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Horse takes to water
10:20am Saturday 10th July 2010 in Features
Daniel celebrates his eighth birthday this summer and the little chap is, by and large, happy and obedient.
But the life of a horse-owner is fraught with challenges and last week left his family with two scores to settle.
Problem one was Daniel’s refusal to jump a clear round with Steve at Silsden Riding Club’s June show.
Mrs Horse brought home the winner’s red rosette from the Novice class and two Clear Round rosettes – while Daniel took huge exception to Fence Five.
Problem two was his massive and sustained objection to The Boss’s new water jump. Using his big yellow digging machine, The Boss crafted a small log step into the shallow stream in the cross-country field, with an inviting, gravelled, approach. Fearing he would drown in six inches of water, Daniel stubbornly refused to dip a hoof in.
A determined Sophie waded in herself, water pouring into her jodhpur boots, in a valiant attempt to show him he would not sink.
But, with stinging horse flies savaging us, we had three times abandoned the desperate struggle.
On a blazing hot afternoon last week, Jack – who relishes a challenge – saddled Daniel and braced himself for a titanic battle.
Mrs Horse hopped over the log with Jenny to give Daniel a lead. As the black mare took a cooling paddle and nibbled water plants, Daniel again dug his toes in.
“I expects she can walk on water. It’ll be me that submergiz,” he said.
After several minutes of hooves skidding and gravel flying, Daniel surrendered and dropped in.
He has since braved the water splash on his own.
Sunday saw a determined Esme collect two Clear Round rosettes on Daniel at Silsden Show. We were very proud of the little fellow and called it a day after seeing the stunning line-up of big horses for this month’s Novice class. Many would not have looked out of place in the collecting ring at The Horse of the Year Show as they leapt formidable practice fences.
On Saturday, Steve took Alexander to Craven Country Ride, accompanied by Jenny and Mrs Horse.
The tall chestnut thoroughbred took everything in his stride, leaping logs, banks and ditches and jumping in and out of the water. He seems almost too good to be true, flying his fences like Desert Orchid!
Jenny collects his new saddle from Todds the Saddlers in Kendal on Saturday. By coincidence, both Jenny and Alexander were born in Kendal and Baby is now living only a few miles away.
Steve Wright and Jenny Loweth