Winter sux. Rain sux. Mud sux. The cold sux - Winter is just 'meh!' and no doubt, soon enough, I will be complaining about the heat and the lack of rain - Can't blimmin win!!!
Today was a nice mid-winter day and I got out and got all the horses rugs off for the day. It's a good opportunity to see who has lost or gained weight and let them all have a good roll and a scratch. There is NO way I am going around at the end of the day and brushing all the mud off them before replacing their covers so they just get an extra layer of insulation. 11 horses = 14 rugs so it's a mission and a half in the morning wandering around getting them all off as well as feeding out, moving break fences etc. Consequently I tend to let them take turns at having their covers off and only take them off on nice warm days.
Everyone seems to be doing well. Paddy is the only one who has dropped a bit of condition but is not too bad. Paddy has been with me for 18 years and will be 20 this year. He's a full thoroughbred gelding with the worst front legs I have ever seen. I rescued him off the DT truck when I heard of his plight through a friend who knew the chap who trained him - Paddy has never 'done' fast and life as a racehorse was just never ever going to happen for him. He was a favourite however because of his big stupid sweet personality. He's a lovely horse but I think has the beginnings of arthritis in his knees - hardly surprising with the pressure they have been under over the last twenty years - so I will be looking at supplementing him with some sort of joint food in the near future. That said, he's never had a lame day in his life and has made a good farm and time show hack for me as well as a super safe trekking horse. He does have a buck and has had me off on a couple of occasions when he has been surprised by sheep monsters hiding behind hedgerows and killer sparrows. Idiot horse.
Everyone else is weathering the storm that is Winter '09 well and I am pleased that the rations they are getting appear to be enough - I have been forced to be a little tight with hay but now we are just about over the hump, I will start to throw out a little extra to make sure everyone stays in good shape. Paddy is doing really well considering he is not hard fed at all but I will keep a close eye on him and, if I think he is dropping more, I will start to feed him.
I am really pleased to see Bados flying through the winter so well. He's no spring chicken and will be thirty soon enough so I am watching him like a hawk. He appears happy as Larry though, throwing in a few bucks in the paddock when the foals get him going.
Rory and Aine are doing well - Rory has held condition better than Aine (not really surprising considering his breeding) and Aine has suffered a bit with rain scald and some weight loss but I have upped the amount I am feeding them and she seems to be holding her own now, which is good. Starting to wonder about covering her - will see how we go.
Nothing great in the photo department today but a few to share:
I came across this when tidying up my living room today and have finally got around to scanning it. It's not quite accurate, a bit of journalistic license has been taken with things I said (Hamish's dam was a little more than an 'old shepherd's hack' - she was a purebred Arabian mare who the shepherd rode when mustering and there are a number of other little inaccuracies that niggle) but still, it was nice for us to be considered interesting and worthy of a two page article and photos in the country's top Equine magazine. Here tis:
I live on a 25 acre property in the Wairarapa (NZ) with my husband Nick and daughter Amy. Here we surround ourselves with horses of all shapes, ages and sizes. My passion is to breed and raise sport horses for the everyday rider and the stud's catch-phrase is 'Breeding extraordinary horses for ordinary riders'. We have been running the stud for the last decade and just love it! We currently stand two stallions. TF Hamish, a Wairarapa Stationbred and Crossiebeg Brennan, a purebred Connemara. We used to stand the purebred Clydesdale stallion, Kintyre Lodge Robbie who has gone to a new home in the SI and the, now gelded, Mighty Heights son, 'TF Life O'Reilly', who is currently in work with a young rider in Wellington. Our mares are of Clydesdale, TB and Irish Sport Horse breeding and we pride ourselves on producing attractive horses & ponies with superb temperaments and sound constitutions.