Big breakthrough this weekend!
We'd had a good but pretty tough lesson on Saturday and if Max was feeling anywhere near as sore as I was, we just needed to do something different. So I thought we would try to go hacking in the vineyard again.
Just down the road from the paddock is one of our vineyards. Now, vineyards are brilliant for hacking around and doing fitness work. They leave huge headlands at the end of the rows so they can turn the tractors with sprayers etc around. See below:
So this means there is lots of grassed space around the edge of the vineyard which is all nicely mowed, flat and pretty safe. And the whole vineyard is fenced because although vines tend not to stray very much, they graze sheep there in winter. So if you did happen to fall off your horse, he can't go very far!
Even though it is just a mere 400 meters down the road, we took the float because it is not worth the arguments and stress of trying to ride up there. Apparently the roadside is overflowing with horse-eating tigers/lions/lampposts. Not to mention the blood-thirsty alpaccas that appear over the fence occasionally! We arrived, I shut the gate and unloaded the boy. He came off looking like a bit of a giraffe, but settled down when there was no-one to talk to.
I quickly got him saddled up and climbed on from the side of the float (note to self: teach horse to stand next to things for mounting). Off we went, a bit bouncy and syncopated, and indeed, quite giraffe-like. I have found that singing and talking to him helps. But I am not naturally talkative, so quickly run out of things to say, so I resorted to quoting any poetry I could remember. Not much poetry, it seems - a couple of Shakespeare's soliloquies, Spike Milligan, and some Pam Ayres. Poor horse.
But we survived a mostly sane ride right around the block, including across the scarey bridge and under the wind machines. I was so proud of my little guy! There was no way on earth he was going anywhere near the creek but I'm sure we can overcome this. We can go hacking!!!
Wonderful week of training in Louisiana!
1 week ago