I couldn't blog yesterday. By 8pm I could hardly even move.
I think because I moved all the straw bales on Saturday, I didn't really have a chance to recover from the four days mucking out all the stables last week. Yesterday it seemed to take forever, but this is because:
1: I told Mr O not to bother feeding early, so the horses were very late going out, by the time I'd given them breakfast, waited for them to eat it, changed all their rugs, and put hay out in the field.
2: I rode Max. More of that later.
I put seven piles of hay out for the horses, and turned Barnaby out first. He stood there, assessing the situation. He takes his duties as herd leader very seriously, and knew he'd have to have the situation sussed before any of the other horses appeared. He judiciously picked his pile of hay and started munching. I could see him thinking, "We'll see how this pans out."
At about 9am it stopped raining, and I decided to take the plunge and ride. I gave Max a thorough grooming. I don't groom his mane very often and I never brush his tail unless I've washed it and put conditioner on it. Anyway, he'd obviously rubbed his mane, as it was very tatty, and as I gently stroked it with the brush, handfuls of hair came out! Oh my darling boy! I'm sure it'll grow back, and that if he didn't have a rug on with a neck, it would have fallen out naturally, but I can see how ponies in the wild end up looking a mess, with no one to groom them.
I came out of the gate, and pulled it closed. Missis has put a very nice Christmas wreath on it. Max thought it looked very nice indeed, and decided to have a little snack off it! I managed to pull him away in the nick of time. I'm sure whatever's on it will be either plastic or poisonous, so it's just as well, greedy hoof! I just decided to go down to the bottom of Press Lane, turn round and trot all the way back up again. This is a brilliant place for trotting to increase the horses' fitness, as it's not steep, but goes gently uphill for at least a mile and a half. Max was puffing by the time we got back to the top. I waved at Lucy Goosy, who waved back. Her dog, Ben, forgot to bark at us, which made a nice change. He sits on the low wall that surrounds the front of their house, and I always feel I should toss him a biscuit as we go past.
I got back and turned Max out. Zak had been standing near the gateway, waiting to greet him and explain things. Their conversation went something like this:
Zak: (ticking Max's name off on a clipboard): So, you're back, are you?
Max: What's going on?
Zak: Well, Sir Barnaby has got that great big pile of haylage over there, obviously, and we're all sharing these little piles over here.
So then it was back to the mucking out, which seemed to go on forever. I'd only done three stables by lunch time, whereas normally I've done five. I went back out after lunch to finish off, and by the time I'd done everything it was time to get the horses back in.
I cooked dinner in the evening, and then spent an hour ironing, as Mr O said he'd nothing to wear to work. When I asked him to come and pick what he needed so I made sure I ironed it, he picked out one pair of trousers. Very strange. He didn't even make a cup of tea to sustain me in my hour of need.
After that I didn't feel very well at all. Every part of me seemed to ache. I felt like a Russian shotputter. Last year, when I first started this, I felt as if I had extra bones inserted across my shoulder blades, like a rack of ribs. That's the only way I can describe it. This year it's just my right shoulder that hurts, but it feels enormous too, as if it's the size of The Incredible Hulk's shoulder. I bet I could beat any woman at arm wrestling.
And then, the saddest thing, just to round off my day nicely. I was so tired I have messed up and ruined my new cross stitch. I started to go wrong, and decided to do the decent thing and unpick it, then the threads got messed up and broke, and now I don't know what to do with it. I'm so sad about it. I'll have to try again, but I was so tired I could hardly see straight. Mr O kept saying, "You've fallen off Max, haven't you?" so I must have looked quite bad. Then not to be outdone, my stomach decided to start hurting as well, so I gave up, took some painkillers and went to bed. Not the best of days.
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