Back to the present - yesterday we had a great day with the horses. The three outside horses were as mad as a box of frogs to begin with - Doug spent a good time 'de-sensitising' them and getting them to accept him as the pack leader with a neck rope, one of them (nicknamed Blondie, because she has long blond locks) jumped at Doug, who stepped out of the way and she ended up smashing through the fence, no harm done just a few cuts and scrapes. They all calmed down eventually to the point where an (understandably) rather nervous Will was legged up onto their backs, just lying across them to begin with, but then ending up sitting astride while Doug led them around. We had a bit of a laugh when Will was legged up and there was a very loud ripping sound - his jeans had torn right from the front to the back -the ladies G-string was a bit concerning.... Where was my camera when I needed it?!
It was astonishing how quickly they relaxed and allowed a person the sit on them. Now that the difficult part is out of the way we will concentrate on teaching them the aids and mouthing them. We were very excited about Spider, who we expected fireworks from - there was a bit of rearing up to begin with but then she settled down really well and was as good as gold - we haven't seen the worst of her yet though as she is very very clever little monkey and I can't imagine that it will be all peaches and cream with her. The other four came in from the bottom field and were also much more relaxed about going on the walker and spending the day in the stable. We will be working on them next week.
Last night we went for a cycle ride and then stopped for a drink in the local - Friday afternoon brings out the characters in the pub and it was entertaining to say the least!
Today Doug has got a stand at the Blakesley show This is an annual event and is a wonderfully traditional agricultural show. It sports ploughing matches (with horses as well as old tractors) dog shows, horse events, gun dog competitions, terrier racing, and lots of socialising. I have been waiting for some shepherd hut guests to arrive but I may just leave them a note and go and join Doug as I'm fairly sure his bar will need replenishing - we are supposed to be going to Kerry and Tom's barbecue tonight but it rather depends on what time we are able to get away.
More on Australia tomorrow...