On Friday I realized that I began my ‘Funny Farm’ feeding routine with the stars still bright in the sky and then replicated the performance that evening with a glittering solar system scattered above me.
This is due to three things:
Firstly to fit my day into the 24 hours provided by my clock, I had to begin at 5.00am.
Secondly it was a busy, daylight filled Friday and so by the time evening hunger was making the Funny Farm family even more pleased to see me, it was dark once again.
Thirdly I looked up! The much wished for rain has been dumping thousands of gallons at a time on us over the past week, which has meant cloudy skies hiding those stars; Friday was a welcome break in the overcast heavens.
Since then Halloween has come and gone, but thunderstorms are still persisting. Fortunately horses (or at least our horses), are not fazed by the thunder, or the stark, horror movie scene that lightning creates on the hill for a fraction of a second at a time. I looked for ghosts in the barn, on the hill, I felt there should be some – both human and indeed equine, but was treated to nothing more than ‘Spook’ our neighborhood owl, as I made him jump (well take off) when the dogs and I went out for our last pee. That sounds like I had a pee in the bush too… I didn’t. So anyway, at least I saw an owl on Halloween.
Mud is an unusual issue in the Caribbean you would think. I guess for some visitors who get the rare opportunity to dust off their Wellie boots, it makes it feel like a ‘real’ farm. For me, the horses and ponies it makes it messy, treacherous and disappointing. We have lots of water for a change, so it’s tempting to spend hours bathing the team. We do this, but it’s a very unsatisfying task. Have you seen a 1500lb, light grey horse, roll completely upside down in brown, gooey mud? Did you know the rolling reflex is brought on by being bathed? We also have a totally white horse. What can I say…
Treacherous, because the property develops a skating rink type feel. Horses are not known for their skiing ability, but ours do seem to feel that they should work on it. Watching a thoroughbred mare prance down the side of what is in fact a mountain, in the rain is I am sure, close to being witness to a total novice downhill skier hitting the black run on day 2. I really do close my eyes and cross my fingers a fair bit on days like this.
Disappointing as we are unable to teach in such slippery conditions. Comparing the sport to sailing is a common habit of mine, but this is tougher when it comes to weather. When the storm passes – sailors go back on the water. If we want to horse ride, we have to hope for full-on sunlight for 24 hours to allow us a solid, safe surface.
But we keep the routine going, come rain, stars but mostly real Caribbean sunshine – it matters not whether the team has worked or rested, they need to be cared for -all day -everyday.
At least the ducks are happy, Quack, Quack…