Well I did confront Missis and put it as kindly as I could and said that if she wanted us to all use the (smallest) bottom field to graze on this winter, there was no way we could fit another three horses on it, even if one of them was a small pony. She rattled on about using some of the grass next to the manege, which is ridiculous. If she does that some people will be worse off than they were before. She was very concerned about a little girl going into the field with Barnaby and Co. to bring her horse out, which was her excuse for giving them a little tiny paddock. I said I would just have a rule that children are not allowed to go into the field, which threw her somewhat.
But in the end, to my absolute delight, she admitted she didn't really want more people to come just yet, which is exactly what I think. It is actually working out very well with the liveries we've got. They're quite happy to keep themselves to themselves and are delighted with everything we've given them. They love the manege and went on a hack today for the first time in goodness knows how long, and came back with big grins on their faces (always a good sign!)
So I've cheered up quite considerably.
Except... (there's always something, isn't there?!)
I went into the field yesterday to get Barnaby out to ride. The horses were all sleeping in a group, ours on one side of the wall, the liveries the other side. I put a headcollar on Barnaby and led him out of the field. Suddenly Simon started whinnying and then Harley joined in and Barnaby took it as his cue to rear up, spin and run off. I was not amused and trudged back up the field to try to catch him again. Then Zak decided it was his cue to stir things up a bit and started to run round the field, making Barnaby run with him. At first I didn't mind (it's free exercise, isn't it?) but Zak went on and on and on. Barnaby still had his leadrope attached to his headcollar so I was worried sick he'd tread on it and injure himself.
They continued for about twenty minutes, just running and running. They've carved the ground up as well, which isn't great. In the end Barnaby got fed up with it and slowed down, but Zak kept going and didn't want me to take Barnaby in. Finally Barnaby ground to a halt and I was able to catch him. His chest was absolutely heaving and he was dripping with sweat. I took his rug off as I decided it was warm enough for him to go without. I was worried he'd get colic as he wanted to eat the grass, but I think even he realised he shouldn't do it and just spent some time getting his breath back.
I went off and got the quad and decided to poo pick the field while everybody calmed down. By then the liveries had arrived and got their horses in and then Barnaby was a bit more willing to come in but still stood flinging himself around his stable.
I managed to tack him up and we went for a hack. He was absolutely fine while we were out. When we got back I untacked him and gave him his tea while I went to get Zak and Simon in, but he stood there kicking the door until all the other horses were in. It makes the whole issue of riding totally exhausting.
I've been out and got him today and he and Zak were quite willing to try it again. I decided I wasn't going to stay as I didn't want them to get worked up like they had done on Tuesday, but suddenly Barnaby agreed to be caught.
This time I'd come prepared and wore gloves and brought the Kemp Controller. He stood while I put it on, then had no choice but to come with me. Once again Simon whinnyed, which really doesn't help matters. He came up and trotted past us. Barnaby made to go off with him, but couldn't because of the Kemp Controller. What an amazing device that is, what a life-saver. Barnaby kept trotting in circles round me, trying to get away, but he had no choice but to come with me. I did wonder if he might strike out at me, but he didn't, thank goodness.
Once I'd got him through the gate and past the barn, he walked in quite calmly, but wouldn't stand still in the stable. It makes it virtually impossible to pick his feet out. I just gave him a quick brush over and tacked him up.
We actually went for a lovely ride. I rode down to the village and managed to post a couple of letters in the post box, always deeply satisfying. We came trundling up the hill in beautiful sunshine. We are having unusually good weather for October. It has rained at night, but the days have been lovely. This is the last week John can ride after work, so I'm glad it's been nice for him.
The steep run up the hill seemed to take the wind out of Barnaby's sails. He was a lot calmer while I washed him down and put his rug back on and turned him out.
So I don't know what's made him go like this for the last couple of days. He must feel unsettled with the new horses here. He expects to be in charge and must find it difficult with horses he can't actually reach. Other horses are meant to bask in his presence as far as he's concerned. It's as if Barnaby and Zak have had a delayed reaction to their arrival. I hope to goodness they all settle down again soon.
So things are really good at the moment, but I hope Barnaby doesn't spend the whole winter in this mood. I haven't even started mucking out yet and I'm worn out!
Hope all is well with you. Greetings to my two new followers as well. It's an up and down journey around here, but I wouldn't swap it for the world and am always counting my blessings (sometimes you have to, don't you!)