This Monday, I went up to the yard again to hack out on the gorgeous Shire that is Morpheus. My friend Emily took us a different way, and both Morph and Trinity were not a little excited. We squeezed through overgrown yew hedges, trotted across fields and past noisy tractors and had fabulous canters on the flat.
Looking after this amazing creature afterwards and getting groomed by him in return is something I love as much as the hack out. And seeing as the weather decided to offload some serious showers right after we had returned, the timing seemed to have been perfect too.
Let’s see what next Friday brings when I am up at the yard again.
Well, before said Friday, I went to Hickstead with friend on Thursday! Thanks to a voucher, we only paid for the car parking. This sort of offer is usually available in newspapers like the Friday Ad or the Mid Sussex Times. Very useful as it saved us £22 per head!
We watched a Working Hunter showing class, came really close to Pippa Funnell, bumped into Tim Stockdale and had fabulous seats on the grandstand for the showjumping class where all the famous names were competing at rather scary heights. I really like the course at Hickstead with its grassy banks and birch trees flanking several of the jumps.
Thankfully we were able to find spots of shade during the entire day as the temperatures were around 32 degrees. For the first time ever, I had taken a freezer pouch which didn’t just keep my lunch fresh but was invaluable in cooling me down when the afternoon grew hotter and hotter.
It was absolutely amazing to get really close to the riders and horses thrashing past us, especially during the eventing competition.
This morning, i.e. on Friday, the heavens opened at around 7am, and until 9 the thunder rolled through East Grinstead. Well, nothing can stop me from going to the yard! On our hack out, we rode across a golf course and it turns out, my huge beast of a Shire horse is scared of golf clubs! and golfing bags as it happens. Neither cars, lorries, dogs barking from above us, water rushing underneath us nor a bright orange duvet dumped in the forest bothered him in the slightest but elderly men on their golfing rounds motivated Morph from plodding to a nice alertness 😀
This Monday, I joined Em on Morph again to ride across the golf course together with a friend on a marvellously cracking heavyweight skewbald called Percy. I am very proud to report that I was able to lead the ride without getting scared even once. Morph was really rather switched on and enjoyed exploring new paths.
The following Thursday, I rode out with Em and her son Theo (9). It was both Theo’s and his pony’s, Thomas’, second hack out, and we all totally enjoyed it. Still can’t believe that Thomas is only 3, he behaved so well! Thanks to Theo there was a lot of trotting and cantering involved.
A day later, Caroline joined the three of us on Flossy, and thanks to Theo we went on a long round which took us through beautiful forest, past fields with stunning views across the Downs up to a field with horses on, a huge excitement in itself. The last bit down from a field, we saw a deer ahead of us which unfortunately decided to stay in front, jumping into the barbed wire fence where it wriggled and got stuck further and more severely with every move. I am just hoping, Theo kept his promise to show the farmer where the deer had got stuck in order to free it.
This Monday, I went to the yard for a last ride before everyone is going on holiday. When I arrived, Trinity was fast asleep in the straw snoring that the rafters shook! Dooley searched me for some treats as always. The others had gone to a hunt with Thomas, the pony and Millie, the Shetland pony.
Emily and I went on a lovely hack out together, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2 weeks time. Might have my first jumping lesson on Morph that week.
16 days later, and I have finally been in the saddle again! No idea why I still get butterflies prior to going to the yard. As soon as I arrive, however, the feeling subsides and I am just happy to have the privilege of riding a Shire horse. After 2 weeks of rest, Morph loved the mini hack up the road and back, pretending to spook even at blackbirds flying and leaves flapping. When there was a car we needed to give way to, Morph got very excited as I was holding him back. It was just so lovely to see how much he was enjoying himself out and about. The fact that I lost my crop pretty early on didn’t make any difference as he really didn’t need persuading at all. The sun had come out too, and I relished every second of the little ride out.