Sunday, 30 January 2011


It's difficult finding time to ride at the moment.  We did manage to hack out one weekend earlier this month.  It poured with rain for the second half of the ride and we all got soaked – but it was still fun.

One of the reasons there is little time to ride is because I am visiting the hospital nearly every day.  My mother—who is 94 years old—had a fall last Saturday and unfortunately broke her wrist.  It seems that this is going to be the end of her independent living.  She will be in hospital for another week and then in a care home for a few weeks where she will receive occupational and physio- therapy.  The decision will then be made whether she goes home or into another care home.  It is mostly likely to be a care home as this is the third fall where she has hurt herself enough to end up in hospital.  It will be something of a relief for me if she goes into a care home as I worry every day that she will have another fall, but I do sympathise with her for her loss of independence.  I am hoping that the company will compensate, because she has been lonely this winter not being able to get out at all.

Today we just managed a trip to Briwnant to visit Dee and Red.  They are both so well and have amazingly shiny coats.  I don't know whether there is something special about this winter – but I have never seen them look so shiny or feel so silky.  Dee has lost a little fitness but is still a good weight.

I have been hearing amusing stories about Dee from the folks at Briwnant.  She is an honorary member of the stables' herd because Red is on working livery and they did not want to separate Dee and Red.  The working horses, old or ill horses, and warmbloods receive hard feed every day whereas those not working are just fed field hay.  Apparently every now and then Dee decides she quite fancies a feed and tries to come in with those who come in every morning.  Sometimes she pretends to be Red – they are not easy to tell apart at a glance as I have them in identical turn out rugs, especially if their hind feet are muddy and you cannot discern Red's one white foot and Dee's two white feet.  Red is bigger than Dee, but only by a hand.  Alternatively she will try to 'hide' among the big horses and sneak in with them – as if she were small enough to come in unnoticed!  They usually indulge her and give her a little feed. 

A few weeks ago she had practically a tree caught in her tail.  The stable girls do not really know Dee as she is not generally handled by them, and were a little apprehensive of helping her out.  Their main experience of her is seeing her bullying the other horses in the herd to assert her dominance.  They were amazed and pleased therefore, to discover what a sweet girl she is to handle when they went out to free her tail of its attachment.  I can understand that they are wary of her—she can seem intimidating in the field—but given the choice I would always prefer to be in the confines of a stable with Dee rather than Red.  Dee is respectful, cooperative and sensible, whereas Red can be pushy and uncooperative.

Dee is certainly a mare with plenty of character!

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