The boys are now down the hill in the bottom two fields again, 2 weeks earlier than I put Merlin down there last year. It seems much earlier than that, probably because I was able to get him back into the top fields for some grazing later on in the year, but I doubt that will be an option this year as we've had the remains of two hurricanes dumped on us over the past 24 hours and the top two fields currently resemble an olympic swimming pool, despite the new drains put in last year.
I was going to strip graze them, but my neighbours have advised keeping the grass as long as possible for as long as possible (if you see what I mean!) while it's this wet to prevent it turning into a bog, so the gate to the bottom field is open and two happy naked horses are stuffing themselves on what is basically standing hay. They have half a bale of hay spread out round the inside of the field shelter if they want it, but they much prefer to be out in the rain and wind eating the real deal.
Talking of the field shelter, look what my lovely other half arranged last week:
That's 24 tons of hardcore and the slope sorted out so the water drains away down the field into the drains rather than leaving Merlin with a moat like last year. This area is going to be fenced, so if it gets as soggy and boggy as last year, I'll be able to shut them onto this with hay and they can potter in or out as they want rather than having to stable them. If Carlsberg did husbands.... :o)