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Roads are lethal this morning so can't walk the dog or go for a ride. I tried a walk round the field but have been awake most of the night with a flaring ankle, so frozen rutted ground is not a good idea, standing in one place throwing a ball was a better plan. The ponies, aged 21 and 24 will go our later, bucking, rearing, chasing each other in circles and rolling in the snow, wish I felt like that in the mornings. The snow in the Lakes looks beautiful from here.

Woodpeckers started drumming this week. I counted sixteen different bird varieties in our garden (plus rats!), I love washing up with that to watch. Made 23 jars of marmalade this week, after such a poor summer for fruit there was very little jam made. Potatoes are chitting, seeds bought, now hoping for some energy to plant, weed, water and nurture.

People keep telling me "your arthritis must be bad in this cold weather", can't say I notice a difference, what do other folks find?


7 Replies

Ca you get a jat of marmalade to glos? if you are into birds its the RSPB bird watch weekend they are asking pople to spend an hour in thier garden or local park counting birds this weekend x


You sound very chirpy. It's sunny here and our snow has melted over night, so my ponies are back to standing in mud.

I find extremes of weather unhelpful, though in a cumulative way rather than suddenly, if that makes sense. I have been better this winter than previous ones, though I think that may be because I haven't been at work - everything is better. BUT my disease first kicked off in winter, and my big crisis last year started around this time, so I don't want to speak too soon. I'd either like some more proper winter (ie snow) or I'd like it to be spring. I don't want months more rain and mud.

Enjoy your day, and take care of that ankle.

Dotty x


I know what you mean, this winter has gone on too long. After all, we had summer last March. My RA started in early Feb 5 years ago, at the time I thought it was the aftermath of a cold at the end of a long and wearying winter. I struggled on at work for two years and have to say I have been better since I very reluctantly left.

My fields are too small and wet for winter turnout, this year anyway. Fortunately I have a large yard for them to move around in when things are bad. Dusk was a brood mare on the fells until she was 19 so she is tough. Zac left the fells as a foal so he expects to be cared for and brought in at the first flurry.

It is good to know there is another RA person with ponies, I do know one other but suspect she does not ride much now. Mind you, lots of people my age have given up.........

Had forgotten about the ankle.


I'm going for lessons again, to develop some new riding skills (a bit of dressage) and to rebuild my confidence, which took an all round kicking last year because of all my work troubles. Now I'm not working I'm spending some time on some things I really want to do. :-)


Good idea. I had some lessons at an RDA centre not long ago when my pony was out of action. It really helped as riding the same awkward brute for years on end does not improve your riding. I also borrowed another Fell for a fun ride,(came off in fine style), and went hacking on a royal Highland at Balmoral - wonderful.

It is amazing how I fought so hard to keep my job and now I wonder why I bothered.

Look forward to hearing how the lessons go.


I feel the same way as you really - it doesn't seem to affect my joints as such though. I do find that the MTX has made me chill terribly badly though and yesterday I went out without gloves and my knuckles and finger joints went deep purple as though I'd been in a fight with a huge blueberry! I used to ride when at my grandparents in Essex - was always a bit of a wimp about horses still am really but there are several up on top of hour hill and I usually go and say hello to them while walking the dogs - they are very beautiful. Tilda x


My horse was a bit naughty yesterday. She tends to rush off, and I am learning new ways to balance and control her, rather than getting into a tugging match, which she wins because she's a Welsh Cob X with a big strong neck and chest, and weighs half a tonne. But learning dressage-type riding is learning a whole new discipline, which in the end will cross over into any other kind of riding that I do; in the meantime it makes me feel like a clumsy beginner. I'm taking her into some group lessons with kids rather than anything more advanced which tends to be too much for my poor foggy brain to cope with, never mind my poor achy body. I tried having private lessons but it was too much for me to take in all at once and I ended up in tears. Silly, really. But this is a better solution for me, and as the group lessons are cheaper I can afford to have more of them.

I'm really keen for my fields to dry out now, so that I can do some practice at home. I don't have a school, just a flattish piece of field where I put markers out, and can put up a few jumps.

It's meant to be a bit drier and sunny here for a few days...bring it on! My dad and I are planning a bonfire tomorrow. I have too much garden for me to be able to manage single-handed now, so he comes and helps me once a week. He's in his seventies, and in my dodgy state we just about keep pace. One of the bonuses of RA has been spending more time with him.

Dotty x


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