Saturday 25 September 2010

Day 3 on the Canterbury pilgrimage ... Smelly looking good

Caroline checked Smelly this morning and he has returned to his normal self and is in terrific shape.  He is in good spirits and Caroline is confident that he will do the eight miles from Cobham Manor Equestrian Centre into Canterbury.

Caroline was interviewed this morning on the Joe Talbot show on BBC Radio Surrey. She was not on too long but was able to explain about the Museum of the Horse (MOTH) initiative.

We have been asked why Caroline's horse is called Smelly.  It is his nickname - he is actually called Melmott - sired by a race horse called Piccolo.  His mother was called Time for Tea.  Smelly is 10 years old and got his nickname from the time he became particularly fascinated with something squashed on the road which he kept smelling.

Caroline will be joined on the final leg by friends Meipe and Gill, so there will be three riders going into Canterbury on Sunday.  

Friday 24 September 2010

Day 2 on the Canterbury pilgrimage ... Smelly resting

After giving Smelly a check-over, before embarking on the next leg of the Museum of the Horse trip to Canterbury, Caroline Baldock has decided to rest him.

Yesterday went really well, Smelly handled all the trip without any problems and was in good shape when he got to Turvins Farm for the overnight stay.  However, the next leg of the trip means a lot more road riding and Caroline felt that it would be too much for him. 

"We were all so excited about the journey and of course disappointed not to be doing the full trip, but the wellbeing of my horse is my priority," said Caroline.

The 'pilgrims' will definitely be riding into Canterbury from Chilham on Sunday 26 September. 

We will update you all on Smelly's progress tomorrow. 

Thursday 23 September 2010

Day 1 on the Canterbury Pilgrimage ... after lunch

We were all hoping that the weather would improve in the afternoon, but despite a few brighter patches over lunch the weather deteriorated shortly after Caroline and Smelly set off for for the final leg.  The heaven's opened and they got absolutely soaked - right through to Caroline's pants, I am told!  The terrible weather, combined with a bridle way which was so overgrown it was virtually impassable, made the afternoon exhausting and also led to Caroline going a bit off course - by about two miles.   But after checking the map and with a bit of help from Campbell, she and Smelly were back on course.

At Chevening, she was met by William, Carolyn and Amy, who was riding her pony Nutmeg and Amy's friend Suzanne.   On her way to Turvins Farm, they cantered on the grass, which was a really magical moment.  So, the first day Caroline experienced the worst day's riding she has ever had, as well as one of the best.

Smelly was brilliant all day - even negotiating motorway bridges without a fuss.  He has settled down for the evening and we are all amazed at how chilled he seems.

Caroline was planning to stay in haybarns on the trip, but  after the day she's had, the offer of a hot bath and a bed was too tempting.  Thank you to Turvins Farm for the wonderful hospitality.

Day 1 on the Canterbury Pilgrimage

Just made it to the lunch time stopping off point at Gravely Hill.

It has been raining almost since we left Epsom and we have had to meet up with Caroline to give her some weatherproof gear.   I am travelling in the back-up car with Campbell, who is the team's Rider Support.  The journey is going quicker than we thought it would when we planned it.  Smelly looks relaxed and is taking the journey in his stride, walking slowly and stopping off for grass at regular intervals.

The day started at 7am at St Martin's Church in Epsom, where Simon, the Vicar, gave both Smelly and Caroline a blessing for the journey.  Meipe and Gill joined us at the church, although they won't be able to do the ride with Caroline as both have horses that are not well enough to take part.   Meipe plans to join Caroline for the last leg, riding a friend's horse - more of that later.

It was good to see Jim at the Church seeing us all off, one of the other Shadow Trustees.  He is joining the party over the weekend.   Coran, who has been planning the filming for weeks now, is too poorly to coming along today, so Alec has stepped-in.  Thanks to Alec for the help and if Coran is reading this, we wish you better soon.

At Walton Common we met a woman who recognised Caroline and Smelly from some press coverage she had read about the journey and the Museum of the Horse initiative.

We chose this spot because of the views and the fact that we could get a few good photographs and some film footage - but sadly, the landscape is covered in grey cloud it is just bucketing down with rain.    Hopefully we will be able to get  a picture or two (as I am writing this, the cloud is lifting at bit and the rain easing, so we may get better pictures than we think, we will see).

Thursday 10 December 2009

The Hansom Carriage

“What did you think about carrying Lady Godiva up Whitehall?”

“Well, apart from the fact that you are a bit old to reveal everything, it's just as well you took me.”

“Why?” enquired Lady Godiva?

“Well, I am so hansom everyone was looking at me.”

Friday 22 May 2009

Falling Off

“You threw me!” Said the rider

“No I didn’t.” said the horse. “You fell off.”

“I didn’t fall off.” Said the rider.

“Yes you did.” Said the horse.

“If I had thrown you, you would have landed miles away.”

Saturday 9 May 2009


“I’ve got my maths GCSE.” Said the rider.

“I can do maths.” Said the horse.

“Don’t be silly, I bet you can’t even count.” Said the rider.

“Of course I can.” Said the horse.

“OK, what is 1 plus 1?” said the rider.

“11 of course.” Said the horse.