From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Wrapping it all up

We're home just over four weeks now and it's like we've never been away.  We're now acclimatised to the Irish Summer (we've grown webbed feet) and are settled back into our different routines, Martine with her garden, second horse and Dressage Ireland roles.
Flurry and Gigi have been resting happily/eating like pigs in Anne's paddock.
They've both had their feet trimmed.  Flurry needed almost nothing taken off his toes, but he was indeed quite long in the heel.  He's looking good now and Martine is going to start working him completely barefoot as soon as his holiday is over.  It was good to see that Gigi's heels are opening up nicely, but her feet still aren't quite up to the full barefoot life yet, so she'll continue to wear her Renegades for the immediate future.

Cinnamon settled right back in.  She seems to be sleeping more than before, perhaps, like the Ould Wagons, she needs to rest a bit after Le Big Trek.

Cookie got straight back into Cat Persecution mode.  The cats, Fatty and Skinny, are continuing to try to teach her that Cats are Friends, not Food, but they're not getting anywhere.  Cookie has now learned how to climb trees, so the only safe haven the cats have is on top of the stable roof.
Molly was waiting to greet us when we arrived home.  She seems to have pancreatitis as well as liver issues, but she's comfortable at the moment, thanks to the lovely vets Deirdre and Dave.

Martine and her Long Suffering Husband have made the decision to return to Provence.  They're hoping to leave towards the end of 2012 and will spend a full year there on a trial basis.  If it works out, who knows what could happen!  Martine has set up a new blog, Halt, Salute and... which will chronicle their horsey activities and their lives as they first of all prepare to leave Ireland and then settle in to Provencal life long-term.

Our fund-raising efforts were more than worthwhile.  We knew that our target of €5,000 was pretty ambitious, but we're now just short of €4,000, with a few more "promises" to be kept yet.  It would be great to break the €4000 mark, so if you've been intending to donate, now's the time!  It's all gone directly from to the Assistance Dog Program run by IGDB, barring cash donations which Martine will hand over in the form of a cheque shortly.

The auction of the limited edition print, Ma Blonde, donated by Irish contemporary artist Tony O' Connor, made €150, with only one bid!  Denise Barrett really wanted that print!

Anne hasn't settled back in as well as Martine, finding it really hard to settle into the daily routine after so much excitement !
The horses went to Martine's place initially but were soon moved up to Anne's place as she has an abundance of grass. The neighbourly farmer was going to top the paddock but the weather turned so wet he couldn't get into the field without wrecking the grass, as the field is on a slope. So our noble steeds returned to more grass than they had seen in months !

Lots of grass

More Grass
 But they weren't long working their way through it
Less Grass 
And then they were strip grazed into the rest of the paddock.

Diet Time
Poor Gigi has had her fair share of woes since we got back, Anne had noticed the hair under the saddle being rubbed at the start of the last week of the trek, and while she kept a close eye on it and changed to a thick merino wool numnah , saddle sores appeared about 5 days after she got home. Anne was intending resting her any way, but she really felt bad about Gigi.

Gigi had of course changed shape significantly during the period away, and it's obvious from these pictures that the saddle just wasn't fitting properly any more. But the sores aren't infected and as long as she isn't ridden they should heal well, but she will probably always bear these reminders of Le Big Trek, with white hair replacing the chestnut.

Unfortunately that is not the sum total of Gigi's woes. She suffers from photo sensitivity on her pink nose and Anne usually applies sun cream on sunny days, but after all the sun in Provence, and no problems, she had thought she wouldn't need it in Ireland's watery sun. But Anne was wrong. These sores are very slow to heal, so Gigi gets suncream on sunny days and derma gel otherwise, and Anne is on another guilt trip !
Poor Gigi's Sunburned Nose

Roxy, Anne's guide dog pup, has started training, and is on the Assistance Dog Program, which is appropriate ! Anne is going to visit her next Tuesday, as she has bonded well with her trainer, and shouldn't be too upset by seeing Anne again, it can be quite disruptive for the pups if they see their puppy walkers too soon after the separation. Anne will get another pup later this year but is taking a short break until August.

Fionn is loving being home, after three weeks in kennels, and is delighted with the freedom the garden offers him. Although he looks very grey he still has as much energy as ever and is getting nice long walks every day.

Fionn enjoying the sun
 The vegetable patch has suffered from Anne's long absence, and is mostly planted with leeks, onions and lettuce !
The vegetable patch
Anne:- Martine came to take Flurry back home last Tuesday, which for me really marked the end of our adventure, the horses had been together since last autumn, but Gigi quickly settled in with her new companion Pepper, who was Martine's children's pony.

 I want to say a big thank you to Martine for doing the navigating every day, my sense of direction is appalling and I'd probably still be stuck up a mountain somewhere if it hadn't been for her, it was a huge responsibility and she rose so well to the challenge.

Big thanks also to George, who was always there for us when we needed him, lunches, boot repairs, taxi horsebox, and putting on boots, always with good humour, we couldn't have done it without him.

It took me ages to figure out how to put all the maps together, and I'm not sure it was worth the effort but here it is ! Everytrail has also not added up the distances correctly, probably  because we retraced our steps, but we really did do over 500k!!

Le Big Trek Total at EveryTrail


  1. Hello from Jacksonville, FL, USA !

    Just found your blog and look forward to reading all about your journey!

  2. Hi KD, Welcome! Hope you enjoy reading it nearly as much as we enjoyed doing it :-)

  3. Great and interesting post. I like it.
    I also invite you to my blog. ;)
    Yours. Have a nice day.
    You can also find me on the fanpage and keep track of my work: ;]

  4. Amazing photos..! i really impressed about these photos.

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