Yesterday, was a fine day. The kind of day for planning something special.
The Gods were smiling and the Gallopy track gate was open. This track is on my neighbouring farmer’s land and, if the gate is open, it means he does not mind if we gallop along it. If the gate is shut, we would not dream of doing this.
It is the perfect track and the horses absolutely love it. What with one thing and another, I haven’t been for a couple of years but I remember the last time we went like the clappers.
This morning, Jo and Fiona arrived with yet another bale of silage (that last one was smelly and didn’t last long – I threw most of it on the compost).
We tacked up Haakon (me), Iacs (Fiona) and Klængur (Jo). Jo has been riding Klængur for a while now. He has good days and bad. The bad being when he is tense and not listening. Her last ride on him was like that so we decided to play things by ear and see what mood he was in first. He had also never been on this ride so we wanted to acquaint him with the scenery.
I successfully kept Haakon at the rear.
When we got to the Watness gate, Fiona kindly jumped off Iacs to open it.
So far, Klængur was calm and giving off very relaxed vibes. The consensus was to walk down the gallopy track and see how he reacted to this totally new environment rather than belt along and spiral out of control into a full blown race. It was also quite windy and noisy so you wouldn’t be able to hear any shit happening until it came past you at 100mph.
At least walking sedately, we could enjoy the view and the horses could acquaint themselves with the area.
Haakon remembered jolly well what went on here and was bouncing along at the back offering to bog off at 100mph. I can tell you that trying to take photos and look after the camera mid-bounce is not easy.
But I stood my ground, so to speak. I refused to let him overtake or set off. To be fair, Haakon listened because he had no other choice and I told him that if he would not walk with me nicely, I would bloody well get off and walk beside him and he would be nagged all the way home – he hates that. He opted to behave. So we turned at the far gate and walked the horses back, deciding that after the “scary bit”, we might have a bit of a controlled canter.
This is the scary bit and the sort of thing that Haakon would see at the last minute, put in a giant swerve and lose me mid-air. He is good at that sort of thing. Head down, gallop, gallop, gallop and then OMFG, where did that come from, swerve, whoops, plop, and oh dear!
Anyway, the controlled canter was nice after the scary thing (a dismantled salmon farm ring) and we went happily along with no nasty moments from anyone. Again, Fiona did the gate for us. She made the mistake of letting go of Iacs and both Jo and I shouted at her to grab him. Iacs likes to go home with or without his rider. He is a bit of an opportunist.
And home we went, thinking the next time could be much faster. The thing with Klængur is that you must set him up to succeed. If he remembers that, then he is happy to do anything. It is all about trust. With Haakon, it is all about listening and with Iacs it is all about not letting go if you get off to do the gate! They all have their little ways.