An event in Love Lane, Walton-on-the-Hill. Surrey.
The latest conquest for Chocolate Charlie the dummy, was quite a challenge. A warm blood by the name of Fred, of some considerable size over 17 hands, was proving very difficult to ride. He could be mounted and then as soon as he had gone a very little way out of the stable he bucked. When he bucked there was no staying on for his very experience rider, horseman and racehorse owner Andy Chard. Now Andy can ride, but he was quickly to bite the dust and admit that he was staring defeat in the face.
He called me up. “Can I borrow the Dummy?”
We arrange a time and I arrived with Chocolate Charlie in hand.
Andy led Fred out and long reined him and after a while I brought the dummy close to him and then began to bounce it up and down. I could see terror in Fred’s eyes. However we kept going until I managed to get Charlie up and attached onto the saddle. I picked up the lines, but not for long, Fred exploded. He careered around the school and then leapt the fence breaking the top rail. Which I later gathered he had already done so he knew it was broken. He then tore off round a field at quite a gallop. I suggested to Andy and Fred’s owner we just sit back and wait for him to calm down. He was clearly a contender for the Grand National, wide eyed and determined to throw off his rider,galloping like a demented racehorse. Charlie was hanging in there. Admittedly my dummy was by now leaning over on the off-side, his head bobbing wildly against Fred’s neck, but he was still on.
We stood and waiting ten minutes passed, Fred was not tiring and nor curiously was Charlie. Soon Fred began to slow down. He began to trot around his beloved owner begging for someone to relieve him of this horrendous burden.
His owner took no notice and soon he slowed to a point where he could be caught and was then taken back to the stable. We took Charlie off and then while the horse was in the stable Andy put Charlie back on. Well I was glad I was near the door for this massive horse was teetering on exploding. I quietly stepped out of the stable and prayed. We got the door open and the horse followed by Andy now in some control, back into the yard. Phew we all heaved a sigh of relief. Andy got him to the school and Fred was not happy about this state of affairs, but he was beginning to get the hang of not having a choice. Andy managed to long rein him and then the horse was taken back to the stable.
I left Charlie at his new home for a week. He lived in a nice barn and spent his time sitting, when not on Fred on a nice saddle horse. He looked quite composed.Andy then reported back to me that Fred was now accepting not only Charlie but had been ridden. Job done. Or at least job started. Here is the proof.
I feel sure that Charlie will have many more adventures to come. I have at present locked him in my shed. Which may seem a little unkind, but when he lived in my library, I would wake up in the night and catching sight of him grinning in the dark, would think there was an intruder.
I had left him at Byfleet at Hollybush Stables, and he did live in Kate’s office until she too got fed up thinking someone was in her office and scaring herself. No Charlie is not looking for a home.
Update to follow.