We have ordered a feed supplement that will detect if Zak has gastric ulcers. It is very similar to Coligone. If he responds to it, and starts putting weight on, he has ulcers. Then we can go to the vet and get him treated. I am lungeing him for the first time tomorrow.
I have lunged Barnaby yesterday and today, and there is a remarkable difference in his way of going. He really can work 'long and low' now, with his neck stretched out. He still tries to look over to the left when he's on the right rein, but soon straightens out. He really couldn't do this before Lisa Brooke came. I am thrilled at these signs of progress, as you can imagine.
The other truly fantastic thing is that Mr O said we could buy a new saddle for Barnaby. Bear in mind that he bought the Bates Caprilli saddle for Barnaby, before we even got Zak, but transferred it over, and has now bought a 'narrow' gullet for it so it fits Zak. We have ordered a black Bates saddle. These saddles are stunning. When you ride Barnaby you feel like you're in an armchair anyway, but the Bates makes you feel very upright and you just coast along on him, it's a fabulous feeling. Soon I will be Joan of Arc once again.
The result of this, though, is that we've decided not to go on holiday, and this is very disappointing. We were going to take the horses away for a week in August to Mumby in Lincolnshire, to a farm that has a really good cross country course, and from where you can ride down a lane to the beach. We went to a similar one in Hallington near Louth in Lincolnshire a few years ago, and galloped along the beach from Theddlethorpe to Mablethorpe in seconds. Of course, that was with Barnaby and Max. Max got on the beach, and I could feel him swell up. I thought, 'You've done this before, haven't you, matey?" as we cruised up the sand. On his passport it says he is originally from Scarborough, so it wouldnt surprise me if he'd seen the sea before. He certainly knew what to do with it, anyway. I would have loved to have gone on Barnaby, but maybe next year...
In case I haven't said, Pongo and Missis are on holiday in France so I have the place to myself for two weeks, which is absolute bliss. It does mean I get some extra jobs, though, as I am looking after their two dogs (Piper and Lexus), feeding the fish, watering the plants, as well as seeing to the ducks, chickens, horses etc.
My routine is like this, then:
Get up and let Piper and Lexus out.
Go and let the big ducks out (more about them when I can get some good photos).
Let the chickens out. Clean out the coop.
Clean out the duck pen. Feed and water the ducklings.
Get the dogs back in and give them breakfast.
Have breakfast myself.
Get Barnaby in and work him.
Give him a feed and get all the horses in and give them a feed.
Put suncream on Barnaby, Lindy and Zak (who won't let me do this in the field, so this is very handy).
Turn horses back out.
Skip out stables.
Refill haynets and waters.
Make up feeds for tomorrow.
Poo pick the field.
Go indoors and collapse!
And that's just the morning. I do get a break in the afternoon, but I still have to do the ironing and washing up (we made a foolish decision not to have a dishwasher here, as there are just the two of us. What a mistake that turned out to be!)
And finally, just to say, I got the go-ahead to sell my cards in the coffee shop after the church services, which is fantastic. Now I just need to work out exactly how to do it, whether to make a display of Pastor Abraham's work there to remind people what I'm raising the money for. Any tips?
I made this card for a friend's birthday yesterday. I was a fool here, because I got the papers free with a magazine and I like it all so much I wish I'd scanned these papers in so I could make more than one card. Never mind. I hope she likes it.
Have a great week, everyone, especially if it stays as sunny as it is today!