As most of our followers now Thursday’s are a “quiet day” for the horses at least, having worked the previous day. Things are not so quiet however, for everyone on two legs, it is a day when odd jobs are done and everywhere is disinfected. The walkers are oiled and greased, the hay and feed barrows, feed mangers and pots, water buckets and walls are thoroughly washed and disinfected to prevent the build-up of any spores and other nasties. Tack is cleaned and oiled, rugs washed and dried, walkers swept and or washed, trotting ring and canter rings are raked and the water treadmill remains as active and busy as ever- although that particular piece of kit never stays still for long and there is a constant humming sound coming from the Vitafloor.
Yesterday the spare boxes we steam cleaned and disinfected ready for today’s hay delivery from way down South were filled to the brim with gorgeous, sweet smelling hay which always makes me wonder why we bother steaming the hay before feeding it because it’s so nice, but the reality is horses are more sensitive in Spring to allergens so although the hay is particularly good quality and “clean” it is an extra layer of protection and one we really only need adhere to in the Spring.
George had an interesting day “fishing” when he and handyman Craig attempted to catch our two ginormous sturgeon and the three remaining koi. Since moving to Sun Hill in 2000 George has laboured over his pond, nurturing the small fish and plants. The 16 Koi had grown to about two feet while the sturgeon had made four feet in length and over a foot deep in width. They have been a (costly) delight but until recently when a vile predator (not Jimmy Saville) arrived and slaughtered all but three koi and the two big lads. The Mink in question is one of those “sweet little things” some total idiot claiming to be an animal lover has let out into the wild (Mink are not native to Britain) because they “thought keeping them captive was cruel” and how nice it would be for the little darlings to be allowed out into the countryside.
What these well-meaning but poorly educated folk don’t realise is that there is now apparently a much bigger animal welfare problem happening in the countryside with mink running amok through ponds and rivers killing beautiful, well cared for fish for fun . And like foxes they don’t kill to eat and live, they kill for fun leaving half dead, savaged fish torn to shreds but still breathing –temporarily, in their wake.
Our fish have moved to Jack Berry’s pond where we hope they stand more chance of survival. Jack has geese and lots of terriers who will keep rotters like mink away- hopefully.
Busy day planned for tomorrow with a staff training morning with Yogi Breisner .