I decided I was going to enter a Medium and saw our local venue had an unaffiliated competition today. So I decided to enter Gunner for Prelim 4 & 10 and then Baz for Ele 44 and Medium 61.
Last week Gunner managed to stake some wood into his cheek / jaw and he's on a huge amount of antibiotics and pain relief and we're squeezing a coffee mug full of puss / smelly gunk out each day, sometimes a couple of times. (We've had the gunk sent for analysis - it's nothing nasty) Other than a gunky jaw he seems fairly content.
So thought I'd see how Prince was getting on. Up till last week I'd sat on him about 4 times since June and his tie back and Hobday. In August he started head shaking following recovery from surgery so he was turned away again. I rode him twice then. I sat on his last week twice and he seemed a lot better. He's liking his new routine, he lives out and comes in to be ridden and have a little feed, then straight back out to his field. Fitness he's OK, he has a good hoon round the field and is always moving, muscularly, he looks pretty fab. So decided I'd take him and see how he got on. See if stress brings on his head shaking, makes him spooky.
So I rode him during last week and had a lesson on him yesterday and we set off today. So in 5 months Prince has been ridden 8 times!
Main problem this morning was finding a horse that lives out and does not expect to be brought in in the the fog!! Thankfully his greedy field buddies came over and he followed. Prince captured and the others turfed out I began to plait the mane that's not had anything done to it in..... well this year. Jokingly I said to Mum I could plait on both sides as Prince has a perfect center parting down his mane with it laying on both sides, might amuse the judge!? I didn't though and we ended up with 7 tangerine (they were far bigger than golf balls) sized plaits going down his neck.
Amazingly he was fantastic. Did not bat and eye in the warm up which surprised me as at home the fillas are scary despite having jumped them and seeing them many times before. I over cooked him a bit, we did a whole 15 minutes of warm up. He was a bit pooped in his first test. Prelim 10, cantering AT A, at........ Prince has a 3 second delay on aids so we were well off A. Not once did he toss his head or whinny (not sure he can whinny that well though following his surgery?) I was over the moon with him.
Back to the lorry to stand and cool down Prince before Prelim 4. This time I got on 15 minutes before his test and just walked him around the warm up. As the person before me went in we had a little trot and canter. Canter this time was between markers, so providing I give the aid at the first marker we should canter in time. There was someone in the warm up warming up for Prelims in sitting trot - insane in my opinion! Why sit when you can rise. Crazy lady!! Then I thought I'm back with Basil later and have got to sit and I've got a new sports bra on, had a go at sitting and it's not a good bra. So good thing lady was sitting or I'd not know to change into my good old trusty grey boob crusher for this evening!!
So in we go. Prelim 4. I thought when entering, Prelim 4, it's an early prelim, it will be cuddly and soft. OH NO!! 3 centre lines, A LOT of canter. Medium Walk 1/2 10's. Harder than a lot of Novices! Prince again was a very good boy. Canter was late off the aid each time but we did make it between the markers. 2nd canter transition I'm thrusting quite violently to get him to go forwards . But overall he was fab.
So back to the lorry. Boot him up pop him in. Locate coffee van, then off to the scores. The scores were in the secretaries. Can't remember the scores exactly, going back for the tests later, but in the lead in both tests so far!! For Prelim 4 we got 80%, the adder upper lady said we had 5 9's! - I do love unaffiliated!
So yes, thrilled with Prince. Over the moon! Very proud of the little man, or not so little at 17.1hh, but his brain is very small.
So back with Basil later. Best get learning the tests. Whilst typing this I'm actually putting off mucking out 5 stables and squeezing a mug of puss out of gunners face. Best get on.