Thursday, 31 October 2013

I go to a Halloween Party

I got my annual haircut the other day, so I no longer look like a woolly bear, but have been clipped and turned into a sleek, sophisticated horse-about-town.  Little wonder, then, that the party invitations have started rolling in.

My attendance was required at the Halloween gymkhana and She was invited to come along too and judge the best costume.  When I arrived I found that Poppy and I had both been kitted out in the same devil horns.  There were also two children both wearing Dracula capes purchased from the same local supermarket.  We all agreed to pretend that we hadn't noticed.

A potentially awkward social situation with duplicate outfits
When the races commenced, we could only stand to one side and marvel at the competitiveness of the parents. 

She became a bit nervous about whether there would be repercussions over Her choice of Best Outfit, especially as a goodie bag of chocolate was at stake.  In the end, She opted for the older Dracula child on the grounds that he had gone to the trouble of having his face painted, and that the smaller Dracula child would, in any event, be unable to see what was going on.

She helped herself to a handful of chocolate spiders and I swiftly carried Her home, before there could be any discussions with the parents of the girls in skeleton costumes.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Wrong Trousers

She arranged to take Hanuman to his very first show, an in-hand class.  She had been thinking about what to wear, and after watching the Dutch and German youngstock shows, She decided that white trousers are de rigeur and that since She had to wear a jacket, a navy one would look smart.  Even Hanuman could have pointed out that we do not live on the continent but on a small island which has a fondness for tweed jackets paired with dark trousers.

I was tasked to supervise Hanuman and provide reassurance both for the lorry journey and at the show venue.  I escorted Hanuman and one of his two-year-old friends round the warm up arena until they had all settled down.  Then I waited at a discreet distance, giving off calming vibes, while he was in the ring.  Actually, he was super brave and strode confidently round and trotted out perfectly.  Below is a bit of video of his show ring performance, although the trotting parts are missing.  There are five horses being led round by ladies in tweed and Hanuman being led round by an off duty show jumper.

Hanuman was placed second, although he felt that had his handler not worn the wrong trousers, or turned him round incorrectly, he might have been placed first.  She was oblivious to Her own sartorial and procedural failures and was just bursting with pride at Hanuman's performance. 
Personally, I felt that my reassuring presence was responsible for his good behaviour and I did get apples and peppermints in recognition of my contribution to the day's success.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

We are left home alone

We were abandoned to fend for ourselves while She went off out for the day.  Her riding clubs chums left their cars here, but Hanuman was frustrated to find that they had parked too far away from the fence and he was unable to gnaw at the wing mirrors or prise off the hood ornaments, as is his wont.

We gather that the purpose of the day was to visit Heather Moffett and sit on vibrating machines practising hip motion.  Here She is, looking silly.

Apparently, She is very flexible, and so She should be for the amount of time She spends in the evenings lying on Her back waving Her legs in the air.  Although She claims She didn't learn a lot, She thoroughly enjoyed Her day out with Her chums.  Heather Moffett was also very entertaining, particularly on the subject of other dressage gurus.  She thought that SL bounced about in the saddle, MW had her legs too far back and had lost the plot with all her imagery, JR takes breathing to an extreme (and, by the way, she bought her horse already trained).  She didn't think much of EF who is very hard on his horses, and Parelli is OK if you want to turn your horse into a zombie (so true!).

At lunch time, they ate their sandwiches in the indoor school, while Heather Moffett entertained them riding a horse.  She rides in the Iberian style, where you use the bit to place the head, thus avoiding all the difficulty associated with trying to ride the horse onto the bit.  Although the bit was quite severe, there was little contact so the horse seemed quite happy.  Here is a brief snippet of the horse in training.

She was very taken with the horse.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Posy goes show jumping

Posy went off to Duchy College to take part in a show jumping contest.  It was very busy with horses and ponies running about everywhere, not all of them behaving well.  As she went into the warm up, another competitor was coming out saying "I'm getting out of here before I get killed".  Posy showed what six generations of Royal Dutch breeding can do and stuck her nose in the air and refused to take any notice of the common types darting all around her, choosing instead to spook at a distant hedge.

Unfazed by all the mayhem, when it was her turn, Posy delivered a convincing clear round, earning a well deserved carrot.  Then there was a lot of hanging around, then she had to go in again.  Posy was a bit nonplussed to find that She missed out a couple of jumps and slowed down to see if She wanted to go back and jump the jumps She'd missed, but She didn't, so Posy carried on and cleared all the rest, earning herself another carrot.  There was more hanging around, then it was announced that Posy had placed fifth, so she proudly lined up for the prize giving.  Posy rifled through the presentation basket but there were no horse treats in there, just bits of ribbon, which was very disappointing.  She had to have a consolation peppermint afterwards. 

Sadly, there was no video of Posy's efforts at the show, but there is some of her practising at home. 

Her jumping does seem to be coming on rather better than her dressage.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Posy pics

She has found some photos from Posy's dressage, although, as usual, She is too mean to actually buy any.

Posy bravely sets off...

 to a rather wobbly start...
but then gets into the swing of it...

and is very pleased with herself at the end... 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Posy fails to spook in corners

Posy trotted off to a dressage competition at Duchy College, her second.  (She scored a very unimpressive 54% in her earlier effort).  This time Posy was uncharacteristically brave during the test and completely failed to spook in the corners, or neigh loudly throughout.  She was quite grown up and confined herself to peering out of the school every time she went past the open doors. 

Her greatly improved behaviour earned her two carrots and then Posy was left with a volunteer while She went to fetch the result.  She was away a long time as She had spotted a mistake in the scoring.  Posy was happy though as during the long wait she attracted a small crowd of admirers.   Finally, She emerged from the office triumphantly clutching a purple rosette.  Posy got 67% and came 6th out of a surprisingly strong field of 13.

While Posy has been strutting around, I have had to trot round and round the arena at home on the grounds that I am a Very Fat Boy and must have exercise.   This strikes me as gross hypocrisy on Her part. 
She plans to enter Hanuman in a show in a couple of weeks and started training for it today.  It has to be said that Hanuman trots up very nicely in hand, unlike his handler who cannot run and is left puffing along behind.  It is She that needs to do the training.   

Hanuman is hoping that he will get a better handler who can run so that he can win a rosette at the show.