Our new barn has been colonised by sparrows which at this time of year gives us our own dawn chorus. We confuse them by bringing on a very abrupt dawn every morning as the lights go on, the horses blink dramatically and yawn at the bright lights and five minutes later the sparrows are up.
We lurch from wet boggy fields to crisp frozen mornings at this time of year which is hard on the horses, we keep them in when the land is wet as the fields suffer with such large feet churning them to mud. On the crisp mornings however, the land firms up and the horses are excited to be out. Pushing the gates with their noses as we rug them up, hoping to find the latch off so they can make an early escape.
John takes hay to the fields on the quad bike first so the horses are keen to eat immediately on entering the field, if we didn’t do this the temptation to kick their stir crazy heels would be too great and they would take off bucking, leaping and kicking out and as the ground is icy we take this precaution to avoid calamity.
The cows are loving being in with the constant supply of haylage and shelter, they unlike the horses have no such regrets at being inside 24/7. They will be in now until the the arrival of their calves in April.