of a better bend and we had a couple of moments when he tried to nap towards home but in general he did what I asked. His turns on the forehand even felt amazing, possibly better than ever. Of course, they may have looked terrible!
We did have one major spook (my entire weight went into one stirrup and it actually felt like we stretched the leather a bit), apparently at nothing.
I realise there are several potentially scary things in my neighbour’s field but as they have probably been there as long as the pony they seem like a poor excuse.
Overall though, Galahad tried pretty hard and I was pleased with him.
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!
It seems that pheasant season is upon us. Almost every time we ride out we are met by a whole flock of juveniles which run along the lane or field ahead of us before giving in and flying over the hedge. The ponies have got fairly used to them now, although we can still get taken by surprise occasionally.
A few days ago Galahad and I met this little one who seemed younger than the others, as unlikely as that sounds. It was cheeping like a chick and when the rest flew off it got left behind and just ran into the fence.
Eventually it managed to squeeze itself through the fence but was then trapped in the lane with us until it climbed into the hedge, still cheeping madly.
Hopefully it found its way through the hedge to rejoin the rest of the flock!
This morning was absolutely beautiful. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine, if rather chilly. We went for an early morning ride which apparently meant my brain was not working. I tacked up my pony, went to put on my hat and came back to find this.
I hadn’t tied him back up at all. Luckily he just stood in the doorway gazing at the world.
We had a lovely ride though. Once we got above the mist in the valley the sun was actually pretty warm. It is a lovely feeling to be up and about before anyone else.
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.
This morning I also noticed this beautiful, tiny little one on my walk up to the yard.
It really is a lovely season!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!
It is definitely feeling autumnal around here these days. Most mornings I am riding out in the mist.
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.
Having said that, the last few mornings have been bright and sunny so perhaps autumn isn’t quite properly here yet!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Neither of them were particularly bothered so it was a good lesson!