Yeah baby, after 5 days of non riding, I finally could spend time with Fresco today.
5 days is long, but our relationship seems to be strong enough, he came to the gate to greet me, stood by me while I took the saddle and all the grooming tools and when I put the halter on he didn’t budge.
The grooming and saddling all went perfect, I did use another saddle because the cinch of the performer pinches his skin and he has some little healing wounds in his armpits.
So of we went to the playpen to warm up a bit and as we started to play a few games all of a sudden rain started to pour on us, it was incredibly heavy and fast, like a storm.
I went running into the shed, but Fresco staid outside, his butt turned to the wind. Do you know that all horses do this? I learned this when I went on a 7 day trail ride through France, we were on top of a mountain and the sky seemed to burst open and all horses pointed their butt to the wind, it’s cool to see, it’s an instinct that every horse has.
I love the rain because it helps the grass to grow and after these extreme temperatures we had the last months, any rain is more then welcome. It does however restrict my playing with Fresco because the playpen gets slippery and we can’t do any jumping or cantering. Even trotting is dangerous as Fresco easily slips and slides on the ground. I’ve seen him fall already numerous times and it’s heart braking.
Well I wasn’t about to let this ruin my day with Fresco, so off we went on a trail ride and we were lucky enough that it only rained again when we were in the forest, well protected by the trees.
It wasn’t just a trial ride, I was doing some patterns along the way to slowly get him back into the learning frame of mind. Some shoulder in, some disengagements, some transitions, some figure 8 with the trees. It was not easy, he was particularly heavy on the porcupine game, he was more interested in the grass then in me and he had a major respect issue that I had to tackle several times. He was playing hard, really hard, I haven’t seen him like this in more then 8 months. Funny how it can turn.
So we had quite some discussions along the way, but I didn’t give up, I kept on being persistent and in the end he started to become more of a partner. I did some bowties with him in an open field, not in canter though. The problem I have with the canter now is that because of all the focus on the right lead and trying to get it, he is getting more and more tense and frustrated when I ask for a canter. He is after all introvert. So instead of asking for a canter I simply practiced the move of the bowtie in walk and trot, really pushing his hindquarters away in the turn and at some point he seemed to really get it and he even jumped softly in the right lead without me asking.
So despite the fact that this wasn’t what I would call a relaxing trail ride, I’m happy with the result.
Our weekend was a success, although pretty windy and not very warm, we enjoyed the medieval life and especially enjoyed each other. It was a weekend full of real quality time and a relaxing feeling. I learned quite a bit about medieval living and although we might be sophisticated today with all of our tools, I do appreciate and admire the time and quality that goes into preserving and maintaining these habits. Like cooking a meal, you would start in the morning already to cook for lunch because of no microwave, no oven (unless you’re lucky) so basically everything needs to be cooked on a fire. So the first thing you have to do in the morning is looking for wood. Some women needed to prepare food for 30 or more people, and the fancier the people, the more varied the food needed to be and the longer it took.
We all slept in a medieval tent with no floor protection, we did however bring our air mattresses but they were not exactly a good bed as they deflated during the night and we woke up feeling the ground beneath us. Except for that minor detail the camping was fun, the kids also enjoyed it. In the morning we sat at the huge breakfast table enjoying the abundance of food.
We learned about armor, those things weigh about 35 kilo’s on average and can go up to 50 kg if a full armor. The knights need to get dressed by a helper as they can’t possibly put this on themselves, same with getting the armor off. And although they are so well protected, it is impossible to avoid bruises as the metal always slams to the skin, it is however less painful then without.
So here are some pictures of the weekend, I hope you enjoy this crazy bunch.
Thank you for reading,