Though the title seems somewhat sad, it’s generally what a British winter is all about. Though today we’ve gotten lucky and while it’s cold enough to freeze my hands off, the sun is out and the sky is blue and it’s all rather pretty.
Apologies again for my absence. I’d go into detail about how I’ve restarted college and it’s cut time down so when I sit down to write I think I should be doing that essay or this project, but who cares about boring stuff like that?
I can’t even remember what was happening the last time I put together a little post. Max has come home, our favourite welshie has returned and is still behaving. He’s actually a lovely little ride, obviously green and stuff but he is super sweet. He popped his first jump under saddle the other day, and the biggest problem I had was that the saddle isn’t comfortable! Freddie & Storm have been on a kind of holiday, living out in the field for the past couple of weeks due to us having to use our stables as tack rooms as the barn is being replaced & the stable roof is being replaced. They look like yetis, it’s almost embarrassing. Fluffed up to the hilt and rather fat off the grass. They’re coming in next week, at which point it’ll be back in work for Storm and pottering around for Fred. Storm’s going to need clipping, which I’m dreading. I’m not very good at ‘lines’ when it comes to clipping, so his legs may look a bit wonky.
Teddy & Bertie have had their first haircut, and for the first 24 hours they ran round like they were on speed. I think the newfound aero-dynamics must have sent them loopy.
Here is a picture of said new-doo the day it was done. Don’t they look dapper?
Something very exciting that happened recently is that I got to have a ride on Farry, an arab I used to own. He was 18 months when we got him and around 2.5/3 (ish? it was a long time ago) when he went back to his breeder. It’s only taken 6 years for me to get onboard. What a difference it was, going from my round little natives to something fine and bouncy. His canter was quite possibly the comfiest I’ve ever ridden, it just felt rather surreal being on this elegant creature. Thanks again to his breeder & owner Jaymie for trusting me to get onboard!
The temperature has dropped today (enough for frost & icy windows this morning) and I felt myself conforming to the frenzy of panic that happens when you haven’t planned in extra time to de-mist the windows. I whipped out the ice scraper and blasted the heating on the windows like there was no tomorrow. I feel like being dramatic over the weather is something that may be quintessentially English. You see on the news about hurricanes in america and while people evacuate, there doesn’t seem to be any panic and some even stay put, waiting out the storm in hurricane bunkers. Or for example, the wildfires in Australia that you never hear about. They happen, but it’s something that’s part of living in
an oven such a hot climate that people just deal with it. Over here, it gets a bit frosty and the gritters are out throwing salt all over the place, the roads pile up with cars driving at 10mph on the off-chance the gritters may have missed some ice and everywhere you go you see people rubbing their hands and going “Can you believe how cold it is?!” The most popular phrases in the UK currently are that one, “Can you believe how dark it is?!” and “Can you believe it’s nearly Christmas!”
People seem generally astounded at the events that happen annually, such as darkness, the cold (I mean come on, we live in England) and Christmas.
For horsey people, winter is the hardest time of year. Mucking out trebles, gateways and fields become poached enough to lose your wellies and your dignity, and horses are overly exuberant from the nip in the air and the lack of exercise brought on by dark nights, often leading to dumping you in a heap on the still slightly cripsy arena floor. I feel your pain equestrian folk, yet winter looms on despite my despair. It doesn’t help when you’re clumsy and more often than not go skiing down the yard when it’s a bit wet – let alone icy. What can we do to make winter easier for ourselves? Answer, not much. Good layers and waterproofs are a godsend, you may look like the Michelin man but you’ll be warm and dry (and it’s extra padding for the risk of an over-excited buck, should you come off.)
Unless you’ve got reems of money to throw at your field gateways, there will be mud. Tip of mine, don’t wash it off the horses legs. Though its unsightly, washing it off actually makes the skin more fragile and makes it 10x easier for bacteria to get in (which is what causes mud fever). You genuinely are better off leaving it to dry and brushing it off in the morning. It also helps if you don’t clip the legs off, but that isn’t always possible. I resort to getting some pink plastic dentists gloves to pick feet out so I don’t have to stick my hands in the gloopy, frozen muck. I’m sure the horses will appreciate not being hosed when the temperature drops too, I know I would.