After not riding for nearly a year, i couldn't wait to get him going again. After a few days of lunge work with tack on i decided enough was enough and time to jump on.With John to help i climbed into the saddle, he didn't batter an eye lid, a complete circuit of the school then 2,3,4,5 fab he never put a foot wrong. Soon off the lunge line and riding on a daily basis. After the first week in walk we soon progressed into trot and out for our first hack around the block- he even had to take lead through some deep water as the companion horse that came with him thought it was far to scary to tackle.
Since then there has been no looking back he has been a real gent. We soon progressed on to our first social ride which he took in his stride and longer rides with more horses to cope with.
Early new year 2012 we arranged to go on a ride myself and John with two very good friends from Poppit Sands this really was a ride to remember. After starting off dry the weather soon changed from light misty rain to torrential down pours which then became consistent, time to really test him out. He rode his first Canter up a grassy track as if we had been doing it for months, i felt in complete control. Despite the weather we continued with many more canters all as great as the first. We continued on the ride through many horrendous gate openings and through fields with bulls in, so as you can imagine rather high in the saddle as times.. until our first river crossing. Firstly down a vertical bank with stream at bottom, first horse walked straight through and up an almost vertical bank the other side. Apache slipped most off the way down and then as we reached the water he decided that it should be a Hicstead bank moment and leaped across on to the vertical bank, this had taken me by surprise so unseated me as i was now sitting on his rump with the saddle in front of me. As we landed Apache decided that as the bank was so steep it was time to jump up it to safer ground, hence now throwing me forward on to his withers and managing to smash my finger on the gullet (whew stayed on). Those of you who have ridden this ride will know where it is, no doubt in fact a friends youngster did exactly the same and she too injured her fingers.
If this adventure was enough we then nearly home had to go across a large open field with at least 200 strong milkers, who weren't best pleased we were there and decided to charge us again now soaked to the skin and wanting a wee, thinking i was so pleased i had cantered earlier today, we eventually got out of the field and made it home thinking how lucky i was that Apache is so good.....