Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Hay Time!

Last week was pretty busy up at the farm. There was a lot of poo picking, a jumping lesson, a hack, a hay delivery and a spot of stable DIY!
Due to the weird wintry weather we experienced recently we thought we needed to stock up on hay ASAP before any more bad weather hits us. Due to the weather over the spring and summer this year it could mean there is a shortage of hay for the winter so this was another reason we wanted to stock up. The farm shop we normally buy our single small square bales of hay and straw from agreed to do us a bulk delivery. We spotted the farmer whilst we were on our hack and managed to sweet talk him into doing us a delivery. We ordered 30 square bales of hay and 5 square bales of straw. The hay is for the ponies to eat and the straw will be used as bedding for the two shelter stables. Sure enough the next day the farmer delivered us our order.
As you can see there were a lot of bales to move into the stable where we are storing them! We placed several pallets down on the floor; as if you laid the hay directly onto the concrete floor it would get damp and go mouldy. We then started stacking the bales inside the chosen storage stable. Once in we covered one side with some tarpaulin as one side of the stable roof leaks. I think we did a pretty good job at our improvised 'hay barn'.
We now feel much better about winter and the worse weather approaching as we feel prepared. We now don't have to worry about where we are going to get hay from when the weather turns or the ponies run out of grass. As well as sorting the hay we also upped security on the make shift stable 'feed room' as shown in the picture below.
Although there is nothing of any real monetary value on there, as we keep all tack etc. at home we did not want anyone including the horses to be able to gain access to the feed. Feed can be a dangerous thing to horses. If they eat too much they can colic and die. It won't go unnoticed that Betty decided to photo bomb the shot!!
As the weather was nice and Helen and I both had some time off work we decided to take the ponies for a jumping lesson at a local riding school. We managed to get booked in for a joint semi private lesson. I love showjumping, it is my favourite thing to do with Star. I don't like jumping very big however, I won't normally do more than about 65cm. Helen on the other hand can tackle much bigger jumps on Fella. The instructor we had opted to do a bounce jump lesson with us. Bounce jumps are when two or more jumps are placed in a row. They are a really good way to help horses with balance and can help slow a horse down on the approach to a fence. The instructor was brilliant, she had a great style of teaching and the arena was fabulous! We both really enjoyed the lesson as much as I think the horses did!
I think it is really important for both horse and rider to continue to have lessons as we never stop learning and it can stop bad habits from forming. It also helps to keep things interesting and is a great way to prepare for competitions. I think we are planning to take the ponies out to do some Christmas Showjumping in December so watch this space!!
Helen drove us to the riding school in her trailer. Helen got her a trailer and towing licence a number of years ago now. I am forever grateful to her for all the lifts she gives to Star and I, as without her we wouldn't be able to go anywhere. I think anyone who knows me will say it is a blessing I have never tried to get my towing licence as I think it's probably worrying enough to have me on the roads in a small car, never mind a 4x4 towing a horse trailer!!!!
The horses were quite excited to visit a new place and were very inquisitive of their unfamiliar surroundings. Below is a picture of them post lesson waiting to be loaded onto the trailer to go home for a nice roll and some chill out time in the field, which is exactly what they both did when we got back! 

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