It was the last full week off for the kidlets last week and we tried to wind it down a bit ready for getting back into the school routine.
Our last trip of the summer was to the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley. It’s a wonderful place to visit for a peaceful day out and I highly recommend it.
To get there, you by-pass Woodbridge, one of my favourite places and drive past Sutton Hoo (kidlets declared they’d been there enough times thank you!) and Rendlesham Forest (famous for its aliens!). And onwards towards Hollesley following the signs to HM Hollesley Bay Colony otherwise known as Hollesley Bay Prison (where Jeffrey Archer lived for a while).
It was a beautiful day, warm and bright and the Suffolk countryside looked its best as we arrived at the Suffolk Punch Trust. If we’d carried on past the Suffolk Punch Trust, we would have ended up in Shingle Street, but decided to leave visiting there for another day as we spent the whole day at the Trust.
It takes an hour to drive there from here, but as the crow flies we’re only about 10 miles away. Some of my ancestors came from that area of Suffolk and I imagine they used boats to come down the coast and would probably laugh at the convoluted route we take today.
So, we petted horses and this one in particular seemed eager for attention. But they are all friendly and gentle.
|So friendly, so gentle|
There were also some ex-racehorses there as part of ROR (Retraining of Racehorses). As soon as they saw us, they rushed across the field to say hello. Once their rehabilitation is complete, they will go on to new homes.
|Retraining of Racehorses|
The youngest foal, Colony Dorothy, was born in April and they lost her mother, Colony Olive to a terrible colic in August. Dotty is now spending time with last year’s foal, Colony Calypso. So very sad. You can see a picture of Dorothy and Olive in happier times here.
|Dorothy and Calypso|
This chap is the father of many and the resident stallion, Besthorpe Achilles. Magnificent isn’t he.
We went on a tractor ride which was bumpy – but fun – and we learned a lot about the Trust and the horses thanks to our very informative guide. The kids were given worksheets when we went in. They look for different coloured flights (the ribbons used to decorate the manes) hidden in boxes around the stud and answer questions. When complete they choose a prize – a pencil or a badge. Not compulsory, but they enjoyed doing it and collecting their prizes as we left.
We sat on the grass to have a picnic, then the smaller kids played on the play equipment while I went back with my eldest grandson to revisit the horses in the stables. He was particularly taken with Colony Iris, aged 21, the oldest horse there. He also liked Colony Xing, the tallest (and still growing) horse. When we had our tractor tour we were told he will be bigger than Besthorpe Achilles (one and a half tons) and may reach a ton and three-quarters. That’s a lot of horse!
There are two sweet Shetland ponies, several Suffolk sheep (the oldest registered flock in the world), rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, Ixworth chickens (which almost died out and are still very rare today).
And pigs. New Zealand pigs.
|New Zealand Pig|
And rare Large Black Pigs – and some very young piglets! Another breed which was almost extinct not long ago.
|Large Black Piglets|
I wish I’d taken a photo of the Gypsy Cob. He was dumped needing emergency vet treatment as a foal, but my goodness you should see him now. There is a picture of him here – at the bottom of the page which also has information about the other horses.
My eldest granddaughter had a horrible fall at the swimming pool last week. She wasn’t running or messing about, just walking back to the changing rooms when she slipped at the edge of the pool and crashed down hurting her leg and elbow and falling back into the pool. She was very shaken up with a nasty bruise on her elbow. Poor little thing – I thought she’d had her share of accidents after gashing her leg at the beach.
There is definitely an autumnal feel to the air and the early morning shadows are growing longer. (Sorry about the poo bin in this one!) This small tree cast a long shadow across the playing fields and the pointy shadows are made by the beach huts.
|7 o'clock September morning|
Dusty’s been enjoying the occasional swim. He seems to have even more energy now the weather is getting cooler. Sadly the same can’t be said for me.
I’m sad the holidays are over. I hated school myself and I’ll miss the children being around, although I'll still see them every day. I can never understand people who complain about the holidays and can’t wait for them to go back. Childhood rushes past in the blink of an eye – we should make the most of every second.
I will certainly miss being accompanied by mini-Batman on my walks!