In a normal world I get Galahad a full clip around February time. Exmoors don’t tend to get clipped but he is so slow to lose his winter coat that if I don’t he still has the dregs of it in June and he gets far too hot when I ride him.
This year, however, his full clip got delayed until mid March and we all know what happened then! He is therefore left with just his original clip (done in November I think) and I have not one but two moulting ponies to contend with. Every time I brush them I get absolutely covered in hair.
On the bright side, I am at home all the time so it’s not like I’m short of time to groom them. Constantly grooming can get a little wearing though so I’m trying to spend just some time every day working at getting rid of the loose hair. Luckily the exercise they’re getting has dropped too so they’re not overheating!
Our work on the hedges is continuing apace. Our focus has shifted though – the hedge behind the stables had started to grow a bit close to the buildings and needed looking at. Then a very old tree stump collapsed against the wall of Cookster’s stable and we really did have to do something about it.
It is huge and very heavy so had to be cut up into smaller sections before we could move it. That was pretty time consuming and in fact we still haven’t finished – my Dad cut off enough so we could shift it away from the wall but it blunted the chainsaw blade and we have had to leave the rest for another day.
I had the far less impressive but very satisfying job of pulling all the brambles out of an elder tree. It is so good when you can actually see the difference you are making but it really is a never ending job. You turn around and more have sprouted out of nowhere!
It does mean that we spot the most beautiful things though – just look at these tiny little toadstools I found. They are so pretty!
This week has been an exciting one for the ponies – they have been spending a few hours each day in their summer pasture. This field has a stream in it and tends to be quite wet in winter so it can only be used when the weather is dry enough. We have been having such lovely weather for the past couple of weeks though that they have finally been turned out.
Only for a few hours each day though – they haven’t been in there for about six months so it it full of lovely, lush grass. The ponies love it but it would not do their waistlines any good at all if they were turned out there full time!
I thought this first turning out might be very exciting to see but it turned out to be rather dull. They weren’t at all interesting in running about – all they wanted was to eat that delicious grass. Very disappointing!
It has been a very strange week for all of us but there have been some lovely, positive moments for us here as well.
Firstly, Galahad has a cheerful new set of ears which is really brightening up our hacks.
Secondly – as you can see if you look closely – the pussy willow is coming out and spring is definitely springing. It is always a wonderful feeling.
Today has been utterly glorious, with blue skies all day long. I managed to sit outside with my cup of tea and even felt like I was running the risk of burning. The dog had some time in the sun and Galahad enjoyed a day without his rug. I’m pretty sure he appreciated that!
We have had rain nearly every day for weeks. The fields are absolutely sodden and the ponies are very often dripping when they come in.
However, we do have the odd day when we can really feel that spring is coming. I rode out on Tuesday in beautiful sunshine – it was still rather cold but perfect weather for hacking out.
Galahad and I had a lovely time pottering along the lanes. The primroses and daffodils were out looking cheerful and making life feel good. It is amazing how uplifting a bit of sunshine can be!
The ponies being away last week seemed like an excellent opportunity to get in some spring cleaning. It was more than time for me to properly clean the rubber mats in the stables and the beautiful weather made it seem like an even better idea.
It was a difficult job getting the mats out of the stables – they are very heavy and the dog didn’t help by jumping all over them.
Having got them all out but done no actual cleaning I then swanned off to a riding lesson leaving my sister with all the mucky work.
I was not expecting her to finish the job but she worked incredibly hard and not only cleaned the underside of the mats themselves but scrubbed out the stables as well.
All that was left for me to do was clean the other (less dirty) side of the mats, wait for everything to dry and put it all together again. It was actually extremely satisfying to clean something which was so very dirty. I could definitely see that I was making a difference!
The stables looked beautifully clean afterwards. Of course, now the ponies are home again they are not quite so pristine but at least they won’t need such a thorough clean for a while.
Sorry for the lack of blog yesterday – I was rather caught up in the Easter festivities. I sing in a church choir and we had five services over the past few days. It is something I love to do but it did mean that by yesterday evening I was exhausted and completely failed to write anything.
It has been a glorious weekend here and the ponies are enjoying the spring grass very much. The downside is that Galahad’s mane is once again filling with burrs most days and I spend most of my grooming time extracting them. On the bright side, he did look very fetching in his Easter bonnet.
We have been having a lovely weekend. Normal service will be resumed next week.
Every year I seem to write a post about the joys of spring but I just can’t help it! There is just such a wonderful feeling in the air as the season changes.
Of course, all the blossom appearing helps a lot too but one of the very best things is having enough light left to ride out after work. That’s even before the clocks go forward!
The lambs are alreading pinging around the fields and everything seems right with the world.
Galahad and I made full use of the whole twelve days of Christmas – we have been wearing our Christmassy outfits all week.
On New Year’s Day we went for a hack with my sister and Cookster, then came back to wassail the apple trees. This is something we do every year, although the ponies don’t often get to join in. They definitely appreciated the apples!
Yesterday was our last Christmassy ride and we had a lovely time, pootling along the lanes which were, for the most part, nice and quiet.
We had a couple of stops along the way – we met some new friends.
We admired the view and we even spotted a few signs of spring.
It was a perfect day – sunny but with a chill in the air. Wonderful.
It is always good to have productive days of schooling, fun jumping sessions or exciting competitions. Sometimes though, the best times with the ponies are much more relaxed.
Today I had two lovely hacks with the ponies. They were feeling lazy, I was feeling lazy and we just pootled along the lanes having a great time.
Besides that though, time spent around the yard doing the chores and just spending time with the ponies is wonderful.
One of the best parts of my day is turning out the ponies in the evening and watching them as they wander out.
We are having such lovely evenings at the moment that I could stay and watch them for ages.