As usual, it’s been unusually hectic. For a couple of months, June and July, we had almost no help as our working pupil got a great job opportunity and left with very little notice. Another helper with kids couldn’t come in the holidays, leaving just our one part-time assistant. She goes on appointments with Adam and so the yard was often left with Nicole and our two children aged 1 and 3. It’s not easy looking after 13 horses, mucking out the field and yard, with two toddlers, even if there are two of you. To put it mildly, it’s been a stretch. At times we’ve all been close to the end of our tethers. Fortunately we advertised on an excellent web site, www.yardandgroom.com, and now have a lot more help than ever before. They’re all part time, getting accommodation and/or training opportunities in exchange for working, and have the opportunity to earn some cash elsewhere in their time ‘off’. So far everyone seems very happy with this arrangement.
We take a break from running clinics or having horses in to train during the height of the horsefly season. However as soon as the flies were on the way out- early August- we had a couple of horses in. One was a starter who came for exactly two weeks. At the end she was cantering in the school and had been for a hack. Not bad considering that at the beginning she would not allow anyone to catch her in the field, and was even quite hard to get a halter on in the stable. As it was what she had always wanted, the owner was the first one on board and did almost all the riding herself, so I’d also taught her how to mount and ride a green horse and to long line. I’m confident they will be fine. It’s experiences like that which make our working life so exciting and joyful. On the other hand the second horse has been really quite a major challenge. We think she has medical issues going on, which we have hopefully got some help with. A number of clinics and private intensives are in the diary.
With nights beginning to draw in we are conscious that another winter is approaching and are busy collecting apples, nettles and wood, and attempting to manage our home made hay as best we can. We hope to avoid buying it in at the worryingly high prices there are at the moment, and are glad that the recent rain seems to have got some grass growing. Fingers crossed that there is a second cut and a bit more hay around! A nice warm autumn and mild winter would be very welcome, but I can’t say I think it’s on the cards.