I am writing this post in between trips to the kitchen to supervise batch two of blackberry jam.
It's been a batch of mixed fortunes, starting well but then going slightly off plan when I sterilized the jam jars to a supernatural temperature that made the jam angry.
Anyway, this is a horse blog, not a food blog, and I am a horse rider, not a cook - as the above anecdote demonstrates. But the fact that blackberry jam is happening is significant, because it marks a change in the seasons.
Summer seems to be slipping away. I took some pics of the horses at the weekend and when I looked back through them, something didn't look right.
"Oh my God," I thought, "They've both got Cushings!" After I'd calmed down I realised that my (eight and nine-year-old) horses do not have Cushings - they're getting their winter coats.
And even though autumn is my favourite season, it still makes me feel a bit sad. It's been - no question - a brilliant summer. Rodney has been fantastic and I will think about our hacks around the farm together when the dark nights draw in.
I'm interested to see where we'll end up together. He's a really interesting horse to own. I feel like he's as deep as the ocean sometimes, but for now I think we've found a good pace to go at that suits both of us. My ambitions for the horses and myself waver about but right now I just enjoy spending time with them and taking a very slow approach.
As mentioned in other posts, I've been riding Rod in his headcollar as he's never been super happy to bridle and I wondered if it was the head shy issue that troubled him or if he doesn't like being ridden in a bit? No conclusive evidence really except I think it's helped me have more consistent hands. I carry them too high and I twiddle too much normally so for now I'm concentrating on keeping them low and soft.
Sadly, Cady is still not right, but she is very happy in the field and coming to no harm. I have my suspicions and hopes that it's just a stubborn abscess bothering her and the blacksmith is due this week to have another dig about. At any rate she is hail and hearty in all other respects and if she ends up as a field ornament - so be it.
Rodney has bent his shoe in a strange way so I haven't ridden over the weekend, but he looks well too and remains good to catch.
In a couple of weeks we are going to a fun day. I'm hoping he'll be good to load but if not then I may attempt to hack to it as it's not very far away.
I'll finish this post with a good rally of photos - some from the weekend, some from last winter and one of Cady's adorable field friend, called Peanut. She is fabulous.
Happy horsing everyone x
|Looks wistfully into the distance...|
|Cady and Phil last year having a cuddle in the middle of a snow storm|
|The treat inspector sauntering over on Sunday morning|
|Peanut! Peanut! Peanut!|
|Human, why don't you leave that last carrot in my tummy for safekeeping?|
|Rodney last autumn - reminds me how long his mane is now!|
|Ill-advised: hacking in a blizzard|
|Me being all 'cool and country' Rodney looking embarrassed|