Sunday, 19 October 2014

Transformations all round

Rio and I have finally joined the lone hacker's club! This was our third trip out on our own in the last month, and I'm so happy. I was even more chuffed that I felt comfortable enough to get my phone out to snap this shot on the buckle! Please excuse my scruffy gloves. I've not yet replaced them since Rio dumped me twice in the river field! 

We've been very lucky with the weather this week and managed to get a few rides in before the clocks go back next Sunday. Then Winter is here. Dark nights and dark mornings, hunting out the piles of poo in the field with the super attractive head torch, guessing at which rug is best to leave on during the day/overnight... Yep, the fun starts here! I may have accidentally just ordered a 100g no neck turnout rug, in addition to his 100g combi he has... for those slightly warmer but not quite toasty days... I could do with getting an under rug, but for now we do have some options.

We took the boys out in the trailer yesterday morning for a hack at our favourite haunt. The wind was insane out in the open but the boys were very good after a rocky start. They decided they wanted to get their feet moving, so we asked them into trot and fought them out of canter! After that, I managed to get Rio to come back to me a little more and to be more responsive. We had a couple of great canters, and Rio was very full of himself, it admittedly took a few metres of asking for him to come back to trot when we cantered up the hill in the forest! By the last canter, I thought he was pooped, but he pulled the stopper out and absolutely went for it again. He was ready to go for it and pull up past Franks, but this time he was more attentive and collected his canter when I asked him to steady. What an amazing feeling. 

This was my sweaty boy after all that excitement! He's so funny with loading, he's not afraid of the box, but if there's nobody behind him to encourage him up, he will be super stubborn and just stand with his two feet on the ramp. I really should ask Sarah to leave her trailer out one day so I can practice loading him with the carrot stick and driving him on instead of leading. 

Post bath, and I think this is the whitest I've ever had him. This was without doubt the easiest bath I've given him since getting him, so we are getting there. He had a hot wash with a splash of Dettol to lift out the last of the dirt he hadn't managed to sweat out on the ride, and then I scrubbed him down with lemon fairy liquid to get this perfect white! Perhaps he could be a show pony after all, hehe. 

The purpose of this last bath of the season? Lift out the grease ready for my handsome little man to be clipped today! I woke up to pouring rain and fearing the worst case scenario - clipping indoors in the stable. He was a cheeky git coming out of the gate, so he got in trouble and had to walk out and back in again half a dozen times for playing me up. When we got up to the yard, the rain had stopped, so I tied him up and set to him with a towel to dry his neck off a bit. He managed to loop his head under his lead rope and freak himself out a bit, then wouldn't step back to loosen it, silly boy. I managed to unclip him, and all was fine, but he just seemed a little on his toes. 

I decided to go for the safer option and to sedate him a little as I didn't want to see him stressing out. We had a play with the clippers yesterday to try and get him used to them, with mixed results, and this morning he wasn't keen on going near them. However, he settled very well and was a brave boy. The sedative eventually kicked in properly about half way through clipping! 

Just look at those dapples though. He was so much darker underneath. He looks even more awesome than I expected, and fingers crossed no more sweaty betty incidents after a longer/more active ride!

Ride/play safe x