Mr O wandered down sleepily to feed the horses this morning, and was met by Fudge. Standing there. Out of his stable.
And while he was out he'd eaten... half a bucket of sugar beet, loads of Alfa-A, most of three haynets, half a sack of carrots and Zak, Barnaby and Max's breakfast. It was like Quentin Tarantino meets The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
There was a chunk of his mane on the floor outside Barnaby's door, where Barnaby had clearly reprimanded him for being there (and eating his breakfast) and a pile of droppings on the floor. What goes in...
Mr O came upstairs and suggested I come and have a look.
Obviously my first worry was colic. I rushed down. Fudge had retreated to the back of his stable, and looked totally guilty. "My tummy hurts!" he said. "Of course it does," shouted Max, "It's full of my flippin breakfast!"
We swept everything up, and I went into Fudge's stable to listen to his stomach. It was totally silent. (A healthy horse's gut should make lots of burbling noises.) I stayed with him for ages, but he wasn't showing any signs. I think he has been remarkably fortunate.
Mr O rode Zak and I decided to lunge Max, as all the horses stayed in yesterday while the weather was so bad. He was quite calm actually, just doing a funny canter with his head on the floor, hoping to snip off some grass with his teeth.
Barnaby had worked himself into a lather by the time we got back in. He was furious that his dad rode Zak first and not him. As soon as Mr O started grooming him and tacking him up he went silent and relaxed. Silly horse.
It was snowing when we left, so Max was headshaking as he doesn't like it, like in the summer when the flies bother him.
We rode down into the village, and Max was a superstar. He didn't spook at anything. The village was quite busy, and he looked at everything, but wasn't naughty at all. We rode past the Black Swan, then turned for home, past the playing fields and tennis courts, then up the steep hill, which was the whole point of going. Max just rolled his shoulders and up he went. Barnaby tried to get faster and faster, and I noticed Mr O was leaning forward quite a bit.
The thing is, when we were at Lorna's Mr O always used to let Barnaby go, and Max could canter to keep up, but I can't let him canter up the road, and why should a horse just go faster and faster anyway? It's very annoying, as Max goes into overdrive and whizzes up the hill to keep up, which isn't on. I asked Mr O to maintain the rhythm, sit back a bit and keep control, which he did, and it makes a big difference. If he wants to do some showing this year, he's going to have to get his act together.
We came back and Missis was there (she only came back from America yesterday and looked dreadful from the flying and tiredness) so I told her about Fudge as she was just about to tack him up for Nine to ride. He did look okay actually, but was looking at me, pleading with me not to tell on him. Missis was quite taken aback to hear this news, as you can imagine. Later when Pongo was tacking him up he said, "I don't think this saddle fits him properly really." I thought, 'No of course it doesn't, he's had a three course breakfast.' Naughty pony.
We've been into town, and got the one and only parking place in the entire car park. Arcade Crafts had a demo on, which was quite good. She was using parchment paper, which I really like the look of. I wish I'd bought some now. I bought a few things, as yesterday I realised it's our wedding anniversary on March 10th and I haven't done anything about it yet - oops! Better get cracking. Never mind, can't have everything .
But you can have surprising things that turn up in your letter box all the way from Switzerland! The macrame book has arrived from Trudi, and this lovely card was attached to it. Mr O would like you to know that despite popular opinion, this is not him. His hat has a chin strap!