I feel like I am writing an entry for The Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy. 'It had 'Don't Panic' in large, friendly letters on the cover'.
Missis came out this morning to say that her aunt died on Friday, but they didn't find out until Monday. I feel so sorry for Missis, because although her aunt had cancer, she wasn't really about to die just yet, if that makes sense. I don't know how else to put it. But then, in a way something that's even worse: Missis' dad is on holiday, and was beaten and mugged by a gang while he was out there. He is 63. My heart goes out to him, as it was his sister that died. He is on his way back now, a week early.
So I coped with all of this this morning, then decided to ride Max, and I have to say he was very good. I was soooo nervous. I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but it is exactly this time last year that I had a bit of an accident. I won't go through it all again, but basically I got lost, Max bolted with me and jumped a five-bar gate. I was hauling on the reins, thinking, 'It's a barrier, he'll stop,' but he didn't. He cleared the gate, which must have looked amazing, but I got thrown off from quite a height and ended up in hospital with internal bleeding. I don't want to think about it really, and it put me off jumping for most of last year.
So, as I haven't ridden since Christmas, I was a little apprehensive, as you can imagine, especially as I was on my own. I actually decided to use my common sense and walked him down to Jolly Farmer's so I could use the manege. I decided if he was going to be silly, he could be silly without me, but actually he was quite calm, strode out purposefully and had a good look around. Busy Bee was there, so I caught up with her briefly, as of course I haven't been down there over Christmas because of the snow.
I went in the school and got on and actually Max was very sluggish. I trotted him and he was fine, but has lost a lot of fitness. He is still quite supple though, which is good. He kept standing still of his own accord, as if to say, 'I think we'll have a little break mum, don't you?' I didn't push him, as the whole point of going was to just have a look around and get used to things again, and so that I don't ache too much in the morning, either. I love the way I've been saying to people, "I don't think he'll be very fit now." There's nothing wrong with his fitness at all!
I came back up the lane and Jolly Farmer was approaching on his tractor, just as Ben the dog was running towards us across his garden. I thought it might spook Max, if Ben appeared and started barking, and Max would jump in front of the tractor, so I made him stand still and wait for the tractor to go past. He kept fidgeting about in the road and wouldn't get on the verge, so in the end I got off and had a chat to Lucy Goosie while I waited, who I also haven't seen for ages. Max was quite annoyed and kept shoving me, saying, 'Can we go?' Honestly, that horse has the manners of a goat.
I walked him up a bit further, where there is a handy bench, so I got on and rode home, but he suddenly decided now was the time to be energetic, and started spooking at patches of snow in the field. Not even on the road, but in the field! I was determined to end on a good note, so I got off him again and led him the rest of the way home, so all in all the whole thing was more lead than ride, but at least I've done it, and can get on him again tomorrow.
This is because we have decided to enter the Indoor TREC competition at the end of January. It should be hysterical. There's no orienteering phase, just the control of paces and the obstacles, which should be a giggle. I am only doing it for a laugh on Max, anyway, as he will spook at everything, but Barnaby could do quite well. I am so looking forward to it, though. Better go and start the lorry up.
And then in the afternoon a very strange conversation took place. Missis asked me how you retire a horse. I said you could contact the Veteran Horse Society or Bransby Rest Home, but I think in the current climate they'd be full. When I asked why, she said she was going to retire Polo. I am astonished. Then she said she would also sell Fudge and just keep Lindy. I am appalled. What's to stop her selling him as well, he's not even her favourite horse, technically he's Pongo's horse, but he hardly ever rides him. Where does this leave us? They wouldn't have any motivation to build a manege, which we were promised, and why bother finishing off the new stables, or draining the field properly or anything? Why not just sell up and buy a normal house, like they had before? I am seriously worried. I have sold my house to move here, and given up some things I adored and would have kept. These people have the power to make us homeless, and I am not impressed. This was my reservation in the beginning.
I am going to God, on bended knee to pray this evening. Mr O is very taken aback as well. We've only been here a year. If there aren't horses to muck out, they won't need us here, will they? Grrrr, stress!
But on a lighter note, I made a card last night, as a thankyou to Lorayne for the cake 'tins'. (Can't really call them tins, can you?) It's the first card that went really well, and I am very pleased with it. I scanned it in, but for some reason it won't open on here, and I've put it in the envelope now. Fuming! It's also helped because I am going to Hobbycraft again on Saturday (so excited!) and have much more of an idea of what I'm going for, eg more card blanks, as some friends have just become grandparents for the first time, but I couldn't make them a card as I don't have enough blank cards sitting there ready for me to whip something up. I also need lots of plain card and paper as I used the water colour pencils again, which worked really well this time, but would be better on card than paper. I'd better go now and finish off my cross stitch, hopefully I'll be able to show you those. I might be better off taking a photo of them, but my scanner has never let me down before. A strange end to a strange day...
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