Thursday (sept 5) the blacksmith came by. We worked together for about 5 hours to give the horses new irons. This time without a hoof stable. But often I could replace the hoof stable by keeping the legs in the air whereby he could work. I learnt to hold up hoofs “a la francaise” with a leather belt. Both me and the blacksmith sweated a lot, it was hard work!! The blacksmith had sympathy for the project, and did in the end 2 horses for the price of 1! And after the ironing he stayed for a while and we played together some guitar. A nice meeting!
After the ironing I was very tired, and we were allowed to stay another night, so I decided to spend the rest of the day at a small river with the dogs.
Friday we went back on the streets, arreee jee. I thought about doing 10km, not much since the horses had been standing for a while, and it rained a lot. (in the beginning I stayed a long time with Odille, and then it was waiting for the blacksmith) After 8km I started to look for a meadow or place to give them rest. Everywhere around me there were meadows, the most of them well locked! I stopped at a lot of farms, where most conversations started with “what are you looking here”, and ended with the saying that there are not a lot of meadows and grass in the region, hard to understand when you were surrounded all day by meadows… So it was a day with a lot of asking and as answer mostly non, non non and a couple more times non… The horses really begun to get tired and I was also really tired of the driving, because tired horses also make the driver work!!!! Above this all, my wheel also felt off my small cart (the one behind the cart to get water). But there was nothing else to do but keep on going. In the end I arrived at a farm where I heard I couldn’t stay there because they had have a lot of theft and they would get troubles with the police if they would let me stay :s But he said that somewhat further there was an abandoned meadow, so I decided to take water from the farmer and to go to the meadow. It was far from the road and way to it wasn’t achievable with the cart + it looked more as a young forest than as a meadow, so really hard to span the wire. But next to the bridge that went over the highway, I found a spot, admittedly not the most beautiful place to stay, and with very dry/ sparse grass, but there was nothing else.. That day I could go collect water again, I couldn’t repair the small cart because I didn’t have the right tools/ pins, so I could walk the 2km with 40 liters water, amai.. I was dead tired!! We did 20km that day in a hilly landscape!
In the evening a car suddenly stopped, and a couple with their son came out and I got immediately a Leffe in my hands We made a little chat, and before I knew it they were gone again to get tools for the small cart. This was quickly repaired, and I invited them in my cart. We chatted cozy till deep in the night, while their 3 year old son fell asleep. And they invited me for a bbq the next day at their home, 3 km away. I decided to go, a quiet day for the horses was welcome anyway!! My day was good again!
I could stand in a meadow with the neighbors, and the bbq was nice! There were a lot of people, and the whole night there was dancing and partying. The next day was somewhat heavier….. I decided to stay another day, what ok was for the neighbor, and held another resting day.
Today we’re on the road again, and I found a place to stay after km, with a graveyard nearby (where there’s always a tap to go get water). We’re now more and more in the neighborhood of “La Suisse Normande”, the name says it all: hills!!! Today I had to put blocks of wood under the wheels, for first in a very long time, and we went very poorly on the hill! But we made it again, tomorrow more from these kind of hills. Hopefully, the horses have good legs tomorrow!