Thursday, 14 January 2010

I'm still here!

I'm feeling guilty that I have neglected my blog since November and completely failed to offer my readers Seasons Greetings.  I hope you had a lovely Christmas and belated Happy New Year wishes to you all.  I hope everything is going well for you.

It has been a busy time here in Wales and both horses have been ill.  I was also ill at the beginning of December, then we had a trip to Nepal, then Christmas happened and new year, then the weather got really wintery... so all in all life has been happening, but not blogging.

Dee had a snotty nose in December and a chill.  We kept her in for a few days and then brought her in just at night for a few more days and then she was fine.  Red's illness was a little more serious as he has had strangles.  He was confined to his stabe for about 6 weeks, and considering how much he hates being in the stable for a long time, he behaved very well.  The strangles abscess on his throat was huge and produced a bucket-load of pus when it burst.  The folk at Briwnant have been amazing and nursed him so well.  I am eternally grateful for their expertise and care.  In all I think it was five horses that had strangles, and they have all come through it with no long-term problems.  Red is still convalescing, being given extra feed to build up his strength again, but is back out with the herd now.  He has been declared fit by the vet.  He definitely wants to be out in the field and not kept in.  He looks fine and has only lost a little weight.

As Red is on full working livery at Briwnant he is groomed every day and fed as necessary, whereas Dee is just on grass livery.  So Dee tends to get more attention because she needs it.  Just after Christmas we went up to give Dee a feed and groom her, but as we led her in from the field Red followed us.  He didn't want to miss out on the family gathering.  If anything he is more affectionate since being ill and likes to come in as well for some TLC.

I have not been riding because the yard has been on quarantine and the fields were so wet, but I have decided I'm not going to ride until the weather gets warmer anyway.  I find that I get clumsy and tense in the cold and feel that I am a bit of a liability in the saddle.  I think I may not clip Dee next year and simply not ride for the coldest months of the year.  We have had such a lot of snow, that I have not been able to get my car up the lane to Briwnant.  I tried one day last week and nearly ended up in a hedge.  I miss seeing the horses but know they are well cared for and that Paul would let me know immediately if there was any problem with them.  If the snow continues till the weekend, we may try hiking over to see them.

The whole family went on the week's trip to Nepal which was wonderful.  Our sons liked it there and had a good time.  Straight after we returned home it was into Christmas preparations, and we had a lovely family Christmas.

A lot more snow arrived yesterday and more is forecast for Sunday.  It has thawed quite a lot today though, so hopefully it will go away for long enough that we shall be able to get up and see the horses.  We so rarely have snow in Cardiff that lasts for more than a day, that we are not really set up for coping with it.  It has not snowed like this here for nearly 30 years.  I think it is quite good to have a 'real' winter for a change though, and we are nice and snug in front of the wood stove.  I hope you are all snug and warm too.

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