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 Rona's blog

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Rona

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Location : Suisse Normande (Dept 14/61)

PostSubject: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:49 am

The day begins with breakfast early in the kitchen of the new barn and eyes boring into my back. It doesn't seem to matter if he has a fly mask on, I am behind glass and he is so old he can't see much, he always knows I'm there and doesn't stop staring until I get out there and give him and the naughty mare their breakfast and some hay (even though there's enough grass to feed half the cows in Normandy, they still want their hay). In goes the n.m. for the day because she mustn't be out on the grass too much, especially this morning with the sun (what sun?) on the wet grass. It's always a lottery, if she's in too much she stiffens up and if she's out she eats. She also poos for Africa and makes sure she lies in it, so instead of pure white she usually comes out piebald.

Because I am not riding, it's care only, but I enjoy that. The horses seem happy - well Herbert is happy, I'm never quite sure with the n.m. - she has never really looked happy unless she is tucking in. I'm avoiding looking over to the hay field. It was our pride and joy until recently, now it just looks tan coloured and stalky, but we've all talked about that before (sorry Scarlett)!

The horses don't seem to mind all this rain, but last night at 10pm I actually went out and put a rug on Herbert. Although they had both stable doors open so they could be in or out, I still find it difficult to sleep with the pouring rain and no rug on the old boy. Sentimental I know.

It seems so long - almost a lifetime really - since I loaded up all the clobber and horses and was off for a competition. It also seems absolutely ages since I actually went riding. Hope I can remember how! The old dressage legs are now soft and useless; at my age it's going to take a while to get them back. Hope I can remember which diagonal I am supposed to be on! but I guess it's like riding a bike.

Anyway this will get more interesting once the new horse comes. Won't be long!!
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georgie

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:19 am

Yes, can't wait for the new horse tales and of course it will all come back to you , once trained I'm sure it's just a question of fitness again. Beautifully written blog! Very Happy
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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:27 am

Ah thanks Georgie. Maybe there's a book in it.. you know, instead of Driving over Lemons I could call it Worrying over Herbert - ha ha only joking!
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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:44 am

I-agree I'm going to enjoy reading your blog, and it will be lovely for you, this time next year to look back and see how your fitness has improved and how much you've done together. I don't know about you, but I'm
pen

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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:29 pm

I was thinking today about when I got Galila aka naughty mare. It was over four years ago and I had asked the owner from La Baronnerie next door if she knew of a ready-to-go horse on which I could do Le Trec, 20ks and maybe a bit of dressage (same old story). She told me she had found a very easy Spanish Arabian that would be perfect for all those things, and so we went to see her.

Almost straightaway I knew she was not for me. Firstly she was a bit small 15.2hh in new shoes. But also she had the most extraordinary banana neck with the muscle developed at the front, not the crest. She had no quarters and was thin and poor. I rode her but didn't really click, and I was just about to say she wasn't for me, when they put her into a small dark filthy hole of a stable, with only a slit opening high up. She must have stood on tiptoes and stuck her head up as high as she could so she could get her nose out of this opening (hence the banana neck). Then she yelled at the top of her voice and kept yelling.

Well you can imagine what happened next. I couldn't possibly leave her there so I said I would come back and collect her for a couple of days trial. Having got her home there was no way I would let her go back to that.

Problem was she hated me. Really hated me. She hated my voice, my gender (she was used to men), my kind attitude, my Englishness. Her enormous angry black arab eyes would follow me all the time I was out doing my other two - it was very disconcerting. The first time I got the roller out to try a lunge, she panicked, took off, ran straight into the tape fence (which thankfully was off), and did a complete somersalt, to the amazement of Herbert, Puzzle and my husband and me. She managed to extradite herself from the fence and I managed to catch her and start again.

It took two years to get her ready for the 20k ride - hacking alone happily, accepting me, going past everything and up and down hills like a train. She never took to flatwork and thought jumps were there to be destroyed. Never mind, we could do some endurance. Then she got laminitus. After a while I had her x-rayed; she also had problems with the cartilege in her feet and a touch of navicular. End of competing.

It took about a year to get her back into work. Last winter she was hacking out on the soft clay in West Sussex for up to two hours with the Rural Riders. She was lead horse, loved it, brilliant, but with light riders. But as soon as she came back to France she was lame again on the hard going. Shoes are now off and I am looking for somewhere she can go where it is soft and she can do light work. All seems such a waste of time these four + years, but I know at least I saved her from the meat wagon - and that's horses isn't it?


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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:23 pm

she looks like "butter wouldn't melt" in the photo, but, for sure there are horses that, one just knows, we would never "connect" with, no rhyme nor reason No I applaude you for looking out for her, despite your differences, and I hope that you find the right home for her eventually
pen

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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:36 am

"Eyes boring into my back"

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Gosh doesn't the mare look fat? I think it just the way she is standing because she doesn't really look like that (mind you I say that every time I look into the mirror!).



SHE'S COMING ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!![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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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:38 pm

Only six "big" sleeps.
pen

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maycloud

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:55 pm

Soooo exciting
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georgie

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:01 pm

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Azaria
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:45 am

Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep only 5 now.
pen

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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:15 am

he he !!

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:47 am

Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep are you keeping busy with prep
pen

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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:30 am

Yep. Gone on a health kick.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Off on the bike for 20 mins a day. Given up dairy (for the aerobic), gluten (for the rhemo arthur), wine. No steady on, haven't quite given that up, but down to two glasses or so a day. Getting my couch potato head around actually riding and having horse fun again!!! (Hope she likes hills).

Guess what? They are making 400 kms of tracks available for equines. I did wonder what all those new great big car parks were for. They are putting in the infrastructure now, including hitching posts, but it's taking ages. Apparently they have been at it since 2009 and it will be ready next year! How about that?!! So she and I had better get fit. x [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:28 am

Wow! Reckon Pen might be planning some rides over your way next! Very Happy

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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:46 am

Ooo hope so Georgie. There are already a lot of rides from here because we are next to the endurance centre. I've got two that the tourist office at Roche d'Oetre copied for me this morning, both about 20 k. Problem round here is that it can be quite hard and the tracks can be steep, but they are generally well looked after as the tractor goes round regularly keeping them clear and mowed.
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:57 am

Don't worry, we know all about steep Shocked how far from beny are you rona? or where is your nearest big town? when she's settled in, we could meet you somewhere between us, then next year "well it would be rude not to try out at least some of the 400 kms" do you do a 'mates rates', B&B Laughing although I do have a good friend with lots of tents Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:00 pm

400kms of tracks:shock: Shocked Shocked wow I'm all for moving to Normandy Laughing

We are right on one of the Brittany national route if your is passing this way
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scarlet

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:20 pm

yes what part of suisse normandy are you in? husband and i regularly go walking round clecy and the parc des roches and also the roche de l'oetre. its a bit of a drive but lovely scenery. have seen lots of signs of endurance rides ie temporary signage up. and many of our walks are also bridlepaths. have always wanted to ride round there but in a trailer it can be a bit far.
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:22 pm

ps endurance centre? is it a someones training place or a public thingy or what??
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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:42 am

Well Pen I'm not sure which Beny you mean - is it Beny Bocage? If so we are about 40 mins by car. I know that quite well now because it always seemed to be on my route to see a horse around St Lo area. Nearest town Pont D'Ouilly. We are near Clecy, Scarlet, actually almost equidistant between Clecy and La Roche d'Oetre! Perhaps you have walked past us! I can ride to the Parc de Roches and to the Roche d'Oetre - actually yesterday one of the maps I picked up was a route from here to the Roche and then off round to the Isle Bardel. What they are taking on with this scheme is opening up old tracks which had been grown over and incorporated in the farmers' land - we all know about that don't we?! - and making them safe for horses. I must admit I admire them for it (and about time too!!)

We are next door to La Baronnerie which is a fairly widely known endurance centre here among endurance types. The signs you have seen are theirs. It's a club - they have about 40 horses there and a school that I use. They put on endurance races during the year including the notorious "Winter Challenge", where a rider was killed the other year. I have ridden over the course with Galila and I can tell you the courses are tough. The Winter ones are held December, January and February and I am determined to do it soon, once the horse is fit enough. They do 20k, 40k, 60k, rides from here and Karine competes in 120kms regularly so it is a dead serious operation.

Re the B&B - at the moment we have a completely empty house next door which we are trying to sell but it does have beds in it, so if anyone wants to come over with their horse...!! Don't worry Pen, at this rate it will probably be empty next year too!! But if you wait until the hay is cut (TODAY Laughing !!!) there is also a great big field for the horses to be penned into (sorry bout the pun!) and you can camp in x
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:55 am

Yes Beny Bocage. I reckon that would be a good place to park and meet,(when you're ready) georgie and I found some fantastic parking over that way. I'll check out the map later where you are, but I think that is more or less equi-disant to us. I think I remember the accident you mentioned Sad was it on a main road?
By the way ....................... it's only 3 Sleep Sleep Sleep now.
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:23 am

No it wasn't - the endurance courses only cross over main roads and then they are fully stewarded. The horse went down on a lane I think. The rides on our new tracks again only cross main roads - not go along, although I must admit I do ride up the D1 now and again as a shortcut.
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Rona

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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:29 am

... well I say "no it wasn't" but I am not all that sure as although I was with the organisers when it happened, I don't always fully understand the french, but I think the horse went down and the rider hit his head. I think it's unlikely it was on a main road because as said, they don't go along main roads.

Not long now as you say, better go polish my two and sweep up.
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PostSubject: Re: Rona's blog   Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:00 am

I don't know the facts Rolling Eyes only that it was on "crossing" a main road, a car was involved........... but chinese whispers and all Suspect the outcome was the same, a young lady (late teens) was killed Sad

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on a lighter note bounce what's your plan of action when " .........." arrives, when do we find out 'her' name?? we'll give you till scratch monday for photo's Laughing
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