I haven't posted much in the last month as things with the horses have been pretty busy and stressful for various reasons. I will update a separate post later explaining. However, things are so much very worse for one of my friends at the yard and that puts everything into perspective, so I shouldn't grumble.
Yesterday, we loaded up Wolfie and Buttons and headed off to Campsie Show. It was a fairly last minute decision, due to the various reasons above, but we went for me to get towing experience, Buttons to do an in hand class with Zoe and Wolfie went as a training exercise and to get experience.
Wolfie having his bath on Friday evening.
Buttons ready to go
Both boys bounced up the ramp and into the trailer without hesitation. I was really proud of them both.
They both seemed to travel well, Buttons sauntered off the trailer cool as a cucumber. Wolfie got very excited and wound up at the show field. So much going on for him to try and take in and process. He was very hard work at the beginning. I left him tied at the trailer with Buttons to try and let him settle, but in hindsight I should have tacked him up sooner and got on and ridden him around and worked him in. As later on when I did feel brave enough to ride him as soon as he saw his tack he began to settle. Obviously something familiar to him which he knew. He had a couple of really 'silly' moments,involving taking off and spinning. He threw in a couple of bucks out of frustration and not being allowe to go but I managed to get him back quickly. He's not used to a lot of horses working at speed around him, but it's really only at events like this which I can expose him to this kind of thing. At one point he was performing classical high school movements, levade, capriolle and he was also performing spanish walk, no kidding. If only he was trained under saddle to do this when asked. I managed to get about 10 minutes of really lovely work out of him and I really felt he would have given the big hunters who were warming up for their class at the same time a run for their money. He got some lovely comments from people at the show and one lady was very complimentary about him (who I later found out was the judge for the coloured class).
Due to Wolfie being so unsettled, I really had to leave my sister Susan with Buttons and to get him ready, and she did a great job. She doesn't have vast amounts of experience with horses, but she learnt quickly yesterday and Buttons looked fantastic for his class. I cut my fingers quite badly and Susan was trying to bandage them up. Buttons was passed to Susan's mother in law (who hasn't been near a horse in her life), Buttons probably took the opportunity to rake through her hand bag but we all mucked in.
I know a lot of horses travelling together will just pair bond in a different environment, but Wolfie was getting separation anxiety when I left him, and I ended up having to take him over to the other side of the ring to watch Buttons class. He and Zoe looked brilliant as they walked into the ring. Buttons got very excited once he got into the ring (he had behaved impeccably up until this point) and started to walk faster and faster, broke into a trot which got faster and faster. Zoe is too little to stop him and her legs are too short to keep up with him. He trotted off at speed with Zoe on the end of the rope doing her very best to keep up with him and with the judge of the class in her tartan hat and skirt in hot pursuit. It was really funny and a real Thelwell moment. He stopped and Susan came in to lend a hand. He ended up with fourth place and Zoe was very pleased with her rosette. I was really proud of them both, they looked so smart and did brilliantly. Buttons really did have a ball and revelled in the atmosphere. They definitely had the cute factor and random people were asking to get their photograph taken with him. He was clearly enjoying his minor celebrity status.
Again, they both just marched straight onto the trailer when leaving to come home. Wolfie was a bit sweated up when we got back to the yard, but Buttons didn't have a drop of sweat on him. It was a long day and tiring, but good fun and good experience for us all. I need to get Wolfie out more, but I feel much more confident now about towing etc. I need to invest in a good wicking travel rug for Wolfie. We turned them out when we got home and they both had a good roll and seemed very pleased with themselves. Good horses.