SIX weeks into lockdown and it is beginning to look like there is light at the end of the tunnel… Still quite distant, but light all the same.
I have now weaned my horses onto the grass full-time, so I am enjoying a break from mucking out for the time being! I was running up and down with buckets of water for several days, as the automatic drinker wasn’t accessible from the field the horses are in. Just to make sure he didn’t get bored, I asked my husband if he could extend the pipework and move the drinker into their field. He disconnected it, which gave me the opportunity to give it a good scrub, and moved it to where the horses could access it. This has been another time saver for me – although, it has to be said that carrying buckets of water down the field was a rather good workout… My biceps may miss out, but I’m sure I will manage!
I have been working my way through laundry piles – both domestic and equine – and, thanks to the lovely weather, I have managed to wash and dry a number of saddle cloths, small rugs and boots. It is very satisfying to see everything nice and clean and ready to go for when we are all able to get out and about again – although no doubt it will all need washed again before too long!
I am continuing to ride ‘Jewel’ in the field, but I encountered a couple of obstacles this week… Firstly, my other two horses were in the adjoining field, which created an initial burst of excitement and frantic whinnying from ‘Gem’ when I rode ‘Jewel’ through the gate! I momentarily wondered how things would pan out… but quickly encountered my second obstacle, which took my mind off the first. The additional blue water pipe to extend the automatic drinker was across our path and, to get into the field I normally ride in, I had to ride over it.
I didn’t see the very scary fire-breathing dragon perched on the pipe, but ‘Jewel’ certainly did! She approached the pipe with great disdain, prancing and snorting like a mare possessed. I got her within a stride of the pipe and she tried to back up, still snorting, as if to ask ‘do you not see the dragon?!’. Laughing to myself at her reaction, I kept my leg on and she moved from one front leg to the other, still not convinced that the dragon wouldn’t get her if she stepped forward. Another squeeze and she bounded over the pipe, shooting forward into the other field. I immediately turned her round and rode her back and forth over the pipe until she walked calmly over it… Eh, what was that about chestnut mares?
I then wondered how she would behave riding up and down along the boundary fence with the other horses on the other side and past the drinker, which wasn’t there last time. After an initial whinny or two from ‘Gem’, both (chestnut!) mares settled as if butter wouldn’t melt! No more excitement, which meant I could get down to the business of exercising, enjoying the sunshine and being surrounded by my horses. As much as I miss getting out to lessons and competitions, I am so grateful to have the time (and the weather) to make the most of my equines.
Next on my agenda is some serious tack cleaning, so that my saddle and bridle will match my nice clean saddle cloths… but I think that will wait until next week!