In Training for Tuscany
We’re off to La Fiaba tomorrow for a riding weekend. We were going to be super-fit for this. We’re not. We were going to have ridden Aero and Flurry out for at least five days a week for the last month, with at least two of those rides being long ones. We didn’t.
Flurry thinks this situation is hilarious.
(Actually, that is a seriously good giraffe impersonation)
Yesterday I rode for about an hour, with Alexandrine on Max and JC, who owns Volverine, a lovely little bay horse which has been at the farm for the last two months to be broken. He went home after the ride to start his life as a Cheval de Randonée – a trekker! JC is serious trekker – he goes off for eight days out of every month. At least I think that’s what he said. He speaks very fast.
We had a lovely ride, through the woods across the road from the farm, down towards Reillanne and back again. The LSH came on foot, with Cookie on the leash, to see how she would behave when out with horses. To our surprise, she was excellent – she didn’t fight with Chips and she didn’t bark at the horses at all. However, she didn’t seem to understand that I was ON Flurry – when I called her, she looked around, puzzled, but never looked up at me!
The advantage of having the LSH on foot is that he took some photos, so I can share this ride with you all. UK and Irish readers, this is what Spring looks like (if you can get broadband in your igloos). Seriously, avalanches in the Mourne mountains – what’s that about??
We started off on foot, but mounted right after this photo.
Then we had a long descent to cross a stream (which is usually dry but is not, now) followed by a climb up the other side.
Followed a track for a short while, heading into the woods
turned left onto a gravel road for a short bit, before turning right for a pretty long spell on a rough stony trail through scrub oak where the LSH couldn’t get a decent angle on us.
There was a big loop around through the scrub and back up the hill again, where we left him behind for a bit (sorry, LSH) but he caught up with us at the second lavender field.
(I like those ones!)
After the lavender, we were back on a gravel road in the woods for a while. Flurry was in turbo-mode the whole time he was in front – not trying to tank off or anything (although I think if Volverine had given him an excuse he’d have been gone!) but marching out at the briskest walk he’s capable of.
We turned off and headed through the patch where Alexandrine’s Dad is felling trees and JC went out in front. As soon as someone else took the lead, Flurry switched off.
Back down to the same stream crossing
stop for a quick slurp…
and scramble up the other side. With a little buck and a skip if you’re a dun gelding who’s still feeling fresh.
Back to the farm, where sweaty horses have to get washed behind the ears
and everybody can have a drink of water
before collapsing in a heap.
Ok, Tuscany, I’m ready for ya!