Tuesday, 12 July 2011

What A Flock We've Got!

I just wanted to start by thanking you for your comments on my previous post.  Jean, your comment was so astute I can't begin to tell you!
Well, Mr O and I had a fantastic time at Newhaven on Sunday.  Last year I only did the seven mile route so I really enjoyed doing the fourteen miles this year.  Barnaby was fabulously behaved, I am so pleased with him.  This must be the best ride for breathtaking scenery.  Derbyshire has areas of outstanding beauty, especially in The Peak District National Park, which thousands of people walk over every year.  The scenery is rugged and in the area we were, there wasn't a road to be seen in any direction.  We were on the White Peak Trail, much of which must have formerly been a railway, as there is an old signal box half way along it.  This is the ride we do with lots of gates so poor Mr O was on and off quite a bit, but there are also several good canters.  I was amazed that Barnaby knew where he was all the time having only done it once a year ago.  Horses have amazing memories, don't they?
The only downside was the vast quantity of flies.  I doused Barnaby in fly spray before we set off, and yet within minutes we were covered in them.  Mr O had swarms of them all over his hat.  They were crawling up my face and on my bare arms - ewww!  Horrible!  Poor Barnaby just strode stoically on, braving it out, but Zak did quite a bit of head-shaking.  Poor boys.
And the really good thing is that Zak travelled very well.  I do think (Jean again!) that there were flies in the lorry on the way back from Elvaston Castle the other week, so we made sure there were none in the lorry when we loaded them this time, and apart from a couple of bangs, Zak was fine all the way home.  Such a relief as we were beginning to think we'd never be able to travel him again.
I'm sorry I've been a bit lax with photos from around the farm lately.  Firstly, as I've said in a previous post, the goslings are huge now.  Here is a picture to show you what I mean:

Basically, if it's big, it's a gosling.  If it's small (or black) it's a duck!  They look all friendly here, but when there's food about, the goslings get quite aggressive now. 
But, please welcome our little darling baby ducklings:
They're about three weeks old now, and seriously cute.  Here they are doing their Beverley Sisters impersonation.  They call out to the other ducks in the mornings at going-out time and have got to the stage where they love to play with water.  One sticks its head under the water and says to the others, "Look!  We don't drown!"  It's very cute.
Have a great day, everyone.  Hope you're getting lots of riding done.
Mrs O.


  1. The only thing I've found that allows me to ride when the flies are out in force is Cashel Bug Armor. I've hacked out in it and schooled dressage just fine. I don't know how it would work for faster cross country work.

    There is a Gee Tac riding fly rug on ebay right now selling in Great Britain. It looks pretty nice. I've found the Bug Armor to be a really good investment, so you might want to look into it for your guys--or at least poor Zak.

    I know they make fly gear for people too, but I've never tried that. Nothing like a few renegade flies to ruin a ride. One big monster got me bucked off one time.

    The goslings are amazing and the little ducks--gotta love 'em. It's so great watching young animals discover the world.

  2. Oh wow Im so glad you had such a fabulous ride on your cross country and Barnaby was well behaved, sorry hubby had so many problems with the flies. I got bitten on my ear by a horsefly and had a terrible reaction to it, needed to see the doctor to get some antihistimines. hugs Shirleyxx
    The ducklings and goslings are gorgeous.

  3. Great to hear Zak travelled well. I am glad you had a good time, and yes horses do have very long memories which can be a good thing but as I am finding out with Tipper it can also be a very bad thing. The goslings are really nice it’s surprising how fast they grow up they almost look like adults, the ducklings are just so sweet.


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