Today I decided it was time to go outside our comfort zone and take Lancelot for a good long walk in hand. I planned it with Mike as I wanted to go for a flat-ish walk so that I wasn't putting too much strain on his leg. We planned to walk up to Jouillac along the chemin and then across the field to Maunac and then home.
I was very nervous about it because I had no idea how he would behave and if he did go nuts how I would cope. Having seen him go bananas in the field I know how well he can kick and buck. Mike agreed to come with me to give me some support which made me feel better.
I got him suited and booted and myself as well with hat and gloves and off we went. Well we had only gone about 300 metres along the track and sods law... Bloody Le Valois cattle were out with the bull and so we did a rapid about turn and came back. I was really pee'd off because I had planned our route. L-lot didn't bat an eyelid though.
We got back to the house and then decided to carry on down the lane. We turned left along the road and a couple of cars came past and he never even looked at them. Rosie and Bella came with us (our dogs) which was nice although we had to get off the road because they really have no car sense.
I had in my pocket a couple of carrots which I had chopped up small and every now and then I would give him a little piece which would just keep his attention on me. It really did work a treat and he did keep one ear on me most of the time.
We decided not to push our luck on the road for this first time so we did the circular route along the right hand track which comes back to La Forest. It is a bit more hilly than I would have liked but he coped wonderfully.
We had several brushes with deer as Bella chased them across the track but he wasn't at all bothered. Not once did he try and trot or spook or do anything really other than have a good look at the countryside and watch what was going on around him. Bella galloped up behind us a couple of times and he never even looked at her! Rosie walked across in front of him right under his feet as well and he was just mildly interested. As we went along I collected some chestnuts off the floor and shared them with him which he loved.
As we got back home and we approached the front gate one of Rose (next door) ducks decided to flap its wings and it made him jump but I wouldn't call it a spook more of a start and then on he went.
When we got back I turned him out in the field and he did his usual buck and fart and gallop around as far as he could. I love it that he keeps it for the field... I hope!
The more I play with him and the more time I spend with him the more I love him. It scares me to death to get so enamoured with him because I need to ride him and to trust him and he may not turn out to be as perfect as I feel he is at the moment. The only thing I will say about him is that he is perfect so far. He has never put a foot wrong, never scared me, never been naughty, never been anything other than well mannered and respectful and I cannot ask for more than that.
He is making me very happy right now and our relationship is building slowly which is exactly what I wanted. This tendon thing might be a god send really.
I liken my relationship with Lancelot as being like starting a new human relationship. We have started off slowly and got to know each other. We have become friends before we have moved on to the next level. I really think that it is paying off and I am building my trust in him and I hope that he is learning to trust me.
Please God let it long continue!