October 2016

Welcome to the Autumn! The temperature has dropped, the leaves are falling and it is my all time favourite time of year.IMG_8819
We have had a great September with some lovely weather and a few fabulous clients to keep us company. My dear friend Coco who has been staying with us has moved on to pastures new as planned. It was so much fun having him here and we get on like a house on fire, bringing out the youth in each other! We wished him well on his journey across the English Channel and Vet Viki ensured that he was absolutely fit and healthy to travel before his departure which is very important when there is such a long journey ahead.

Harriet and Richard
Last Saturday 1st October everyone up at the farm abandoned me to go to the small animal surgery for some coffee and cake in aid of Macmillan. I heard that they opened all the doors to the surgery so that everyone could have a look around. How fascinating – I have always wanted to see what goes on inside a small animal veterinary practice and apparently this was the perfect opportunity.
The girls have been talking about nothing else ever since and are thrilled that we made £365.09 to donate to such a fabulous cause!
Another big event happened last month, Harriet got married at Newdigate Church. Everyone dressed up in their glad rags, I barely recognised them out of wIMG_8817ork gear but they looked fabulous and a great time was had by all. All the horses sent their congratulations and apparently her own horse Harry also made a guest appearance on the day! I bet he was very confused when he was plaited in the morning, for then not to go jumping!
Our winter rugs have all been washed, reproofed and returned ready for the colder months IMG_8818ahead. Time to snuggle down and make the most of the sunshine! Just a quick word of advice to all fellow equines, avoid the acorns. However tempting they may be they give you a very nasty tummy if you eat them – more information HERE .

Until November…
Buster x

September 2016

Buster in the field

Still so handsome if I do say so myself!

The sun has for the most part just kept on shining – and for us the flies have not been a problem as we changed to our summer grazing routine after haymaking so we go out after the flies have gone to bed and the air is a little cooler – lucky we have excellent night vision so we can see that lovely sweet grass – I do prefer the night grazing routine then I can snooze all day in my lovely cool stable but still see who is coming and going!

We have had some lovely new faces staying this month; one super sophisticated “dressage” horse made a short pit stop before moving on to his new home being vetted by Viki “our boss vet”. Everyone agreed he was just so perfect and is definitely going to be spoiled with his new Mummy!

Early morning field gang

My chums from left to right, Scooter, Penny, myself (Buster), Torro and Abraham

As usual we have had our regulars calling in for their new shoes or annual vaccinations or treatments and as I write this I see we have TWO new chickens joined the flock, how excited everyone is; two “Dorking” hens have made themselves comfortable so now it is fingers crossed for plenty of eggs so they can get baking for our Macmillan Coffee Morning and open day being held on Saturday 1st October, 10-12.30 in our Newdigate surgery.

If the reports are to be believed these annual coffee mornings are great fun and everyone returns full of cake and beaming smiles on their face. Bertie (Viki’s scruffy terrier dog) tells me that they are opening up the small animal surgery for clients to see behind the scenes. What a fabulous idea for a great cancer charity.  In 2015 £349.50 was raised so everyone is hoping to beat that this year so spread the word and go down to join them. I would love to myself but I am not sure I would fit through the door!

Now September has come and the last of the summer heat will soon end – I can feel the weather has cooled a bit and early morning autumn mists have started – what a lovely peaceful time of year autumn is – reminders of my hunting youth – sad in some ways my legs no longer can run so fast but happy with my memories.

Soon my lovely cosy rug will help me keep the approaching winter cold at bay so let’s all make the most of the sunshine we get. If you can do come along to our Macmillan Coffee Morning and Open Day on 1st October – Cancer care needs your support if you manage to make it there.


Until next time…

Buster x

August 2016

Hooray! All our hay has been made and wow wee, we have plenty of it! Things are looking good for the winter!image-3

July has been a steady month with some lovely weather and we have all been enjoying the sun on our backs.

We have had a few visitors and patients staying with us. I especially enjoy when they are here on a day trip and have plenty of stories to tell. Our vets work very closely with farriers and often horses arrive especially to be shod and x-rayed to make sure their foot balance is just as it needs to be. This is always very interesting as every horse is so different and we all require that individual treatment. After they have been shod they usually leave with a healthy spring in their step ready to go to their next competition!

You will be pleased to hear the lamb who had the broken leg is doing very well and it won’t be long until she is back to full fitness in the field.

The driving horses are ticking along nicely and have been on a couple of trips for various lessons and have had some lovely drives around our surrounding countryside. The roads in this area can be dangerous, as many are. But recently there have been a couple of incidents around Newdigate that have made us even more aware. Some of the drivers that pass through the village do not always slow down for horses or give them enough space as the Highway Code states they need to. This can be so dangerous and all it takes is that scary leaf or blade of grass out of place to make us jump (you know how unpredictable we can be!) and it would be curtains for us, our riders and the driver and passengers in the cars. I always make sure that my riders are wearing hi-vis, as does Viki for her horses and anyone on the back of the carriage so that we can be seen well in advance of passing. We are even going to get Bertie the dog his own hi-vis jacket! It seems that often this is not enough and we are still experiencing some unfortunate near misses or even accidents so close to home. As horses we really do urge all drivers to take their time whilst passing horses on the road. Most riders are very courteous and will always express their gratitude for giving them a chance to stay on board and not hit the deck.

Best get back to the grass before the dreaded 3pm flies come looking for me, they are a nuisance this year!

Until next time,

Buster x

July 2016

So far the British Summer Time seems to have forgotten us, either that or it has rewritten its brief for what should make up a good summer! I think our hens have gone on strike too because of the bad weather. Since the rain came in at the beginning of June, Viki and Peter have had to cope with rationed egg production! But despite all the rain we are all still cheery and ever optimistic for those days of wonderful sunshine!

Another busy month for us here at Newdigate Vets. We have had so many visitors, some staying for longer than others. One of our patients decided that they liked it here so much that the day before they were due to be discharged, he decided to give us another reason to stay and keep the vets busy!

We have also had a gorgeous little Soay lamb in with a suspected broken leg. Together with his mother he came in and had x-rays which confirmed the fracture and also showed exactly where and how it was fractured. The vets splinted it and he spent a few days with us to recuperate and get used to his bandaging. He has been recovering really well. Everyone finds cases like these fascinating and we are sure his mother will do a great job at looking after him as well as his humans.

Catching some shelter in the Donkey's stable and raiding their stash of ginger nuts!

Catching some shelter in the Donkey’s stable and raiding their stash of ginger nuts!

As I have been around much longer than the others, I wasn’t at all surprised by our slightly different resident in the barn, some of the other horses however were most definitely not expecting to see a sheep in the stable next to them and there was definitely a bit of snorting to be heard in the beginning!

Talking of alternative residents we also had two cats who normally go to the small animal surgery. However their humans went on holiday and so they came to staywith us so that we could keep a really close eye on them. They were so sweet and loved to watch me go by – so inquisitive.

I have been  laughing at the donkeys the last couple of days as they have been having their annual bath and smarten  up before Ardingly Smallholders Show 2/3 July. This is an activity which is definitely not on the top of their list of favourite things to do! Off they went with a spring in their step as Francesca was ever so kind and packed them a haynet and some fibre nuggets. No doubt they will be spoiled rotten! They are also attending Capel Show on the 20th August 2016.

I have currently got an old and best friend here to stay for a few weeks too. A lovely Selle-Francais horse who is of a similar age to me. What can I say, he brings out the worst in me and we are definitely managing to keep the girls on their toes, even if our combined age is over 50! Apparently we are now not allowed to sit next to each other at school as we might disrupt the class!!

That is my excitement for the month. Well done to all those who have done well at their competitions and thank you for sending in your photos and reports. They are such good inspiration for those staying with us that aren’t quite feeling their best!

Until next time,

Buster x

June 2016

Buster and Melanie We have had some gorgeous weather recently allowing the last bits of winter coat to come out which makes us all feel so much better! The sheep have also been sheared so they must be feeling it a bit more than us!

May has been a busy month for us with various inpatients with a mixture of ailments. Although it has been nice getting to know them on my way down the barn, it has really been lovely to hear how they are back out and about doing what they (and their owners!) love doing the most.

Torro and the rest of his driving buddies have also been working hard on their fitness and they are disappearing off to exercise for longer periods of time now. Hopefully by the next blog I will have some competition results for you!

I have also been out and about a bit too with my trusted riders, Melanie and Lauren. I think they feel I could be an easy ride as I am, well, getting on a bit! So I have to remind them every now and again that although I am not a spring chicken anymore, thanks to my wonderful vets, I can still manage to behave and move like one!

Not only have we had lots of equine visitors, we have also had lots of human ones for many reasons. One of the main reasons is to buy their horse feed from us. The horses at Barings Field Farm are fed Primero Total which is a holistic horse feed suitable for all types of horses in varying levels of work. Ideal for everyone that comes in and as its composition is varied, it’s absolutely delicious. I am yet to meet a horse that doesn’t like it.

If you would like to purchase some or find out more about it, simply contact us and the humans can give you more information.Torro grazing

For all of you out and about competing during June please send in your photos and competition reports, we all LOVE to read how you are getting on and it definitely provides inspiration for those inpatients who are here and not currently feeling their best.

Until next time,

Buster x

May 2016


First let me introduce myself. My name is Buster and I am the longest standing member of Barings Field Farm. I like to think that I am the most handsome gentleman here on the yard and I am sure all the others will agree!

This blog is to keep all our lovely clients up to date with the goings on at Newdigate Vets and Barings Field Farm, from a horses point of view which quite frankly, I feel is the most important point of view!!

So I will bring you up to speed with the year so far. After a boringly wet winter we are finally allowed out in our big fields again which is great news. Especially for the competition driving horses who love to have a run and a buck. For me I have my own rules. I don’t often like to be penned in so I have finally convinced Viki and the girls to just let me graze free range around the farm. That way I can keep an eye on everything much more easily.

After some sun on our backs which has been most welcome, we finally had a bit more rain (can’t believe I even said that!) and the grass has eventually decided to grow a bit so we are all thrilled. Apparently that means we have to be more careful with what we eat and how much, so my plan of eating until I can hardly move has been put on stop!

This year has been busy so far and we have had lots of visitors in to our barn for one reason or another. I always like meeting the new horses when I am walking down the barn. I find their stories very interesting to listen to and we all especially like it when their owners come as we tend to get a few more cuddles too as they introduce themselves to us!

It is great when they leave Barings Field Farm feeling much better and we always like to hear how they are getting on. I have had my fair share of treatment now that I have reached, how shall I put it, a more mature age – so I like to be able to give a pep talk to those that are in and  help put their minds at rest. It must work as all our inpatients always seem very settled here.

Well I had better go for now. I can hear the girls making my dinner so I need to be on alert to make sure they don’t miss me. I try and convince them to feed me first each time but sadly my attempts are in vain!

Until next time,

Buster x