Water Water Everywhere

Anyone reading this in Britain will know what I’m talking about. The rain has been incessant since December.

I was just wondering what everyone else was doing. It’s a nightmare for a number of reasons.

1. Rugs. It’s impossible to dry a rug properly, which means damp heavy rugs going back on horses. We’ve found the best way to dry a rug is to leave it on the horse for a couple of hours, so long as the horse is dry underneath obviously. It’s a real test of the quality of your rugs. All the shops have sold out of turnouts so heaven help you if yours has given up the ghost.

2. Turnout. Most pastures are under water or if not very boggy which means stabled horses are on very limited or no turnout. This brings the problem of exercise. No one wants to ride in this weather, and the horses don’t want to work in the wind and rain. Our horse walker has never been so popular! Then there’s the field kept horses to pity. I’ve double rugged all the school horses and their fields are surrounded on two sides by woods so they have plenty of shelter. Haylage is given by the bale, and they come in for a few hours if they’re working and all weekend. Even so, I feel mean with the winds buffeting around us all.

3. Lessons. These are invariably cancelled, postponed, or changed in some form or another. For example, I may not be able to use a certain horse in the wind. Or the arena’s too saturated to jump. Or the horse is being exciteable due to limited exercise or turnout and I can’t take away my rider’s stirrups. For whatever reason, lessons at the moment keep you on your toes.

4. Staying warm and dry. Easier said than done! I’m currently living in my waterproof chaps, but last week had to resort to a pair of joggers over the Jodhpurs whilst my chaps were washed (they were so muddy they could stand up on their own). By the afternoons downpour I was soaked to my skin. Top wise, I’m living in my gilet and coat, plus a spare coat in my car, and numerous tshirts and jumpers. Hundreds of gloves dry on my dashboard on the way home, and I’m sporting a very attractive Bobble hat. But at least my head and ears are dry. Cups of tea are a must, as are microwaveable lunches to get the insides warm.

5. Depression. Yes, it’s a scary word, but you do fall into this trench of seeing rain for the rest of your life. Even in my dreams it’s raining! When will the summer come? But you need to hold on to the short spring like days (like Monday and Tuesday) remember what it is like to only wear one layer of clothes and hold on for the next few weeks until spring comes for real.

If it’s like this tomorrow I’m working from home!