Finally I have half an hour to put a few thoughts on paper (or screen!) before we go away.
We had a wonderful time yesterday doing a pleasure ride around a place called Wirksworth. Mr O, Missis and I did it together. The photo above is actually from the previous one around Newhaven, but the look is very similar.
Actually this time we set off ('Beware of cows hiding in the gorse bushes!' it said on the map) and walked down a beautifully grassy field, where the photographer's sign was positioned. He took some photos as we went past, then said that if we wanted to go down to the bottom of the field we could turn and gallop back up and he would get some more shots. So sure enough, we got to the bottom of the field, turned round and Mr O set off in a flat out gallop! He streaked up the field in a blur. And of course, not to be outdone (or worried sick about being left behind) Barnaby set off, after rearing, in hot pursuit. I have seen the photos, and actually they look quite good, but you can see from the last one that I am screaming, "Pull up!!" in a desperate attempt to stop them. I could only sit there, with grass whizzing past me, knowing that Barnaby wouldn't pull up unless Zak did. Fortunately Mr O did pull up in front of the dry stone wall but Barnaby shot through the gap and took another ten strides before I could stop him. Missis thought I was going for the wall, but I managed to steer him through the gap. I was not impressed, I can tell you. Mr O said he didn't know Zak was going to do it. Hmmm. This bodes well for galloping on the beach next week, doesn't it?
After that we carried on reasonably calmly, but went past a railway bridge, when we should have gone under it. We got quite a long way down the road when a woman in front of us said, "I think this is the wrong way!" We retraced our steps and realised we had gone wrong.
We got to the point where the five mile route turned for home, but the twelve mile route continued, so Missis and I gave Mr O the map and carried on back to the start (having seen some stunning views on the way round). Barnaby was stressed at being separated from Zak, but I managed to keep him under control. We carried on and rode under a very low bridge. Barnaby fully expected Zak to be on the other side, so his face must have been a picture when he realised he wasn't there. We trotted the rest of the way up the road and back to the start, but it was obvious that Barnaby would start to get stressed if Zak didn't come back soon, so we did what any sensible women would do in that situation, and set off to go round again!
Barnaby was a bit miffed at first, but I was determined and he gave in with good grace. It seemed much quicker this time (especially as we didn't get lost at the railway bridge!) and before I knew it we were back. Mr O had arrived back and the marshall had told him we'd decided to do it twice, so he didn't worry about where we were.
So we did ten miles altogether. The horses weren't tired at all, which shows how fit they are. As I say, the photos are fab, so I'll show you as soon as they arrive.
We've spent all of today packing. I don't know if I've explained that we are taking the horses on holiday with us, to the Lincolnshire coast. I had no idea the two horses had so much stuff, by the time we've packed tack, rugs, feeds etc, let alone clothes and food for us. 'Er Indoors is coming too, so we have to pack her bed, feed etc. I am worried about being cold at night (we are sleeping in the lorry) so have packed loads of jumpers, pyjamas, etc. It's supposed to rain at least on Monday and Tuesday, but if I'm galloping along the beach, I probably won't care, will I?
So we'll be back on Friday afternoon. Presumably I'll have hundreds of posts to read on here and loads of stuff to wade through on facebook.
Have a great week, everyone.