Thursday, 19 February 2009

Thoughts, plans and a little bit of guilt

So, it's been a fairly odd week here. For a start it's half term and the kids are home, secondly my friend has been off work for half of it.
Now, the kids being home would normally be a time to get things done and do a fair bit of riding but, since the pony died at Christmas, there is a very definate lack of interest in that direction. Kind of leaves me in an odd position as there was never any way I would have taken all this on if I didn't have my helpers. So now I'm left with a horse I can't ride, a horse I can't ride unaccompanied and Fally plus stables, bales etc etc. Home is now the place of teenage romance and drama, late nights and hiding out in the bedroom all day. Great.
Luckily I have Gemma around for the first half of the week and she feels the need for "horse therapy".
I had been playing with the idea of lunging Holly or something but honestly that was about as far as I'd got - thinking about it - well Gemma took it to the next level, comandeered part of the garden and set to work. So Holly was lunged several days in a row ( which probably came as quite a shock to her since she's done practically nothing since Christmas - 3 rides don't really count for much) and we rode the other 2.
This brings me to Wednesday. Gemma back at work and I'm at the yard on my own ( again) okay so I decided to go for it - what the hell, why not ? I lunged Holly and then took Fally out for a hack around the roads. It's charity collection day and the roads are infested with green bags. Obviously these contain gremlins and have to be snorted at and given the evil eye. We went on the pavement at one point to get past a place that was having the drive done. Interesting - a truck full of hardcore being unloaded by a minidigger isn't as scary as a small rockery against someone's garden fence - maybe the gremlins were in there as well. Anyway, we had a nice wander around and went back to the yard. Then I looked at Harvey.
Well there is a problem. This is the horse that can't be ridden alone, 18.2hh of pure wussiness and worry and he's standing there in the stable looking at me.
I have to do something.
Now here is where the guilt bit comes in, I knew he was a wuss -that he wouldn't go out alone and that he wouldn't tie up when I got him ( gift from the local riding school which was "downsizing" ). So really I should have done something about it by now, however I was stuck in my happy bubble with my "helpers" and a horse that won't tie is no big problem when you have an enclosed yard and there's always someone at hand to hold him, ditto not going out alone is also no problem if there is usually someone to ride with. You see where I'm going here ?
Happy little bubble has apparently popped so now something needs to be sorted.
So, okay, I bring him out with a headcollar, tie and groom - no big deal. He keeps craning his neck around and checking where I am just in case I've left him on his own ( real security problem here) but I'm going in and out of the tack room getting brushes and stuff and he's never alone for more than a few seconds. So I counted that as a good start and grabbed a lead rope - we're going for a walk.
The fun started as soon as I closed the gate behind me. He's no longer 18.2 - I think he's somewhere in the region of 22 hands with bugging out eyes and flaring nostrils. We're walking in a kind of oval in the private road outside the yard with him snorting and blowing and looking over the ( 6 foot-odd) wall to check that the others are still in the stables. They are eating and don't care in the slightest. I'm glad I'm wearing toetectors but I'm wondering why I didn't grab hat and gloves as well and actually tell someone what I was doing. This horse is just rigid and very worried but we keep walking and I'm talking garbage to him and finally his head is coming lower and he's paying attention to me and staying off my feet. So we halt, back up and he gets a scratch round the ears and a "good lad" and we go back in - he wants to go straight into his stable but I'm not doing that, he gets to stand by the gate while his rug is put back on and then I turn all 3 out into the field and get the yard cleaned up.
So that was my Wednesday, if there's any suggestions as what I could do differently feel free to make them.


  1. Is Harvey completely OK when with another horse or are there moments of panic with him?

  2. He's spooky but not terrible - he tends to be clingy if he's unsure and crowd the other horse.