It's been a hectic few days. Last Tuesday Mr O had the day off to go to hospital for physio. This meant we could hack out together in the afternoon, which we did. It was all rather fab, but when we got back it turned out Zak has lost a shoe. Mr O was a bit baffled and couldn't think how he'd done it.
This caused a crisis as Mr O was desperate to go show jumping on Sunday. I quickly text our farrier to see if he could come out and put a shoe on in an emergency and he text back to say it wasn't very likely as he was skiing in Austria! Marvellous. I rang the riding school to see who they use and they gave me the number for Nasty Farrier, so that was no good. In the end I rang Lucy Goosie to find out who she uses and she gave me his number.
Fortunately he was in the area the next day and came at three o'clock. I said it would be fine if he just wanted to put one shoe on but if he could do a set that would be brilliant as the others were wafer thin. He moaned and grumbled and criticised my farrier's work and was very insulting to my previous yard owner. You know like when you go to the hairdressers and they always say, "Goodness, who did your hair last time?" I always want to reply, "You did!" I think the horse world is far too small to go round slating people. It's bound to come back to you, isn't it? Pongo did it when we went to see Fudge. He was slating a certain person in front of the seller, and it turned out she knew the person Pongo was talking about. Imagine if she'd said, "That's my aunt!" wouldn't you just die of embarrassment?
Anyway, it was all very confusing but eventually he did all four shoes and they look fine. They only had to stay on until Sunday (which they did!)
And so to the showjumping. I liked the place on sight and when I saw the jumps I wish I'd brought Barnaby. Mr O was very nervous. The journey was very good. The equestrian centre is very close to Southwell racecourse. I was praying there wouldn't be a race meeting on as surrounding Zak with loads of lorries containing excited racehorses wouldn't have gone down very well at all.
It was all clear though, so we arrived and unloaded Zak and went to register. Mr O decided to do the 75cm and 85cm courses. They were still doing the clear round and then came the 65cm so we had plenty of time. We tacked Zak up and Mr O took him down to the warm up ring. They just walked round until the class started. I put his number on the board and he went into the jumping ring. Zak was jumping with style, which is just as well as Mr O was fifth to go in, and to my absolute joy he went clear. The fences were all lovely and simple, nowhere near as intimidating as Marchington was, they were more like the sort of thing we'd set up at home.
I think Mr O was astonished he went clear and had two fences down in the jump-off , which were both his fault. He did the 85cm and had one fence down but it has to be said that Zak actually jumped really well. I don't know if Mr O ought to have slightly shorter stirrups as he lost a stirrup going over one fence. He also forgets to actually tell Zak to jump. Sometimes I still wonder if he can see a stride. Zak likes to jump but he still likes to be told when. You can't be a passenger on this horse, you have to work with him. (I am quite happy to debate this as I also believe to a certain extent that the horse should work it out for himself. If I told Max when to take off he'd have been quite cross as he 'knew pefectly well thankyou!')
All in all I am thrilled at how he went. Unfortunately there aren't any photos as I left my camera at home (and I'm pretty hopeless at photographing showjumping anyway). He was very relaxed about the whole thing. I think Mr O needs a few more lessons. We've been so focused on 'Can this horse do this?' that now it's time to tidy Mr O up a bit. He comes too far out of the saddle when he goes over the fence and his elbows are out a bit too much, so that's what we need to concentrate on next, but I am pleased to say, 'The boy done good!' Well done Zaky Zak, I am proud of you (oh, and you too, Mr O!)