Friday, April 24, 2009

Harry has found his calling - Musical poles

I have to miss the Riding Club gymkhana – it’s my hubby’s birthday, and I suppose he has to be the priority sometimes! Last year Harry and I went to the gymkhana, with Jane and Red. Our fortunes were mixed.

Because we do lots of different things with our horses, we thought that gymkhana games would be a cinch. Faced with the club’s ‘A Day at the Seaside’ gymkhana theme, Harry and Red disagreed.

In one race, you had to pull plastic balls out of a paddling pool full of water with a fishing net on a long pole. I couldn’t even get hold of it without Harry throwing a wobbly, cantering sideways and leaping forwards with melodramatic snorts. Hanging wooden fish on a frame for another game gave him palpitations, too. There I was, leaning forward to hang the fish up, and there was Harry backing away from it in horror!

He was unperturbed by the dressing up game, standing patiently as I struggled to pull a pair of rather small beach shorts on over my breeches. We might have done better if I hadn’t been rendered helpless with laughter at the sight of the one male member of our Riding Club thundering down the field wearing a pretty flowery dress over his riding gear, plus snorkle and googles crammed over his moustache.

Harry excelled at one game, musical poles. You ride a circuit around a cluster of poles, and when the music stops, you turn in, make for a pole, grab it and hang on. One pole is removed after each go, and whoever is left holding the last pole is the winner.

Well, as a bit of a barger, Harry was a natural at this. When our opponents saw him making purposefully for our chosen pole, feathers flailing , a determined glint in his eye, they kept clear – there’s no riding Harry off.

One poor little girl fell off when her pony shied at the sight of Harry ‘on a mission.’ We were on a roll, and only beaten by an amazingly nippy pony who snatched victory from under our noses.

Never mind, it was a blue ribbon and my first gymkhana rosette for 40 years!

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