Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: Nobody, but nobody is going to eat the heads of any of my horses

  • Yes, riding again and the chosen ones or, as they might say, the victims are back in work. These ‘lucky’ horses are of course Wizard and Chiara (pictured above) who have been extracted from their semi-wild state, manes and tails detangled and made into almost presentable horses.

    Last week their shoes were put on and even though Wizard had had a four month break from shoes, there appears to be no detrimental effect to his feet. Chiara, on the other hand, had not benefited from having her shoes removed; in fact it wasn’t my intention to have her shoes removed at all as she only had a six week break, but she made the decision for me by getting rid of a couple while galloping wildly in the field. Poor Chiara’s feet didn’t like the wet spell without her shoes and the soles have become soft and flaky so there will be some work there to improve their condition; no doubt the new shoes will help.

    We have started the slow, slow walking required following a period of relative inactivity in the field. Wizard really needs to have about four weeks of walking but, as nothing too great will be demanded of him, he will in reality only have two.

    Chiara, however, will have about 10 days and we have already completed six of those. I have now introduced a little work in the school in walk to endeavour to encourage her to listen and to think about what I would like rather than her ‘mission’ to cover the school in the least number of strides possible; so far so good.

    Being vampires at our party

    My next decision in terms of plans for the horses is whether to bring Fantom into work next week with a view to doing his basic conditioning work and, perhaps having a little fun with him before the January break. Currently he is not the easiest to handle being unpredictable and so over the top with energy that he can be a bit of a liability. He always takes a while to unwind after the season but this year, after having been fitter than ever before, he is far worse. There is also the added benefit in that he will be fit to rock and roll much earlier next season which opens up the competition options.

    I am hoping I have a treat for Wizard just before Christmas as I plan to take him to a local Christmas pleasure ride (organised by Endurance GB) where he can get all dressed up in sparkly things and enjoy 16km of going mostly at his own pace culminating with a gallop through the parkland of a stately home. Fingers crossed that we get our entry accepted as this annual ride is always so over-subscribed.

    Something else I thought Wizard might enjoy is indoor Trec. When I say that, I mean if it is what I think it is then he might enjoy it. I don’t actually know what it entails exactly so I think I’ll have to go and watch one first.

    My cake

    Now is the time of year for the local endurance branch annual meetings and dinner as well as the EGB AGM and gala dinner. These should both be good fun meeting up with friends again and a chance to dress up. The theme for this year’s gala dinner is West End; I think I know what I’m going to wear!

    Continued below…

    A couple of days ago we had a party in our barn. This was initially supposed to be a cider tasting party as the cider we painstakingly made this year from the apples in the orchard was ready. Then it was decided to combine it with an early Halloween bash with witches and broomsticks (we even had an ibroom), and quite coincidentally it turned out to be on my birthday. Unbeknown to me my wonderful friends and family had organised a very special cake for me featuring all four of my beautiful horses. Nobody, but nobody is going to eat the heads of any of my horses! It’s times like this that I realise what a lucky person I am having fantastic friends and family, wonderful horses, living in the best place in the country and, of course, enjoying the amazing sport of endurance to the full!

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