I’m not quite sure how, but somehow I had forgotten just how special summertime is as a pony-owner.
It’s a little like re-living an idyllic childhood from an Enid Blyton novel, spending long sunny days out hacking or just sitting and bonding in the field (or in Storm’s case, watching him snoring!). I haven’t quite gone as far as packing picnics of hard-boiled eggs and cake and ginger beer but maybe I should! I’m sure Storm would happily share them…
Of course the down-side to the hot weather is the totally morale-draining sight of the pony you’ve just hosed down and cleaned making straight for the dusty patch and having a good roll. I have now officially given up worrying about grass stains and the generally ‘off-white’ colour he now is – life is too short, and better spent in the saddle.
And we’ve definitely been getting out and about. In particular, Storm
has been making friends with Jess Fisher’s lovely new pony (or rather, very much a horse!) Charli. Charli is officially amazing and I have adopted him as Storm’s sensible older brother. I have never seen a horse so un-phased and sensible. Hacks have now gone from somewhat ‘challenging’ to an absolute pleasure as Storm happily follows Charli anywhere. It hasn’t stopped Storm excitedly bucking and leaping along behind Charli in canter – or occasionally attempting a sneaky overtake on the outside – but maybe Charli’s influence will gradually rub off! It certainly reminds you just how lucky we are to have such wonderful countryside on our doorstep to hack in.
Storm and Charli have also been off travelling together for a great day out at Fair Oak Cross Country. Charli was a star again on his first time out, and Storm as usual charged round at great speed ignoring any rider aids to the contrary! I think these two are going to have a lot of fun together.
But it’s not all been picnics and lemonade. I’ve also been making Storm knuckle down to his dressage as we are now competing at affiliated level. It’s not been as daunting as I’d expected, though we do stick out like a sore thumb! Surrounded by beautiful horses, immaculately turned out and plaited with all the proper dressage accessories, Storm does loom a little like the runt of the litter at half the size, always slightly grubby, plaits coming undone and in our ‘rebellious’ purple saddle cloth. Still, we’ve managed to get placed in all our classes so far, including a few 2nd places, and have just qualified for the Pet Plan Area Festival – all very exciting!
So we’re hoping the rest of the summer involves lots more hacks and cross country and show jumping and dressage….there’s too much to fit in! We’ll just have to squeeze as much in as we can before the depressing sight of the evenings drawing in comes around, and the months of mud and rain set in!