You would think by now that I wouldn’t be surprised when Riley makes a grab for food on the way to the field, and yet naively I always am. I am generally on guard when leading him anywhere as I know he will try to take a cheeky nibble of whatever food he passes or even three grains of hay on the floor. So when we walked to the field and there was a large pile of hay on the floor that had been dropped on route and with no way of giving it a wide berth, I just knew that Riley was going to reach for it. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how much hay he was going to try and eat; he picked up the biggest pile possible and had a huge trail of it hanging from his mouth. I did find it highly hilarious and a reminder of just how greedy he is.
Whilst Riley is a truly gentle soul, he is also quite a character
Whilst Riley is a truly gentle soul, he is also quite a character and manages to make me smile and laugh each day although when I arrived to bring him in from the field on Tuesday evening, the yard manager asked if I had heard the funny story relating to Riley. Looking rather perplexed and feeling slightly worried, I said ‘no’ whilst wondering just what he had been up to and imagining the worst.
A few of the yard staff where in the vicinity and I could tell that whatever she was going to tell me had caused much amusement as they all looked over to where I was standing and started grinning.
I should explain that there is another horse on the yard who, although slightly smaller than Riley, has a similar look, particularly from a distance. Close up however, they are quite distinct, although not to everybody, it appears.
There is a young girl on the yard who comes with her Mum and rides and cares for one of the school horses. On this particular day, the young girl, and her mum, who shall remain nameless, had gone to catch the horse and bring it in from the field. They then groomed and tacked up before the girl happily mounted and began riding in the manege perfectly content with how things were going until one of the yard staff spotted her riding, had a double take and then pointed out that she was riding Riley.
Rather sheepishly, mum and daughter mentioned that they had wondered why the horse’s tail wasn’t quite as full when grooming and why the horse hadn’t been so willing to have his legs picked up. As you may imagine, this caused an outbreak of absolute hilarity amongst everyone in the immediate vicinity.
Riley, bless his heart, had gone along with everything that had been asked of him, although must have been in shock when someone other than me came to bring him in and also much earlier in the day than usual, not to mention that he probably thought he had done his work for the day as I had ridden him earlier.
Poor old Riley!
Isn’t it funny what goes through your mind sometimes? Whilst it was clearly an amusing case of mistaken identity, one of the things that worried me most was that after mounting at the block, he wouldn’t have had his usual polo treat which has become our tradition. Poor old Riley!
If you enjoyed this story and would like to catch up on his life so far; you can view all instalments of The Life of Riley here