Blog Header

Blog Header

Monday, 21 May 2012

Horses and foals

I love horses. I've ridden on and off since I was a kid, but after having taken it up again in my 40s after having only ridden a handful of times in my 30s and not having fallen off during that time, I soon learned that meaning of the phrase "I don't bounce any more". Oh yes, even falling onto sand in a sand school hurts like hell and I managed three falls over the space of about a year: one which half crippled me for weeks and I even went to the doc who sent me for an X-ray of my coccyx; another which left me with a buttock that was black and blue and I could hardly sit down for about two weeks; the third was initially remarkable as I sat in the sand thinking "I don't hurt!!!". Until I got up that was, and realised something was rather wrong with my foot.

It was 'only' a broken metatarsal so I thought, no big deal, footballers have these injuries all the time and they're up and playing football again within a month. Oh how wrong I was, I was still hopping around on crutches 6 weeks later with a foot the size of a balloon. Complications set in and after 6 months I finally managed to persuade my doctor to send me for physiotherapy. A year of that and it was somewhat better but took about two years to heal totally, and I still get the odd twinge. Of course the fracture happened one August so you can imagine how awful it was for me to watch my veg patch and flower beds get weedier and weedier, fruit rotting on the trees and my poor OH struggling to get the basic chores done inside and out. I decided then and there that my garden was far more important to me than my love of horses and riding, in fact just my own two feet and mobility were more important than anything. So now I just admire horses from the ground!

We are in quite horsey country around here - OK by 'around here' I mean just the immediate vicinity between our little hamlet and the village 2 kms away. My English neighbours have a number of horses and there's a French lady who breeds Trotters who has them in several fields dotted about. Then there are the Breton heavy horses who come and go as they move around from field to field. When I noticed they were back in the hamlet a few days ago and there was a mare and foal in one field I just had to get out and have a close up look, especially as I knew there was a Trotter foal further up the road too.

The Breton mare and foal. Bretons are usually this beautiful colour with blonde manes and tails.

Shame about the fencing in the way! There's sheep wire, old and new
barbed wire and hurriedly put together electric fencing - which wasn't even on
as baby was touching it when I was stroking it!

All the excitement and baby had to have a little lie down

On the other side of the road there were some really chunky ones

I'm not sure about the ones in the background, they are rather slimline and
may be Breton crosses.

Then I walked on about 1km to see the Trotter mare and foal. At first I thought they'd disappeared but they were inside the field shelter. When they saw me they seemed to take an interest and got up and had a trot and canter around the field for my benefit. I am so stupid though as I thought I'd set my camera onto sports mode but had put it on the wrong setting, hence not very good photos when they were moving.

Strange woman alert!

Let's provide her with a photo opportunity, that she can stuff up!

Every now and again they'd stop and mum
would give me the evil eye :-)

I loved the way they did everything in unison with baby copying mum.

Meh. Bored with this now so I'll stick my tongue out at you.

I'll end with a funny. I can't even be bothered to crop off the strange black bits at the top and bottom but old photos and slides need (in most cases, in my opinion) to be left in their natural state as it adds to the charm. What on earth is in front of the camera, the strap?!! But I would like to say that I did learn to ride somewhat better than this! How d'ya like those lovely baggy jods? :-)


  1. I have to say, you did a very poor job of stuffing up that photo opportunity, Mandy! (I'd guess that on "sports", your camera wouldn't have blurred the background, so the shot would have looked frozen.)

    1. Thanks Will. That was the best of a bad bunch - I panned with that one. They just decided to move so suddenly that when I moved the dial around on the camera to the setting where sports mode is I didn't check (no time)and found afterwards it was on landscape mode, which is within the same setting. I do like that pic but the rest of them where they're going faster than a walk are naff. Anyway tis all good practice and maybe I'll have to go back and try again!

  2. Hi there, I don't mean to giggle...(wouldn't want to hear you are hurt)... but I haven't ridden since I was a kid UNTIL my honeymoon. My husband is a natural and always has been. He ended up galloping very close to me and my horse was spooked, which caused him to rear up and go sideways, kinda freaking me out! Needless to say, I was then skittish. We ended up having words afterward in our hotel elevator... he told me I smelled like a horse and I told he was a horse's #$@#$#. All on our honeymoon. Anyway, we still laugh about it today. :) Pretty photos by the way.
    Miss Lady Bug

    1. You're allowed to giggle, everything is funny after the event! Glad you had fun on your honeymoon, but have you got back on a horse since?

  3. Barb-wire & a (twisted) halter!


    1. Yeah, I know. Mostly electric fencing is used but these Bretons are moved around all over the place to all sorts of fields and some of them still have barbed wire that's been there for a long time by the looks of things.

  4. No, I haven't been on a horse since!