Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Rawdon Fun Day

Photos by John Davies

 Photo by Helen Gilbertson

I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone past since we were last at Rawdon Fun Day, but it must have done because last Saturday we were back there!  Thankfully the weather was far kinder than in 2012, and as a result we managed to drive the lorry onto the field and straight into position without being towed.  It was just Helen and myself, and Tinker and Casper, who arrived on Friday evening and set up camp for the night, as we were due to have yet another new girl join us in the morning.  We spent the evening cleaning tack (Helen) and cooking (me) and had a very peaceful time.  The boys were out in the arena busying themselves with eating as much as possible once again - this seems to be their default setting at shows now!

In the morning we were joined by Emma, who had come to help us out for the day.  Emma works at Hope Pastures in Leeds, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for horses, ponies and donkeys.  Helen knows Hope Pastures through the work she does at Hannah Dawson Equine, and it's lucky she does as we were stuck for someone to help until Emma came along!

Having given Emma a crash course in what she needed to do throughout the shows, it was soon time for our first display.  In Casper and I went, and off we went!  I don't know what was up with him, but we were flying!  The arena was on quite a slope, and he was definitely using that as an excuse.  I managed everything fine though thank goodness!  All went well again until the dance, when Casper did something he has never done before (and hopefully will never do again!).  In the middle of the dance he just charged off!  He was doing laps of the circle and showing no interest in stopping whatsoever.  Poor Helen, she didn't know what to say, and I just kept saying to her 'keep talking!'.  I finally got the beast back under control, but I have no idea why he did it, just attention seeking I think!  Then it was time for the games section, and once we were out of the circle Casper would do one of the toys/games with me and then charge off again.  He kept running to different points in the arena and sticking his head over as if he was saying hello to people.  It got quite embarrassing after a while!  The saying 'Never work with children or animals' sprang to mind - and it seems as if I have a perpetually childish animal!  To be fair to him, he did do everything I asked of him, he just did a few laps of honour in between!  Once we got back in the circle he did the rest of the show very well, so I can't grumble too much.  I was struggling to vault on him a bit on the slope, but looking back over the video you can hardly tell.  What was really funny afterwards was how many people asked me if Casper was actually being naughty through the show or if he was supposed to run around on his own.  The little monkey was definitely being naughty!!

When Casper behaves like that, it makes me eternally grateful to Tinker.  He did a wonderful show, and made it all feel easy again!  Even the slope didn't matter on Tink, he really is lovely to vault on.  I know him so well I can just concentrate on the vaulting and not worry about him in the slightest - even when he isn't wearing his bridle and side-reins.  I cannot wait until Casper is at the same stage!  I think it may be a good few years though...

We had a lovely day, and I'm so pleased the weather was so good.  There was hundreds of people there, all through the day, and lots for them to see and do.  Benji was there with the Interesting and Unusual Team, and did two really good shows.  There was demonstrations by the fire brigade about cutting cars at accidents, which sounds a bit morbid but was fascinating.  There was also a visit from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, who are one of the charities the fun day supports, although this year they didn't come right in the middle of Tinker's dance like last  year!  Unfortunately they couldn't stay very long, as they had a call to help a biker who had been injured in an accident.  This just highlighted what a fantastic service they offer, and how vital it is that they are well supported.  The fun day did a brilliant job in this respect, as the day raised made over £15,000 in profit to divide between their charities - their best result yet and long may it continue!  You can see some photos from the day here, and I'll be adding some more soon hopefully!

We're off back to Otley this weekend, where we will be performing at Otley Carnival on Saturday.  We'll be doing our two horse show as we did at Ilkley Carnival, and I'm hoping Tinker behaves better than he did there!  Entry to the carnival is free, so we'll see you there!  I'll let you know how we get on.

Love Rosie x

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