We are staying here at Winning Ways, for now. We thought this might be suggested and although there was something really lovely about the heart and soul of Marilyn’s this place has other benefits. There are fewer people so less sharing the bathroom facilities, apart from the cats, or the vehicle! We are in a bedroom within the centrally heated house (next to the bathroom!) which will shortly become more significant! As there are fewer of us we do need to work harder but there is more to do so we can feel more useful and the jobs are more structured.
The dogs at Marilyn’s are nice, some more so than others but Kelly’s dogs are lovely, more controlled and better trained but not allowed in the house. The lambs seem to think they are dogs as well and come to the door if their feed is at all late. The cats are more classified as well, ‘outdoors’ and the three ‘indoors’ despite sneaky interlopers. The only slight drawback is that they are fed in the bathroom, on the floor when we were here alone but on the side otherwise. Not being a cat person I am not used to have a cat step off the surface to sit on my lap when I am availing myself of the facilities! I’m also waiting to give the black and white one a toothpaste hairpiece when it sticks its head into the basin whilst I’m trying to do my teeth but I guess it will blend in well with his colouring or those of the white and black cat. Outside there is a particularly friendly little one who insists on sitting on my lap despite active discouragement or even the incumbent laptop, in which case she just sits on the screen. I haven’t learnt their names yet but the one in the photo I have christened grumpy cat but they do lick!!
We will continue to need to round up our friendly bison who I really can’t manage to trust yet although I have seen absolutely no sign of aggression in her and just keep telling myself that she is just a cow, a blooming great huge cow, but just a cow. If she doesn’t want to go back to her field we have to use gentle persuasive tactics instead of the flapping your arms and shouting ‘git’ that the other cattle receive. I think its meant to be ‘get’ but with Germans copying Canadian accents we do seem to have a lot of pregnant camels!
Kelly and Hannah are back from Spruce Meadows and Lifa leaves tomorrow so all change. Kelly is keen for us to continue working with Dakota so we took him into the arena again this morning to work on the areas in which he seemed to be more anxious. Hannah was riding Foxy, a lovely paint horse, skewbald by our dictionary, with a beautiful two tone mane. She had managed to buck off her last rider so she was seeing if it was a problem or just coincidence in which case I could ride her. They managed to distract Dakota from the saddle we surreptitiously put on him and do up whilst they walked around the arena. When they started to trot, no more than 4 steps in, Foxy started bucking and rearing and before long Hannah bailed and Foxy legged it out the arena. Dakota hadn’t seen anything like this before and switched from total calm to his own bucking bronco with me hanging on the end of the halter rope.
My dilemma was whether I should just let him go in the interest of self-preservation or hang on in the hope of being able to settle him quicker. Despite a lack of skin on my left hand I opted for the latter and he soon quietened, no doubt helped by Foxy’s vanishing behind. At least we are well insured, for horse-work specifically. I’m not so sure about our cover for being shot! Hunting season starts tomorrow and Kelly is insistent that we do not go out anywhere without high visibility apparel so don’t worry Mum and Dad!