Monday 4th May saw the beginning of another week in The Life of Riley. The first job, as usual in the morning was to groom him and then turn him out. When I went to bring him in later that day, I saw that there was once again water by the hosing area that he was going to have to walk through. After last week’s trials, I decided that instead of worrying about what Riley might do, I would take a different approach and just walk him through it assertively and show him there was nothing to worry about.
This seemed to work and when we found ourselves in the same position on Tuesday, he walked through it without any problems. Hurrah!
On Wednesday, I groomed and tacked him up to ride. As we hadn’t ridden for a while, we had a warmup in the manege then off for a short hack which was lovely.
The following morning, I turned Riley out after grooming him, and on our way through the yard, we passed one of the other liveries just as we were walking through the water. She commented on how well he had walked though as some horses don’t like it. I admit I did feel a sense of pride in my boy.
When I went to bring him in later that day one of the other horses, Pandora, followed me everywhere as soon as I stepped into the field. She is a sweet natured horse and it was lovely; however, Riley is not keen on other horses being close when I have his headcollar on so I waited until Pandora had lost interest in me before walking to him.
I put his headcollar on and noticed Pandora in the distance and started to head towards the gate. Unfortunately, so did Pandora and we all arrived there at the same time. Riley didn’t like Pandora saying hello and so I moved him away hoping that Pandora would lose interest. She instead decided to stay at the gate, and we were stood at the side of the field waiting for her to go. For about five minutes Riley and I were trapped in the field until finally she wandered off.
Friday morning, I groomed in the sun alongside another one of the liveries with their horse Elvis. I tacked up and we went into the manege and did a fair amount of trotting which is something I had been putting off. I am finding it strange that I find myself being in a position where in the past I have never been scared to trot and yet now am. As we finished our schooling we were just about to head off on a hack when Elvis’s owner asked if she could join us and off we went. We had a wonderful hack along the lanes and through a small forest. Throughout it all, Riley was an angel and I felt so happy.
A Near Miss
Later that day as I was heading to the field to bring him in, I was hoping that we did not have another Pandoragate, (see what I did there?) and she wouldn’t follow us to the gate again. When I reached the field, I could see Riley and Pandora were happily grazing so I breathed a short-lived sigh of relief. After I put Riley’s head collar on, we started to head out of the field at first minus Pandora. I kept an eye out and noticed she was starting to head towards us again, so I walked Riley on quickly although he did not quite appreciate the urgency and walked in his usual chilled manner. As we had a head start, I thought we would make it out of the field before she reached us. Alas that was not to be since Riley decided to stop for a wee which seemed to go on forever, thus giving Pandora time to catch us up. I just about managed to get Riley through the gate as she reached us.
On Saturday morning I rode. The outdoor manege was busy so I didn’t do very much although did manage some trotting. Two of the other riders went on a hack down the lane and when they came back decided to go again so I asked if I could tag along. Riley didn’t seem keen on keeping their pace and they kindly kept stopping for us, which I did feel bad about.
Sunday morning came and we went in the manege where there were poles on the ground from a previous rider, so we trotted over those a few times which felt like an achievement given how I had been feeling about trotting.
I turned him out for the day and later, when I went to bring him in again, I could see he was munching and standing guard at the biggest pile of haylage in the field. Compared to the piles the other horses were eating it was huge and I chuckled to myself thinking how typical it was of him. #greedy