#Blogtober Day 12: Your autumn/winter routine with your horse

Do your routines with the horses change with the seasons? As autumn moves into winter (HELLO MUD, I really hadn't missed ya!) many equestrians will begin to make changes to their horse's routines.
So what about my autumn and winter routines? I wouldn't say that I have a routine for autumn and winter that differs a lot from the rest of the year. In the summer, our horses go out 7am and come in sometime in the afternoon and then I ride closer towards the evening when it's cooler. In autumn, the horses go out later - around 9am - and come in sometime around midday, but this depends entirely on the weather. On gloriously beautiful sunny autumnal days they are quite happy to stay out well into the afternoon, but on wet, windy and cold days they want to come in by 11am. Throughout the year our horses are stabled over night, and this will never change. In our family only our youngsters and retired horses live out 24/7. Our horses are all about routine, so making things the same for them every day in makes everyone's life much easier.
Does my exercise plan for the horses change over the winter? Not really... I mean, of course I've not able to take the horses out for a long hack yet because of the busy roads, or enjoy the back field for our canter work instead of the arena, but overall how much work my horses do doesn't actually change. I aim to work all of the horses five days each week with 2 x school sessions, 2 x lunge sessions, 1 x training session and 1 x canter in the field/hack/arena walk hack. This doesn't change much between summer and autumn!


#Blogtober Day 10 & 11: Autumn wardrobes

I mean if you're anything like me, your horse's wardrobe is more extensive than your own! For days 10 and 11 in #Blogtober, here are mine and my horses' autumn wardrobes during these cooler months ⤵️

Although our horses have what feels like a thousand rugs, with two or more for every occasion in fact (we have rugs for every eventuality), I do try keep my horses without rugs as much as possible, especially now that they're inside the barn. Luckily we have a thermostat in the barn so I know the approximate temperature inside, and if it doesn't drop below +13C, I don't use rugs - especially now that they are very hairy and haven't been clipped yet! When the temperature has dropped below that, the four rugs I have been rotating between already this autumn are the 0g rain sheet, light weight or fleece lined turn out rug (either high neck or full neck), the light weight 100g Mio rugs with no neck and fleece rugs.
I don't need more rugs but wouldn't this be cute on Basse?
I think when deciding on what rugs to use this autumn, remember that each horse is an individual. Some might be run hot whilst others can be prone to a chill. Vallu is a chilly horse whilst Erik runs hot, but currently Basse has the fluffiest coat ever so I've been using different rugs for each one, especially when turning out horses, who will move about in their paddocks to generate warmth if they are feeling chilly, which is why I would rather 'under rug' for turn out.


#Blogtober Day 7: Top things you love about autumn

Like I mentioned in yesterday's post, I ADORE autumn since I was born in October and I always feel a sense of relief after a long hot summer when the temperatures start to drop and the weather cools down a little.

🍂 Here are the top things I love about autumn: 🍂

1. It's the end of summer so no more flies! We have a lot of flies in this area, so I'm VERY happy to not have to hear anymore buzzing, and I think the horses are happy too as there's a lot less head swishing.
2. The colours of the leaves - gorgeous! I adore the colour of the changing leaves, sometimes I think that autumn leaves are more beautiful than any flower in the summer! Just recently as I was turning out the horses at 8am, I stopped to think how could anybody actually not like autumn?

3. Pulling out the winter warmers from the wardrobe - eing able to put our favourite snuggly clothes back on. We all moan about being cold when winter comes, but its now the time of year when we all start dragging our winter wardrobe out.
4. Clipped horses – I CANNOT wait to clip my horses. They dry quicker, they look so much smarter and it's so much easier to keep them clean!


#Blogtober Day 6: Handling the season change - top tips

Changing seasons can bring about potential problems for horses and their owners. Autumn months bring a variety of weather conditions that affect horse, their owners and riders, but whilst autumn weather often brings pleasant conditions (e.g. it's not so hot!!), it can also bring conditions that are frustrating and create extra work for both horses and riders.
It's been a long, hot, dry summer and at least our place here in Wiltshire is well over due some rain. I will happily take a bit of mud and colder temperatures after this summer! But my top tip for handling the season change when riding is to have longer warm ups: in the colder weather, especially when it’s a sudden drop in one day, it can decrease not only skin temperature but also muscle temperature. Be sure to give your horse plenty of time to warm up at the start of exercise, make sure the horses stay warm and dry. When it's around +10C during the day, I start using fleece rugs and keep it on during the warm up and cool down walk just to help my horses' muscles stay warm.

For the riders, autumn is here so embrace it. I feel that some people see autumn arrive and automatically go into a panic about winter. Stop! Take a breath, and enjoy the the charm and calmness of autumn, the beauty of nature during this in-between season before the proper darkness and colder temperatures arrive. I am an autumn baby (born in October!) so this is my favourite season but for those who aren't enjoying the season changes, dig out those jumpers and gillets to help you stay warm in the mornings and evenings but sunset views like these make it so much better 🌅⤵️ 


#Blogtober Day 5: Autumn essentials for your horse

Yesterday's #Blogtober post was all about essentials for me, and today's is the autumn essentials for our horses! 🍁🍂

1. Rugs: ALL THE RUGS. I find it SO frustrating in the UK with the huge variety in temperatures - every day can be massively different (yesterday we had +20C and then today we have +11C), so our horses have A LOT of rugs. We have plenty of stable rugs but we have even more turn out rugs, ranging from no fill to 300g turnouts.

2. Magic brush: This brush is just the best brush ever invented, especially if you own a grey horse. It gets mud and poo and grass stains like no other brushes can.

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