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.
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.
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!
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.
In the end we were let off pretty lightly with the snow this week. We had a blizzard forecast to start at three on Thursday afternoon and it arrived bang on time. There were some absolutely beautiful snowflakes – something I haven’t seen very often.
By five o’clock we had a pretty decent covering of snow – enough for some tobogganing – and by Friday morning everything was white. The high winds meant that it was hard to tell just how much snow had fallen – some places had a couple of inches and in others there were drifts over a foot deep. It might not sound like much but we hardly get any snow down here (we live in a valley and are pretty sheltered) so even that is very exciting for us.
In some patches the snow had blown away altogether – as you can see, the lane is very patchy. However, all the bits with no snow were covered with a sheet of ice so it was still extremely slippery.
I love the snow though so I have been having a whale of a time. The ponies haven’t minded it either, although they have been a bit skittish – possibly because they aren’t getting much exercise. I was impressed at their snow-scraping skills – they first saw a decent amount of snow eight years ago and have barely seen any since, yet they still know how to find the grass!
The long expected Arctic blast is beginning to make itself felt here. The temperature has plummeted but we have been having beautiful weather.
The ground has frozen nicely and we can walk over the top of the mud now instead of wading through it. These footprints were made just the day before I took the photograph.
Our big rainwater tank is also now frozen enough to bear my weight.
It holds a lot of water and it needs to be pretty cold to do that. It’s always one of the highlights of the winter if I can ‘skate’!
Yesterday we finally had some snow. It may not be much compared to the rest of the country but we get so little of it down here that even a small amount is exciting. I love snow!
We had a heavy frost again this morning – so much so that the latches on the gates were frozen shut and I couldn’t shift them.
Luckily, one of the gates also has a bolt which was still movable so the ponies were able to go out!
I was also fascinated by the hurdles round the sheep pen – they are hollow and the uprights fill with water. This is what had happened this morning!
I love these mornings, despite the bitter cold. They are really beautiful. Plus, they mean that it is finally cold enough to wear my highwayman hat cover. It is lovely and cosy!
We had such a beautiful, frosty morning today.
Mornings like this make me realise just how lucky I am.
Until I don’t leave enough time to scrape the car and so am late to work!
This is Galahad waiting to go for a ride yesterday. I was not impressed.
It was an absolutely beautiful day and we had a lovely ride.
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!
There was even some ice left on the puddles.
We had a wonderful time.
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.