February blew in with gusts of wind so strong that we spent days afterwards collecting buckets, tarpaulins, clothes, and anything else that wasn’t securely locked away or tied down! Although we also had a few snowy and rainy days, the majority of the month was beautifully sunny. Towards the end of the month we have been enjoying watching the almond blossom begin to bloom and seeing patches of the surrounding countryside turn pink and white. A truly stunning time of the year to be here!
Sarah and Lainy were in serious training for the Alpujarra Raid endurance ride at the start of the month. Chilli and Pelu were selected as our fittest horses so the first few weeks of February were spent getting them fit enough for the race. The Raid was held in the Contraviesa mountain range, which is a beautiful area well worth a visit. The event was fantastically organised and we all had a wonderful day out. The support crew were well looked after with hot drinks and cake and as for our riders, they looked like they were having the time of their lives. This could have been something to do with the hip flask of port they shared between them!! Chilli was the star of the show (not that we’re biased!), with even the official in charge of monitoring the horse’s heart rates commenting on how quickly Chilli’s heart rate returned to resting levels. It was a great day out and has really given us a taste of endurance riding as a sport. We are already on the look out for the next event, as well as planning to attend the Alpujarra Raid again next year of course!
We had fantastic news for our foster dog Brook, who has been adopted by Lainy and her family!! Brook has such a beautiful nature and with so much love to give, she is already proving herself to be a fantastic family dog. Solly is also due to join his new family at the start of March. He has been going on little outings to get him used to the idea of life away from the farm, although we have no doubt he will soon adjust to all the extra cuddles and treats!! We still have two foster dogs staying with us, brothers Bill and Ted. They are gorgeous boys who are just waiting for someone to take them home!
We welcomed the lovely Spice to the Caballo Blanco stables in the middle of February. She is a beautiful chestnut Arabian mare who we hope will become a new lead horse, as well as Chilli’s partner for endurance races! We are slowly getting her used to life on the farm but she seems to be taking it all in her stride.
One of our Silkie eggs hatched, but as soon as that happened all the chickens started fussing over the chick, abandoning the rest of their eggs to go cold! We removed the rest of the eggs and are hoping that we have some more chicks soon!
Our first overnight trek of the year also took place in the middle of February, with riders staying two nights at our accommodation just outside Orgiva. They were surrounded by beautiful orange, lemon and olive groves. We rode down to the river gorge, which is a perfect contrast to the deep snow they rode through below the Pico de Caballo later in the week! Jack and Ronnie the dogs also accompanied us on some of our day rides. Despite only having three legs, Jack has no problems at all keeping up with the horses. Ronnie is an Australian Kelpie with boundless energy. He absolutely loves coming on rides, but we have yet to tire him out! He even wants people to throw his stick for him at lunchtime, when most dogs are happy to have a rest and a lie down!
Sanson was treated to a thorough grooming after his time off…his coat is so thick that he never wears a rug and we’re not sure he even knows when it’s raining! He also has the most beautiful flaxen mane and tail which some of our volunteers couldn’t resist plaiting.
The end of the month has been mild and sunny, perfect weather for another overnight trek at the start of March!