Saturday, December 31, 2011
For the last day of the year, Jenny and I decided to join the boys for a trail ride. Our route tooks us through Palestine and for a rummage around Jack's Bush. We described a huge horseshoe from Pepperbox Hill, across to Cholderton and then Boscombe Down before heading home via Salisbury Racecourse and Whitsbury. It was very wet and slidy out there and we had some interesting encounters with trees, bushes, ruts and water. All I've done is sit there and balance (mostly) but I am now totally worn out!
Of course some people (!) called Jim, will run for the camera rather than the first aid kit when they see us rolling around on the floor. We were mainly rolling with laughter having previously driven straight into a bush.
I am really looking forward to 2012 with Theoden coming home, getting fitter and a Mark Rashid demo in May. We've got holidays booked in Mallorca and France and four more editions of the IH magazine to conjure up.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
It's been a quiet week but Jack and I have been out and about running and walking. Today we went on a completely new route across the Forest with him off the lead rein for most of the way. It was quite a gloomy day but we were very happy jumping over things although I have to say he is MUCH better at it than I am. Apologies for the blurry photos but we only had the little camera.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
This time I have got the help of a fitness instructor who is a brilliant motivator. I've already lost some weight, gained some muscle and some energy. I've even bought the gear. Who knows, our plans for a sponsored run/walk across the New Forest may yet come to fruition but don't tell Sally or she will hold me to it. Once my face is less pink than my top, I may treat you to a picture of us at the end of a run.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
As the last few foal tangles fall out of Peechay's tail, I have brought him for the very last time in order to prepare him in for weaning and then going off to his new home. Despite the accidents, I love the life that my New Forest ponies have, their ability to socialise with others horses of all shapes and sizes and to look after themselves. Tomorrow Indiana will also arrive so that Peechay has got someone to play with when Nelly eventually goes back out and the two littlies can keep Chancer warm all winter. At the moment he's looking as plump as Jack but I know that he won't use the Nissen hut and the Hay Bars unless he has some pleasant company.
In the meantime the alfresco cafe bar has opened outside the fields with Brandy, Ginger and Blue all enjoying the waitress service.
With 46 animals now killed or injured on the B3078 alone, I think its time that there was real and prolonged public outcry. This Facebook page has been set up to record events including deaths on the roads and suggestions for how they might be avoided. Twilight and foggy conditions create the greatest risk with commuters hurrying on their way to work and home again with scant regard for the safety of the ponies. Lovely Simon Palmer, the wildlife and equine photographer and film-maker has offered to make a special film focussing on this issue and preparations have already begun. We need to target businesses around the Forest, at either end of these commuter roads to increase awareness. During the day, delivery and courier service vehicles seem to the be the worse culprits for speeding and I have taken to ringing their companies when I see them doing it. Fortunately it does seem to be taken seriously. Please find this page on Facebook and support it.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I've just spent four days in East Sussex visiting and working with Theoden. All being well (and weather permitting) he should be coming home during Christmas week. It has been months now since he has bucked and he is much more relaxed and soft about leg and mouth contact. We still have to be tactful and fair but he is much more willing than he was.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Time to go over to see Puck and co. again today for a bit more foot handling practice before Matt's next visit. I was delighted to find that the barn has now been prepared ready for the ponies to come in out of the cold and wet when they want to, to eat their hay and to have their feet trimmed when needed. Partly concreted, it has the added advantage of gently abrading their feet and letting them dry out so that they recover from thrush. It will also have a deep straw bedding put down so that they can have a bit of a snooze.