Top of the morning to you, and autumn is a time I love for sure. The days have cooled down and the changing colours of the landscape are simply beautiful. All this is lost on the Young Master when we go out hacking but maybe next month I will include a poem The Legend and I have been working on. As I have often said before there is no end to that pony's talents.
So September has been less hectic than previous months with me having had a mini-break to recover from the rigours of August and the rock hard ground. After about a week I became very bored and played some great pranks on everyone. I escaped from my stable, giving The Old Boy near heart failure, as he was up a ladder fixing something on the horse box, when I cantered past!! I did chuckle as I watched him rush off to find a bucket of food to try and catch me with... I only put up a token resistance as we all know how much I love my Fibre-Beet.
Another game I like is picking up anything I can reach, buckets, jackets, brushes and throwing them around. If I stretch really far I can grab the head collars off their pegs and chuck them into the passage way outside my stable. It drives the Old Girl mad who said "Enough!" and I was back on the work rota, albeit light duties, but I had made my point.
Bishop Burton Horse Trials has been my only competitive outing this month and I couldn't wait to be back on the lorry, Bettsy was fresh with a new 12 month plate. I leapt in and off we went. As the Old Boy was tied up with Pony Club racing, we had a stable booked as he needed Bettsy too and I was delighted to see my old mate, New Kid on the Block, in the box next to me. My whinnying and general silliness was not endearing to the Old Girl or the Young Master so I could see I would have to behave and produce a decent dressage test or there could be strong words!!
With the grass under my feet and so many faces I had missed, would I be able to concentrate? Would the Young Master remember the test? We were soon back in the zone and apart from a little keenness in some of the canter work I felt we did a nice job. The judge obviously thought so too, so next stop the show jumping.
Anxiety started to kick in on the way down to the arena and I passed lots of droppings. The Young Master realised this and reassured me in the warm up but I still had my doubts, what if I couldn't do it? What if the leprechauns were there to smite me? A pat and a polo go a long way to calm the nerves and off we went.
The fences looked alright, we popped the first and second… what a lovely day we were having, now a spread… how lovely, oh look there's a friend from Pony Club, hello matey, oh Christmas it’s a double!! Jumped in… oh crikey, distance not working… oh well if you’re going to knock it down you might as well demolish it! Then we bucked our ideas up and jumped the rest of the course much better. Finishing on four penalties and a time fault… WHAT?? A time fault... seriously?! The Young Master was not impressed muttering away to himself but the Old Girl always has a positive spin reminding him the last time we were here our dressage had been ropey and even with those faults we were still going to be competitive if we got our acts together.
We did just that! Cruising around the cross country in an easy rhythm, comfortably inside the time. My ears were pricked and a huge smile spread over my face with every fence. Now it would be a matter of waiting to see where we finished up in the running order. Sixth place and a lovely rosette… all is good in the world of Billy Bank.
October looks like a busier month with Askham Bryan and Norton Disney Horse Trials plus some BS outings on the cards. With my work load being increased again it means I get more Fibre-Beet to munch which makes me really happy!
Billy Bank x
*Photo by Topshots