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Seven things horse owners love about autumn (and why we’re secretly relieved summer’s over)

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Horse and riders hacking in Autumn

You’d think a drop in temperature and earlier sunsets would be a poor trade-off for summer’s hazy, drawn out evenings but, as horse owners know, it’s really not all bad

We can’t be the only ones who dusted off our winter coats last week. It seems the last of the summer heatwave has truly ebbed away and, although we wouldn’t mind if the mercury clambered up to 20 plus just once or twice more this year, there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful about the arrival of autumn. Here’s why we’re excited for the changing leaves…

  1. Adios, flying pests So small, so infuriating, so very nearly impossible to deter. However, after a summer plaguing you and your horse, the cooling temperatures are set do all the hard work for you and drive the scourge of winged nuisances away. At best, flies are a constant source of mild annoyance to your horse throughout the summer months and, at worst, they’ll drive him to distraction with itching, so a few blissful, fly-free months is a welcome break to us all. Sweet itch sufferers in particular, this one’s for you.
  2. Beat the heat It’s an obvious yet joyous reason to celebrate autumn. How many times did you look at wall-to-wall scorchio in the weather forecast and have to adjust riding plans for fear of your horse melting into an equine puddle? At least with a respectable sub-20 you’ll never have to cancel your lessons again – at least not for another six months, anyway.
  3. Canter hacks are back Whether it’s miles of stubble (cantered upon with the landowner’s permission, of course) or your favourite rock-hard bridleway newly softened by heavy dews and welcome showers, your hacks will find a new gear in the coming weeks – what’s not to love?
  4. It has pockets! Riding tights and feather-light tees are all well and good – until you need somewhere to put your phone and all-important polos. The lucky among us will have legwear with ample integrated pockets, while the more organised rider might have a bumbag on standby, but take your eye off the ball and you’ll find yourself in a pocketless hell. At least if the season forces the wearing of jackets you’ll have no shortage of places to put your phone!
  5. Hoof-oria If you’ve been lamenting dry, brittle, fast-growing hooves for the past who-knows-how-long, say hello to autumn and bid cracked, flaky feet goodbye.
  6. The clip of it Love it or loathe it, a freshly clipped horse is a satisfying sight. And, thanks to his waterproof turnout, his body will stay (somewhat) clean, too. Plus, you’ll no longer feel as if you’ve hoarded a load of rugs for no reason.
  7. Golden skies Yes, yes, we know daylight hours are fewer, but the light we do get is bloomin’ gorgeous. Time an afternoon hack right and you’ll be bathed in amber light, complemented by russet trees and lush autumn grass. It’s perfect for a photo op, but also wonderful for living in the moment

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