Whilst I’m sweltering in Rome, my beloved New Zealand has been hit by a wintery blast. It seems to be a rare snowstorm and bollocks – I’ve missed it! Apparently, a strong Antarctic front pushed northwards causing havoc, bringing power lines down, closing airports and disrupting traffic. Snow even fell over Wellington – that hasn’t happened since the 1970s – and for the first time in 72 years, Auckland saw snow fall.

The snowstorm has been described as a once in a lifetime event. And of course I had to be out of the country when it happened. But my riding instructor sent me photos of the property and some of the horses. Because I follow natural horsemanship, I don’t cover the horses in winter. Horses have the ability to regulate their internal temperature and, when it’s cold, they raise the hairs on their coat to create an insulating layer. Horses also grow a wonderful woolly coat to keep themselves warm – Muff and Rosie are like woolly mammoths. So if you cover your horse with a rug or blanket, it makes it impossible for the horse to raise their hairs and create that insulating layer.

All my horses enjoyed the snow apparently, as did the three horses boarding with us for a short time. I can’t believe so much snow fell on the property – about 26 cm/10 inches.

Entrance to property. The farm is called Aroona, which is Aboriginal for "flowing waters" or "place of running water".

Coming down the drive - stables and round yard on the right.

The three horses that were boarding with us during the snowstorm.

Danny waiting to get some hay. The grass, of course, was covered by the snow - so the horses had to be fed hay twice a day.

Muff finding it a little deep in the snow.

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