Staying warm

A top tip to keep warm in ‘arctic’ weather for you and your horse is to wear wool! You can’t beat good old fashioned wool. Let’s face it, it’s been used by humans and animals for millennia! I wear a long hand-knitted cardigan which goes right down to my knees indoors and Talisman sports a woollen blanket in between stable rugs, adding warmth and reducing the number of layers required (and the weight on his back). He also has a woollen exercise blanket if the full blanket is too much which, though it has no fastenings, doesn’t move once wedged between rugs.

Warm feet

In the super-cold and wet weather, dry your yard boots overnight (mine go in a cupboard next to the Rayburn) so you put your feet into warm boots in the morning (oh joy!) and plaster them (if they are leather) in grease each day when you do your horse’s hooves. Result – dry, warm feet and your boots will last a lot longer too! Warm legs also help to keep your feet warm and I am a great fan of ski salopettes for that!


Flowers to lift the spirit!

In the relentless depths of winter when light is limited, it’s freezing cold and the omnipresent colour outside is grey, a bunch of flowers does wonders to lift the spirit!


…..colour in the fruit bowl works too!


Muddy tractor wheels

This is for fellow smallholders or those in possession of a tractor! The best way to clean your tractor’s wheels after doing a muddy job (before you bring it back onto a clean yard or drive) is to use a hoof-pick. Works a treat!