Thursday, 21 April 2011

Eat up mountains

Well the sun was shining last night so after feeding the kids - cheated a bit and warmed up a pizza for them - figured I had time to ride both of my horses that are in work at the moment. First up was Amelie - my big gangly youngster by Secundus out of my old Dramiro mare, Cavalla. She is what you call a late starter, rising six she damaged herself so badly on the edge of a lorry ramp at four years that it was touch and go if her leg would ever recover. Recover it did and she was broken in last summer at age five. She was one of these mares that asks a lot of questions - you know the type - 'ask me to do it but explain why it would be a good thing first please'. A big, gentle girl in all other respects she has a habit of arguing with you with her head and neck. This is because she is as long as the Mersey tunnel and has built up a huge muscle under her neck to balance out that long back. It's coming though and she is going to make a hell of a nice horse. I just have to concentrate in the school on not fiddling with my hands as when she shoogles her head at me it feels like I am landing a trout!
Amelie, waiting for tea in the snow this winter. Not the prettiest horse in the world she is what I call an intelligent girl and is going to be super. In time she is going to be what I call a 'proper jumper'.

She has a lot in her favour though - a great temperament, unfazed out hacking by much except soggy ground which causes her to screech to a halt so quickly that I have nearly been a human cannon several times. She is also completely trusting, so much so that if you are on the ground with her she will stick like glue to you if in unfamiliar territory.
School work has though, due to the unsettled head and mouth been a bit slow to come - however last night she settled brilliantly and worked great for 20 minutes then we set off around one of my fields in the sunshine. One of my livery's, Julie, on her beautiful ex racehorse, Jerry (more about him another day - his breeding is stellar and he is star) came with me. As we slowed down to a walk and meandered down a slope into the trees a couple of roe deer bounded out and we and horses watched them as they hopped over the fence and away - white tails bobbing like cottontail rabbits.
Then the spell was broken and the horses were alive and itching to go so turning we galloped back up the hill, the inertia of a day in the office blown away - just how I like it.
My gorgeous grey boy, Garth - jumping for fun here in the pouring rain up in Aberdeen.

After cooling off it was time for a quick spin on Garth, or Kilmeaden for posh. He's my show jumper. A grade B, he's rising 14 now and came to me with more quirks than you could shake a stick at, two years ago. I swapped him, unseen via the internet, for one of my homebred youngsters, when I realised that I wanted to go jumping again having had a few years off with my beautiful babies. When they turned into strapping toddlers I realised that I still wanted to jump and so Garth arrived.

A handsome grey Irish lad Garth's well and truly at home here now and as the sun set last night we also enjoyed a canter around the field - this time startling a buzzard sitting on a fence post who only launched himself into the air when we got to within about 20 feet of him. Garth's a powerful horse and cantering in the open on him you feel you could eat up mountains - a pretty good feeling as the sun sank behind the Fife hills. 

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