A sunny Sunday jaunt

For the last few days we have been having some lovely weather.  Pretty cold but bright and sunny.  The fields are starting to dry out – hurrah!

This afternoon I took advantage of the the weather to explore a new direction for Galahad.  We hacked right up the hill and had a little wander through the village.  We set out at lunchtime hoping that everyone would be inside having their Sunday roasts and it seemed to work – we didn’t meet a single car on the way up the hill.  We had to walk quite slowly though – Galahad has been that way before but not very often so he had to make absolutely sure everything was safe.  Very excitingly we met two horses going the other way.  That made us speed up!

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The village itself was a (very) little busier but I was so proud of Galahad.  He wasn’t fazed by the cars or the people and we went past a building site and a bonfire with no trouble at all.  Although he is very nervous he is also incredibly curious/nosy which helps a lot!

Coming back down the hill a man paused in his gardening for a chat.  At first Galahad was very restive and wanted to get home but after a couple of tries he stood perfectly still on a slack rein.  Such a good pony!

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We had some lovely views across the valley and beyond that as far as Exmoor.  It really has been a beautiful day.  Galahad was noticeably faster on the way down though.  He doesn’t care much for the view.

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We had a gorgeous ride and I am so looking forward to my next day off when hopefully we will be able to do it again, or even explore a little further!

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Light!

Look what we now have enough light for before I go to work!

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It has been wonderful to be able to ride every day.  No one else is about so it is just me and the pony.  Plus a lot of birds singing.  It is the best start to the day!  We probably haven’t been riding for quite as long as normal but that is no fault of the light – I am just struggling to adjust to the earlier mornings.  They are so worth it though.  We have enjoyed several misty hacks and have seen some pretty dramatic clouds forming.

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Luckily we haven’t got too wet though!  We have however made friends with this year’s crop of lambs.

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At any rate, we looked at them and they looked back.  I’m pretty sure that counts!

Feeling Well Again

Both ponies seem to finally be over their colds.  They have certainly taken their time!  They are no longer coughing,  the runny noses have stopped and we are all much happier.  Not that the ponies ever gave any signs of actually feeling unwell but they must feel the difference.

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From a selfish point of view it is lovely to be able to ride without constantly worrying about pushing for too much when they are not feeling fit – or even making them cough.  Galahad appears to be back to his normal level of fitness for the time of year  – that is to say not very fit but a lot better than he was.  He can at least trot a reasonable distance without puffing!

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It is so good to have them back to normal.  Once the light gets better we’ll be able to get some decent rides in.  Not to mention that now we will be able to go out and compete again, hurrah!

Galahad’s New Bed

We finally got around to buying some rubber mats for the ponies’ stables.   I have been meaning to get them for so long but I found all the choice a bit confusing really.  There are so many different options available and I was very keen to have multi directional drainage underneath but struggled to find many that offered it.  It’s not exactly something one can search for either!

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I eventually found what I wanted at our local farm supply shop.  I would have found it sooner but it wasn’t on their website and I only discovered it by trawling round their yard one very cold, rainy morning.

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The mats are now installed and as you can see are already blending nicely into the floor.  The ponies track a lot of mud around with them!  We should save a decent amount on our shavings bill now.  More importantly, the ponies seem quite happy with the new arrangement which is excellent news.

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Escape!

Two days ago, when I was calling the ponies in for their dinner, a gate got left open.  It only led into another enclosed paddock so it wasn’t an issue and besides, they wanted their dinner.  They wouldn’t be going away from the stables.

It turns out that fresh grass – greener than the stuff in their current field – is much more interesting than hay or even hard feed.  Both ponies went straight out of the gate and were soon munching away happily.  Sadly the excitement was a bit much for them so they also had to run around a bit.  The thing is, there’s a reason they haven’t been allowed in before to eat all that lovely juicy grass.

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It is on a pretty steep slope which is lovely in the summer but all the rain we have been having lately has made it just a tad slippery.   The ponies are both fine – they are not exactly delicate creatures – but the ground got surprisingly cut up in five minutes.  All gates will be kept firmly shut in future!

Stormy Weather

I seem to be writing a lot about the weather recently but it has been pretty dramatic.  On Monday we were hit by Storm Imagen with the wind gusting at 45 miles an hour and causing a power cut.  I was obviously at work for most of the day and missed a lot of the excitement.   The power stayed on there with just a few flickers of the lights.  It was very windy around town though, especially when I walked along the river to and from my car.  I had hoped that the wind might dry the fields out a bit but we are still having very heavy showers which are undoing any effect it might have.

Driving wasn’t as bad as I had thought it might be, although a tree in the village had completely snapped in half.  I got home to find that there was still no power so I had to see to the ponies by torchlight.  Galahad has improved immensely when dealing with torches.  He always used to absolutely hate them, which I assumed was because he couldn’t see what was behind them.  It’s a pretty sensible stance to take really.   However,  he does seem to be getting used to them.  He is still wary of them but I can at least catch him when I am holding a torch now and even check him over when he is loose.  It makes things so much simpler!

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The ponies’ colds are still improving.  They are not better yet but they are definitely getting there.  The other day though Galahad sneezed all over my sister’s freshly washed hair.  She was not impressed!

Yet More Rain…

It has certainly been raining this weekend!  We went out on Saturday morning and when we got back the stream had risen higher than it has for years.  We have a field gate over the stream which we had to fight to open as bits of wood were being swept into it.  We were a bit concerned they would damage the gate!

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I took advantage of the the time when I should have been at the dressage to clean the ponies’ trough and our rainwater tank which is something I have been meaning to do for a while.  I got filthy cleaning the tank and rather wet.  Now I just need to wait for it to refill – which shouldn’t take too long at the moment!

When we got out for our ride we found that the end of the lane had flooded again.  This time however Galahad walked straight through it – I was so pleased with him!  By the time we got back it was already starting to go down and the stream was a bit lower again too.  It is still flowing pretty fast though.

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The good news is that the ponies’ colds definitely seem to be getting better – they got less puffed when we were out and they are coughing less too.  Hopefully they will be over it soon.

Coughs and Colds

Both of the ponies have developed a cough and runny nose.  It is not really surprising given the weather and they are actually fine but it can’t be very nice for them.  I want to tuck them up in bed with a lemsip!  They however are behaving entirely as normal and getting absolutely covered in mud.

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Our rides have now been reduced to a gentle poddle along the lanes.  I think a bit of exercise is a good thing but we can’t do too much.  I am rather enjoying myself!  I have withdrawn from the dressage at the weekend though.  For one thing, nobody would appreciate me taking a coughing pony to spread his germs!  He is also obviously even less fit than he was and it just wouldn’t be fair to him.  It is a shame but there will be plenty of other things we can do in the future.  Hopefully by then there will be more light, I’ll be able to ride a bit more and Galahad will be rather fitter!