Things They Don't Tell You About Adulting

Monday, 17 September 2018

One of the hardest things I've found this year is balancing time and money. Having to work full time to be able to comfortably pay the bills, pay for Legacy's livery and have some money to buy food and day to day items.
Working full time for the money to pay to keep Legacy and pay the bills means less time to spend with Legacy, Putting you right in a catch 22 situation. Obviously during the summer the days are longer I can find a bit more time to do more with Legacy before the winter time hits and it becomes the same routine everyday of wake up, head to the yard to put the horses out, and off to work. Depending on the time of winter and if it's light enough around 5, I will help my mum get them in after work.

Legacy hasn't been ridden since before Christmas last year and now I'm buying presents for Christmas this year it's actually scaring me how much little time I've had for her this year so far. After my Granny died in February we moved house in the April, the landlord wanted to freshen up the house before we moved in but we'd booked time off work to move and due to the last person moving out late we said If we can move that week we'll do the decorating of the house. After starting that we realised it wasn't going to be a quick job of just painting over the paper on the walls, the paper needed to be stripped off. Turns out there was 2 layers of wall paper in the living room. That room isn't even 100% finished now, after doing the bathroom we started our room which is only getting close to finished now and then the kitchen still needs doing.
To add to all this we got our first dog in the April too to add to our family of us two and the cat, then a kitten came along and about a month to two months ago we got a puppy. Having the elder cat and dog was fine as they didn't demand much time, but with the kitten and puppy obviously being babies they need you more. 

These are just some of the things that life throws at you, that you don't think of when people say get a horse. Now that the kitten is now 6 months old and the puppy is now just over 4 months old, they're used to just fitting in with the other 2 and I'm able to get out more and not have to worry about them being at home as much. Saying that I'm also hoping to organise my time as lot more now, as I've been having a diary throughout the year and I've tried diary's before and this is the longest I've kept on top of one and it's getting me much more organised in general. I just need to get my time management a bit better and to get the motivation to get up when I'm doing nothing at home and do more with Legacy. I've also been put off quite a bit by having just Legacy and Cloudy in the field together so at the start of the summer if one of them came in so did the other but it had to be rushed so the other didn't panic, and the way Legacy can act in the school when it comes to work also put me off work so when it came to possibly adding the 2 together I didn't have any motivation to do anything with her. 

I walked her over poles the other day when my mum was also in the arena on Cloudy, so we're getting back into it. I tried to run with her in a trot over the poles but she was a bit keen with her trot which she tried to turn into canter but unfortunately I had to stop her as I only had a lead rope. Next time I do this with her I'm going to use a lunge line instead and hopefully doing something different with make her less difficult when it comes to me getting back on board.

9 Things To Get Ready Before Autumn/Winter

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

- Clippers
Get them clippers out and check over them, you probably haven't used them for a good 11-7 months. Check your blades, are they sharp enough? Do they need to be sent away before you start using them come September? Do you need to buy more oil in preparation? Little bits like this are always good to check over before you need them.

- Winter Field Fencing
Haven't used your winter field since April/May? Have a trip to the field and check it over. Check that all the fencing is secure and the harsh dry summer we've had hasn't loosened your poles in the ground. I've found that a few around my field have become a bit lose due to the hardened ground. If you have electric fencing around your field are all accessories secure? Do you need to buy any replacements before the colder weather starts? If using electric fencing I always like to have a spare set of battery's around on the yard just so I have some ready to pop in when needed. 

- Mud Fever 
I'm quite lucky with this one as I don't struggle with this but I do know that with autumn/winter comes plenty of rain and with rain comes mud. If your horse suffers from mud fever, have you got everything you need to approach it? Are you stocked up on your favourite cream or powder? Are their boots still in good condition, do they need a good clean before this time? Or are you looking at buying some new ones? Don't wait until you need them, get them ready! 

- Laminitis 
If you have a pony or horse that struggles or is prone to laminitis you're probably well aware that there's still one last push of the grass to grow and they're just as vulnerable to get it then as they are in spring. Keep an eye on them, make sure they are still on the feed that helps them through the time the best, reduce their grass intake and get them on the hay or a hay replacer. You don't always need to bring them in all the time. You can make them a small paddock with electric fencing or put them in a sand paddock. You can use the track system while on little grass to keep them. Moving. 

- Winter Feed
If you're one of the lucky ones and haven't had to feed your horse throughout the summer, have your feed bins had a good clear out. Have you disposed of all of last year's feed bags? Try to remember you can also recycle your feed bags and any supplement containers and do your bit for the environment. You can either make a mixed bag of bags and containers and separate them at home or have a plastic bag for plastics and then paper bag for your paper bags. Always handy if there's a few of you on the yard and you do a paper and plastic bag, can make it easier for everybody to recycle then. 

If you have any feed from last year left in the bins, empty them out and give them a good clean before you start adding in fresh from this year. 

- Stable Deep Clean
If you haven't already, it might be time to give your stable a good deep clean out. If you have rubber matting, pull all of it up and out. If available give them and the stable a good power wash clean or otherwise just a hose and some hard work with a brush will do the same job. Adding disinfectant like Jeyes fluid can help really get it clean and away with any smell that might be strong. 
Alternatively if you're not wanting to do a deep clean every year you can keep it clean throughout the time using it by adding disinfectant crystals to your bedding.  

- Warmer Rugs
Dig them to out check them over, any repairs need doing before they will be needed? The temperatures can drop out of no where so it's great to be prepared. 
After sorting through your rugs will you find you need some new rugs? Get them in the current sales before the prices hike up. You don't always need the latest seasons rugs, the horses don't know that they are the newest on the block and won't care if they are a destroyer. 
Find you have got too much rugs? I've always said too many rugs is not enough but you always have to be realistic, if you're horse isn't wearing them all do they really need 3 spare rugs of each weight and in std and combo? Have a clear out by selling them online, people will start looking to buy rugs.

- Start Buying Bedding/Hay
Start buying bales of hay/haylage and bedding every so often now, this way it won't be such a hard hit when you have to buy loads when the horses come in. My horses are kept out until the first week of November Typically, I've already started buying now and I'll have a good stock up for when they come in.
Some stockists will do some deals on buying multiple bales of bedding, if you know somewhere doing this take advantage, as Tesco say every little helps!
With the dry summer we've had I know there have been many of people who have been buying their summer/winter hay supply since the first cut. This may leave us with a little less supply towards the end of the year. I'm really hoping not and hoping people don't get greedy with the prices knowing it will be sought after. 
Even ourselfs are thinking about stocking up and buying a pallet of two of haylage for the stable nets throughout the time in. We are struggling to find a supplier of the big round bales this year though. 
How are you finding the hay supply this year where you are? 

The Horse Hotel

Thursday, 16 August 2018

A few months back I was able to attend a photo shoot for my mum and Cloudy. This turned out to end up in last months Your Horse Magazine in the news section. Super proud of these two making it there.

Due to living in the area of one of the busiest ports for transport over to Ireland, we see a lot of people changing over horse transport on the side of the roads. Some of these roads are single lane back roads or on the side of duel carriage ways, both to me are just as dangerous. Many horse lorry's come to the Road King truck stop for a break from the road or waiting for the ship if they arrive early or ships delayed by the weather. 
As my mum works at Road King which is owned by Bedfred, when she had the idea of making something safer for these horses when being exchanged. 
In result of this they are going to make a 'horse hotel' which will be a set of stables which will hold 12 horses. 
They will be able to have the horses in there overnight, for a few hours rest or while to ships are delayed. 
I really hope this idea works out and increases the safety of the horses in the area as it's something that could be greatly valued if used. 

BHS & Harry Hall One Club : How Do They Compare?

Sunday, 22 July 2018

I'm currently having a bit of a struggle which rider insurance. I'm currently with BHS under the Gold Family as I would never go out onto the road without having insurance these days, the roads are so bad. Legacy has her moment's on the road but it's not her I don't trust it's the drivers, we get a lot of tourists around our area in the summer and they just see a horse on the road as something in the way. They will beep the horn and rev the engine until your out of their way. The road which we hack on is also a 60mph road which some people do try to reach. Personally I wouldn't do above 30mph on that road even without horses on it. So with Legacy only going out onto the road once in a blue moon I don't know to change over to the Harry Hall One Club and get more of a personal benefit out of it. 

- Individual or family membership
- £40 per year or £3.33 a month for individual membership
- £95 per year or £7.91 a month for family membership
- Individual covers yourself and up to 2 horses
- Family covers yourself and up to 4 members and up to 3 horses

What's Included:
- Public liability limit of £10m
- Personal Accident Insurance of £10,000
- Third party excess of £250 on each claim
- 30% off brands such as Harry Hall, Masta, Tottie, Caldene, Protechmasta, Cottage Craft & Woofmasta
- Free delivery on all shopping for all year
- One member each month wins their money back from a shop
- UK customer service
- Exclusive sales throughout the year

Your covered for:
- Your horse damaging a vehicle
- Someone else injuring themselves while on your horse
- Your horse injuring another horse or rider
- Your horse causing an accident after escaping from home
- Recreational riding, hunting, driving, local gymkhanas, unaffiliated dressage & unaffiliated Jumping  
- Riding other peoples horses

4 types of memberships

Helping Horses - £27 Per Year
- Where all the money donated each month goes solely to the charity
-You get a member card
- BHS magazine
- Rosette
- Regular news through BHS
- A helping booklet

Gold - £69 Per Year For Yourself, £117 Per year for yourself & a family member
- Public Liability up to £30m
- Personal accident up to £10,000
-Expert horse and legal advice
- Access to education & qualifications specific to the BHS
- You get a welcome pack
- BHS magazine
- Join the equestrian community
- Family and Student options available 

Gold Junior, £52 Per year, under 21s
- Same as gold membership
- Free & Discounted tickets to shows plus 2 free tickets to BHS international horse show
-Access to BHS equine Excellence Pathway

BHS friend £152 Per Year, individual membership
- Same benefits and the gold
- Helps contribute more towards the charity
- No Family or student cover

And then of course there is the great work that the BHS charity does with horses and riders.  

After doing this blog post I am more swaying to changing my membership with BHS to One Club. The only thing that's bothering me is the £30m public liability with BHS and £10m public liability with One Club. Would a case typically go that high in fee's?

Who are you all with?

The Art of Strip Grazing

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Well It's definitely been a while since I've written a proper blog post here, It feels weird typing like this again actually.

Strip Grazing is something I've always done with the horses as soon as I've had the opportunity to. When I first moved on the livery I'm at Legacy was in the fields with other horses, at this point we didn't have Cloudy so he wasn't there yet to go in with her. It was winter when we first arrived so she was hay throughout. During the winter her field buddy became lame and had to come in on box rest for a good amount of time. Therefore she gained a new friend as a field buddy.
They then stayed together throughout the summer, but as the grass was eaten I gained a problem that I feel most finer type horse owners would feel my pain with as the other horse became fat. Meaning all I could do was give Legacy hard feed, and no hay as the other horse was on a 'no extra feed/hay diet'. Unfortunately due to the lack of Grazing Legacy ended up getting worms. Thankfully she recovered well from this.

Before the diagnosis of her having worms she rapidly lost a lot of weight and went down to a bag of bones. I was actually scared to weigh her at her worst so I don't know how bad she went. To try and gain some some on her we tried bringing her into the stable for hay but she was stressing herself out more than it was helping. After this we tried her in the round pen as it was near some horses in the field. She settled in here and she would go in there from about 8/am until 2/pm just eating grass and hay. 
After a good worm and a visit of the vet to confirm it was worms for the weight loss, we kept her in the round pen and changed her hard feed to Baileys no. 4. That food is amazing and if anyone ever asks what I recommend for weight gain, I always say feed that and at the recommended amounts.

Not long after this my mum got Cloudy and he went down Into another field with some other geldings, until he was needed as a field buddy for Legacy. Since these two have been together we decided that we would strip graze to try and maintain an amount of grass for them for as long as possible throughout the summer and autumn. 
We try to keep the two horses out for as long as possible weather and grass providing. 

The way we done it the last couple of years is we've had them on the last section of grass by the end of August. When moving the fence we try to alternate between giving them more grass and some hay. This way we can get the grass to last us longer.

When we give them the last section, we let them eat it down for a week or so then cut it off again for it to rest and grow back until it stops and then they get it all again. It's typically not long after this that they come into the stables over night for winter. When this happens they move field. 

To try and keep them supplied with grass but also give the bits they've just eaten a rest and little time to grow back, we swap the fence in a diagonal line. When we move one size of the fence in to give them more grass we move the other side out to cover tee eaten grass. This seems to have worked for us in the past. This year its not ideal as we're not currently having any rain to get the grass growing again. 

Below I've added some links to some electric fencing starter kits like the one I bought. The Exact one I did get is the Hotline starter kit which I found great and very easy to set up considering I'd used any electric fencing before. The only problem I found was that there wasn't enough fence posts so I had to buy another set.
Both of these kits come with tape for the fencing, due to the amount of wind in my area the tape lasted a season, after this I changed to wire as it's more durable with the wind. The only problem I found with wire though is that as Cloudy jumps over the fence it does start to fray with use and moving the fence.


DIY Bale Ring

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Just before the horses came in for winter we found out that there wasn't enough bale ring feeders to go around this year. Between me and my mum we couldn't afford to buy one for ourselves and we were struggling to find one that wasn't a cattle ring feeder online. This meaning that we'd have to put the full bale into the field as is and possibly loose quite a bit of hay with the wind that we get near the sea. The other option was to buy a bale net to out over the full bale in the field, but we were then concerned that when the bale started to get lower what shape the net would take. 

Thankfully my dad was around and had plenty of spare wood in the garage that he'd kept over the years. With emptying the garage he was then able to make us our own ring feeder. This has been down in the field since the first week of November and it's been moved many times over winter to keep it out of the worst of the mud, but apart from that it hasn't been treated and it's working really well. The pieces at the bottom and placed well for them to take the weight of the bale. To get the sizing he measured up the size of your average pallet which a bale fits on perfectly and then added a little space for the bale to be put in easily with the tractor. Each of the corners are together with screws and then have L shaped pieces of metal to have extra security and to add strength to the frame. 

Here's a picture of the horses using it well in the field.

Have you ever had to think out of the box for anything and either create something or or use something different of a different job?

Waldhausen Spring/Summer 2018 Wishlist.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

I've recently just seen the new spring/summer 2018 horse & rider range from Waldhausen and there's so many things that I'd love to have for myself and Legacy. I have many itmes from their past collections and although they're not a budget brand, you defiantly are paying for the quality of the product. As they're a German based brand not all of their products are in fluent english.   

They've brought out one of my favourite colour combinations that I've seen by far. I've never been a pink person and have never bought pink for Legacy because of this but the dusky pink colour they have used with the silver grey I can't get enough of. Because of liking it all so much I've decided to do a wish list of items for Legacy and then a list for myself. 

Erin Breeches - These looks great as I find it hard to find a pair of breeches which just have silicone on the knee and not a full seat, Due to having a gel seat saver I don't need the full seat. 

Vigo Quilted Mixed Fabric Jacket in Night Blue - I feel this would be a great jacket for the chillier days in spring and due to the colour you could get away with using it through to autumn too. The hood is a great added extra as you never know when it's going to rain over here. I think this would be a great jacket for down the yard but also a great fashion item for day to day as well.

Metropolitan Reflective Riding Gloves - I feel these would be great as they are lightweight, soft and breathable. These are great for the warmer weather in the summer. 

Valencia Fashion Fleece Jacket - I think this would be  a great lightweight sporty fleece lined figure cut jacket. This would be great for riding or around the yard when there's a slight chill in the air. 

Villach Mixed Fabric Fleece Jacket - This is like the Vigo Quilted Jacket but without the hood and more lightweight. This would stand between the Vigo jacket and the Valencia jacket. Like the Vigo jacket this would be great for either being around the yard or day to day wear.

Have you ever tried anything from this brand before? Like the look of the items? Check them out on the site and look out for your local stockist.

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