Sorry if you now have the early Nineties track stuck in your head!

For most people, Januarys are for “new year, new you” quotes, resolutions and goals for the year. Sadly, for me, it has been more about surviving the month. I saw in the new year in bed with flu, although it was a great excuse to catch up on Oppenheimer and Barbie, as there is barely time for TV usually. It was the first time I can remember being too ill to even look after the horses. Luckily my partner was able to cover for me – the blessing of having them at home!

What wasn’t a blessing was the weather gods deciding to make it rain for the entire month, completely flooding the summer paddocks, and making the winter fields so muddy that, even with my few mud control mats, the fields were becoming unusable. The horses were having to come in during the day, which is not my preferred way to keep them, as I like as much turnout as possible. But the mud was becoming so deep I was worried about leg injuries, and with Mister already suffering a damaged hind suspensory injury, this was a necessary unkindness.

Black horse

Since the arrival of Daisy, I was also juggling an extra horse on land. I borrowed a friend’s young mare, so she would have some company her own size and age, but this did not go to plan! The young mare I borrowed had come from a large herd and was lower in the pecking order. She and Daisy were in a field on their own, and had largely been left unhandled on their own. One day, I went in the field to get Daisy in for her first vaccinations, and the mare had taken "top spot" and didn’t take too kindly to me being near Daisy. Before I could react, she spun, double-barrelled me and sent me flying across the field. Thankfully, despite a very sore and swollen thigh, the injury was largely superficial, but enough to make an already difficult January a bit harder.

To finish January, Daisy managed to contract equine influenza – as the saying goes: like owner, like horse! Unfortunately, she has only had two of her three jabs, so is not yet fully vaccinated, meaning her symptoms have been quite bad, but manageable. She is still eating and drinking normally, which is the main thing, and never suffered too much of a fever, just a runny nose and dry cough. Django and Mister are fully vaccinated and are showing no symptoms, thankfully.

They say things come in threes, and it’s not even 31 January, so let’s start again in February, and treat January like a taster session for 2024.

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