Well here we are in 2012 and already the weeks are flying past! I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas and a nice rest — it seems a really long time ago now.
Since Olympia Pop has been out in the field enjoying a well deserved break — it was such a shame turning him after his big day as he looked so clean. I thought it might give me a little break over Christmas with him turned away, but how wrong I was!
The short winter days make it hard for me to ride while I am working full-time, so I made the most of my time off over Christmas and rode Sandy (my Welsh B) and Francis (my Dartmoor) every day. I was pleased with how both came along with some regular work.
And Francis has had a few outings, the first of which was a winter show. With Mum away for the day, I managed to rope in my best friend Nina for what I thought would be a quick, quiet outing. How wrong I was! Everybody seemed to have had the same idea and so I had to keep Nina warm by plying her with hot chocolate until it was eventually time for our class.
After a small blip in our first class, where Francis was still in ‘first ridden’ mode — he assumed he didn’t have to canter round the back — he got himself together to win both the restricted and open class. Thanks to a much better show, he qualified for the BSPS champs. Accompanied by my expert new groom, we did a quick turn around and headed home. I can’t decide whether turning out and feeding via torchlight is my least favourite part of winter showing, or trying to clean muddy hairy ponies!
Then last weekend we had a real adventure when we headed out hunting for the day. After a minor incident in the morning, which left me and the lorry needed to be towed out by my Dad, we eventually got to the meet late! Poor Francis had his tack chucked on and, before he had time to wonder what was going on, we were off.
The meet was really large and I didn’t know how Francis would cope having never been around this many ponies, but I needn’t have worried as he was a complete star. As he is usually so quiet, I hadn’t considered putting in a stronger bit, but 10min later I was wishing I had!
He really got into the spirit of it and once going did not want to stop. Ditches, fences, hills, mud, bridges — he did it all! Four hours or so later I was aching all over and knew I needed to head for home. I am definitely not as fit as I use to be and my hands certainly had a few blisters!
It was a fantastic day out and certainly gave Francis a bit of interest. It was lovely to be able to let our hair down a bit. I had forgotten how much fun hunting was having not been for many years. We both really enjoyed it and isn’t that really what having horses is all about?