The One Where I lose The Post…

The One Where I lose The Post…

OR The One That Got Away….

First time Evernote has not saved something for some reason I was working on – this weeks Blog post. Ah well. That means I get to blather on about something else ‘off piste’ – Um Er… you can rearrange those words but not include ‘half’ – because it is breakfast time and I am not. 🙂
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I has been a blissfully hot dry week here in Dorset – today is thick fog but it smells wonderfully fresh so I don’t mind 🙂
I have been ‘on holiday’ from the fiction writing  and reconnecting the horses in my soul with the real ones in my field.
Yesterday I rode Buddy out to Powerstock Station and around by Smokeham and back – he was great and we had a good look around – bits of new path here and there – old gates leaning more one way than the other- a branch dropped – the ‘railway’ apples coated in the thick dust of the old RWL, the Africa Wood is taller and thicker than it was in May.
It was good to be out – I have got to the age were some of the people of the landscape are no longer with us and as I rode around, I found my self remembering them out with their dogs, working their fields or chugging on the quad bike with spaniels draped about – I didn’t feel sad I felt glad to be alive and still seeing this and able to remember them where they were happy too.
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I have been in the company of my two New Forrest ponies Rufus and Flax a great deal this week – they are not ridden any more  – and that happened more by accumulated facts of life than design – but it struck me earlier this year when I was reading  Linda Kohanov’s books Tao Of Equs and Riding Between The Worlds that – the esoteric aside these two lads need to be free – being left in a single field – or part there of as it tends to be with smaller portly ponies is not what these two were born into – they were born wild. Now I am not about to turn them lose and I live a fair way away from the NF anyway but I realised that being out of that paddock and around me – going for a walk etc or what ever WAS being free.
It has taken me a while to start to put this into practice as the three of us are short on the leg and the grass grew way too high for me to walk with them and not fall over or be dragged over by them – horses get just as agraphobic/herd/yard/stable/field bound as we do and as herd animals with the same reasons – safety – the less they do the more they feel unsure and unsafe ‘out there’ and I had started to notice that being here on the farm was causing anxiety even between fields or a trip to the shed or for the farrier – or being separated briefly – none of these things were issues for the little guys in the past as they arrived -with another – at 5 months old and as there was three of them and one of me they quickly got used to ‘one goes out and everyone else stays’ – not so much now and change in routine however small is an anxious time – as much for those left behind as those who go.

Rufus has some pretty uncomfortable health issues and Flax derives most of what confidence he has from his brother’s leadership and though Flax gets on very well with Buddy – neither are the leader that Rufus is – the boss mare’s son was born to rule – and he does with hooves tipped with iron and teeth sharp to snap order into the field life – it is obvious to me that should Rufus become distressed beyond our ability to care for him  then a decision will have to be made about his future – and the future of the others will be much more painful for them and confusing if they do not have their muscle memories of doing things without him – or each other – that it is OK to come with me for a while to see the sights etc. Now Rufus is not so uncomfortable right now that any of this is more than a sound idea to start putting into practice – he also may benefit from some exposure time without his rugs as I do often wonder if being so wrapped up makes some of his skin issues worse and him more intolerant and sensitive…



With the house project on the back straight now and the book I took through the revision/editing course in my mind – I am starting to re group the life I had before the Open House Surgery – the sheep have obviously gone resulting in ‘grass from Hell’ issues this year – which I will need to plan better for next year – or once again be marooned in a sea of the stuff. I have basic websites and good contacts for learning the things I will need to know to take the books from Scrivener to sales platforms. I am giving myself till the ‘dark evenings’ to make a business plan and strategy to take me to the following time in 2017 that I can work on WITH the horses in my soul in my life. They will in turn exercise me and ‘fill the buckets’ – as those Guru types say – as an Ex Agricultural Student type and What Not – there are only two kinds of buckets – water buckets and those full of s..t. Handy that I am also looking to get the Veggie garden re fenced and in production – that always needs water and buckets of s..t – I think that is what the trendies used to bang on about ‘holistic’ living – as another Ag Student Type once said – when asked about the Food Conversion Rate for pigs – ‘Two buckets of food in = two buckets of s…t out!’ In my case I am looking for a return more in terms of Word Conversion Rates for my time spent filling buckets away from my desk. 🙂

“I’ve written half this book watching Rasa, Merlin, and Spirit perfect the lost art of doing nothing. Chinese Taoists call it wu wei, “not doing,” and horses are particularly good at it.” from “Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse” by Linda Kohanov

I knew I would find this quote if I looked as I look at mine doing precisely that beyond this window as I type or may be they have as Primrose Cummins in Silver Snaffles would say ‘have gone through the dark corner’ with out me – however in view of their need to be free – as I see it – Rufe and Flax have started inhand work with me in my own fields – while the fields are still cattle free – as the cattle arrive in ours I will move the horses play ground to the neighbour’s fields I run and think about expeditions off the place 🙂
Apparently a trip down to the Vets  and back is the equivalent of climbing 21 flights of stairs – so says my iPhone thing – and it also thinks that me riding is ‘steps’ – hugely impressed that I get awarded steps for riding – my average has been struggling to get above 12k/day – I had apparently done 14k before 10am today!!!! Anyway both Flax and Rufe enjoyed their relative freedom to come with me and do something as Buddy takes a day off looking at the view and stuffing himself with grass.
Flax as ever is waiting for me to get up there and do what I do

Flax waiting to go somewhere with me…


Five Pubs Challenge And Truck Fest Weekend Extra…

Which means I get a weekend almost alone – Gordon dashed home through he holiday traffic on Friday night and he and his friend Chris washed and polished Ghost and off they went in convoy – Chris this year in our car rather than a truck and clutching a new tent – as it was nearly dark when they left I imagine all sorts of fun and laughter putting that up in the lines of show trucks.
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Neither I nor the horses are fit enough to go on the Five Pub Ride – but it might be something I can aim to do next year as it is on the doorstep, requires not travel and lots of folk do it on foot/bike or horse + may be the road will be repaired at Uplodders by then – as it remains shut following the road collapse in the spring and the villages remain segregated. I will peddle my 20 km on the exercise bike instead though and watch out of the window. 🙂
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I took a quick trip to the Coop this morning before the A35 started filling with holiday makers going or coming back from their trips – I have a thing for flat breads at the moment and I wanted some Massa Farina but that would have meant a trip to the market – something that wouldn’t be quick- however gorgeous it might have been to hunt around my favourite home town’s sumptuous market and wend my way through the packs of locals hitting the place early while the pavements have air spaces and before the amazing bands and entertainments stop the movement the closer to the Bucky Doo you get and the closer to lunch time – the combo of which will have you inside any one of the amazing eateries -then you won’t leave till sundown and the night scene fizzes away till dawn – Coop it was then but I did spot some interesting Dove Farm gluten free flour that had a high proportion of the Massa Farina I wanted in  so I headed home and made pancakes with a mix of that and Dal flour with yogurt and turmeric  – yum. 🙂 Nearly time to have some for lunch as a salady wrap. 🙂
Mum got her plants watered around her little studio, her pots have been very pretty this year, and her wild strawberries brought with her from the Purbecks have been fruiting in the crevices of paving and pots they have invaded all summer. When the garden gets sorted out I intend to set some runners in the wall etc – I remember her making wild strawberry jam as the plants loved the quarries and hazel wood land we were surrounded by. Yum. 🙂
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I got Rufus and Flax in to the stable and I peeled off Rufus’s gear that he wears to keep insects off him and I Vaselined his head and combed his mane before putting the the eared fly mask back on and re-covering him. I rubbed baby oil and tea tree into his under carriage as he has made it raw and I took off his socks and treated his afflicted heals and re socked him – he had a good go at the salt lick while I did all this and then he had the most important part – The Special Pony Pills – of which he gets two – for being such a Good Boy – Flax gets one because Flaxes only need one – he isn’t poorly. (Other wise described as ‘mints with holes’)
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The dogs have been taking it very easy this am supervising – and as the sun has gone in and a cooler sea mist is lightly circling us I think an after lunch  stroll is in order – and as I ate two pancakes stuffed with veggies and salad and have only achieved a min of 3326 steps today according to my phone I think if I am not careful I will be Zzzz-ing too 🙂 Where are the leads?
Sea mist blew in and around us keeping us cool on our walk, I recorded a Dog Day Chronicle episode en route and my boots got quite wet – the mist blew away leaving it fresher and brighter.
As the dogs returned to their slumbers I went and caught Buddy with a couple of those Special Pony Pills and gave him a nice groom and we played for a while – he was still tense and sometimes skippy but not too bothered – I saddled him and we went to the bigger grass area and continued with the rope games – bigger space, better footing and he trotted and cantered on with more confidence and less stiffness.
Back at the shed I asked my self ‘Does this horse look ridable?’ and the answer I got back was ‘yes’ so I hopped on and off a few times and then did a passenger ride around and about and looking at the view for half and hour or so ending up with some weaving in and out of the barrel maze without me touching the reins. Cool. Turned him back out.
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Another session of that order and we can head out somewhere 🙂
Beautiful evening here now – Eggardon, having appeared from the wraiths of mist, now has sun dapple flanks and cloud shadow puppet films playing on the steep bits.
Another dog walk I think after their tea and then a few km on the exercise bike for me – bath and read – BLISS :)Sunday Morning.Getting darker in the early mornings already the yard lights came on as I walked past. Sunday very early is one of our few quiet days here – traffic noise – but there are a few ‘flappers’ abroad this morning ( plastic wrapped suitcases and trailers full of holiday gear ) I wonder if there are little kids asleep on the back seats or if like I used to they are noses pressed against the window counting off the familiar landmarks till they are there…
The day of The Five Pub Challenge – looks hot an dry but yesterday
afternoon the sea mist blew in and cooled us a little – I rode Bud last night for the first time since May around the higher fields here which was nice, sat in the grass and took pictures of the sunset on third dog walk of day and then inflicted 20KM on the exercise bike on self !
 SO much easier now it has been oiled!!!! Not sure the same can be said of me 🙂 But it isn’t hurting my joints like running was and it is slow so suits the need for me to take it steady. AS far as it can be measured -given it is 40 years old and basic – I seem to manage between 30 and 40 km /hour ‘speed’ and since oiling has now worked, it is about a turn and a half off the easiest setting – last night it took me the length of a Podcast to cycle the 20 – I reckon that was 50 min -when I first bought this I was in early teens and used to do 10 KM in 20 min everyday before school and the speed this was at 12 Oclock on the dial so at 52 after an inactive year for me I am not entirely surprised it is taking me over twice as long at half the speed – but as joints aren’t aching and I am still raising my heart rate and ‘perspiring’ I will stick with it rather than the running for now.
The yoga DVDs didn’t really get into the day – the floor in the house is now good to lie on even with a cut off chunk of carpet and with no curtains and being on the side of a large busy road me trying to hold my big toe in the air or get up off the floor from my ‘on my back dog pose’ could be a danger to traffic.
Did a fair amount of time on the non fiction and on my calendar/work process/ post HTRN thoughts re potential publication for fiction – thoughts and plans are beginning to form and come together – REVIEWING  given what I know now, compared to what I knew this time last year, when I set out my longer term work structure against what I has happened in real life and what I have achieved.
I know for sure
I still want to get my fiction stories into shape for the Indie market.
I want to write new material an revise some other projects in my portfolio.
I want to build my Blogs.
I still want to ride my horses – as opposed to keeping them as pets unridden.
I want to get fit enough to do both.
I want to get the house straight.
I want to get the garden fenced this Autumn so it can be got ready for veggie growing again next season.
I need to be fit enough for digging the garden over or controlling the hired rotavator ( !)
I enjoy contributing to the forums I am a member of – or as I said to my sound recording last night ‘The Floorums’ which is a blooper I think will stick in my head – so I want to continue to do that.
This last month I have taken steps literally to instigate the fitness improvements and with the mad grass cut down I have moved the horses cente stage and started them being more active alongside me.
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Spent Sunday morning doing a session with Buddy on the long rope  and then I rode him around the barrel track I laid out – just walking and steering without my reins ‘focus riding’ and then I brought Flax in and we played dressing up in tack – it has been a while – 2 years + since I made any attempt to hack out on him but he is always first to say hello and the last to give up on the hope he might get to go somewhere with me … Anyway he is still too chubby for his saddle – even though he has lost 50kg since May weigh in – he needs to shift the same again to stay in good health.  We had a session on the ropes and around the barrels which he adores and is beginning to be so focused that he can be unclipped to go freestyle.
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Not making any plans to hack out on Flax but I see no reason why we can’t take advantage of the slightly quieter road below – due to the closure – to do a little bit of walking about and sight seeing again as though there is still traffic it is not ‘through’ traffic which might give us a chance to regain our nerve and traffic skills on foot.
I sit on Buddy this afternoon again – he is happy to be caught for two Magic Pony Pills but still a little bothered by the idea of wandering around the barrels so we just sit and then we go to a corner and practice what he needs to do when I place my leg on his side – I am tiny so it is far from his girth. Standing with his face in the right angle I simply apply my right heel on his side and look behind to the right – his bum moves away I take my foot away and look forward – I repeat this with my left leg – nothing happens this time and he frets – I repeat the nudge and he moves over we just stop a while and then we do that again – the right leg gets a prompt response but the left leg gets little but a head toss, I kick my feet out of the stirrups and push my finger in behind my knee on the left side – he moves over smartly looking surprised – I wonder if the square saddle cloth is numbing the sensation as well as the fact my legs are so short.
We go over to the far side and look at the view – he frets I look out for 5 Pub Challengers – he snoozes – we move and stop and look and snooze a few times then walk back to the barrels and do figure eights all around and in and out all the ways we can – I boost the energy up little and we swing along – a little trot – he anticipates a turn and jogs on but I hear that tension sheath sucking noise so drop it back to a walk – we stand and gaze again and walk around again and then I look at my watch and i have been on board an hour and my legs feel like it even though we have not gone out of walk nor left the safety on the field  – I rub him down and take off the tack, pack it all in the van and turn him out early with Flax and Rufus – after a good refreshing drink he goes to sleep with them in the sun and I bring the van back up the field  – Gordon and Chris will be home soon full of tales from the ‘Fest’ and I want to be showered and ready to hear all about it.:)
Happy weekend all at Alexander. 🙂2016-08-13 19.58.18.jpg
Brin aged fourteen and a half 🙂