Not all fun and games

29 05 2012

Apologies for the recent radio silence – I was unwell over the weekend and so did not attend riding club.

However, although Monday is usually a day off, I was in then helping with the ‘horse therapy’ event. The idea behind this was to invite in members of the public for a fun and relaxing time around the horses, with extra ponies loaned from the Tokyo Riding Club for children to have rides on. Those of us who didn’t have classes or another Good Reason not to be there were all required to stay and help out. It ended up being another long day, even though the event was cut short halfway through by a torrential downpour that came out of nowhere. My job was to guard an off-limits area – out of harm’s way where I couldn’t shame the club with my wonky Japanese. Heh.

However, I had quite an upsetting experience yesterday. When we were tidying up, for something to do I was asked to help with grooming the horses, and given a choice about who I wanted to do. Predictably I chose Hokon, but he was like a completely different horse. Initially, he let me clean under his hooves and his face okay, but as soon as I started to groom him with the curry comb he turned on me viciously, aggressively trying to bite me and throwing his back end out at me as though he was going to kick me with both legs. Nothing I could do would make him stop it. He was lead out of his stall and tethered in the middle of the stable, and two sempai and the manager of the Tokyo riding club took over from me. Once he’d calmed down, they gave me the brush and told me it would be okay for me to finish the job, but while he behaved then, when I put my gloves on and untethered him to lead him back into his stall he turned on me again and had to be taken off me again. I’ve no idea what I was doing wrong, but I would like to so I can make amends. That left me feeling kind of heartbroken 😦

On the plus side, we have a new horse! A young male thoroughbred called Kit (so I shall be calling him Knight Rider. Heh). He’s been acquired as a practice horse for first years, so I imagine I will get to ride him fairly soon. He’s very cute; light brown with socks on all four legs and a stripe. He looks really young, and from what I saw of him seemed to be friendly and inquisitive.

Nottoo soon, though, apparently. It was explained to me at practice this morning that because there are a lot of competitions throughout June, there won’t be very many opportunities for first years to get to ride the horses, and I was asked to be patient and bear with it. I imagine this means more long days helping out rather than actually getting to do any riding, but I don’t feel too short changed as long as I am still allowed equine interactions.

Oh, and today I rode Tifon for five minutes after the team captain had finished his practices with her. She was lovely and well behaved throughout.

Report ends. For the next month, my entries will probably get much shorter, but I shall endeavour to keep updating as often as I can.




2 responses

29 05 2012

So sorry to hear about your trouble with Hokon. It sounds really scary.

Perhaps you didn’t do anything wrong – maybe he was just being a difficult stallion. The sempai and manager have had longer to make him respect them than you have and there were more of them. I think you should try not to worry about it being your fault – there could be loads of reasons he could get upset and take it out on the human at the end of the rope. I hope all goes well when you next see him.

30 05 2012

Thank you 🙂 I might attempt bribery.

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