Ahhh, welcome back autumn. Hello, lovely crisp mornings and beautiful red leaves. Oh, hello, endless rain. We definitely didn't miss you. Here are 11 things we'd forgotten about our sometimes-favourite season...
1. The never-ending rug dilemma. Is it too warm for a rug? Too cool to go without? Oh look, the sun’s come out now, it’s actually really warm – but it’s forecast to rain later… ARRRGH! You are driving yourself mad.
2. Seemingly overnight, the fields and bridleways go from being rock solid to rivers of squidgy mud. Which brings us onto…
3. Mud fever. Oh, you’re back are you? No offence, but we’d hoped we’d seen the last of you.
4. To wash or not to wash? Some people swear washing the mud off your horse’s legs after riding prevents mud fever. Others swear it causes it. Only one thing’s for certain, the whole debate causes a lot of angst.
5. You’ve got a choice between grooming for an hour, or just brushing the worst of the mud off in the bridle and saddle area, and hoping that passers-by assume your grey pony is actually skewbald. Or brown. Or black.
6. Mare owners rejoice! There’ll be a lot less squirting, squealing and veering between being incredibly grumpy and ridiculously over-affectionate and needy. But enough about you — your mare’s seasons are over for another year, hurrah!
7. Urgh, no more weekend lie-ins now you’re bringing your horse in every night and turning out every morning. (Just to clarify — by lie-ins, we mean the horsy definition of until 7am, not the normal person definition of midday. What a waste of valuable riding time that would be!)
8. Break out the handcream. You’ve only just started doing a daily muck out and your hands already feel like sandpaper.
9. Your monthly feed bill is enormous. Good grass, we miss you already.
It might be a month until the opening meet, but autumn hunting is well underway so here’s what you need
10. There are suddenly no kids at your yard any more. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective, but there are a few mums out there sighing in relief at being to ride during school hours again – freedom at last.
11. What do you mean, you can’t ride after work as it’ll be too dark? Hang on a minute – where did summer go?
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday