Winter is here!

3 days I’ve been away dealing with various health issues and in 3 days I have missed my boys so much it’s bordering on embarrassing. Winter has most definitely hit West Yorkshire these past couple of days. Temperatures are now hovering near 0 degrees and rain is turning into hail, sleet and snow.

I had a flying visit to see my boys today. They have now started their winter turnout regime which is much less field time than the summer. I am simply grateful they still get to go out at all to be honest. Where the farm is located is at the bottom of a valley and 2 streams run through the land which makes it extremely boggy, muddy and wet through the wintertime.

Anyway, I went to see Dices’ group first (the are the rowdy geldings, the naughty boys) who like to charge about and rough play in the field. I love watching them actually. For my own educational purposes it tells me an awful lot about herd dynamics and the equine psychology that couples with it. On a less academic view, it’s just wonderful to see horses be horses and having a good time!

Dice was FLYING full pelt round the field with his best pal Barney. He was galloping round and round. Obviously the winter wind got him feeling all fresh and on his toes! He is so playful. It was gorgeous to see him at full stretch like that. Though when he noticed me dangling over the gate he came pelting at me to come and say hello and get a few sweeties in the bargain too. Now they are in more, it is easier for me to get more done with them as I am not having to bring in and turn back out again, which I absolutely don’t mind at all – it just adds on to the time I am there. Dice is just proving that even as horses get older (he is 17), it doesn’t change who they are. A Left-Brain Extrovert is always going to want to run and play and be exuberant in a fashion.

Dice enjoying his little self! (I had a great video, I’ll have to see if I can upgrade to upload it). 

After leaving Dice to frolic I went to find Storms’ bunch of geldings, (the gentle geldings). They are a much quieter bunch who play in a more more gentle fashion. Most of these geldings are introverts or low spirited horses.

My welcome there couldn’t have been more different. Everyone was serenely grazing peacefully and the cold whipped round them. Muddy, very muddy but very calm. Storm noticed me quickly and was very happy to come and say hello. After fussing over him (in an introverted way, so gently and softly), I wondered round the field to see Jazzy and some of the others. Little Storm stayed right by my elbow all the time. He is so affectionate now we trusts me more and over the last 14 months my efforts spent to really work on and develop the relationship are starting to reap the rewards. He nuzzled me often and got to knocking me with his head. Now that sort of behaviour I wouldn’t tolerate at all from Dice as it is his nature to try and be the boos and that is dominant behaviour. But for now, from Storm it is cause for a mini celebration. It is wonderful that he is confidant enough to feel he can nudge me a little. Of course I don’t allow it to go too far but it is fantastic that we have got to this point from a nervous and unconfident shrinking violet.

Jazz came over to investigate too. He and I have a long way to go to developing a bond such as I have with the ponies but it will come. I know it will because I am willing to put in as much time and effort as it takes to get it to be that way. He only popped in for a quick hello but that was fine. He is happy and settled in his little herd and that is what matters to me at this point.

I am hoping like mad that after 2.5 weeks of post-surgery ‘rest’ I will be getting back on board after the weekend has passed. They all need it. Some for direction and something to do (Storm & Jazz), others because they will go crackers and negative behaviours will start popping up if I don’t (most definitely Dice). Even Storm is quite fresh – for Storm anyway 🙂 Here’s hoping!

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Storm appearing to enjoy my company following me round. He’s a sweet boy. 

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Dice and his best mate Barney (who is my mum’s horse!) 

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Storm saying hello to Smudge, also belonging to me- but due to severe head-shaking & nerve damage cannot do any form of ridden work or ground work. He is a happy field pony and will live out his life simply being something beautiful to look at and love. He is 13 years old.) 

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Mr Jazzy sneaking a quick hello to make sure he isn’t missing out on any sweeties!

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