Sunday, 17 July 2011

A very long ride - day 3

Sunday morning dawned wet and windy. Just like camping in the UK really.....

We toyed with the idea of abandoning the rest of the weekend but decided to soldier on regardless. Especially after breakfast involving proper English bacon courtesy of Gary. So we saddled up again to tackle the TREC course. Aude has built most of the things you’ll meet for the Parcours de Terrain Varié bit of a TREC competition, that’s like an obstacle course for horses.

So here’s “immobilité” (horse has to stay in the circle for 10 seconds without the rider)

“montoir” rider mounts without horse moving out of the circle

“maniabilité” which is a maze made with poles 90cms apart, the horse musn’t touch them!

“branche basse”, we get to practise this on a daily basis in the woods!

“slalom”, complete with horse eating flags for Maverick

“contre bas” , Seraphina wasn't quite sure what to do with her feet at first!

And of course the “tronc” which we usually step over but as we were last and he’d just seen his mates disappear up ahead, Gandalf actually made an effort to jump!

There was an interesting moment when Mav got too close to Organza and she decided after his attack on Friday she would get in first and gave him both barrels, the people on the ground got out of the way very quickly......

After that we put the horses away and went to chat to Aude about the possibility of doing a Pony Club camp type thing at her place next year. She is going to do us some prices for a 4 day camp (I think we’ll box everyone over rather than doing the 12 hour ride!) including a go round the TREC course and a night ride, so pencil that in your diaries for Ascension weekend next year.

After another barbecue lunch, the back up team pulled out and went home, taking Ches with them as Anna had to go home so there was no one to ride him back and I didn’t fancy ponying him. Gary pulled away down the drive.....with the trailer handbrake still on, so Aude’s gravel drive got seriously rearranged!

The core group stayed on, in the wind and rain, we lit a fire and cremated some potatoes in it then retired to our tents for a cold and noisy night, constantly woken by the sound of the tent threatening to take off.

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