Hi guys, sorry I haven't posted for absolutely ages. All is well here, but every spare moment is taken up with card making and Christmas shopping.
I have been out last week for two Christmas lunches and two Christmas parties. They were great fun, but it's nice to be back to normal this week. The logistics of it were quite complicated, especially as we had bad weather. In the end it was easier to leave the horses in for the day.
We took the decision to take Simon back, as it was becoming exhausting for me to muck out three stables every day (and time consuming!) Now I'm done for 10am and have plenty of time to get all the other jobs done.
We are in a very good winter routine, actually. The horses insist they go out, no matter what the weather, every morning. Actually, surprisingly, it's Zak who is like this. Barnaby would quite happily stay in and munch on haylage.
I have decided to use things to my advantage, so the two big empty stables are being used as day stables for my two. This makes it much easier for me to muck their stables out. So they go out straight after breakfast, come in at 12.30 and stand in their day stables while they dry out and warm up, then go back into their night stables at 3.30pm to have their tea. The day stables are pretty big, so they've got plenty of room to walk around. They like it because they can touch each other and a certain amount of mutual grooming takes place. I just skip these stables out each afternoon while they have their tea.
The new liveries are fine, but they're not turning their horses out at all while the weather's bad. I know lots of people do this, and their horses are used to it, but I do feel sorry for them. They only see daylight through the little barn door next to them. Zak and Barnaby would go mad if I tried that with them. Even when we had five foot of snow last year they still went out, even if it was only for an hour while I mucked out.
I want to nervously add at this stage, that Barnaby has been phenomenally well behaved so far this winter. I feel that actually writing it down is going to tempt fate (something I don't even believe in, but you know what I mean!) and that he'll start tanking me all over the place as of today, but I am really thrilled that he's been so good. I haven't had to use the Kemp Controller at all so far.
I don't know if it's because I've largely got the place to myself. Sometimes Missis used to get up at 6.30 to muck out, so Barnaby would start banging his door by 7am as Hugo and Lyndy were put out. We've actually put a carpet up on the inside of his stable door. It didn't take long for him to realise that I couldn't hear him kicking and so he's given it up. Oh boy, I wish I'd done that years ago! The bliss of being able to wake up and drink a cup of tea in peace and quiet and have five minutes to get my head together before I go and deal with them is absolute bliss.
It's been so dark in the mornings for the past couple of weeks I've actually come down and found Barnaby still asleep, which is unheard of. It must be nicer for him to be more relaxed, too, mustn't it?
Well, I'll pop off now, as I've loads to do, but I'll try to get on here again as soon as I can. Hopefully normal service will be resumed straight after Christmas, though, so thanks for sticking with me.