It has been a week of doing lots of horsey things.
Firstly we eventually found the time to visit Rufus and Tavey on their new site that they are busy conservation grazing and I am pleased to say that it is beautiful. It is quite an open enclosure with a lovely sunny slope covered with lots of sweet smelling wild herbs, like marjoram, basil and thyme. Both ponies have put on a healthy amount of weight which will set them up nicely for the winter and both look very happy. Better still there is a lovely country pub at the end of the footpath which is a good place to round off a visit to them. Unfortunately the site quite a long way away so we are not able to be their stock checkers while they are there but hopefully they will be coming back to our area again in the autumn.
My next horsey caper was to have a go at western riding. Ever since seeing Monty Roberts (horse whisperer) riding western at one of his demonstrations I have been wanting to have a go. I like the fact that they only have the lightest contact with the horse's mouth and they don't constantly keep nudging the horse in then ribs which must be so annoying for a horse. I was very nervous as I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to control my English riding habits and that I would confuse the horse but I needn't have worried and by the end of the lesson I was happily weaving in and out of cones.
My last horsey activity was to visit the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural show. We go most years but this time The Old Surrey Downs Project had a stand which we were helping with. Luckily the stand was in a good position where I could look over to see what was happening in the main arena and we also had some time off so we were able to watch some of the horsey classes in other arenas. My favourite was the lead rein class..such cute ponies and children..very Thelwell.
Amongst all this week's activities I have managed to get over to Rufus and Tavey's old site where I am helping with a survey of the reptiles there. I have put out 25 reptile refuges (bits of roofing felt or metal that reptiles like to go under for warmth and to keep dry) and wanted to check what was under them. There were several common lizards and some slow worms including the one in the picture below that is clearly pregnant and ready to pop any day:-)))
5 hours ago