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It’s been a strange few weeks. It’s felt very busy, but we don’t seem to have achieved much. Frustrating really. All my plans to have some more lessons on Florence, and do some more work with Breeze and Leomie, have somehow evaporated. In fact, my poor girls have been a bit neglected of late. The reason? I have been struck down by a really nasty virus, which has affected my hearing and balance, rendering me incapable of doing the most basic task. The good news does not stop there though. Oh no. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, i’ve gone and given it to Hal! It doesn’t seem to be effecting his ears so far, but, like me, he is running on empty. Fatigue makes every task five times harder than it should be. It feels like you’re wading through chest deep treacle.

The animals still need looking after though. Dogs, cats and horses all need to be fed. Stables need mucking out. So, as much as we both might really want to, there’s no taking to our sick beds . The girls do look appalling though, as does the yard. Neither has had the mud brushed off then for ages.

Despite this, we haven’t exactly been living like a hermit. We have some visitors. Well to be more accurate, Florence has had one very important visitor, whilst Hal and I have had some animal loving, but non-horsey, visitors who we used to both work with many years ago.

Just before this virus really took hold of me, and only a few days after Florence’s second anniversary, Florence his old owner, Clare, Came to visit her. I have kept in touch with Clare over the years since we bought Florence home, and she has always been welcome to come and visit any time she wanted. However I couldn’t help feeling extremely anxious on the run-up to the visit, I don’t really know why. Perhaps she wouldn’t think I was keeping Florence to her own standards, I don’t know. Actually I think the day went extremely well. The weather was kind to us, and Florence was her usual gorgeous self. I truly hope that Claire went home feeling happy Florence settled in a loving home for the rest of her life. I hope Clare knows that she is always welcome to come back any time.

Actually I think it’s very brave thing to do, go and visit a horse that you really loved after you have had to sell it. I’ve only ever done it once myself, and it broke my heart. It turned out that The horse in question, Oliver twist, a 14.2hh chestnut, part bred Arab gelding, Who was actually my second horse, and who I sold after only eight months because, frankly, he terrified me, had gone to a terrible home. He was not being looked after at all. He was in such a state when I saw him, that I actually reported him to a local horse rescue charity. Sadly it was only a few weeks later that I heard that he had been killed. Allegedly this has been a terrible accident whilst being ridden on the road, but I have always had my doubts. I sold my first horse, Jigsaw, a 3 year old, skewbald, heavyweight cob gelding, to the riding school where I kept him on livery. When the riding school closed down, Jigsaw was told by a family who only lived up the road from us. They kept him for the rest of their life, so I always saw him regularly. Surprise, horse No.3, was the first horse I ever had to have put to sleep, she died when she was only eight. Horse number four, Bella, I actually had on loan, but we had put to sleep when she was 28. I reluctantly sold course number five, Massey, after only 18 months, because I was developing a hip problem, she was extremely wide, and I find riding her extremely painful. I have always regretted selling Maisey, and could not bring my self to visit her, as I was scared of what I might find. However A friend of mine did encounter her from time to time, and I believe she had fallen on her feet. The next horse I bought was sapphireand the rest is history. Now we are here, I hope never to have to sell another horse ever again.

I really hope that I start feeling better soon.