The arena is now almost complete!! It’s been really interesting seeing the progress each day and the steps it takes to build it going from a muddy field to the horses new ‘play area’.

We have been extremely lucky with the weather as its been dry every day for the build!

The builder is really nice and has even done some extra bits for us like adding a bit of the draining through the wetter part of the field to help it drain in winter, digging out the small mud track from the main yard to the stables for us and filled it with plainings so we don’t have the worry of getting the horse box of farriers van stuck in the wet weather etc.

We had a sneaky walk round the arena last night to feel the surface and it feels fantastic – sand and fibre, cushioning for the horses legs but not deep and very stable!

I’ve never had my own arena before let alone ridden in a brand new one so this will be exciting!

Can’t wait to get riding in there, which will hopefully be only a few days away once the final tidy ups are done – then it’s the task of getting the horses back to fitness for the spring/summer season.

I am shocked at how much muscle they have dropped so cant wait to get them built up again so I will have to do a lot of basic work to start up, then move to some pole work.

I’m sure they will be overjoyed at the thought of being put through their paces again!

Autumn’s old faithful head collar that I bought not long after I first got her (so 15 years ago!) finally gave up the other week as the bottom of the buckle fell off (luckily not when I was leading her).

In the interim she had to wear the bright pink one I had as a spare – it did not suit her!

Luckily her new one arrived yesterday which she got to model alongside a ride on fly mask for Bob in prep of the ridden work (he hates flies on his face).

I think Autumn likes her new padded head collar (I know I would if I was a horse) as it’s so soft.

She also got her new Le Mieux fly mask to try on which fitted her beautifully, I do like getting the old girl pressies 😊.

The flies have been horrific already and attack you in swarms, one day I had no choice but to borrow one of Bobs fly masks whilst poo picking – not the most glamourous look but it did the job.

Luckily that evening my partner order us a couple of human fly masks so I may look a bit like a bee keeper but if it keeps the flies away I’m happy!

I’ve bought a trial ‘summer’ fly repellent set for the horses which I’m going to be applying to see if it deters the flies or not as I’m running out of fly repellent options – I must have tried 90% of the ones available so fingers crossed we have found a solution!

We did have a big tragedy at the yard which has sadly put a dampener on things, the lovely little cat, we named Spook, that took up residence was hit by a speeding van in front of us as she crossed the road to the yard (why can’t people just do the speed limit??!), she managed to get to the yard and hide in the bushes where we got her out and realised she couldn’t use her back legs and was in severe shock.

We rushed her to the vets but on examining and x rays it was found her pelvis had been broken by the spine. I begged the vet to do anything he could but sadly nothing could be done and we had to say good bye which was devastating.

We are still trying to get over it but are struggling, as not hearing the meow for her breakfast each morning is so difficult.

We have decided to name the arena after her and also have a large planter with a plaque by it with her ashes and some flowers in it.

It is amazing how animals can touch your heart so much even when you have only known them a short time.

I’m hoping to finally get to share some ridden photos with you next time as we start the journey of getting the horses competition ready, and I’ve got to go on the look out for an instructor too as no doubt my riding will be shocking!

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