Shy John’s Friday Diary

John and Lawrie schooling

Keep up to date with Shy John as he starts his journey from racehorse to riding horse. He has had a busy first two weeks of trotting and has managed to keep Lawrie firmly on his toes! 

Work Hard Spook Hard  

Saturday 30th June

We have been trotting for a week now and today we turned right out of the drive again, last time this was NOT successful so I was pretty sure Lawrie would give up again pretty quickly. However we didn’t go up the hill and instead we went along the main road then down to a village called Woolstone (really pretty little village so LOADS to spook at). Lawrie says the pub is nice but he wouldn’t let us stop. It was the longest ride I have been on so far and we did quite a bit of trotting but it’s ok, I can still spook in trot, it’s more fun as it really keeps Lawrie on his toes. We passed another pony with some weird contraption behind it (apparently it’s called a trap, the pony looked pretty trapped to me). I was so shocked to see this that I didn’t even think to spook, I must try harder next time!

Sunday 1st July

You’ll never guess what happened today. I still don’t believe it. Firstly Lawrie turned up in the morning and drove my lorry away without me in it which I thought was pretty rude, surely it’s time to go to a party soon. Then he came back in the afternoon with a guy called Tony talking about something called a riding club dressage competition? Apparently they had been there in MY lorry and Tony had done pretty well. So they tacked me up as normal but instead of riding me out of the yard like normal we went into the school. I should have known then that this was not going to be enjoyable. Last time I went in a school was when I was in training with the Mason’s and they used to make me go in every Thursday at the beginning of the season for jumping and trotting  round in circles practice. But that was probably two years ago at least. 

The school was terrifying, there were poles and fillers everywhere and also loads to look at in the paddocks around it. For some reason Lawrie got cross with me for looking at things so that Tony chap started shouting instructions at him and suddenly I had to work hard. I resisted as much as I could of course but every time I came up with something new this Tony had a tip for Lawrie to stop me, it was so annoying. I will have to be more creative. This is not what I signed up to when I heard “Hunting and team-chasing”. 

Wednesday 4th July

Oh my goodness, one lesson in the school and he thinks he is Carl Hester! Every hack we have been on he is practicing all the things we learned the other day. So now I am not allowed to go along with my head stuck up in the air and I can’t even spook because he distracts me just before I am going to. I overheard him telling someone that Tony told him “if you’re not schooling, you’re unschooling”. That Tony has a lot to answer for! 

Friday 6th July

We went on a completely new ride today, out past the school and into some woods. It was so cool. I decided to behave myself for most of it because sometimes it is important to let him think he is in control. Then we finally went on grass for the first time! Although it still felt like being on a road. Again I decided to be good, really lulling him into a false sense of security but when we got to some cross country jumps and he made me go round them I was pretty cross so I made sure I spooked at every single one. You never know what horse eating monsters could be hiding behind them.

When we got back to the yard after our lovely walk I thought I had got off pretty lightly because we had not even trotted but how wrong I was. That Tony was waiting for us in the arena again and we had to do more trotting round in circles with my head down. I tried jumping in to the middle every time we passed the showjump fillers but he had another trick to stop me doing that too, he is so annoying! 

Tuesday July 10th

Today Lawrie must have had his brave pants on! We finally went through the gate and trotted all the way to the top of White Horse Hill. It is so cool up there, amazing views and loads of potential hiding places for monsters!! It was really hard work though. I’ve spent the last year working on getting my tummy nice and big, if we carry on like this I’m going to get thin again. Although hopefully that means I will get more food! Hooves crossed!


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