Saturday, November 18, 2017

18th November, 2017 Highlights

While we're having work done on the house I only have access to David's wind-up, snail-pace, laptop which I could cheerfully throw out of the window. Not only that but we have no furniture in the living room and so I am kneeling on the floor with the laptop on the lowest window sill.

I have spent most of the week outdoors, either with the horses, or helping out at the Woodgreen Community Shop where, on my knees again, I've enjoyed renewing all of their chalk boards. Quite often I get comments on my artwork from passers-by: "Have you been watching Blue Planet  II" or "Mecca is the other way!"

Carole from the shop marketing team goes cold turkey
The highlight of my week was quietly putting a headcollar on Juma as well as teaching him to lead with a scarf around his neck. We've done so little but this calm approach, using the scarf first, works so well.

What do you reckon Peechay?

The following day the three ponies moved back to Fritham. Peechay travelled on his own and was very easy to load. Soon he will anticipate new grass with every journey and be even more eager. We took Nelly and Juma round to the barn to load them in a more enclosed area. Juma enjoyed the walk...or should I say gallop, with his tail kinked over his back like a red squirrel.

Back at the fields they were all made welcome and settled down together in their separate fields.

Thursday saw another session with Watson and Nikki who now need to move on to recall and other technical dog things. Watson ambled around several wild ponies on the lead without going after them but it was a different matter later when he met sheep.

Yesterday was a very special afternoon as I spent a couple of hours with Reserve Manager, Jayne Chapman who works for Butterfly Conservation and manages several sites including Magdalen Hill Down where we met. Here the rare breed cows, sheep and Exmoor Ponies circulate through various habitats where butterflies thrive. It's a truly peaceful place and as the sun dropped in the sky created a beautiful backdrop to the ponies who were grazing on top of bronze aged burial mounds while traffic was at a standstill on the M3.

News too of wonderful New Forest fillies, Fritham Zelda and Fritham Zoe who are currently with Mark Broadbent having their initial driving training. Zoe is already being driven out on the roads, and Zelda is working through her staged training. They must fit in very well with Mark's black warmbloods. Wendy was kind enough to say, "Mark has been blown away by their maturity, due in no small part to all the fantastic preparation work that you have done with them. They are firm favourites in a stable full of fantastic horses, and grow ever more confident every day. I'm extremely grateful for the time and skill that you have invested in them."