Yesterday Mum and I headed out with Missie for a wee hack, as there was work being done on the arena, and the weather was just so stunning there was just no way we could pass it up.
In an unusual turn of events, when I went to bring her in from the field I managed to get Missie to pose for a few photographs without fidgeting or wandering off. She however made me pay for it by dragging me into the bushes for a snack 3 times on the way up the hill, much to Mum’s hilarity. The walk from her grassy field to the hay filled stable is only about a minute long! Yet we needed to stop for sustenance 3 TIMES! It’s times like this that make me wonder why I have a horse.
I am reminded of why once we finally reach the stable, and Missie becomes the sookiest horse on the planet. I get kisses and cuddles and general loveliness. I then get completely ignored in favour of a hay net. Ah, the fickle love of an eternally hungry horse.
Anyway, after grooming and tacking up, we head out on the road.
I remember noting the moment I got on that Missie was in a fizzy mood, and boy did that mood not disappoint. We had ears forward, bouncy steps, walking sideways all over Mum-Missie was really going for it. Being such a novice rider, I usually get absolutely terrified when she does this, but I am slowly beginning to realise that this is all it is-maybe a wee runny or explosion if she’s really spooked-but she really is just a daft, nosy mare, and so I am getting better at ignoring her over-excited tendencies.
Missie is really not a great fan of cattle, which can be great fun considering the yard neighbours a cattle farm, but she is improving. In one of the fields there was a young cow standing right next to the fence bordering the road. A few weeks ago Missie would never have just walked past, We’d have had emergency stops, runs past it and dangerous spins into the middle of road. Now she just has a wee look, tenses up a bit and walks past a little quicker. What a quick learner my girl is!
Encountering new distractions on our hack can be hit or miss for us-sometimes she has a total freak out, others she barely notices. You would think, given that she never stops eating the stuff, that walking past hay bales in the field would not be an issue for our hoover of a horse. Think again. Missie went into her “Zorro’s Stallion” mode, as Mum calls it-high knees, curved neck, don’t get me wrong, it looks amazing! It’s just terrifying to ride. Thankfully this is all we got, no explosions, and so our hack continued up the hill.
This is one of my favourite parts of the hack, as the views are just magnificent. You can see for miles, and given that it’s a dead end, the road is usually completely empty besides us. Below are some photos taken in the style of “Through the horse’s ears”, a style of equine photography which is incredibly popular with equestrians worldwide.
Once Missie has walked past a hazard once without it eating her, she will normally walk past it without issue on the way home. This cannot be said for our hay bales. “Zorro’s Stallion” returned as we headed home, but this was quickly met with a sharp telling off from Mum, which was more or less acknowledged by our mad madam.
Lucky Missie was very excited on the way home to realise that her favourite new friend, a young lady with a never-ending supply of apples, was waiting for her at one of the cottages along our route. Whilst stopped for a snack and a cuddle, we were passed by one of the horse boxes heading home. I am extremely proud to say that our large-traffic skittish horse was almost completely unfazed by this. Go Missie!
Once home, Mum suggested we give our sweaty girl a hose down to cool her off. This is a job which requires two people, as our mad madam is also a wee feartie when it comes to water. However, after trying to fight Mum for a few moments, she gave in, and I actually think she quite enjoyed herself.
I have to say, I may be absolutely terrified at the time when “Zorro’s Stallion” makes an appearance, I do find it exhilarating, and secretly look forward to the next time it appears. And I do love my horsey cuddles with some of the other boys and girls on the yard too.