Well I did it! We drove onto Lorna's yard at about 10am, which turned out to be far too early really. There was showjumping in the morning, which I didn't really want to do, and Barnaby was confused about why he was there and tied to a lorry and not turned out, as it's his old yard, and that would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Mr O took him into the indoor school and let him play and run around. He said it was just like old times.
And that's the thing really. I felt partly homesick and partly relieved that we don't livery there any more. I took Barnaby for a hack to settle him. It felt so peculiar to know where I was but know I didn't belong there any more. It was quite fun to go whizzing through the fields, though!
Anyway, we had lunch and soon it was time to get changed into our costumes and get our horses ready. Here we are:
One of the other clues was in the geldings' field. Barnaby took three strides into the field and went to get down and roll! I just shouted, "No!" and hauled him up, but two strides later he tried to do it again. He thinks I'm a real spoil-sport now.
Eventually we'd gathered all the objects and went back to the start, to run round and find the extra items for the scavenger hunt (including a bra!) so we could hand everything in. By now, Barnaby had formed a little harem of his own, as all the other riders in my team were on mares, and he didn't want to be separated from them. As they set off back to the yard to untack their horses and put them away, he suddenly cantered over to them, with me still on board! Oh dear, poor boy. A bit too much for him, I think.
It was very interesting to catch up with people. Poor Jess Caudwell. She has always loaned horses on the yard, and been lead a merry dance by some owners, I can tell you. She finally decided she'd had enough and her parents were brilliant about buying her a youngster to bring on. She'd only had him a year when she went to him in the field one morning, to find he was lying down. It turned out he'd fractured his pelvis and broken his stifle. He is now retired, aged five. How awful.
And my friend Julianne, who fell off a horse she was schooling and broke her collar bone. Not too bad, you might think, but it's severed all the nerves in her shoulder and now she can't ride. It just goes to show that you should make the most of every single day, because you never know how long it's going to last. I don't want to sit here in ten years time and moan that 'I could've...'
Lorna had invited us to stay for the party and presentation at the end, but we decided to load Barnaby up and bring him home. I have Hugo to feed as Pongo and Missis are on holiday, and Zak needed his tea, too. Barnaby went trotting into the field to let everyone know he was home. And I am thoroughly glad to be 'home', too, and counting my blessings, I can tell you!
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