I am so busy at the moment, soon I am going to meet myself coming back the other way!
Another woman came with her daughter to view Max yesterday. She said she couldn't come until 2pm, so I took the executive decision to turn Max out for the morning. In fact, I put all the horses out, and then it rained...and rained...and rained.
Then suddenly, at about 12 o'clock, the sun came out. I got Max in and washed his legs and tail, and I have to say, he looked pretty darned good. I got all of his tack ready, and made sure I had all my gear, then grabbed a quick lunch.
They came on the dot of 2 o'clock, just as Max decided it was time for his afternoon siesta, so when they arrived he had his back to them and was dozing in the corner, but it all added to the cute Eeyore persona we are trying to create.
It was obvious the daughter liked him on sight, and I went in and tacked him up. He was very co-operative, and of course Barnaby was in the field, so he couldn't run to him for protection like he usually does. I got on and rode down to Jolly Farmer's and rode him in the school, then the mother got on, then the daughter (who had already said, "Look at his tail," in reverent tones that girls seem to use on these occasions).
The mum asked if her daughter could stay on him and ride him part of the way home, then I could do my party piece and canter him on the verge. She drove off in her car to the top of the lane, and we set off. We hadn't got far when about six horses from the riding school suddenly appeared from round the corner, but Max didn't bat an eyelid, didn't express a desire to go with them or anything. We continued our journey home, then the girl got off and I got on and whizzed along on the verge and pulled him up perfectly.
We got back home and the mother had a good look all round him. She ended by saying she'd like to come again and maybe the daughter could hack out on Max with me on another horse. For some reason I readily agreed. It was only afterwards I considered the logistics of this. It wouldn't be Max that I would worry about, it would be whichever horse I lead on. If I took Barnaby he'd leave Max standing. I keep up because I can let Max really trot out, but a novice/nervous child isn't going to have the confidence. If I take Lindy, he and Max will scare each other to death. Missis and I have the know-how to keep our leg on and make them go forwards, but again, a novice child isn't going to be able to do it. I will make a decision when the time comes.
When I got back in, another woman rang to say she'd seen the advert in Parklands and would I mind emailing her some pictures, so I did, and she hasn't rung back! What was the point of that, then?
The trouble is, Max has been so well behaved I'm tempted to keep him. If he wasn't my main horse and I could still have Barnaby, I might consider it, but there is still the mucking out to think of, plus the cost of shoes etc. It's in the Lord's hands now, and I trust Him completely. This is because I've been so sick with nerves when I've had to ride Max for other people, in the same way as I am nervous before a Hunter Trials, but as soon as I get on him I know it's going to be fine, and I am filled with peace. I feel at peace about selling him, too, which was very strange at first, as he has been the love of my life, and it's a bit like trying to sell your child (never an easy thing to do!)
We went to our 'Connect Group' last night (trendy name for Bible Study group). It was really good. I am getting to know a girl called Priscilla, and really like her, but she is moving to Hong Kong later in the year. Hope she doesn't go, really...
Anyway, we got onto the subject of missionaries, and I explained that I make cards and how I was affected by the testimonies of the group that had gone to India, and that I'd like to be able to sell my cards in church and give the proceeds to the missionary work. To my surprise, our group leader, who is also an elder, said to give him a couple of samples and he'd bring it up at the next leader's meeting. Blimey O'Reilly! I'd better get a few more made by Sunday, then. Afterwards I was panicing, 'what if they're not really good enough and I've just been kidding myself?' etc. That, also, is firmly in the Lord's hands, then. I would just like to be able to bless some people, that's all.
I have joined a cross stitch group on Facebook, who did a card exchange last month, and I just missed it. The latest thing is a bookmark swap, and I have been included. I have to cross stitch a book mark and swap it with a woman in America. We had to email each other and say what sort of things we liked and didn't like, and we've both put farm animals on ours, and she has put anything to do with the tudors, and scottish things, so I think I have a plan. I'll keep you posted.
And today, I have ridden Barnaby, and it was utterly fabulous. I am so bonding with this horse. Don't forget, when we very first went to see him, all those years ago, I was so jealous that we were getting him for Mr O, but I had my mare Penny as well as Max and had no reason to have another horse. It was for Mr O that we had gone horsey shopping. Over the years I've ridden him a few times and loved him every time, and now, finally, he is mine. I still can't believe it.
I rode him down to Jolly Farmer's and he was there in his tractor, so I rode up to the tractor and gave him his money in an envelope. Barnaby didn't flinch. I'd never be able to do that with Max.
Then we went in the school, and he worked beautifully. He isn't perfect, but he really understood what I was asking him to do, and I actually looked like a rider for once. He knows he's got to balance himself and not lean on me, and make a good 'shape' going round corners, by bending his body properly. Considering he's had no schooling all winter, he did really well. I am going to have a heck of a summer on this horse.
If I've been in the school, we go straight home afterwards, but today I needed to go to the post box to post a card, so we turned left instead of right. Barnaby wasn't happy about this at all, and kept saying, "Silly woman, home's this way!" and stumbling about and generally trying to see what he could get away with. I just kept my leg on, and made him go down the hill, until he gave in and went perfectly willingly. We got down to the post box, which is on a wall next to a house, under a tree. I have never been able to get Max to go near it, ("Red is scary!") but I showed Barnaby what I intended, and he lined himself up smartly next to the box, and I bent down and put the card in. Now you are probably thinking, "What's the big deal?" but I was absolutely elated, and rightly so. I am falling head over heels in love with this horse. We had a gallop on the way home, and the thundering of his hooves woke the man up who was asleep in the Severn Trent Water van at the top of the rise. Serves you right for being asleep when you should be at work, my friend.
My first time shopping on a Sunday
15 hours ago