Okay, so I may have forgotten to update my blog for about two weeks.
But, you’ll forgive me, no doubt.
I have been crazy busy actually. We have all somehow survived the two groups of Spanish campers and are now almost complete with our first week of day camps following the big residential. Everyone in the house is still alive, so credit where it’s due!
Here’s me with the yard girls, looking super happy and refreshed in the evening sunshine after all the camps were over. Hurrah! We don’t always look this relaxed, however!
In fact, we all came out of it pretty well. Athos and Anita bought a bottle of something nice for each of us as a thankyou, which was very sweet. And they also took all the staff out to dinner the other night which was absolutely wonderful. Having made the decision to stay here indefinitely at present, I can honestly say I have never felt happier than I do at this moment. Part of that is down to the awesomeness of today, which I shall regale you with in a moment.
Other stuff has included beach days, resulting in Little Blue being full of sand twice over. And almost covered in ice-cream thanks to the generosity of Athos and unsteady hands of children under 10! Rosie is no longer lame, which is very exciting (although Ginny might continue to pretend she is just to stop the constant “can I ride rosie?”) and Cookie and Charlie are getting better by the day. They are also officially owned by Anita and Athos now, so we can work with them properly and know that we will benefit from the results.
Maggie is also doing amazingly (the two year old). I’m actually super impressed by her. Yesterday we brought her in from the paddock and I noticed huge amounts of bot fly eggs on her legs. So I decided to see if she’d let me de-bot her. I took it gently at first, testing the knife on her legs to see if she’d be bothered. She wasn’t. So I carried on, getting more and more determined as I went on. And she just stood there the entire time. She didn’t move a muscle apart from her neck to twist around and watch me. What a cutie! At two years old it’s highly unlikely she’s ever experienced that before, and yet she stood there like an angel and let me do it. She also allowed me to trim her mane and tail and generally neaten her up a bit. Such a sweet little thing. I’m looking forward to working with her more.
I’ve had a few good gallops the past couple of weeks, out on treks with more experienced riders. I got to take Cleo at one point, and really let her rip. Man oh man is that mare awesome. Fast too! We burned up the river bank, wind roaring in our ears. Ah I love it!
We’ve also been doing a good deal of river riding. And today was the best by far. Yesterday, Ginny, Adele and I took a couple of groups of horses down to the river to see what they’d think of going in deep. And they seemed happy enough, apart from Cleo who tripped at one point and submerged completely causing her to be pissy for the rest of the ride. The others were all great though.
So today, with Giorgia back on the yard after her day off, we decided to go out and do it again, but even better. We took along a couple of our young campers, a pair of very sweet German girls who are neat little riders. They had a couple of ponies, and we had a horse each. I got the gorgeous Cookie.
We went straight down to the river, fully prepared to get soaked. And it was a good job I was so prepared because Cookie plunged straight in. She was walking along at about elbow depth (hers not mine) and then all of a sudden, Sploosh, in we went. We were in up to my collarbone, and she was swimming like a pro. It was the weirdest feeling to have her buoyant underneath me, bobbing along. Weird, but amazing. Fortunately the freezing cold river water was something of a relief as it was an extremely hot and muggy afternoon. The horse flies were out in full force so I encouraged Cookie to go in as deep and as often as we could. She obliged with no issue. She was loving it.
I’ve never gone swimming with horses before, but now I’m totally hooked. It was a fantastic feeling, I totally loved it, and I want to do it again and again and again. The two little girls did really well too, although I think they forgot that their ponies were a lot smaller than ours a couple of times as there was slight concern about Sparky drowning once or twice. We all got back to the yard utterly drenched, squelching as we dismounted. The horses were able to have a roll in the arena to dry off, but that wasn’t so appealing to us, so we made do by pouring out our boots and making footprints all across the yard.
The sun is still shining at present, and I am now dry and clean again. Adele got some pretty good photos of us plunging in and out of the river, so they’ll be pretty cool to look at later I think.
And tomorrow is another day.