You can read the first instalment here – Matt’s Diary.
I was reminded of Wales today – wet, windy and cold. The good news is that Young Mum brought me in for breakfast and showed me my new stable. I wasn’t sure it was really mine to begin with. So I stood on the threshold snorting at the huge deep bed. It looked fluffy. It definitely wasn’t straw. But it looked quite comfortable so I stepped in. It was practically palatial, Otis could have joined me in there!
After nibbling some hay, inspecting the tiny trough of water that never empties, and having breakfast, I settled myself down for a duvet day. How wrong I was! With a gap in the weather, I was lunged quickly and then turned out with my snuggy rug on. The Pessoa didn’t seem so hard today and I could think about the downward transitions Young Mum had been trying to get me to do in our lesson.
In the afternoon The Chauffeur visited. He fed me and apparently did a good tucking Otis into bed.
Another early morning today. This time I was ready though! I didn’t expect to have my travel boots on and be led up to the trailer ramp again! I’d only just arrived!
It was only a short journey today, and I was traveling in style in Otis’s big trailer – luxurious! When we stopped I realised where we were – a sponsored ride! My favourite! Young Mum tacked me up, I wondered if we were going on our own – boring! But we had company. In the shape of the two biggest horses I’d ever met! I mean, I’d heard rumours of giant hunter horses, and of course the huge farm horses.
The ride was awesome! Young Mum let me jump everything – ditches, logs, palisades, hedges, drops, bales. It was such a blast! My giant companions were very competitive, so I let them fight it out for first place while I cruises behind; after all, they’d never live it down if little old me were to gallop past them….
I tried not to show it, but I was a tad tired today. Young Mum brought me breakfast in bed and I spent the day chilling and eating in my field.
I was getting used to table service by this morning, walking across the field to greet Young Mum.
This afternoon, though, everything changed! I saw Young Mum walking towards the gate, so I whinnied to her and then started heading over. But she didn’t have a bucket! When she picked up my headcollar from the gate I stopped, turned round and walked back towards my dust bowl. If she wanted me to work, she could come and get me!
So she brought me in for “a quick lunge” because she was running late and had already ridden lots of other horses already. And she kept stopping to talk! So, Otis and I had a little scratch to pass the time. I suddenly felt someone stroking my elbows.
“Ooh he’s like velvet!” Cooed this woman. “So soft… Like a velvet teddy bear!” I turned to look at her. She was leaning against me, stroking me.
And I thought Welsh people were weird!
This morning we practiced for our dressage lesson doing lots of balanced transitions and doing something called “self-carriage” which is when I’m meant to hold myself in an outline! I thought them on top do all the hard work! Young Mum was pleased, but I decided she needed to know I wasn’t going to be perfect all the time… So with the next slam of a stable door I careered from one end of the arena to the other! Young Mum didn’t move! I had forgotten how much like Velcro she is. Disappointed that my trick didn’t work I was even more disappointed that I had to do even more cantering!
Another early start. Today was lesson day. We did medium trot – my favourite – hundreds of transitions; walk to canter – another favourite – and then some more of that silly sideways shoulder-in thing. And another silly sideways thing called travers. It was very difficult! But Teacher said my topline muscles were getting bigger, so I got another gold star for that.
This afternoon we had a visit from The Chauffeur. Poor Young Mum had had an accident with another horse so he was on duty. No complaints from me, he cleaned my field for the second time today. I could get used to this sort of luxury!
Young Mum was back today, very sore and stiff, but thankfully okay. I told her not to worry about poo-picking, it could wait for The Chauffeur on Saturday.
By the afternoon she was a bit better, so we did some ground work where she got me to turn small circles and bring my inside hind leg under my body. I like to leave my right hind out behind me, so it’s supposed to be good for strengthening it. Apparently when I have a stronger inside leg I’ll find lateral stuff easier and will be able to “push” myself along. We’ll see.
She told me to behave for The Chauffeur because she was going home to visit Old Mum this weekend. She was supposed to be looking after Old Mum, but by the looks of it, it will be the other way round!