Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Introducing Henry!

Although technically this is Mally's Blog, I think Henry's introduction is long overdue, as without him, there would be no Mally!!

Henry was my first horse, he was bought for a nervous teenager that was adament all she wanted to do was hack ;) He didn't make the best first impression, threw me off and then tried a few more times once I got back on, but something made me go back (despite my Mum saying she would never trust 'that horse' if I had him!) and he was a perfect gent to hack, so I decided I wanted him and he became mine on the 10th November 2001.

Henry is Part Shire and not really designed for much more than pulling carts, in fact whilst he was for sale the Army tried him out as a Drum Horse, but rejected him as too small at 17hh! I think it had more to do with the fact he threw everyone off that tried him, something I wasn't told until after he was loaded ready to come home!!

He was actually pretty well schooled in walk and trot, but his canter was nonexistent and a very green jumping. We progressed together and eventually he became a pretty consistent horse to compete, very rarely was he out of the ribbons, although obviously he had his limitations!
Despite my insistance that he was only for hacking, Henry and I did everything together - Dressage, Show Jumping, Hunting and Eventing - not bad for a carthorse and a nervous nelly!!
 My proudest moment came when he won Eland Lodge's Unaff ODE, the soppy wuss I am, I had a tear in my eye as I collected our prizes!
Henry also came with me to Uni and we both came on a huge amount in that time, and it was at Uni that Hen became the infamous Flying Cow, a name that stuck and caused a fair few Dressage Judges to smile!

Unfortunately, Henry's willingness to do absolutely anything asked of him took it's toll and despite my care to avoid hard ground, he developed Ringbone behind. Once medicated he continued happily with a bit extra TLC, until an extra slippy day out hunting and a distinct lack of brakes resulted in a torn Check Ligament. With his age against him he took extra long to heal and as a result over compensated on all his other legs causing Arthiritis all round.

Despite him still being pretty active and happy, I decided Henry should retire as he owed me absolutely nothing and it seemed selfish to push him for my own enjoyment. And that's when Mally appeared!
So he is now a Feral Retired Pony, living in a HUGE field with the other oldies and a few youngsters to beat up! He thinks life is absolutely wonderful!!

A Mally Update!

The last feww weeks have been so hectic I haven't had a chance to update my Blog, so will try and do a round up!

After Draycott, we took a spur of the moment trip to Weston Lawns to do their Unaff Monday Evening Dressage. Hoping that I could maybe crack the warm up and get her to settle, unfortunately Mally had other plans and on Sunday night her and the rest of her fieldmates broke out of their field and went on a feeding frenzy!! Luckily they were caught before doing any real damage, but Mally had her first taste of barley and oats and then spent the day in her stable whilst the fencing was repaired, so was rather energetic!
15 minutes of cantering did nothing to dampen her enthusiasm and the Judges didn't appreciate her 'expression' and she came 5th in the W&T and LAST in the Prelim 7!!

We also took a trip to Vale View to get rid of my SJ demons and practise for Stafford BE90. So we entered the 85cm and the 95cm on the bases that I would see how she coped in the 85cm and then make a decision whether to go for the 95cm.
I needn't have worried, she was fanstastic, jumped clear in the 85cm and then had one down in the JO (down to idiot jockey getting carried away!) to come 5th!

So obviously I had to the 95cm then! It was the biggest course I have ever competitively jumped, so needless to say I was a bit nervous, however coming into the first jump on Mally I had complete faith in her! Unfortunately I still rode like a muppet and she flattened the third fence, but in a class where there were only a handful of clear rounds I was over the moon with her! Especially as she never even glanced at the water tray or had an issue with the treble, which was concerning a lot of riders in the warm up.

She was also treated to a gorgeous dressage saddle after Draycott, which was a complete eBay bargain! I am positive that the saddle and the white boots and pads have convinced her she is a Dressage Diva and her flatwork is definitely improving.

And just to prove what a fabulous horse she really is, she went from schooling over 1m10 with ease...

To plodding around with my novice Dad on board!!!

And what better way to cool off, than a nice drink out of the hosepipe!

So we are off to EHOA Camp next week (very excited and nervous!) and the Stafford BE90 the week after!