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Sunday, 11 April 2010

Big Cob, Little Cob

Where do I start? Oh yes, the woman who came to try Max out with her daughter rang to say she thought it would be better if her daughter had some more lessons, as she was still very nervous, and not ready to take on a horse of her own yet. Actually I'm inclined to agree. She said Max was a lovely horse and she had passed my number onto a friend who was looking for a horse, but in the meantime it still leaves me the 'proud' owner of two horses. Hmmm.

She actually said quite a few nice things about Max, and about my riding, and it must have lulled me into a false sense of security, as I decided to ride him yesterday, with Mr O on Zak. It all began well, Max was actually sort of sleepwalking, but suddenly woke up when he saw a man with two dogs in a field, that had no right to be there as far as he was concerned, and was a bit scatty after that. We carried on into the village and he wasn't too bad, past the mad dog at the pub etc, but when we got past the village hall, he suddenly decided it was time to canter up the road and went off like a rocket. I shouted to Mr O to block the road, but it was too late, and Max carried on past him until I could pull him up. After that I decided if he had that much energy he could jolly well trot all the way up the hill, so he did. Silly horse. I was totally fed up when we got home. At least I'm reminded why I'm selling him.

But I decided not to let that spoil what was actually a beautiful day. We have bought some cucumber and courgette plants, a butternut squash and a pepper. I have bought one of those 'put-you-up' greenhouses, which I've always wanted. I think it could be a great success, and if it is I'll buy another one. I need something to protect my plants from the chickens and the cats, so the cover on it is perfect. I've also bought some Busy Lizzies and lobelia's, so I'm going to have a lot to do over the next few days.

I managed to get into Arcade Crafts too. I could spend hours in there, just browsing. I bought some beautiful, tiny, polkadot buttons, which I am dying to use, plus some more brads, some tall slim card blanks, to make a change from square ones. I also bought some card sentiments, that looked smarter than ones I can print off on the computer. I've bought something to use as a card for Pongo, whose birthday is in May, so I'll show you that as soon as I've made it.

Don't forget, I also had my first lay-in yesterday. It was bliss. I came out and Mr O had done all the stables. What a fabulous feeling. I am so blessed. To my surprise, by the time I got up this morning, Mr O had done all the stables again. I don't know why anyone wants to get up as early as he does at the weekend, but who am I to intervene? Why stand in his way?

And so to this afternoon, the highlight of my entire weekend. Mr O rode Zak and I rode Barnaby, and we rode down to the lake at a very picturesque place called Stubbing Court. Lots of people were out for a stroll, and I felt very proud to be seen on such a fabulous horse. Barnaby was impeccably behaved all the way round, and I had my first proper canter on him with another horse. His canter is quite different to Max's. For a big horse, he doesn't cover a lot of ground with each stride, and he pulled up exactly when I told him to.
We had another canter on a verge next to the road on the way home, and I opened him up and let him extend himself, and he was fantastic. This is what riding is all about.
I had had the idea that I would take Barnaby to the show next weekend and ride Max on the pleasure ride the weekend after, as I could still be too nervous to do it on Barnaby by then. But today has convinced me to do both events on Barnaby. If I'm going to put the 'pleasure' into 'pleasure ride' I need to have a horse I can trust, don't I? Otherwise, where is the enjoyment in it? So my focus is to fitten Barnaby as the first pleasure ride is fourteen miles, and I'm going to school him twice this week as I need to be able to ride him in a double bridle next week at the show.
But the best thing is that I have woken up in the morning and thought, 'I'm going to ride!' and been really excited. To be honest, I can't remember the last time I felt like that, and it's wonderful.

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