On the morning of Monday 13th March, I headed to the stables as normal. I had a lot of work to do for my business and didn’t have much time that morning so I mucked out and turned Riley out with the intention of riding him later that day. I returned to the stables around tea-time and brought him in from the field. I tied him up and began grooming: A task I thoroughly enjoy although I never know if I’m going to get the fidgeting Riley or the one that stands still like an angel. Luckily he was very well behaved as I endeavoured to make him look like Valegro. I think perhaps I need some tips from his groom, Alan Davies.
The good behaviour didn’t carry through to riding though, and he didn’t want to do as he was asked. I wasn’t feeling in top form anyway so I cut short the schooling. I left feeling a little regretful and hoped that tomorrow would be a better day.
Since I was still very busy with the business, Tuesday was an easy day for Riley as he had a day in the field taking part in his favourite pastime, munching and grazing.
I have a real problem with days like these
On Wednesday, I tacked up in the morning and took Riley into the manege for a schooling session. I walked him round for a while whilst gearing myself to trot as I knew he was going to rush and I would be struggling to slow him down. I eventually took the plunge and it just felt as though he was constantly fighting me and at the same time eroding my enjoyment and confidence. So the session ended with me feeling low and questioning myself. I have a real problem with days like these and I really miss being able to have lessons which help to give me focus.
Come Thursday and Friday, I still didn’t ride. I wasn’t avoiding riding but being so busy meant I was unable to. I think Riley was probably pleased about the situation, although I knew this needed to change as I didn’t want him to spend his future being the field ornament he has been for most of his life.
As the riding school is closed at the moment during lockdown, the field he is turned out into is much fuller in the day than usual. Many of the riding school horses are living out full time and I am sure they are enjoying their holiday. Also as the weather has been beautiful of late, and with the lighter evenings, I have been bringing Riley in at a later time to reduce the time he spends in his stable.
Riley gets into yet another scrape
On Saturday morning I went to the stables to turn Riley out and muck out. When I returned later that day to bring him in, I noticed he had a mark on his back which had a horseshoe shape to it. I felt around the area and it did feel as though it was marked although I couldn’t see an open wound so left it alone with a view to keeping an eye on how it developed.
When I returned on Sunday and started grooming I noticed that a small patch of hair had fallen out and that there had been a slight cut which would need time to heal but wasn’t an open wound as it had already scabbed over. Each day haylage is put out for the horses in the field and Riley doesn’t particularly like sharing so I assumed an argument between him and another horse had ensued and Riley came out the worse for it. As it wasn’t bothering him at all and looked like kit was healing already, I turned him out again and left him to enjoy another day in the sunshine with his friends.