We both knew that there's a farm track that runs the whole way around the farm, so we had visions of hacking along that, and having the odd canter through the fields.
That's not quite how it worked out.
For some reason, both horses were quite excited coming out of the horsebox. Maybe it was the resident equines galloping around and calling, or maybe they both knew they were somewhere completely new - who knows!
We tacked them up and mounted, and headed off across the field to join the farm track. First problem. Electric fence was closed. Oops. Anne hopped off, opened it and we continued. Both horses felt..... tense.
We continued, but every single fence we came to had been closed since the hunt's visit. Anne got off and on a lot! We tried to cut across one field, hoping we could rejoin the track, but everywhere was closed off.
We headed back towards the farmyard, intending to keep roaming around and find a circular route we could do. At this point, I started to feel a teeny bit nervous.
If Flurry has one fault, it's that he can be nappy at times, and I was getting strong vibes that this was one of those times. He kept fixing his eye on the farmyard, and letting me know that that was where he'd rather be.
Undeterred we continued, had a couple of trots through fields and along a lane, still with lots of stopping for fence opening. I was just not feeling confident enough to canter - still getting those vibes off Flurry - so we decided to have one more trot, agreeing that if I felt brave enough, we'd finish up with a canter.
I think Flurry may have trotted for four steps. Then he exploded - I felt the back end come up, the front end came up, all four legs left the ground - it was pretty high up, sitting that one! Then he was gone, bolting diagonally across the field towards the farmyard. And the electric fence. And the enormous hedge behind it.
Over my left shoulder I heard Anne's voice "I'm gooonnnnnne" but I was too busy with my own woes. Flurry's head was level with his knees as he tanked across the field, and I'd lost a stirrup along the way. I sat up, shoved my legs down long, pulled his head up, tried to get my stirrup but failed. The fence/hedge combination was getting close....... I grabbed the left rein and hauled him in a circle.... saw Anne and GiGi charging towards us up the hill.... continued circling..... damn centrifugal forces started taking effect..... "I am not falling off" I thought, and made a valiant effort to right myself, but once GiGi had passed us, Flurry swung even more to the left..... I accepted the inevitable, and unbelievably, got my feet under me as I flew through the air, to land facing him, as he skidded to a halt.
Anne, meanwhile, had managed to sit a couple of enormous bucks, and had kept a hell of a lot more control than I had, pushing GiGi on into a gallop all the way along the headland. When she finally came to a halt and saw me standing holding Flurry, she though, wow, that was scary, and if Martine got off maybe I should too!
(Anne:- When I said gooonnnnnne , I meant I quite simply couldn't hold my bucking uncustomarily disobedient horse any longer, so I let her go, more bucks, pressed my legs into her sides , and my horse who rarely condescends to gallop went flat out, but at least the bucking stopped, and I had steerage! I risked a glance around the field to see how Martine was getting on, why was she charging up across the diagonal I wondered, I was to find out later! There was a nice little bit, where we both circled our horses at the top of the field, in opposite directions, trying to find some brakes, and I still didn't notice Martine was slowly slipping out of the saddle, so when I saw her standing beside her horse, just as Gigi found her brakes, I hopped off too, after all Martine is my mentor!)
So we swapped stories, congratulated ourselves on surviving, opened the wire (again) and remounted.
Left the farm and went for a relaxing road hack.... phew!
|Ready to go home. Butter wouldn't melt!|
I also got to say hello to Rosie! We owned Rosie from 1992 to about 2002, when Ruth bought her for her own daughter. She was a great little pony and it was lovely to see her happy in her retirement.