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29 May 2014

Coming Home

Freelance came home yesterday.  I spent the day before her arrival arranging feed bins and checking out her paddock and getting rugs, etc, organised.  The morning of her arrival I saw some of my friends at school, breathlessly told them my mare was arriving, and then went off to buy dinner for the evening and horse feed for her.  

I got to her new home about 30 minutes before the truck was due.  I'm out of practice lifting heavy feed bags.  I must be going soft

I had wanted to take photos of the truck, and of her getting off, and all of those things.  In the end I was too busy helping the lovely Tazzie turn the truck around and getting Freelance of the truck.  The truck was huge.  The mare heard my voice and I could hear her calling me before the truck gate came down.  When the gate opened she looked at me, a bit bewildered and disbelieving.  I guess I felt the same way.  My once pristine looking mare was covered in mud, courtesy of Freelance deciding that a mud spa bath in her Bungendore paddock would be an ace idea the day before her departure.  I winced slightly, but that didn't last long when she put her head into my hands.  I turned her around quietly and lead her down the ramp.  She flared her nostrils and trod gingerly, but thankfully she was too sensible for any hysterics. 

I thought I'd cry.  I almost did, but I think I was too happy to cry.  Once off the truck she wheeled around a few times, eyes wide, but she was far calmer than her arrival at Bungendore.  She'd whistled and snorted for half an hour on arriving at Wyndarra.  Was it because she came home to me that she was quiet and calm?  Was it the sea air that she could have smelt?  Or was it the fatigue of an 11 hour float drive the night before?  I'll never know.  But my lovely mare took less than 30 seconds to drop her head on the lush grass and begin to graze.

After this I popped her in a yard and gave her a feed.  For a short while she looked stressed and she tucked up in the flanks.  I always get a worried knot in my stomach when she does this.  However once Tazzie had left I returned to the mare and got my brushes out.  Gradually the worried look left her face, she began to eat, and her flanks relaxed, and after some determined brushing, my beautiful mare began to emerge from the dust and grime that coated her.  I probably fiddled about with her for a good hour, just fussing and hugging her, telling her I'd missed her and how happy I was to have her home.

We then made the short walk to her paddock.  There was a bit of snorting on the way there.  I took a couple of cameras with me, and after a minute on the lead I set her free.  To tell the truth I was really hoping she'd go for a trot and a canter in her new and beautiful paddock.  She didn't.  She walked.  She grazed.  She stopped and stared, then walked again.  Her coat looked much better after all the brushing, and I'd pulled her mane too.  She's little next to Arche.  But so familiar.  She's well trained and she's not prone to naughtiness, and she stands still when I ask her to.  I've had Freelance since she was 5 years old.  And when she was only 7 she had small children around her feet, so it's always been important to me that she was well behaved and respected personal space.  

Next week I'll get on her and see how those legs stand up.  It will be small steps with her.  Short work outs to begin with.  I'm going to get her a permit so I can take her to the beach.  Along with my obvious delight at doing this with her there's the advantage of the salt water for her joints.  It's the best location I could have dared to hope for.

I left her unrugged because it was sunny and I just wanted her to settle.  She normally always wears a rug.  It's better for her coat.  Of course it rained the moment I left, which made me switch straight back into my 'will my horse be cold' worrying.  I picked the kids up and then we all went to put her 'to bed' and the kids were really pretty pleased to see her.  The afternoon was pretty important to me.  There was a lovely moment when watching Freelance following Jessica up to the gate in the paddock without a headstall on.  She's always been so good with my kids.  We fussed and brushed her some more and gave her some dinner.  There were a few more photographs.  Then a rug on for night time.  at this point we investigated the paddock a little bit more.  My attention was turned to Heath running after us.  Not because of him.  But because my mare was trotting after my son.  With a 'wait for me' look to her face.  It was pretty nice.  

It is a lovely paddock.  With a lovely arena, and lovely facilities.  In the best possible location.  We couldn't be happier.  Welcome home Pony..  Welcome home..  We are here.  We are home...

Happiness...  Does it feel complete?  Yes, I think it does.

She's wooly, but looking better after a lot of brushing.  The rugs are back on and it's milder here.  I'm hopeful that my wooly mammoth won't stay quiet so wooly here on the Peninsula.
Freelance did always have a lovely striding walk and trot.  She moves well, does my mare.
Spare a thought for Fred tonight.  He was my friend Angela's horse.  I took this image a few years ago for Angela.  Probably in 2010??  Fred died today.  He was getting on in years and arthritic.  I believe Angela had to have him put down, but I haven't talked to her yet.  We are talking tomorrow.  The loss of Fred made my feeling of relief at having Freelance back with me grow larger.  I always worry about my mare.  I hope that she has a number of years of happiness here in our new home though.

1 comment:

  1. Nice story Bronwen. I am sure Freelance's happiness is complete too.