Last year’s October was simply wonderful.
We were on one of our favourite parts of the BNT (book 11), had been recently reunited with Fly and the donkeys, and there was grass and water everywhere. The people were incredibly kind, the sun was shining (mostly), we were fit, and it felt like we mostly had a handle on the whole trekking thing.
This year, October has been quite different. I was supposed to have finished my book. I haven’t. Fly and I were supposed to be trekking up through the bush right now to to do the Blackwood marathon. We aren’t.
Things went a little wrong.
Last year it was always one of my biggest fears that one of our animals would badly hurt themselves while we were on the trail. Fortunately, they didn’t.
Instead, Fly has waited 9 months to do it, right here in his home paddock. Looking back at this blog, I seem to spend a lot of time talking about Fly’s legs, but luckily this is the first time he has ever really hurt himself, and the second he has ever been lame.
It looks as though a bottom wire got caught on his shoe while he was pawing the ground and talking to the horses over the fence, and he pulled the wire out and somehow got his hind leg caught up. The ironic thing is that he isn’t normally shod- he only just got shoes put on to do the Blackwood.
Luckily, the wire hasn’t done any damage to Fly’s tendons, but there’ll be no Blackwood or any adventuring for a good three to six months. Despite being plyed with injections and antibiotics, Fly has been amazingly trusting and always stands quietly while I bandage- its as if he knows I’m trying to help him.
Meanwhile, the donkeys are having a much-needed break from the all the sugary spring clover and keeping Fly company in the yard next door.
Z and I also managed to get some fresh air out at Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges one weekend. At just over 1000m in altitude, Bluff Knoll is the only spot in Western Australia that sees any snow (and then usually only once every few years). The walk trail to climb Bluff Knoll is a pretty easy round trip of about 6 kilometres and takes three to four hours.
Although Bluff Knoll is one of the most popular walks in the South West, The local Noongar people treat the area with foreboding and prefer to avoid its rocky ridges, which are often woven with tales of malevolent witches. The mountain is often shrouded in a mist which curls around the peaks and floats into the gullies, believed to be a spirit named Noatch, meaning ‘dead body’. Hmmm.Perhaps I should’ve thought twice before going up there after all…
October appears to have been a good month for 12 years olds, however. Z has been on a girls surf camp, a school camp, and also been riding ponies relentlessly. She has just scored her first part-time job for a few hours each week. It just so happens to be her dream one, too- stablehand/ exercise rider 🙂
While we’re on the employment front, I have decided to go back to full-time teaching next year. I figure there are worse ways to earn a living than than hanging out with kids all day. Its a good incentive to knuckle down and finish the book before my pockets are filled with chalk and my nights with lesson planning.
Amidst all that October threw at us, I I managed to get a bit of writing/ editing done and have finally found an awesome program to help me better organise themes and chapters for the Donkey Dreaming book. Its called Scrivener. The last 9 months, Ive been composing the book in one very basic (very long) Word document, which has been absolutely doing my head in. Nice to have found a bit of much-needed structure and mapping.
Goodbye Magic, Hello Peaches…
This month, we also bade farewell to one of our equines and welcomed a new one into the fold.
Magic came to us in February as a green thoroughbred who hadn’t been ridden in many a moon. I was fresh off the BNT and ready to sink my teeth into a new challenge, but Magic wasn’t so challenging after all. He proved to be a real sweetheart- yet more living proof that thoroughbreds aren’t always messed-up speed demons.
He is, unfortunately, very big, and Z prefers to get around on zippy little ponies. I prefer to get around on Fly and am a one horse kinda girl. So Magic is sadly the one to be moved on to make way for the pony Z has saved for.
Moving horses on is always such a heartbreaking thing, but Magic is already absolutely loved to bits and spoiled rotten by his new mum. It’s also nice when you know where and to whom they’ve gone and can see that your baby is doing just fine.
So, our new family member is a little palomino Welsh mare- all of 13.3hh and whom Z has renamed Peaches. Peaches is 4 years old, unbroken, and has never left her paddock. She will also be the first horse we have started from scratch. Hmmm. Somehow, I think we are in for a much bigger challenge here than with Magic. Pony pics coming soon!
Happy November 🙂