Over the winter my parents have been working hard at tidying up the ponies’ summer paddock. Brambles have been cleared, fences mended and hedges wrestled into shape.
I have helped a bit too of course but it was barely anything compared to the amount they have done. The field is looking so much better for it too.
On Sunday the ponies were turned out in the field for the first time this year. Instead of running out – like they have been into their old field – they stopped not far in and their heads went straight down. I think they were very happy!
Obviously, there is a lot of grass in there at the moment so we have to be a bit careful they don’t put on weight. Hopefully we can keep them in check!
My parents have done an amazing job and the field is looking beautiful. The ponies – and I of course – are so incredibly lucky.
Galahad has had some time off this week as I am just back from a couple of days in Surrey. I had a lovely time pottering about and found a simply wonderful bridlepath.
I would love to have that a little nearer to home!
I came back home to some very good news. Firstly, the grass is starting to grow.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture but I promise it is sprouting!
Secondly, the field is finally dry enough to school in. It is still a little soggy down one end so we have to be careful but today I managed to school both ponies and Cookster and I even had a little jump.
I didn’t jump Galahad – instead we did some semi cross country training. We went up and down pretty steep hills in a different field and splashed in and out of the stream.
I had a thouroughly good time and I think Galahad enjoyed himself too.
Yesterday was simply beautiful and the ponies took full advantage of the sunshine by simply walking through a gate that was accidentally left open and gorging on the lush grass. It wouldn’t really have been a problem except that it is quite a steep slope and the ground is still very slippery. Luckily they were far too interested in the grass to run about!
We thought we would have terrible trouble catching them and dragging them away for a ride but actually Cookster just stood stock still.
Galahad was another story and would not let me near him.
He was quite happy to follow Cookster up to the stables though! We found some very interested visitors when we got there – waiting for their breakfasts.
Sadly we didn’t have any for them.
When we did get out for our ride we had a lovely time. The primroses are suddenly flourishing – I thought there were plenty of them before but overnight they seem to have multiplied and now there are whole banks covered in them. They were beautiful!
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.
After that I just carried on because it’s actually quite fun when you don’t get to do it very often!
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!
After weeks of no rain it is suddenly raining a LOT. At least, we have been having some very heavy showers. Which means that the grass is finally starting to grow a bit. Of course, it isn’t growing as much as the weeds so the fields needed topping to control them. Which was rather sad as the buttercups are beautiful.
Still, it had to be done and it is looking a lot better for it. The next job will be harrow the fields and they will be perfect!
Cookster always used to be incredibly nappy when I rode him out alone. I have been working hard on sorting that and he has come a long way – it has been while since he has tried to turn for home and if I have needed to mount whilst out on a hack he has recently been very good about standing still. All our arguments about that seemed a thing of the past.
After the incident with the alpacas last week though, he has regressed. If he thinks we are going anywhere near their field he will try to go home instead. Mounting whilst out has become problematical again as well. I feel like I have undone months of hard work just by stopping to take a picture. We will get back to where we were but it is disheartening.
On the bright side, Galahad is now once again the easier ride of the two and we have had some lovely hacks this week. In between the showers of pouring rain the weather has been rather nice and refreshing.
The ponies were wormed this week and so are now in a new field with more grass than they had. It is very exciting!
Recently we have been having some absolutely glorious weather and it has been lovely to spend time outside. It has often been too hot to ride except in the evenings or early mornings which is perfect for me when I am working! The light is beautiful in the evenings and we have had some very enjoyable schooling sessions.
I have very much enjoyed having the jumps back out again after we got the fields topped. Galahad seems to have been enjoying them too. His jumping has definitely improved in the last couple of months and he is taking off much further away from the jumps. It feels rather odd still at the moment as I have got so used to him getting in close to the fences but it is a great step forward.
The grass has definitely been growing recently! It really became noticeable whilst the ponies were away just because there was nothing eating it. Now they are back it has been getting back under control, although we have obviously had to keep an eye on their waistlines.
However, we get quite a lot of docks in the field which the ponies do not eat and which can make it difficult to school as we have to weave between the plants. The rain lately made it impossible to get a tractor in to cut them but we have had enough of a dry spell to get the field topped this week. It has made a huge difference and the field is now looking beautiful.
I didn’t get any pictures of the actual topping as we were busy introducing the puppy to the noise of the tractor. She kept an eye on it but was really much more interested in playing with a flowerpot!
After our busy weekend we have had a nice, quiet week. It has been a bit slippery to ride in the field so we have had some lovely hacks. It has all been very relaxing! We did manage a good gallop in my neighbour’s field before that got slippery and Galahad behaved very well, although we were surprised by a herd of sheep over the brow of the hill. They are the sort of sheep that stand and stare instead of running away which made it a bit unnerving even for me!
However, the idea of Galahad taking off wasn’t too much of an issue. The grass was very lush and it was taking all my energy to stop him eating. He had been in the yard all day and was very determined!
We still had a bit of an argument about direction and speed – I wanted to walk down the hill away from the gate so we could canter round the field and back to the gate. He didn’t see the point and wanted to cut the corner at speed. I won though and I think the lesson has been learnt.
Galahad has also been acting as a table this week. I dropped in to see my neighbour and as she wasn’t in decided to leave a note. There was nowhere else I could use!
He made an admirable table and stood stock still so I was very pleased with him. A good week all round.
Since the ponies’ field is still lacking a bit grass-wise I decided to let them loose in the lane. There is plenty of grass there – nothing gets to eat it! I tied the gate onto the road shut for extra security and parked the car across the house end. It seemed fairly certain that would work – the lane was completely blocked and besides, why would they want to leave all that grass?
When I opened the field gate they came running but their heads went down as soon as they were through and they didn’t move any further! They were definitely happy.
However, when I went to get them in it was dark and they were nowhere to be seen. We scoured the entire length of the lane and even started checking for hoof prints at any potentially weak point in the hedge. They definitely hadn’t got through the gate but I was getting seriously concerned until I spotted them right down by the house. They had climbed the bank to get round the car. They were fine but they are certainly determined little ponies!