Jay and Lucy were in charge while we were away and did a wonderful job with the horses - We got back quite late and were greeted by all four dogs who were very pleased to see us. We were expecting Billy the parrot to be shouting a joyous welcome but all was silent - the front door had been accidentally left open by Jay on her way out and back to university and Billy had obviously tried to follow her. It was pitch black but Doug got the torch and amazingly found him perched in the tree above the house. I was so relieved as he could have gone anywhere or been attacked by predators. I got up at first light the following morning to try and tempt him down but he couldn't work out how to land - he kept on circling but then would end up higher than he was in the first place. We had to carry on as usual and he spent the whole day looking down at us in the yard from his vantage point and giving instructions "Come on!" he would shout and then "What are you doing??!!" It was beginning to get dark and he was getting really cold, we tried going up the ladder but couldn't get anywhere near him when thank goodness he swooped down and landed on his cage that we had put in the garden. He is very pleased to be back and is even being nice to Doug who normally gets the sharp end of his beak!
The horses have been working well since we have been back and Will is coming in early tomorrow morning to school them. Ed is coming in on Wednesday. We will then decide which races to aim for. Ben worked Jake with Polly's horse (Strike) at lunchtime. We thought it would be good to work Jake upsides something and because Polly comes in on her own at lunchtime it seemed the perfect solution. Jake worked much better with company and made it look easy. We had the heart monitor on him and he didn't get above 137 bpm although his maximum speed was only 26.4 mph. He has a great heart but we must try and get the HR up as otherwise he will tie up in a race. We will try him on the flat gallop next with more speed and see if we can get him to work a bit harder then.