| Nikki’s News | 21.06.2019 |

The long-awaited day had a arrived on 14th June, Hadden and Suzy got home! I am not sure what his long-term plans are I was just glad they were home and safe. I have to say it was quite scary seeing the photos of the horses being loaded onto the plane. It seems unnatural to travel them so far away, we are used to driving the lorry with them in the back, close to us and where we can see them. Although, Hadden could go back to check her, he admitted he felt nervous during the flight as he couldn’t stay with her. We worked out she had travelled for 60 hours, she obviously had stops and as she is now a seasoned traveller she kept eating and drinking. Suzy was so funny; apparently, she definitely recognised where she was as they turned off the dual carriage way. Truly amazing, considering how many miles she has travelled around the U.S.A. When she walked across the yard, she made a beeline for her old stable, there was no question where she was heading. And once she had acquainted herself with her new neighbours, she tucked into the freshly picked grass and massive pile of best hay! She looks fantastically well and has matured; I don’t think she dropped a kg on her journey. The next morning Hadden, was up at the crack of dawn and turned her out in the house paddock. I thought she may be tired or stiff from the journey but none of it, she put on a truly athletic and stunning show of acrobatics. She looked so happy, fit and glad to be back. Chubby watched on, bracing himself, he had never seen such an energetic display, even from the normal race horses he has to baby sit! He had never met Suzy before; she is a bit of a “diva” with other horses and definitely has a “anything you can do I can do better” attitude. She is also so laid back, nothing much phases her; so, as she marched up to him, I held my breath. Hadden and I both “precious” about each of our horses, watched. true to form, Chubby resorted to giving her a good scratch. This seems to be his proven strategy to stay safe and avoid fall outs with any of his field mates. She accepted, and after a good roll moved off to graze as if she hadn’t been away! Just imagine all the new things, places, weather, time zones etc she has experienced on her travels and here she was content and happy back in Devon!

So, that was the horse settled back into life here, that I knew was the easy part. The other traveller would not be so easy! The hurricane I talk of is Hadden! You would have thought he too would be tired, jet lagged or at least want to take it easy, for a day or two? No! Suddenly, within a couple of hours, there are huge trunks half unpacked. Various documents. Mountains of clothes. Enough tack and riding equipment to open a saddlery. Ground coffee and avocados. Percy, creeping down the stairs from his Dad’s room! And the whole family wondering around trying to work out what we’re supposed to be doing? Completely out of sync.

And now onto the next saga here at Holybrook. The car situation… It’s gone! He, my beloved son, said just borrowing the car for a while! This should be bearable but not when you are down to 1 car between 3!!! And if it was only for a couple of hours and then the next person could use it. But I didn’t see it for a couple of days! Anyway, as always, he charms me and I forgive him! “Oh, it’s ok Hadden” which it is, if I have some prior warning that I may be stranded, carless I would be able to organise myself and then it would be fine! I’m not sure how much longer my car will be at the garage, hopefully, not too much longer. I may have to break Chubby, to harness.

Next week, car related… we have a film shoot here. This could be interesting. From passed experience, directors always say things like, “we don’t want to disrupt you” or “don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything”. Already a massive mound of chippings has appeared in the middle of the yard and we appear to have ordered a roller! I’m told something to do with the drive. I will let you know how we get on in the next news.

Another exciting thing to look forward to are the new horses that have arrived. I love seeing new faces on the yard. A time of expectation and hope, I check all the passports and vaccinations and make sure they are all in order. We watch them carefully especially if they have had a long trip. But the best part is getting to know them. Some horses come with lots of information from their previous yard, some come with none. Some come with a reputation, sometimes vices/behaviour, which we always take note of but we tend to take things slowly and find out about them ourselves. Sometimes, once a label has been put on a horse, he can never shift it, this tends to mean people will always have a bad opinion of him before they even start. Quite often past discrepancies never emerge, and life goes on, happy. I remember one horse who came here and unfortunately, at a previous yard, someone had fallen off him and had sadly died, horrendous I know. The accident was not his fault, but he never could shake that reputation and forever more all humans that met him had a preconceived idea of him, especially as every time he was introduced the horror story was recounted. Luckily, all our new horses are lovely and haven’t put a foot wrong since they arrived. So, we will follow This Breac, Treacy’s Jim and False Getaway with interest. They have all settled in well and can’t wait for them to start racing.

I have had a lovely few days… (not?) doing Health and Safety forms. Always a good way to spend far too much time. And when I start writing hazard and risk assessments it’s enough to send me into therapy. Honestly, when I start looking and writing all the risks down it becomes blatantly obvious that we shouldn’t venture outside of a padded cell! It is far too dangerous, and the possibilities of an accident are endless. It always makes me a bit “nervy” for a while, which of course is the whole point, it makes us review our practices and double check everything.
With this in mind I am going out to my garden, as mentioned therapy is required! Nothing like a couple of hours of weeding to put you right.

See you all soon.