Diary of a Unicorn - 4. July 2014


It’s been ages...humble pie has been dished out and eaten in suitable quantities for getting so far behind with diary updates... IP has taken that job very seriously and eyebrows have been raised when the weigh tape was produced.  She tells me that she’s simply big boned, those of a divine leaning often are apparently, I sniffed and repeated that restrictions would be enforced if her bones got any bigger.  Rupes sniggered, which wasn’t helpful, but then he does have that annoying blokey thing of eating whatever he likes and still looking like he works out all day.  I sense a sibling squabble in the offing.

So? And? I know...I know... where have we been and what have we been doing? In short, lots.  Most of it has started in the dark and well before sensible time, but it is summer and it would be rude not to make the most of it.  So firstly, we’ve been collecting sunrises.

There is a window of opportunity at this time of the year when unicorns (and surfers) can be taken out to the top of somewhere impressive as the sun rises and still be back in time for the school run.  With the annual summer holiday season gaining impetus and baying at  our heels, this has become something to do daily before it has to be put aside, like the Christmas decorations, for another year.

There is magic in the air at this time of day, it feels oh so special and whisper secret, as if it is a gift meant just for us.  We’ve seen pinks, oranges, purples and blues; we seen high fog that hides our hill tops and low mists that make our lovely valley look like it has found a ghost river which evaporates as we climb above with the sun coming up to meet us.  And then there is that certain scent of an early summer’s morning, a smell that would be impossible to put into words but it evokes memories; nostalgia perhaps, of childhoods  long passed when the sun always shined, seemingly everyday.

Around here, unicorns (and surfers) can tip toe gently past baby adders, sunning small snake bellies on warming rocks, be swooped by late feeding bats, be serenaded at top volume by the dawn chorus or, silently observed by majestic buzzards and spectral owls; then, as if all that wasn’t quite enough, simply stop and breath in time with a roe deer that stands a mere few feet away, watching us as we watch it...

...And at that time of day, the irritating horseflies are always still sleeping off their vampiric excesses from the day before and the roads are (almost) completely clear of equally irritating traffic.

But...shhh....remember it’s a secret!

Is there another reason for all this early morning activity, aside from running the risk of sounding like an excerpt from some dodgy romantic novel? Too right there is. And a jolly big one at that!

Golden Horseshoe 2015, that’s the reason. IP and Buster have pencilled in the 40k Novice Golden Horseshoe for May of next year. They clearly have plans, big plans, so who am I to stand in their way?

However, a wheel fell off before we got fully into our strides and it has taken a week or so to get rolling again.  Rupes’ missing wheel was that he became a serial shoe flinger, never near to the yard and only once in the field when executing some complicated back flip that all surfers need to master don’t you know.... A week passed whilst we waited for our best of the best farrier to come and visit (he’s not very local geographically speaking), Rupes sat on the sidelines getting grumpy until his shoe was replaced, over reach boots surgically attached and he got going again.  Then just when I thought it safe to start making serious plans, IP’s wheel fell off...

IP, unlike other (more common) unicorns who live a celestial life eating non-fattening ambrosia and piaffing about on clouds, has a bit of trouble with her toes in the real world.  We’ve tried shoeing every three weeks, expensive and not the solution, we’ve tried using aluminium racing plates (ohh, silver shoes, just what every unicorn wants!), which work beautifully but only last to lunchtime.  And, sadly, as the workload has increased and discussions about average kilometres per hour have become daily topics, IP’s ability to keep front shoes on has decreased.  Following long and somewhat emotional conversations with aforementioned best of the best farrier, as well as with relations in Lambourn; with one hand over our eyes and quite a few Hail Marys, we’ve taken the plunge and gone barefoot.  Aside from putting back the get fit quick plan for IP, it has been a blessing.  Her hooves look better than they have ever done and she is back in a big way, which, of course, has nothing to do with the increase in her waistline since she’s been off games.

Rupes has been manfully doing the sunrise thing solo whilst IP has been left, sulking, back at the ranch.  Only a Highland can take sulking to new heights, we’re thinking Olympic level sulking worthy of a very spoilt toddler who’s been told that one chocolate biscuit is enough, may not be sufficient but it is enough...  Not only has Rupes been getting all the attention, he’s also been hanging out with her best friend! Quelle horreur!

To ease the tedium of being off games, she made a short video of her plans for the summer...

Until next time, with love Midge, IP and Rupes xxx


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Now Playing Video One "Off Road"