Thinking of writing my blog for today. Where would I start. Had to fall out of bed when it was still dark.
Put on my clothes over my nighty. Then I stumble downstairs and start making up the various buckets of food for the ponies.
Charlie is on a very special diet. He is a veteran 30 yr old Welsh mountain pony and has a condition called Cushing’s disease. He also has problematic teeth and sometimes does not swallow the hay that he is eating. We find little balls of chewed hay on the stable floor. So we have two buckets of food for him with various different kinds of high calorie high fibre meal. Then I add some linseed to help him gain weight. I also add some medication.
Then I start preparing Boris’s food. Boris is in contrast to Charlie, overweight. So he has a very small bowl with some dry food and a chopped up carrot just as a gesture to make him think he’s having something to eat. He also has a huge hay net of food for the night. during the daytime they have a small sliver of grass which is pegged out each day to allow them another narrow strip to eat back. There is no sugar or nutrients in the grass at this time of year it is just a source of fibre for them. By now the day light is beginning to show and I put on all my warm and waterproof clothing to go outside. Not very attractive, but then, who’s going to see me?
I carry the buckets across the slippery field that is like a bog .
I have to recall the fun days of summer
to keep me going
through this time of year.
My favourite part of this process is the noise the ponies make when they hear me approaching. Said to be called wickering it is the little welcoming sound that they make like a small whinnie.
They are very excited to see me and dive into their buckets with great gusto. I look around at their stables and once again the beautiful clean stable from the night before is now strewn with droppings and wet through and will have to be cleaned out once again.
This is the work of the pony mummy in the winter time. It is very hard work. It’s also very expensive. But they are worth it they are my babies and they give me so much pleasure.
I give Boris a new hay net to chew on while we wait for Charlie to eat his way through his two huge buckets of food.
They remain locked in so that Boris cannot pester Charlie. So I go back inside and go upstairs strip off and have a bath and start my routine. Then I rush my breakfast and put on my warm waterproof clothes again to go out and let them out into the field so that I can clean out the stables. It is quite a physical task and I set my watch to the fitness app which tells me that it’s quite a good cardio workout. I load up the barrow with the wet bedding and it is piled high and very difficult to push through the deep wet mud outside the stable and across the field.
I have to walk it down the field and across the yard where I can dump it off for the farmer to remove it. Each journey is hard work with a very full wheelbarrow. When the stable floor is all brushed and clean and the dry bedding that is still clean is piled around I have a feeling of satisfaction that once again the ponies have been taken care of. Later when the floor has dried out I will spread the dry bedding around and make it ready for their night time.
Then I take the wheelbarrow and I walk around the field picking up the poo and another trip to the yard to empty the Barrow. Now it is time to go and switch off the electric fence so that I can go and move the posts another yard so they have a little strip of grass to eat. They always bunch around me ready to dive onto the new patch of grass. Then I have to remember to go back and switch on the electric fence once again as if I forget they could so easily get out into the full grassy field. Although they would enjoy this it would be very dangerous for their diets as they have to be protected from eating too much. Too much Grass can give them a foot disease called laminitis.
There is always something to worry about when you have Ponies. I have to check their buckets and refill with freshwater. This takes quite a while as the hose does not quite reach across the field to the stables.
Finally my work is done and my workout is finished. I can go inside strip off all my dirty old clothes and have a nice cup of tea. I can feel virtuous that I have once again taking care of my ponies. Sometimes I wonder why I did this to myself. I just have to think of the fun we have in the summer when we can take the ponies out and enjoy the beautiful walks around the countryside. At this time of year the days are too short to usually find the time to take them out for a walk but today we were lucky enough to take them across the fields which was very boggy but we did have an enjoyable time.
They stay outside during the day if the weather is not too bad and finally at when it starts getting dark I go out and take their buckets once again for their nighttime feed. I fill up the hay nets and put their bedding out for them. It’s always a nice feeling to see them tucked up in their clean stables at night where they are sheltered from the rain and have the food that they need.
Then tomorrow morning it will be time to do it all over again and it will have to be done before I go to work so it will be another early start for me. Maybe I should’ve got a puppy instead.
So if you get this far and you are reading this bit, I would be most grateful for your feed back. Is is TL:DR [Too Long:Didn’t Read] or is it ok? Bye for now Ginny #smileyface 😉
I made a podcast of my mornings with the ponies, you can listen on – if you fast forward to -9.30 you will hear them welcome me. I love this.