..in New Zealand. She has been really enjoying doing some work at the Wellington Indoor Riding Centre which is also a NZ Pony Club Member Centre just like us.
Anyway back at home we have rehoused our hens and ducks in the dairy and they will stay their for they the next 30 days. Hopefully the Avian Influenza in Europe won’t spread over here but if it does or ducks and hens should be ok. The ducks have got a paddling pool to swim in. Sadly they aren’t that bothered about it which is annoying ruaridh no end.
And obviously Christmas is coming and we have a packed programme of holiday activities..
..And anyone that keeps up with our Facebook page posts will be aware that we are now able to take payments by debit and credit cards. Unfortunately only in person, we can’t take payments over the phone.
And for the feative period we have been given a lovely yard decoration. A big thank you to Marley for her horsey wreath…
..It is lovely and anyone visiting us over the holidays will see this as they first come onto the yard.
..that the work we have been doing on the drains has had an effect. It poured down last night and the rain water running off the field and road didn’t run into the arena. Yippee!
So now we just need to replace the broken fence (thanks Snoop) and dig out the surface that has been corrupted and replace it. Not the best time of year to do it but it will be great getting the arena back to full fitness.
We have also been working on the feed room. We bought 7 metal feed bins. 4 enormous ones, 2 medium ones and a small one.
And we have filled two of the bins with our own mix of grains..
..And here’s an aerial view..
Now despite this.lovely new feedroom Mollie still went through with her plan to travel the world with Graham. We can’t believe really that she turned down those lovely new feed bins in exchange for 8 months in New Zealand. We have promised her that we will keep polishing them so that the shine isn’t off them when she returns to the riding stables. And in the meantime she left her hat behind and so we have made a lively model of Mollie to remind us of her…
It’s Pole Mollie or Pollie..
..now as evidenced by our feedroom…
..60 bags (900kg) of hay mix to last us (hopefully) a month and today we have 400kg of bruised oats and 400kg of cooked flaked barley arriving. The room has had a good clean out and we have just bought 6 new huge galvanised feed bins to store lots of it in. These will be arriving next week and then the feedroom will start to look shiny.
There has been alot of machinery in our river field this year as the Rumbling Bridge Hydro scheme has been building a turbine house there and laying the water pipes to it. The machinery is about to be pulled out and once that happens we will close off the field from the ponies, remove all the temporary fencing thats up and place 4 or 5 hay feeders alongside the new road and have Harry fill them with hay or haylage from his tractor. This will mean that the ponies will be able to stay out in their lovely new thick rugs all winter and have plenty of forage to munch on and no need to traipse in and out of the field each day making very muddy runs.
That being said the actual temperature hasn’t dropped below 2°C in the last 24 hours and was as high as 8°C. So the cold that we are all feeling is that dreaded “windchill”.
Pony club last night was the first of the polocrosse leagues. We haven’t done polocrosse as a league activity for ages but everyone was keen this year. The teams are going to change each time and every one has to ride a different pony each time so we should get a really interesting result. We are even thinking of grading everyone and making the teams up to have similar grades.
So today is going to be a very busy day with lessons beginning at 12 and running on almost non stop until 7.30. It’s funny but Wednesdays have always been popular and busy days. It must be something to do with it being the middle of the week. Thursdays have historically always been quiet too. There is probably a psychology study in there somewhere.
..holidays are over and winter is definately in the air. We have been posting lots of photos from the 4 day camp last week, the polocrosse day and from the showjumping day on Monday onto facebook so check them out.
And as October is nearly over we are making our final preparations for the horses to come in overnight. Bethlehem has been power hosed with our new jetwash9000…
..we have lots of more things to get cleaned now.
The pot gully has been installed on the road side and the rain running down the road is now being directed into it and from their into a field drain.
On Monday week we had 8 cubic metres of concrete delivered and we filled in the stables in the main yard to make sure they are all level. At the moment the stables are built around packed ground which acts as a soak away. However this means that the ground isn’t very flat and the bumps make it harder to muck out. So this week we were 6 stables short as we wait for the concrete to go off. We have managed to stable all but 2 of the horses overnight now that it’s November and winter has started for us. There are two left in he field but..
We put a big rug order in for the ponies because the plan is to rug them all and leave them out. si all the horses and oonies have 320gsm thick full neck winter rugs to keep them lovely and warm. We now have a lovely road going down to the turbine house and so we can get hay dropped into feeders alongside the road so the ponies will be snug in their rugs and have lots of hay to eat and the road means that he field won’t get churned up delivery hay by tractor into the field.
On sunday we took the saturday helpers out showjumping to Howe. There are loads of photos on our Instagram page. Sadly my phone ran out of power so I didn’t get any photos of either of the teams. Argh!
Bit I did get a photo of this…
..No its not a new way of mucking out the stables using a massive lorry mounted vacuum cleaner (although wouldn’t that be a good idea). It a lorry pumping concrete into our stables to flatten.off the bases where we used to have beaten earth under the rubber mats. Now we have a lovely flat surface and just in time for our winter regimen starting. All the horses have started coming into the stables at night so it’s lots of lovely hay net stuffing and mucking out during the day.
..for fun at polocrosse training 2 weekends ago. Can you spot the deliberate mistake in this photo..
And don’t worry we aren’t missing a rider. Benjie was in the field around the arena and when we started polocrosse training he clearly felt that he should be joining in, climbed through the fence and stared trotting around with the other ponies..
And so we are back to the October holidays. It only seems like last week that we were talking about the end of the summer hols. We have a fun packed two weeks of activities and already have had a very successful Own a Pony Day with 6 riders having a blast. Hacking out in the morning, pizza and chips for lunch and a gymkhana in the afternoon.
Tuesday was a quiet day with no activities on but a couple of riding lessons and then Pony Club in the evening. It was the second of the individual showjumping leagues. The rain has started to we decided to run an accumulator in the idor school. Mollie and Beki put a twist in the scoring. They had the wheel of doom set up and gave riders an extra 10 points if they managed to jump all three jumps consecutively.
So on Wednesday we started our first camp of the holidays. Mollie and Beki did most of the work and had great success getting some of our younger riders cantering for the first time and jumping courses. They both, however, left me and Katie the fun task of running the gymkhana in the Friday and prize giving. Despite the awful rain the week was great fun. We just need to repeat it this week now.
..before winter arrives. We have loads of things to do before the horses come into the stables for winter. The first thing we had to do was sort out the stables and Hamish managed to repair all the stables that Jasmine broke in only 2 days. Its a great job bit Hamish has headed down south to Kent for 3 weeks and hasn’t fixed the new block bottom stable door.
The tack room ceiling is getting replaced and more lights putting in and we will need to put more lights up on the main yard soon as the evenings are getting darker. In fact for the last two weeks now we have had to put the outside arena lights on for the whole of the monday 7.30 lesson!
We thought we would start a new trend on horseback. Dabbing! Here are a few photos of our riders dabbing whilst jumping…
We even took a video of a dressage dab!…
Now although it only seems like yesterday that everyone was go back to school we are already planning activities for the October holidays so look out for a big poster on the yard.
..a few weeks ago that the schools broke up for the long summer holidays and already we are well and truly back at school and planning for the start of winter.
The second half of the summer holidays saw us hosting a fantastic polocrosse camp with brilliant visiting coaches. We used this to prepare our Pony Club members for the Pony Club Champs. But more of that later.
Mollie, Beki and Robyn once again ran a fantastic junior Pony Club Camp while the rest of us where away in the Midlands (yes more polocrosse). The riders were introduced to dressage tests as well as learning about points of the horse and designing their own perfect stables. All the pictures were pinned up on the wall of the Pony Club room and they are still up there looking glorious.
The Pony Club Championships were just when Kinross had gone back to school. We travelled down to Chalmondeley Castle in Cheshire on the Wednesday and were the first polocrosse competitors to arrive. Once we had set up camp and penned the ponies in the glorious sunshine we had an early night. THe next day th me camping area and penning area filled up as everyone arrived. We managed a little practice ride and some training and then a full tack check with riders. Thursday night we decorated brow bands with ribbons.
So the competition was on Friday and started with tack checks and then the first matches. We had one senior section two novice junior sections and a mini section. This meant that for most of the time we had two team playing at the same time. Mollie took control of the minis and I ran the other teams. Our first senior game was a bit close and was finally decided by golden goal (which thankfully we won).
After a fabulous two days of competition we had every one of our players on the podium. Whilst the winning isn’t the main point it was great that everyone came home to Scotland with a rosette (and several trophies).
We also had one team placed in the tack and turnout. Helped no doubt by our fabulous quarter marks and tail plaits..
And so as the Stark say..winter is coming and we are getting as much done to make us ready. Hamish has done a great job repairing the stables that Jazz broke. All the doors now swing open and bolt shut. We just need to concrete the floors now. We took delivery of a 12 yard skip today and have started putting rubbish into it. We will probably have a clear out of broken rugs and travel boots to clear the upstairs.
And we are planning activities for the October holidays so keep an eye out if you come onto the yard for any activity schedules.