News Round Up, in Brief

On Monday, I rode poor neglected little Flurry.  We went for a shortish hack – just under an hour.  It was a lovely spring morning, with the first cuckoos calling in the woods and a golden oriole singing sweetly nearby.  We startled a deer in the woods too, and I was pleased that Flurry was not at all spooked by it, just mildly curious.  Less pleasant were the processionary caterpillars, which are on the march at the moment and were everywhere.  Apologies for the crap photo, I didn’t want to hang around by the ‘procession’ for long :

IMG_3496These little things are full of horrible toxins.  Just to touch one will cause a nasty rash at the very least and anaphylactic shock at the very worst.  I am so glad we cleared the horse’s paddock of any nests.

On Tuesday, I had a very pleasant morning with Aero, which even included half a pedicure – just his front feet.  His feet grow much faster than Flurry’s.  Weird.  Workwise, I continued to work on asking him to lie down.  He knows I want something from him, but he can’t figure out what.  I am going to try to fudge it – bring him up to the arena after hosing him down and ask him to lie down.  He will, of course, want to roll, so he should comply!  If he does it ‘right’ and gets rewarded a couple of times I am hoping he will make the connection!  I also rode him, just my third time riding him this year.  He was ok – less crooked than last time.  Hoping to increase the ridden work so we can make a decent attempt at an Interdressage test this month. (Let’s all go to a Horseshow)

This sight for sore, dust-filled eyes was in the barn :


It’s a load of hay, from Incomprehensible Michel (even the French struggle to understand him).  His hay is weird – it looks like straw, but the horses love it.  Last year’s stuff was extremely un-dusty.  If this year’s batch is the same, I will no longer have to soak Aero’s hay.  Fingers crossed…

And then Tuesday went south – I lost my car key.  I have dreaded doing this for two and a half years now.  I’m usually super-careful about arriving at the farm, going straight into the tack room and putting all my keys on a shelf.  This time, I was distracted.  I arrived just as Alexandrine came down from the top paddocks on the quad.  We said our ‘Good Mornings’ and she offered me a ride down to  Flurry and Aero’s paddock.  Who am I to turn down a spin on a quad…  The result was that I forgot to put my key away.  I can only assume that it fell out of my pocket somewhere between the stables, the horses’ paddock, and the arena.  It’s even possible that it was stuffed into a hay net and soaked.  If this is the case, I will find it in one of the feeders today.  Fingers crossed – because I’ve searched the route from stables to paddock to arena several times and combed the arena three times – and combing a 60×30 arena is not a trivial task.  Thankfully, I have a spare.  Even more thankfully, the LSH was able to find it.  Eventually.

And then Tuesday picked up again.  I submitted an article to Horse Junkies United a couple of weeks ago and GUESS WHAT? I found out it got published!  Woohoo!  I’m embarrassed to say it got published on Sunday and I didn’t notice it.  Whoops.  I blame Facebook’s Edgeranking system.  And Twitter’s clogged up newsfeed.

You can read it here : Introducing Equifeel.

The Ballyloch Mug Giveaway has another two days to run.

150326_XT11926If you want to be sipping your tea from one of these beauties, you can enter via the blog here, via Twitter @MaGreenlee and via Facebook at Tails From Provence.  There is one mug up for grabs from each – in theory one person could win all three (and I hope you do, Rodney’s Saga!).

Oh yes, and the second Ballyloch story, Healing Charlie, is out tomorrow.

Book-Cover-Kindle-HealingCharlie-LandscapeCounting down to 9am CET tomorrow morning…

For anyone who can’t bear to wait, I’m putting it on Amazon today…

6 thoughts on “News Round Up, in Brief

  1. We Yanks are turning to these giant ‘rolls’ of hay more and more. They were originally designed to be fed to range cattle…take a roll out onto the range, unroll it (there’s a special rack installed on the back of a flatbed truck that allows it to feed out) and the cattle all line up. But the concept proved too alluring for horse folk to dismiss. These days the growers go one step’s called ‘haylage’ (derived from ‘silage’). They roll up the freshly cut hay in ugly white plastic wrap and let it ‘ferment’. Once the oxygen’s been consumed in the bale, the hay cures rather than ferments. You don’t have to worry about barn fires. The problem though, is that a lot of horse (and small cattle operations) don’t have enough animals to eat the whole roll before it rots in the rain. If you keep the hay covered (like under a roof) once it’s unwrapped it doesn’t rot.

    Good on your LSH for finding your key.


    • We used all big bale haylage in Ireland. Haylage is a better fodder than hay for the Irish climate, given that it typically is baled a day earlier. The French have not adopted it with the same enthusiasm as the Irish though. Unfortunately, or I would not have had the coughing issues with Aero. Fingers crossed that Incomprehensible Michel’s stuff is sufficiently dust free for him.


    • How interesting that the round bales got unrolled. In the UK they’re plopped whole into a metal ring feeder and everyone gathers round it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I tell ya, it’s great to see hay delivered and not be the person organising it all!! The joys of being a livery instead of being the boss!
      And thanks for the HJU comment, I hope people like it, it’s pretty different to their normal stuff.


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