Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pontargothi Show

Yesterday Alex and I took one of our grandsons to Pontargothi Show. I can’t say I am very knowledgeable about the different breeds or what makes a champion but I can appreciate the spectacle and enjoy watching the animals. The watercolour sketch above shows a foal being led into the ring.

I haven’t had a great deal to do with horses but what experiences I have had have not been altogether successful.

Many years ago I worked for 6 weeks in stables mainly mucking out and cleaning equipment along with exercising horses. Exercising the horses was done bare back, that is using a bridle along with a blanket for a saddle. What I noticed was that the horses were big and had a tendency to kick or bite whenever you weren’t looking.

Nevertheless all went well until the last week of the time there. A lady went into one of the stalls without seeking permission to feed an apple to a fairly temperamental horse. I heard screaming and went into the stables to find her trapped with the horse rearing and kicking out. I had to go into the stall to get her out which I did successfully but in the process got kicked and caught an iron shoe on my leg. I was extremely fortunate not to get a serious injury but it was extremely painful and the bruising was a sight to see.

I never went near a horse again for years until my children decided they wanted to go horse riding. I was happy to take them and booked the ride for them. We arrived and got them kitted out then the lady owner asked if I was going I said, “No”. I was then subjected to all the usual abuse from my children from flapping wings to chicken noises. I saw the ponies the children were using and eventually gave in and was kitted out. Then they brought out this monster. I needed to use the mounting block to get on it. All went well until the lady leading us decided she was bored and went for a gallop my horse bolted after it and no amount of pulling, cursing, or praying would induce it to stop. I held on somehow and got back safely but I have never been near a horse again. I am happy to draw them and consider them magnificent creatures but feel that we are best left to plough our own furrows.

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