dear readers, at last the magnificent bonzo is coming home! regular readers will recall that after herself fell off him in december, bonzo was sent to uncle gary's hoof camp for some lessons in coping with an incompetent rider. this included modules on standing still while said rider clambers aboard, keeping all four feet relatively near the ground, only galloping when told to, and saddle management, with special emphasis on its positioning on top of the body and not underneath.
just before christmas uncle gary declared that bonzo had passed with flying colours. he took herself out for a ride. herself was a little apprehensive. her apprehension turned to panic when bonzo started to get a little irritated with a small dog who was running in and out of his feet and barking incessantly. bonzo prefers his dogs large and hairy, like his good self. fortunately young dave and i are able to oblige in the largeness and hairiness department.
"gary, i'm really scared!" squeaked herself.
"just breathe," said uncle gary. uncle gary is not herself's uncle, by the way. he is bonzo's uncle, although i fail to see the resemblance. i think it may be one of those courtesy titles.
"i'm still scared!" i suppose at least she was scared but breathing.
"if you calm yourself down, bonzo will respond," said uncle gary, "make your voice lower."
herself understands the importance of a low voice. going into court and squeaking tends to give the game away to the other side that you are on the back foot. over the years herself has learned to sound deeper voiced and more confident that she feels.
"good boy, bonzo," she said, sounding like a sumo wrestler. or perhaps a bishop. the rest of the outing passed without incident.
a second attempt a couple of days later was much more successful and uncle gary said bonzo was ready to return home to his field. however, the night before the big day it snowed and carried on snowing for some time. everywhere was bathed in white. the stables were snowed in. the field was snowed in. bonzo wasn't going anywhere. it has to be said that bonzo had no objection whatsoever to this. uncle gary's place is the horse equivalent of a health farm, with a warm barn, friendly people to scratch bonzo's big head, nice horses to chat to and lots of grub. bonzo was very happy to spend christmas in the warm rather than in his drafty field.
eventually the snow thawed and plans were made for the journey. but the day before bonzo was due to come home it snowed again. this time it snowed even more. mrs collie was snowed in up the hill where bonzo's field is (or more properly where mrs collie's field which bonzo lives in is) and had to be rescued by herself. i was beginning to think that bonzo had come to an arrangement with the weather people. it is decidedly suspicious that each time he was due to come home a blizzard arrived.
time passed and last week both the stables and the field were accessible. herself began to make the final arrangements at the field to make it comfortable and safe for the big fellow and his new little friend. there was one last bit of fencing to do, which fortunately a proper fencing man is doing today (the prospect of a fence erected by herself does not bear thinking about).
there is a ton a gravelly stuff to spread where the mud is but first herself needed to lay her hands on some hardcore to build up the area by the gate. yesterday she went on the internet and found some. she rang the man and arranged to come and collect a trailer load. the only downside was that the man was an hour's drive away, but at least the hardcore was free. herself peeled herself off the computer and took young dave and i out for our walk. as we approached the house the new neighbour the other side of the next-doors (this is not the owner of the little dog but the other way) came out. he and his dad are doing major building work before his wife and baby move in. the building work involves knocking down walls.
"you wouldn't have any hardcore, would you?" asked herself. i didn't know where to put myself. herself is a totter of many years experience. she finds it hard to go past a skip without peering in to see if there is anything useful in it. the advent of recycling as a worthy lifestyle has made this less of an embarrassment than it must have been in the past but by all accounts herself was at this lark long before recycling was invented. but this poor man had hardly got the wall down and there she is scrounging it.
anyway to cut a very long story short (a saying, dear readers, no stories were injured) herself popped young dave and me into the house and wheeled her trusty trailer along to where the building was happening. the arrangement is that the builders will fill the trailer with hardcore and herself will take it up to the field. on the way down she will bring a load of the unmanageable and prickly old fence which she is slowly taking to the dump. it made the fencing job cheaper if herself got rid of the old fence but she is regretting this particular money-saving ploy. getting several hundred yards of rusty wire netting into a small trailer is something of a task. it involves herself standing in a very precarious manner on top of the coils of wire in order to squash them into shape. i may start selling tickets.
anyway, i am being told that i must draw this musing to a close as we are off to the field with the first load of hardcore. i just hope that hoss appreciates all the effort...