Although the RDA ponies have been furloughed since mid April, I have continued to keep Hector ticking over. After lockdown we stopped all riding and driving in line with advice and any exercise was done in hand only. After a week’s rest and a replacement lost shoe we started up again mid May.
Since then we’ve continued with the in hand work and added driving a couple of times a week.
Two carriage driving clubs then announced training days within 2 days of each other so I booked to go to both. We have waited for
so long and then 2 came along at once! There were lots of new COVID-19 protocols to adhere to, all common sense.
It was great to go out again. The first clinic was in Paddock Wood and Hector was fab.
A day’s rest before a super early start to drive to Ashfields Carriage & Polo Club in Great Canfield, Essex. We were blessed with
perfect weather and a very chilled Hector.
Our day started with breakfast, very importantly, and then we harnessed up for our first lesson which was the water obstacle.
In at the deep end, in fact it was a mere puddle to start with, but as it was filling as we were in it, each time it was a little deeper.
Hector is not known for wanting to get his feet wet so that was why I chose this a part of the training. He surprised us all, happily
going in, only looking at the hose pipe en route. Helen bore the brunt of the splashing through the muddy waters.
Time then to wash the mud off us all and the carriage and stop for some lunch.
Then we harnessed up again for our flatwork lesson. Again Hector was very willing even though he found some of the exercises
quite difficult. Lots of great advice and plenty for us to work on until the next time.
We arrived home 13 hours after we left, tired but very happy to have had this amazing experience. Homework to be practised and
enthusiasm for the next day out. Hopefully the calendar will have a few more dates added as allowed.
My thanks as always go to my super groom Helen for not shying away from getting splattered in mud!

More Lockdown news below…

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