Monday, 31 October 2016

Changing the Clocks!

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.  


I also cleared out the tackroom, checked any rugs in there, cleaned the grooming kits and made sure I have plenty of first aid kit and mud fever cream.  I have also started saving some plastic feedbags in case I need to wrap Chesney's feet up again this year (to keep his bandage dry if he gets an abscess).  I washed all the towels and vacuumed all the cobwebs.

Finally, I vacuumed the cobwebs from the stables and upset a lot of spiders.  I find using a vacuum the quickest and least dusty way to remove the cobwebs.  Although cobwebs   are useful for catching flies in the summer they are often full of dust by this time of year - not good for Basil's breathing.  I also clean the windows as they are dusty and grimy after the field behind us has been harvested.

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.  

All the water troughs have been emptied out so that the water is clean, neither of them are under trees so they don't get full of those but the horses seem to drop grass in there!

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.

The farrier has been last week and will continue to come every 6 weeks over the winter,  Tommy is really getting used to it now which is great.  Basil's feet have been really good over this summer but once the wet arrives they won't be, so it is important that he is regularly checked and maintained.

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.  

So, I think I am ready.  The horses are enjoying the apples from my tree at the moment but there weren't many this year, I think they will only last a couple of weeks and usually I have some until Christmas.  

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!

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