Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Perfect day!

Harry and I went hunting at the weekend - the first time for weeks, and it was a fantastic day! First, Harry had to load into a new lorry - sideways, facing backwards. After about 10 minutes of, "no thanks, there's no room in there for a cob!" we got him half way up the ramp, eating the haynet - then I physically heaved him sideways into his space. Phew!

The meet was at Peper Harrow, a lovely old house whose residents gave us a great hunt breakfast - sausages, cake, chocolate...port! And the hunting was amazing: galloping over huge open fields, following winding woodland paths, jumping lovely fences on the Hamptons Estate and glorying in the sunlit countryside - winter, what winter?

Harry and his pony pal, Scarlett, were angels, keeping up with the big boys, jumping anything we pointed them at and generally having a ball. After about three and a half hours Louise and I took them back to the lorry and let them relax in the sun, while we drank coffee and ate crisps and guacamole - a traditional hunt tea!

After a few token objections from Harry, we loaded him and headed for home, all four of us tired but happy. What a great day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We're going on the Horses for Heroes Ride!

Harry and I are going to ride on the hallowed turf at Ascot Racecourse! How? Well, they haven't started cob racing classes. No surprise there, it would be like watching a load of fat old ladies running for the bus!

What's happened is that I have registered Harry and me for the Horses for Heroes ride on July 10. It's in aid of Help for Heroes, which supports our injured servicemen and women. It's a fantastic cause, and I think Harry would agree - I can just see him charging into battle!

And what makes it even better is the Horses for Heroes Ride ride takes a route around gorgeous Windsor Great Park and ends up passing the finishing post at Ascot Racecourse - how cool is that?!

Why not join us? It's only five miles, so eminently doable, and you can ride or drive. There's even overnight stabling if you need to travel far. You can register at www.horses4heroes.co.uk and pay a £150 by the end of March. Then you raise as much extra sponsorship as you can!

I'm starting to plan my fundraising efforts, starting with tapping up friends and family who have done the same to me in the past. Cakes have been suggested, too. I have only made three in my life, and all of them were flat, although they tasted OK.

Perhaps I should sell rides on Harry to raise money for Help for Heroes? Don't tell him, though!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First ride for two weeks!

At last, we could ride again on Sunday! I caught and brought Harry in with some trepidation, as the previous day he's been a bit of a dragon, snorting and staring at everyhting. But he was a little lamb, enjoying having his rug off and a good scratch with the rubber curry comb.

He strode enthusiastically down the lane to meet his friend, Red, and we set off on our hack, expecting at least some freshness and silliness. Not a bit! They were as good as gold, apart from staring hard at various shapeless heaps of snow. Funny - they'd been surrounded by the stuff for two weeks!

We did lots of brisk walking and vigorous trotting for this first ride - discretion is the better part of valour, and besides, it was still a bit slippery here and there. Our hack was less eventful than usual, thank goodness - I wouldn't have wanted to fall on such hard ground. I think we all felt much more happy, content and settled by the time we were home, and I turned Harry vback out to bask and doze in the welcome sunshine.

Let's hope that's the last we see of the white stuff for another year!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Next hunt...then no hunt!

Our second hunt of the season was even better. We hacked to the meet at Harry's local, the Three Horseshoes in Thursley, and started off on Thursley Common which was great as it's sandy - the ground was still very wet. We stayed out all day, until about 3.30 or 4pm, did lots of galloping and a bit of jumping, and quite a bit of wading through wet, muddy, marshy land. Amazingly I wasn't too stiff next day. Harry is so good you just need to sit and enjoy the ride.

But now there's no hunting! The snow has put paid to any sort of riding and Harry has had 10 days of loafing around his field, stuffing himself with hay. Now it's thawing and I'm hoping to ride at the weekend - need to get fit again, so we can hunt again!

Fingers crossed!