April 2016

April 2016

Spring lambs and sunny weather – what more could we want. The horses are delighted to be spending longer out in the fields, though we are not so keen on the brushing off of the mud afterward. All the horses go out without rugs whenever the weather is nice enough, and it is essential for their Vitamin D levels that they can have their bodies exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is made naturally by the body, with one essential step needing UV light from the sun to activate the vitamin precursor in the skin – it has been shown that artificial Vit.D (provided in feeds) does not ‘work’ as well in the body, so natural is best.

A big condolence to our neighbour Sue, who had to give final peace to one of her horses recently. They had shared 20 of the mare’s 24 years together so it was a big wrench, but the mare went downhill suddenly after having a great life.

The dressage season is getting under way with a vengeance, but fortunately we are local to a lot of venues so don’t have much travel time. However, after being used to eventing where there was always something to do (e.g. walking the courses, preparing equipment etc.) it does seem weird to have an afternoon draw for dressage and be twiddling the thumbs for most of the day!

Both Lexi and Diva continue to make steady progress, gradually increasing the number of 7’s within a test. The most recent events though have been slightly affected by a plague of memory loss that seems to be hitting competitors round our way i.e. everyone is forgetting their test (with or without a caller)! So, it will be back to pacing them out before the next event.

We also have a new addition to the yard, ‘Duke’ who has competed Novice dressage and who will hopefully make his debut with Carol soon. He has settled in well, and loves his snuggles so it is easy to see that he has been well handled in the past.

It was disappointing on the weekend to see a horse being hit for being nervous! The horse was obviously upset about something, and wouldn’t stand to be mounted, so the rider hit the horse! Yeah, sure, we all know that having someone hit you makes you calmer (NOT!!). I know riders get worked up at shows too, but sometimes just having a bit of patience and considering the long term effects of what you are doing can make a big difference to the horse. See the latest article in our ‘free articles’ section if you want more information on how a horse’s memories work. This follows on from last month’s article (Memories-2) but can be read separately. Professor Pony also has a new letter in his Dear Abby column, about a horse that is considering a change of career, so check out his page if you have not caught up with him lately.

Happy riding and enjoy the spring.



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