Springtime at the Country Centre

IMG_2157Jamie the donkey insists that he should have the same privileges as the ducks and bunnies, including eating their breakfasts!  He is trying hard to pass as a ‘Pet‘ in Pets Corner! The Passion Fruit plants that decorate ‘The Burrow’ have finally become useful. As they fruit they will provide food for the parrots and tortoises.

passion flower


Squirt does have a very hard life

Everyone is improving their riding skills and the herd continue to surprise us with their new found working ethic. Well most of them…


Bunnies are featuring this month with the ‘Montessori white bunny’ visiting us at sunset for food and water.  He has been AWOL for quite a few weeks now from Century House, but seems quite chilled about the whole thing and is holding off going back to school till the exams are over.  ‘Marsh Mellow’ is in the isolation ward due to some particular nasty itchy skin, whilst everyone else is trying their best to do what you are supposed to do in the springtime – with varying degrees of results..!  This does still include the Rooster with a penchant for Muskovy ducks!!!

Barney the Barn Cat likes as always to be in the action – he is fearless around hooves and will strut around the ring in the evenings if we have overlooked his idea of teatime!ak mento barney

Mento my baby, has been working hard for the past 3 weeks since his enforced sick leave.  I think back to 5 months ago when we collected him from the Race Track – he was a rearing, biting stallion.  Not anymore – in fact he is a complete wuss!  He is improving leaps and bounds in the schooling ring, but his bravado turns to jelly when he ventures outside his comfort zone of the flat, enclosed areas. A hill with ups and downs is so far from his previous lifestyle that we are taking it literally step by step and bracing ourselves when he has to navigate his long legs and me on top, downnnnnnnn hill..!!

night barn

Nighttime sees most of the team heading for their sleeping areas – some are closed up, some are let go, all with full bellies.  However one very special wild visitor has for the past 10 days graced us with his presence in the most incredible display of confidence, its almost spooky.  A Short-Eared Owl – I think a youngster, has decided that my feeding time activities are highly amusing and he joins me in the barn area whilst I am wandering around with the horses!  This beautiful bird of prey actually follows me from fence post to rail and allows me to approach within 3-4 feet.  He is often around for up to an hour if i am late finishing and I always say goodnight to him as I go home.  He has favourite perches where he can obviously see the rats and mice that have beaten Barney The Barn Cat into submission, staying into the evening occasionally swooping silently past our deck as he moves position.  I feel incredibly honoured that a wild creature would spend time so close to me, with such a wise and ‘all-seeing’ presence.  I will call him ‘Spook‘.

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