Sorry for the delay in posting I stayed up to late last night chatting with Beth and Lucie.
Yesterday was a much more enjoyable ride. We were down to just the three of us plus Beth. I always thing a smaller group is going to heed in a better ride. Maxxi wasn’t in love with the horse she rode the day before so she was given Ellie who had gone out with us the day before and looked like a sweet mare. Cary although she liked Charlie asked for a different horse. Peter and Linda were the horse options. Miranda who had ridden him on Saturday had given Peter a bad reputation. She said he didn’t like to canter and she didn’t like him. Cary quickly jumped at Linda instead of Peter so I got to ride him instead. Peter is a big sweet slightly stubborn bloke who it took some convincing and snacks that it would be fun to follow me out of the field. The ponies were on the other side of the stream in the morning so the wellies were necessary. Mine had a whole in one of them and I took on some water and needed to change my sock before riding. I left one wet footprint through the stable yard as I went to change them. Since Peter wasn’t a psychopath like Cariad I decided to bring my camera along in a saddlebag. Taking pictures stilled proved to be a bit challenging but I managed to snap a few. It was threatening to rain so we all put on our raincoats. Beth’s fancy new long coat had grown legs and walked off since she last saw it on Thursday. Considering it hadn’t rained all last week this wondering seemed suspicious. It was a new coat and quite posh and expensive so it was completely justified the frustration and anger. Maxxi had a beautiful rain jacket which I want one just like it. I would ride in the rain more often if I had a coat like that. It looked like a fancy medieval princess gown covering the rump of Ellie. If it rained Ellie and Maxxi would stay nice and dry. We headed out for the lake today, which we had seen when we looked down into the valley yesterday.
I had a big stick to help encourage Peter to move on. My pony back home is quite slow and needing encouragement to move forward so I am use to having to ride a horse forward. I was told that Peter’s personality and willingness to go depends on his rider. Miranda was a little timid about cantering and I’m sure Peter picked up on that and didn’t feel it was necessary to work any harder than he needed to if his rider wasn’t willing to do it. Peter is a trotting horse much like a standard bred back home. They can cover vast distances at a long trot and not really need to canter. He did have a nice canter though. At one of the gate stops we spotted a very nice stick on the ground which Beth retrieved and I inherited. I looked a bit silly with 2 sticks but I they came in quite useful later in the ride.
We passed the Alpacs that we had seen the day before and after crossing the road and into the bracken field we spotted a flock of sheep and decided to maybe chase them. Peter jumped into a very nice comfortable canter. Beth was riding Mel a sweet mare and grandmother to Ellie who Maxxi was riding. Mel was 22 and has had 10 foals and looks amazing. The sheep got away from us but it was a great canter. Since we were heading to the lake it meant a lot of downward walking. We crossed into a field with some cows. They were very interested in us and we had to shoo them away so we could enter the second field which contained even more cows. So we had a herd in front of us and one behind and a gate that all four of us had to get through and not let any cows switch fields. The farmer was repairing the fence at this junction as well and found our situation hilarious. The cows were young and very very interested in the horses. The horses were doing fine with the cow situation but really just wanted to pass through the fence. Beth was waving her stick at the cows saying “move cows move” which was doing absolutely nothing. I suggested that maybe the nice farmer would help us. He was to busy pissing himself laughing in our situation as were all three of us riders. We managed to skirt through the fence into the herd of big-eyed cows. Beth remounted and we attempted to continue on. Ellie wasn’t super keen on the cows and had her bum plastered to my horse Peter which resulted on Ellie pooing all over the back of Peter. We started walking down the field with about 50-75 cows loping along behind us. Other youngsters from across the field came galloping over to see what the commotion and excitement was all about. Cows are so cute and dopy looking and they were so excited and interested in these four strangers in their field. I wish I had been able to pull out my camera in all of this. This moment would have made a perfect video and You tube sensation. We came to the bottom of the field and another gate. The gate was tied with string so Beth went to work on untying that as we used our sticks to shoo the cows away. The gate was opened and we again had a narrow escape through the fence and a bunch of sad faces leering through the fence wondering why their new horse friends left them behind.
We continued on through a sweet little town towards the lake. The lake was quite popular for boating and families to visit. We cantered around a bit and took the ponies down to the lake entry. They didn’t really seem to want to go into the water to chilly today. It didn’t rain but the raincoats were very helpful in wind prevention. We parked the ponies under some trees. Peter was very interested in what I was getting out of my saddlebags. I had my camera in a plastic bag and crinkly plastic bag my be internationally known as “potential food receptacle”. I promised to share my apple with Peter and Mel who were both giving me the “I’m so cute an hungry” faces when I left for lunch. We headed to the lunch shop, which was very busy. Apparently most other shops are closed on Monday so all the overflow was going to this shop. I ordered the veggie burger it was interesting. We were all starving after waiting so long for our food and inhaled it which we regretted later. Peter enjoyed his apple core and we mounted up and headed off again. The ponies were feeling good after their rest and Peter the big old guy that he was bounced and did some baby bucks being all excited about life.
We headed back up the hill and chased a few more sheep on our way back home. Peter although he is a seasoned trekker was still convinced everything was going to eat him. Bins, sheep, rocks, shadows he all gave them the hairy eyeball to. He was very brave a few times when it was necessary. All in all he was a blast to ride even though his previous rider who gave him a bad review misunderstood him. I loved him. We were just about back at the farm when we encountered an injured lamb (eyeball issue and we will leave it at that) we found the local farmers and they headed out to look for it.
Back in the yard we met back up with Lucie and Paul who had a busy day breaking new young horses to ride. The horses were cleaned up and fed and turned back out to the field and everyone had a good roll. This seems to be the routine when they are turned back out.. drop and roll. All the other horses were happy their friends were back. Everyone gets turned out together and it’s super cute to see the love triangles that occur in the herd. Cobweb is desperately in love with Dark Lady (he rests his head on her back all the time) however Dark Lady is in love with Peter. They all have their buddies and girlfriend/boyfriends. Its cute.
Tea was served on the tables and Paul was excited to learn about all the American tack shop websites (horse.com dover saddlery, Valley Vet) as they are in search of new saddlebags.
I showed Beth the video of the singer I saw and she agreed very cute and we also scrolled through pictures of my herd of horses back home. The dinner bell rang.. potatoes again. Maxxi had some rice-cake crackers that I grabbed a few that I can put peanut butter on if I am starving later. Beth also said she could run me to the shops so I won’t starve this week eating carrots and potatoes. There was beet soup that was very good.
The evening ended in the room of dead animals aka the lounge chatting with the girls. There is a big debate on who the “Beast” actually is. They don’t think she is actually Cariad but could potentially be Georgia. Although Georgia’s the passport markings don’t really match up. She will now just be known as “Beast”