Frozen Landscapes

Even before the snow came last week we were living in a beautiful, frozen landscape.  The mud had frozen hard, which make walking much easier, and even the stream froze – in some places all the way across.

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It wasn’t quite strong enough to bear my weight but the dog had no problems at all.  I’m not even sure she realised it wasn’t normal ground.

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The water tank in the yard was very well frozen  and that was enough to bear my weight.  In fact, it was a bit of a problem because although we could break the ice it just kept freezing throughout the day.   Once the snow came the ponies were eating a lot more hay which meant they needed more water too.  We had to increase the number of water buckets inside the stables – they still froze but with only a very thin layer of ice – and we periodically topped them up with warm water as well.  The ponies loved that!

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We also stopped soaking the overnight haynets for a while too.  They just froze solid and made eating very difficult indeed for the ponies!

Despite the problems though, everything was simply beautiful and I miss the frost now the rain has come back and we are once again sloshing through the mud.

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Schooling with an audience

I thought that the downpour a couple of weeks ago had put paid to any schooling for the rest of the winter.  The fields were certainly very soggy afterwards.  Since then though we have had two dry, frosty weeks which have done wonders for the ground.

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The going is almost perfect now.  Perhaps a little on the soft side but it is lovely to ride on and we had a good schooling session.  Galahad behaved very well and was actually working quite nicely.

The puppy normally comes out with me when I do the ponies and she is now old enough for me to leave her to potter about whilst I school.  I tie her up with a long line outside the field and keep half an eye on her.  It is wonderful to be able to do so.

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Winter Wonderland

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It has been simply beautiful here this week with a hard frost that lasted all the way through to Friday.  I had to take ice off the water buckets every morning and the piles of ice are still there now.  As you can see, it has also been pretty foggy.

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The mornings especially have been glorious with clear blue skies and bright sunshine.  Having said that, the evenings have been just as beautiful as the clear skies mean the stars are looking wonderful.

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It has been pretty nice to walk over the top of frozen mud as well – much better than sticking in the wet stuff.  Not that we have too much mud yet as the weather has been so nice this autumn.  No doubt it will come!

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Winter Wonderland

For the past few weeks I seem to have been spending a lot of my riding time grooming  instead.  This is the state in which I normally find Galahad these days.

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The ground is just so wet everywhere – we can’t escape the mud!

This morning however it was a different story entirely.  We had a proper hard frost – definitely the coldest it has been this winter – and everything was transformed.  The mud was no longer an issue as I could just walk along on top of it which was lovely.  It was a simply beautiful morning.

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I realise that the cold brings problems of its own but I am always very appreciative of this weather.  It isn’t wet for one thing!  Again – everything looks so lovely it is hard not to feel uplifted.

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Plus, hopefully the ponies won’t get so muddy!

Brrrr!

Didn’t it get cold suddenly!  I was not at all prepared for that.  Obviously I knew that cold weather was forecast but somehow that didn’t translate to, ‘Wear more clothes.’  It was rather chilly riding on Saturday!

Monday morning was absolutely beautiful.  The ground was completely white with frost and the sun was beginning to think about coming up so the sky was turning pink.  It was magical.  I was rather cautious when riding though – once last winter we went up the hill and hit a patch of ice at the top.  Poor Galahad had a proper Bambi moment and I definitely do not want to repeat that!

I am doing less work without stirrups this month than I had hoped simply because the field is too wet to school.  What we have done has gone well though.  Walking is no problem at all and trotting is fine as long as I remember to cross my stirrups.  Galahad is not a fan of them dangling down and hitting him!  My sister’s pony seems to find the whole thing fascinating; but then he has always been a fan of boots.

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