Stable stories

(Being an occasional update of my increasing involvement in my wife’s hobby)

Background. During the Covid-19 lockdown I was advised to isolate myself as much as possible, even from my family. I moved into the caravan in our garden.

Most days we took the opportunity to get some outdoor exercise by looking after the two horses at my wife’s stable yard. She does not own the yard but keeps a horse there and is responsible for the yard, supported by the owner of the second horse and a couple of volunteers who occasionally ride one of the horses.

The stable yard. My self-appointed task is to keep it tidy, because it is next to the owners’ garden.

During “lockdown” we would take two cars to the yard. Suitably gloved, after Chrissy had mixed up the horses’ supplementary feed, I would take one bucket and feed Cesar. Chrissy would take care of her own horse, Tristan. I would make sure that both horses had sufficient water.

As the summer drew on and I was allowed back indoors I found myself helping more in closer situations. Neither horse likes the application of anti-fly spray, and Cesar was often and for the rest of the group a “bit of a bugger” to catch. For some reason he will come to me and I have rarely had problems getting the head collar on him. He is 17.2HH (1.72m to the shoulder for those not equine-oriented) and if he decides to throw his head up you need a lasso or a step-ladder.

The only jobs I don’t do are “mucking out” and “poo picking”, but I see the day coming…

While Chrissy deals with horses’ excrement I divide the time between playing “chuck and fetch the ball” with Sparky, our 9 year-old labrador/collie cross dog and general tidying up and gardening tasks.

This morning was the first indication of Autumn (Fall for the ex-colonials). It was, as we used to say as kids, a “misty moisty morning”. The sun broke through about 08:00 and by 09:00 we were at the yard, where I took this photograph:

The first dew-laden cobweb of the season. Later I found bigger and better, but this is the first.

The weather forecast today is continual sunshine and temperatures rising to the high twenties (Celsius). We plan to bring the lads into the stables for the afternoon for shelter from the heat, so first job was to make sure they have hay and water available.

Then the normal feeding routine, including half an apple to keep the boys occupied while we fill the feed buckets. Chrissy deals with her horse Tristan while I look after Cesar. If we need to add or remove rugs, fly masks or other impedimenta it’s easier while they are feeding.

Tristan in his anti-fly outfit, waiting for breakfast after a bit of a downpour. Known to me as “Burglar Bill” or “Deborah the Zebra” (despite the gender issue)

For some reason this morning Cesar decided to take his breakfast and spread it across the wet surface of his upturned winter water trough, then lick it off bit by bit. I have caught him before licking the ganvanised surface.

Cesar’s new breakfast routine.

After the basic routine, I went to the winter paddocks that we worked on yesterday to cut out a couple of stumps too big for the brush-cutter to deal with.

Then back to the yard weeding, where I managed about a square yard of deep-rooted weeds in the stone surface next to the lawn

Not today’s work, but an indication of the job in hand.

And then home. Back again at around 12:00 to bring the lads in.

We have heard a lot recently about the effect of “the virus” on our mental health. I have to say that this helps me. I am getting out. I am working with animals. I am doing something useful.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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