Seasons Greetings

Regular readers will know that for Hal and I 2018 has been a truly horrible year. I had so many hopes and plans as we waved a fond farewell to 2017, but right from the get go it became clear that things weren’t going to go our way.

Viruses, coughing horses, lameness. Extreme wet weather, storm force wind, snow! losing Leonie, Stella, Hal’s Dad, my Mum. Nearly losing Ripley. Having a very sick Tabitha. Falling off the tandem and damaging the ligaments in my knee. Having to replace a leaking oil tank, defunct fridge, broken dishwasher. Finding out Breeze is going blind.Yes, it does seem to have been a year of lurching chaotically from one crisis to another. No wonder we both feel so wiped out!

To be fair there have been some good bits along the way. Our Niece Sarah’s wedding, veing given an award by the Riding Club. Increasing support for this Blog, support for Blind Riders UK, my business getting stronger. Having lessons on Florence. Doing more talks for Guide Dogs. Doing some PR for Retina Implant.

Personally though, New Year’s Day cannot come quick enough for me. New beginnings, A fresh start, A blank sheet. I have of course got lots of hopes and aspirations for 2019. Poor Florence isn’t going to know what hit her! Neither is Hal for that matter. In the meantime though thank you very much for supporting this blog. I hope you have an absolutely marvellous Christmas and a happy horsey New Year

Honey I Broke the Gate!

It’s been a long, but enjoyable day. Hal, Quincey and I have been to the South West Christmas Equine Fayre , at Westpoint Arena, Exeter. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us. Hal buys the tickets for me each year as an early Christmas present. However, having a full day out comes at a price, and not just the money kind.

We were up and at it early, and the horses were out in the field a good hour before normal, which came as a shock to all concerned. There were cries of “I haven’t finished me hay yet!”. We then didn’t get home until about when we normally bring them in at this time of year – and we still had to muck out, fill Haynes and do water. We desperately needed a medical emergency cup of tea first though.

To be honest, it makes very little difference to me if we do things in daylight or darkness. It does make a difference to Hal though, and, despite them supposedly having excellent night vision, I suspect it matters to the horses. So there we were, about two hours later than usual, in the pitch dark,, with a freezing East wind blowing, in the act of bringing the horses in. Leo was already in and stuffing hay, and, after Sapph and Breeze had had a brief, erm, discussion about who should come in next, Hal was on his way in with Sapph. When Yours Truly broke the gate! Now, when I say gate, what I mean is a continuation of the electric fence with a spring loaded, insulated, hook style handle on the end. . I’d had thrown the bottom line over the fence to get it out of the way, and was struggling to hook the top line shut. I gave it a yank when… “It just came off in ,e ‘and your ‘omour!”. Suddenly I’m holding so much loose electric fence, have a wide open gateway, and two loose horses. Breeze took the opportunity to stroll past me and help herself to some grass, and who can blame her. It’s what happened next that has really rocked my world. “OK Florence, where are you then?” I muttered under my breath. . Breeze can be very food possessive, and I really didn’t want to get flattened if she decided she wasn’t sharing. I needn’t have worried. I was just looking for the fence, to put myself in a safe zone, when Flo walked up and stopped just inside the mow wide open gateway. She wickered quietly and reached and gently touched my arm with her nose, as if to say “I’m just here”. She then stood like a statue while I stepped away from her to hang Breeze’s head collar and the remains of the gate on the fence, . She wickered to me so I could find her again and slip her head collar on, and stood rock steady while Hal caught Breeze. Not once did she consider going through the the gate and helping herself to some grass. What a special horse!

She got an extra big haynet after all that!