Friday, 10 July 2009

Attack of the Killer Bs

An early start then, from Fearnan to Kenmore to meet the farrier. Glorious riding through mixed forest - the sequence being familiar to all equine wanderers: excellent track becomes grassy ride becomes footpath becomes overgrown footpath becomes footpath which has run out altogether. Only when you've gone too far to make it seem worthwhile turning back, of course...the map SAYS it continues to Kenmore!

Luckily, as we were going to the farrier, Ladybird wasn't loaded with packs, so we battled on through the woods. She was initially slightly astonished to be turned loose (counting on that piggy-bonding with Doogs having lasted!) but soon got the hand of hopping neatly over downed trees, boggy holes hidden by waist-high bracken - you know, the usual. Luckily it wasn't for too long and we got to Taymouth Trekking Centre in plenty of time for the farrier (who, somewhat unbelievably, comes up from Fife).

He reassured me there was no real harm to Doogs' foot - 'mainly cosmetic', he said, although it does look a bit wrecked. Sorry, Messrs Balfour the Farriers, after all your hard work as well.

Waiting for the farrier I nipped into the schmaltzy deli next door - not the type of place I usually buy my groceries! I did buy a fine looking loaf and the most expensive apples ever (one each) for the troops.

My friend Pam refers to Doogs as 'Robopony' and after his wheel change he was right back to his usual ears pricked marching self and we positively zoomed back to Fearnan (different track, same outcome as above...) The day was by now pretty hot, and after washing the ponies down, turned them out to snooze in the sunshine. Not for long: within 5 minutes they were cantering round like maniacs, dripping blood, trying to escape the attack of the killer clegs.

These were not just any clegs - these were M & S clegs: they came in their hundreds, swarms of 'em, Red Baron drill formations from every direction. I have never seen anything like it. The three of us spent the rest of the afternoon cooried in the corner of a barn between a ping pong table and a ride on lawnmower - but a GREAT relief to be away from those damn clegs. As the ponies dozed off, it was finally time for a very late lunch - I nipped out to retrieve my designer loaf and gold-plated find the very free-range piggies rummaging about in my saddlebags. Bacon sandwich, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear the wheel change was successful and cringing at the thought of the clegs! A very eventful start to your journey - fingers crossed for a few days of 'ordinary' to make up for it.