donderdag 10 juni 2010

of trailers; tests and triumphs!

After last months post about loading Ulo into a trailer for the second time in her life, you would have thought we would steer clear of them for a while; but no - John and Jolanda went out shopping without me on Saturday and brought back a brand new trailer - to match the land rover, as Jolanda said! I should not have let them out alone, but I was back at the stables waiting for the farrier.... who is the sweetest man, and great with the horses, but is the worst time keeper in history, but thats a story for another time.

So there I was hanging around having one of those waiting sort of days, and receiving text messages every few minutes from not only Jolanda but also the farrier, which only gave me half the story every time. But it was a sunny day, and there were lots of people to talk to, so it was not really a hardship.

Eventually everyone arrived in the correct sequence, ie Jolanda and John with trailer, followed by Evelien who was there to give Jolanda a private lesson, followed by the farrier who was able to shoe three horses in less than two hours; then we all went home for tea!

The reason for the haste in buying a trailer was that Jolanda had another competition last Sunday, and we bravely decided to take the oppertunity for Ulo's first trailer training. John and I were looking opon the experience as you do a trip to the dentist! However, when we were ready to load, we got a amazing amount of help from another family at the manege, and Ulo was introduced to the trailer in a calm ordered way. Robin was an absolute star, and gave her plenty of time to sniff around and get used to the ramp then gently encouraged her to put her feet one by one on the ramp and eventually into the trailer! It was a treat to watch, and gave us confidence that she will be easy to load if we give her the time.

Once loaded we were off to the competition, with plenty of time to spare. Jolanda rode two good proofs, and was awarded two winst punten - which was what she needed to go upto the next level, so we were thrilled with that. Whilst she rewarded herself with a packet of chips, John and I (with the help of Robin's mother, again) decided to load Ulo up to go home. this time John took her in, and she calmly walked up the ramp with a look at him as if to say,
"nice trailer boss, pleased you realised I deserved something a bit classier than that wreck last month!"

The end to this trailer story is a little less upbeat however; I was scheduled to take my trailer driving test on monday, the day after the competition, and set of in good heart to start the training at 8 a.m. After driving for six hours, with an instructor who was very able to explain every fault I made after I had made it, I went into the exam completely demoralised and exhausted. Needless to say I failed spectacularly, as the trailer almost jack knifed as I reversed around a corner! I will take the test again, but I'm changing my instructor; never spend more time than is absolutely necessary with someone who generates negative feelings!

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