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03/08/2013

Amai, it’s a while ago… But we shall start at the beginning.

The previous time I wrote, I just had sent my hoof shoes to the Netherlands, so I had to find a meadow for at least 1 week. I decided to call a forester because I saw they use natural grazing in the neighborhood. It was a good idea, I got a nice quiet spot at an old Schelde arm, from back in the days when rivers still were allowed to run freely. I stayed there a week to wait for my shoes. For being stuck one week it was the ideal spot!! It was hot so I jumped every day like 10 times in my private swimming pond. I did the laundry, greased the leather, read a bit and biked every day to Zingem, where I enjoyed daily from the free coffee, cookies, cheese and wine in the local Okay, and I went for a drink in my pub in Zingem: Het Paradijs (The Paradise). I began to feel very much at home. I also got visit from Ruben and Leentje, Femke and my parents. It were summery laziness days, but still filled with excitement if the shoes would work if they came back.

After a bit more than a week the shoes arrived, just on the day my parents came for a visit. I left again, full of excitement if my shoes would hold on.

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But after 9km (in Oudenaarde), my shoes seemed to break down again, really a bummer! Meanwhile, I had spent a lot of money on them and I was hanging around A LOT OF TIME around Oudenaarde. First my father and I tried to do some repairing so the shoes would better hold. But it was a lost battle. The battle with the hoof shoes was given up. However I still think shoes are better for horses, and it should be possible to design better ones which don’t break down so quick.

The only 2 other options were giving up or iron horseshoes. So it was clear, the horses would get iron horseshoes. Even though I had it very hard with it!! I called around for a blacksmith and the next day he already came. It was quit some work!

It went quit well, in the beginning the horses (and me) were some frightened and stressed, but that went over. In the irons, I also let him put widea points, little irons points of a harder sort of metal, so the irons are longer useable and the horses have more adhesion. This was a good choice with Ilea’s slow way of walking. (on the last picture, my father and I are drilling holes to put the points in)

The day after this Tatjana also came by. Especially because she wanted to take over my red mini bike, since I got 2 newer ones (with accelerations )from my parents. Nu I can also go biking when I have a visitor. Lately I had driven around a lot of people in my bicycle cart, but this couldn’t keep on continuing.. And the joy of biking has way improved since I’ve got accelerations!! It was nice to see Tati again.

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The next days I followed the Schelde further to the South. And the horses with their new irons did well. My parents followed me for 1 more day, after which I was a few more days alone on the road before Ruben arrived again to travel along a few days. After the troubles with the hoof shoes, I had enough of the misery, and I hoped really to go further fur a while without a lot of troubles.

And actually the mast 2 weeks were without troubles. Everything goes well at last!! The horses are used to hills and fly on it, the on and off harnessing and preparing the meadow are a smooth routine. And most days we do around 15km. Mostly I rise up at 6 in the morning to go early on the road, in this way we can stop before the biggest heat.

It was nice that Ruben travelled along for a while. Nice company and the work was divided in 2. In on place where we stayed, we met a very nice woman with her daughter, were we had a cozy drink in the evening, and chatted till very late at night. The next day I stayed a while, because I was too tired ro get up early, and Ruben biked back to Belgium. That evening I had another cozy evening, but I went early to my bed I got again a lot of food (mostly vegetables), harvested some mint and lavender (I use the lavender to make flagrance sacs to sell). And the next day I left again, back on my own.

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I’ve got visit now, my story isn’t finished, but soon more will follow!