Tuesday, 13 September 2011


This past week has been a nightmare!

First on Tuesday, we had heavy winds and something either hit Hattie in the eye or flew into her eye as when I came down to do the evening feed and poo picking, her bottom eyelid was swollen and there was a clear discharge (like tears) running from the corner of her eye. I had a look but couldn't see anything stuck in her eye so the next day I started on a course of antibiotic eye drops. I figured if they didn't work within a day, then the I would call the vet out but thankfully they kicked in pretty much straight sway. I've left her fly mask on all week as we've had terrible winds and gave her the eye drops twice a day and all is looking fine.

Again on the Tuesday evening, as if a horse with a swollen eye wasn't enough, the man that owns the field and stables that I rent, came down and announced that "he wasn't happy" and that "it wasn't working"....

You know when someone tells you something that makes you so angry and that they have no reason to say it that you are just stunned? Well, that was me. For once in my life, I was speechless.

For the last three years that I have rented my field and stables, I have always paid on time at the beginning of the month straight into his bank account, always kept the fields immaculate and poo free while practising field rotation to prevent over-grazing (and my horses are worm free as the poo never stays on the ground for more than a few hours). Every time something needed repairing, I would fix it or Josie's dad or grandad would fix it, I didn't bother him for anything but apparently, being a good tenant isn't enough.

So I gave my notice in and have been barn shopping all week for Josie and I. Josie will be taking Jacob to the livery stable behind us as they only take ponies, no horses and I will be taking Hattie to a barn down the road from where I live (about 10 minutes cycling). Hattie's new stall is bigger than what she has now and they have an outdoor arena which doesn't freeze in the winter. it's also £10 cheaper than what I pay now and they have electricity and running water, both of which I am lacking at my current premises. A real boon in the winter with my arthritis! We move in October 1!

Talking about arthritis, my stupid back and hip haven't been right all week either. Moving all my hay, straw and rubber stable mats to the new barn hasn't helped matters much either.

On Saturday after we moved the hay, I need a good ride to sort myself out mentally so we cantered and had a bit of a gallop across our field (I had taken down all the electric fencing so we had a nice big clear space). We also jumped a little jump on the left canter lead and that was good except Hattie got lazy and knocked it down. I made the mistake of going out for a long hack afterwards and that finished off my hip. I REALLY need an off-side side saddle NOW!

We are going to the last Diamond Horse Show on Sunday and haven't been able to ride much because of my stupid hip. I decided to rest it Monday and today and then do short 20 minute schooling sessions each day for the rest of the week to prepare for the show. It's the same judge and I need to get Hattie going more forward.

Then the Sunday afterwards, it's our dressage show where we will be doing the Prelim 4 test. I have not been able to practise this much either because of my hip but at least I have the test memorized. I was going to do two tests at the show, Intro B and Prelim 4 but think I may skip the Intro test as I can't face doing a lot of trotting at the moment, at least the prelim test has a good long canter in it to rest my hip. Plus the intro test is ssssoooooooo boring.

I've still not sent in my entry for the dressage show as don't even know how my hip will be. I am still in two minds whether to skip this month's dressage show and rest my hip. I wish my saddler would hurry and finish my off-side saddle. Even better, I wish the bloody things were plentiful as nearside side saddles so I could just buy myself a spare for times like this!!

Too bad I can't go back into this Victorian photograph and have the saddlers make me one...

I picked up this framed photo in a thrift store in the winter. I don't usually look at the photos they sell but the white linen of underside of the side saddle on the work table, caught the corner of my eye! I thought "I recognize that shape!".

There is no information about this photo but judging from the costume of the lady at the back (it's clearer in person), it looks to be from about 1899- 1900.

Not bad for £3.50!


  1. ...I've seen that photo in a book somewhere.... I'll try to find it over the next few days. What you have is only about half, and the caption names the shop, I think.

  2. I love seeing the old photos - believe me when I say my workshop doesnt look that different these days!

    Here is a link you might be interested in. Its about the saddlers workshop at Colonial Williamsburg in America. Unfortunately they closed the workshop down last year before I got a chance to see it. One of the saddlers, Eric Myall, is my uncle :)

  3. What an awful week, but thank goodness you could find new place to go. Poor Hattie with her sore eye. And the hip sounds dreadful. I know what you mean about not wanting to trot. Sometimes I hurt myself at school (I teach special needs teenagers who can be difficult) and my instructor can always tell when I'm stiff and sore. Trotting is the worst. I hope the new horsey homes are fantastic!