Sunday, May 27, 2007

Warren Barn Pleasure Ride

Warren Barn Pleasure Ride - 7th May 2007

After Frensham we had no doubts about doing this – except the last time I was here I fell off after 10 minutes and ended the ride there.

The problem was a steep down hill track through the woods that Herbs decided to canter -being young and unbalanced the whole ride blew his mind a bit and a particularly nasty tree branch sticking out on the left had me off.

This time I was a little nervous but much more confident in Herbs. The trouble is, you go back somewhere where you had a drama and no matter how far you’ve come, until you “bury the ghost” it’s always in the back of your mind.

I was assured however, that the route had changed since the last time I rode there, apparently because there were quite a few dramas on the downhill, so I didn’t actually expect to encounter it.

The journey there is easy and we were quite chilled out until I realised I’d left my body protector at home. Now I NEVER ride out without wearing it, owing to past experiences, and to have come to a cross country ride without it was a bit stressy.

Fortunately, some friends from the yard had excess body protectors (somehow?!) so I borrowed one and prepared to set off.

We kept the first part of the ride sensible, as usual, and Herbs and Coy were very well behaved. Then we found the water………… Well we were warned at the start that the water ditch was deep “because someone left the tap on overnight” – huh?? But this was something we just had to get the boys through – an opportunity not to be missed.
Ok, here comes the embarrassing bit. Herbs doesn’t care about water, puddles large and small don’t exist to him when we’re out riding, in fact sometimes when I want to keep his legs dry it’s an effort to make him walk round them because he doesn’t understand why he cant just go straight through.

Coy on the other hand used to hate water; puddles and soggy mud were a big no no. Over the last year or so he has overcome much of his fear through gentle encouragement and sometimes pure persuasion so one would think that a water ditch would be a bit of a scary event for him.


No, No, No.

Herbs wouldn’t even approach it, and when pushed on simply kept backing up – oh the shame! Whereas Coy continued to take tentative steps, often backing out sideways once his feet were wet but the brave lad didn’t give up. Herbie by contrast stood rooted to the spot and kept going backwards if I tried to encourage him past a certain point – his legs weren’t even wet!

After much encouragement from Sharon and a risky bit of wading from Tara (not to mention hysterics from Mandy on the other side of the water – who incidently was getting this on video!) Coy finally took the big plunge and got about a third of the way through. This was followed by a longing look at the side of the ditch (not a good way out) and a hasty retreat but two girls on other horses were hard on our heels and came to the rescue.

A lead proved invaluable and once the other two horses had gone across Coy was far braver. I took the opportunity to practically shove Herbs’ nose up the bum of the last horse and together, the woosy grey man and his ‘genuinely scared of water but oh so brave’ buddy made it through. Not only that, the cheeky so called tough Irishman got to the otherside first!

The ride through was not without its interesting points as Coy realised that the water was way past his knees and splashing up to private parts that simply shouldn’t be splashed! Herbs was a little less worried being bigger but I just cant get over the fact that he plain made up his mind that no way was he going to be brave – “me mate can do that”.

Well, after the drama, another ride through was essential and this was drama free – who knows what will happen next time we face a water ditch though???

Next, just up the hill and across a field, we DID come across that scary downhill “ghost”. So much for the route having changed, I was a bit jumpy about it but the woods had been cleared away so much that the path through is now really wide which made me feel a lot better about it. Consequently, the walk down was uneventful.

The rest of the ride was lovely, lots of beautiful countryside, and perfectly well behaved ponies.

For what must be the millionth time in the blog I must say; schooling, a good bond, trust, love and time really does pay off. If you put enough effort it, they will listen to you and give the same effort back.

The ride finished with a horseshoe jump which I must admit I was debating. As I rode towards it I decided it looked a bit scary but then again where better to fall off than where there are a million people to pick you up? Ok, it would be grossly embarrassing but I'm sure I was also quite buoyed up about doing it as the ride had been so much fun.

Herbs gave it a good look and jumped it a bit wonky but since that was 100% me thinking “will he, won't he” I am proud that we did.

I didn’t buy these pics because they are not that good, but for the blog, have a nosey.