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Riding

Tuesday, 02 May 2006

Bonnie sights of spring

daffodils

I was in the saddle today for the first time since March. Instead of riding Clyde, I was on Bonnie. I couldn’t believe the difference! She was so smooth, and had a wonderful gait; I didn’t realise how heavy-hooved Clyde is. Bonnie was quite a piglet, though, and I had to continually stop her from trying to eat (luckily Clyde has given me good practice in this area). She is the one who also happens to be afraid of drains, and I discovered that this is along with everything else - the sound of tractors, birds, sheep (although the ‘baas’ were particularly frightening, I must admit)...

Another thing that Bonnie kept doing was refusing to go in puddles, even if this meant trying to trot off into the trees. This was most annoying when we were in full canter, Bonnie spotted the leftovers from the April showers, stopped, backed up, and did a flying jump over it. This was all in the space of about three seconds, so as not to be left behind, and I nearly went over. Luckily, I recovered quickly enough, and I knew for next time.

It was very strange to feel my legs in a different position over Bonnie’s (rather smaller) belly, even though her light step got quite annoying when we were sailing over puddles or arrived back at the yard and she made for the hay buckets after rubbing her sweaty nose all over me. All in all, though, it was a great ride, and I’m looking forward to trying some other ponies (or, if the tall people aren’t there, horses) in the future, too. I am ever loyal to Clyde, however. Apparently he always tries it on with Bonnie, the only mare in their field, but she kicks him and makes for Henry. Ah, the perils of teenage lust…

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Friday, 30 December 2005

It’s official

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My last ride of the year at school was rather nice, back on 13th December. We went through the hill of not-so-orange trees again, although Clyde was a little lazy and we didn’t get to gallop, even though everyone else did. His girth was also a little loose - maybe he’s losing weight since our regular excursions! But that could be why he didn’t want to go so fast.

I have enjoyed riding in the autumn this past term, and even though Autumn is long gone and officially over, and the brown-leaved trees will be bare when I next ride, I’m sure winter hacking will be just as much fun…watch this space.

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Wednesday, 07 December 2005

Bucking

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More riding today - it was lots of fun, as usual. We went very quickly, and had a lot of cantering and quite a few gallops, even. I love galloping; it is very smooth, as at such a fast pace there is hardly any bouncing. It is actually almost a bit like a seated trot in that sense.

It was a very eventful ride: Flash lost her saddle, and while we stopped, I let Clyde onto the outside lawn of a country house (at least that bit belongs to the Council!), accidentally, and somehow we ended up in front of Roxy, around the middle of the ride. Needless to say, there was trouble; the next time we were cantering along, I felt a jerk, and nearly went over Clyde’s head - he had bucked at Roxy! Next time we stopped, I got him to the back where we’re comfortable. At least that way we go quickly, because he doesn’t like to be left behind!

Holly.
Today I got a scratch from some holly while we were cantering through a rather narrow forest path. Yesterday was Holly’s birthday.

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Friday, 02 December 2005

Biting, stalling, and Roxy

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For some reason the blog wasn’t working yesterday, but I will continue with the story of my ride on Tuesday.

Normally, Clyde and I ride behind Bonnie; on Tuesday, however, someone from our group was ill, and we rode behind Roxy. It should be mentioned that Roxy seems to dislike Clyde; we cannot stand near her, as she gets all upset, and she gave several warning kicks when she felt we got too close during the ride—it’s not our fault she’s slow! I have heard Clyde refered to as “the biter” by people who know the stables; I’ve never seen this to be true, although I’m not sure if he did steal a few friendly nibbles from Roxy’s bottom on the hack. At one point, she stopped still, turned around and positively glared at Clyde before trotting on to catch up. She was constantly trotting up to William, as well. Honestly!

Clyde is perfectly friendly with the other horses and ponies. He and William shared a few horse-kisses while we were stopping on Tuesday, and none of the others seem to have a problem with him! So I guess it must just lie with Roxy.

During our ride we had a rather nice canter (on more solid ground - it was a bit uncomfortable when the ground was muddy or too leafy) through an avenue of the above tree, although I couldn’t notice the orange stuff (see bigblue’s entry) and we were going quite fast. There was also another hilly area in the forest, which was nice, too. Put me in mind for a mountain trek in Lesotho.

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Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Hack

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Riding today was wonderful. It was slower than usual - and slow cantering, especially in the mud, isn’t too comfortable - but it meant that we did a lot of trotting on the road, which I enjoy, and that most of the time we were in the forest we cantered. Today Clyde and I were behind Roxy…but that, perhaps, is a story for tomorrow!

We took a different route today, with lots of tall trees (always a good thing!), and leaves carpeting the ground. In places it was quite muddy, but there was also a lot of hard ground. Despite the heavy exercising, Clyde was in a pretty good mood; I’m pleased, because he was in a complete huff when I left last week, and had his ears flat against his head when I arrived today! He made one whopper of a wee today while we were standing still in the forest! It was so disgusting.

bigblue arrived back from Dubai tonight. It sounds like he had a really great time, but now he has to go back to work! I’m looking forward to hearing more tomorrow.

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Wednesday, 23 November 2005

At the back of the ride

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The reason I wanted to take pictures of Autumn with bigblue is that each Tuesday I go riding in these pictures. Today, Clyde (my ride) was a little more reluctant than last week, although he was keen enough to gallop when he wanted to overtake Bonnie, who was in front of us!

Since we’ve been back from our half term break, the rides have been very autumny, with much more galloping (we only really trotted and cantered before) through the spindly forest paths - watch out for that branch! And those, over there! And that o—ouch! But I’ve remained on the saddle, and scratch-free *touches wood*. It is getting much colder and darker now, as we ride from about 14.30-16.00, so my ski jacket and riding gloves are out; although my jacket got very muddy today from all the splashing!

It’s getting dark early now. On the way home from school at about 16.45, we got a beautiful sunset from the bus.

I phoned bigblue tonight to say bon voyage. I’m sure he’ll have a great time in Dubai, although we’ll miss him here.

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