Thursday, 26 March 2009

Catching up

Apparently the weather is not my friend this week or, on the other hand, maybe it is - I suppose it depends on how you look at it.
Strong blustery winds and driving rain aren't really condusive to good groundwork, lunging or riding but, on the plus side, I have now managed to clean and oil all my tack - yes, ALL of it, not just the stuff that's currently in use. Judging by what I've cleaned I could open a shop or possibly outfit a small riding school. I would argue that some of this stuff actually breeds when you're not looking. I mean who really NEEDS 12 headcollars, 6 spare pairs of stirrups and 5 extra pairs of reins ?
It was rather saddening to see that Min's saddle was starting to grow mould, It's been 3 months since it was used and it has just spent that time sat there on the rack still with stirrups attached. His bridle is at home - currently hanging on the back of my living room door cleaned and polished.

Amongst all the digging around I've also found the tub of Cornucrescine that I lost ( it had fallen down the back of the washroom shelves) and located the spirit level that was the one thing that was stopping J from putting those shelves up ( of course it was in the Tack Room all along !).
I have even managed to get rid of my recently deceased dog food freezer, that was interesting. In the process of moving it from the conservatory I discovered that we have mice. Again. Now these must be some sort of new breed - Teenage Mutant Ninja Mice or some type of Adrenaline Junkie Mouse as we have 13 resident cats, several of which are female and usually not inclined to take prisoners. ( I have now issued warnings of possible sackings and performance related pay schemes).
Further to my posting regarding my abysmal position it was pointed out ( thank you muchly) that even if I do think I look terrible I still look way better than a certain someone who posted vids of their riding all over Youtube. Well yeah, even I have to agree with that one ( and I'm not naming names but I think some of those silent readers will know exactly what I'm talking about ).

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ms Modo, trifle soup and the Wacky Races

It's been a busy weekend here, we finally got the new ( mounted !) chain harrows and blew the exhaust manifold off the tractor. Gemma forgot to book her riding lesson - possibly because she was so involved with trying to work out exactly what a vorpal sword is so even though her finger is okay now she still couldn't ride. It was cold and windy on Saturday and Harvey was spooking in the yard which is never a good sign. Still I was wound up for it so got lunged anyway. I'd managed to borrow a camera for the day to take the place of my phone which is playing silly beggars again - it's probably full of hair and haylage, so I'll have to try to find the time to try to clean it out. Gemma got the honour of sitting on the crate freezing her butt off and taking photos with the wind whistling in her ears ( some dedication there).
If you're reading this - don't forget to book your lesson !
Once I got the pics uploaded to the computer - well that was an eye opener. The neckstrap sits in the wrong place which makes me lean forward, my shoulders are rounded and, as I'm holding one-handed, I'm twisted. There's actually more bend in me than there is in the horse ! My butt is pushed back and my left toe sticks straight out. Add to that the fact that the wind inflated my coat and you get a pretty good idea of what Quasimodo's rather more deformed sister may have looked like if she rode. I was horrified, obviously more work to do there. If my old instructor saw that she'd probably go and get her gun.
Sunday saw us trying that again - this time not holding the neckstrap and with much critical instruction - that's what I needed obviously. Better results all round.

The travellers returned from their trip to Germany on Saturday night collected from the college by John and coming home bearing Mother's Day gifts of Baileys and Jamaica Rum ( Thank ye kindly) There was also the inevitable row as the ones who'd returned proceeded to spread various belongings around the house and the bedroom that the other two had managed to keep clean all week. Apparently Germany was Ace, Amazin' and dead good. My son dashed off to see his girlfriend who he'd missed all week and my daughter fell asleep. Some things don't change !

It was my youngest daughter's birthday on Thursday and we'd decided to make a sherry trifle for the weekend. Now this is something I have only ever tried to do once before - I failed then and never tried again. Maybe I should have got advice from my Mother before diving into it this time but, of course, I didn't. My eldest made the sponge - her first ever, that part was a sucess. I added fruit and mixed jelly and sherry. It didn't set. A whole day in the fridge and it's still liquid. Add another jelly mix with half the water plus another helping of sponge. Another day in the fridge and it's still liquid. I was all for throwing the lot away and calling it a bad job but we decided to plough ahead with it anyway. My youngest made custard while I was out and she couldn't get it to thicken, that was because she misread the instructions and used a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon so once that was spotted it was easily fixed. End result - a raft of custard and cream floating on a sort of fruity sherriified soup. Looked weird but tasted fine.
Apparently where we went wrong was in adding the sherry to the jelly - it should have been soaked into the sponge instead. Ah well, we live and learn and, according to my daughter, we now have an excuse to try it again........

Horsewise Monday was a write off - the weather was foul: cold and very windy. I stood at the bottom of the ramp and watched a stray bucket spinning in the field while the blue tarp flapped madly on the haylage. I'd just aboput decided to turn out and leave it at that when I saw one of next door's ducks flying backwards. I've no idea what the windspeed was but I've heard of roofs being blown off sheds etc so obviously I made the right choice. By the time I got home it was raining horizontally as well. I've heard there's a forecast for snow sometime this week, the way it's feeling at times it really wouldn't be so surprising. Weird that last week I was in t-shirts and this week I'm shivering in my yard coat.

For some reason there seems to be a shortage of "normal" vehicles in our area lately. It's as if everyone is trying to outdo each other for weirdness. Today's hack was another episode of "spot the spook" - we had tanker trucks, tractors, an ambulance ( complete with flashing lights and siren) and a roofing truck parked half across the road with a pot of boiling tar and a ladder with a coat hanging on it ! We also spotted vans with ladders on them, skips, buses and a milk float. Surprisingly we got very few spooks ( could be they are bored of all this strangeness) the boiling tar had to be snorted at and sidled around but I really don't blame them there - it stank.

Friday, 20 March 2009

I hope no-one had a camcorder......

There was a certain conversation the other day that was centered on how it's always the horse you consider to be most "yours" that can scare you the most. Well scare isn't the only thing they can do best, I can tell you that.
This morning started overcast but cleared to another gorgeous day. I spent a few minutes considering things and drew up a rough plan of stuff I could do during the week - just so I'm not boring us all senseless by doing the same old thing day after day. I lunged Holly in the sidereins for a change and then took Harvey out into the road where we watched some of the incredibly interesting and bizarre traffic that suddenly has to go up and down. I think every tractor in the area is out and about today along with cherry pickers and those things like big cages on the backs of trucks, Bless him he never flinched until the bright yellow crane came past and even then it was only a matter of two little steps backwards and a giraffe impersonation so I am really pleased with that lack of performance ( but also rather glad that I wasn't sitting on him at the time or you can guarantee it would have been panic stations.).
Fally has an odd little lump on his back - I'm not sure what it is but I suspect insect bite, it's already gone down some from where it was when I found it last night and he doesn't flinch if I prod at it but even so I didn't fancy the idea of putting the saddle on him today.
I considered and finally decided to lunge him for a few minutes before turning them all out.
This is where the "favorite horse" bit comes in. Fally is my soft spot as everyone will tell you. He gets away with stuff the others don't etc etc. Well, when it comes down to working with Fally the safest place is definately on his back - he's big and solid and can be bargey at times, he's also a grump and a grouch and an opinionated old ginger git. Just thinking of lunging him ( when there wasn't even anyone in the house let alone with me) got the adrenaline going and I was seriously considering phoning John and telling him what I was doing and if I don't phone back in half an hour then phone me. Glad I didn't do that actually - if I had I would probably be hiding under a rock right about now.......
Picture the scene - 17.2 chestnut shining in the sun, me with bright red hair ( and hard hat) and reflective jacket in a suddenly dusty lunging area. A light breeze and dogs barking in the distance. Picture 5 minutes of a very nice trot to the left, horse being very nice and amenable. Now picture a change of rein and somewhere approaching 20 minutes of the red haired flourescent person calling trot on, terrrrrrr- ot, cracking the lungewhip, attempting to chase or drag the horse, whipping the ground with the lunge whip ( making little puffs of dust pop up) waving the end of the lungeline around and making generally (usually) effective noises ( like whoosh, Go! Get-on, ch-ch-ch-ch etc) while the horse walks calmly around the circle.
And YES, I did say walk - that was most definately a walk not a trot or even a jog - a walk. He never even batted an eylid at any of the stuff I was doing !
I know I did more trotting than he did and the neighbours ( who's houses overlook the lunge area) were probably having hysterics the whole time - so if a video happens to turn up on Youtube or YBF that sounds anything like this please please send me the link - it might just be me !)
Anyway at the end of 20 minutes or so of this my arms were aching from waving things around and he was giving me this really patient look like, " Have we done this long enough yet, Mum ?" - well that was it, I just burst out laughing and threw my arms round his neck and we just stood there in the sun with me laughing helplessly with the sweat running down from under my hat ( no sweat on him though - oh no, HE was bone dry.)
After I turned them out I drove home and had numerous bouts of random laughter and giggling all the way - people must have thought I was crazy ( or maybe I am, maybe it has all just been too much))
Next time I think of lunging him I'll make sure I have a friend to assist.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Naked Time !

Bet that caught your attention !!
The weather has been amazing and I have been wussy on account of the guys being partially clipped but today was the clincher - 16degrees (c) and blue skies equals Naked Time ! and we seem to have actually run out of mud in the field - out all day nude and they still managed to come in clean.

This week I decided to have a change in routine - to stagger the day off and make it a serious grooming session. So, as a result, on Tuesday I spent an hour and a half grooming Holly ( wearing a dustmask !), Wednesday was Harvey's day and today was Fally's - my shoulders ache, lol, but the horses are silky and shiny and still moulting !
I have 2 kids currently in Germany on a "study tour" with the college - already we have had phone calls from an army base who'd had my daughter's bag and phone handed into them. Big thanks to them and especially Corporal Adams who phoned me, she now has the phone and bag back and even the debit card that she was so worried about. Did you know that you cannot cancel a card for a family member under any circumstances without a court order or death certificate ? - I tried - they said she had to do it herself.
The orange wine has gone into the demi-jars today and is happily bubbling away in the kitchen ( smells wonderful) and my youngest hit 16 today - should that make me feel old ?

Monday, 16 March 2009

Home brewing and sitting trot.

Well I managed to get in a visit to the home brewing shop on Friday and finally get the bungs and airlocks for the demi jars so I guess we'll be starting the home brew sometime next week. The book I ordered from Amazon turned up - excellent wine- making book from the 60's - somehow my copy of it had gone missing over the years since we last did this so I was really pleased to be able to get another copy. Very natural recipes that don't rely on chemicals and aren't terribly fussy.
Our first 2 brews will be orange wine ( mainly because I went crazy and bought far too many oranges when John wanted to make marmalade so I have half a fridge full of them !) and ginger which we know from experience is very good.
Horse-wise, Fally is finally sound again so we have been able to do a bit of pottering around - it was quite strange to actually ride Harvey after all this time !. On Friday it was blowing a gale and he was looking rather like a giraffe on speed, he even spooked at his own tail !
Fally being lame has meant that I couldn't work on my position - something that has been bugging me since I saw the physio last year. Apparently my posture has been severely affected by me compensating for back pain. Basically I have been doing a work-around for the last 10 years or so and finding ways to do things that don't hurt. As a result my left side is weaker than my right, muscle lengths are less and I twist in everything I do. Obviously this has carried through into my riding ( and explains the state of my old saddle and Fally's tendency to bend to the left even when he's supposed to be going straight).
Well today was a challenge in that - Gemma offered to lunge me ! Her revenge ? - Noo seriously I've been wanting to do this and think we should make it a regular thing, unfortunately Gemma hasn't quite recovered from her session of that - she has a bad back now so partly because of that and partly because I haven't been lunged since I was about 12 I went wuss and added a neckstrap to the kit !
The house is strangely quiet as the two middle kids have gone off to Germany on a field trip with the college - they left last night. So for this week there are just 4 of us here.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Been there and done that......

Well I forgot to stick the title on the last chapter - it should have been "Weather, tractors and a birthday" ah well, it also should have been posted on Monday but I am getting terrible at tearing myself away and things get left till the next day and the next. In this case it was the actual unloading of the photo from my phone which delayed it - sad but true, it just feels wrong to post without a picture and I wanted a new one.
Wednesday was another busy day - finally got around to trying Holly out with the long reins - very interesting. Judging by her reaction I'd say she's done that a few times before. The only problem we had was where to actually go - the lunge area is a bit small and there's not really a lot of garden available to us what with the tractor etc being stuck there. Also it's on a steep bank down towards the house with a trackway at the top so we wandered around the trackway a bit then ended up going back down into the yard and out onto the private road which is long, level and tarmaced. I'll have to think about how I'm going to do this on my own - the yard gate is narrow and there are cars that use the road so I'd have no way of seeing if any were coming without an assistant. There is another (wider) way onto the road through the back drive but I'd have to move some stuff to clear it first as it's a route we don't usually use with the horses.
In the afternoon we took a trip to a big saddlery shop just outside our area - they have a much wider range than the local shop and a trip there easily becomes expensive ( ! ) In this case we were going for 2 reasons - first was that Gemma had found a credit note from them lurking in the furthest reaches of her purse and secondly she got well and truly stuck in her full chaps the other day and efforts to release her resulted in the long leg zip breaking. This shop does repairs so if we needed another excuse there it was.
In the event it turned out that to clean and repair the waxed chaps would cost more than buying a new pair, unfortunately they don't sell the same sort and she is kind of attached to them ( well she certainly was the other day ! ) so I think she is going to see if she can get her mother to fix them instead and then try her hand at reproofing them with a spray. Finally managed to get the riding gloves that we tried to get for my birthday - I think they must have been buried somewhere at the back of the shop on the 3 previous attempts we made so those, a long lead line, 2 new plastic curry combs and a grooming block sorted the credit note out and I got home with a whole hour to kill before having to fetch the kids from the bus !
I also ended up taking a detour to buy some apples as John wanted to try his hand at making brown sauce - we'd already got all the other ingredients but somehow forgot the apples ( daft really as they're the main thing !) In the end he stayed up for most of the night making the sauce and the smell went through the enire house. Very nice sauce though.
I've also found a home brew shop where I can get the bungs and airlocks we need to make our own wine ( something we haven't done for years) unfortunately they also are just out of our local area ( on the way to the saddlery shop) and turned out to be closed on Wednesdays - isn't that just typical ?

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Well the weather is certainly being strange - one minute it's sunny and nice and the next it's clouded over and snowing and blowing a gale.
Gemma's on antihistamine because the trees have started up and I managed to get bitten by some insect so I had one too ( allergies to some insects and I really don't want another episode like I had a few years ago).
The weekend strarted well - a nice bright day and I'd decided to try Holly in the sidereins and roller to see if it helped her concentration any. The sidereins were very loose ( to the point of being what certain instructors would describe as "washing lines") and, in practice, it did work although getting her to actually stop once she was on the circle still seems to be a problem. I'd just finished and was talking to Andy ( the Yard Owner) about his plans of going logging with his son when Gemma turned up. Despite the prospect of tractors, trailers and chainsaws working in the vicinity and the gusty wind she volunteered herself to be lunged on Harvey (!) her only proviso - reins and saddle ( don't blame her there - I'll be wanting them too !)
We would normally have ridden but Fally is "offish" on one back leg - I think he's slipped in the field so he's not in a fit state to do anything more strenuous than graze ( and apparently roll in the mud).

Sunday was something of a washout, Gemma lunged Holly ( in the very loose sidereins) and had the same old problem with the walk/halt transitions, while she was lunging it started to rain and the wind was driving it straight across our little circle. She ended up with 10 minutes on one side and about 5 on the other as by then it wasn't rain any more it was rain/snow/hail/sleet in about a 20 odd mile wind. Not conducive to a good session of anything really ( except possibly drinking coffee by the fireside).
In light of this we turned the three of them out, cleared up and went to our respective homes with hopes of better weather for the morrow..
Thinking about the problem with Holly I decided to ask advice, why not ? that's what the internet's for. Hopefully someone could come up with a suggestion that will actually work. Long reining was mentioned - now that's interesting. I had planned to do that this year ( it's something I have never tried before although I have driven) however my plan involved doing it with the pony ( Min) in the field in Summer - not Holly in the mud in "interesting" weather. Whatever, so it seemed like we needed a second lungeline to try that. Another suggestion was for a second person to be there to catch hold of the horse as the stand command is given - well, purely by coincidence, Gemma has this week off so I'm not entirely on my own.........
Monday brought what we think of when we say March winds, yeah - racing clouds gusty, blustery and ice-cold wind and a selection of bright sunshine and threatening cloud.
Gemma rummaged in her stockpile of horsey stuff and managed to produce not only a lungeline but also a WB sized cavesson ( cross those off the shopping list). We decided to do Harvey first, simply because he'd done nothing at all yesterday. Gemma tried the cavesson on him - it fit ( just) but he wasn't thrilled about the jangly things on his nose. We left him to think about that while we groomed and mucked out the others. We didn't lunge him in it, not this time and with so many distractions about it seemed like it would be asking for trouble. We had the flappy tarp, the wind itself and, horror of horrors, the tractor and trailer full of logs that had been abandoned just a few yards from our circle due to a flat tyre. He thought that was truly scary even though there was nothing even remotely flappy about it and he lunged in an egg shape, stared bug eyed at it and tripped over his own feet. Gemma lunged him one way and I took him the other ( to see if his concentration would be better with me in the middle. If it was then it wasn't by a great deal but his transitions were better ( which may have been because he'd warmed up and settled into the work a bit anyway - hard to say really). He did go across to look at the trailer when we'd finished, didn't get so far as for him to touch it but it was close. We then proceeded to the gate crabwise as there was no way he would turn his back on the scary monster thing - it might leap up and eat him !
By this time we were freezing and had to adjourn for warmth and tea before doing anything with Holly.
We thought we'd leave off any attempts at longreining until the weather was more amenable - the way it is right now we'd have flying lungelines and who knows what else. I have no idea if Holly has ever been longed before either.
Gemma lunged ( it's nice to stand back and see it from the other side) with the cavesson and I ended up being the one to step forward when she ignored the stand command. I only had to catch hold a couple of times - mostly just stepping towards the circle was enough and at the end she did stand on voice command only ( but not until the very end). She wasn't bothered by the tractor ( she saw it yesterday) but more by the mud.. Hopefully the wind will dry things up a bit for tomorrow.

I did manage to find the missing phone - it turned up in the nastiest puddle on the yard - the one by the grid where everything drains to. A couple of days drying on the fire shelf and it seems to be working although the keypad is a bit iffy ( probably full of dirt and horsehair). How long it'll last is anybody's guess.

Today is Gemma's birthday - hopefully she enjoyed spending the first half of it in a field freezing her butt off !

Friday, 6 March 2009

Background story on Harvey.

Well I promised I would post this a while ago but what with one thing and another I haven't really had time to sit down and thinnk it through. This is still a rush-job - it's 7.30 am so I may end up adding bits later but this should give you the gist.
He was supposed to be an eventer ( I was told this by 2 different people) but threw some sort of spazzy fit when he was asked to go through a puddle, this apparently ended when he fell over and injured his leg. He got a steel plate in his leg which ended his eventing career before it even got started, was written off by the insurance company and got the appropriate recovery time before being donated to the riding school where he stayed for somewhere in the region of 10 years ( give or take).
Now this is ( or was) a big riding school BHS and ABRS approved etc etc and they had a lot of horses and ponies. They had a system whereby horses could be turned out/brought in with a minimum of staff - basically a corridor arrangement where horses were turned out of stables into the aisles and made their own way to the field with the staff member following to close the gate and reset the corridor for the next lot. I worked there for a while and the system worked brilliantly ( I use a simplified version of it myself). Bringing them in is the opposite with the horses walking in and going straight into their own stables and someone going along and shutting the doors. So, no use of headcollars and no leading involved. Grooming and saddling happens in the stables so no tying up. Hosing and farriery involve a person holding the horse.
So you see there was never any time where he needed to be tied so naturally he never learned it.
Most of his actual work involved being in an arena with a group of other horses so I think that makes his clinginess, spookiness and general lack of confidence quite natural. He never needed it so he never learned it.
When I first got him he was a pain to catch - you just couldn't. You'd end up following him around the field endlessly until you could get him cornered ( and the only way to do that was to remove the other horses first and have an assistant. Catching him singlehanded was nigh on impossible. I did get fed up with this and we had a couple of sessions of me chasing him around the small field, keeping him moving until I wanted him to stop, had to do this a couple of times but now he is catchable at least.
You could say that he has a lot of issues but really I think he's institutionalised. He's the big boss in the field but won't go in front on a hack - he gets all stressed and spooky - but he will try to bite the horse in front to make it go faster and has managed to tread on heels too. If you take him in front he instantly becomes hesitant, slows down and starts wavering ( that is actually an improvement as he used to just stop dead) He is a dream horse for the farrier ( with someone holding the rope - he just dozes off - I'm sure the person holding the rope isn't even necessary, that you could just park him in the middle of the yard and leave him there), perfect gentleman to clip ( even if it does involve standing on a crate) and easy to work around in the stable.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Discussions with Harvey, a change in the weather, the return of George and numerous dead fish....

Harvey does not like me touching the top of his head, it makes him move backwards, this has always been an issue and something we have just dealt with, It makes grooming and bridling difficult but at least in a stable he backs into the wall and that's about it. Clipping and bridlepaths usually tend to involve someone standing on a beer crate. On the yard it's a different story. I have read somewhere that the correct method is to place one hand on top of the head, one on the nose and wait. Yeah well, that didn't work - maybe it would have if I was actually tall enoough to do it - I'm 5 ft 7 and even standing on tiptoes and stretching straight up like some sort of demented ballerina in boots I still can't reach.I can, however, reach his forelock or scratch the base of an ear - great he goes backward so I lead him forward and try again, same result. Now I'm sure this activity would please my physiotherapist but personally I wass finding it boring and unproductive, circling the yard and tying back up produced the same effect so I figured it was about time to introduce Mr Schooling whip. Right hand goes up, Harvey goes back and WTF ?? comes back forward again. It's times like this when I wish I had 3 arms. A few of these back and forwards episodes and he seemed to get the gist - it's nicer to get your head scratched than to get your butt prodded with the business end of a schooling whip.
I had to reinforce that again today but I expected that. He now has clean ears which is a bonus.
The rain which had been threatening all Tuesday morning decided to go for it just as I brought Fally out, he looked at me like " Are you serious ?" lol, nope, I wasn't THAT serious at any rate. I turned them all out and went home and spent the afternoon fiddling about with George.
I should explain that George is actually my PC - recently resurrected from some sort of cyber-death and has been sitting under the desk waiting for me to actually find time to do something about him. Well that time was yesterday afternoon and, apart from finding that my light up USB hub has apparently gone walkabout ( probably in protest at George's prolonged absence), all is well there and I am back up to speed. I even managed to import my bookmarks from the stand-in machine. No doubt I will find a few things I forgot to install (Flash player, Adobe reader, Yahoo messenger etc) but that's all just minor details - the main stuff is in now and the stand in can finally stand down.
Recieved an alarm call just as we were about to go to get the horses in, Sy's heater had packed in and half his fish were dead - could he bring the survivors here - okay, I said, but where will they go ? One of my tanks is mysteriously acidic and the other contains the piscine version of The Terminator ( it kills anything that happens to be smaller than it is), my daughter said they'd go in her tank so I said yes, whatever. He turned up with a coffee jar with three very sad and sick looking fish that all died within half an hour. My daughter somehow managed to lose her phone in all the confusion and, of course, it has a flat battery so we can't even find it by calling it - naturally it has ALL her phone numbers and she uses it as an alarm as well as a watch so she's totally lost and freaking out about it *head-desk*, I suggested if she cleans her room she may find it...........

Monday, 2 March 2009

An interesting weekend part 2

Sunday was drizzly and started with an irate husband who'd tried to tax his new car only to find that the DVLA website was offline and a general state of confusion over cars and lifts and who was supposed to be phoning who. I think it turned out that I was supposed to be phoning and giving lifts but I'd managed to totally forget everything - that's the problem with having dynamic memory ! Shut down for sleep and it's all gone !!
The drizzle was a total downer and we spent some time in a Spring-clean of the garage and tackroom before even attempting to do anything horsey. An odd impulse led us to lunge Fally ( not a task for the faint hearted as he's not very good at it and doesn't cope well with turning) at one point I had Gemma running behind him waving a crop over her head !Anyway - here's a pic of my beautiful boy.

An interesting weekend.( part one)
The farrier visit was fun ( as expected) they managed to mess about and not allow enough time - I ended up driving my daughter to the yard at 1.30, giving her the keys and wishing her good luck. By the time I was half way home the farrier had phoned me to say he'd be there in 10 minutes. To give her her due she did manage to tice Fally into his stable with promises of food but then he barged her out of the way and legged it back up the field. They eventually managed to get them all in just in time for the farriers to arrive.
Saturday got off to a calm start - no kids in sight ( no surprise there) but good company at any rate and we had the usual gossip session before going across to the yard.
My friend Gemma had a riding lesson ( hmm - best to explain here - there are 2 Gemmas and to make it even more confusing they both ride !) So, Gemma (Nevergrowup) had a riding lesson and they went out on a hack - now normally this would be a good thing but this time they met the motorcyclist from Hell - he either had no brains or no brakes ( actually I suppose he could have been brakeless AND brainless) whatever - he managed to cause absolute chaos with the school hack, kids and ponies everywhere and Gemma's horse reared, spun and catapulted her into a hedge. To make matters worse she got the reins wrapped round her finger in the confusion so when she turned up at the yard ( having driven) she had what apeared to be a broken finger. Gemma (Shamrock) shot off with her to get it x-rayed and, as luck has it, it's not broken just badly sprained. They have, however, treated it in the same way as they would if it was broken - she now has 2 fingers strapped together which makes life interesting for her to say the least. No riding or martial arts for at least 3 weeks and as her job is about 98% keyboard orientated she's going to have fun with that too- so here's a bunch of flowers to cheer her up !
( and a jar of homemade Marmalade - I know you'll find someone to open it for you !)