Pea enjoyed some quiet time in early January before getting back to the school routine. I tried to get into lunging her (practising for my UKCC assessment) with limited success. We had another sprinkling of snow to deal with then she had her first trip out in the new trailer. I was really nervous about how she would travel because she hadn’t been in a trailer for years but she was fine and I was so impressed at how chilled she was in a strange arena (with no fence!) We had an amazing lesson with a proper dressage instructor.
I tried to do my homework with Pea and work on what we started in our January lesson but I struggled to fit it in around work and we mostly hacked out. We had more snow in February and I told Pea that soon she would be going home to Gloucestershire.
March started with snow, progressed into mud and wetness, returned to snow and ended with intermittent sunshine. It didn’t bother Pea, she was fat and rugged the most she has ever been in parts of the month and naked in others!. At the end of March Pea made the big move back to Bourton and back to full time turn out. She was so keen to be back with her friends and settled back into the yard really well, just about acclimatising to having yard pigs!
April started quietly for Pea because I went to visit my brother and my parents. She acted as though she had never been away from BVEC and the first time we hacked through the Slaughters it really felt like we were home. She returned to being a semi wild beast in the stable. Part of me thought it was because she didn’t want to go back to daytime stable restriction and part of me thought it was just because she liked consistency. Spurred on by how wonderful my January lesson was, I found a more local instructor and we went two more lesson outings (Pea donning her leaving present cooler rug to travel).
May was a busy month for Pea. I had found out that my operation was going to be in June. We went for more lessons and she stormed round a four hour funride being impeccably behaved most of the way round aside from not wanting to go through a puddle!
I wanted to kick off June by taking Pea to her first competition of the year. It was a week before my operation and she decided she didn’t fancy it and got herself a puffed up eye. When I had my operation, Pea moved down to a skinny paddock by the yard. She started working a bit more (taking tourists on plods around the Slaughters) and was very tolerant of wobbly, slightly drugged me who came to cuddle and kiss her everyday. She also coped with my mum and boyfriend changing her fly masks.
Pea continued with her job into July and was very good as I got more confident going into the field, walking on one crutch, grooming her and tacking her up. She was getting increasingly frustrated with being in the skinny paddock and even managed to pull mum over while she was taking her to the field because she was diving for grass!
Things changed pretty massively in August. On the 1st of the month I strode over to Pea in the field with no crutches and I swear she was looking down at my legs in confusion and by the end of the month I was strong enough to lead her to the field myself (I didn’t get pulled over thank god!) On the 28th, I brought her in, groomed her, tacked her up and actually got on her back. She was SO good – I like to think she completely understood what was going on and made a conscious decision to be wonderful!
At the beginning of December I decided that it was time for Pea to go back to the big far away field. She was pretty miserable being in the skinny paddock and even though my legs weren’t quite up to it, I was willing to walk further for her to be happy.. and she was. As I started riding a bit more, Pea started working less.
In October things got wet but Pea wasn’t fussed because as it gets colder and wetter, hay appears in the field and she lOVES it. I finally got around to trimming off her feathers to keep her legs neater over the winter. Her scabby mallenders flared up and they are so much easier to keep an eye on without a load of feather getting in the way. She experienced her first flurry of snow since the summer and her first canter under saddle for months!
Pea really fluffed up in November and was completely shocked when, one day, she was bundled into the trailer to go off for a lesson. She was even more shocked when my instructor got on her! We had decided that I wasn’t ready to ride for a whole lesson so it would be good for both me and Pea for her to do some riding. It set her up for a really good couple of weeks of riding.
December has been a really quiet month for Pea. It started off with an amazing lesson but then I’ve been ill twice and away house sitting so she’s actually had some time off. After holding off for months, she’s finally rugged up with just a thin sheet. She was tinselled up for a Christmas ride into Bourton and now that it has been the school holidays, she has been much busier!