When Hamish met Harry......

Apologies for the lengthy silence, but really, they are not letting my hooves touch the ground at the moment – and I need my beauty sleep (particularly since meeting the very lovely Lola…..) – however, I am still working my socks off to complete this challenge, despite all the obstacles I have to overcome (well, actually, let’s be honest – carry is the better word rather than overcome……but more about the polo dispenser later....)

I can proudly report that not only I am a BD pony, I have now made both my BS and BE debuts – but it was a bit of a shock.

I first met Harry Horton at Keysoe, on what I thought was a schooling day with Mum - which based on prior experience would involve lots of standing around and her wobbling until she could find something small enough to have a go at….so a pretty easy day, so I was pretty chilled – gentle steps seems to work schooling Mum.

Ready to go, I see a familiar face – Helene – who is incredibly good at ignoring Mum’s feebleness, and appreciates that I can actually jump – but she was accompanied by Harry. I was initially wary, as I have noticed that while I am a huge hit with the ladies, men unaccountably can be immune to my charms. I soon realised that Harry expected me to follow his guidance, and he did not seem to realise just how clever I am. I jumped round Keysoe for him, and reserved my judgement. The female fan club did seem pleased with me, and lots of polos followed, so it wasn’t an altogether bad day. I did hear Helene mention something about my waistline, which I felt was a little unkind – it’s all muscle, honestly – and those polos are mostly air…..

Life then continued as normal, with me trying to get Mum to jump. I thought now she’d seen me jump with Harry, she might realise what I was capable of. It wasn’t getting through, so I decided to demonstrate instead with her on board – "look how far away I can take off and still not have a pole down……." but she didn’t seem that impressed. Honestly, at times there is no pleasing her!

Amazingly though, with some coaxing and gentle bullying from the sainted and ever patient Karina, I am pleased to report that Mum is finally managing to cling on with eyes closed, point me at 80 fences, and look amazed we are still together the other side of the fence. If she only knew how hard I work to catch her, and the skill involved!

Last weekend we went to a show – all started as normal, but then Harry turned up. The dressage was on grass which surprised me a little, but I was still able to strut my stuff and of course I was the best pony there (to Harry’s slight surprise I feel……so I was feeling pretty smug....maybe he will start to realise I know what to do, and let me take over...)

So, back to the lorry, and work on stretching the lead rope to eat as much grass as possible while waiting to strut my stuff for a second time…..I know the drill …..or at least, I thought I did.

Back comes Harry, and off we head, and I am thinking ok great – get this done, back in plenty of time for tea, a chance to impress the lovely Lola with stories of my success. Well, this is where it all started to go downhill - instead of being expected to strut my stuff again, we are jumping. Very odd warm up – but then I thought just humour Harry…..but no, instead of my familiar dressage ring, we are heading to a ring of showjumps. “Your turn next, off you go with your flying cob” I heard someone say to Harry…and yes, I was expected to jump. I was so taken by surprise that I was over the first and second fence before I had thought about it, but the third one undoubtedly was dangerous – so obviously, I stopped. Harry couldn’t see it was dangerous, so tried again. I rolled my eyes and stopped again. Sadly, Harry was determined and would not listen to my help – so he took me to the jump yet again…..I thought to myself this is going to go on all day. Poor Harry has no idea about the monsters, so I best get us out of this as quickly as I can – so I jumped as high as I could over this awful fence, then flew the rest, to get us out of there. I honestly don't think Harry has any idea what I saved him from. He certainly wasn't grateful enough.

Back to the lorry, more grass……which was fine, I know Mum likes to faff about before we go home, but she seemed to be taking ages. Then, can you believe it, Harry is here again. At this point I had no idea what was going on……as we head off in a different direction again. Apparently, this is cross country. I know where the cross comes from!!! I wanted tea, Lola and polos – in any order. It was not in my plans to be jumping yet again. The first few fences I was just thinking about home, but after that, I decided if you can’t beat them…….again, there was one fence I wanted to take a closer look at before agreeing to jump it, but otherwise I agreed with Harry – if only because it seemed like the quickest way to get home.

So, we completed – and apparently I went from first to last in the section, whatever that means. Everyone seemed very pleased with me, and Lola was very sympathetic when I got home, so there were compensations for this excess of work all in one day.

However, I have proved to Mum that I can do this challenge, so she has now no excuse……..so fingers crossed I can continue training her with the help of the ever growing team, and somehow I can carry her round a BE before the end of the year. Then perhaps I will be allowed to go back to the easy life! #flyingcob #lookingfortheeasylife!

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Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony is Registered Charity No: 1166416

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