It’s been a very busy few days. We are flat out at the moment, this is a great time of year, racing is in full swing, and if we aren’t racing there is always good racing to watch on T.V.

On Saturday, Bryony was riding over the Aintree, fences. I cannot lie, I do get nervous, but very excited at the same time. As I remember Jenny Pitman, saying “you can’t win it if you’re not in it”. Bryony gave Present Man a lovely ride. I do enjoy watching her over those fences, I can only think that all the jumping she did as she was growing up has helped. She would jump anything and everything! She told me that evening, that Present Man jumped the canal turn really well but as he started leaning in to turn, he slipped, for a second she thought, “no, stand up lad!” Thank goodness he kept his feet and off he went.

A new horse came in on Monday, he was purchased from Ascot Sales. He seems very nice and has settled in quickly. I don’t think he will take very long to get ready to run, which is exciting. And he is very cool about chickens, I think he has definitely met them before! You can tell the horses who haven’t, they stand there for a while just staring at them as if to say “what kind of place is this?”. Once they get used to them wandering around, I think they have quite a calming influence.

Jim and I went to the Wooden Spoon lunch which was lovely. Met lots of rugby players from Exeter Chiefs and some very interesting people. It is an amazing charity that does a huge amount of good work helping children’s charities in the south west. We have been very lucky to be involved in a very small way for a long time now.

I advertised for some new staff this week, I had several replies and look forward to welcoming them to the mad house!

It has been a tough couple of weeks, we have a family member in hospital. and although it was a planned visit it unfortunately has turned out to be a longer stay than we hoped. In this scenario, there is nothing to do except rally around to help the best you can. We all soon got into a routine of dog walking duties. I have to say walking urban dogs is a novelty to me? But we are managing to work, visit and the house is still standing as are the chickens and cat! It’s amazing how resilient you can be in adversity.

The best news of the week was that my eldest brother was coming to visit for a few days. I haven’t seen him since the summer, when B’ and I went to stay with them in Spain, to help her recuperation. I can’t offer him the glorious weather and a swimming pool… I’ve got cold, rain and The River Dart!!! I haven’t told him about the imminent snow forecast.

One of the horses thought it would be hilarious to grab hold of the rubber mat on the front of the walker this morning, he gave it a good shake. There was a lot of noise as the whole machine shook and swayed, it looked more like a fair ground ride than a walker. He was very quickly taken off and turned out to get rid of some of his energy. Luckily, our initial fear of it being broken were unfounded and it lives to fight another day! Until the next rowdy young horse decides to have a bit of sport.

Well, I think I’ve caught you up to date. Don’t forget to keep up with Facebook, at absolutely no expense I offer you The Twelve Days of Christmas!!!

Best Wishes
Nikki