We put the horses out and mucked out yesterday. There was a little bit of snow, but it gradually increased until it looked like this.
And ended up pretty much like this.
The only one really enjoying it was 'Er Indoors.
Only she's, erm, outdoors, obviously.
The rest of us just trudged through the snow with barrowloads of muck. Mr O did the classic, he hauled his full barrow backwards up the slope, when the plastic handles pinged off in his hands, and he landed on his bum in the muck! Tee hee.
We decided there was nothing for it, but to go shopping. As you may know, I hate food shopping, I can't think of anything more boring. But there is nothing like a bit of equine shopping to warm the heart. We bought:
Black SSL (Shires) boots for Mr O. They cling to the top of your leg. As straw all over my kitchen floor is the bane of my life, any boot that keeps straw off your clothes and in the stable where it belongs, gets a big thumbs-up from me. They are very warm and waterproof, and you can ride in them, and the ones in Stable Mates were twenty pounds cheaper than the ones in Thomas Irving. I think I'd better get myself a pair, too, as even with two pairs of socks on, if I stand still for a while, my feet are freezing.
We finally found a pair of springy stirrups. Mr O already has these. The first time I used them I found it quite a peculiar sensation, but over this last year, I decided I'd really like a pair, especially for the distance rides, as they shock absorb as you ride, and relieve the stress on your knees and ankles, which will be wonderful....if I ever get to ride again, that is.
We had fun and games buying Likits. Max loves them and eats them in two minutes. They are like a solid block of sherbet, that you hang on a long string, and the horse has to pin it down to lick and bite bits off it. They come in important equine flavours like mint, apple and carrot. Mr O had to buy two holders, as only Max has one for some reason. We bought cherry flavour for Barnaby, who looked moderately impressed. (It is bright pink, a bit girly for him, I fear). Zak has got some weird flavour, like chamomile and saddle soap or something. It's bright yellow. He is an ex-racehorse, and has clearly never seen a Likit in his life. He shuddered when he sniffed it. Mr O hung it up for him near his hay net. The next morning, there it was, completely intact. He must have nibbled round it to get at his hay.
And I have managed to get completely the wrong sort for Max, the only horse that actually wanted one. His one doesn't have a hole in the centre, so I can't hang it up. He was gutted. I've had to chip bits off it, so that he could have a few chunks from my hand, but it's not the same, is it? I'll have to find a way to make it up to him.
I found a bag of wild bird seed in Wilkinsons, and had to buy it. It is 'meal worm and berry muesli' and looks good enough to eat. I cleared the snow off the table and the dustbin and put some out. Within seconds the birds were diving on it. It has been a good move to put out two lots as BFMB (big fat mama blackbird) is very greedy and possessive, but is obviously eating for four. She is quite aggressive to the robins, and pushes them off the dustbin, but I can remember feeling a bit like that myself when heavy with child.
I managed to make a sojourn to Arcade Crafts, as I wanted some blue ribbon for the card I'm making Six. They have some fabulous stuff in there. I was also looking for some water colour pens, as otherwise I am left with felt tip pens, which look very amateur. A woman was waiting to pay, and she overheard me, and held out what she was buying. She said, "Why don't you try these? They're really good." She had water colour pencils in her hand. You draw what you want, then go over it with a wet paint brush. I grabbed a pack. They weren't expensive, and I'll have a lot of fun playing with them.
I've bought several more cross stitch kits, so I'd better crack on and get them done, but I was a bit influenced by Mr O there, as what I really wanted was to do a project of my own, as I feel ready now. I'll have to wait until Lisa and I go together. She'll understand.
I have put an extra rug on Max last night, as it's been ridiculously cold. He looked like a Mitchelin Man. He looks about 15.2hh but when you peel back all the rugs, there's a little tiny 14.2hh underneath!
We had another couple of inches of snow in the night again. I led Max down to the field. He looked about him, thoroughly unimpressed, saying, "Is this it, then? Will it always be white now? I preferred the green stuff."
He chases Mr O round the field, when he goes to put hay out, like Donkey in Shrek, going "Pick me! Pick me!" Greedy toad.
So it's all back to work tomorrow. I am so grateful for Mr O's help over Christmas. I have to do six stables on Monday and Tuesday, unless there is so much snow L can't get to work. I am not sure that the school bus will get up the hill. It's very unusual for the road outside to get so covered in snow. I'm so glad we've got the 4x4 now, otherwise I'd be stuck indoors for ever.