Friday, 14 September 2012

Feel-good Friday foursome

Yet more fab news about Bryan, via his pal Wendy's blog and on Facebook. Its really high time there was a Big Barefoot Bryan Blog - he can't be expected to just share with Wendy now he is hunting as well as jumping...

"After what seemed to be an eternity since last season I finally received an email announcing mounted Autumn Hunting commencing at 6am sharp Wednesday. This necessitated a daunting 3am alarm call at Planet Monkwood and caused confusion amongst the newest recruits at the Planet, namely Bruce whose bite is every bit as bad as his bark, and Beanie who can vouch for the previous statement having become a victim of Bruce some weeks earlier. Both Bruce and Beanie looked at me incredulously as I appeared not just very early but fully dressed and clearly with intent to get on with things rather than the normal routine of having a leisurely coffee and checking my emails before venturing outside. BBB (Big Barefoot Bryan) was also a little bemused but ever the gentleman he cooperated fully with being cleaned, tacked up and loaded at stupid o’clock. In my opinion there are only three good things that have come out of Belgium – chocolate, Poirot and BBB – and I adore all three!
As anticipated BBB did get rather excited and threw a few shapes but generally it was just AMAZING to be hunting a horse that only six months prior I had been advised to euthanase due to an MRI diagnosis of incurable lameness. BBB relished his infrequent visits to the great grass rings of Hickstead and to his second home Pyecombe this summer but I think his introduction to the sport of hunting has opened his eyes to a whole new world. The splendid spectacle of the mist rising from the fields and the Three Musketeers forming a formidable line at the front of the mounted followers reinforced my theory that now hunting has recommenced all is now well with my world. Shortly after moving off BBB added a new talent to his ever increasing repertoire – limbo! It took a little patience but he soon realised that he had to go under the extremely low branch and slowly enough to ensure that I was not ripped off his back. By our third encounter with the same branch he was quite nonchalant about it.

The First of the Three Musketeers had assured me that this would be a quiet morning but in truth it was far from quiet and we covered nearly ten miles. He had also promised me that there would be no jumping and thus the Field patiently watched the peculiar sight of all of the Three Musketeers dismantling a large rusty metal gate held together with an assortment of wire and twine situated under a low tree with rutted ground either side which under normal circumstances they would have gaily leapt over and cantered off into the breaking day leaving the less able and less brave quivering in their wake. Despite all this excitement there was still the chance to chat and I was staggered when I was asked if BBB was a Retired Racehorse! For those of you who know BBB well you will know that his physique is fairly substantial. He stands about 17.2hh, is a good middleweight warmblood type, lives on a diet of unlimited haylage and to my mind does not resemble a thoroughbred at all.
After three and a half hours of jigging around the Kentish countryside the welcome sight of Mrs B’s gas stove greeted the remaining members of the Field. There’s nothing like perking Father Christmas up after an early morning start than seeing Mrs B with a sausage in her hand. After the traditional post hunting chatter BBB and I set off for home dropping Young Miss Ellie off on the way.
BBB is now displaying the classic post hunting traits of a horse that has hunted for the first time. He is refusing all food and is pacing around his stable listening intently for the glorious sound of hounds pursuing a freshly laid trail. He obviously thoroughly enjoyed himself and was very footsure even down some demanding tracks. Through the mist of an Autumn Hunting morning he could easily have been mistaken for Mistral Hojris when displaying his poshest extended trot. But today BBB became a ‘real’ horse and was even honoured by the Scarlet Pimpernel himself who has nicknamed him Nelson. Poor BBB anyone would think that he didn’t have a proper name!

No doubt Nelson's further adventures will be posted on WendyBBB's blog in due course...!

My second contribution to that Friday feeling is a voicemail I had from Eva's vet, who went to see her last week. Amy had emailed me to say the visit had gone well but it was lovely to hear from him that he was both surprised and pleased with how sound she was and how well she was working :-) Its very refreshing to meet a vet who is taking such an interest in the horse post-rehab, so that call made my day.

Thirdly, another lovely FB post, this time about Legend who went home last month.

"Hi Nic, I just wanted to let you know that I rode Legend today for the first time since he came back from Rockley and I'm absolutely amazed at the progress he has made! He was striding out over stones like he couldn't even feel them and there was a wonderful spring in his step - he was an absolute joy to ride and I just can't believe how far he has come! He is obviously comfortable and happy in himself again, which is wonderful to see. Thank you so much for making this possible! xx"

And, just to make it a Friday foursome, here is Bryan's jumping clip from last week :-)


Charlotte B said...

I think that giving BBB's his own website could jinx him so he will have to share Wendy Raptor's for the time being at least. He is very much looking forward to meeting fellow barefooters next weekend especially his special friend Buster.

cptrayes said...

Anther barefoot hunter to join the rest of us :-)

I too am bemused about how ANYONE could mistake Bryan for a racehorse - what a giggle!