It is rather hot at the moment and we are doing everything we can to keep cool. Even when the ponies have full access to the field they more often than not choose to spend the day in the stables as it is so much cooler inside.
So far this week I have ridden at eight in the morning and eight in the evening. It is still very hot at both of those times – 28°C this evening! That’s uncomfortable enough and I’m not sure Galahad and I could cope with riding in the middle of the day.
We are therefore taking things pretty gently at the moment. We have a very steep hill at the end of our lane which we normally trot up but we have been walking for the past few days. One benefit of overgrown hedges is that when the sun is getting low they provide plenty of very welcome shade.
I hope you and your ponies are managing not to overheat!
As I mentioned in my last post, the ponies went away for a few days so they could see the dentist. Before now I have always been at work when they have seen him but this year – although I didn’t see him with my ponies – I managed to get a look him working with the other horses. The tools do look a little bit like instruments of torture but it was fascinating.
While the ponies were there though I took full advantage of the facilities. I managed to school one pony every day and I had a lesson almost every day. I worked on quarters in with both ponies as they both need to use their hindquarters more. The exercise definitely helped both of them and Cookster in particular was working better (and straighter!) than I ever remember him doing.
As well as the school, I also had access to plenty of hacking. It is always nice to have a change of scenery so every day I hacked out with whichever pony had not been schooled. Most of the time that was with company too which was lovely. We had a great time!
Monday was a very exciting day for the ponies as they went away for a little working holiday.
My first job was to load all their stuff into the car. With two ponies’ worth of tack, plus my own riding things, my boot gets pretty full.
By the time I finished our lift was due to arrive so the ponies had to make the trek to the road and the horse box.
It always amazes me how well the ponies load. They obviously arrived in a trailer but they then didn’t see another one for seven years. Yet they just walked in with no trouble and have done ever since. Even when they needed to get into a big horse lorry for the first time they weren’t worried.
Galahad always loads first, then Cookster follows him in. Normally I would follow them down the road to the stables but this time I had a lesson booked later in the day so I just waved them off and went back home for a cup of tea. It was all very civilised.
As today is Father’s Day I wanted to acknowledge how much my Dad does to help with the ponies.
If ever I need help moving the ponies he is there – even when it’s an odd time of day and they have got themselves into an awkward situation.
His is my biggest supporter at shows but he doesn’t just come to watch – he is quite ready to help out too.
He is also our chief groundsman – I have mentioned before how my parents spent the winter working on the summer paddock – the work doesn’t stop just because summer is here! Now it is the docks which need to be kept in check.
The farrier almost always visits when I am at work. Sometimes my sister is home but more often than not it is just my Dad and it is up to him to hold the ponies while they have their feet trimmed.
For someone who isn’t actually horsey himself, he does an awful lot with the ponies. Thank you Dad.
The ponies have had another new visitor recently.
The lamb actually lives in the field next door but its mother died and now it spends most of its time in our field instead.
Normally I find it right across the field from the ponies but it turns out it isn’t bothered by them at all. It’s always nice to make new friends!
I mentioned last week that the flies were being very bothersome. The next day Galahad came in from the field looking like this.
I thought at first that he was just incredibly scruffy but when I looked closer I realised that he was in fact covered with fly bites.
He does have a tendency to react badly to bites – every year he gets lumps where he has been bitten. Never so many at once though. I can only assume that he rolled on something which fought back!
Thankfully he didn’t seem bothered by the bites and didn’t react at all when they were touched. Within a couple of days they had started to go down and they are now almost completely gone. They can’t have been nice though. Poor little pony.
We have been having some lovely hacks recently. Just Galahad and I meandering through the countryside in the evening sunshine.
We get to see some wonderful things. The hawthorn is particularly beautiful this year.
There are also some interesting things. This patch of road for instance.
It is always wet, even in the middle of a heat wave. It is not under any trees and the water does not appear to be coming from the hedge. I can only assume that it has managed to make its way up through the tarmac. It is pretty powerful stuff!
Then, of course, there is the wildlife. Isn’t this eggshell beautiful?
Mainly though, it is just good to enjoy the view.
The past few days have been rather warm to say the least!
Our hacks have been very gentle and meandering and we have been seeking out whatever shade we can find.
I do love to sit in the shade – I enjoy the dry weather but I can’t stay in the full sun for too long.
Unfortunately the horse flies have suddenly materialised too and, as this rather blurry photograph shows, some headshaking has been going on.
We added some citronella to the water when we washed the ponies off after today’s hack – hopefully that will discourage some of the flies.