Thursday, 8 May 2014

We start from Cape Spear!

Quite a hectic and eventful week.  A great excitement when I saw my first iceberg in Conception Bay .....
Secondly and more important, after many dashed hopes but with vital support from Carol Osmond and Byron Hierlihy, on Sunday May 4th I actually managed to achieve my initial ambition of making a start from Cape Spear. 
I welcomed a new addition to the team last week in Lady, a 10 year old chestnut mare to replace Mace.  She is about three-quarters Newfoundland pony, her sire being the registered Newfoundland pony Billy, and her maternal grandmother also a Newfoundland.  Apart from a year out as a riding pony, she has spent the last eight years with Sylvester Taylor as a work horse, pulling a cart, sledge, mowing machine and plough, and even pulling the hearse at six funerals!   
 She desperately needed reshoeing, but local farrier Katrina Butler came to the rescue and found time in her busy schedule (nine o'clock at night!) to come and fit some so I could get on my way without delay. On Saturday Kelly and Herb Power-Kean trailered Lady to CBS to join Albert, and kindly left their trailer so Byron could then trailer her up to Cape Spear the following day.  So here I am with Lady at Cape Spear - note the iceberg (my second one!) in the background......
......and another photo with the people that made it happen -Cabot on the left, and Carol and Byron on the right.  Myself and Lady centre stage with Tammy Webber who came to support.
 I rode on along the roads to Embarr Stables in Goulds, where Carol Goodman had kindly provided very comfortable equine bed and breakfast for Lady.  I was able to return to my even more comfortable accommodation nearby in St John's where I have been taken in by Cabot and Deirdre who have been totally spoiling me. Not only do I have a cosy room and power shower at my disposal, but they have been plying me with the most delicious meals including lobster and salt cod, and building me up for the rigours of the trail ahead.
On Monday it was a long ride back to Stephanie Coates' barn at CBS, made longer by the fact that Lady decided to prat around for over an hour in the morning, shrieking, prancing and even lashing out at a car. With my creaky 65 year old bones there was no way I could get on her and she freaked out at the traffic passing overhead where I needed to cross under the highway.  I had given up on her and was trudging back to the stables with serious thoughts of trading her in for something quieter when she suddenly relaxed, I was able to get on, and off we set. When we reached the old rail bed which forms the T'Railway across the island, it was a lovely quiet ride through woods and past lakes (or ponds as they are called here - a lake is something altogether far more serious).    Lady looking a bit wet and fed up at Manuels..............
 ...but in fact she enjoyed the walk, and was even presented with an apple when I stopped for a coffee and bagel at a Drive Thru Coffee Shop - or Ride Thru in this case!

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