Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Dark nights

It's November now, and the nights are drawing in. It is confirmation that winter is coming, and with that, comes arguably all the not-so-nice parts of horse ownership. For a start, comes the general cold and dark; that moment when you're looking out of the window of the nice warm car, putting off getting out. For me, I'm always fine as long as I'm wrapped up. It's the dark I don't like. And that's because I'm scared.
As well as the cold and dark, winter brings with it ice and snow, and all the difficulties associated with them. Getting stuck in the car, putting your foot through ice in the water buckets and pulling out the chunks, slipping on the ice, and (of course), mud. I am not yet lucky enough to own a 4x4, so winter is always slightly dreaded to me. I love snow, as long as I  know my horse is fine; otherwise, it becomes my enemy.

A few weeks ago, Hillary had another accident. I noticed that she wasn't opening her eye properly as I approached her in the field, and when I continued to look, and she was continuing to struggle, I began to feel concerned. A call to my vet (about eight minutes into the out of hours emergency-more expensive line) confirmed that Hills needed to be seen.
The vet came and my first thought was how young he looked. Age never occurs to me (I'm 27 next) until I see someone who looks about twelve driving a car. Despite his seeming lack of years, he was very thorough and informative. Hills had either hit herself/been hit in the eye. A week off riding, pain killers, and an eye gel twice a day. I'd be lying if I said I was anything less than totally fed up.

A week later and she was fine. We were back riding and she was off box-rest. We're getting really good at the hacking now, and Hillary is even managing to go through deep puddles- something she's never done! The other week, we saw a pair of Roe deer on our hack; we stared at them and them at us, before they sprung off into the bushes, spooking the horses.

Our schooling is coming along too- we now have a new instructor who is helping us rediscover our balance, and will help us move towards going back to thinking about dressage, and Hills is getting used to being schooled in the dark under the orange glow of the menage lights. I am once again enjoying...loving the riding, and I feel very excited about the future.

After one rollercoaster of a 2012, bring on 2013- I'm ready.  

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