Wednesday, 3 February 2010

'If you can't ride the horses, you're gonna have to be awesome on the yard. Or you're wasting everyone's time.'

The Polo Player issued these firm words to The Great Dane after yet another disastrous attempt at riding a set (pictured. Vaguely).

Having refused the offer of a crate, the 5 ft 1 Great Dane had spent ten minutes trying to get onto his designated horse and another five trying to collect the ropes for the two he was (meant to be) leading alongside.

After two circuits of the field and several near misses with the ground whilst on a horse "my grandmother could ride", he was sent back to the yard. Demoted to the most basic of stable duties and still getting it wrong; clearly things were still not going well.

It had been a week of constant corrections, leaping ponies, wrong saddles and stupid "WHAART?" questions. That's before you add in the tea slurping and loud crunching of toast I'd have to sit through, grimacing, at breakfast each morning. The fact is, everyone was getting near boiling point. When you're dealing with horses worth tens of thousands of dollars each, there's only so many mistakes you can be allowed to make. Equally, when you're dealing with feed supplements worth $360 per 500g tub and you manage to forget this within two minutes of putting them in the bucket, and give it to the wrong horse; it's time to realise that a career as a polo groom might not be your calling in life.

Luckily for us, this is the one and only thing that hadn't escaped The Great Dane's notice. With a "Hey man, I don't think this is working out", TGD admitted defeat and will be leaving us in Melbourne on Thursday, before we embark on our first weekend of competitive polo. So congratulations, not twitter, whose estimation of 'I give him a week, tops' was pretty much spot on.

And me? Well, I've had my own decisions to make. The Polo Player asked me to stay on and continue working, as he'll be playing in matches around the country every weekend from now on. But my 3 month holiday visa expires next week and I'm due to fly out to New Zealand on Tuesday. So, I don't have a lot of choice. I'm leaving.

Until Saturday.

When, after a week in Auckland, he's flying me back out to Australia again.

This renews my visa, giving me another three months in the country. It looks like my eight month, round the world trip is about to hit it's first major change of direction.

Plans. Who needs 'em?


The Unbearable Banishment said...


Who's there?

It's your old friend opportunity! What are you going to do? Hide under the bed or open the door?

Elaine said...

Plans are made to be broken!
How long did you originally plan to stay in NZ? Will you just skip it now and head straight to the States?

Brennig said...

For me, doing that kind of hands-on, demanding but money for old rope kind of work, in that place... excellent plan!

not twitter said...

Seems like a plan, a good plan. Also, this working lark, apart from anything else, must be extending the money considerably so your trip's just got longer.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was ever in doubt that you'd go off on a tangent at some point Jo!

Ellie said...

That sounds friggin' fabulous!


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