Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Crackers Gets Competition

It's been so long (years I think) since I gave you a Crackers tale, but today I have the inspiration, so away we go!

Crackers Gets Competition

"Crackers!" Chloe shouted as the skewbald gelding slammed the breaks on for the third time at the jump.

"Third refusal, elimination" the bell sounded as Chloe walked Crackers back out of the ring.

"O Crackers" Edward mused as he gave him a pat on the shoulder.

"Don't pat him!" Chloe snapped as she kicked him on away from her brother. Just for once she wished he would behave himself at a show. They had only been here a few hours and he'd already gotten loose twice, played up in the collecting ring and now refused to jump a not particularly difficult filler.

"How'd it go?" Emma beamed at Chloe as she walked up.

"How'd ya' think?!?!" Chloe snapped back as she dismounted and proceeded to tie a now shameful looking horse to the lorry.

"Jeez, I was only asking, you know if you ever want to borrow one of my ponies your more than welcome"

"I DO NOT need one of your silly push button ponies" Chloe snapped back as she stormed off with Crackers' saddle.

Emma threw her hands up in the air and untied Songbird ready for her class. She did not need Chloe's attitude today! After the last show she couldn't afford to mess up, she was already finding the latest instructor her mother had found for her unbearable and didn't dare not do well in case she was grilled alive, or worse. Her mother had also been talking about selling Songbird after their last performance and she was sick of getting attached to ponies only for them to be moved on.

Chloe dumped Crackers' saddle into the cab of the lorry and put her head in her hands, why for once couldn't he just behave? At home in the show jumping arena he was fine, occasionally he was a bit silly but it was like when they got to shows he was a completely different horse. Not that he wasn't naughty at home of course, but generally he was a nice ride. She just wished she could show those silly Pony Club girls with their fancy designer gear and designer ponies what her pony was made of.

"Are you alright love?" Sandra appeared around the cab door baring a bacon roll and a cup of tea, she placed them tentatively in front of her daughter.

"I know you don't want to hear this" Sandra muttered, with a careful tone "but we do have space for another pony now that Billy is fully retired, if you wanted we could always get you a second one"

"I don't want another pony" Chloe sobbed "I just want Crackers to behave for once"

"I know love, but he isn't really cut out for showing, he never has been, we all love Crackers, and no reason why you can't keep him, but if you really want to make a serious career out of riding, then maybe a pony that will at least make it through the show day without eating the judge's hat might be a good idea?"

Chloe and her mother chuckled at the memory of a particularly unfortunate show where Crackers had got loose and stolen the judges sun hat.

"A friend of mine has a nice little show cob for sale, she's a good jumper apparently, why don't you just come and have a look"

Chloe sighed. She knew her mother was right, Crackers was really cut out for showing, he never had been. He hated coming and she dreaded having to ride him. Getting another pony wasn't really giving up, it was more a sensible decision. Crackers could still be her happy hack and live out his days annoying the other horses, a new pony would allow Chloe to come to shows and compete, and allow Crackers to stay at home and eat!

The next day Chloe set out with her mother to look at the new pony. According to her mother's friend she was 14.2hh blue roan from good bloodlines. Apparently she was quite chunky but a decent jumper and rode a nice dressage test. Her daughter had been competing at lower level eventing with her but had now purchased a new Thoroughbred mix to move up the levels. Apparently she was good to box, clip and travel and happy to live in or out. All in all she sounded perfect, although with all things horsey, that was always a worrying thought.

As they pulled into the house they drove past the smart stable block, with two stalls and a neat tack room on the end. Over the doors pocked two heads. Chloe could instantly tell which one the pony was, it was well groomed but nothing compared to the stunning sport type next to her.

A black scruffy dog bounded up to the car to meet them and was shortly followed by an equally scruffy looking woman. Chloe immediately recognised Leslie, her mother's friend from evening class, who was always late for everything and completely disorganised. The complete opposite Chloe remembered of her daughter, who was neat and tidy to the point of obsessive and incredibly snobby to boot.

"Sandra" Leslie beamed as she embraced Chloe's mother "it's so nice to see you, I'm afraid Becky has gone to a friends house but she got Clove all ready for you before hand, she's a lovely little pony I'm sure Chloe will just adore her".

Chloe smiled and nervously followed her mother and Leslie up to stables. Leslie was chatting away, sometimes about Clove, sometimes about everything else under the sun. Chloe did not know where she got her energy from.

"You know what's funny, your names sound so alike, Chloe and Clove, that will sound amusing over the announcer, although I suppose, her show name is Black Clove so maybe not, O well, here she is". Leslie popped a headcollar over Clove's head and led her out of the stable.

Chloe stood back whilst her mother inspected the pony with a fine eye, feeling her legs and back and pocking and proding the poor creature within an inch of her life.

"Becky isn't here to ride her I'm afraid, but I'm sure I can if you want to see her ridden first, or Chloe can just pop right on"

Chloe turned to her mother who smiled, "It's alright Les I trust you, come on Chloe, on you pop, let's see how she goes". Before she really knew what was happening, Chloe had been wisked onto Clove's back and they were walking up to the school.

"Makes a change not to have to spend 20 minutes getting on!" Sandra remarked as she walked along side her daughter. She had a point Chloe thought, she loved Crackers to pieces but sometimes it would be nice to have a horse which she could just get on instead of having to play games for 20 minutes and nearly get trampled for her efforts.

The moment they reached the arena Chloe knew she didn't want to leave without this pony. She'd always moaned at the Pony Club girls with their push button ponies but she had to admit it was amazing to ride one. Clove was clearly well trained, she listened to all of Chloe's commands and when asked worked her way into a neat natural outline on the bit. She wasn't perfect, she definitely lacked impulsion, but she was clearly a well mannered little pony and with a bit of effort the pair of them happily popped over a small course of jumps.

As Chloe got off she was beaming to her mother, Sandra knew she didn't need to ask. As she'd suspected the moment she rode Clove she would fall in love.

"Do you want to think about it and get back to me then?" Leslie smiled as she patted the roan pony over the door of her stable.

"We'll let you know" Sandra smiled.

The moment they were back in the car Sandra turned to her daughter, who hadn't stopped smiling since she dismounted, "shall I call the vet then?" she asked turning to her daughter.

Chloe paused for a moment, she couldn't help but think of Crackers, but the new pony wouldn't replace him, she would be a compliment to him, and you never know they might be friends.

"Yes" Chloe grinned as she rested her head on her mums shoulder.

Sandra chuckled "looks like Crackers is going to have some competition for your affections from now on".

"No pony will ever be better than Crackers" Chloe smiled "but it would be nice to win a ribbon for once".

The pair set off home, ready to arrange a vetting and, all being well, to welcome a new pony onto the Chestnut Ridge yard.

Will Chloe end up getting Clove? How will Crackers react! Who knows! Hopefully we'll have an update soon :)


What is cute, cuddly and splodgy? Why a little pinto miniature foal of course!

Meet Bodyswerve, my latest completed custom

This tiny little guy was based on a real Miniature horse foal.

She is a Schleich Miniature foal and is bay pinto in colour

And she is for sale if you would like her, she is £14.40 + postage

Just look at that little face!

Lying down pic to show her colour off a bit better

Halters, halters, halters...and a Pack Saddle

Tying nylon halters is weirdly therapeutic I've found! So if you want to order one, please do, nothing like relaxing over tying my fingers in knots (I'm currently working on a project that requires a lot of glue, so its nice to work on something that doesn't require me sticking my fingers to everything)!

So here is the result of today's halter making:




And check this out! I made a little one for ponies, this is a sort of maroon colour

I also made a nice little Stablemate pack saddle yesterday (love these).

All items are for sale and orderable. Just visit: www.chestnutridge.co.uk to buy :)

Free Breyers are BACK!!!

Last year we ran our incredibly popular Free Breyers promotion. For three months we shipped out hundreds of free horses and this year it is back and bigger than ever!

Claiming your free models couldn't be easier, all you have to do is spend over £25.00, that is less than the cost of a single Breyer Traditional.

So what could you get? Each order comes with one free item, the item you get depends on how much you spend:

  • Spend over £25.00 - Free Breyer Gift (pen, badge, pencil or blank Stablemate)
  • Spend over £50.00 - Free Mini Whinnie
  • Spend over £75.00 - Free Stablemate
  • Spend over £100.00 - Free Pony Gal or Wind Dancer
  • Spend over £125.00 - Free Traditional Accessory
  • Spend over £150.00 - Free Classic
  • Spend over £175.00 - Free Traditional
Yep, the amounts are less than last year and the prizes are better!

The promotion will run until the end of July, you get one free item with each order, so the more you order, the more free horses you can get!

Items will vary but may also be the same, so you may get duplicates when you place multiple orders.

To read all the boring rules and stuff (but very important) and to learn more please visit: http://www.chestnutridge.co.uk/free-breyers-95-w.asp

And to start claiming those free horses, go and place an order at www.chestnutridge.co.uk

And we'll end with an example of one of the Traditional accessories you could get if you spend over £125.00!!!

 Winners' Circle Accessory Set - English

Have fun! And remember, price is taken after discounts and before any shipping costs x