Matt’s Diary – Week 15, The Final Week

Friday

As promised, it was The Chauffeur on duty this morning, we had breakfast with the rest of the yard so I was ready to go to the field straight away! Otis let me go on my own with The Chauffeur so I could brief him on looking after us for the next couple of days. 

When Otis came down we both sniggered at him trying to break our water troughs with his foot and not get it wet! Unfortunately he managed to do it.

He spent ages doing our beds this morning, and we had new bedding down – I felt very special. To show how impressed I was that he’d changed my bedding I walked over to see him in the evening, which earned me a polo on bringing in.

Saturday 

The Chauffeur arrived before breakfast had been served this morning, and we were very glad to finally get to eat it – who’s idea was it to leave them outside our stables all night teasing us?

We were both, as promised to Young Mum, perfectly behaved. We were so good today being turned out and brought in that The Chauffeur thought something was wrong! He was very suspicious!

While I ate dinner I saw Otis was having a cuddle from The Chauffeur. What do I have to do to get this special treatment? 

Sunday

After a late night watching the pops, bangs and coloured lights, we were pretty tired when The Chauffeur arrived and we walked down to the field quietly. 

It was a really miserable, wet day so we were pleased when he brought us in. He checked under our rugs and we were both warm and dry, it was just our ears and faces that were soggy! I would have really liked a hot feed today to warm me up, but I had to make do with cold water in my dinner. It still went down quickly, and after munching some hay I felt much warmer and happier. The Chauffeur told us that Young Mum is home tonight, so we’ll see her tomorrow morning – yay!

Monday

We were both pleased to see Young Mum this morning, but Otis looked a bit smug when she kissed his nose and tacked me up instead – why do I always do all the work?!

It was fun this morning though, doing some jumping. I showed her how good I could be by jumping everything perfectly, even if she got the striding wrong. I think sometimes she forgets I only have little legs, and thinks I’m going to take off earlier.

In the afternoon she took Otis for a walk; they’ve restarted this walking regime as Otis was sound the last time the vet came. Meanwhile, I fretted in my stable because I felt left out – like a third wheel!

Tuesday

It was back to work for Young Mum this morning and what a busy day she had! She turned us out early and wasn’t back until dark to bring us in. It was too dark for Otis to go for a walk so we had a quick groom instead. I said to Otis, “that will teach her to have a week off work – riding seven different horses today. Her legs are going to ache tomorrow!” He agreed and nudged her out the way so he could go and have his dinner.

Wednesday 

I think Young Mum must have had a hot bath because she didn’t look too stiff when she came to see us this morning. She had another busy day, so we were turned out promptly.

Then in the afternoon she took Otis for a walk and then lunged me. I think I’m getting pretty good at this lunging, but she brought it to a whole new level – trotting poles! On a curve!

Of course, after looking closely at the poles I did it easy as pie. I will admit it was nice doing poles as well as circles, which can get a bit tedious.


Thursday 

Another morning off for me, but it was very cold. It’s been cold all week, but I was especially glad I didn’t have to get naked to be exercised this morning. Whatever they say about soon warming up, it takes a lot of trotting and cantering to break out a sweat in these arctic conditions!

Much to my surprise, this afternoon Young Mum tacked me up to go for a hack. I didn’t pay too much attention to the tacking up process, being too busy grooming Otis. So when she got on while we were still grooming I was surprised. Apparently darkness doesn’t wait for us to groom!

We had a really relaxing walk, Otis resting his head on Young Mum’s knee as we walked. I put on a good marching walk – even with my exercise sheet on it was still chilly around my belly. When we got back, Young Mum and I went into the school for a quick canter to warm us both up.

Friday

This morning was even colder! She’s getting good at breaking the ice in our troughs now without making too much mess. I made sure she knew I wanted some hay this morning by standing by the old hay. Young Mum’s been cutting down our hay in the field because we’ve been “wasting it”. Doesn’t she know we have to have some to eat, some to lie on, and some to pee on? She did relent and gave me a small portion of hay this morning. Old Mum was far more generous last week!

This afternoon we went for another walk with Otis, just getting back before the rain came! As I was eating my dinner I saw Young Mum starting to pack away some of my rugs. My leaving time is getting closer.

Saturday 

We had a final dressage practice this morning, making sure I know what to work on with Old Mum, and finishing off with my forte of extended trot! To cool down, I led Otis out along the road; our last ride together.

We were late getting back so Young Mum had to rush to change Otis’s bedding (I wasn’t allowed new pellets because I’m only staying another night) while we ate breakfast and then she slipped and slid to the field to turn us out.

We got to see The Chauffeur again this evening. He took Otis for a walk before bringing me in – I was quite upset, and showed him so by trotting over to the gate when he came to get me, and marching into the yard. It’s much easier walking through mud with four feet than two. These humans slip and slide around, hanging onto the end of the lead ropes.

Sunday

Today is going home day. As I’ve got such a long journey ahead of me, I was surprised to learn that I was being lunged early this morning. We did more poles, and I thought I’d make it harder by cantering them. But apparently that’s not the done thing. 

Then after saying goodbye to Otis I went to the field with my breakfast, leaving Young Mum to clean out my stable and pack my bags. She took my tack home and cleaned it last night, because apparently Old Mum gave it to her in immaculate condition. Of course, it’s now muddier so I blame the dirtiness on the weather, not the lack of being cleaned. 

With everything ready, I was brought back in, suited and booted, and then loaded. Of course I didn’t want to go, I hadn’t said goodbye to my lady friends. I was trying to get a last look around and shout goodbye, but a sharp flick with the lead rope brought me back to reality and I walked straight up the ramp instead of jumping off it.

The journey was very uneventful, albeit a bit on the long side. I didn’t stir, and daydreamed the whole way. Once we arrived I could smell home. That farming, cow, Welsh smell. I walked off the ramp very calmly and quietly, checking who was around.

Young Mum tied me up on the yard, changed my rugs and then I said hello to Old Mum. She mentioned that I could go to the field for a few hours, so I let them take me to the field. I hadn’t seen any of my friends yet, but I knew they’d be in the sunshine at the top of the field, so I didn’t whinny. Young Mum was very impressed with how calm I was.

When they let me go at the field gate, I turned and walked off, crossed the stream and then trotted up the bank to see my friends.

So that’s it, I’m home. Thank you for reading my diary, and I’ll be back soon when Young Mum decides I need prepping for the champs. Give Otis a hug from me, I’ll miss his scratches.

Matt x 

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