Friday, 8 January 2010

Winter Worries - freelancing with horses vs severe weather

Pics.above: one of the Centres I work at on the 7th January 2010

It looks stunning doesn't it. And yet, it is also killing my livelihood.
My private clients decided to give up the struggle trying to keep up with lessons & training and are basically just keeping horses ticking over. Even if I did get to their yards there is nowhere to have lessons at as arenas are either frozen or under a foot of snow.
My Centres are still operating but with severely decreased amount of lessons.
I am already about 2 weeks worth of wages behind. And it looks like the Great Freeze is staying for a couple of more weeks.
I am using this unwanted free time to work on the Academy's project and various workshops I have planned for spring. It keeps me busy and it helps to focus on something positive.

My normally very positive outlook on life is taking a bit of a back seat.

Together with Kingsley's owner we braved the journey to the yard yesterday to sort the boy out. We had to suspend his walking rehab as he has had no turn out or been out of his box for the last few days. I walked him in-hand for 30 minutes instead in the indoor school, he did the same today and hopefully we will find a window in between the overcrowded indoor's lessons to ride him for 13 minutes as per rehab schedule.
Such a shame we can't continue properly as with SI rehabilitation the longer periods of rest are counter productive. He needs to gave low level workload to start developing the muscles that will help him carry the body with more balance. At the moment he is very weak with no topline to speak of.

I hope the meteo people are wrong and some warmer spell of weather is on its way...

Pic. below: Kingsley's Yard



HorseOfCourse said...

I am sorry, Wiola.
Must be hard to be temporarily unemployed :-(

You know, we ride on snow the whole winter. It is a super surface if you can pack it down and level it.

Unknown said...

Thank you HorseOfCourse, it's bad but it will teach me to have a bit of a budget back up in the future. I was totally unprepared for this so lesson learnt.

I think British riders have no habit to ride in snow :( I did in Poland too but here it seems to be that you would be careless to do so/risk your horse etc
Other matter is that we had farrier taking shoes off our horses for the winter or they would have studs put in.

The biggest problem though is that the surface under the snow is an ice ring, very very slippery.
Snow itself is quite powdery so rideable really.

Unknown said...

Are your horses shod by the way? What do you do to stop the snow balling up?

Anonymous said...

hey there...Canada here. Welcome to what we deal with for about five months every year, sucks!! I use baby oil in the horses hooves for those that ball up, one of my mares is particularly bad, while her daughter never balls up. Mine are all barefoot by the way. I have heard of using the spray on cooking oil..not tried it myself.Though we weather(cute pun ;) ) the cold around here, we are totally stopped by the rain you guys slog through, just different. And we have the clothes for the cold, not so much for the wet. Hang in there, my thoughts are with you all over there! Debi

Unknown said...

Hi Debi, thank you :)
I don't know how you get the strength to deal with several months of this, the appeal of working in the mild weather of the British Island suddenly loses its value!

The problem is people can't even get to the yards over here not to mention riding...

Here's is hoping for a taw to come and rescue me...
All the best to you,

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