Sig's Excellent European Adventure

SibeliusMB

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 January 2021
Messages
288
Location
East Anglia (originally USA)
Trouper had the good sense to suggest I start a new thread now that my gelding, Sibelius MB (Sig), and I are here in the UK. For the uninitiated, please check out my first thread, below:

https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/...-lakenheath-from-the-us-with-my-horse.799686/

Sig arrived Monday after his trip from Kentucky. Thus far he has settled very well and is handling the transition like a true professional! He has been a true gentleman around the yard and the staff all appreciate his excellent ground manners and quiet nature. He's getting a little more turnout each day as we're slowly working him back to his normal 24/7 grass routine. Since he was off grass for the better part of a week due to delays in the journey, I don't want to take any chances.

I did hop on him for the first time in nearly two months on Wednesday, and he was an absolute gem as usual! ❀ He was looking so settled (and bored...) that I decided to give it a shot. When I returned carrying all his tack, he actually whinnied to me. 🀣πŸ₯° The boy loves his work, and loves the attention even more. Right now we're just walking around due to his feet needing done and him being off work for so long. I'll build him back up slowly. But he's happy to be back to it and feels good.

My first thought as soon as I swung up: WORTH IT! Even though his trip cost more than originally budgeted, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I have my familiar, fun, sweet partner with me and I am so excited to make new memories here!

Get you a seven year old who hasn't been ridden in two months who walks around on the buckle in a new place without any prep beforehand. ❀❀😊

Had a spa day...no longer looks feral:
IMG_20210727_182056_776.jpg IMG_20210727_182056_787.jpg

First ride in the UK!
IMG_20210728_203621_106.jpg

Already wants to be the baby's fun American cousin:
IMG_20210729_190750_005.jpg IMG_20210729_190750_013.jpg

Whoa, Thoroughbred! πŸ˜‰
IMG_20210728_203621_111.jpg
 
Last edited:

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
11,465
Aww, fantastic, glad he's made the trip like a pro and you get to start enjoying him UK-side now :cool:.

Where did you end up stabling him in the end?
 

SibeliusMB

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 January 2021
Messages
288
Location
East Anglia (originally USA)
Thank you everyone for your kind words! I've felt so welcomed here and you guys are a big part of that! Makes me feel even more excited about my time in the UK. Very thankful for you all! πŸ₯°

Sig had another good day today and is now up to a full day of turnout, working up to 24/7 turnout for the rest of the summer. He was very happy out on the grass when I checked in on him this morning.

I came back to ride this afternoon and he again showed his good sense. The two horses jumping in the indoor got him a bit nervous (again...young horse who hasn't been worked in two months πŸ˜„), but he never spooked or did anything other than stand and look. We went to the outdoor school instead to be alone, but then got buzzed by a jet fighter flying super low directly over the school (easily under 1,000 ft! Really guys? πŸ˜‘)...Sig took a side step and just stopped. His heart was pounding, poor guy, but I so appreciated his sensibility.

We ended the ride nice and relaxed and on a very positive note, with some lateral work and stretching at the walk. Even took a short hack down the long drive and he was very positive about that too...even when someone was doing aerobatics in a WWII Hurricane directly above us (seriously, I can't make this up). Just because I'm Air Force doesn't mean I need an air show when I'm trying to ride. 🀣

Even him being a little fresh undersaddle is a good sign to me. Tells me he's feeling more rested after his journey and like he's ready to get going again. Hopefully he'll get his feet done tomorrow and all four shoes back on, and I can start him back in work for real.

I πŸ’• this. Fully think you made the right choice. Can you imagine how much you d be missing him now?
I can and it's horrible!! 😫 The mental gymnastics I did months ago debating what to do was exhausting enough. I think had I left him behind that would have likely eroded my enjoyment of this assignment and this wonderful country. Especially seeing how well he's adapted this far it makes me feel so much better about bringing him.

Aww, fantastic, glad he's made the trip like a pro and you get to start enjoying him UK-side now :cool:.

Where did you end up stabling him in the end?
I think he handled the trip better than I did, where I refreshed the flight radar every 10 minutes during his flight to make sure his plane was still in the air. 🀣

We're at Anvil Park. Everyone here has been so lovely and welcoming to both of us. 😊 IMG_20210731_194404_403.jpg IMG_20210731_194404_393.jpg IMG_20210731_194404_407.jpg
 
Last edited:

Abi90

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2007
Messages
2,022
Really glad to see that he has settled and the yard looks lovely.

Unfortunately the UK does not have the vast expanses of unpopulated areas and quiet airspace that the US does. Therefore every bit of airspace that is not an airway gets used for military flying. Around Lakenheath there are several air training areas because that’s where a large amount of US and UK air bases are located. They’re also still full of civilian aircraft and are a nightmare to control a sortie in.

I live on an RAF base and bring my horse over to hack around and she will live here from December. We mostly have little fixed wing training aircraft but visiting aircraft can be anything. The horses get used to it. I’m sure Sig will as well.
 

Slightlyconfused

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 December 2010
Messages
10,282
I love your matching hats!

Alas, I think everybody who lives in East Anglia gets the flypasts; mainly F35s and Ospreys where I am with the odd Apache thrown in for variety

Central beds here we get Chinnocks over the yard as well as apache/ospreys mainly. One time about 12 years ago when we had first moved to the yard or wb mare was tricky with shoeing and it was her first one in a new place.

Just as she had two nails in the shoe a helicopter came over and banked round the barns so low I could see the people in the cockpit. The farrier bless her help on to the spooking across the yard mare and finished nailing the shoe on.

Often get them low flying over the paddocks.
 

Trouper

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
1,767
So glad to see these pictures of the boy getting settled in. Of course, he is relaxed - he is back with his Mum after all his adventures on his own!!! He looks such a lovely chap and I hope he enjoys himself on this "tour".

Know what you mean about an aerial accompaniment to rides - even tho' OH and I are both ex-RAF we sometimes both "tut-tut" when the guys try to sneak in a particularly low pass overhead. However, Hurricanes and Spitfires are exempt from any censure - they are just so beautiful!!

Enjoy the rest of the Summer and look forward to reading more adventures.:):)
 

SibeliusMB

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 January 2021
Messages
288
Location
East Anglia (originally USA)
Thank you all again!! I have extremely strong feelings about Ospreys dating back to when they almost broke my office a couple years ago...since then I swear they follow me wherever I go. 😫 Had a Typhoon do a low pass on Sunday while I had Sig in the lunge pen... I tsk'd for a split second but I also don't see many Typhoons so I nerded slightly. πŸ˜‰

So one last brag before we settle down and focus on boring fitness building for awhile:

Now that he's had some time to rest/recover from the trip and had his feet done (which was badly needed!), I decided to swing up for a proper school to see what he'd do. I had lunged him on Sunday in the lunging rig and had planned to do so again today, but after I started grooming him something told me to go grab his tack instead.

He. Was. Perfect. Never put a foot wrong and acted like he never took a day off, let alone the last two months. He shook his head slightly into the first canter, which I have learned is his idea of being naughty. 🀣 We always warm up with at least 10 minutes of forward, swinging walk and lateral work (shoulder in, travers, leg yields, etc), to get him on the aids and focused. Then straight into canter for a lap or two in each direction in light seat/light contact to get him forward/loose, then back into the trot to put him together and the actual work. I did have to constantly remind myself to keep the trot/canter very short and with extra walk breaks as he's not fit. He felt super and just floated - super soft, pushing from behind and nicely over his back like he never missed a day training. Lots of hacking and careful fitness work ahead to get back where we were, can't wait to jump him in a couple weeks!

I am so unbelievably humbled by this whole experience and by how Sig is handling it. He's getting complimented all around the yard for being so sweet and chill. I am just so pround and so grateful for his generosity. ❀😊

20210803_225502.jpg IMG_20210803_214315_320.jpg IMG_20210803_214315_334.jpg IMG_20210803_214315_339.jpg

The girls went to bring him in this afternoon and found him living his best life. Then he let them snuggle with him. πŸ˜‚
received_541867403525183.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Top