Taking Stock.

It’s incredible to think that last week marked the 4th Anniversary of Magnum and Sapphire joining us here. What an adventure the last 4 years have been! I still have to pinch myself from time to time to make sure this is really happening. OK, it hasn’t all been plain sailing, sadly Magnum, Sapphire and Leonie have all taken their final journey, now it’s Florence and Breeze who greet me in the mornings, but, whisper it quietly, I’ve never been so happy..

Flo and Breeze seem very settled and content, and, again whisper it quietly, are glowing with health.. We must be doing something right.

Hal and I have started to have lessons at home. Having our own school is a blessing. However, do to Breezes propensity for laying down on the job, we are both riding poor, long suffering, Florence. . We’ve had two lessons so far. It was supposed to be more, but a stupid tandem accident, and the uncharacteristically hot weather (this is Devon in July, it’s supposed to be raining, not wall-to-wall sunshine and 28°), have been cramping our style for the last couple weeks. However, Hal is already trotted Florence, whilst I am working towards doing my first online dressage competition.

Despite her evident lack of desire to do any work, Breeze is proving to be a total sweetheart. She is lovely to handle on the ground, and has the kind of personality which makes it very difficult to get cross with when she is messing around. She’s a gentle soul and very easy to love.

Since Leo left us, quite a few people seem to have an opinion as to whether or not we are going to get another horse, or even whether we should. Some people asked the question. Other people tell us what we should or shouldn’t do. . Although I have to admit that it annoys me when, without being asked, people presume to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do, I am touched that so many people care. Yes, there will be another horse. As long as I am able to look after them properly, there will always be another horse. Mot yet though. Mostly because we can’t afford it right now, but also because, despite what Breeze might say, both our girls are rideable, so we don’t need another riding horse. Sadly, Hal’s back problem prevents him riding as much as we anticipated he would, and if truth be told, the whole Leonie situation has seriously damaged his already fragile confidence.

Florence and Breeze are an easy going pair, and for now Hal and I are just enjoying having these two lovely mares in our lives. Who knows what the future holds? For now I’m quite content with what the present has to offer.

The Shed of Doom!😱

I don’t know if it’s because I’m turning into a grumpy old moo, or if it’s a blindy thing, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to cope with disorganisation and chaos. Surprising really, as anyone who knows me well would never describe me as tidy or well organised. The exact opposite in fact! I am finding it increasingly tedious, not to say stressful, wasting time searching around for things that aren’t where I think they are. For most people, all it takes to find something they are looking for, that they aren’t sure where they left, or that someone has ‘helpfully’ moved, is a quick visual scan. For me it’s the full on fingertip search. I shudder to think how many years of my life have been used up by the simple act of searching around for things that are hidden in plain sight!. This was always a real challenge while keeping horses at livery, or on someone else’s yard. . Over the years I’ve experienced everything from the basic not enough space at the yard, so tack and equipment has to be carried to and fro, through other people “borrowing ‘ stuff, only for it to disappear , never to be seem again, or to mysteriously reappear in it’s rightful place anything up to a year later, filthy and/or broken, to having hens raise their chicks in my bedding! This is why, when I came here, I was really looking forward to having my own, spacious, well organised, tack room. Every thing to hand near the stables, no fetching and carrying, no borrowers, no hens! A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

So far it hasn’t happened like that.

Now that Breeze has joined us, I have had to relinquish the 12 X 12 unit that was always meant to be my tack room once and for all. Florence did live in there last winter, but I really thought I had it back and could get sorted. Suddenly though I’m back to square one!

So, to overcome this problem we bought a shed. A cheap, flimsy, 10 x6 garden shed. It’s all we could afford, and all we have space for. . If ever a building was inherently malevolent, it’s this shed of doom! It was described as quick and easy to erect. The shed has other ideas! 1. The floor is so weak that it bent and wobbled really badly under the feet of our 9 y.o. next door neighbour. There was no way it was going to hold all I need to keep on it., let alone Hal and I, AKA Mr & Mrs Bloater walking around on it. So Hal reinforced it with decking timber.

2. The newly reinforced floor is now too heavy for us to lift! We had to recruit back up to help us get it into position.

3. When we began to put it up, the wind got up to such a strength that no sooner was a wall up, than it was straight back down again! Also, while I was desperately trying not to become the record holder for the longest flight powered only by a panel of Feather Edge, that I realised exactly how low the roof was going to be!

4. So Hal has put a frame around the base to raise the so that, all of 5ft 3, me won’t keep banging my head!

5. So finally the walls are up, and the roof is on. Now for the roofing felt. 2 days, and near hypothermia later, it was finally on. What a p palaver!

6. Of course, because the walls had been raised, the doors have to be extended! Then, in the shed’s final attempt at thwaughting us, the doors were too wide and wouldn’t shut! Cue the planer and sand paper.

The shed arrived on 13th September. Was that an omen? We started trying to build it on 17th. We finally got the doors on yesterday, 3rd October!

I am about to embark on a massive game of, how many things can you fit in a matchbox.
Wish me luck