It wasn’t always this smooth…
“We” have come a long, long way since I met Yogi back in 2009 and then Swift the year after. We have all learnt a lot, but probably me the most. I am lucky to have two very patient teachers!
Generally these days, we can be safe & efficient and even managing the two horses on my own over difficult ground and around obstacles, we are fairly smooth as a team.
However just to give some of you a little motivation…
- It used to take 2 hours to load my horses into the trailer and was only possible with support from my husband and my friend (thanks Alice). Now… both horses load themselves into Lorry or Trailer, I just unclip the lead rope and in they pop. I still every single time, take a moment to appreciate this!
- Swift was difficult to back, she didn’t like things behind her head, she didn’t like to be fussed or brushed, she didn’t like her feet to be picked out, at times I felt that she didn’t like me! Now… she would get in my pocket if she could fit :o) and she will follow me anywhere -often no lead rope required out on the trail. Anyone else doing anything other than riding her though and they get the same moody treatment that I used to get. You have to earn your trust with this girl!
- I’ve made some bad route choices in the past… and have had several horses up to their bellies in bogs -(managed to get them out thankfully). I’ve even had the Bear fall off a track down a very steep rocky slope -but managed to break his fall and help him scramble back up. I’ve come across locked gates and had to do another 2 hours to get round after a very long day. So… I have learnt to reccy for myself (not listen to what other people think is possible), and I have learnt that a reccy on a bike before you ride can be worth it’s weight in gold, not just for the obstacles you might discover, but the friendly contacts you make along the way that can make your horse trip 100% better!
- I’ve had badly packed saddle bags that cause the pack saddle to slip. I’ve learnt to pack light and pack balanced!
- I’ve had faffs, dropping the lead rope to my pack horse, getting it through their legs, getting in a mess trying to get on the horse in the first place with reins, bags, ropes, manes and tails all in the way. Now… we have a system!
I do appreciate how much easier it all is these days… but it took hard work and many hours of training to make it so! I had help along the way -much thanks is due to: Yvonne, Leaf, Holly, Alice, Ellen, & my long suffering Husband!
Thanks also to friends who turn up in remote places with companionship, coffee, wine and/or solutions to problems (e.g. planks of wood to get over cattle grids). Those mentioned above plus Fiona, Sally, Sophie & Frankie, Leanne, Katie & Robert, Wendy & Mike, Fran, Lorie, Pat & Ray.