While my struggles continue, my horses seem very happy and quite willing to work for me. The constant rain/clouds/building heat has the grass and weeds growing like mad. The buttercup this year are worse than ever and we haven’t been able to spray or mow enough to keep them down, as a result the pastures suck. Oh well. I can only do what I can do.

It is time to wash the horse blankets and put them away for the summer; this requires a long hot afternoon and working spray nozzle on the power washer. Neither of which I have had yet. So dirty horse blankets are gathering starling poop splashes and dust until this can be accomplished. Chores will be the death of me yet!

Hamish took a pretty big step on his way to competing this summer. We went to the hunt’s last paper chase over near Centreville, and the track went basically around a bunch of planted fields and ended back where we started on a small parking lot. It was about 6 miles, and we got it done in 57 minutes and might have ended placed third but I don’t know. It was a lot of fun, but here’s the Really Big Deal….he went all by himself! He was not sure at first leaving the parking lot but went on nicely for me — I talked to him and talked to him, and just walked for the first mile. He was looking eagerly for company but after the first part, I think he just thought, well, we will get back to the parking lot in a while so I’ll just go along for Mom here and see. And that’s what he did. We trotted, cantered, and walked. He stopped like a gentleman and stood like a rock for all the buckets (where you take a pen and mark your arm with the color to show you didn’t cheat and miss a marker taking a short cut.) He jumped a little log at first asking without looking hard. He saw an emu and passed other horses as well as jumped a bunch of ditches and ditch-type places. There was just no faulting him for anything. He was polite and calm afterwards and in the trailer eating hay waiting while Mom ate a hotdog and chatted. I was just thrilled with his whole day and now feel quite ready to move him up to a cross-country schooling; he’ll get to a few of those and some jump schools and I’ll let you know when we enter something. My goal is to get him to a few of the unrecognized, as they are up to standard in our area, and half the price of the recognized; then towards fall hopefully get him in a recognized Novice or two, end the year with two recognized Novice horse trials. What do you think?