I’ve been on tour with Aunty Tills! Three days away and up to our forelocks in all kinds of escapades.
It started badly. We were forced unceremoniously onto the sweat box on wheels and had to stay in it for a long sweaty time while we were transported to the beginning of the Custard Cream Trail – a place called Rushop Hall. On the plus side, once we arrived, we did have a field of grassy munchies all to ourselves.
Tills seemed quite happy about this and quickly got down to the business of filling her fetlocks. I tried to catch on to her relaxed vibe, but for some reason I did find it hard to blink for a good while.
The next day our humans, Kat and Sara, took us out on a training session. In the name of all the saints over the bridge I can’t tell you how hard this was. We went up, down, up down, up down and then for the final down, our humans – for some absurd reason – decided we needed to go down a stone staircase. My feet are not the daintiest – Kat calls them dinner plates – so I did find this a bit daunting.
At the bottom of the staircase there was a small gate we had to squeeze through. Tills went through no problem, but our humans spent a while debating if I would fit. Bit rude.
Our efforts of the day were rewarded by Sara demonstrating a new hopping technique of mounting Tills on the move. She almost hopped all the way around the car park – really impressive.
On the way back to our field at Rushop I did call out over the valley beneath us, just to see if Jack could hear me. I don’t think he did though. On the plus side, I was so tired when we got back, I was relaxed enough to blink again.
The next day we started properly on the Custard Cream Trail and headed south – towards home!! Today was the longest day of my entire 6 years as an extremely hairy cob. We covered 20 miles over 9 hours (I know, there must be rules against this kind of exploitation).
Tills and I did lose our fear of water troughs though and slurped freely from them whenever we could find one.
I also found out why it was called the Custard Cream Trail.
Sara had packed enough of these human Custard Cream treats for 3 weeks instead of 3 days – no wonder our saddle bags had been weighed down!! It was nothing less than our duty to try and lighten the load.
After this very long second day, brightened by the Custard Cream discovery, we finally arrived at the next overnight stop on the trail. We were weary and hungry so another field all to ourselves was very welcome.
The next morning we set off again – the load a bit lighter but more work required. It was another very long day, but on this occasion brightened by the wee incident – seeing Kat scratting around in the squat and drop position while I ‘accidentally’ stood on my reins was highly amusing.
In the afternoon Tills and I recognised where we were and despite our tiredness we picked up pace and headed homewards with renewed vigour.
I would sum up my first real trail as follows – the world beyond my field isn’t all that scary after all and Hula Hoops are just so yesterday – it’s all about the Custard Creams. In-fact, Tills and I have agreed to only ever go on Custard Cream trails in future – anything else and we’re calling a strike.