Xato and the First Two Miles

On Saturday, Xato and I had our first hack (or trail ride, for the American readers). I’ve decided to copy what a lot of the US folk seem to do and keep a note of how many miles we do under saddle. So far, that totals two whole glorious miles!

Admittedly, we probably went out before we were ready; but now that I’ve got it out of my system, I am in a better position to appreciate what needs working on and do the work that needs to be done. I wouldn’t recommend this as a way to discover where the holes are, of course.

We had no agenda when we left the yard, intending to see how he got on and base our distance on that; but he was as good as gold and followed along behind Iris like a seen-it-all, done-it-all trekking pony, all the way down to the village green and back. He didn’t react even when Iris did an impromptu tap dance over an unexpected dustbin, and when she remembered how scary that section of road had been on our way back, he stood patiently while Ben worked her through it and moved on again only when I asked him too.

The less good thing was when he became love-struck over a pretty redhead and decided to turn around and follow her. It wasn’t a major deal as I just kept him bending, disengaged him, and moved him on once we were pointing in the right direction – but it was a tad embarrassing and not something I want him doing!

Anyway, here are some photos from the last few days.

Ears so big they span the entire lane…

I rather like this photo, because although he’s putting weight on the rein you can see I’m just in the process of asking him to come off it and his ear is focused on me. We are a work in progress.
Taking photos from horseback is conducive for arty shots like this. At least, I assume photos set at jaunty angles are what art is all about.
Doing some schooling the day after! 😉
The first time I tied him up, I walked away to fetch some grooming tools and he decided to come with me, snapping the baler twine he was tied to without so much as a pause. Now I’m much better at dropping my energy and severing that connection when I want him to stay put!
Xato loves his nut-dispensing D20.
Meanwhile, Marty’s already harsh existence got even worse when Iris decided to stand on his hay pile while eating from hers.
But he did discover that my neck makes a great headrest when I’m scratching his throat, so it’s not all bad I guess.

Mulographer Sari

Sari was raised by cats which accounts for her solitary nature, occasional mania, and attraction to shiny objects. After riding and being around horses for 22 years, she discovered that she was, in fact, a mule girl and fell hopelessly in love with these extraordinary creatures. She lives in England and is married to Ben, who is potentially the best Ben who ever Benned.

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