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November

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Drifting towards Winter

November brings the final drift of the year, so that each area of the Forest has been covered before winter sets in and in good time for the last sale at Beaulieu Road. Commoners who plan to enter the Boxing Day point to point races will be working to get their horses or ponies fit. You will often see them out at dawn or dusk, getting their riding fitted in around the working day. Those who work shifts or from home have a distinct advantage in being able to do this in proper daylight.

The second of the year’s Welfare Tours also takes place. Officials from DEFRA will join officers from other agencies and animal welfare charities to join the Verderers and CDA for a tour of the Forest. They stop at random sites to take a look at the condition of the animals on the Open Forest. Hopefully, by November the commoners have already removed any that look like they could do with some extra feeding or attention ahead of the winter months.

© 2018 Sally Fear

Whether training for the point to point or just routine rides or walks, commoners will be out on the Forest throughout the week, whatever the weather, checking on their animals.

November is also usually the worst month for traffic accidents involving commoners’ animals, and it is the time of year when all New Forest groups pull together to highlight the extra risk, each doing their bit in the media, and always experimenting new tactics to draw attention to the additional care needed when driving on Forest roads in the dark.

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