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    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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Mucklerazt Horse Camp

Playdoh’s Brave Try-out

Daughter, Susan’s Playdoh is a six-year-old Paso used to delicate gait events. She decided to broaden his experience and entered him in a 25 mile endurance test held in the  hills of Weiser State Forest in southern Pennsylvania. The test was  a friendly competitive event but Susan was only interested in her pet’s conditioning and was not about to press him beyond his limits. She invited me to join her in the 3-day event and I couldn’t thank her enough for the adventure.

We ate collectively in a cabin on the camp site.  Food was provided by the organisers.  Breakfast was at 5 o’clock so that the ride would take place mostly in the coolest part of the day before the brutal sun reached its zenith. Reveille was sounded by a rendering of “Star-spangled Banner” over the P.A. system–very, very effective!

But first you have to get the horse into the horse-box :

Click on the pictures for the best detail

Playdoh’s current home

You can lead a horse to the horse box, but . . . . . .

. . . . first you have to explain where you want him to go . . . . . .

. . . . . . showing him where to step . . . . . . .

. . . . . NO Way am I going in that trap! . . . . . .

. . . . . well, perhaps for you I will . . . . . .

The spectacular views from Weiser State Forrest – This is the hang-glider launch

The camp site–Portapotties to the fore. Our spot is the open white horse box in the distance

Mutual admiration

Horses’ tuck shop — electrolytes available

Tips from seasoned endurance riders

Vet inspection

Horse of a different colour

Ten legs are better than……? George Orwell, I think?

The Vets

Playdoh gets his turn

. . . . . and has to show off his paces.

His tent is ready. We are going to be a bit crowded in there!

Tethered next to a shady tree where his hay, water bucket and pellets are.

Supper time

Nice looking but the red ribbon on his tail warns that he kicks — don’t get too near the rea end!

Happy pair

Everybody’s equipment at the ready,for cooling down the horses when they return from the ride.

The ride master in thoughtful mode. He treated us all as his own family (Many members of which  were helping him organise the outing) and made expert and beginner feel equally at home.

The Ride Master’s house in the valley, from the Hang-glider Launch

I helped a bit (I-phone picture)

. . . and so to bed!


Young Playdoh made a great effort. He was the smallest horse in the pack but bravely tried to keep up with the big boys at the start. He was having to canter just in order to keep up with their trot! Susan  saw when he had had enough and wisely walked him back the last five miles alone.  All the other participants joined to give them a standing ovation when they came home, so impressed were they that they had completed the course.   But Playdoh was flaked out, and, after the vets had looked at him, rested up for the night. Susan decided not to ride him the next day even though he was fully recovered. She is going to give him some conditioning training in preparation for the next outing.


2 Responses

  1. I showed your pictures to my 19 year old grandaughter who has a white thoroughbred horse named Peppermint Pattie. She rides her as much as possible and Mother(my daughter) takes up the other times. She was fascinated as most of her riding is in the fields of farms near Scranton, PA. Believe it, Pattie does like hard peppermint candies.


    • John. Isn’t it amazing how it is the females of the family who become obsessed with horses? Ben

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