S, who helped keep Flurry going while I was out of action, was finally ready to join us for a hack with her own horse, Ugoline. Unfortunately, that was on Tuesday, when we were planning a long one - Fani wisely advised against it, as Ugoline has quite a bad chip on one hoof (she's barefoot too).
I offered to go for a short one with S on Wednesday, so we met up at La Florentine, and did the short loop behind La Gardette - about forty minutes. We were all a bit concerned about how GiGi would behave when her field companions abandoned her, as she can wind herself up into a right old state, and has even been known to jump out of her paddock! Thankfully, she was fine - she called a bit, but didn't start running around, and was quite calm when we got back.
S was very happy, the hack was very calm and low key, which was just what she needed as she has been fighting a battle with her nerve for some time now. We met again on Thursday and she was even more nervous this time - the collywobbles are strange that way, they can hit you in any number of completely irrational ways, and in this case, despite all of the good work she's done with Ugoline up to now, she ended up dreading Thursday's hack.
We did another short one, sticking to fields and trails because of Ugoline's chipped hoof. Flurry was in "safe sensible mode" and led all the way, Ugoline was a little star and the hack went very smoothly.
Friday was our third time meeting up, this time we went out first thing in the morning, which was much more comfortable for the horses as it's now quite warm in the middle of the day. We took the route Fani showed Anne and I last week, which brought us up and around a small mountain at the back of La Florentine. We had less than 100M of roadwork, then after that we were going through fields and along forest trails. We had a very long steep ascent, milled around on top of the mountain for a while and got a small bit lost, then we followed a likely trail back down again and luckily ended up in the right place, crossed the river and returned through the fields to La Florentine.
S was beaming by the time we'd finished - it was a really lovely hack, and neither horse put a foot wrong. To be honest, I was beaming too.... birds singing, sun shining, frogs croaking in the pond, butterflies flitting hither and yon, a happy, willing horse underneath me - what more could you want?
We arrived back at La Florentine to find a cowboy helping Fani with her young horses.