The heavy rain fall in the past two weeks has turned our land into a quagmire. The soil is mainly boulder clay and it holds the water really well. Fortunately, because we’re on top of a hill, the fields here never flood, while some of the lower lying fields in this area now look like small water reservoirs. Still, I can nearly hear the rushes growing. There is mud everywhere. There is a large area of hard standing just inside the gate, but where that ends the ground is very badly poached and Minnie and Cassie have to plough through it to reach dryer ground. It’s just as well that they are barefoot, the only one likely to loose a shoe here is me. Even a spell of dry weather won’t help the ground now, we will have to cope with the mud until warmer weather returns in the spring. I’ll be squelching around in my wellies for the next couple of months.

When Minnie and Cassie come in for their evening feed, their legs are plastered in mud. I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave them  permanently covered in muck, so I hose their legs down. My water supply in the yard is a 1000 liter tank that collects rainwater. It has a short hose, so I really need them to come close to the tank and then stand still. Minnie does exactly that. She obligingly stands where I want her and patiently waits until I’m finished rinsing the muck off her legs. Cassie absolutely hates water. She will go out of her way to avoid stepping in a puddle, and I have seen her jump across the poached waterlogged area by the gate. So we do a sort of hose pipe dance every day. I step in, she steps out, I step out, she steps in again.

Most people I know have brought their horses in for the winter.  Their horses are clean and it certainly keeps their fields in decent condition as their horses get turned out in arenas. No mud. But I feel sorry for those horses. I look at Minnie and Cassie. They are never clean, some days they are absolutely filthy, but they are relaxed, calm and happy. And because they can roam around day and night I know they are keeping themselves fit. That is definitely worth slogging through the mud for.


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