No more Mr Nice Guy!

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 could! 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 and his clothes were washed while they were still on him! All in all, I created a LOT of unnecessary work for myself, so the horses will have their privileges withdrawn until the ground dries up. 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!

Chris version

 Pics: Bryngwyn in full stretch, as only a cat can do; Talisman working, jumping and in the snow; view at 1200 feet hacking in mist and sun



8 thoughts on “No more Mr Nice Guy!

  1. Sounds like you are experiencing what is typical in the Great Lakes Region of Canada, where I live. Mud from October to December ( Except last year when we had a more typical English winter) and then a return to it in March to May. Sacrifice paddocks are required and mud covered blankets (rugs) are a given. Ugh. I like your idea of mats at the gates, they don’t seem to be considered here.

    This year we are experiencing less than normal cold temperatures with extreme cold warnings(-20 C at night, -15 C day, with wind chills to -30C) since before Christmas. We are struggling with freezing water pipes and that makes more work in the stables. Plenty of snow to keep the horses clean, but too cold to school them. The indoor tends toward dust in the cold air which makes it more unpleasant. I used to brave the cold to hack, but passed on it this year. My boy is getting down time, but the horses do get turned out.

    Your outdoor school looks inviting. Lovely pictures of you and Talisman. Hope the weather improves soon. Your springs do come earlier than ours. Happy New Year!


  2. Hi Lesley, I really mustn’t grumble when I compare to what you have to endure and I will be better prepared in future as I feel we will get worse weather for longer going forwards. I really don’t know how you cope. You all deserve medals over there! New regime started today with turnout in the arena, then the corrals in the field (and a ride in between). Talisman was fresh and put it to good using giving me the start of elevated work now he is more up in front. Wow!


    1. Ah, riding in snow is a good way to introduce passage! Love that feeling. Brief intervals to build muscles.

      No matter what driving cold rain is unpleasant. Certainly your venue for hacking is enviable, enough to help get through the miserable weather, I’m sure. 🙂


      1. One thing about living where I do, my horses are ‘weather proof’. I ride in pretty much all conditions, because I have to! And actually, I quite like being in the middle of the elements.


  3. All looks rather like Penley! Appalling weather here too, and we only have a handkerchief pocket garden to contend with! The dogs are fed up of getting hosed down!

    Talisman looks well!

    M xxx


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