Rio’s Recap #4

Hi everyone! You won’t believe the week that I’ve had… Mum’s been having real trouble deciding on what rug to put on me during the day and overnight with all of this muggy raininess, and chilly overnight, and flies, and who knows what else! On Tuesday we were expecting some light showers but for it to be warm enough that my fly rug would do the trick. Luckily she left my fly mask off, as those showers were downpours and I got soaked through.

Mum turned up on Wednesday morning, and I saw her panicking as I shivered my way over to her, rug stuck to me. I tucked into my breakfast and mum set about getting it changed into a 50g, and as soon as she undid the belly flap the water spilled out. I was so cold. Apparently my ears were like ice blocks to touch. Mum had someone check on me a little later as she had to get to work, and I started to warm up a bit. Auntie Millie came and took my 50g rug off mid afternoon but by then I was a bit toasty… My tummy didn’t feel too good.

People say that a cob is easy. Someone forgot to tell me about this, I don’t like to make things boring. If I experience extreme stress, get enclosed in a space I don’t like, eat anything that’s not a natural horse feed (including carrots, apples, parsnips, any horse treats…) then my tummy hurts. If my tummy hurts, I can’t think straight. Luckily mum knows my signs now.

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I don’t think she was too surprised when she got me out of the field that I literally couldn’t help dancing out of the gate. That massive pile of stuff in the corner was definitely chasing me. I don’t think she was too surprised that I jogged down to the school once she tacked me up, and although she was amazed when I stood nicely to let her get on, she certainly wasn’t surprised when after 10 minutes of us riding shallow loops at one end of the school, she had to get off. The wind was gusty, the barn looked terrifying, and there was so much going on there was no way I could concentrate.

I got all snuggled up Wednesday night, and on Thursday had a day off, to try and get everything settled so we could ride out on Sunday on a long hack. My feed had my extra tummy supplements in (L glutamine, black cumin seeds & aloe juice in case you’re interested!) On Friday I was feeling a bit better, and mum turned up after lunch with one of my favourite tummy fixes – my Quick Fix paste! I practically tried to chew the syringe out of her hand. We went out for a nice walk around the block in hand, and I was really brave even when a big construction lorry drove past us on the track, only a foot away.

On Saturday, mum brought my new friend to meet me! Have you met Raspberry yet?

We had a short session in the school, and did a good amount of trotting. I felt much better, and mum even rode me back up to the barn as I wasn’t dancing around everywhere today. Our long ride was on for Sunday after all! We set off with Megan and Mel just after 8.30 and mum kept seeing people she knew, so it was a bit stop and go, and I was a bit sluggish at the start. We ducked and dived the overgrown branches down the byway, and about an hour in Mum snapped a twig off; I decided I better start walking out.

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It was all going really well and I was being really good leading the girls. We got to the canter tracks, and I was quite merrily going along until…

Mum managed to stay up there – although I think she nearly lost it! We carried on once the walkers were out of the way, but when we got to the next bend I decided it was safer to trot it just in case anyone else popped up. Mum laughed and we had a bit more of a canter up the last straight. The ride was good fun, except for the scary motorbike that Buffy didn’t like much, and the walkers, we had a lovely time. I was super happy I got to canter out up front for a change again too!

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When we got home, I had my first bath and got all shiny white. Herbal Essences – thanks very much. Rosehips and jojoba are not my thing. This is what I thought of it all. Boy was it nice to have a good roll in the dirt and the sunshine.

See you next week!

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Hedge hoppers

Let me set the scene. 

It’s a brisk but bright Sunday morning. You’re looking out over your beautiful rolling hills, complete with well kept hedgerows, having a cuppa after you’ve turned out your horses for the day. The breeze is chilly as the first horseboxes arrive, and you can start to feel a buzz of excitement and trepidation building. Horses are unloaded, more boxes arrive, and the hum is taking hold. People bustle around tacking this horse up, putting those boots on, getting numbers. Off to the warm-up to get everyone in sync, and then to pull each other round the course, words of encouragement and “keep up!” ring loud and clear (and a few “I don’t know where I’m going!!” “LEFT! GO LEEEFFTT!”).

Yes, spirits run high. As high as the fences. This isn’t just any event – this is team chasing. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these riders were here to pop the cross country fences scattered throughout the fields at Semer, should you have arrived on the off-chance of catching some fun horse riding. What these riders come out for is something much more than that – the hunt without hunting, the challenge of being against the clock, against the other teams, of making it around the course as heart-stoppingly fast as possible, over dense hedgerows lining fields, that snake up and down across the rolling countryside. I can only imagine the adrenaline rush at the end when you’ve made it round with your team members alongside you! For jumping is something I love to watch, but will likely never do to any dizzy heights.

This is an event I first discovered last year, and waddled around in my 5 months pregnant state, and when it came up again this year there was no debate on whether I would be coming back! The aim of the game is to get your team (minimum 3 people, ideally 4!) around the course in the fastest time. If you’ve never experienced team chasing before, I strongly urge you to get out and watch it when they’re competing in your area. I promise you won’t regret it.

I was most excited that I undertook my first two live facebook broadcasts whilst we were at Semer. Whilst I apologise that they weren’t groundbreaking or hugely exciting, this was a big step for me – there will be more videos to come in the future! Keep an eye on my facebook page, you never know when I might pop up next.

Of course I couldn’t attend without my camera to capture some of the action, so here are a few of my favourites from the day. You can see more on my Facebook Page, link below.

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