Most odd. I wrote this on my Facebook page this morning.
A few hours later, I went and tacked up my old horse, Haakon.
I’ve had him since he was 3 years old (19 now). He failed his vetting all those years back, as he refused to stand on more than two legs and the vet couldn’t get near him, despite many attempts. A little voice inside told me to keep him so I did.
I’ve just bought a new-to-him Black Country Frelsi saddle which fits him beautifully. I am very pleased with it. Of good quality and it is very comfortable.
I finally remembered to attach my Point Two air vest saddle attachment thingy. I have been using the fall-down D ring which was not ideal but would’ve worked in an emergency.
These are the two main reasons why I love Haakon – his black tipped ears…
and his two-tone mane (the envy of any committed chav).
Haakon has always been an aloof kinda guy. He doesn’t like fuss and hugs. Never has, but every so often, he shuts his eyes and has a little snooze in my arms. Then he suddenly stops, looks round and hopes no one has seen this. (This is his snooze face – his head is very heavy in my arm while the other one is trying to take the pic!)
The minute he is tacked up, Haakon always wanders off to stand in the middle of the school.
He never rolls – he wouldn’t dream of it and I trust him not to – he doesn’t do anything. He just wants to go and stand over there. He has done this all his life (15 years ridden). Most odd. At this stage, I can go off to the loo, get my hat, put on exploding safety gilet, hi-viz coat and change my boots.
BeAnne has her “BeAnne-kini” put on. She sulks a bit but then remembers it is the only way she is going to come out with us. No hi-viz, no walk. Thems are the rules.
So, now I am ready. And off we go to my “mounting block”.
Well, I say mounting block, what I actually mean is I ask Haakon to stand in an old tractor rut in the hill that, over the years, has become a stream. We have had no rain for many weeks so everything has dried up. Haakon always knows he has to stand there. Those few extra inches for me make it much easier to mount. He is a good boy. He never walks off mid-mount. He would get a bollocking for that. “Stand and I mean it” means just that.
So I clamber elegantly on, don’t bother with the reins and spend the next few minutes trying to clip myself onto the saddle while Haakon negotiates the hill.
BeAnne is waiting for us to join her and Haakon can work out where to safely put his feet while I sort myself out.
And off we go. The hill sheep on the left will run away because they are all mad but Haakon and BeAnne take absolutely no notice of them. Irritating woolly maggots really that are only nice with mint sauce, redcurrant jelly and roast tatties imho.
BeAnne walks beside us on the road. It is a single track road and she knows the drill.
If a car is approaching, we will occupy our space on the road until we get to a passing place or flat ground. Too many drivers around here don’t think horses should be allowed on the road. Then BeAnne will sit beside Haakon and we wait until the car passes. She is a good girl.
And so we pottered.
On buckle end.
I said “can we stop for a photograph, please?” so Haakon did. No reins, no aids, just stopped.
I wonder how he knows? Did he read my Facebook status? Does he read my mind?