Once Mark and I decided that we were going to adopt Savannah, we paid her adoption fee and started to make preparations for her travel, She was to be picked up in Portugal at the charity stables of 'their Voice Portugal' on Monday, 6th October but she would not arrive with us until Friday the 10th!
Their trip was to be broken into sections with two 24 hour rests. This was THE longest week of my life! Mark managed to stay ultra calm all week while I was like something possessed! Every half hour I was checking the Facebook page to see if there were any updates and annoying everyone around me with my 'do you think she'll be there yet?' questions! (actually she hadn't even set off on her travels as I was asking this!). We then got a message from Becky to say they were on their way, had just set off on the first leg of their journey - which flung me further into hysteria!
1 sleepless night and a day later, we got a message from Kassy who was putting the horses up for the night at her stables in the south of France for their first 24 hour rest, She said all the horses had travelled fine and that they were now either in stables or in the field eating and everything was fine!
Relief! Then she sent a picture to each person who had adopted horses who were on the same lorry as Savannah, It was the first up to date picture I had seen of her, it was a side shot of her grazing in the field and she looked amazing after such a long journey, I think it was something like 12 hours travelling!
Next day and another message arrives to say they are all loaded up and on their way again, this time to Calais another 10 hours on board, More nail biting from me and zen like calmness from Mark! They were supposed to take the 2.30pm ferry from Calais to Dover however because of bad weather and rough sea, they could not allow them to travel. Next message was that they were getting on the 8pm ferry, which then turned into the 11.35pm ferry, By this time I had no finger nails left on my hand! They arrived in Suffolk UK for their second rest at 3am Thursday morning.
By this time I think I had worn myself out and so I slept, but woke very early Friday morning with the excitement of a 10 year old on Christmas day - I was getting a new pony! WOOHOO and she was to arrive at 6pm that evening!
However by this time, some of the horses had had enough and didn't want to load so they were late setting off on their last leg of their journey! Messages came through saying she would be with us at 8pm, Then there were roadworks, which delayed them further, so the next message was 10pm, more delays and it was 10.30pm, My excitement was starting to turn back into anticipation again so the fingernails of my other hand were now starting to become chewed!
11.30pm we get a message to say they are coming down our road, so Both Mark and I and our friend Heidi ( who had come to welcome Savannah, and arrived at 5pm, and who was now looking red eyed and very sleepy) all ran outside to see the lorry coming down the road.
SHE'S HERE!!! it was pitch black and out of the darkness came this huge lorry which has more lights on it than a Christmas tree, slows down to a halt. We could see all the faces of the horses looking out of the windows, We recognised them all from the facebook posts, but I could not see Savannah, she was on the other side.
The ramp came down and it was very much an OMG moment, The prettiest face looked at me and this very elegant horse slowly ambled down the ramp and was handed to me. She was really here! Me and Heidi took her to the stable, She walked calmly in to the stable, looked around and immediately proceeded to eat, just like she had been here all her life!
I don't know whether I was more relieved or excited, She was way more beautiful than I had envisaged,I couldn't stop looking at her! She had lost a lot more weight since the photos in France due to the stress of travelling, but she is stunning!
I haven't done a great deal with her since her arrival, other than let her eat, give her a brush, killed all the bugs which were living on her, de-wormed her and trimmed her feet. She needs to put a lot more weight for sure, but there is a quality horse in there which will come out again in a few months, I am still excited every time I look at her, I feel so lucky that she has entered our lives. We're three days in now at the time of writing this blog, and I think she is still bewildered by all the food which is just for her! She looks around calmly taking everything in, but its a look of awe, I don't think its sunk into her head yet that she's found her forever home, but it will! She is a little shy around people but that is starting to go too, the sparkle has come back in her eye and her body looks more relaxed, Sure she's tired and she's weak, but very very awesome to me!
I will give her a few more days before writing another blog, but trust me she will blow you all away in a few months! In the meantime I would like to thank Sharon Clarke who started Their voice Portugal, Kat Johnson who got me and Savannah together, Becky Wightman for organising the transport whom I must apologise to for my million ""is she on a transporter"" questions! Eastelms horse transport for getting them all to their various homes safely, and not forgetting Sam Silver - Savannah's other mum, for giving me so much information, photos and video footage and allowing her to come to me!
Thanks also to everyone else who works for Their voice Portugal for doing what you do, a difficult and heart wrenching job, and lastly to my husband Mark and my lovely friends who witnessed my slight madness during that week! I apologise to you all for driving you insane!