got off to a flying start on Monday and Tuesday continued the themes of stable management and jumping.
And now our new stables have been completed we are tidying up other bits of the yard. For years we had the remains of the water trough plinth by the tap and everyone has assumed it was a drain. So now we have started to remove it. Tonight we put Boysey and Pacman into two of the new stables to free up a pen for Guiness, Big Misty and Jess and that meant that the arena didn’t need to have ponies in overnight. Phew.
So as well as being the second day of our camp Tuesday was also the shortest day of the year. This means that the days are going to start getting longer and it will be lighter at night and everything will become easier and fluffy and cuddly and just great (slightly over exaggerated but if you work outside you will know exactly where we are coming from). But we were having a debate at the dinner table last night. After the longest day on 21 June we usually say (with a sad tone) “it’s all downhill from here”. So does that mean that it’s all uphill from here because that implies it’s harder work from now on, which it isn’t. We probably need to mix our metaphors, it’s all downhill after the 21 June but it’s plain sailing from now on in. Soon it will look like this at 7pm at night..
And today is the final day of camp and so it’s a gymkhana. We are playing mounted games in the morning and jumping in the afternoon with chocolate pairs and rosettes at stake.
And this will probably be the last blog before Christmas so everyone at Over Dalkeith Stables and all our horses would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
posted by shaun
..and it was as if by magic. In the morning the yard was normal and then at lunchtime this arrived..
..and by the end of the Christmas party the yard looked like this..
..with 5 new stables installed. Louise was quite taken by them..
..Not that she is spending her night in them.
So we now have 5 new stables and no tie up area on the yard which will create some challenges for us between lessons.
But we haven’t really had time to worry about that as Saturday was the last day of riding lessons before Christmas and it was a Saturday of Christmas parties galore. We even had a visit from a very special person..
..who had had to get the polar express down as his sleigh was being repaired by Elf Rescue. But don’t worry, Santa has assured us it will be ready for Thursday night.
And after the last lesson on Saturday we had our annual staff Christmas party. We ate pizza and snacks and watched the Grinch and then played charades before finally getting to bed at midnight. And everyone was up early Sunday morning ready for breakfast and the staff gymkhana. Mollie and Beki took to groups out for a hack and then everyone came back to play Waterloo cushion polo and do some jumping.
So its now the week of Christmas and only 1 day until the shortest day. We have a Christmas camp on but no evening lessons.
posted by shaun
..when we decorate the yard and the ponies and have our Christmas parties. We have a special word for how we tack up our ponies at Christmas time. We tinselate them. Last night we had a cracking time doing it. This is what Peppermint and Bobby Brown looked like after they were decorated..
.. They are both very sparkly.
Next week we have a camp on but no riding lessons in the evening in the run up to Christmas. And we thought for Christmas we would buy the rising school this..
..which after Harry had done this..
..we ended up with this..
..lots of new surface in the indoor school.
posted by shaun
..sizes and this week ours came in bright green jackets with a great big dumper and 8 tonne digger. They scraped all the mud from around Bethlehem and the back pen and then all down the road to the front and it finished up looking like this…
..so we don’t need to wade through mud to put the ponies in Bethlehem or the back pen. Now I just need to work out how to stop it from accumulating again. The digger is back on Friday and will be scraping the mud from the rest of the yard and the hardstanding around by the arena and hopefully we will drop the gully trap into the road drain so we can redirect the water from the road into the drain and off the main yard.
And why do we have the use of the diggers and drivers. Well there is a community hydro scheme building a 500kW hydro generation plant and as well as the pipe of water going through our river field the turbine house is going in that field too and so as well as needing to dig the turbine house out and lay the pipe the scheme is also putting a road in to get down to it. And after the turbines are in the road is going to be converted to a gallops. Yippee. I am trying to work out how I can build cross country jumps that swing out over the road.
Anyway the weather had taken a decididly wintery chill to it but has now warmed up again somewhat. It was 9°C last night and is quite warm now so I am totally confused as are the horses and the grass is just all over the place not knowing weather to grow or die back.
posted by shaun