After a long, hot and dry summer, I think most of us with equines feared a wet autumn, yet – touch wood – the weather has continued to be fine with just enough rain to keep the grass growing for a little longer.
Now that Diva has finished showing for the season, I have turned her out 24/7 with Mabel as the grass is no longer so rich. She has put on some weight, but I check her feet and digital pulses along with trotting her up every day to ensure she does not succumb to laminitis. During the summer months she was usually in for the evenings to restrict her grazing, so it is lovely to see her out all the time.
I intend to keep her and Mabel out for as long as the ground doesn’t get too wet and boggy so fingers crossed it remains relatively dry up to Christmas, which would make the winter seem a little shorter. Poo picking the field in the lovely autumn sunshine is certainly no hardship either.
Diva will not be rugged all winter as her thick coat will give protection whatever the weather throws at her. I will rug Mabel when it is wet or very cold. She is a difficult one to rug at this time of year as she soon gets too warm and begins to itch if over rugged.
So far, I have had enough grass that I haven’t had to give them any hay. Mabel gets a small feed, but Diva doesn’t need any extra. The one thing I do ensure is a block of Himalayan rock salt in the field. I buy big chunks and put it on the ground near their water trough. The rock salt stands up to being rained on pretty well so is perfect for field use.
I do have a nice stack of hay ready for when the weather turns, but let’s hope I don’t have to use it for a little while yet.