9 reasons riders love (and hate) autumn

  • As a horse owner and rider, what do you enjoy most about the autumn season? Here are a few of our thoughts

    1. Autumn hunting

    What could be better than following hounds under a pink sky as the sun rises on a misty autumn morning, or riding across country in a landscape where everything that is still living or growing is tinged with gold?

    (On the flipside, is that my morning alarm? It can’t be. It’s the middle of the night)

    2. Clipping

    Nothing makes a horse look smarter than a neat clip revealing a healthy, shiny coat over defined muscle. You can even clip to accentuate his good points and hide conformational weaknesses. Meanwhile, stroking his neck feels like velvet.

    (Never mind the fact you’ll fill a tissue with hairs on blowing your nose, and have an itchy neck in that jacket for the next month. These will be the least of your worries if your horse leaves the vicinity at speed on hearing you start up the clippers)

    3. No flies

    So long evil horse flies. Adios midges. Sayonara sweet itch. Good riddance lumps on your horse’s saddle patch.

    (Greetings, wind and rain, it’s been a while)

    4. Soft going

    Hurrah for heavenly, long canters now the fields are soft enough to storm around, having been hard baked all summer.

    (Boo to scraping the mud off your girth the next day having not had time to wash it off on returning to the yard)

    5. Stabling at night

    You get to build deep beds that look more inviting and immaculate now than they will for the rest of the year. You can bring in your grateful equine from a downpour and watch steam rise from his back as he tucks into his supper.

    (You’ve just signed yourself up for mucking out every morning until the weather turns again in April).

    6. No dust

    No more brushing and brushing and brushing and brushing the endless amounts of dust from his coat.

    (There’s the small matter of wet mud, but that’s a darn sight easier to get off once dry. Oh and there’s mud fever. That’s a pain in the derrière. Or rather pastern)

    7. Team chasing/hunter trials

    And, we’re off! Storming along over courses you don’t get the chance to access for the remainder of the year, in the company of great friends, with your horse enjoying the camaraderie and competition as much as you are.

    (Pack spare breeches and pants in case you come a cropper in the water/bog and it’s a little fresh out).

    8. Lovely leaves

    Call us frivolous, but having been cooped up at home or in an office for the majority of the week, the contrast of riding through fallen leaves on a Saturday morning, admiring the reds and golds still clinging on to their branches, is heart warming.

    (We see nothing bad about leaves, other than they congregate on the yard to form a damp, shiny ice rink on which we go A over T. Similarly, wet moss — which didn’t make this list, on account of having no redeeming features)

    9. Baths

    You need, no, you deserve a long, hot, steaming bath to ease your frozen bones on returning from a day at the yard. Bliss.

    (However… chilblains)

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