My last day in Virginia,
And Simon has just done the courtesy of deleting all my photos from today so no horsey photos. Sorry kids.
I woke up super early today at the bright sunny time of 7.30am.(that's early for me now) and was up and ready by 8 with my jeans and trainers on ready for the morning of horse riding.
Anita and I drove down to their barn to collect the horses to walk them up to the stables to brush them down and get them saddled up ready for the walk.
Anita and David have a horse each, Max and Ru.Max is a great big white and mottled blue horse who when clean looks stunning, however he enjoys rolling around in the tan coloured mud around here so unfortunately he has gone ginger.Poor chap.Lol. Ru is a lovely brown lady and I rode her for the day.
Now, I will never pretend to be 'in' with the horsey lingo but I did pick up the basics when I was little and the first thing I noticed was that the horses didn't have horse shoes. I found this very odd as I was always under the impression that it was really dangerous for horses not to have horse shoes as it spreads infection but these horses didn't need them apparently, the grounds were soft enough and they rarely went on hard road so it was ok.
Anita slipped on two shoe imitation slip-ons onto the two front legs of Ru but Max was totally fine without any protection.
Secondly I noticed the saddle I was being given had a great big wedge in the front of it that was for gripping onto when you sat on it.(this rawhide)That's because I was going to be riding cowboy style today.Anita had the traditional English saddle which was elegant and simple in style, not much to it, but firm. Mine was laden with excess leather here there and everywhere and looked truly magnificent. Very grand in comparison but still I think I prefer the British ones, as that's what I am used to but hay.
We started off our walk with a light stroll through the fields then trotted into the woods where the flies would bother the horses less. Even though we sprayed the horses with bug spray to keep them at bay they were still incredibly annoying.
After a while we entered the fields again and Anita suggested cantering.I was all excited, I do hand on heart love horses and love riding but I couldn't quite remember what position to sit myself when cantering.I didn't have much of a chance to think about it as Ru was off with the wind.I had control but that was about it, my arse was slapping against the saddle in a most unlady like fashion and as I tried to work out what I was doing wrong she came to a stop.Oh well.I think I must have looked rather constipated as I could tell my face must have crumbled up into a look of pure concentration at the simple task of cantering.
We carried on with the walk , more trotting, I can do trotting, I'm a dab hand at that, so we tried cantering again on the last stretch, and I really don't know why I bothered.
I must have looked like I was giving birth to a small goat as Anita kindly swallowed her giggles but I knew I looked ridiculous. I just couldn't master the technique.Anita even more kindly tried to convince me that it was the horse having short strides but I knew it was because I was simply bollox.
Oh well, practice makes perfect! Bring on the next horse.
Now, Anita and David are actually both from England and moved out here only a couple of years ago. (hence the supply of Tetley's )The reason for them moving was to follow their dream and that was to ride in every state of the United States. They came over, sold up everything and bought a mauuuusive horse travelling truck and just trekked it round the states starting with Virginia and finishing back at the house they bought now, where I am staying.
They took me out for lunch today as Simon was at work till 5 and afterwards showed me all the amazing photos of their travels.They were on the road for 8/9 months solid, with a tv company, a newspaper article blog written weekly by David, two horses and their three kids (who flew out every now and then to add to the adventure), and all the time they were just driving to the next destination that was offered to them through contacts made on their website at the time.
I do recommend checking the site out if you are interested in horses.They managed 35 states!The photos are amazing.
My favourite story of theirs was when they visited Macinac Island off the tip of Michigan.Apparently there is no vehicles at all allowed on the island except for horse drawn ones. Amazing, EVERYTHING was pulled by a horse and we are not talking a tiny island here, nope, a fully working habitual island all with horse drawn carts everywhere lol.
Also, and this is for all my little horse loving fans, go online and search 'saddle club'its this kids tv program based in Australia; a bit like the babysitters club but all about horses.Totally awesome, sad for my age group but great for horse lovers lol.
I then went round with Anita and David and picked up some supplies from the nearest cowboy machinery shop where I bought myself a sweet yellow shirt.I remember someone back home telling me I would suit shirts so I saw it and thought I would give it a go.I love it.Maybe I should try for the country music scene?? Yeah.Maybe not.
I got dropped off at Simons work where he took me to meet Rachel and her friends at a bar but I'll be honest I wasn't really in the mood and we were tired plus I needed to get back to pack so we left pretty quickly and came back home.
And here I am, its 12pm my time , my flight is in 6 hours to Detroit then connecting to Canada to stay with the Rebus's. Another slice of the adventure. A big massive thanks to the Hasbury-Snoggles family for their unbelievable hospitality . Definately gonna miss them.
Stay classy San Diego (those of you who don't know the quote …ignore it)