It’s Been A Fair Weather Year…

The end of 2018 was looking pretty great. I was healing amazingly from my c-section in June, I’d started my lessons once more and my rather lovely mother-in-law had treated me to an early Christmas present in the form of riding boots. Sounds pretty great right? Well it won’t be ending on such a high note as I prepare to head into surgery this week to repair damage caused during my first pregnancy. Not only does that mean a Christmas being practically immobile, it means another 3 months or more out of the saddle. Just when I thought I was getting myself back out there, another hiatus puts itself in front of me. Now don’t get me wrong, a Christmas on the sofa eating an infinite amount of chocolate whilst watching the little ones open presents doesn’t sound too bad but another three months out of the saddle? I’ve only worn my technical riding leggings twice for goodness sake!?

To prevent an onslaught of “woe is me” moments, I’m trying to look at this as a positive. My health will obviously be improving greatly, in fact after this coming week, I should start feeling like a new woman but that aside, I’m looking at it as a hugely positive step for my husband who’ll be taking (almost) sole charge of the horses. I do like the odd Facetime check up when I’m laid up at home – what horse woman doesn’t right?

Before I can start riding, I’m also going to be taking the opportunity to focus on some more in-hand work with the young ones who, by the way, have been coming on in leaps and bounds. The devil child that is Hattie in particular, dare I say it?

The two boys, Danny and Steve seem to have changed immeasurably since being gelded. They were never particularly terrible, just excitable. That excitement seems to have taken a swift exit along with our summer weather and swapped itself over for a calm and affectionate demeanour. It’s really lovely. Hattie, although no where near what I would deem ‘normal’, whatever that is nowadays, is improving constantly. I thought finally being introduced to the boys would send her overactive brain into meltdown and turn her feral for another three months. Quite the opposite however. Our big lad Jack, took an instant disliking to her cocky, less than subservient attitude and put her in her place. He would not rest until she calmed down and learnt that being ‘above them all’ just wouldn’t cut it. Was I surprised? Not really. Especially when I consider I’ve never seen her mouth (a common action by youngsters when meeting older, more dominant horses to emphasise their youth) at all and I walked her into a herd of 17 other horses at a grass livery yard when she was just a wee 6 month old foal.

Amazingly enough, Jack seemed to achieve what we had been trying to achieve the entire last year, in a mere 24 hours. While she’s still no where near the same level as the boys, she’s a totally different horse. She’s happy for us to walk behind her, walk alongside her, in fact she’s almost back to following us around the field like a Labrador, as she did when she was a real youngster. Her obsession with Rambo seems to have died down a little and she’s actually learning to play.

It’s beautiful to see her in a happy, calm herd with two young horses that want to play. She had no idea what was going on at first but over the last few weeks has learnt how to play, how to enjoy running at full steam with the others and still remain calm afterward.

Now I say all of this blissfully happy, but my husband has the pleasure of trying to get the farrier near her on the 4th of January as I’ll be out of action. So we’ll see how I feel about the once feral one after that event. Until then, she’s a dream and I love her, hearts in my eyes and birds singing – all that jazz!

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