Julie says:

"Well, here we are in a fabulous part of Wales in the middle of summer with horizontal rain… I thought I had dodged it the other day but just after I’d finished tacking up it hit us – a torrential downpour that had Raf and I legging it into the barn.  Some endurance horse and rider!  We are now getting ready for Red Dragon – our first (and last) event of the season.  We are using it as the benchmark for next year and plan to get out to the really early rides in 2021 – which we usually don’t manage.  Our training for next year therefore starts after Red Dragon rather than after Christmas.  More bridleways from our new home are being explored and we have found a number of fair-sized loops with a mix of roads, tracks, and grass – between 8k and 35k so far.  Lots of hills too.  We still haven’t found all of them so we are hopeful that we will have a lot of riding over winter that is all-weather.  We don’t ride on farmers’ fields in winter, I wouldn’t ride on my own land so don’t on theirs, even if it is a bridleway.  It just helps to keep relationships sweet.

        

Our stables are being built at the moment and it is helped by my son being a groundworker with pals in the same business.  The lads are doing an excellent job and the concrete floors are down in the barn now and the blockwork starting for the stables, tack, and feed rooms.  It is an American barn system with doors either end.  One going into the yard and the other into a small paddock - which will be the winter trash paddock so the horses can use the barn as shelter if needed in bad weather.   It’s really exciting to see it all come together and I have already ordered Hilton Herbs’ Himalayan Salt Blocks for each stable.  The feed room will have bins for feed and now we can have the Hilton Herbs range all neatly arranged on shelves made for the purpose.

The fields have greened up after the hay has been taken and the horses are now out in front of the house on some lovely lush grass.  The hedges are starting to fruit and are full of sloe, blackberry, rosehips, hazel, and hawthorn which the boys love to browse.  Now that the grass is shorter, we can see that there are a lot of different wild plants in the sward which is great for the horses.

Our grey TB has gone to a new home as he and Mike just weren’t comfortable together.  His new owner loves him, and Mike has a new horse who is doing his job perfectly.  We still have the lean TB in, and he is starting to put weight on and will make someone a dream horse.  We have all fallen for him but haven’t the time to ride any more.  He is managing at the moment, but I think a course of GastriX is on the cards soon, just to give him the best chance we can.  Our 36 year old pony looks about 15 years younger than he is and the two Arabs are their usual playful selves – both looking very well on the Rhosfawr grass despite doing between 5 and 10 miles a day 4-5 days a week (and they aren’t flat miles either!).

Hope we get a few more weeks of good weather before the start of winter and I will keep you posted about Red Dragon.  Hope you all get to get out riding and enjoying what is left of summer."

Julie