Sunday, 1 November 2009

Pastures new

The boys were moved to pastures new yesterday. Tales abound amongst horsey types of the difficulties encountered moving stroppy ponies, the joys of persuading willful beasts into horse boxes and the hoof shaped injuries caused to the unwary as they get up close and personal with their disobedient mounts trying to coax them up the loading ramp. Our boys had run out of green stuff a while back, the offer of unlimited grass a few miles away at a fraction of the cost of hay and without risking life and limb carrying it up the slope of Willow Rise, which when dry is a difficult enough task, but when wet resembles the north face of K2 for its treacherous footholds, was an offer I was not going to refuse. Even if it did mean loading two horses into a horsebox, an experience neither of them have had more than once in their short lives.
So as the D day dawned I was fully prepared for combat, no horse was going to leave its mark on me. Whilst Tracey was dressed in her usual attire and looked attractive as ever leading her horse along the lane in the weak autumn sunshine I waddled along behind like the Michelin man with padded layers designed to deflect many an angry hoof.
Half way down the lane and threatening to pass out from heat exhaustion I dumped the cricket box and cycle helmet, undid the NATO body armour and extricated myself from one of the padded jackets. I left these neatly folded amongst the bracken as a shrine to the unknown horse botherer and fell in behind Tracey and William who were waiting patiently further along. Tension was high as H Hour arrived, the trailer was reversed into position and the loading ramp of the horse box crashed to the floor. Time stood still.
It was all over so quickly. I walked up the ramp in front of Apollo, turned round to find him close enough behind me to almost count as a horse blanket. William followed and suddenly we were all eye to eye shut inside the trailer. As simple as that. The boys tucked in to the hay, Tracey and I took the emergency exit and soon we were following the trailer in Rene with Apollo and William taking it in turns to look back over their shoulders to check we were still there. When we arrived at the field the boys calmly walked out and when faced with 10 acres of flat on which to to canter and frolic (our "field" requires horses to wearing climbing harness and crampons so running is best avoided) they did exactly what we thought they would, sniffed the air, stuck their ears back, whinnied loudly and began a speed eating competition. The two horses a field away, on the other hand, went mental and ran around kicking bucking and rearing in a demonstration of horsey prowess. I almost felt sorry for the 8 year old lad, a look of utter terror on his face as the horse he was about to ride shot past at mach 3, flames exploding out of every orifice whilst his proud mum was saying, don't worry pet, he'll calm down soon as you get on him. We waited half an hour to see if they would explore their new surroundings, they did but only as far as their mouths could reach. We left them to it before the arrival of the air ambulance set off an equine chain reaction. Our boys, they didn't notice us leave. They are so laid back they fall over those two.
Posted by Picasa

No comments: