I’m not sure why I was surprised, but the clocks going back an hour really caught me out this year. I just wasn’t ready yet for my winter yard routine.

I work late two nights per week, and so when it gets dark before I finish work I tend to leave the horses in for the day. The other horses all come in earlier than mine and once it is dark, mine seem not to appreciate staying out.

Shetland Pony

I am very lucky that the yard has a horse walker as I put it to good use on the days the horses stay in. They are already used to going on it for a good length of time and on days I leave them in, I build it up so they get a good exercise. Diva, in particular, really loves going on the walker and gets really cross if I don’t open the door quick enough. There is a lunge ring in the centre of the walker, and if you check out the Equesure Facebook page there is a video of Diva trotting unprompted through the door to put herself on it.

One slightly difficult thing is that with Diva, Mabel and Julius all being very good doers I have to balance the amount of hay they can have between what they need and enough to keep them occupied through the day. I do tend to use haynets for Diva and Julius to slow them down a little, but Mabel isn’t a greedy horse with hay and so has hers on the floor.

Horse in a muddy field

I also start to feed some fibre beet to ensure they have moisture in their diets as they are missing out on the grass. I monitor Diva’s feed intake very carefully, as winter is the time I can work on her waistline so she comes out of the winter a little slimmer than she went in. This seems to be the opposite of me!

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The trio have been raiding my bank account the past couple of weeks with a full hay delivery, 20kg bag of treats (lasts the a fair few months), farrier, and they were also treated to a back session each with a McTimoney practitioner as I wanted them given a good once over (think I need one too at this rate).

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