Bella, A sad day

Sadly today we lost our canine companion of 12 years. She had a second episode of a slipped disc and this time the steroids didn’t help. She had a good life, rescued as a puppy, she lived with us and a companion jack Russell called Daisy. They were great friends always egging each other on to get into mischief.

When we moved to France and retired it was doggy heaven, fields to race round and endless mice to kill, a small river to swim in, no fences and lots and lots of walks. She had a litter of 4 puppies at the grand age of 7 though sadly only one survived, so she grew up with her mum and stayed with us.

Poor Bella had 2 operations for cancer a couple of years ago and a hysterectomy for a pelvic infection shortly after the second one, she was a tough cookie, but the most loyal and loving dog I have known. We will miss her. ❤️

Jumping for joy

imageHere’s in Deux Sevres the Easter holidays have started for the schools, nowhere near Easter of course but it’s the two week vacation. Our local stables fill the holidays with activities, one day riding courses, picnic rides out into the lovely countryside, and small competitions of dressage, jumping and even beauté (sounds so much more attractive than turnout).

Yesterday was the jumping course, looking at theory as well as practice, with a mixed ability group of children adults and horses. Sarah teaches in French and works hard to give the riders confidence and despite the occasional fall, they all improve their jumping position and courage and manage a course of jumps. Next week there will be a jumping competition for them to test their new skills.

Sunni my quarter horse is taking part, he too has increased in courage and ability. When we first had him he was terrified of anything new and living at the stables has learned to cope with pigs (horror of horrors), different riders, working in a school either out or indoors and jumping. He has an old leg injury which caused him to stumble occasionally, his leg has got stronger over the months and he now only slips if turning sharply. He now loves jumping and has gone gone from walking suspiciously and unwillingly over single jumps to enthusiastically leaping over a course of jumps. Jumping for joy!