We made it..
Just. Aside from the fact that Pete doesn’t get to knock off work early on a Friday and it was 2 and a half hours drive to ride base, I was SLAMMED all week at work so packing was less organised than it should have been. So we didn’t get to actually load the ponies until after 4 o clock. Add to that the fact that at the last minute I realised that Savannah has not actually been trained to go on THIS float before.. and the fact that currently the float is being rebuilt, so Mojo has to load into a bay which is not long enough, but over width, so he has to walk on, turn round 180 degrees and stand in a sort of angle load position…
Luckily everyone co operated and we were on the road. By the time we arrived the vet ring was closed so we wold have to vet in the next morning. We met up with our friends from Perth, two of whom were doing their very first ever endurance ride: one on a nice little Arab mare and one, aged 9, on an 11.2 Welsh pony.
A few reds were had, and I slept well until 4.30 a.m. when my younger daughter decided to have a chat to the dog.. This meant I lay there for another hour before giving up and getting up. I fed the ponies and put on Savannah and Angel’s boots before getting the kids out of bed to help me vet ponies in. Of course, by this time the offending child was sound asleep again….!
All vetted well, and we were ready to get to ride briefing before saddling up and setting out. There were a few obligatory pre ride photos:
And then away we went:
We climbed a STEEP hill for the first three kilometres: it went UP and UP and UP, which for my flatlanders was a bit of a shock, but they were game. Then we popped out at the top of the scarp and away we went. Little 11.2 hh Lucky was a MACHINE – his little gogo gadget legs were out in front all day.
Savannah was a star all day – she led, she followed, and she did not spook once the entire way. She ate (needs to work out how with a bit in) and drank after 8 miles. We had one minor tantrum when the kids shot past us on the way home and I insisted she could NOT gallop to catch up, but that was all. She vetted in after 10 miles with a heart rate of 38. We may very well have a new endurance pony on our hands – she certainly has the mind for it.
Then we all had a relax in the sun and a bacon and egg sandwich (yum) before packing up ridiculous amounts of stuff and heading home:
Surprise package of the day was our little Welsh pony Mojo, who vetted in pre ride with a heart rate of 35, and who had the same heart rate at the end! He keeps himself surpisingly fit, and he has a trot which can easily keep up with my two big horses. If the 9 year old rider is up to it, we are seriously considering a 40 kilometres (25 miles) ride for him next season.
That’s the last ride of the Western Australian season. It’s just too hot here for endurance riding until about next March! So the ponies are getting a month off, Miss Savannah is getting a couple of weeks, then we are back into it with the aim of doing a couple of Adult Rider rallies, and a dressage lesson or two, over the summer. Savannah and I are going to do a Tetrathlon (ride, run, swim, shoot) and maybe even a one day event next autumn (April).
And in Februrary Joe will be back into work, and maybe Prycie as well, and clearly Ashleigh needs to shoot for a 40km ride on her pony.
And there is still the small issue of comtemplating having a go at qualifying for the Quilty..