As Storm Doris rages across parts of Britain today, winds have reached 94mph in North-West Wales. Flights have been cancelled at Heathrow airport, 7,000 homes are without power in Northern Ireland and commuters have been warned to expect road and rail delays.
We’re hoping you all stay safe out there today — if you’re still with power and can get from A to B, it looks like you can count yourself lucky. But that’s not to say it isn’t making horse owners’ lives a misery all the same…
1. Attempting to put on a rug means being slapped in the face by it as it blows back on you. You can’t tell which way the wind is coming from — it’s everywhere — and it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference if you’re rugging up in the stable. Storm Doris knows how to get through a stable door…
2. Trying to fill up water buckets is worthy of a comedy sketch as they are repeatedly blown over. The fact that a bucket has spilt onto you and is trickling down inside your boot isn’t making a huge amount of difference, as Storm Doris has dished up some rain as well.
3. On the subject of ‘filling up’, can we talk about haynets? Or more specifically: hay. In. Your. Face. All the more unbearable because you’re wet (see point two).
4. What once resembled an electric fence, is now an afternoon’s worth of untangling, that would be better suited to a brain-teaser game show. Maybe wait until after the wind has died down if you want to avoid being trussed up like a mummy.
5. You’re now wondering why you didn’t shell out to get the roof of the field shelter fixed when you heard it rattling last week, as you watch it sailing across the field and out of sight.
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6. This weather is pretty grim, you think to yourself, but we’ve all seen a bit of rain before. So off you trot to put up a few cross-poles in the school. But Storm Doris and poles don’t mix, so flatwork it is.
7. Except when you do get on, you’re wondering why your nearly-retired cob is giving you the feel of a four-year-old on the racetrack. Not even a neck strap can help you today. Maybe this wasn’t the day for riding after all…
8. Inside you might feel cosy with the wind battering against the windows, and your riding kit drying on the radiator, but you’re in a state of panic wondering what carnage Strom Doris is causing outside. But just as you’re wondering whether it would be acceptable to bring your horse into the house, the BBC promises us some good news: “The strongest winds are expected to be ‘short-lived’ and gone by the evening.” Phew.