I have always loved the fact that the swallows choose to nest in our stables. We started off with one nest and they have been increasing every year – although not all of them are always occupied. There are currently five swallow’s nests and one wren’s nest – although I don’t think the wrens are in residence this year. Two of the olld swallows’ nest have had fresh feathers put in them this year and there has been a brand new nest built on the side of the light – I am now afraid to turn the light on in case the heat makes the nest fall down! I also had to move the water bucket as it was right underneath and I did not want to find any drowned fledglings.
As the nests are so high it is very difficult to see inside them and I have seen no evidence of eggs in them – although I did find a broken (not hatched) egg on the floor a couple of weeks ago. This morning, however, I found the remains of hatched eggs in Cookster’s stable. This evening I had a peep at the nest and – although I didn’t get too close and so couldn’t see very well – there were definite signs of movement and the flash of a beak. The chicks are awake!
Although the swallows are constantly flying in and out they go so fast that it is almost impossible to get a decent picture of them, although you may have spotted one swooping across the beginning of a video of Galahad jumping a few weeks ago!
Today being Father’s Day, we held a little summer fête style event in the field. We had a lot of games to play – things like archery, cheese rolling and wellie wanging. We even built a coconut shy on one of the cross country jumps and at one point I found myself climbing a tree to retrieve my paper plane. I actually very much enjoy the climbing. It’s the getting back down again which scares me a bit!
We set up the gazebo with plenty of bunting to look pretty, although we ended up having to eat indoors because it absolutely poured down over lunch time. That didn’t stop us going out again for more games though – including a scavanger hunt. That offered extra points to anyone who found a fly mask in the field but sadly nobody earnt them. I know there are two lying around somewhere so I need to make the time to go and have another hunt for them soon – I did have a look when they were first lost but as I was in a hurry to get to work at the time it probably wasn’t the most thorough of searches.
Our day ended with turning the ponies out and I had a turn riding Cookster out bareback. I’ve never done that in a dress before so it was quite an experience. I wouldn’t risk it on Galahad – I am extra cautious when I ride him bareback anyway as he always feels ready to explode. Trying it wearing a skirt would be pushing it a bit too far I feel!
Galahad and I have been continuing our education this week. Having started a quest to build scary jumps for us to face I decided to have a go at building a corner fence – the only one we have jumped before was about six inches high.
Corners scare me because I’m convinced that I will manage to pilot the horse towards the widest bit of the fence and something catastrophic will happen when we attempt to jump it. Of course, this has never actually happened but it’s always possible that this time will be different.
As I am presumably therefore pushing the horse hard towards the narrow end of the corner, it would be very easy for them to run out and I was fairly sure that this is what Galahad would do. I was delighted that he just popped over it with barely a hesitation.
We jumped it several more times without a worry so it turned into an excellent day for me. It is great to have another skill to hand!
I write a lot about the fun things the ponies and I get up to in the summer but of course there is hard work as well. One of the worst jobs is hunting for ticks on the ponies. We don’t really have a huge number here but there are enough to making finding one on a pony a relatively regular occurance. Not that finding them is difficult – it is the removing and then dealing with them which is unpleasant. The other day Cookster had three on him at once, although one of them was not actually attached which was a very nice surprise. Of course, the other two were firmly attached to his face which is more difficult.
This time of year is of course peak fly season too and as Galahad can have a nasty reaction to fly bites I have to keep a close eye on him. Thankfully though, he has finally accepted that it is more or less safe for me to spray him with the fly spray so that job is now much easier.
I am also having to keep a close eye on any ragwort which might pop up in the field. Again, we don’t have a huge problem but every year a few plants appear – apparently from nowhere.
On the bright side, we still have gorgeous weather and I have been having a lot of fun with the ponies. Galahad is still hanging on to the last dregs of his winter coat so he can get pretty sweating riding in the heat. I do enjoy washing him off afterwards!
Horsey adventures - We are all told, “live your life to the fullest”; I am here to do just that. Horsey adventures serves as a vessel to project my passions, and clue in my loyal readers as to what inspires me in this crazy world. So, sit back, relax, and read on.