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Naturally Horses

Norfolk Naturally Horses Holiday 2007

(See the pictures)

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Heather writes:

For the first time in three years the forecast was for fine and sunny weather.  After Ken's clinic where it was almost like mid monsoon season, coupled with the abysmal track record of the previous Naturally horses holidays, it seemed almost too good to be true.

We all arrived bang on schedule to settle the horses down in their individual post and rail paddocks bathed in the most glorious sunshine.  After a quick visit to the local Pub for refreshments we met at 4 to walk the horses down to the beach.  Being altogether in a herd it gave the horses the confidence they needed when faced with the utter alien landscape of wide open skies and unquantifiable acreages of white sandy beach at exceptionally low tide.

Sheril bought her mule, Muffin along.  I have seen other horses take one look at Muffin and behave as if he was the devil incarnate, but oddly enough, on this occasion each horse took an interest in him but showed no sign of being afraid.  Poor Muffin, it could be that is why he permanently reminds me of Eeyore.  Slightly sad, mostly droopy and in desperate need of a hug.  No wonder he is so sensitive.  It cannot be easy being the only mule around.

Some of our husbands and partners came along and we made for a very entertaining (if a little rowdy at times, Mrs Lockyer) group at the Local for dinner.  We separated ourselves from the men - so it was the men at one end of the table talking about whatever they talk about and the women at the other talking about horses.  What an opportunity for us all to enjoy the company of like minded people whilst eating the local fish and partaking of the excellent house wines.

Saturday dawned bright and breezy.  We assembled in the field to go down to the beach to play games loosely based on the usual 7 games.  This has the dual effect of relaxing the horses and the owners by keeping them moving and laughing before facing the day ahead.  Tragedy struck.  The tide was so high there was no beach left.  Apparently it was the highest something (solstice? spring tide?) tide for 12 years, so we adjourned to one of the larger paddocks and played there.  The photographs tell the story of copious amounts of cheating, laughter and a mainly total disregard of the accuracy of the tasks.

Unfortunately Carole Lockyer was so galvanised by the prospect of winning the Naturally Horses Annual Challenge Trophy, she pulled a ham string on the pen ultimate race.  This put poor Carole out of the running for the rest of the holiday.  Fortunately her daughter, Claire came to join us, so at least Mac was able to get out and about even if Carole was forced to sit in the sunshine with a bag of frozen peas under her leg.

Later on, Sheril and Cathy went off to do a 12 mile ride to Brancaster and back, whilst Carol Russell, Claire and I settled for a shorter ride to Hunstanton.  Gill and Simon just did their thing closer to home on the beach with a lamanitic recovering Phroebe and Jackson, meanwhile.  It was great as the women did their horsey thing, without guilt, as the men went off to King's Lynn for a 4 hour round of golf.  Everyone's needs were catered for and we all had a brilliant and exceptional time doing things we would only ever dream of doing.  We met back at the White Horse much, much later to swap stories and hear about the 4.5 hour ride to Brancaster and everything that went on to make this such an epic first, - and also to eat and drink amidst much laughter and hilarity.  Later, the Naturally Horses Annual Challenge Trophy was presented with full Military Honours - well, a round of well deserved applause actually - to Sheril and Muffin who won the games with an accuracy and flair rarely seen at this event.

Sunday morning dawned fair and bright.  The tide was too high for beach riding, so we ate copious amounts of eggs and bacon, packed our bags and went our separate ways.  Everyone happy and having had the time of their lives in such a wonderful location.


Could this man possibly be wearing a thong?

Mmmm, are there any sweeties for me, too?