Yesterday was the most glorious day, clear blue skies and wall to wall warm sunshine.... today, however is very wet indeed, with warnings of heavy thundery showers. We don't get much rain here so it's quite a novalty for us and at least I won't have to water the garden for while. I do hope it's going to be dry on Sunday for our Beginners Course ..

The grass has been growing well and looks lovely and lush, rain will help to keep it going. The farmers are still making haylege near us, I don't think there'll be as much of a shortage of winter forage as was first feared, got our hay in off the field back in July and ordered some haylege, so we'll be ok.

We have a vet visit this afternoon, we're taking blood from some boys to harvest plasma, they're keeping dry in the big shelter, got them in first thing before the rain started, wondering why they're in there I expect. Makes me think of that wonderful Tony Hancock sketch - "very nearly an armful" I'm going to see if I can find it on the internet.

Got to go outside later and get some freshly dropped paca poo to give to the vets to sample for parasites - we usually worm the whole herd in October - and its good to see what's going on in them now and after worming. We gave all the cria their first AD&E vitamin jab the other day, and will repeat it every other month til April to prevent rickets. We weighed them all at the same time and they had all put on stacks of weight over the last 2 weeks, some that are around 4 months could be weaned but as their mums are doing ok we'll leave them on for a bit longer. They all had baycox too, as a preventive measure against coccidea and they'll get another dose in a few weeks.

Lovely Day

Woke to the first thick mist of the Autumn this morning, my favourite time of the year, I just love all of it, the early mists, long dog walks, the warm sunny days, chilly nights, bonfires, blackberries, the heavy showers, stormy rains .. we had it all today. The swallows are still here, masses of them, the last brood fledged a week or so ago, I worry that those won't be strong enough to fly all the way to Africa. Life here's taken on a completly different take, so much more leisurely and relaxed, I even had time to ride "Reg" my horse today, quite something as I haven't ridden him in months and not regularly in years, he was very good, amazingly responsive and light, I really enjoyed it, and I think he did too, I even cleaned my tack afterwards, must do the same tomorrow. Did loads of gardening too, lots of hacking back the summer jungle and I put in loads of violas to add a bit of colour, another trip to the nursery to buy more plants tomorrow, I've got a bit of a theme going on with deep purple and lime green ... My back is aching but it's a good ache if you know what I mean...

The pacas are all well, looking fabulous with a good inch of fleece now, the crias are full of beans and getting into mischief, they came into the little paddock by the areana when I was riding, I think they were trying to work out what was going on, as normally their equine neighbour doesn't trot around in circles and figures of eight with the one who feeds them on his back!

Breedings finished for 2010!

Well that's it, we've finished our breedings for this year. Our cut off date is 31st August and we start at the beginning of June, we like to have a short birthing season. If any females are still empty after that then they're carried over to next year. We'll scan them all in October so we know who is going into the winter pregnant and then again in March.

The Snowmass boys have been very busy and we gave Centurion and Ardingly some of the action too. We hope to have around 25 pregnant females and we just can't wait to see the crias next year

This years crop of crias are doing really well, the new flush of grass has really boosted their growth and its great to see them all develop.. We're resting half of our fields now and the grass looks gorgeous, so green, lush and new, there's plenty to go round - all I have to do is keep Peter away from the topper!