This weekend the clocks have gone back an hour. Most people relish the extra hour in bed, I am sorry to say that I dread it. From now on I only see the horses in the dark during the week. This makes it more difficult to check them over and it is easy to miss a cut or small injury because the lights are not as good as daylight:(
As usual I have been preparing for the winter over the last month or so and if you watch my videos on my You Tube channel you will know that I have been clearing out and tidying!
I have been through the feed/rug room (basically a stable where I store the food and my rugs) cleaned all the feed bins out taken out all my rugs and checked if any need repairs before they are needed as there is nothing worse than pulling one out early in the dark and discovering a strap missing or a big hole. I do try to get the rugs fixed before I put them away but it is always good to check.
I have tidied the hay barn, cleared it out and had a new load of hay. It is good to clear out any old hay stuck between the pallets because it gets mouldy and dusty. I have also checked all the haynets to see if I need to mend or replace any as I use more of them in the winter as I make them up in advance.
The fencing around the field has been mended this year, although it was still doing its job some of the posts had rotted so needed replacing because they were wobbly. The hedge doesn't need trimming this year which is good news. I also check the gates have not dropped too much as there is nothing worse than standing in deep mud struggling to lift a gate with a horse in the other hand!
It is a constant struggle against leaves at the moment, trying to stop the gutters and downpipes becoming blocked but I am trying a new 'system' which is basically a net over the gutter so hope this might help to keep them clear. I have cleared out the drains too so that they run well when the downpours arrive.
The muck heap was taken away by our local farmer while the ground was still dry so I have a clear area to fill over the winter. They won't come back until the ground dries out again in the spring because they make much too much mess in the mud.
I filled all the rat stations with poison, because I don't want rats chewing my rugs, pipes etcetera or making the horses ill.
The horses have also had a 'tidy' they all had their teeth checked and rasped last week, which is done annually. Tommy was very good (although he had a bit of sedative) and did not seem as nervous of the dentist as he did last year. They also had their annual vaccinations but Tommy wasn't sure about the vet putting the injection in his bottom, they are usually done in their necks!
Chesney and Basil had a tapeworm test earlier this month and were all clear. I wormed Tommy without doing a test again this time but think I will try testing him in the spring as I think he will now be OK with the spatula on his tongue. At the end of November/ beginning of December they will all be wormed for small encysted redworm.
I have also clipped Basil this weekend as he started to get quite hot when I was riding. Chesney has had a little clip too because he gets hot when I ride Basil and then it is really difficult to get him to cool down again as his coat is so long and curly now.
The grass is still growing so I am still restricting their grazing as I don't want laminitis but I am watching Chesney carefully to make sure he doesn't lose weight. They are all carrying just a nice amount at the moment, they have a bit extra which they will lose over the winter so I am not worried about that. I will probably start Chesney on his sugarbeet in the next week or so to keep him good and healthy!
Did you see last week's video 'Big Autumn Clear Out ... Final Day' on my You Tube channel?
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Until next time!