Nicky, my instructor, came yesterday, and I managed to say that I was taking a break for a couple of weeks. The fact is, Mr O is on holiday next week anyway, and I can't have a lesson while he's off. The actual lesson went very well, and I do feel we're both making progress. In fact, as Barnaby is behaving himself, it is showing up my riding faults and giving me an opportunity to learn to keep everything still and not work so hard. Oh the joys of a forward going horse! There have to be some bonuses, don't there?
So I am going to get myself in a routine of two hacks to one schooling session, like this:
Monday: day off
and that will have to do. I am not flogging us both to death with schooling, when that's not what I got Barnaby for. I've got him because he hacks out flawlessly and that's what I love about him.
And it's just as well, because I hacked out on Tuesday, got onto a bend in a narrow lane and could hear a big vehicle coming towards me. I tucked Barnaby into the hedge and stuck my right arm out, hoping the driver would see it as I came round the corner, but he was driving a lorry and gunning it, until in the end I just stood there and shouted, "Don't hit me!" and he managed to pull up about two feet away from me. My heart was pounding and I rode on, just about managing to squeeze past him. I did say, "Thanks very much!" as I rode past, and the driver was as white as a sheet, but it's a narrow country lane, for goodness sake, what does he expect? It could have been an old person out walking who wouldn't have been able to get out of the way in time. Or what if it had been a tractor coming towards him and the boot was on the other foot? There are loads of them about at the moment because of cutting the hay. I wish I'd taken his number now, but I was just relieved to be alive at the time.
I don't know if I told you that one of the goslings injured himself last week? I think he caught his foot running through some long grass and thistles near the pond, as it looked broken. Anyway, I told Missis and we separated him off from the other goslings as they were distressed about leaving him and he didn't want to be left. He went downhill quite rapidly, then revived for a while. I asked Missis if she would take him to her vet and have him put to sleep, but she didn't. I am quite cross about it, to be honest. By Monday I'd decided enough was enough and Mr O and I 'did the deed.' Poor thing, but at least he isn't suffering any more.
The other goslings are huge now, and I am putting out extra food for them in the mornings. I decided to watch them for a while yesterday and I noticed they are chasing the ducks off the food. They aren't frightened of the ducks at all, even though they are a year younger.
And the other thing I really must tell you, is that Missis says she may well sell Hugo and give up riding. They would keep Lyndy, but I don't know where this leaves us. She is upset about it, obviously. I do agree that Hugo is too much for her. He is a competition horse after all, and being left in a field and ridden once a week is not his idea of a good time. He has chucked Missis off twice in the school, then pushed her right across the stable not long after that, and she seems to have really lost her confidence, which is slightly understandable, but I wouldn't let a horse get into a situation where it could do that to me.
While Nicky was here last week, Missis actually broached the subject of Nicky taking him to her yard to school for selling, so we'll see what happens. Pongo and Missis are going on holiday at the end of July, and it wouldn't surprise me if Missis sent Hugo to Nicky's just before that. Either way, although I appreciate that it's a difficult decision to make, I think Missis should make her mind up about what she's doing and stick to it. It took me a long time to make up my mind to sell Max, but I didn't announce it until I knew I was going to go through with it. Every time she says this she then rides Hugo for a couple of days, as if she's changed her mind, so we'll see.
Never a dull moment round here.