Well the dastardly deed is done – I have given my notice at Wyndham Livery. I found this quite a hard thing to do—even though I know it has to be done—because Sally has been so kind to me, it is such a friendly and happy yard and I like being there. It was made doubly hard because Sally had already heard that I was looking at other yards and was a little hurt that she hadn't heard this from me first. I am sorry that I misjudged this. I felt it was better to wait until I knew whether I was moving Red or selling him – and it hadn't occurred to me that she would hear about it while I was still at the cogitating stage. She was nice about it though and we shall part on good terms.
I went up to Briwnant Riding Centre this morning to talk to them about moving Red there on working livery. They were most friendly and welcoming and I was there much long than expected. I shall be riding Red over for them to see on Tuesday. Unless there is something about him they really don't like—which is unlikely—it seems most probable that I shall move him there soon after. I liked the place and their approach to running the yard. I liked the way they were with the horses I saw them with this morning. The horses were friendly and looked healthy and happy. A lot of my queries were answered without my having to ask – such as how they managed the work for the horses to prevent them getting stale or bored, and how they expected beginners to behave when mounted so that the horses don't become hard mouthed and dead to leg aids.
They have a lot of land—about 93 acres—and the horses live out at pasture except when they are working. It is possible to ride through some of the fields to avoid roads altogether, or to access the higher part of the Wenallt horse trail. They have a menage and are setting up a cross country course. The views across Cardiff must be spectacular, but unfortunately today it was too misty to see very far into the distance. I will post photographs when I am up there on a better day for photography. The owners had read my blog and volunteered that it would be possible to hire one of their horses for 'ö-Dzin and I to hack out together once they were sure that we rode well enough to be entrusted with one of their horses. I really appreciated them saying this without my asking.
I still feel a bit churned up about having given my notice at Wyndham. It will be a big change and I shall miss Sally and everyone else at the yard, but at least I should now be able to afford to keep Red indefinitely – possibly into his 20s, by which time I will be in my 60s and probably we shall both be ready to retire.
When I called into Wyndham after my visit to Briwnant, I discovered that all the horses were being kept in today because of the weather. Red was sweet and pleased to see me. He let me groom the mud off his legs without any fuss or my having to tie him. I hope I am doing the best thing by him and that he will settle quickly in his new home. It took him a long time to settle at Wyndham. However he settled very quickly at Ridgeway which was also pasture livery, so perhaps he will settle quickly at Briwnant as well. Perhaps it is the amount of time they spend stabled at Wyndham that was the reason he took so long to settle. We shall see. I think it will be nice for him to be in a mixed herd of mares and geldings again. He was always fond of Dee even though she pushed him around.