BRONWEN HEALY PHOTOGRAPHY

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22 August 2013

The Long Haul tomorrow

I rode Snips this evening after work.  Originally I thought I wouldn't have time.  But the way the last couple of days have panned out, I ended up thinking 'darn it, I simply have to ride him', just for me.  Emma sent me a text message last night, saying it would be ok to work him in the indoor with the lesson that was going (not really joining in because they are kids) but because it would be good for him to work with lots of other horses, and also be under the lights again.  

Snips greeted me enthusiastically, but he was actually in a bad mood.  I guessed it was because he is usually tucked up in bed eating his dinner, (which had been taken away from him!) and he was cross because he was tied up, with a saddle on and loads of ponies and horses going past his stable in the lesson.  He alternated between laying his ears back at the horses then me while I tightened his girth.  He usually doesn't bat an eyelid, but will turn gently around asking for sugar when I do it normally, the poor boy.  So he was a little out of sorts from the word go.  As a result he was a bit fresh and silly when I got on him, and inclined to rush and stargaze.  It was hard to mix him up with what we were doing.  It was a huge group in the indoor, and he didn't want to concentrate.  So we did trot-halt transitions and spiralling circles and a couple of canters, but he consistently wanted to canter not trot, and then got cranky when I sat against him calmly.  

When the lights came on, casting strange shadows on the arena floor that he's not used to, he got more stirred up, and when I went into a sitting trot, he broke into a cross canter, almost on the spot.  Then he did get cross!  In earnest and there was a bit of leaping and it almost felt as though he would buck.  He can be a bit inclined to throw his hindquarters out in a pigroot, and he almost unseated me, but he's far easier to sit to than Freelance is.  I soothed him and then firmly rode him forward.  

It's amazing the transformation in the horse when I remember to put my legs on and ride him forward into soft but firm hands.  Fenella used to always instruct me "legs together, hands together, ride him forward, ride him into your hands".  It always works.  All of a sudden he was listening, he was round and he was still disgruntled, but he was ok.  I told him he was good, still insisted on the trot and did a small circle to enforce the trot when he tried to take all his hair off.  And then we finished with a long and low and bouncy trot.  I quickly unsaddled him with Josie, who came and helped me put him away as I had to rush to pick the kids up.  We're getting quite chatty and friendly, she's a lovely girl, and it's always good to get her feedback.  I told her what I did and she thought that sounded right, and I asked her a bit about how she finds him.  It's good talking with the others about the horse.  I find myself liking him more and more.  When he went round, he really swung through the back and started finding a nicer rhythm.  There's some real quality about this horse I think, and he's just so pretty too. I'm so pleased I rode him though, because I now won't see him until Monday and I'll miss him.  And it has been a tough couple of days, and I needed to see him.  The horse is my solace at the moment.  

My brother and the boys came over tonight, and my Mum is here to mind the kids while I'm in Scone for the next 3 days.  I am desperately tired, after too many sleepless nights, and so won't stay up too late tonight.  Tomorrow I have an 8 hour drive.  But we break it up in my mind.  First I will drive to Sutton Forest.  And have a break.  Then I shall drive to Sydney, and up the M7.  Then I'll drive to the big service station on the other side of the F2..  Humm.. that's a long way, might be a stop in between.  Then Dan and I shall drive to Cessnock.  Then we'll drive to Singleton, and before I know it, we will be in Scone.

On Saturday I will meet my "New Boy" Animal Kingdom for the first time. I'm excited about that, and I'm wondering if he knows about carrots, as I'll be at Arrowfield in the morning.  Then for the remainder of the day it will be Darley.  I won't be able to hang around too late that evening, as Tom Seymour needs images through that night.  

On Sunday morning I will drop in and see "My Boys" at Vinery and the team there.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there too and to meet my new boys there.  And then I will try to be on the road for the 8 hour return drive home.  I can't do the Coolmore Parade this trip as I need to be home on Sunday.  And driving on my own it's not practical to do a parade in the afternoon and then try to drive 8 hours home....

Oil, water, tyres..  Right????  And lots of coffee... 

Gio Ponti - Arrowfield

"Doubtsey"..  Redoute's Choice - Arrowfield
More Than Ready - Vinery.  Now here's a horse!

Exceed and Excel - Darley
 

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