I may have got a little excited…
Sonya took us on a mega-awesome hack today. We essentially rode most of the fun-ride that we’re running on Sunday, minus the first half an hour (cross country field and initial gates etc). It was pretty cool. I was given the lovely young Tilly (horse, not girl) to ride out. She’s such a sweet pony although because she’s so young I was mildly concerned about how she would behave on a hack.
Turns out, she was the sweetest most beautifully behaved thing ever. I adore her! I realised how amazing she was going to be when we were trotting up a hill with Fox skitting sideways and turning his bum on us and Lucky breaking into canter in front of us, and she didn’t bat an eyelid. We continued trotting up the hill nice and chilled, not even trying to take off or get strong. At that point I thought “oh, this mare is superb”.
When we did finally have a canter, I found myself unable to stop grinning. Emma started squeaking because Lucky got a little bit over-excited with her, but Tilly and I just cantered along, happy as you like. We had an absolutely lovely time over all. Lots of nice chilled out trot work, three fantastic speedy canters and beautiful weather to boot. It was when we entered the final field that my excitement really kicked in. It was absolutely massive and I know my face must have lit up when taking in that space. “Sonya, this is fantastic, can we go?!”, she laughed at me, as the yard staff so often do. But we went! And boy did we go!
By far the most entertaining moment of the hack was Amy’sattempt at gymnastics. Africa bucked for some unknown reason (does she need one?) which bizarrely resulted in Amy ended up thrown forward over Maggie’s neck with her right leg sticking out in space. From my position of being directly behind her, I found the whole thing incredibly funny and cracked up completely. Oh Amy. That girl makes me chuckle, she really does.
I also rode Bryn again today. He had a physio treatment on Wednesday which we were fortunate enough to observe, the outcome of which was that he needed to do certain exercises in order to help strengthen some of his muscles. Some of these are ridden exercises which basically involve a lot of transition work. The aim of which is to encourage him to use his hind legs and quarters more. For the most part it was going from walk to halt, and halt to walk, with a little bit of trot thrown in. It went pretty well for the first five minutes, until he got wise to the fact that I was going to continue asking him to stop every few strides. At which point he decided to put up a fight. So we spent ten minutes with me walking him into the fences in order to get him to halt.
At some point, something happened, and he suddenly clicked in to me. The head came down, the neck came round and I found myself with enormous control. This massive, gigantic, gargantuan animal completely submitted control to me. Me! He responded to my leg immediately, every time. The tiniest pressure on the reins had him slowing down, waiting for the next piece of information. I was in so much shock I almost forgot what I was meant to be doing. We worked for about another half an hour like this, and I really felt like he was following through with his back legs and working hard for me. I was getting some lovely square halts by the end, and finished the ride on a doozy, dead on X. What a good lad!
Between my two rides, I spent most of my time playing with Sonya’s adorable puppy, Piper. She really is the cutest thing ever. I want to steal her away. She’s super active, and finds joy in the simplest of things. Today I played with her and Gorilla, her very favourite toy. We played and played and played. She ran off with gorilla, squonking merrily (the gorilla makes a noise that sounds like ‘squonk’) and then belted back across the yard straight into my lap, to lie there and chew on gorilla. I think Sonya is a very brave woman, allowing her puppy out with students around; we’re all plotting how to steal her!
I also took birthday presents round to my grandmother, it being her birthday today. She was delighted, but then who wouldn’t be with that many presents plonked in front of them? And then I cooked supper for me and Tillington. I got a little creative and kept throwing extra things into the mix, so we ended up with rather a lot of food on our plates. Nothing left by the time we’d finished though. Working with horses makes for hungry girls!
All in all, a good day for me. Although I have a slight headache. Tomorrow Tillie and I are going to go out and do stuff. Not 100% sure where we’ll be going or what we’ll be doing, but the plan is to actually have a proper day off rather than wasting time. We explored a fair bit while we were in Ireland, and it seems silly that we’ve never done any of that around here. Where we live!
So I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be nice 🙂 And I am going to wear a dress. Oh yes. A dress. You heard me. Almost like a real woman!