Well, the new website is doing its job, and we are finding ourselves inundated with enquiries, which is fabulous. Some of these have been new liveries, which is something we have been wanting to increase for a while, and we’re delighted to have five new horses here – or we will do, when they all arrive! Three are here already and settling in beautifully, and the other two are due in a month. This provides a very welcome source of comparatively steady income, and given the relocation of three of our other horses doesn’t even mean that we’re overstocking.
One of the liveries has come from Holland and his owners have emigrated to Australia, which is a slightly odd situation – although they have a house near us and aren’t moving permanently, so it makes more sense. The other is going to be a posh horse later in his life but is here to be in a herd and grow up for a couple of years, which is lovely. His owner is also not local. The others are more typical local owners who haven’t found their current arrangements to be working too well.
We had a bit of a hay fiasco this year. Since the farmer who normally does it declared it not worthwhile, our landlord kindly offered us a field or two to cut – about 40 acres in total, but with “some ragwort”. It was up to us to assess and decide if it was worth it. We thought one of the fields was, and duly set about clearing it, but with most of the work falling to our trusted workers. Then the weather was dodgy and the economics weren’t going to work out, and we decided against it. At least the hay situation doesn’t look as bad as it might have done, and although the prices around and about are still rather more than we’d like to pay (aren’t they always?!), it’s not too scary. Plus we have loads of grass. It’s just the prospect of another hard winter/dry spring that’s a bit worrying.
Training enquiries are also numerous at the moment, which is creating scheduling problems – but these are good problems to have. Clinics on the other hand are abnormally quiet – which is probably just as well!