Today is definitely one to forget.  Our intentions were good; boundary ride (long hack 200 acres of countryside) at the local riding club with some friends.  Aimed to set of at 11am….

…actually left more than an hour later because Abbey wouldn’t load.

I’ve mentioned before that she’s been getting increasingly ‘sticky’ and that it’s taking longer and longer, but an hour is the worst it’s been.

The weird part is that she was good to load in my aunts lorry – a 7.5tn where she traveled sideways (herringbone) and when she arrived at the livery yard, she was cool as a cucumber.  Not so in my 3.5tn where she travels backwards.

She’s also traveled backwards in my friend’s 3.5tn and while she wasn’t quite ‘cool as a cucumber’, but she certainly wasn’t as stressy as she is in my van.

On Saturday, I asked my OH to drive while I stood in the back to see if there was anything obvious that Abbey didn’t like, but I couldn’t hear or see anything that I thought was particularly scary. Last summer I had windows installed, in case it was the lack of light.

And on the way back she got on the van in less than 5 minutes (we’ll forget about the part where she pulled back, got free and went for a high spirited canter around a busy lorry park) … part of me is wondering whether she doesn’t want to leave her field mates.

I made sure I drove very carefully there and back – perhaps I’ve driven too fast in the past?

The ride itself was good – the ground was deep but Abbey didn’t seem to mind.  We crossed a river in 3 different places and went through it a few times, we walked in fields alongside a busy motorway and a train track – 2 trains came passed and Abbey was good as gold.

But somehow the loading, the falling out with a friend who was trying to help and the now whisperings of the livery yard gossip has put a real downer on the day!

So the relaxing week off work I had planned is going to be spent, at least in part, trying to work out what it is Abbey doesn’t like about my van and a fair few hours of standing on the ramp doing loading practice – yey!

On Wednesday, I’m supposed to be going back to the riding club for a jumping lesson. Think I will allow plenty of time to get there!!