New Year in this part of Wales is currently being ushered in with more ridiculous weather! Arctic gales and horizontal rain have persisted all day, progressively getting worse and our third bout of snow in so many weeks came and went last night. Not a snowflake was in evidence at 10pm when I tucked the horses up but by 3am everything was white and at 7.30 am this morning it had all disappeared. How bizarre is that? It’s also a full moon which can stir things up. All I can say, is at the moment, it feels like all hell is breaking loose!
I have learned an important lesson today. In my effort to get the horses out onto a fresh piece of ground (everything is soggy – understatement!), I fenced off part of an unused field, matted the gateways and lugged water across from the water trough. I was freezing and plastered in mud by the time I finished (which should have been a clue), necessitating me to strip off in the kitchen and throw my clothes straight into the washing machine, then have a scalding shower to warm up. Coffee and cake brought me fully back to life after that. The only upside was an exfoliation for my face in the raging wind and rain.
Two hours later, you guessed it, the field was utterly trashed and the horses had dug a mud bath to roll in, just because! They came in with big grins on their faces and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t amused. Talisman was dripping in mud so it was his turn to have a shower – his clothes were washed while they were still on his back! All in all, I created a LOT of unnecessary work for myself, so the horses will have their privileges withdrawn until the ground dries up a bit. They will go out in the school with a haynet for a few hours each day, then in a corral in the field for another few hours on good bits of ground, enabling me to limit the damage to 8m x 8m a horse, per day! I spent another hour divetting the field in the gale after feeding them. No more ‘Mr Nice Guy’!
Xmas came and went as did New Year’s Eve. A friend stayed for Xmas, which was a good excuse for some special cooking and baking and we went out on mountain bikes on Xmas day after doing the yard. I was keen to explore the local forestry to see if I had missed any riding routes, as my hacking options are now limited with the waterlogged ground. However, ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ and all that……my bike got a puncture in the depths of the forestry which meant I had to push it a long way back to the main logging track where it was left, while my friend cycled home to collect his car and return for the bike. This left me with rather a long run home in hiking boots which was knackering and painful! The next day, Talisman continued his jumping training which doubled as a photoshoot. It’s so useful to see pictures. Every one gives you such valuable information about you and your horse.
Onto New Year. I am not very social and definitely not a party animal. I prefer a quiet time in front of the fire to pontificate about what’s gone, where I am now and the best way forward. Then early to bed! I can’t blame it on age. I’ve always liked it this way. On that note, I wish you, mankind and the planet progress in 2018. Exciting times are upon us!
Pics: Sporting a cat ‘hairdo’; Talisman working, jumping and in the snow; view at 1200 feet hacking in mist and sun