What a contrast! This place is delightful chaos. Marilyn and Bruce own it but Paul, a family friend, also lives in the house. Their son, his wife and 2 children are at the bottom of the drive. There are 11 dogs, 6 cats and a mini donkey. 20+ horses and a small selection of cows and calves wander (or gallop) around the yard along with the 2 llamas which are on guard duty. There are a motley collection of hens in the hen house. We are 2 of 10 helpers, 5 other girls and 3 other lads, it is like the United Nations with, fortunately, English as the common language.
We have been lucky enough to be assigned a little cabin with 2 beds. 4 girls are in the adjacent cabin and the boys are in a trailer. Jeanette, who picked us up in one of the many vehicles in various states of functional ability, is the main helper and from Chesterfield, has qualified for a bedroom in the house. The living and eating takes place in the house. The only bathroom and internet are also here (I’m currently sat at the kitchen table) There are 2 field toilets and no rota for the shower! There is so much spirit and heart here although nothing is clean or tidy but everyone and thing is happy. We’ve been here for 2 days and have already ridden twice around the nearby pastures with 5 of the others. We were supposed to be assessed for our riding ability in the ‘arena’ (field!) first but Marilyn just decided to let us go on faith.
I rode Sara and Roger was on Bandit, they are the only ‘couple’. These horses are used to walking fast to reach the summer pasture to work with the cows and struggle to walking more slowly. I spent the whole ride holding her back as she was so keen to go but ‘walking’ was the condition of us and another new girl not being assessed first.
Last night we saw the Northern Lights! It was barely dark and I’d only gone out to go to the loo and there they were, all across the northern half of the sky. We stood in the middle of the field to watch them and hope to see them again but even if we don’t, at last we’ve managed to, but no photos as I don’t take my camera to the loo usually (in case it falls in!)