So that's the end of 2011 and on we go into 2012, albeit with a very hoarse voice after a great night of New Year's Eve, village karaoke. I have decided to give my horses an easy time over the next month as the weather here has been incredibly windy and wet and it's been frustratingly difficult to ride them consistently. Plus sadly, my local show centre has stopped running indoor BS jumping and cancelled all their winter shows. As they have also completely closed their indoor small arena as well, it means that their winter dressage league, which I was looking forward to doing, has an outdoor warm-up - not very tempting on wet, cold, winter nights.
Over the next couple of months that leaves only a handful of AP jumping shows on within an hour away from here, so it seems like a good idea to give the horses an easy time over January with a view to competing again in early spring.
|Garth my grey and Jerry, enjoying some time off.|
It is also getting far too expensive for a hobby show jumper, in terms of diesel costs, to drive for over two hours to get to Rowallan or Ingliston to compete, as they are right over on the west of Scotland.
I queried my local BS representative about the fact that there seem to be lots of intro shows on near us at the moment but a lack of AP one and she told that intro shows are changing in April to 'Amateur' ones, which will hold classes up to 1.15m instead of stopping at 1m. I hope this is the case as it will give me much more opportunity to get out jumping locally without spending £80-£100 an outing, in fuel.
On the home front some of my livery clients are going to come and spend a day helping me use my spare time to make some more cross country jumps for our top field. Our hay shed collapsed last winter under the weight of snow and we salvaged some big round poles which will be perfect for jumps. The horses all enjoy bobbing over them so it will be fun to have some new ones to play with.
There's a rat in ma muck heap what I'm a gonna do?...
Coming down our drive one dark night over Christmas I was startled to see a massive rat running across the drive out of the muck heap. EEEEK. Now I don't mind mice but rats don't feature in my top ten of the world's creatures I want to get within 10ft of. I went back out to feed the horses and gave my three farm cats, Rockstar, Bob the Builder and Smokey (guess which two the kids named) a good talking too, pointing them in the general direction of the muck heap and explaining that eating Kitty Kat is all well and good but they had a job to do. Three pairs of yellow eyes watched me solemnly. They were definitely taking it all in.
They are actually looking pretty porky for farm cats in the middle of winter - in fact they look like well fed, doze in front of the Aga cats, not sleek mean mousing machines. I discovered that, not only were they getting their tea from me at night but that they were also turning sad, pleading eyes on some of my livery clients who were feeding them too. So I'm afraid extra snacks are off the menu until they get down to work and catch those rats!
|Rockstar one of our farmcats, in slimmer days!.|