Horseball and Tackless with Cora…

Happy November! (HOW?!!)
The ponies and I hope you’re doing well- maybe you’ve had a better couple of months than us?
I haven’t written a blog for a couple of months as I was waiting on a new saddle- thankfully Zavon seems much happier in it but it did mean we we

re essentially grounded for September (especially after I got bucked off on a bareback hack which was admittedly not my brightest moment- don’t try it at home kids)!

At the beginning of October we got our new saddle and I was looking forward to trying a new discipline: Horseball!
As there hadn’t been a season there was no open championships so I hoped we could try our hand at the open friendly instead. I almost went with no training but thankfully we found some not too far from us. After getting lost 3 times after work we finally found it and Zavon faithfully headed into the arena… only to wish he could head out as balls flew around his head and even worse, I tried to catch them?! He soon warmed up to it, he especially seemed to enjoy the team aspect of it and eventually we tried the most intimidating part of horseball: the pickup. A pickup is where you pick the ball up from the ground while still remaining fully mounted! (You do have a pickup strap- a special strap between your stirrups, to help you). We were all expecting Zavon to find this absolutely terrifying, but he was actually amazing and by the end of the evening felt quite confident, perhaps a bit too confident as I came to find out…

We then had a dressage lesson where at the end I excitedly showed my instructor a pickup- unfortunately my confidence was greater than my skills and I slid off the side! Undeterred, I tacked up a couple of day later ready to try again… only to fall off twice in a row (it was successful until I brought the ball too close to Zavon) but it’s such a fun sport I’d recommend anyone with the opportunity gave it a go! (Zavon would also recommend it due to the sheer volume of likits and stud muffins he got afterwards because we were so amazed with him)

Unfortunately, as with many things this year, the open was cancelled leaving us with a quiet weekend and no cool horseball photos. Fingers crossed next year we can go after perhaps a little more practice.

October has been a month of me and Zavon parting ways fairly often it would seem actually, as I came off at our first jumping outing in the new saddle- he was so excited to be out we got a flyer into a long double leaving me unbalanced and Zavon unsure. After we brushed the sand off, we then went back in and had a really nice round; it was lovely to be out competing again. Hopefully we can have more luck next time we go out in our green team kit…!

An incident this month reminded me of how you should always be vigilant around horses. Unfortunately, a sleepy wasp got itself stuck in Zavons rug and in an effort to get it out it stung him and I got kicked. Not Zav’s fault at all but it did leave a very even hoofprint on my trousers! As he was very shaken, I gave him his Likit Tongue Twister which he tucked into and soon calmed down.
Thankfully, he seems fine now and was absolutely awesome jumping tackless in the rain on Sunday.
(Honestly with most of this blog just don’t try it at home!)

Mary is currently enjoying a very nice holiday in a big green field so hopefully she’ll be good to bring back into work come next year.

As we head back into lockdown, I hope you all stay safe- working in a care home it honestly is heartbreaking having to tell them they can’t see their relatives for at least a month so please be responsible and safe.

Wishing you all the best
Cora, Zavon and Mary