April 2017

Easter has come and gone and while it doesn’t mean anything specific to horses, it has brought a whole week of drier weather for riding in. The paddock here is amazingly free-draining for a non-sandy soil.

Diva is currently working on balance while going in straight lines along and across the paddock. It is ideal for this as there is a slight slope across it, so the horses have to lose their muscles and brains to maintain an even rhythm. Diva says it is hard work though, particularly at the canter! However, she likes not having to constantly turn as we would in the arena, and as the hedges are big  and wide I don’t have to worry about her jumping out at the end of each canter so we can lollop round the outside of the field.

A third horse is on hold at the moment. In the end there were several horses to choose from, all with different advantages which made it hard to choose so the easiest option was to wait for the time being. The third stable is painted and ready to go though, and Diva enjoys using its nice deep bed as a rolling box!

We should remember though that horses do not get the option of choosing their next home. I have even known owners who had sold horses to friends or colleagues, thinking that the horse was getting a great new home, only to find that in reality that wasn’t the case. Others like to sell horses to a different area of the country, as then they don’t have to watch if the horse ends up in a sad situation and they are not in a position to do anything about it. Of course, the ideal would be to have perfect ‘for-ever’ homes, but this is impractical for many reasons. Forever homes aren’t always the best thing for a horse anyway. Horses and ponies get bored and a pony that has been outgrown or a horse that no longer suits is rider can have a miserable time mentally even if all of its physical needs are met.

On another note, my main activity this month is going to be spraying. Nature has recovered from winter and has taken off with a vengeance. This is fine for the grass and hedges, but not welcome when it comes to the weeds. Of course a weed is only a plant that is unwanted in its current location, so it is a case of cutting the hedge bits and spraying the grass where it is invading the garden (which has been a bit neglected for years) and spraying the non-grass plants in the paddock.

Unfortunately for stinging nettles and brambles they are discriminated against in both field and garden at the moment (though the latter are allowed in the hedge). Ironically, when I am spraying it makes me think of human racism and religious wars, neither of which I agree with, but this still doesn’t mean I’m keeping the nettles!

May your days be sunny and your canters exhilarating.
[Apoligies to regular readers – this post didn’t hold properly on site in April so has been re-posted in May – still fighting weeds though]

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