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Let's stick together!

I’ve been really enjoying walks out with Bronson, my horse, Luke, my greyhound and Pip with either Henry, a horse that has come for backing, or Neptune, Pip’s new Arab that she adopted from Fearne Animal Sanctuary. I would never have thought to go out on foot for a walk with my horse before I came to Pippsway and yet it is such an uplifting thing to do! It’s a great way to practise all the skills I need for hacking out and is good for my fitness too! After all, we do walk at Pip’s pace which is, frankly, going like the clappers!

Today we were out walking with Neptune. Pip has taken him out for walks by herself but as I was free she said we could join them. It was great fun, the sun was shining and it also meant Luke, my greyhound, could join us. When I’m riding he has to stay at the yard as I’m not quite there with being able to manage both my horse and dog at the same time when mounted, to be honest I am still far too capable at getting in a tangle with the three of us on the ground! But it’s good practise.

All was going well when we came to a crossing. Pip and Neptune crossed but I could hear a very noisey tractor coming and waited at the junction. That meant that half our party, Pip and Neptune, were on one side of the crossing and me, Bronson and the three dogs were on the other side. Pip saw what I had done, I knew straight away I’d made the wrong choice and at the same instant I had realised that Pip’s dogs were going to want to cross and be with her. Not only had I put them in a dangerous situation but seeing that we hadn’t come with them, and a noisey tractor carrying lumber coming towards him, Neptune became rather upset. He has been doing so brilliantly out and about too! I quickly crossed over but Neptune was already upset by that point.

I should know Pip well enough to know that she wouldn’t have crossed were there not enough room for all of us and realised that staying put could have easily resulted in one of the dogs being run over. Not a happy moment! That said, although I was contrite, I have learned that for the benefit of my horse and my dog, even when I have made a mistake, I need to correct the mistake whilst maintaining my equilibrium and not give in to feeling ‘less than’ so I noted my mistake and carried on.

Pip explained that the group must always stay together for everyone’s safety and that it was a good lesson learned. I was pleased that I had remembered to put Bronson’s need for leadership over my tendency to feel down on myself at having made a mistake. So still an improvement overall. As with all the accompanied hacks Bronson and I took with Pip before going out on our own, I know that this knowledge will serve me well in future. Onward and upward!

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