Wednesday, 14 December 2011

All Change.

Where did the year go? It seems that I took my eye off the ball for a moment and wham! two months have passed and Christmas is coming. It's been a busy few weeks. The incessant wind, rain and general mud-misery of this time of year encouraged me to acknowledge my own limitations and make a decision about The Girls. Sometimes we aren't aware of the loads we carry around on our shoulders until we shed them. Horse management in the winter is a slog at the best of times. This autumn saw the fields steadily submerge into a quagmire, churned into a clammy clogging mess by cattle and horses alike.
As the weather and ground deteriorated and increasing amounts of mud entered my home I actually found myself wishing it would freeze.
And then I thought about last winter.
The brutal freeze of last year almost defeated me. Almost but not quite. However it did make me quake at the thought of repeating it. As I can't lift buckets of water or feed I ended up with a weird mobile watering/feeding unit in the car (squashed between bales of hay) that consisted of garden water butts and varying lengths of hosepipe. A slow process hindered by the fact that my horses numbered three out of the eleven animals (cows and horses) in the field and I was the only one providing water! If that wasn't trying enough the mains water in the village froze and I had no water in the house for a fortnight over Christmas.This resulted in a number of strategically placed water butts around the house as well and my good friends went far beyond the call of duty in filling them for me. I assisted as best I could with my litre jug and my slow motion moving but I seemed to get in the way a lot and a lesser person might have thought that they hindered proceedings or even blamed me for the spillages. I know exactly how helpful I was and I don't really think the mockery was called for. Or the name calling. Fortunately P lived in the neighbouring village so we had daily trips to fill the water butts. During that time,somewhere between there and my house 40 gallons went astray and the car became a mobile watering/feed unit/hay shed/sauna/ice house. It's never been the same since. And it has an, er, 'interesting' odour. So this year I approached the shortening days with increasing trepidation until one morning I realised that it doesn't have to be that way. Five minutes drive up the road is a wonderful livery stable. A visit was arranged. Circumstances explained. Agreement reached.Finances assessed and bid farewell. And the upshot is that The Girls now live there.
The fabulous owners and their team do all the stuff I can't and I do the easy bits. The guilt is gradually receding and I'm nearly able to let go like a clingy mother at the school gates. Nearly. The relief is almost overwhelming. Having painted a picture of un-handled mad beasts The Girls did me proud and remembered their training and settled in as if they'd always been there. It's great to mix with horsey folk again and now I can really enjoy the Girls free of the burden of worry that I didn't even know I carried. Yet again I'm reminded that happiness is there if we care to look for it. Sometimes it's well camouflaged under a misplaced sense of duty and sometimes it involves admitting defeat. Which is fine. As long as it's on our own terms. This year if the big freeze comes the horses are one less thing to worry about and instead of looking at the snow and ice and seeing a challenge, I can look and its beauty.


  1. Must be a relief off your mind! Sounds like this new Stable is going to be ok! Good luck. Merry Christmas!!

  2. Loving your blog, Mari. Can't wait for the next episode. You have an excellent writing style.

    Hope you are able to take lots of photos around the Solway.

    Best wishes,

    Bob Kent (ex-T189)

  3. Thanks Cheyenne, I hope so.Merry Christmas to you too. I'll be catching up on your blog over the next few days.

    Thanks Bob, glad you enjoy my witterings! I'm hoping to keep going with the photography, I really enjoyed the course and am sorry that it was so short and sweet. Hope you do well and keep popping back to the blog.

  4. What a relief for you Mari. It sounds like it's a win-win situation x

  5. Fingers crossed Vee. It's certainly given me some peace of mind.