Three weeks or so on box rest seemed to have left Ali and I with a flaky Mr Merlyn last week. I went up for my Monday ride on a lovely sunny morning and was pleased to find him in a nice mood while we groomed, so well behaved apart from snatching one foot back early a couple of times.
Then came tacking up when he took a fit of the grumps with me. The sun vanished, it started raining and things started to look a little less idyllic than ten minutes earlier. It took me fully five minutes to do up his bridle and flash while he threatened to bite, and although he didn't follow through I was as narked as him by the time we were done.
I got on for our little walk up the lane - he hadn't been out a while so we were breaking him in gently - and by now the weather was dry again but very windy. He can get spooky in the wind so I wasn't entirely surprised when he got a bit nappy with me....we had both lost our sunny dispositions, though, there was no fooling yourself by now try as you might. I pushed him on with a feigned sack of potatoes 'I ain't worried by your carry on' seat.
What I didn't bank on was him spooking, bolting and bucking just ten minutes up the road.
We stayed put, it was over fast and I got him back together and made him go on a bit further past the things he was taking issue with - and there were a few - before turning back for home. A horse of his size bucking on a road is no laughing matter, even if they were little ones, I had no desire to see his more forceful versions, but I knew we had to go on further, he couldn't get away with it.
He had mellowed a bit by the time we got back down the road, and I was in half a mind to turn him back and take him out again....sometimes I have to check myself. I love riding and I know it involves pushing past fear at times, but as Mum I also have to weigh up the risks.
Ali took him out he next day and had just about concluded that I must have been a bit wound up when out of the blue he did exactly the same to her. Happens to the best of us, it seems!
So, we are 'on a break' Merlyn and I, while he works through his little issue in the hands of his much braver owner. I have don't have the bottle to take him out on the roads while he is being quite so daft but I am sure if she can get him back to his cross country and run off some energy, he will mellow again.
Anyhow, I am not letting up on my riding I have been at Hazelden and having some great fun lessons on Dennis, Monty and Rocky, any of whom I would quite happily keep in a moment...