This weekend has been a horsey spring cleaning weekend for me and my Uncle/Housekeeper. He spent Saturday with our field friend`s Dad cutting down overhanging trees, which is a particular problem now that sycamore seeds have been linked to atypical myopathy. My previous yard had an outbreak of it; I found one pony suffering from it on Sunday afternoon and by Monday the vets had recommended that all horses were confined to stables until further tests had been done. The barn was full to burst! That Tuesday we had an epidemic, at one point 6 horses were linked up to IV drips in the indoor arena with the vet taking vitals every five minutes. Another pony died, and one girls pony went to hospital, but she later succumbed to the illness. Nothing conclusive was found but it was a harrowing week or two, and I am keen to avoid repeating the experience!
So the men chopped down any overhanging sycamore trees, plus the odd branch that was in the way, which revealed that most of the fencing was being held up by the trees! So the boys have moved pastures while we get the fencing fixed. We`ve also gained an extra 6ft of grazing around two wooded sides! The work continued this morning, until I brought work to a halt by bringing down a box of tasty chips and drinks.
Not content with renovating the field, our next job was to pull out the rubber matting, dry out the stable floor, wash the matting, clean out the stable and hay bar (which I have neglected through the summer months). Then came the impossible task of refitting the mats. It`s amazing that 6 rectangular mats can come out of a stable but not go back in! A bit of stamping and swearing at them soon solved that problem, but I won`t be attempting that job any time soon! Those mats are heavy! I read somewhere that you can get liquid rubber matting, it might be an option for my yard … when I buy it after winning the lottery.
I have a large automatic drinker in my stable, which is fab, I don`t miss filling up buckets! But if my horse doesn`t stay in for a few days, e.g. in the summer, algae grows very quickly. So I did a bit of research about what people do to help keep them clean. Water tablets are a popular, but expensive, option; I thought about having one of those little bubble machines, like in fish tanks, but I don`t think my horse would like drinking from it! I even read that some people put a gold fish in their trough …
So the stable is looking very smart, I just need to tidy the shed, stable cupboard and the storage box outside the stable. No peace for the wicked.