Sunday, 5 August 2012

Haylage, x-rays, arteries and umbrellas.

Yes, this could be the weirdest blog title ever, but kind of explains our month - a bit weird, and definitely very hectic!!!!
Firstly the haylage:
Last year, we got 370 bales of haylage from our first cut (3rd week of June). Unfortunately, this year, due to the monsoon season type weather, we are around 7 weeks behind with our haylage, and have only just taken the first cut during the last fortnight. As normal, we split the first cut (take a few fields, and leave a few) - this kind or reduces our odds of losing the whole crop - particularly this year, when the weather has been so dreadful. When the grass is cut, we need at least 2 days of warm, dry weather - easier said than done this July! So we got 200 bales off the first section, then nervously waited last week once it was cut for our dry weather. The sun arrived Thurs/Fri so cue frantic activity on the farm with 4 farmers turning, baling and wrapping constantly. The good news is we now have 400 bales of haylage, which is great going considering what a dreadful summer its been. The bad news is that we have decided not to try to take a 2nd cut - we are too far behind, and just won't get the daylight hours in Sep/Oct to make it worth our while to try to get it to grow. This will leave us around 50 - 100 bales short, which we will need to buy in, but at least we have the majority of our stock!
Onto x-rays- we had the next group of school horses front feet x-rayed and hocks flexion tested last week. Reggie (surprise surprise) had changes to the joints in his front feet, and positive flexion tests so he will now have his fancy plastic shoes put on his front feet (as well as his back ones) and have his hocks medicated. Blaze, Charlie and Scrufty were also tested and are fine.
Onto arteries - and Reggie again. Our very kind farrier agreed to come in on Friday afternoon to replace one of his plastic hind shoes which he had lost. The plastic shoes require small holes to be made in Reggies feet to "glue" the shoe onto . Good old Reggie decided to jump just as the hole was being made, only to put the drill straight through his artery in his foot. Many dressings and a vet visit later, and Reggie is none the worse for wear, enjoying a few days in his stable before he gets another shoe on in a week.
Umbrellas have been causing a bit of a nightmare on the yard - unfortunately, many of our parents have no idea how terrifying they look for the ponies! We have had a couple of near misses where someone has put an umbrella up and a pony has shot off across the yard - so please, if you're reading this, try to put your umbrella down before coming onto the main yard!
And finally, a sad goodbye. We had Belinda put to sleep last Friday - which had been planned for this summer, as she was looking stiff in the field last winter. Whilst it is always a sad decision to make, it is nice to ensure that the horses are looked after right to the end, and Belinda gave us 2 lovely foals, although sadly we lost the younger one Melody earlier this year. So thanks for all your hard work Belly - you were a pleasure to own, even though you were a little "strong minded" at times.

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