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Monthly diary — February

Lucinda Green

Kenya was unbelievable. I'd been a bit nervous before the trip because although it was my tenth safari (eight of which have been with Tristan Vorspuy and Offbeat Safaris), I'd convinced nine US friends/clients to join me.

My gut feeling that they would all hit it off fortunately proved right and they loved Africa. My daughter Lissa, son Freddie, and his girlfriend, George, came too. Despite having hardly ever ridden, and not at all for six years, Freddie was amazing – and we didn't have to scrape him up once.

Africa's principal course designer – Mr E. Le Phant – deserves FEI status. Throughout the bush he flattens trees to whatever height and distance you fancy jumping. We rode up to 30 miles a day, often galloping alongside giraffe or gazelle. It still amazes me how incredible horses are at looking after themselves across the varied and sometimes difficult terrain.

Back home, unbeknown to me, all was going pear-shaped. Just four days after Bill's visit to the vet due to a thorn in his leg (see Jan 2011 diary), his forearm swelled up. Sarah called the vet and another thorn was found. But after initially improving it blew up badly. A flush-out and six-day hospital stay later, Sarah collected him having made special arrangements to stable him for a week at my friend Dianna's. On arrival Bill came down the ramp like a maniac, pulled Sarah over and promptly stood on her elbow. Suffice it to say it's still not right and I feel awful. With a teaching trip to Down Under this month, Bill is being banished to Derbyshire to trot up steep hills with Maddy Moffat…

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