Finally it's time to tell you the thing I've been putting off for quite a while...
As you know, Missis has a horse called Polo. He is a beautiful thoroughbred, with perfect manners on the ground, but he is quite barmy to ride. Missis has been very nervous about riding him, as he is very bad in traffic. He runs backwards if a car comes towards him too fast, and as you may know, we come straight out of the house onto a 60mph road, which has made things very difficult for her. She didn't ride very much at all until we came.
He is a lovely gentle boy, though, and he and Barnaby have become good friends since Max left. Unfortunately Missis made up her mind a few weeks ago to have Polo put to sleep, claiming that he is lame. When she was being rational, she did say that no one would buy him because he's bonkers, and that he's too old to sell, which I agree with, but she could have let him go as a field companion, although are people doing that since the recession?
Our farrier pointed out that he had seedy toe, but she never treated it because her mind was made up by then. I have found all of this stressful beyond belief, as you can imagine.
She got her vet out a few weeks ago, and he refused to put Polo down, but while we were away, the deed was done. I am heartbroken (as is Missis, actually) and miss him very much. Lindy looks quite lost in the field and Barnaby was looking for him when we got back yesterday. Awful.
But this decision has been prompted because Missis decided to look for a new horse. On the Friday before we went away, she and I travelled down to Gloucester to look at an Andalusian gelding. He was very nice, and black and beautiful. She rode him out for quite a while, and I filmed her riding him in the school. Later on, while watching the video, we realised he dishes. This is a fault in a horse where his lower leg rotates outwards from the knee down, instead of going straight. They wanted eight thousand pounds for this horse, recently imported from Spain. I wouldn't pay two thousand pounds for a horse that dishes (you can't do dressage or showing with it) and Missis wisely decided to walk away.
But then on Sunday she travelled north to see an event horse for sale, a thoroughbred cross Connemara. She tried him out and said he was very calm, had good paces and jumped very well (I should think so for the level he's at). I did say this was the one for her to go for. She put in an offer on Wednesday, while we were on holiday, which was accepted, so she went yesterday to pick him up. They got back at about 9.30pm. He came into his stable and spent the night in with Fudge for company. He seemed very calm and laid back, sniffed everything and tucked into his haynet. He is a beautiful bright bay, and very nicely put together (I will add some photos soon). This morning he's been turned out and met everybody, which went very well, without too much argueing. Barnaby waited until last to greet him. He is totally secure in his status as herd leader. I missed Max then. It was always his job to introduce newcomers and show them round the field, where the trough and the shelter are (but always reserving the best eating spots for himself!)
So the new boy (Hugo) is settling in. But there is still a huge gaping hole in my heart that Polo used to occupy. It won't be the same without him. Goodbye sweet man, we will miss you.