In The Saddle with Anita Marsh: Rain, rain, please go away!

Someone please tell me the rain is going to ease up?
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It’s absolutely crazy for equestrians right now (as well as farming, I bet too!).

We just seem to get over one storm and another one swoops in - hot off the heels of the last winds and our ground isn’t getting chance to dry out.

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We seem to be currently sporting a lake…and yes, I’ve seen ducks land on it too and we don’t even keep any ducks.

Anita Marsh is sick to death of the rain.Anita Marsh is sick to death of the rain.
Anita Marsh is sick to death of the rain.

To keep up with the daily outdoor tasks such as collecting the horse poo to reduce the worm burden in our fields (known to the horse-folk as ‘poo picking’) it’s been a ‘don the wellies’ job and wrap up warm.

Compared to some of my horse buddies we are doing quite well, as we are on sandy soil and our drainage is therefore much better. Some friends are on clay soil, and whilst that’s great for growing grass, it is so boggy in winter.

We moved from a silt/clay soil about five years ago and I’m so glad. It was awful as a horse owner.

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Every evening we had to hose off the clay soil clogged on their legs. We didn’t dry them off though as I didn’t want to cause sores or damage to the skin, which can result in mud fever. That’s a right pain to get rid of and causes sores and scabs for horses.

Anita has to mask up for hay allergies when winter comes.Anita has to mask up for hay allergies when winter comes.
Anita has to mask up for hay allergies when winter comes.

I’ve just brought our two horses and one pony in at night now from the beginning of November. Mainly because they are just sloshing around in muddy water, plus I never know when people start letting off fireworks.

Unfortunately with them coming inside at night it ramps up the work as we ‘equestrians‘ have to muck out our horses, stuff haylage and change the water troughs daily in addition to bringing horses in and turning them out in the mornings.

It seems we are constantly at the yard or outside at home.

Winter, for me, is a nightmare as I’m allergic to grass, hay and haylage. I’m a little better with haylage, but still not great, so I have to wear a mask to try and reduce any dust.

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Even the slightest dust gets onto my chest and causes me to cough, sneeze and have itchy swollen eyes. I absolutely hate stuffing the nets and get into such a mood with myself.

Last year I bought a battery digital radio so at least when I’m outside in my mask I can listen to a chat show or music. It seems to make the job more bearable.

However, whenever I feel like moaning I do have to remember how lucky I am with three beauties at home and at least I’m not travelling out to them after work.

It’s just a case of popping out of the house, I don’t miss the livery days of being on a Do IT Yourself (DIY) basis with the travel to do.

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The only thing we look forward to in winter is the upcoming solstice and knowing that the lighter nights are on their way. It’s a massive celebration across the horse world.

Until then, stay safe and I hope you’re not too badly affected where you are.

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