We stayed at Jim’s for almost exactly 2 years, and we were happy there. However, keeping horses on a working hill farm is not without its challenges, especially when you can’t see.
Cattle, sheep, dogs and chickens have a nasty habit of moving around.. Pigs escape, chickens lay eggs in your hay, kittens get born in your bedding, and yes, you do occasionally find a dog in a manger!
One of the things about being blind is that, in order to survive, you constantly make maps of where everything is in your mind. Or at least I do. It saves time, helps prevent accidents, and stops you feeling stupid when you get lost in your own home. However, it’s impossible to map anything if things are never in the same place twice. When I finally slip off this mortal coil, and the Great Auditor tallies up the ways I spent my time, I shudder to think how many years of my life will have spent either frantically searching for things that are right in front of me, or trying to find items that people have ‘helpfully’ moved so as I don’t walk into them or knock them over! So keeping horses on a working farm, or at a riding school, or busy livery yard is really hard work for us blind types, and that’s before taking the horse care into account.
It’s worth it though!
As I said, we were happy at Jim’s. However it was during our time there that our fantasies about owning our own little yard grew into solid plans.it was also during this time that Hal began to learn to ride.
What we didn’t expect was to be forced to leave Jim’s before we’d bought somewhere. Unfortunately Jim is a tenant farmer. His land lord, or rather the land agent for the estate, suddenly after 18 months of us being there, announced that Jim was breaking the terms of his tenancy by renting to us. Jim had no choice but to ask us to leave.
Once more Magnum and Sapphire had nowhere to live.