The rain is back. Apparently we got 215% of the average rainfall in July this year, making it the wettest July in 60 years, and we only got 70% of the average sun hours. The sunshine of June is a distant memory and with the weather forecast predicting more rain, August doesn’t seem to offer much chance of improvement.
I have been thinking about how I want to keep Cassie and Minnie over the winter months. I don’t like stabling horses. They should be out and able to move. A lot of horses seem to adjust to stable life and learn to cope, but it is not what I want for my horses, I want them to be able to choose for themselves. I had no choice but to stable Minnie for a couple of weeks last winter and it drove her mad. When she was out, it was hard to keep condition on her. She is mostly thoroughbred and very fine skinned. Cassie’s coat is even finer.
My haybarn and tackroom and the stables are built at right angles and in between was an open space. I had this roofed over, so that I can use this as a field shelter. The back gives access to a field, which has decent drainage and is suitable for winter grazing.
I put hard core down in front of this so that the ground won’t get poached, and I’m going to put a layer of bark mulch on top to make it easier on hooves. At the moment, I have the overflow of hay in it that was taking up all the space in my tackroom. In the winter, I can leave the gate open and Minnie and Cassie will be able to choose if they want to be in or out.
I have access to the field shelter from the yard. It doesn’t look it in the photo, but the opening is the same width as a stable door, so I can bring the horses through that way.