Well, we're certainly getting plenty of winter weather just now! Luckily, the horses and ponies with their nice hairy coats are warm enough and happy spending time in the field, but we've been managing to get some lessons on as normal.
It's really hard work when the weather is this bad, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the livery horses cannot be turned out first thing in the morning if its icy, so instead of having 15 to muck out, we have over 30! Its also much harder to push the wheelbarrows around and we have all been feeling our leg muscles!
Water is a total nightmare - we have one ground feed tap on the yard, so it is very easy to defrost once temperatures drop below zero, but as it is in the hay steading, it can be quite a long walk to the paddock boxes with buckets! We have been using a clean wheelbarrow to transport the water about, but again, its pretty hard work.
The fields also need watered each day, as they have automatic filling troughs, which freeze over. So we need to fill a massive container which we then drive around the farm, filling bins with water in each field. Haying and watering the field horses alone can take over an hour and a half when its bad weather, which all adds up to a pretty long day.
Quite a few brave members have been making it up for lessons - well done to them! However, we're still advising that if you aren't comfortable driving in these conditions, then you should stay at home - it simply isn't worth it for a riding lesson if it will make you nervous!