The seriously BIG snow finally went, followed by relentless rain. The ground turned into a bog – a combination of melting snow and rain, and spring made another brief appearance. My heart then sank as yet another heavy snowfall arrived with arctic winds and more big drifts. It was ‘Groundhog Day’ with a repeat of digging, stable-bound horses and being snowed in (for the fourth time this winter).
The snow lingered even when it had long since gone everywhere else. Obviously, the white stuff is one of the perils of living at 700 feet but on the flip-side, the air is like liquid crystal. The clocks changed (I was unaware of this for a full 24 hours), daffodils are out, lambs are bleating and I have heard the first cuckoo of the year. Surely it is spring now? The ground is drying so I have harrowed and rolled a few more fields, done my first bit of topping and Talisman had his first hack for over a month.
Thankfully, another bout of snow forecast for Easter has failed to make an appearance so I can now focus on other things and the main focus has been on replacing Talisman’s companion Pip, who continued her naughty antics (listed in my blog 21st Feb) and torpedoed out of her coral on one of the few days during the snow that I managed to get them out to a patch of green. She took down part of Talisman’s coral too but he knew better he remained in situ.
Pip meantime, had a party in the field and it was lucky my expensive competition corals weren’t damaged. It was the final straw though, so madam was on ‘detention’ after that until she could be returned home. This meant she was restricted to the turnout arena each day while Talisman enjoyed his first taste of freedom outside an 8 x 8m coral for months, in the field next to her. To add insult to injury, she was in season and very grumpy. So when I took Talisman down to the menage to ride, all I could see were her white hind feet bobbing up and down as she whizzed around doing handstands!
After she left, I embarked on a 5 hour round trip to collect her replacement (the fourth and final, I hope), from the Blue Cross this time. I am not sure how I stumbled across the Blue Cross listings on the internet but they had a lot of horses to choose from. Most were hairy cobs who would be too heavy on my steep land with its thin topsoil. As I scanned through page after page of rescue horses (it turns my stomach to know what cruelty they have endured) I asked my ‘higher self’ to make it clear if there was a suitable horse. When I saw Monk’s picture a buzzer went off in my head. He had the look of a wounded soul but was kind and loving too.
On further inspection he had experience of being on loan where he was left when his friend was ridden, which was exactly what I needed and he wasn’t too heavy, being an ex trotter! He was the same age, height and colour as Talisman, easy to do (so the information said) and friendly despite his bad experience of people. Out of curiosity, I did the numerology on his name which added up to a 9 – the number of mastery and completion, which could only be a good thing. The Blue Cross were very helpful and escalated their process for me, so Talisman would only have a couple of days on his own which would be about as much as he could tolerate.
Monk loaded and travelled like a pro’. He went straight out in the turnout arena to meet Talisman when we got back, then into his stable for the night. But things deteriorated at that point. He stressed badly in the stable (it didn’t help he couldn’t see Talisman even though he knew where he was) and he looked like he was going to take himself over or through the door, so I quickly moved him to the spare stable next to the solarium which is more robust and where he could see his new buddy. He was still unsettled but I knew he would be safe and from the state of his stable the next morning, he obviously didn’t have a good night.
Realistically, it will take a while until he knows all the permutations of the routine in his new home and begins to chill. Who knows what has happened in the past to trigger such a super-stressed state? I have put him on homeopathy, herbs and minerals to help him relax and pick up condition as he looks poor and I am mentally projecting calmness around him. At the same time, however, I have to get on with things and give him space to work it out for himself and not let his stress, stress Talisman or me.
On the subject of natural medicine, animals are great at giving us feedback as to what works, should we be in any doubt. They don’t know they are having homeopathy for instance but seeing the difference in Talisman’s behaviour and stress levels at competitions was proof enough for me though I don’t need convincing as I also use it on myself. How does it work given the amount of the remedy is so small it cannot be scientifically detected (which is the medical profession’s argument as to why it can’t work)? My understanding is that the hint of the remedy is an instruction to our innate biology (think ‘smart body’) to heal itself. How amazing is that?!
So back to Monk…..a very big plus right now, is that he and Talisman are great together and calm. They both have lovely natures and are mutually respectful. I divided the arena in two for their first meeting but the next morning put them together and was amazed to see them immediately sharing a haynet. Later, when I turned them out, they were grazing nose to nose for hours. Tears streamed down my face watching. I am such a softee and Monk is a dood who I am sure I will love in time.
Last night, he was stressed again in his stable (not quite as bad as the first night), so when I went out late to tuck them up, I decided to offer him some essential oils. I have a large selection of oils and offering them one at a time and patiently waiting for a response, it was fascinating to see what happened. I stood outside the stable so Monk had room to move away if he wasn’t interested in an oil or stand back to process the essence of it, if he was. He swapped nostrils to smell different oils or the same one and for some, he tried to lick the bottle, so I put a few drops on my hand and let him lick that instead. He curled his upper lip once or twice, taking the essence of the oil straight into his central nervous system. He took a long time to process each oil, standing back, blinking or closing his eyes, twitching his muzzle or dropping his head to the floor and falling asleep. It was a great reaction and he was quiet as a lamb after that, thank the Lord!
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Pics: Meeting Monk at the Blue Cross, Talisman and Monk share a net the day after he arrives, buddies already, Monk thinks I might have carrots, the white stuff returns, Talisman and Madam in the turnout arena before she left, hacking out for the first time in weeks.
Videos: Since my last blog I have published the following new videos on my Youtube channel: Playtime, Skipadeedooda and Cycling to Nirvana. You can also watch a video interview I gave to Astrid Auer on my ‘spirital take’ on life. If you would like to be notified when I publish new videos, you can subscribe to my channel. Some videos appear in the Vlog section of this site.
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