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 scarlets' blog

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scarlet

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Location : between coutances and st lo

PostSubject: scarlets' blog   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:25 pm

never blogged before , but here goes.
firstly something about me and my ponies. Yorkshire born but parents emigrated to Oz when i was 5. i was there till i graduated uni (17yrs) and during that time fell in love with horses , joined the pony club at 12 (a 7 mile ride there and back every 2nd sunday) and finally sold my last horse when i was in final year at uni. i did the lot - mounted games, jumping, eventing dressage, long distance rides and even worked on outback properties mustering.
after graduating i went back to the uk and for 15 years was horseless , although when in London , through a friend, i joined the civil service riding club which rides at the mews in buckingham palace, so got to ride once or twice a week - enjoyed hacks in Hyde park but you had to be suitable attired - full rig out including hair nets and jackets
Back up north i suddenly realised there was nothing stopping me owning my own horse , so i was suddenly a horse owner again! In Oz we always kept the horses in the house paddock - no stables - just at grass. Quite a culture shock with liveried horses - the mucking out , correct way to bank a bed, restricted turnout (leading to quite lively rides!) so i longed to have my horse at home.
I did manage to afford a semi detached house with 1 acre of land and although it was great having the horse at home 1 acre was very difficult to conserve over winter , so i really wanted more land.
we tried to find somewhere affordable - even looked at wales but at our time of life we really didnt want an enormous mortgage, so thats when we started looking at france
We moved here in early 2006 with nearly 3 hectares and brought my show cob Thomas with us.
I bought Thomas in 2002 as a 10yr old . he was clipped, hogged and did quite well in cob classes - he is a grey and quite striking in a cob sort of way. thomas settled in really well and we had some lovely hacks together - altho he never liked the french cows habit of charging at you. very unnerving. just over 2 yrs ago i noticed he was slowing up a bit altho not lame but one day he tripped and went down on the tarmac and "broke his knees" to use the old expression. unfortunately he has not been right since and i retired him shortly after.
enter Oscar. oscar was rescued by another Brit, off the track and she backed him and got him hacking out and cantering and then rehomed him to me. He's a trotteur francaise and generally quite laid back and polite. I am not a particularly confident rider but i am 95% of the time confident with oscar.
Since getting trailer last year our riding experience has changed dramatically . we have found some wonderful rides , and he genuinely enjoys going for an explore. unfortunately i am in the uk more than in france at present, so he is often unridden for several weeks at a time. its a wonderful thing to be able to catch him up, load into the trailer ,travel somehwere and go for a ride without having to lunge or worry about a too fresh horse. He can be a little lively (strong trot generally!!) but doesnt nap, shy or be silly like many other horses can be.
He is not 100% with traffic but isnt a bad lad, so we are working on it.
i would love to do some trec or small endurance rides with him but its a question of time - i'm not home enough at present to keep up a fitness programme, nor do i have an arena to practice the trec bits and pieces. so we'll just enjoy doing what we do at present. in actual fact he aces 20k rides without any sign of weariness or soreness - and thats carrying me and i am no lightweight. i call him my energizer bunny. have never yet got him to the tired stage!! and thats just on grass for fuel!
ok so thats the introductions lets see what the next wk brings! happy hacking!!!
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:39 pm

well first ride out was interesting. oscar hadnt been ridden in 7wks , but bless him he caught up beautifully (actually came to see what was going on as i was hitching the trailer up). took ages to clean him up even tho he is rugged its amazing just where the mud can get to.plus i found the first signs of sweet itch on his face. bugger.
put his front Old Mac g2's on (really like hoof boots and he goes well in them - his feet were a mess when i got him - loads of old abcesses growing out ) the down side to hoof boots is you cant put them on without getting dirty. i really dont know how all these riders in magazines get on their horses looking so clean - i'm invariably covered in mud/dust/ hair (generally white from thomas rubbing on me) and have hay in my hair. my jods always have a hole somewhere and i usually realize that the tshirt i am wearing is the one i keep for painting.....[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Oscar of course looks beautiful[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
He followed me up the ramp into the trailer like a little lamb. bless.
I decided to go to St Saveur Lendelin as there are 3 useful things -
drive in drive out parking so no reversing trailer needed![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
a picnic table to mount from and
the disused railway track - great for settling a horse as it goes for miles and is usually deserted.
Oscar stood like a rock for me to clamber on and off we went . I decided to start with a circular 1.5 hr ride that starts with a couple of km of the track so off we went at a good medium walk and then progressed to trot. started off medium but shall we say, got a little faster!!! [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
he was enjoying the outing. we went down several chemins and minimal roadwork and were on the last leg home both relaxed and enjoying the spring day WHEN[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
some idiot kids playing football kicked it directly at us. whether by design or accident dont know, but oscar understandably shied away - not a problem - but what was a problem was the fact his unshod hind legs slipped on the tarmac and down we both went . he got up first and unfortunately backed away so i lost my hold on the reins. he took one horrified look at the kids who were shouting and laughing and hi tailed it up the road . the operative word being up. i picked myself up - and thanked the safety bar on my stirrup as it had detached in the fall [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
and trailed after him up hill all the way
he was out of sight within 30secs and i had no idea which way he would go.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
i took a guess that he would head along known paths and luckily i was right as i found booted footprints in some mud on the tarmac. i had horrid visions of him running across traffic or not stopping till he got to brittany......
about a mile and a half later with dreadful blisters and completely out of puff i was thinking i ought to head for the car and drive round as it would be quicker. came to the top of another hill and suddenly heard a snort - he was trotting towards me in a field!! reins still round neck totally lathered up but hadnt , thank god, rolled on my saddle. he was VERY pleased to see me and obviously quite upset. I have no idea how he got into the paddock as the only entrance was shut and there were no hoofprints to indicate someone had put him in there. May be i have a latent showjumper????
i checked him over and apart from cuts and scrapes on his hock he seemed fine so i found a rock and climbed back aboard and off we went back to the trailer.
got him home and he kept following me like a puppy. still quite upset. i was very relieved we'd both got off lightly. at my age (over a certain age!) we just dont bounce anymore!!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
i have a few nice bruises and some dreadful blisters (am DEFINTELY going to buy some riding trainers!!!) but otherwise fine. oscars wounds were superficial so a nice spray of WoundHeal should take care of that.
B*****Y KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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maycloud

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:58 pm

Good grief you where both lucky, I hope neither of you are not too sore tomorrow.
B****y kids! what idiots there is hardly a horse out there that wouldn't shie at that. The first part of your ride sounds really fab though.

Maybe a glass of something to relax the muscles tonight
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:01 pm

well the end bit was ok as well - must try and perfect the art of photgraphy astride! theres some lovely scenery on some of the rides. Oscar is generally not the spooky sort , but as you say - most horses would try to get away from something coming at them at speed. grrrrrrrrrrr[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:04 pm

Shocked Thank goodness you're both OK [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] fingers crossed that's the most excitement you have this trip.

pen [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:06 am

Ride no 2.
went to St Saveur again as am a firm believer in revisiting the scene of any problems and getting over them! though we didnt go the same route. this time we did a good 16k mainly the disused railway track ,but again a sort of circularish (IS that a word!!) ride. we arrived at the car park at just before 12
- my favourite time to ride as everyone is at lunch ,so its quiet ! Oscar was a little keyed up , dont blame him but after about 10min of a fast walk and a lot of looking around he settled and we got on with enjoying the ride . plenty of steady trot , and lots of changes of pace to keep him interested. tho he has been known to turn round and look at me when we've halted as if to say - "well we could get there quicker if you'd make your mind up what speed you want me to go at !!!!"[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
theres a couple of interesting houses on the route - 1 a restored water mill with working wheel - am sure its brit owned as theres an abandoned british reg car in a corner of their field !! the other place is massive and very neat - acres of gravel, lots of outbuildings not a thing out of place - very propre!!
has anybody noticed what a death wish red squirrels have? no wonder they're nearly extinct in the uk. they really are the stupidest beasts. they dash out in front of your car then stop in front of it turn and dash back the other way,then just as you set off- run back in front of your car again! well they tried it with oscar - wait for us to come trotting past , leave it to the last minute and then run out in front of him. not 1 squirrel but 2 tried it out. maybe they are playing squirrel chicken?? oscar not bothered. i am - dont want to clean bits of squirrel out of his hooves.!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
got back to the trailer to find a large artic parked right next to us. luckily could get the ramps down. oscar still has quite a winter coat so i generally sponge him down and scrape him off and then put a sweat rug on for the journey home. decided to bath him once home . got home , got out of car and weather immediately turned cold and chilly!! i bathed him anyway - well we both got well bathed .
Can anyone out there bath their horse and not get soaked?? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] it ought to be an olympic sport!

sweet itch rug now in place with lightweight rug on top . oscar unimpressed. thomas stood watching, covered in mud and trailing a cloud of white hair. he is moulting big time. i swear he looks at oscar and thinks "poncy french git"
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georgie

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:42 pm

I love the way you write, I can really picture your rides! You are very brave boxing up and doing all that on your own. Rolling Eyes
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:03 am

i've always done pretty much everything on my own. my parents hadnt a clue about horses when i was a child. i was given the bhs manual of equitation and used to go out into the paddock and try to do what it said![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] i desperately wanted to go to pony club and finally persuaded parents to allow me to go when i was 12 . it was about 7miles through the bush on back roads and past a prison! then we had all day at pony club and then rode home. i used to hack to competitions - ipswich show took me 2 hrs to get to but worth it as we won ridden part arab and second in- hand. though funnily enough after riding 2hrs to get there, we never won turnout classes!!!!!!!!!
i hacked all over by myself from about the age of 10 , never afraid . these days i shudder to think what MIGHT have happened. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
i had a absolutely stunning anglo arab at one stage , and just after i got him i had to go and do some work experience on a stud farm , and was allowed to take him. so as it was near 35 -40 miles away we hired a trailer and took him there. unfortunately whn it came to getting him home . he completely refused to load. i ended up riding him home - took me most of the day - on main highways, bush tracks and through towns. (i discovered the old trick of wearing pantyhose under your jeans to stop chaffing)
ever since then i have always tried to make sure my horses load !
these days with mobile phones , you know you can call for help - how we managed in those days without, i am not quite so sure now!!!!
it certainly made us all more self reliant in those days. most of my pony club friends kept ponies at home with little or no parental input. pony club was a godsend as we all learnt what not to do!
lucky was the child whose parents took an interest and bought them all the kit and trailered them places (they usually won the turnout classes at least!!) the rest of us were SO envious. but in hindsight i think we were the lucky ones as we certainly spent more time with our ponies one way or another!!! anyone remember Reckitts Blue Bag for white manes, tails and socks??!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] overdid it a few times and ended up with a blue pony[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
i will hunt out some photos of my previous horses if i can and try and scan them in.
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:59 am

Has anybody ever had the PERFECT hack? i mean one where everything goes according to plan and there are no heart in mouth moments???
well.... i had one today[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Caught him up just before he was about to roll in a very muddy patch, so that saved a lot of grooming! He loaded perfectly and off we went to my favourite place - Chapelle sur Vire. dont think we passed a single car the whole journey - good on narrow lanes towing a trailer!!!
even saw that rare sight - a french lady and her young daughter out hacking (am sure she was french - Norman ladies generally have a certain "look")
Parked up at Chapelle - not another car in sight - so NOT a saints day then! ( as there is a large church in the village, that is a pilgrammage site, if its a certain saints day, then you have no chance of a park for miles!)
Used the convenient but ricketty picnic table to get on and bless him he stood like a rock , then backed out and did a fairly passable turn on the haunches to get us facing the right way . We set off at a nice steady trot up the hill behind the car park and then dropped to walk at the top . its quite a view from up there . Oscar was really mellow - didnt bat an eye at the 3 dogs who came racing out of the farmyard, barking like mad . never bothered with the cars in the village that we went through, or the lawnmower or the other dogs we passed. just carried on at whatever pace i dictated.
we went up hill and down dale on chemins and small bits of road work . as it was quite greasy i was very pleased that he walked carefully down hill on a loose rein and then up the other side at whatever pace i said....and we did have a good blast up one hill [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] but even that was with just a light contact and at the top i just stiffened my back and he came back to canter then to walk and stopped square at the junction with the road.
not a jiggle, not a jog, not a snatch or a head toss!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Who has stolen my pony and replaced him with a robot???? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] not a single foot wrong the whole way . not even a shy at the ducks who whizz out from under you by the river bank [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.].
Even the weather was good - no flies, no rain, no wind and even some sun for the last part home along the river bank - free walk on a loose rein !!!
The weather held off until i'd untacked, sponged down, rugged and done a little grazing in hand to cool off, then loaded. THEN the heavens opened with a massive hail storm!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
but even better? got home to find husband had cleaned the house!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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maycloud

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:07 am

That sounds a perfect ride Very Happy , it's on my list of things to do Laughing and the fact you came back to a clean house as well sunny
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georgie

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:07 pm

How funny! Pen and I did exactly that ride today too! We must have missed you by a whisker! We got soaked but it was still a brilliant 18 km and we were dry by the time we got back. Very Happy
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:34 am

dont envy you being out in the hail storm!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] it was fierce!! i think my timing was miraculous!
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:45 am

we arrived after the hail, we just had the rain Rolling Eyes we made our way from chapelle over to fervache, and then went through moyon, there's some really nice paths over there and chevry. We didn't get wet yesterday more sunkissed at pont farcy sunny Glad to hear you're getting some good rides this trip.
pen

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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:29 am

well what lovely weather. we've been out twice since and 99% perfect one days 98% the other. i docked him marks for a) starting at a duck b) anticipating an aid - went to cross road before i said go. and c) started at a fish that jumped out of the water next to him. but apart from that completely perfect. had a few lovely gallops to blow away the cobwebs and he comes straight back to hand no probs. if only we could find what it is that makes them [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] one minute and [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] the next!!
we put them in the spring paddock yesterday and oscars had the second naked day of the year [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
poor lad only gets a few a year, as he gets such bad itch if midges/flies are about.
lovely to see them grooming busily this afternoon. oscar ended up with a grey moustache from all thomas' hair .
am very pleased with our winter paddock - its not too trashed at all this year. in fact will probably put them back in it in 3-4wks depending on the grass growth. our lawns are certainly growing at a rate of knots , to husbands disgust.
still cant upload photos - tried mayclouds suggestion re photobucket but cant find what she termed img1 anywhere. photos nicely on photobucket but cant move them from there to here![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:59 am

I will try again
you have uploaded to photobucket Very Happy have you resized them? I can not remember the max size on here but I normaly use 400x 400 find it by putting the curos along the top of the pic and things like rotate, resize should come up?????
When you have done that and SAVED look to your right there should be four lines of




Email & IM









Direct link









HTML code









IMG code


Click on the IMG code then paste on to your post page here
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:17 pm

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dont quite understand why pictures not visible but if you click on link i hope it works! sorry theres 2 of everything - dont quite know why. am completely non techie.
these are my previous horses i had in australia as a child
Arab being the first - a bombproof pony with a lovely nature and wickedly fast at mounted games. she was 12.2 and i rode her till i was 13 (she wasnt my first pony - the first was a psycho shetland called bubbles [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] - who pretty quickly got swapped for arab , after she'd bolted with, bucked off and bitten me and my sis within the first day!
dont know why she was called arab , except she was part bred, but the name stuck . after i outgrew her we tried to breed her to a gorgeous bay arab stallion called Khamal , but she never got in foal. so she went to one of the junior pony club members who loved her just as much (and won a lot more on her!!)[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
second was Scotch on the rocks (rocky) - love of my life . i got him at 18m and he had been recently broken . i was 13 . should have been a disaster . but wasnt . i actually had him on loan as his owner was having kids, and she gave me lots of support and advice - by letter - she lived a long way away and we didnt have a phone! he was a great all rounder and in the first year i won Most Improved rider on him at pony club. (yes he was young but it was different in those days and he never seemed to suffer from an early start) . he was the first horse i ever experienced collection with and when i first got it the feeling was magical . we were cantering back from pony club and all of a sudden it clicked and i was sitting on a rocking horse, we were going past some houses , and i remember the people in the garden oohing a ahhing at the beautiful horse[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
i had him for 4 yrs and did everything on him - he was just my perfect horse.
next was flicka - registered australian stock horse. i got her on loan also and had her for a year until they wanted her back. lovely mare and glorious colour, very willing but dare i say it? a bit bland?? [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
next was Birdwatcher - ex racehorse - probably the most beautiful horse i ever had, however white fence rails were his thing [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] - if he saw them he just went immobile and refused to move -ridden or led!!!! obviously to do with the racetrack. i once spent 2hrs and he still hadnt voluntarily moved a foot forward[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] . i avoided white fences after that. however he did a tendon so went to a home where they pretty much wanted a paddock ornament with light hacking occaisionally
finally was Sol a stunning anglo -arab 15.3 chestnut , and a complete devil
beautiful to look at but he could buck like a rodeo horse. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] thats where i developed my fear of bucking horses which i have to this day, as he apparently bucked me off onto the road and to this day i have no recollection of anything that happened that day[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] . apparently i landed on my head - good job i wore a hat! i realized he was not the horse for me [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] and sold him to a far more experienced woman who sorted him quick smart and went on to win virtually everything in the anglo showing world in QLD!
he put me off chestnuts - almost for life - until oscar - oscars' saving grace was he didnt have 4 white socks!! i used the money to purchase my ticket back to uk and have been here ever since
but sol did teach me that bland is perhaps not a bad thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:42 am

Sad can't see your photo's scarlet, it says I need a password confused could you try mayclouds suggestion for putting the photo's on your blog perhaps [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

pen

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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:10 am

b******s!! i tried mayclouds suggestion but it wouldnt work at all - spent ages trying. thought i was getting somewhere with photobucket! back to the drawing board - suggestions anyone? the photos are scanned in and come under documents in my library rather than photos
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:27 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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ok lets try this - they may not be in order but hopefully it will be fairly easy to see who's who!!!
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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:49 am

cheers well done you .

pen



Shocked ****** Smile

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georgie

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:45 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] There are some gorgeous looking neddies there!
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:03 am

yes, if i do say so - i've never had an ugly horse! the little grey mare was too long in the back and the palomino average looking , but the anglo was stunning, the Tb also faultless and the arabxwelsh was just about faultless .
am hopefully home next wk so will take some photos - hopefully without falling off
and post - now i've worked out how. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:46 pm

really [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Lovely to finaly see your old gang Very Happy Very Happy
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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:53 pm

Is there such a thing as an "ugly" horse Wink

pen

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:37 pm

NO, wouldnt have thought so, but plenty of ugly owners

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PostSubject: Re: scarlets' blog   

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scarlets' blog
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