Beautiful Autumn

Today was very exciting for me – I wore my riding skirt out on a pony for the first time since last winter.

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I actually don’t wear it riding as much as I would like because I love to wear it as an ordinary skirt so much and it isn’t really sociable to wear it around town when it smells of horse!  Today though it was raining and I decided it was time to take it out.

We had a beautiful ride as all the leaves are turning and the countryside is a blaze of colour.  My sister and I turned a corner and it was like we came out into the light – we were surrounded by bright orange leaves.  It was absolutely stunning and we sat there for a good five minutes just drinking it all in.

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I love autumn!

Autumn Habits

Every autumn I dither about when to start bringing the ponies in at night.  Yes they are Exmoors and and are perfectly capable of staying out all winter but they do get fat on thin air and need their grass intake to be monitored somewhat.  Besides that, it helps to save the ground a bit.

Throughout the summer I go out to do evening checks on them in the field.  Often they ignore me, sometimes they skitter away as if they think I might actually make them do some work and sometimes they come to say hello.

However, for the past couple of evenings the ponies have started whickering when I go out to see them and even run over to say hello.  Then they have followed me back to the yard and stood about looking hopeful.  I’m pretty sure they were asking for dinner!

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Therefore they came in for the first time last night.  It does mean a bit more work for me but there is something very cosy about having the ponies all tucked up in bed.  Autumn is a lovely time.

Autumn Rambles

The ponies being away for a few days doesn’t just give me a chance to use the school.  We also get to explore some different hacking routes which is always a nice change.

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The other day I arrived a bit late but I had been looking forward to my hack and the sun was still a little way off setting so I decided I could get out as long as I was super quick getting ready.  I was soon on and we set off up the drive – me giving firm instructions that we would be walking nice and fast and trotting as much as possible.

At first Galahad was not impressed but before too long he decided it was quite fun after all.  In fact, I’d wound him up so much that he didn’t really want to walk at all and thought that canter would be much more fun than trotting.  He had a whale of a time!

I was not quite so convinced but it did the job – we got home before it was too dark!

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Autumn Schooling

I have written a lot recently about our hacks but I have been schooling Galahad as well.

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We had a great session on Thursday – Galahad really felt like he was listening to me, was nicely forward going and seemed very willing.  We did some work on turns on the forehand and they felt amazing.  I had no eyes on the ground so I don’t know how they looked!

When we moved onto canter work I was even more pleased as Galahad struck off with the correct lead every time – I’m not sure that’s ever happened on the right rein before.

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I finished up feeling very positive indeed and looking forward to more.  Hopefully the ground will hold up for a while yet before we have to stop for the winter.

Beautiful Autumn

Autumn might bring some problems for equestrians (mud, no light to ride…) but I do so love it.

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The mornings are misty, the leaves are changing colour and everything is just beautiful.  Even the ponies are joining in.

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Autumn really is one of my favourite times of the year.

Mud, Glorious Mud

We have had a lot of rain over the past few days.  Also hail and sleet.  Things are starting to look a little soggy!

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In fact, the gateway into the yard got to the point where we just had to do something about it.  We had some branches taken out in our woodland and the work has left us with a large pile of wood chippings.  These are excellent for putting down on the mud!

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My parents were very kind and put down a load of chippings on Friday.  They are wonderful!   I can now get into the yard without having a struggle and getting covered in mud.  The dog likes it too – she might be a country dog but she hates mud and will do her best to get round it!

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The rain hasn’t stopped us getting out and about though – although other people’s fields are looking even wetter than ours!

The Gathering Gloom

Things are getting pretty dark here.  It has been dark when I get home for weeks but now it is also almost too dark to ride before work as well.

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Not quite though – I can still squeeze in a hack if I am super quick and don’t go very far.  In fact, the only good thing about working on Sundays is that when I have to do so I start an hour later  – plenty of time to ride!

It hasn’t helped that this week I have had a terrible cold which has made my energy levels plummet.   Getting up in the morning has been even harder than usual.  I am on the mend now though and hopefully I’ll manage to have a few more early morning rides before the darkness sets in.

Autumnal Ramblings

Things are beginning to look wintry here.  A lot of the trees have lost their leaves and the countryside is starting to look a bit brown.

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The hedges are taking on a new kind of beauty – there is a lot of lichen visible now the leaves have gone.

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Every so often though, we still come across a tree which is a blaze of colour.

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Galahad and I had a lovely lazy hack today, rambling through the countryside and enjoying the autumnal scenery. It is a good time of year.

Being Realistic

This week I have not ridden much at all.  Partly that is because I am currently in sole charge of all the animals.

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When there is a limited amount of daylight I have to prioritise.  The ponies can run around the field and exercise themselves to some extent.  The dog doesn’t have that opportunity!

Although I miss the riding I still get to spend time with the ponies.  They are always pleased to see me in the mornings and especially the evenings when I feed them!

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Plus the dog and I always stop to say hello.

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Every winter I have to accept that my riding gets curtailed – it won’t be long now before it is too dark to ride in the mornings as well as the evenings.  It’s just a case of adjusting myself to a new routine of only riding a couple of times a week.  There are lots of compensations though – things like log fires on cold evenings!

 

Freezing Rain

It has been rather cold here for the past few days.  The wind is biting and the rain is freezing.  Literally  – there were bits of sleet in it today.  Luckily it stayed dry for our hack today but we got pretty wet yesterday.

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Our neighbour has moved out and the new people were moving in yesterday – we met one very fast small van and a slower, larger one.  That one got slightly wedged between two cottages and we had the fun of watching it try to extricate itself.  The ponies were fascinated!

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They were very well behaved though.  We have a field right on the side of a fairly busy road and lorries frequently drive past it very fast.  It has been invaluable in making sure the ponies are not traffic shy.