Settling a Horse Into a new stable

Moving yards.. well where do I start.

The stress, oh so much stress. Have you rented a box, do they have the day free, will the horse blooming load. Which in my case is a heck no. Din the trouble maker likes to make moving day somewhat of a more stressful situation. But that tale is for another blog in itself. If you lucky enough to have your own transport do I envy you. I am at the age where I either need to do a trailer test or an HGV test. Which I am currently unsure about, my horse has claustrophobia. So I am working on his travel skills to see if I can make him less stressed and able to go in a trailer. So as you can tell my moving day is a bundle of fun. To make this a less stressful situation I find using prokalm by science supplements very very helpful. Prokalm can work within 30 min to settle your horse more can be used with either 2 scoops or 4 scoops. I give this to din two hours before travel so he can settle down and be more content. Prokalm can last up to 8 hours once given to your horse so this also helps when arriving at the new yard as they are more relaxed to take in all the new surroundings. You can also use calming cookies. I haven’t tried these but I hear fantastic results with them. I will be trying these out once I get a chance to buy some, so I will fill you in on my findings one I have trialed these.

So that is the box spoken about. But first the packing of said horse wardrobe. This is normally quite an extensive wardrobe. You know because you need four of the same rug for one horse just in case he needs all them changes in one day. We do love our horses dearly. My horse has gone through 6 rug size changes in the mere four years I have owned him. He never stops growing. I did cut down my vast collection this year but I could still keep 5 horses warm in my collection. Tack well we all need them different saddles and bridles one for each occasion. Day, Night, Shows maybe wet or sunny. HA, that’s the excuse we give our respective partners. They nod along.  So horses wardrobe packed away into the millions of boxes. Anyone else by this point thinks maybe a removal company would be a better option. No just me ok. How many of you are now thinking oooo shes on to a winner? Winner winner chicken dinner!! Now our own wardrobe that’s spread across the yard into our trucks or cars, the house and any other place we see fit to hide the wonderful clothes. which also costs more than most peoples houses and yet we still smell awful and are muddy and covered in hay and straw around 99% of the time.  We pack a few from the house and truck and stable yard to put in the proper place at the yard. Because we all have big intentions of keeping a ship-shape yard with everything neatly in place. This, however, goes out the window in around Mmmmm three months at a push. Well if your me I am super organized and ship-shape. I hate mess, mud, not knowing where anything I own is. But I have those friends who I love dearly but I didn’t realize when I wanted to find the matchy-matchy I would have to skip out the tack room.  Pure joy.

So moving day is upon us. We haven’t slept from the stress, is every packed, is my horse going to move his hiney on to the transport without any fuss. In my case, we all know the answer. NOPEDY NOPE NOPE NOPE. Ughhhh din. So with your wonderful self-loading horse, all goes well, as any horse is better than mine trust me. My old boy merlin who was self-loading but a demon child to do anything else with is making me wish I had him right now. I try and stick to a daily schedule to keep him from getting too wound up. Din is 6 years old any anything is a challenge to him. So if I can keep it fairly normal we have fewer issues. Before we have moved I take all my stuff over and make it homely before he arrives. Mostly so when he goes into his stable he has all his usual smells. Just so he can relax more having the usual him smell rather than something completely foreign to him. When traveling din I tend to let him have the whole of the backbox. 3.5 is generally what I use when renting as more space. I do also not tie him up. Yes, scary I know, but din is a worrier and if he can move or get comfortable he freaks out and can turn himself inside out. I would much rather he sorts himself out and be happier than force him into an uncomfortable situation which then makes him really never want to travel. Yes, din does spin around in the box at first, changing directions to stand-in. But once he figures out which side he likes more he settles and well sweats. This is ok trust your horse to do the right thing. They are not as stupid as we think. Din is a devil and can really test my patience but I trust him to sort himself out. He is still 6 after all and he’s a slow developer, so it takes him a little longer to figure things out. So once arrived at the new yard pop them into the stable or field. Whichever you would rather and your horse would rather. So many people say you must keep them in the stable for the first day and night. But as I have sole use yards and I can turn out straight away I do tend to. But I know sometimes this is not an option. Firstly I do go to the stable and take off boots ect.. as I would normally when untacking etc. This is when they smell everything they know so they can work out this is home. Then turn out individually. So they can play, spook, wonder or generally do as they do. I find turning out a better way for my din as he can see the new exploring ground better and take it all in. For him, this is the better option but not everybody like this option. Do what is best for your horse and your horse alone.

So that’s moving day done go get that bottle of wine. I know ill need it. Ta ta for now Emmas country words

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My winter help

Personally, I love winter. But not English winter. I love cold, frost, snow, comfy jumper, warm hats and a good fire with mulled wine. MUD MUD MUD is literally all we ever seem to get. So here are a few things to get me through winter without going crazy.

Leave the country and don’t come back until its warm. Joking that would be nice but I quite like my job and I don’t ever like leaving my animals.

1, Warm home cooked food. My all time favourite at the moment is a good old recipe from a book I got from my mum. Its called Traditional Farmhouse Fare and the recipe is called Peasant’s pheasant. Its a lovely sherry cooked pheasant that you simply make the sauce put it all in a pan and slow cook for nearly two hours. I simply put a lovely creamed mash and steamed vegetables with it. A very close second is a broccoli and stilton soup. I got the recipe from a lovely lady on a Facebook site. I will write a post about these soon and how to cook them.

2, My leather boots. I only have two pairs at the moment. I normally have a few on the go so that they don’t all get beaten up over the harsh winter period. I have a lovely pair on Sherwood lace side boots. So far these boots are living up to the country life. They seem to be made with good leather products, so far they haven’t split which normally happens about now. As we have all seen the glorious wet mud. So right now these are getting my top marks. I also have a pair of Ariat Barnyard Belle H2O, I am not sure on these boots. I got these with very high hopes. I love all the designs and the way they look. I have had them for a year and believe me I am the best of people to trial these, as I give them a good strong trial run. So far they have torn on the outer leather and slowly starting to leak. So these are not going to last until next winter. Which is a real shame. I may try some more soon but at the moment with the price of them and the fact they so far haven’t lived up to my greatest expectation, I wont be jumping to the next shop to buy some.

3, A good warm jacket. I have loads of jackets as for some reason I have been living by the same rule I have for shoes and hand bags. A girl can never have too many. I have the smart jack murphy tweed coats and gilet, the lovely long old school sheep skin coats and the many collection of tweeds in different colours. But I think for dog walking and doing my horses it by far has to be my (once again) Sherwood forest coat. Its thick and warm, I do not feel and wind or rain, it has the amazing inner cuffs which I do adore, pockets for days and a good strong outer layer. I have been in hedges. pulled by horses, rubbed against brick walls and still to this day it does not have any marks. I have had this coat for about 5 years now and I do adore it. I love the feeling the winter is coming and I can have my coat back. But for the less cold days of winter (rare I know) it has to be my Beretta. It is a thinner layer coat, it does keep all wind and rain out but it doesn’t get you to warm either. For me I do wear this one quite a bit. I get quite warm some times  so I don’t always wear my other coat. That’s one thing about the other one, its not quite as breathable as I would need. So these two are my top two.

4, Tea, oh boy I am a huge tea lover. Herbal tea, white tea, natural tea, milky tea, black tea and so much more. Earl grey is a big part of my life. I all ways start my day with a nice big cup of tea. I have tried a few different tea products and nothing but twining’s really compares. I also have a real love for whittards instant tea. Especially the dream time tea. Nothing makes me happier than the window open, warm bed a good book and a lovely big pot of the dream time tea.

5, Jumpers, all jumpers I love big, baggy cosy jumpers the most. I can’t get enough of them. My house is currently overrun with jumpers.

6, A good magazine. I often read the country life, Good housekeeping and the Horse and Hound. All of these have such good food recipes and clothing ideas and also such amazing home ideas. I often look at these and gain such brilliant ideas and helpful tips.

These are some of my winter keep me goings. Its a tough time for us country people. Harsh wet land, bitter wind, grey sky’s and endless dark. But guess what we are nearly over. KEEP IT TOGETHER COUNTRY PEEPS. Summer is on its way.

ECW

Izusu D-MAX is it D-MAX?

We had a 6-hour test driver of the new D-MAX for the day the other day and here’s what we thought.front.jpg

I was given a brand new and I mean brand new D-MAX UTAH for the day on a test drive. It was a lovely dark blue double cab with black leather interior. With only 120 miles on the clock, it was certainly brand new. The test drive started slow with some questionable service from the dealer who didn’t seem quite prepared for me in the morning, but then after a quick look round the truck, I was off.

I picked up the truck down in Salisbury, so it was an hour drive back to pick Emma up. This gave me a good chance to see what the truck was like to drive. I had a mix of quick roads on the Plains to small country lanes. As you do when you are given a loan car you have to see what it’s like when you put your foot down so a couple of times that’s just what I did.camera.jpg

Back at home I quickly learnt, ‘Boy this is a long truck’. With our current set up at home it maybe a squeeze swapping vehicles from off the drive. Moving it around in a crowded parking area was made all the while easier with the reverse camera and parking sensors, plus for a long truck, it didn’t feel too big.

Well, what do you do when you have a loan car for the day? Complete errand. After a drive down the motorway, I found that there was a lot of wind noise and engine noise when cruising at 65/75 mph. I felt this may get tiresome on long trips which will become a common occurrence for this truck is we get one. Pulling well and cruising comfortably down the motorway it did feel nice.rear seats.jpg

In town the truck had loads of low-end torque so pulled well off the line but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get on with the 1st gear in this manual truck. Granted I was after an automatic so this may change on trial of an automatic version. I found 1st gear very short and torquey which I found a bit annoying. It drove really well around town returning good MPG which is always a good thing with you have such a big vehicle.

interior.jpgA few more errands and miles under our belts it was time to head home to drop Emma off and get the truck back to the dealer. Averaging around 39 MPG with a mix of roads and speeds shows that modern engines are really getting better. Plenty of power and loads of torque made it a joy to drive.

Overall impressions. Well specced with heated leather seats, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, reverse camera, selectable 4 wheel drive, keyless drive and other lovely accessories all for around £29k. Can’t complain about that, but there were a few little niggles. I found at all speeds there was a lot of engine and wind noise, which on long trips may become tiresome. The interior was very durable and utilitarian which as a normal car would be a bit of a letdown but looking from a work point of view it would be well suited. As I said before the gearbox wasn’t for me in a manual but then I’d be more looking towards an auto. With the 3.5t towing capacity is one of the best in its class which is key for us and our work. Huge selling point though was the 5 years 125,000-mile warranty! It really shows the trust Isuzu have in their product and a great piece of mind for us as owners.view.jpg

Would we buy one? At the moment its a maybe. Having already tried a 2017 Nissan Navara on a short test drive, I’m still to try the Mitsubishi L200 and the Ford Ranger. So until I try them it’s a bit hard to say. Not 100% bowled over but it was a really nice truck that drove well. When I try the others I’ll be able to say clearer which works best for us.

Luke

To cook or not to cook..

Every day I struggle with good diet, I tend to forget breakfast and lunch, who has time for that. I maybe have a protein shake or a smoothie if I get time to make it. I do really try for a good hearty dinner though. I am lucky to be able to get fresh game from my family, so I tend to use that a lot in my dinner meals. I try to make a planned weekly meal diary so I know what I need to make, as I tend to not have time to search around for a delicious meal. I love the Jamie Oliver recipes, I try to use a lot of his. I used this one this weekend, I had a good bit of venison waiting to be used so I made an old school venison pie. http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/game-recipes/old-school-venison-pie-with-juniper-rosemary-and-bay/ . I didn’t have time for pastry so I just left it as a stew type meal. I made quite a lot as had people over but they licked the pan clean. Not literally, but you know what I mean.

 

I have never been someone who likes slap together ready meals. I do every now and again like everyone, but if I can make something nice and fresh I do. Like a good Sunday roast, who doesn’t love them. Pork is my absolute favourite but I have never been good at making a good crackling. I have tried putting in longer and just on its own but I will have to try harder. I want to be known as the granny with the good Sunday roast. Practise make perfect as they always say.

A little about me…

Well here is me.. I am Emma-Jayne, the country loving, horsey mad, crafty kinda girl. I grew up in the small town of Malmesbury, Wiltshire. I never knew about the wonders of the county and the gems it holds. It wasn’t until I was in secondary school that my mum let me ride at my friends’ stables and there became my love of horses. I started riding more advanced horses and started breaking them in. After 5 years I was doing competitions on their horses to which I was then hooked and progressing faster than my mum was happy with.
My mums partner at the time started taking me out on the tractors for the local farm. I went out with him whenever I could day or night and helping with the cows and farm task, even after a day at school. For many years I helped him where and when I could.
My mum became more into shooting which I wasn’t too fond of doing myself, but I loved helping her to prepare the food which she shot and that where my love of game came from. My mum also taught me practical uses for the leftovers, to which she made a few nice pairs of gloves. Never been one to waste something that can be used for something else.
As I grew older my love for horses still rang true. I then became an apprentice groom at an event yard where I worked on the yard whenever I had a second spare whilst studying horse care at Lackham College. Working with and learning about caring for horses just further sparked my love of these great creatures, further cementing in my mind that this is something I NEED to continue pursuing through life.
Lots of other events happened taking me away from working with horses for a while but I was then was able to finally get the chance to buy my very own horse, Merlin my wonderous gentle giant. Standing at 15.2hh in a beautiful flea-bitten grey he became mine. Merlin was bought as a happy hack and to prove to myself I could look after my very own horse. I had Merlin 5 years proving to myself that I was able to care for him in any condition England threw at us. After much consideration, I decided I wanted a young horse to bring on a break in. My good friend Jenni had two horses that were half brothers and I bought Odein. As a 2-year-old buckskin who was only set to make about 15hh he has been proving us wrong by reaching around 15.4hh and only 4 years young, once again getting bum high.

Growth is not just happening with the horses but with my life. Keep tuned for more. Thank you for reading and have an amazing week.. E.C.W