Friday, 4 December 2009


The wind was howling round the house again when I got up this morning, but when I went outside it was a flat calm. Very strange. And as it wasn't raining, I decided to take Max down to the school. I needed to pay Jolly Farmer anyway, so I tucked an envelope with the money in it, inside my jacket, and set off. As we turned into his driveway, there was a horse in the front field with a whole haylage bale to himself. Max stood still and stared in envy and disgust, "Well that's just greedy!" I squeezed him on.
Our farrier was there, so I stopped to have a chat with him, and then went into the school. It's brilliant at this time of day, because the sun falls onto the trees at the back of the school, casting a shadow on a tree trunk that falls dead straight from A to C, so I can ride straight along it. Bee's daughter was turning their little palomino out. Max suddenly went charging up to have a look, and stopped stock-still at the perimeter fence, and began to gather himself. I yanked him away quick before he got any ideas of jumping the fence from a standstill! What's that all about?! Then Bee's daughter brought out a barrowload of haylage for the little mare, and Max was jealous again, "How come everyone's stuffing themselves with haylage except me?"
He actually worked beautifully. I'd put him in his Dutch gag, and he came on the bit and went really well. I can't think of a bit less likely to induce an outline, so I was quite impressed. They say that when a horse comes on the bit he has submitted and is working willingly. Rubbish! Max comes on the bit because he is annoyed, and knows he is stronger when he's like that. The fact that he looks lovely is neither here nor there. Don't be fooled. He is not co-operating with me, he is just powering through his shoulders and muttering to himself.
I had a chat with Bee afterwards. There is a new horse in the corner stable, a young and beautiful Dutch Warmblood. He is only five and has been there a week. A couple of days ago, he reared up and got his foot caught in the bars of the stable. They had to cut the bar with a hacksaw to release him. It's amazing he's not injured. Poor boy. I've always admired the American Barn stables, but when you hear stories like that, and think how Barnaby had me trapped the other week, I am now considerably less impressed. Bee said the horse's owner came down and turned him out at 4.30 one morning. (Why?!) The horse was obviously distressed as it was on its own in new surroundings, so it escaped. They came down at 6.30am and found him wandering round the yard. It's a good job, as there is no gate on the driveway, so if it found its way out it could have gone anywhere. Never a dull moment with horses, is there?
I came back and turned Max out. There is a brand new haylage bale in the entrance to the barn. Max stood looking at it and salivating. He looked at the one far away in the field. There was no dilemma as far as he was concerned. Why wade through the mud and wrestle for his pitch in the field when there was a freebie right here? He lunged at it, but I was ready for him, and towed him away. I love my horse.
I finished mucking out when I got back, ably assisted by the Ladies Who Lunch. They can go through a bed in 10 minutes, completely re-arranging it for you. They decimate the muck heap too, so it takes up much more space than it's supposed to.
I went into town in the afternoon with L who had various jobs to do, so I decided to change my library books. It was bliss to be on my own, but a bit cruel to give someone like me only half an hour. Obviously I dithered as usual. Time to throw in today's random comment: I speak German. Just for fun. And I read it too, and I am trying to read one book a month. The library is full of them. Sometimes I read adult books and sometimes I read childrens' books. 'Die Kleine Rote Henne' was wonderful, as was 'Jill und der Bohnenstengel'. This is because I've read all of my own books so many times I can recite them with my eyes shut, so I need something a bit different to stimulate me. I can't wait to start reading them.
Confession of the week: I have worn a thermal vest twice this week. I desperately need to wash my hair and haven't shaved my legs for several months. I must be an attractive sight. It's a good job John hasn't got x-ray vision. If the thermal vest didn't put him off, the hairy legs certainly would. Ewwww! When I left work the girls said I would end up like that mad woman on The Simpsons who comes out speaking gibberish with several screaming cats attached to her. How accurate they were! Or that character from The Laughter Show who comes out of the outside toilet in a scruffy coat tied round the waist with baler twine who says, "This week... I'll be mostly eating prunes." I need to see more people. Otherwise I shall go to the Christmas party on the 17th and the strain of looking nice will kill me. I can't remember what nailvarnish is, or perfume, BUT I also haven't weighed myself in a whole year, but all my clothes still fit me. The joys of country living.


  1. What breed of horses do you have? They look smaller and sturdier, chunkier, than quarterhorses.

  2. Max, the brown and white horse, is what we call a skewbald cob, which is your gypsy vanner. The grey horse, Barnaby, is an Irish cob. They are quite chunky boys, and Barnaby has enormous feet. I feel like Joan of Arc when I ride him.

  3. So those are cobs! Thank you!

  4. Hi Autumn, I love horses and don't shave my legs often..:) I grew up with some but currently do not have any. Hope you have a great week.


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