Today's weather was the best we've seen in the Morvan, the sun shone a bit, and there was no threat of rain. The fishermen were out in force on the lake - maybe they are celebrating their new President?
Once we came out of the woods and back beside the lake again, they suddenly realised that this was a SHORT hack and the speed of the walk became noticeably brisker! But the funniest thing is that we are now calling a two and a half hour hack SHORT - a few weeks ago we considered anything over two hours to be quite long!
We watched the distance build up on Everytrail, and as we passed the 500km mark we cheered, punched air and shook hands. There was no-one there to witness it but us and the horses, and in the great scheme of things it's not a big event, but it means a lot to us.
We've pushed ourselves as far as we could go - we have no doubt that the horses could have done more, but we're both at the end of our resources, with sore backs, bums and joints. In addition to the physical fatigue, I found the responsibility of navigating for three and a half weeks, through unknown and sometimes difficult country, very wearing mentally. I feel like I've run a marathon, and I suppose in our own way, we both have.
|The very last French "Through the Ears" shot|
The emergency veterinary kit has travelled over 500km in my saddle-bags and was only ever needed once, when Gigi had a mystery cut on her fetlock.
The horses are slimmer, but fitter. Flurry no longer looks quite so cobby, he looks like a trim little horse! You can just see Gigi's ribs, despite the feed Anne has been shovelling into her twice a day, but she started the Trek a little bit thinner than we would have liked. Both horses have changed shape noticeably, they have muscled up tremendously in their hindquarters and in their shoulders. Their saddles are not fitting as well as they used to, but despite this we've had no lumps or sores under the saddle or on the girth-line. Gigi has some new white hairs under her saddle and Flurry's hair is a bit worn where one of his numnahs rubbed it a bit, but otherwise they are great.
And their feet? They're definitely in need of a trim at this stage, they haven't seen hard ground in four weeks. The Renegade boots have done a great job of protecting them, and there is no way we could have accomplished this without them.
|Holey Renegades, Batman!|
|Flurry and Gigi, in front of the Chateau, blissfully unaware that it's all over|