Last week just didn’t go to plan.
I had decided after our last lesson that Pea was going to need a clip before our next competition and especially before the Riding Club Area Qualifiers on 27th October! She’s not a fan of the clippers so I got hold of some sedation from the vets (which I have used before) and set myself up on Thursday evening.
I had a ‘mare! She still wouldn’t let me get her legs because when I put the clippers on one (having already done a good chunk of her body easily) there was a moment of explosion and without even knowing it was happening I ended up on my bum with my head against the concrete wall. It was my left side that I landed on and I have to say I sat there for a moment wondering whether my hip was ok – ceramic hips can break – but apart from a bump on my head, bruises on my thigh (presumably from a kick) and a sore bum I was ok! Feeling a bit panicked, I popped my hat on and got on with it albeit slightly shaken.
I merrily continued until there was another explosion while I was doing the back of her tummy (evidently too close to her private parts!) This time she got my wrist. I honestly thought it was broken – it was shaking and I couldn’t lift my hand. I called Alex in flood of tears who arrived to find me crying and clipping with my left hand – I didn’t want the sedation to wear off and I wanted to finish!
I just kept saying “why am I doing this?” “Whose stupid idea was this?” After the drama continued with faulty clippers I eventually ended up with a fully clipped pony and went home to lick my wounds.
Friday and Saturday
I did no riding on Friday. My wrist felt worse when I woke up but I did still have to take a pair of scissors to her feathers to try to complete the sleek look – ouch!
On Saturday I went out on a little hack as my wrist was feeling better. I roped in Alex to walk with me as I was feeling a bit nervous. She was keen and a bit rude (probably reacting to my adrenaline) but we were fine.
I knew Sunday was going to be hard when I woke up and looked out of the window. Rain isn’t ideal when you need a clean pony and white jods! The plan to bath Pea got thrown out of the window and instead she had a hot water sponge bath in the stable and a speedy leg and tail wash at the hose.
Things were going fairly to plan until I realised we hadn’t left quite early enough and there was going to be a panic when we got to Lower Haddon. There was a panic! I tried to swap my boots and get my hair sorted but a horse came past us and Pea started bouncing around in the box. We got her out but she was really unsettled while I was tacking her up.
I tried to get my head back in the game for the warm up but each canter was a bit ropey, I couldn’t feel whether Pea was on the right leg or not, I didn’t realise how deep she was getting (it all looks different without a fluffy mane in front of me), I was too worried about the other people warming up and the massive puddle in one quarter of the school! As you can see from the photos, I need not have bothered washing her legs in the morning!
The next challenge was getting into the arena. We’ve had this situation before.. twice. It was worse this time, she was backing up and diving sideways but we made it in after a lot of leg and a smack!
After that, the biggest fail, I’d got myself so frazzled that when I went down the centre line I turned the wrong way!!! Once we had restarted it didn’t improve much. The cantering was a flop, the trot was awful and of course she stopped every time she went past the gap where the door was.
I cried my way back to the trailer. I did stick around to collect my sheet but I almost wish I hadn’t. We got 52.27% – my lowest score EVER! Not what you want two weeks before your first Area Qualifiers!
The only thing that brought me out of my cloud of frustration at myself (because we all know it was me that lost the plot and let it all go wrong) was reading the general comment from the judge
“Sweet pony sadly today not show HIS true self when you can get the canter work and HE’S working more forward HE will be lovely”
Apparently Pea’s buzz cut makes her look like a boy!