The horses are finally living out – hurrah! Although I’ve had them in for the odd night of heavy rain (yes, I know I’m too soft), they are now out full-time, which means fewer stable duties. It does, however, mean more paddock maintenance and, boy, do we have a lot of that? The weeds are loving the growing conditions, so keeping on top of them is proving a challenge!

Horse eating

We have also had to wait for the ground to dry up to start repairing fencing. So, one sunny afternoon me and the other half had to spend time reinforcing a bit of the river perimeter fence in the other summer paddock, ready for the horses to move into, as the grass was shooting up. We had to make almost a barricade between the fence and the river after Freya’s escapade a few weeks ago, as I didn’t fancy fishing her out of the river if she decided to have one of her moments!

Cat on chair

Autumn went on a lovely hack in the sunshine with our new pal in the next village. It was so nice to be out in the sun exploring more lanes (even if we did get spooked by a herd of alpacas from behind a hedge). She is really enjoying her semi-retirement and exploring new areas with a new horsey pal, and it is doing her the world of good.

Bob’s back doing lessons again, which is great. I did have to point out to my instructor that he was getting a bit bored with constant flat work. So, I was introducing more poles, as the last thing I want is for him to go sour in the school. We adapted our lesson to have canter poles all down the long side of the arena, followed by two raised ones on a short side. He absolutely loved it and was so enthusiastic!

We had one meltdown when I wouldn’t let him gallop round, which consisted of a bunny hop, then a good few circles of some beautiful half-passing and hind leg action. My instructor, who has a dressage horse, was even jealous of his moves! There’s not a chance I could get him to repeat it if I asked him to do the moves, though.

Field

Next month, I’m looking at what’s happening around us to see what I can get him out to, as I need to bite the bullet and just go for it now. There’s a new riding club forming up the road from us too, so I’m hoping a few shows pop up which I can get him and Freya out to soon.

Freya is going through a stubborn stage at the moment where, if she doesn’t want to do anything, she just stops and refuses to move. It only lasts a minute or so, but it’s like a mini-protest from her. We will work through it, though, and she is getting better each day.

Horses

She has managed more poles being included in her pole work and is building muscle and condition well. She has started to show a bit of foot soreness on the hard ground/concrete so, although we have tried, I think she may have to have shoes on, at least on the front. The farrier is coming next week, so we will do a full check and see what is best for her.

Keep an eye on your paddocks. Even though I had cleared one, when I went to recheck it, thanks to all this warm weather, I found a number of sycamore seedlings that had sprouted from nowhere. Unfortunately, they are still lurking in our grass!

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