The last week has been a bit of a soggy one - although I have enjoyed seeing the rainbows, with the fields looking more like a marshland than grazing paddocks. I’ve put the horses out when I can and luckily, they haven’t galloped about much – I think they were grateful to be out!

Horse in coat

It has dried up over a couple of days thanks to the wind and some sun and the grass has started to come through faster, yippee! The only downside is something else has come through and in a huge bumper style this year – the dreaded sycamore seedlings! Be careful to check your paddocks for them - although if like me you don’t need to look far this year, we went for a stroll round one of the summer paddocks and I said ‘oh look that looks quite shiny over there’ – well I nearly fell over when we got to that section, it was covered in thousands and thousands of seedlings. I then looked across the field to where the sun had been in my eyes and seen even more! I’ve read on a few forums that it’s terrible this year so just be cautious for your neddies and put hay out to stop them munching the seedlings if you can. We spent half an hour yesterday evening pulling them up and only cleared a 2m by 3m section – I think it may take us all summer at this rate so hoping to repair the mower with the basket and get them mowed and collected - apparently, they are still toxic for a while even after cutting.

Bob was a bit naughty at the start of his lesson last week, he had a melt down on the yard as he got spooked by a van, so I walked him in hand in the arena for five minutes which seemed to calm him – well until I got aboard! I managed one stirrup before the spinning and leaping about started – how I stayed on was an amazement to me, my instructor and my partner and I think a disappointment to Bob. Thank you to my Pilates instructor and physio for strengthening my back and core to keep me aboard! He messed around for a few more minutes before ‘resetting’ and beginning to focus.

Double rainbow

We spent the lesson making him think - my partner did say that would be hard as there is only air between his ears, by putting out wings to weave in and out of, poles to go over set at different spacings, and also set in V shapes. It really worked and he settled well, being very responsive and more focused – he’s not a horse that can do the same thing over and over, so I always need to have him thinking and not knowing what we are doing next. I’ve used the same set up but done different exercises over the week and even put a small fence in, all which he did perfectly. Fingers crossed he does the same for the lesson at the weekend!

Person riding horse

With it being muddy and shedding season, it’s safe to say the horses look a bit of a mess! Autumn always looks bad as she loses her hair in clumps, I call it her ‘spring mange.’ I have found though that pig oil has been my go to for their lower and upper legs, its helped keep them cleaner and so much easier to get the mud off, plus its cheap. I’m currently trying to grow Bob’s mane out at the moment and I forgot how muddy he likes to get it but I am also putting a small bit of the pig oil on that and it seems to keep it quite clean, and he’s also not rubbing it as he did in previous years. Aria’s been rubbing her tail a bit when in the stable - thanks to the early midges that are everywhere, so I’ve got her on a sweet itch lotion already which seems to be reducing it. I just hope she doesn’t itch too much as the shows are not far away now!

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