Thursday, July 26, 2007

26th July, 2007 Rubble and rain

For the first time I think I might quite fancy an office job. Having been rained on consistently for the past week and had my computer confiscated by the builders for the last six days I am beginning to fantasize about a roof, dry clothes and a desk. How people in Tewkesbury are coping with being cut off from having their house completely flooded, cut off from the rest of the country and no drinking water and no electricity I don't know. If my bedrooms weren't totally demolished I'd be offering refuge to someone but as it is we are camping out at Char's house down the road and coming back here to do the washing and grab the computer when we can.Our builders are the opposite to every other builders I have ever met or heard about. They turn up in force on time every morning. They don't drink endless cups of tea or swear all the time. They don't treat me as if I am an idiot and they work, work, work all the time. Every time I come home the house has changed out of all recognition (in a good way). So here's a plug for Rob, Seamus, Ian, Mark and Matt of PCL Building Contractors, that is Pembroke Contracting Limited.

Every horse report I have written in the last few weeks has been prefaced by the words "Working in torrential rain..." mad horses and Englishwomen work in the midday rain. Julie is proving her worth as capilliary action in her jeans meant that she was soaked from head to toe yesterday but was still to be found legging Andy up on to Charlie at 6.30 last night. On Monday I worked with a Cremello Welsh Cob mare with loading problems. She has only ever been loaded a handful of times and each time to move home and owners. Although she was quiet in the yard as soon as she came into the field where the trailer was she was bucking and rearing, running rings around her owner and ramming her with her immense shoulders. I began to think I'd wasted my time bringing the trailer as this was clearly a leading and leadership problem rather than a loading problem. It took me 20 minutes to get her to stand still and ultimately I had to shake my trusty tin can at her with the gravel in it - I really ought to get sponsorship from Coca-Cola! She looked at me I wonderment and I could here her thinking "B-----!" in Welsh and then say to me "Yes, what do you want?" After that she was light and responsive and soft and attentive and we were able to load her into the trailer every which way - bars up, bars down, ramp up, ramps down, doors open, doors closed - and she grew calmer and calmer. After that I went over to Burley to move Freddie the orphan foal to his new home a couple of minutes down the road. On the way I was overtaken at speed by a four wheel drive car the driver of which treated me to a view of his two fingers when I waved at him to slow him down. I wish I could have taken him to see Freddie so that he could see why it is my business when people speed on the Forest. Freddie loaded beautifully. I used a figure of eight rope gently around his bottom and he led along the drive and down the lane to the trailer. Someone travelled in the trailer with him as it wasn't very far and I thought he would appreciate the company. He settled in at Ann's straight away by peeing and rolling in the shavings. As soon as it stops raining he will be able to go out and meet some other ponies.

Here are the latest reviews:

The experience Fran is gaining is more than enough but thanks for offering (to pay for her transport). Since spending her work experience with you, her confidence and whole attitude with the ponies is really amazing I think I'm going to have to book myself in with you and see if it works on oldies as well as youngies.
VR 14.7.07

I must say I am finding watching and helping with Charlie very rewarding and extremely interesting – should have done it years ago.
PG 13.7.07

Freddie was great today, Grahame and I have just got back from spending time with him, I gave him a "proper" muck out whilst Grahame played with him doing everything correctly and getting great results. He wasn't scared of the new straw going in, which worried him last time! After I had finished Grahame put on Freddies foal slip (that is on Freddie not on him - I don't think it would suit Grahame!!) Grahame was lovely and quiet and did exactly as you had shown us Sarah. Freddie seemed perfectly happy. We left it on for about 10 mins whilst Freddie had lots of stroking over most of his body, then Grahame removed the slip and it was time for supper, so all in all a really good session.
From Sue NF 14.7.07

Thanks for setting up a great day

LP following MGFT Bitting clinic 16.7.07

Once again a million thank yous, what would I have done without you and Ann? I am so looking forward to moving him on Monday so that he can get a bit more stimulation. Tonight he was great, came straight up to the bars very happily. I am 99.99% sure he has a home for life with us, which certainly wasn't on the cards even a week ago! When he becomes our wonderful driving pony you must be his first VVVVV vip passenger!!!
From Sue NF 21.7.07

WOW! I am so thrilled with the pictures. He looks fantastic! Maddy will be absolutely thrilled! I am so pleased to see him finally beginning to relax re the long reins. My friend said he would take a while to start because of his age and I guess she was partly right. He is obviously feeling physically stronger, less pained. I can't tell you how grateful we are to you for all your hard work (especially in all this revolting weather).
LB 21.7.07

Just a note to say thank you so much for helping us load Megan, it is now hassle free and a pleasure to take her out. We made it to our first show and loaded perfectly there and back and we came fourth in the ridden class. Since you came we have been able to explore the Forest further afield and we are also planning our first beach ride in the summer. Once again thank you for all your help and making our travel experiences far less stressful and dramatic.
LS Card received 22.7.07

It was great to meet you today, thanks so much for the opportunity to see you at work. I had a great time, despite the glorious summer weather! Ihope to see you again some time soon and if it's okay with you, I'd love to take you up on your offer to come and help out another day, perhaps even get the chance to meet Freddy next time.LM 24.7.07