I wouldn’t have believed it a couple of months ago but we are in desperate need of rain. The grass is just not growing and any already there is burning brown in the sun!
I also have the problem that the ground – particularly in the yard and stables – is getting very dry and dusty. Cookster is quite sensitive to dust and so is liable to cough if he’s kept in at the moment. The ponies are therefore currently turned out all the time. With the grass not growing they shouldn’t get too fat.
I’m also giving the ponies some time turned out on the lane each day. That way they have access to some nice, fresh grass which has got to be more appetising and is more nutritious too.
I have to supervise these forays though – otherwise the ponies are liable to wander off. Yesterday the ponies grazed happily for an hour. Then Galahad determinedly walked back to the field with Cookster trailing in his wake. Cookseter was happy to stay and eat but Galahad had clearly had enough!
The ponies can be very good at letting us know when they are hungry. I got home the other day to find them waiting patiently for lunch.
Today being beautifully sunny and the ground drying up nicely I took the opportunity to give the ponies some extra grazing. It is always good to make as much use of the grass as possible so I padlocked our gate (just so nobody could accidentally let the ponies out onto the road) and turned them out into the lane.
They certainly appreciated the grass and cantered off happily but they would keep coming back. I had parked my car across the lane to keep them in but they climbed round it – it seemed that all they wanted was the grass just outside their own gate!
This week the ponies have actually been earning their keep.
Our lawn mower broke and the grass needed cutting. There is a shortage of hay in the UK this year so we have been trying to make the best use of the grass we can. Therefore, the ponies became living lawn mowers.
Of course, I couldn’t just leave them to get on with it as there is a drop at the edge of the grass and I had to make sure they didn’t try to jump down. Besides, I didn’t want them tearing up the lawn!
I had a lovely time sat out with a book and enjoying the ponies’ company. It is something I would thoroughly recommend, although I did get rather chilly!
As the heat wave has killed off so much of the grass, we are having to get inventive in the ponies’ turnout. Not that they need too much to eat – they are practically bred to live on air! They do need something though and we have been making the most of the land.
There is a lane leading up over the stream which is very overgrown and muddy – you wouldn’t get a car along it. I have written before about riding up it but now the ponies are eating it.
It is actually very useful as they trample the undergrowth as well as eating it so hopefully it will be a bit clearer next time we ride!