Where has the summer gone? This has to have been one of the busiest summers ever, and unfortunately, not so much of it has been Echo-related! What with moving out of my house (into four different places) and trying to organise going on holiday and applying for loans to fund my journalism studies, I have had very little time to do anything else! As you saw in my last post, I've managed to compete a little, but unfortunately I won't be able to do any more competitions now, as we've run out of time!
The next big thing on the horizon is my move up to Lincolnshire. My family have a house with land and have been busily building me a couple of stables and converting a shed into a tack room; I am eternally grateful for this, as although I intend to keep Echo outside for most of the year, if we have another winter like last year, I shall be glad of the stables!!
The plan was to hire a lorry and drive Echo up to Lincolnshire myself this weekend. However, I was then offered a lift from a very kind lady at the yard who is taking her horse up to the national riding club championships in Lincoln and has space in her trailer; I could not believe my luck as this solves a whole host of problems: the stables are not finished and there is no concrete in the yard; the extra time should hopefully mean that they are a little closer to being done. I was terrified about driving the lorry myself; my boyfriend was going to come with me, but that would involve masses of driving; this way, I can drive my car up behind her trailer and then I'll have everything there. It has all worked out pretty perfectly, so we are staying for an extra couple of weeks. Even with an extra week's livery, I still think I will save money as hiring a lorry is bloomin' expensive!
I was on holiday in France for 10 days over the last couple of weeks and Echo has been finding ways to entertain herself. As is usual for her at this time of year, she has taken to climbing out of her field. It all coincides with her being in season, not being worked and probably feeling a bit bored as she is out on her own at the moment. She has geldings on both sides, but none of them pay her the slightest bit of attention! So she gets out and goes to find someone who is interested. I'm hoping that this won't continue to happen when I get her home; she'll be living with a very attractive gelding, so hopefully that should keep her occupied for a while!!
Talking of fencing, I am going up to Lincolnshire again this week to sort out the fencing in my parents' field. At the moment it has sheep wire all the way around, with two strands of barbed wire on top. Obviously, this is unsuitable, but I can't afford to totally re-fence the field yet. What I've decided to do is to get long insulators that hold electric tape about 20cm from the outside fence, and run two lines of this round the perimeter of the field. It isn't perfect, but provided it is on, it should stop her getting close to the nasty barbed wire behind. At some point, when we have a bit more money, I hope to properly re-fence the outside all the way round. For now, this will have to do. The field will be cut in half so that we can rotate the grazing, and to begin with, will be cut in half again so that Echo and Gizmo can be kept separate for a while, just til they get to know each other.
I'm excited and nervous about having Echo at home. It feels like a big responsibility when I've been used to having her on livery, but it also feels 'right' - the 'proper' way to have a horse. I've still got a few more logistical issues to sort out, but I hope we're going to be able to carry on doing things together. I'm hoping to join a local riding club, for example; I don't have transport, but thought that if I join a riding club, someone might be passing my house and able to give me a lift to training or competitions. It's worth a shot, I reckon.
For the next couple of weeks, I'm hoping to get her back to the standard she was schooling at before I went on holiday (it always feels like we've gone back about 3 steps!), do some jumping and go on plenty of hacks. We'll make the most of our extra week in Suffolk!