Beating The Bad Weather Blues

I am overwhelmingly fortunate to have an indoor arena, which makes riding in the current weather conditions doable. However, the inconsistency in Oscar's routine hasn't done us any favours and I seem to have a horse with a mood matching that of a grounded teenager. Because of the insane amount of rainfall in Great Britain at the moment (not to mention gale force winds), turnout has been hit and miss, interrupting Oscar's daily routine which I work hard to keep consistent. He is a horse that thrives on turnout and would happily live out 24/7 if I let him, this makes days munching hay, staring at his stable walls, (occasionally attempting to bite his neighbour), followed by an evening of being ridden by floodlight, round and round an arena, feel torturous for my little pony!
Not to mention my ever decreasing bank balance due to the loss of shoes from; 
a) kicking the stable door in boredom
b) running around the field like a loon, throwing them left, right and centre
c) Oscar sat picking the nails out one by one while I am at work, due to the boredom of being stabled it February pay day yet?? Needless to say, Oscar isn't the only one feeling a bit sour.

Therefore when a space in my friends trailer came free with an invitation to Willoughby On The Wolds Equestrian Centre, I jumped at the chance to take Oscar out for the day, pushing the worries of the driving wind and rain to the back of my mind....will the trailer blow over?
Willoughby On The Wolds Equestrian Centre is home to the UK's first all weather cross country venue, to hire, it costs £18.00 per hour, per horse (please note website still shows £15 per hour but this has now increased)
The arena surface was excellent, no puddles or 'pot' holes and rode beautifully, with a mix of flamboyant poles and fillers aside wooden houses and brush fences, not forgetting the fun water complex, steps and ditches! Thankfully we managed to keep dry (yes, that includes no falling into the water), but the wind stayed with us, reaching gusts of 40 mph, often taking my breath away I rode into it. The arena was booked in advance, I would recommend this as we weren't the only ones blowing away the Winter blues, the hour slots before and after us were both taken! 

Oscar was a dream, we only began jumping together in November and so far that has only included the odd pop over one or two fences that have been left in the school, so it was a huge deal for us, but a great opportunity to get out and see things, and although it was out of our comfort zone, we let go and both loved are some pictures from the day...not bad for our first attempt :o)
This fabulous day out has inspired me to make the effort and find more facilities local to me, I don't have transport but I have already found 3 other equestrian venues/liveries in hacking distance from my yard and even though they are not as impressive/purpose built as Willoughby On The Wolds, it's a great confidence boost just going somewhere new and refreshes your horses brain. How are you banishing the Winter blues?

Thank you for reading, Jessica & Oscar xx

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