.. when the sun is shining. It seems like only yesterday that I was posting a blog and it was actually the middle of January with short days, dark nights and the threat of snow.
And now we have long days and we have had about 5 weeks of non stop sunshine. We have put the time to good use and have sprayed the fields and fertilized them and we are sitting watching the grass grow feeling rather pleased. And as the grass is now growing and hopefullt horses are putting weight on its probably worth a cautionary tale.
At our annual licence inspection, the vet was checking our horses to make sure they weren’t too under weight and he starting telling us about equine metabolic syndrome. Apparently because we try to keep horses conditioned throughout the year this is becoming a problem. In nature horses have reduced grazing through wi tet and early spring and so have evolved to be able to increase fat stores over summer and autumn and then use these stotes up through winter so a horses weight and condition should fluctuate throughout the year. Because we are now able to control and increase a horses food intake through winter there is now less of a fluctuation in condition leading to all sorts of metabolic issues for horses. Obviously you dont want your horse dropping to a 1 on the condition score but 2/3 over winter and into early spring might actually be a bit beneficial.
This got me doing some research. I happened to come across a really interesting article by Blue Cross, the charity dedicated to helping sick, injured and homeless pets, called Fat horse slim. Did you know that after colic the biggest cause of equine deaths is obesity related illnesses. Read the article here.
So since january we have had half term activities and Easter activities with camps and own a pony days and polocrosse…lots of polocrosse. Over winter we have been practicing polocrosse on foot and building up a large group of keen adults and children. In fact so keen that we led a polocrosse expedition to the Early Season Tournament.
And now the summer holidays are almost over and our programme of summer camps and activities nearly finished. So lets have a recap shall we?
After passing his forgework certificate Hamish has moved to Kent to work as a horse trainer for Jason Webb. You can find out all about Jason’s Australian Horsemanship by clicking here. He has also been playing plenty of polocrosse, including some a grade tournaments. he has also bought himself a new horse and so Indie is coming back to Scotland! So once again you will see his giraffe like shape in the fields.
This year we ran a record number of camps. Our polocrosse camp was very busy and timed so that we could get alot of training in before the start of the pony club home nations competition. This meant that the English schools hadn’t broken up so we didnt get any visitors from England.
And after the polocrosse camp we headed off to Chester for a week before pur Scottish Pony Club Polocrosse team took on the might of the Irish, Welsh and English. What a weekend that was. Any readers on facebook can see all the pictures and action on our facebook page Scottish Polocrosse Team. Our minis came third after a thrilling and exciting final match against Ireland. Our juniors came fourth. despite this they played brilliantly and kept on fighting the the very end. Not once did they start bickering or blaming each other.
The final game was over shadowed by an accident to John and he had to be taken off to A&E and then driven home as he was hit on the face and the blow damaged his eye and he didnt even get a goal on the board. But seriously, despite his iris changing colour the consultant thinks he will make a full recovery but he is off riding and polocrosse for at least the next 6 weeks.
So after the Home Nations it was a late night dash home from Chester on Sunday to get ready for Junior Pony Club camp. At this we covered feeding and grooming and all the riders were awarded to Pony Club achievement badges. We also awarded badges for the Pony club progressive tests.which was a first for us and very successful. the final day of camp was dressage tests and showjumping. Katie amd Beki did a great job scoring the tests and running the final day as well as celebrating freyas birthday. Meanwhile Shaun was driving to Worcestershire with Ru to play polocrosse. But not before waking Freya up very early to give her her birthday present….
..tot, curly and berry.
Next week its our final week long camp. Senior Pony Club Camp. Lots of camping, (hopefully) nice weather and swimming in the river and lots of horsey stuff. Then its back to school and Pony club championships. But more of that later..