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.

Dawn Ramblings

Now the clocks have gone back my riding has had to move from after work to before work.  Which is just as well – it was starting to get a bit tight for light after work anyway!

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I have never thought of myself as a morning person (I do not like getting out of bed!) but once I am up I really do love the early mornings.  I love being up before the sun and I so much enjoy the chill that we have at the moment.  It is great being able to ride above the mists too.

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One of the best things though is the light from the sunrises.  It is just beautiful, especially when it is shining on the autumnal trees which are looking particularly lovely at the moment.

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It is a beautiful time of year.  I love the autumn!

A Different Kind of Horsepower

The fields have been getting to the point where they needed topping again and this weekend we had a window where the grass was actually dry enough to do so.  My Dad started off but got a little stuck in some soft ground so I had to help push him out.  It turned out I was not strong enough and I ended up driving while he pushed.

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After that I just carried on because it’s actually quite fun when you don’t get to do it very often!

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I’m not the best grass cutter in the world but I did a good enough job and enjoyed it too so I call that a success.  Obviously the real horse power is best though!

Winter is Coming

You can definitely tell that winter is well on its way.  For one thing, Galahad now frequently comes in from the field covered with mud and I have swapped from using a body brush to a dandy brush.

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The fields are holding up pretty well so far but there is still enough mud to cover a pony!

Another sign is that Cookster is now wearing these stirrups.

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My sister likes to ride in her wellies when the ground is muddy and these make it that bit safer to do so.

I on the other hand am still sticking faithfully to my jodhpur boots.

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They might be falling apart and they definitely need replacing but until it gets cold or very wet I will be wearing them!

Seasonal Changes

Even though it has been very hot over the past few days there are definitely signs that autumn is on its way.  There is a very specific feeling in the air which always says autumn to me and that has been around for a while.

 

On Monday morning I rode early before work.  It was very misty in the valley but once I got up the hill a little way it was bright sunshine and there was a beautiful view over the mist.

There are also a lot of toadstools around at the moment.  There have been a huge number over the whole summer but now there are even more.  They are just so beautiful!

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This weekend I will be at Burghley Horse Trials so I won’t be blogging on Sunday.   I have never been before so I am very much looking forward to it!

Beautiful Tuesday

This is Galahad waiting to go for a ride yesterday.  I was not impressed.

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It was an absolutely beautiful day and we had a lovely ride.

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We didn’t get out until lunchtime but there were still patches of frost in the shade.  In fact, they were still there at the end of the day.  It was cold!

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There was even some ice left on the puddles.

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We had a wonderful time.