Now I’m regretting those flippant comments in the last installment about how we could start worrying about the lack of rain and how it would affect the hay crop, after that very dry March. Remember that? I think that was the all the summer we’re going to get and I’m glad we got out and enjoyed it so much.
So having several starters and remedial horses coming with their various owners for Intensive training, for all of April, I set to work creating safely fenced turnout paddocks. The fence tester showed five bars all the way around, disproving my suspicion that the led had blown on the top light, never having seen it lit up before. There were double lines between each paddock (I know it’s beginning to sound like a yard with “individual turnout”, but really these horses were not in for very long and herd integration was not an option). They all looked very happy with the arrangement, and then the heavens opened. And the paddocks turned into mud baths. And the ducks moved in!
We even had to move the “skinnies” out of the orchard, since we only have that on goodwill from our landlord, and we didn’t want to turn it into a quagmire. So that meant more fencing, as we tried to work out which bits of our fields would satisfy their dietary requirements without becoming completely destroyed. Usually rainy days are a good motivation to work on the tax return, catch up on emails, or try (unsuccessfully) to resist my knitting habit, but instead I found myself traipsing up and down the slippery slopes of our Cotswold hills, noticing springs bubbling up all over the place.
Not the best weather for starting youngsters, either!
But the paddocks are on their second round of occupants, the training has been a huge success, and it will eventually all recover. Our landlord’s optimism about being able to roll the fields any time soon seems unfounded as we dodged showers (in my case not at all successfully today) again over the Bank Holiday weekend. No doubt cancelling Badminton was the right thing to do.
I hear snow is a possibility now, too. What will we have been contending with by next time, I wonder?