The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This cob's not for hacking

The lovely weather continued and so we had the same routine: in the stable with our haylage until 11.00 and then schooling for me.

Dad had put out some poles and a little staight pole to pop over. We warmed up in walk, trot and canter and then attempted the poles in both directions. I managed to step on them occasionally and also to knock the little pole, which we were supposed to trot over; so we didn't actually "pop over" anything really. Dad thinks he will get Teacher Steve to help us with that in a few weeks. He thinks we need to practice cantering into, and hopefully over, little fences.

Whilst we were working, Other Dad brought Dibby out ready for a hack. I know Dad would like to hack out, but I do get very nervous out on the roads around here. It's not really the traffic; it's what's behind things - like hedges, walls and fences. It's also that great big slobbering Great Dane down the road which runs up and jumps up and down and down and up, right under your nose.

I know we cobs are supposed to be calm and collected under these circumstances, but it does my head in. Dad discussed it with Teacher Steve who said there wasn't much point in hacking out from the yard if neither the rider nor the horse enjoyed it: so for the moment, this cob's not for hacking.

Dad brought us in about 4.45 - with help from Simone, who held Cricket to enable Dibbs and I to get through the gate. Speaking of Simone, Dad sat on the floor and played with her Jack Russell puppy, Swapsy, for a while, which always chills him out. Swapsy likes carrots almost as much as I do, but I digress. We were groomed and given our tea. The level of hard food had been reduced a little, but Dad added some carrots and apples - and gave us the odd mint after; so, all in all, we can't really complain. We cobs are usually quite philosophic. In fact Dad was chatting away to me whilst he was combing my tail and it struck me that he listened to my request several months back.

One day when he was also brushing me he said he had arranged for a lady called Julie to speak to me and that I wasn't to be surprised if someone spoke to me in the night. I wasn't to be worried and it would be a friend. Sure enough, when it was quieter it happened. A woman’s soft voice seemed to come into my head from a long way away. We talked about the past and I told her some things:
My first home was quite nice and I found it easy to be backed. To be honest, I’m not sure I told her everything about my early years. I explained I had done some showing and am comfortable in a double bridle as opposed to a snaffle. I like jumping and would do more. I’m not unhappy with my current schooling. I have been driven in harness. Sadly I wasn’t really comfortable in harness and tipped over. Dad wonders if that's where I hurt my pelvis and gained the scars on my hind legs.

I found my walk “restrictive” in the past, especially behind the shoulder blades, which may have also have been due to a badly fitting saddle.

I’m a gregarious chap and love company. I’m stubborn and strong-minded; I feel I’m often misunderstood, but my face-pulling and ears going-back don’t mean anything. I admit I’m very nosy and like to know what’s going on and get involved in everything. I’m usually happy.

I hate things approaching me too fast from behind, since my peripheral vision isn’t brilliant. I often need to turn my head more than other horses on account of this. I dislike too much noise, since it makes it difficult for me to think straight.

When Dad rides he tips slightly to the left. I’d like him to rectify this and particularly relax his stiff shoulders and tight lower back. I’m quite happy to do the kind of activities Dad wants. I really love praise and really want to be told what Dad and I are doing together. I wish Dad would talk to me even more.
Since Julie told Dad what I said to her he has tried to talk more and to ride better. I'm glad he tries; we cobs like a trier.


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