Big day at Max’s yard today, Riding School Inspection. It involved making sure everything was in good safe working order and vet checks for all the horses. I volunteered my services the other week as I wanted to be there for my boy and was only too glad to muck in and help things run as smoothly as possible today getting horses in and out, mucking out, grooming, cleaning, tacking, un-tacking etc
My morning started with un-rugging several horses and ponies and one by one grooming them within an inch of their life! Not an easy feat as any horse owner in Britain at the moment will understand – the rain and mud. It’s NEVER ENDING. Anyway, we did the best we could and hose was out. Add to that Spring is in the air and they’ve decided NOW is the time to shed on mass and shed they do. Yikes. The hair just does not stop coming.
First up for me was Star, then Apache (pictured), Devitto and lastly Barron. Now Barron, he’s no pony, he’s a big boy for me and he was ditched. He had mud and poop stuck in his tail dried in, his legs were muddy and sandy no amount of brushing was getting out and he just shed worse than Star. He took me ages! His legs in the ended needed to be hosed down because I couldn’t shift it with a brush and couldn’t find a sponge. I held him, Paul hosed and WOW he did not like that and tried to bolt at least once but some gentle stroking from me and soothing voice we got him through it, bless him. Only the second time for me having a spooky horse in hand, the first was Mr Darcy many months ago in torrential rain he hated and a huge lorry compounded the problem. Managed that too. Getting through such things I consider achievements, even if they seem totally inconsequential to some. It proves to me I’m more capable and can handle more than I think I can.
When grooming was done it was time to tack up in preparation for the vet’s arrival. All tack had been well cleaned and oiled previously and numnahs looked lovely. I started by tacking up Barron. Bridle hilarity as he’s not small for me and he lifts his head I’ve no hope, which he obviously did… Most were done by the time I actually got finished with Barron but Ruben and Dizzy needed their bridles – perfect! Ponies! Just my size haha!
Isn’t Ruben a handsome pony? I must admit, neither he NOR dizzy were very forthcoming when it came to getting their bits in. I think horses either like to be cheeky with me OR, more likely, they are tuned in to my reluctance when it comes to bits. I’m a bitless believer at heart.you see and horses are incredibly empathetic and able to pick up on the most subtle of behaviours and body language. I swear they sense my reluctance and discomfort.
Whilst I tacked the above, the vetting had begun. In and out, we all worked like a fairly well oiled machine, Yard Owner and Instructor took it in turns to lead horses out to the vets and we took the ones already vetted back and took off tack, rugged them up ready for mass turnout.
When it was Max’s turn I went and put his bridle on – he was left until the last minute to put his bridle on just before his vetting as he’s a known escape artist and can easily take it off when he wants too! Clever boy, but also cheeky! He excelled but the riding instructor said “He better not take it off whilst we move and show me up!” haha He was a very good boy and moved beautifully though and was a star (as always of course!)
LOOK! Check out that tail! My friend and one of the staff who works there really pulled out all the stops to make his tail look beautiful! Now to try and keep it that way and better…
I didn’t get any pictures, but after this we finished untacking the horses going back to the field, rugged them up and I took Max and Harley, my favourite boys (though Mr C is too he just wasn’t there) and they couldn’t be more different. Harley plodded at his own pace and Max was ready to drag me back to his field mates and big grassy field. Once we turned them loose we distributed a huge bale between two fields.
Once the rush had died down by lunchtime it was time to clean up the beds and skip out wee bedding and poop, I got through a few before I was able to grab a bite and my first cuppa of the day – man was that a good cuppa! Whilst searching for teabags I found one of the barn cats and when he spotted me in a sleepy haze he began purring up a storm. We just love Twinkles, he’s so affectionate and friendly! It’s nice he has a bed in the staff tearoom and lots of fluffy clean blankets to sleep on.
After a cuppa, followed not long after by epic sausage and bacon sandwiches (Thank you yard owner!) and a wee rest it was back to skipping out and tidying up, making the place presentable for tomorrow. I watched some riding lessons, caught up with friends and generally had a good giggle. It was a good day, I killed it and my body will ache tomorrow, but it was so worth it.
As a thank you, apparently I earned myself a free riding lesson for helping out, something I didn’t expect at all. I was more than happy to work hard and help them get through the annual inspection because 1) I like the people and 2) I had motivation to be there anyway with the vet checking Max out. I’m very grateful and hopefully can organise something for Saturday when I’m up with my friend’s daughter, otherwise I’ll have to postpone for the following week as I have only one day this weekend and the other is Crufts Day!
Very Tired Haffy Addict.