Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A safer topic - the weather!

I'll keep away from politics in this chapter - so instead I'll merely bore you instead with my permanent obsession, the weather. By my reckoning, winter is December, January and February, so we're still three weeks away - but, bloody hell, it feels as if we're there already. Sunday, mind you, was lovely, as is suggested by these pictures of the horses enjoying the bi-annual pleasure of a new field. We have two fields out the back here, so my version of crop rotation is to use one field for half the year and the other one for the other half. In practice this means that we remain in the winter field until the spring grass is properly through in the summer field (ie May) and then in the summer field until the autumn deluges have made it too much like no man's land - as seen in umpteen WWI movies - and we long for some brief respite (ie November). The respite, sadly, is all too brief, because this lovely field, as seen here, only remains this lovely for a matter of hours before it, too, becomes Somme-like. But Sunday, at least, was a pleasure for both man and beast, both overhead and underfoot. I wish I could say the same about the past two days, yesterday in particular having been the type of day to give autumn a bad name: leaden skies, a fierce cold wind and unrelenting rain. Ugh - it's enough to make a man wear long trousers, as I'm afraid I can testify!

I think the forecast is better for tomorrow, which would be nice as we'll be off to Kempton. The following day we'll be at Wolverhampton (Rhythm Stick running tomorrow and Ethics Girl on Thursday) and weather that isn't too grim would be welcome: racing in the winter after dark isn't very special at the best of times, but if it's both cold and wet it's very far from fun - unless you have a winner, of course, in which case the conditions really don't matter. Those two horses are two of only a handful in strong work at present, with the majority of the few horses in training here being at earlier stages of their preparations. The three yearlings we have here are now all ridden, which is good. Two of them were very seasoned right from the start and didn't need much ground-work, while the third, the Barathea filly, had to wait a bit longer before she was ready to accept a rider. She, though, has now settled down into the routine and Adam rode her this morning (as seen above, frisking along behind First Pressing) for the first time, which was very satisfying. So she can now do a bit more each day and soon, I hope, will be as experienced as the Tiger Hill and Sir Percy fillies (shown here on their first day being ridden, with Hannah on the Sir Percy and Adam on the Tiger Hill) who have both already had two weeks of riding and who now go around like old hands, which reflects much credit on their riders.

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