All natural horse care in the west of Ireland

Eventful Day Out
Monday, 23 June 2008

I keep thinking about our hack out a week last Saturday (14th June) and thought I might as well get it written down whilst it is still fresh in my memory.

Every Saturday, weather permitting, three of us go for a hack. Me on Magpie or Polly and Annalice again on Polly or Magpie (We swap and change weekly) and Charlotte on Sam (Charlotte's horse).

I don't like to make a favourite between Magpie and Polly so I try and ride them equally. Magpie (LBE) is an easy ride when she is in the mood but can be a handful when she puts her mind to it. She is very forward going. Polly on the other hand is also an easy ride and only very occasionally is a handful but she is a LBI and has only two paces: Slow and Even Slower so it can be hard work on a long hack.

Annalice is a young girl of 15, who back in 2003 (when she was only 10) started coming to help me on a Saturday with my horses as I was a bit restricted after badly breaking my leg in a riding accident. She has been nearly every Saturday since come rain or shine.

We generally start our Saturday rides out in the Spring and start at about an hour and work up to anything between two and three hours in the summer depending on how the horses are feeling and what the weather is like.

So the 3 of us set off last Saturday, me on Polly and Annalice on Magpie. We were joined by my friend's daughter, Charlotte who is 13 years old on her boy Sam.

Everything was going along quite smoothly, we had been out for about an hour, had a bit of a canter and we were just deciding which route to take next when all of a sudden a young horse jumped out of a field onto the road to join us!!

Normally, that would freak me out and I would have thought before now it would have also freaked my horses out but it didn't. I think because I am an oldie and had the two younger girls with me my protective instinct kicked in (would have said mothering instinct but I think I have outgrown that!). So I said to the girls we will have to try and get this youngster to go back home. 

So we turned our horses around (who I have to say were so very calm) and started to guide the youngster back to the house nearest to the field. It was like our three were somehow telling it to go back home and it was listening and going in the direction we were wanting it to go.

We were only walking towards it but I guess our horses were somehow communicating with it and it just calmly walked in front of us until we got to the house. It kept looking back but didn't once attempt to come in our direction. A lady from the house had obviously seen us coming and came out to open the gate for the youngster and she put it in a stable.

So that out of the way we carried on our hack and had another good canter. We had now been out for two hours and we were just heading home so I asked the girls which way they wanted to go.

Now, Charlotte would go on for hours and hours if she had her way and we would never get home.

Anyway, we decided to head home via the village adding another 45 minutes to an hour to the ride.

Going through the village a young labrador jumped out of a garden towards us and was nearly hit by a car. The young dog wanted to play with my dog Tilly, who always comes out on a hack with us, and wouldn't be caught.

So we waited until eventually the young girl got hold of the dog and we headed off again in the direction of home. 

About 10 minutes down the road we heard a lot of shouting and looked round to see the young labrador running down the road towards us. So I decided I would turn Polly towards the dog and see if we could chase him home.

I wasn't too hopeful as I was riding Polly (remember the LBI who only has two paces) but again she surprised me and seemed to know what we were trying to do. We headed back down the road at a fast trot joined by Charlotte on Sam (Annalice and Magpie just waited and laughed at us chasing the dog) and the dog took off back in the direction it was coming from. He didn't even come close when he saw us riding towards him!!

You might not find this strange but you have to remember were were already out for nearly 2.5 hours and we were on the homeward stretch and normally once we are heading home there is no turning back!!

Polly and Sam seemed to enjoy that little episode and were on their toes all the way back home. 

So, that was our Saturday!! Never a dull moment. 


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