Wow last week was challenging. Yes it had its high points, but , like all roller coasters, it had plenty of dramatic and frightening lows. So buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
It goes like this…
Monday. Not having been feeling too well for the last few days, I had a lie in and didn’t check the horses first thing. So there we both are, tucked up in bed, when the doorbell goes. There stands our young next door neighbour with the news that the horses are in the process of clambering through the hedge into our bottom field. Cue mad dash to catch them in. No harm done thankfully. Just a realisation that that stretch of hedge is no longer secure.
Monday was such a lovely day that I took the opportunity to hop on Florence and go for a ride. It was one of those rides where everything just clicked. It was like we were telepathically linked. Perfect!
Tuesday. 6.30a.m. Tuesday saw me standing in the field trying not to go into a total melt down as I listened to Florence struggling to breath e. Seriously, I’ve never heard any horse make that kind of noise. Did she puncture a lung getting through the hedge yesterday? Should I call the emergency vet? Calm down dear! A horse who is at deaths door wouldn’t be trying to steal mints of me, would she?
I waited for the Vet’s to open before calling them, and waited on tentdrhooks until a lovely new vet arrived. She was very thorough, and had a lovely way with Flo. It turns out that there was nothing wrong with Flo’s lungs, but that her upper airways where completely blocked with mucus. . The poor girl was completely bunged up. Bloods was taken and antibiotics, anti inflamatories and decongestants prescribed. Nothing but R&R for Flo for a couple of weeks.
Wednesday. With time on my hands, and the sun shining we decided we should do something with Breeze. So I hopped on board. . She went off really positively, and I was just warming to the idea that Brezd might turn out to be as nice suddenly…
Let’s just say that, even with doing everything he could to help from the ground, when Breeze naps there ain’t nothing I cann do about it. She stopped, I sent her forward. She Sam round, I turned her round. She went backward, I sent her forward with Hal leading her. Hal let go, she span, I turned her round. She went backwards…
You get the picture. Anyway, this went on for what felt like eternity. Breeze getting more and more cross, me getting increasingly dizzy and disorientated . Then a van came up the road behind us. I got off.
We walked her in hand the rest of the way, and she was an angel. Looks like we’ve got some work to do to build Breeze’s confidence..
Thursday. Riding lesson day. We both had very positive lessons . Both of us had taken steps forward. For me there was also the fact that I had ridden 3 different horses in 4 days, and, I was not in any pain! Perhaps I am finally getting back to some degree of fitness at long last.
Friday. Bloody Leonie kicked Hal! He’s OK, very sore, badly bruised and very shaken. . We’ve been putting light rugs on then at night when it’s cold and taking them off in the morning. Leoni has grown out of her rug from last year (which luckily fits Breeze) and is actually wearing one which I bought for my old horse Bella about 20 years ago. . Unlike the more modern rugs, this rug had fixed leg straps. . I prefer a fillet string, and always remove detachable leg straps and convert one into a fillet string, but in this older rug the straps were sewn into the lining of the rug. Leonie is not convinced about about the whole concept of rug wearing, and had let me know she wasn’t happy with the leg straps. Poor Hal was actually undoing one of the offending items prior to taking the rug off when she lashed out and caught him on the thigh. I’ve cut them off now!
Sunday. A lady called Clare, who works at the yard we bought had arranged to come and see her. I had originally suggested we rode out together, but the vet had told me not to ride Florence. So Clare rode Breeze while Hal, still hobbling, led Sapphire in hand. Breeze was a bit nappy, but seemed to draw confidence from Sapphire. Sapph herself seemed to really enjoy herself, and didn’t put a hoof wrong.
Tuesday. Ever known true fear? I did on Tuesday night. We checked the horses last thing as usual but there was no sign of Florence! What there was was a lot of churned up mud, some broken fence, and a huge hole in the bank, but no Florence! Now there are two things you need to know. Florence is not the horse for striking off alone. Leonie or Sapphire, it’s a point of honour with both of them to thoroughly test the security arrangements in any location, but not so Florence. In fact, in Leo’s earlier escapes, Flo really became very anxious. So something bad must have happened for Florence to have gone by herself. Secondly, a long way below where the hole in the hedge was there is a deep, corn create drainage channel, and I mean a long way below! Also, behind our land, and again, a long way down, there is a disused sunken lane, it!s only use for years, an unofficial dumping ground to the lazy. All I knew was that Florence must be down there somewhere – and she was ominously quiet!
With the others , strangely subdued and compliant, caught up and munching hay in their stables, Hal braved himself up and went on a fact finding mission. I went for reinforcements in the shape of my Dad who was staying with us.
I don’t know if horses have multiple lives in the same way cats do? Hal found Florence down in the sunken road. She was a bit wide eyed, and very pleased to see him, but stood on all fours and totally fine! If there is a God of Horses then it was certainly watching over Flo on Tuesday night. The problem was now how to get Florence back home. The obvious answer would have been to walk her down the lane to the village and back up the road. No chance! The lane is so blocked with rubbish that a cat couldn’t get through. I don’t think Hal knows how they did it, but he and Florence managed to clamber up the bank into our field. It was now about midnight!
Florence seems none the worse for her adventure, and is all better from her breathing trouble too. I don’t know what happened, but all four of them have been unusually agitated since Tuesday, and they all keep staring at that corner of the field.
All I know is that we are very lucky to still have Florencd.