Friday, 9th May,2008.
Today was Arthur's first day ever led out on the road. He was a Saint. Lucky for him, Sue agreed to accompany us and helped him gain tons of confidence.
The hardest part for Arthur was getting out of the field. Even though I had moved the electric posts and tape, he was reluctant to cross the biting zappy line.
We started off,
Daniel, head in the air, -pressure halter, -what pressure, testosterone seems to overcome pressure halters! So off I went to be dragged along by Danny.
Arthur avoided the 1st two salt boxes and then sniffed the third one.
I let go of Dan half way down the bank in the wood, neck ache, thank goodness someone remembered to close the next bridleway gate behind them.
Sue was brilliant with Arthur and he was a really good boy, although she would not pick him up and carry him when he got tired, and he is only a baby!
Dan did screaming in my ears every time he thought a lady horse could hear him, unfortunately he also got some replies.
Sue described him like a teenage boy covered in Lynx and hair gel, testosterone coursing in his veins and strutting his stuff for the girls...when he forgets to look where he's going and walks into a lampost.
Dan was dancing down the road with a pretty mare staring over the hedge and saying she would love to have his children, when his feet slipped and he lay on the tarmac.
Sue was kind and asked if he was okay, she was worried he might have cuts and bruises.
I thought it was brilliant and served him right. I hoped it might knock the stuffing out of him for a while, but only about 5 paces, while he was hoping the girl he was trying to impress had not seen that little incident. (And if he had hurt himself, no way I could have carried him, so he only had the carry on walking choice.)
On we went, back onto the road, past the stinky,squashed dead badger and up the bank, lots of 4x4s and other cars on the bends. We stopped to say "hi" to Nobby Dew who was working on his superb bow top Gypsy wagons. Met lots more cars, bicycles etc.
Then I did the get dragged to the wrong side of the road to talk to Hazel's horse in her paddock, before shifting out of the way for more cars.
Past Hopton Lane, School Bus behind and 3 4x4s, cars coming towards us, no verge, steep drop to the left, lots of bends in shadow, so oncoming traffic would not have anywhere to go if a vehicle overtook us.
Got to Shallows Rise where I was going to borrow the end of the driveway to allow the bus past us. Urban man who has been living rural for the last 10 years was outside with his pressure washer, cleaning his picnic tables and chairs. I shouted "Hello" and got his attention, bit of a nod, then he switched it back on full blast before Dan and Arthur had walked by????
So we walked on to the bungalows and let the really nice bus and cars go on their journey.
Nearly home. Man cutting bricks with a round saw on the right. Great, Gwynn is mowing his patch next door, Chesney is running the inside hedge and Hatty might be in season. Mares and foals opposite our gate want to chat, on the top of a hill with a bend, where vehicles forget "due care and attention" and floor it. Lots more cars and a bicycle.
Should have shut ponies in the barn before we set out, how are we going to get in through the gate without letting anyone out, and how can I open it with Dan trying to climb over.
We managed, hot, thirsty and very tired.
Poor Arthur, just when he should have had a rest, lots of galloping and getting really sweaty and staying out of Williams way, because Will thinks Jasmine is his, and she wants to say "Daddy, I missed you", and "Hi, Arthur, how are you."
Ben was sensible though and kept out of trouble.
After William had bitten, reared and kicked Dan a lot,
and Dan had sweat and blood, I figured they would be too tired to hurt each other. So Sue and I went to see her lovely girls the sensible Daisy & Ellie.
A couple of hours and a big mug of coffee later, I went back to check they were all alive.
Jasmine was showing daddy how big she is now,
by climbing up the gravel mound. Dan was as impressed as only a father can be.
I swear he smiles at her. He also fails to discipline her for chasing sheep.
I get a little worried that they insist on hanging around the dangerous areas where Steve has horsey death traps, bits of machinery, old gates, the Nissan Patrol etc.etc.
But they have settled down.
Jasmine has Dan running if she goes to talk to William, Dan insists she stay on his inside, she kicks him and answers back.
Daniel's gang is Jasmine and Arthur.
Ben is allowed.
Wills is obviously not sweaty, he is clipped, and occaisionally plays the cheeky card, just testing, but mostly gets on with eating and talking to Ben.
Tomorrow, Jasmine gets her first outing when Amelia and me plan to take Jasmine & Ben to Byeways, Birchwood.
Oh, my aching limbs. Must take a ton of salt to add to feeds, and get them dettol washed off.
So hope you enjoy the pictures. Susie xx PiePony