Saturday, 22 May 2010

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I had every intention of schooling Himself last night. Sadly the weather put paid to my enthusiasm. Glorious sunshine all whilst I was trapped in the office, and then the clouds opened at 4pm. The rain had subsided before I arrived at the yard, unfortunately Quadi had managed to find himself a mud patch in which to wriggle around in. Little worm! There was no hope of having him suitably clean or dry enough for tack so I fed him and chucked him back out...

Today it reached 26C, and I rode at lunchtime >:D

I didn't mean to, but got caught up a few chores, like giving the Baby his Very First Bath. He found this agreeable once he realised he would not end up dead. Then I had help trimming Quadi's hooves. In the sun, I was dying on my backside! We'd also had some clearing of hay and poop in the field so I was glad to get in the saddle for a rest!

Despite Fin being mid-bath on our way out, Quadi managed to tear himself from the yard. A couple of stop-starts but better than I expected. The sun had slipped behind a high cloud so our walk out was very pleasant, we even managed a little trot without any hysterics, and the forest was reasonably cool, humidity aside.

As we turned right for our first circuit of The Loop, Quadi took great offense to the now-fallen over water container, we had a few stops and sideways steps but we managed past it and onto a great canter. He spooked at something at the top of the brae so good brakes on this occasion! We also had a canter up the next part of the track, the forest was abandoned. Unusual for the weekend, I guess people had better places to be in the blazing midday sun :)

Mr Princess took exception to being asked to go around for a second time. Some ploughing backwards and indignant halts, but he passed the water container better this time. And I put my foot on the loud pedal! He took a good contact in the reins and really levelled out up the hill. I wish there were more room to do fast work with him...

After this he was a little jog-joggy, and heading up the next part of the track he was fine in walk. Instead of cantering I asked for a sedate trot. He returned with his head in the air and forged through the rein into a really daft big trot/canter/trot/canter every two strides. I harshed the good work we were doing by asking for trot, I should have continued in walk.

As we came back to the relative cool of the forest shade, Quadi started playing up again. I wanted to return home using the track we came along. As we stood that was furthest away, near the water container. Quadi assumed I wanted to go past the Scary Thing a third time. Which was tantamount to horse abuse in his little herbivore brain. He is nothing if not imaginative, we have a new evasion!

Once he realised that marching backwards over tree stumps, divots, etc, was making no impression, he decided to try his new tack. I reasonably and gently asked him to make a move forwards and he set his neck, ran through the right rein (his stiffer but stronger side), reared, plunged forwards. And reared, and plunged forwards. And reared, and I think you get the picture. He was in enough of a huff to keep this up the whole way home. I found myself bouncing through trees trying to wrestle a horse normally quite sensitive of the mouth! My upper body strength is non-existent, my arms are vestigial...I wouldn't fight a horse anyway but certainly I wasn't going to win this one.

I regained some semblance of control, dismounted, and walked him straight to the water container. In his mind, the danger is genuine because he was apprehensive even with me on foot. I asked him to sniff and touch the container. Which he did, and he was rewarded with praise and pats on the neck. We moved further along the track, and I mounted up (from the ground, not something I usually like to do but pleased I even could!), and he moved off happily. Go figure! I walked him a little further and, when it was my idea to do so, turned and retraced our steps to the track I wanted to use in the first place. We managed some flexions with varying degrees of success. By this point we were both tired, he was rather sweaty but only after having the aforedescribed hissy fits.

Home was reached without further incident and I gave him a bath. Despite the glorious start to the morning I ended up doing this in the rain but the water was brown running off of him so it was clearly overdue.

Quadrado, of course, pointedly rolled immediately on turnout. Didn't even wait until I couldn't see him do so!


  1. hoping to do the bath thing tomorrow if the weather holds...

  2. seems that bathing is a blogging theme at the moment :-)