He was stiff and wooden and when the other horses did a nice circle he would spend most of the time pulling on the bit to go in a straight line. He would stop dead when asked to trot. He really made me work for any kind of response in fact. At the time I called him a stupid horse. I didn't know any better. And he was really, really good at getting his rider to go over a jump without him......
He was hogged and trimmed in fine old British cob showing style, so I didn't even have a mane to grab on to. He would lumber up to the jump, exhibiting enough energy to fool me into thinking that he'd actually go over it this time, then stop dead and stand there as I somersaulted over his head and landed in the sand.
I never did develop enough of a good seat at the time to stay with him. I realise now, having seen another cob doing the same thing just today, that he'd simply drop his shoulder and as I was totally unbalanced, off I'd go.
Sadly I have no photographs of this equine paragon as my parents used to drop me off at the stables' gate and beat a hasty retreat. Not something my daughters can ever accuse me of!
Although Fothergill is long gone, his legacy lives on. Which means that I have spent a lot of time not jumping stuff because of those unpleasant memories. And to be fair, Gandalf doesn't exactly seem keen either. But as we need to pop the odd log for TREC competitions, we do have to occasionally make the effort.
Recently, a tree came down on the campsite. It's not huge, really, but it's very solid, in the way that only tree trunks can be. Needless to say, Alienor was merrily flinging ponies over it without a second thought straight away.
Today the girls were again flinging ponies over it and I decided to go for it. Hadn't even had a drink at lunchtime.........and we did it!
There's even a video
Who says Percherons and fat birds can't jump? ;-)