Our previous blog gave me an idea for a blog today. I haven’t said a huge amount about the horses’ lifestyle. Looking at it critically, one could wonder whether a competitive career could be improved by being on a bigger yard with amazing facilities, a floodlit surfaced arena would be a start. Imagine all that extra schooling we could fit in, the ponies would be snug and clean in their stables and there’d be no mud!
There are several things wrong with this as far as we’re concerned. On a purely practical level, the horses and ponies that come into our lives are treated well, do their work throughout their lives, and have a happy (and hopefully long) retirement. Our lot really do have a home for life, and as such it’s not financially viable to keep the whole gang on some flash competition yard.
We try to give them as natural lifestyle as possible. Strictly speaking they all live out 24/7, though Rosie comes in during the day when the grass is growing due to her laminitis. We’re very lucky at our lovely yard that we have a 5 acre field to ourselves which we enjoy managing. It’s lovely that the 4 of them can live out as a herd during the winter, with Saffron and Rosie going on a more restricted track during the spring and summer whilst Mist and Penny munch the long grass to their hearts’ content.
The lack of a lit arena also means that Saf and Mist both have an enforced winter break, which at their age, can only be good for them. A few months off from schooling and Saf is already raring to go!
They have straightforward feed, no cereals, just lots of hay, linseed, brewers yeast. Penny has a large soaked feed due to her current gummy status (note to self: new pet name for Penny, ‘Toothless’!) They’re all unshod as well, though this isn’t a ‘big thing’ since 3 of them have never been shod, it’s only Saf who’s made the transition.
They may be covered in mud and hair and currently looking a bit manky, but they look like pretty happy horses to us!