Behind The Scenes - The Work Behind The Scenes!

This week feels as though it has been a busy one.


We have had three visitors to the yard this week - all really good and productive.  Tuesday we had a visit from Gavin Scofield - the horses Osteopath. We have worked with Gavin for 12+ years and he knows the horses so well.  He comes to the yard about every 6 weeks. He has a very subtle approach to treating the horses and is specifically designed to work with the innate homeostatic/self correcting reflexes within their body.  This includes the postural centres of the brain. Although this may take a number of days for the horses to work through it is a permanent change for the horse rather than a short term fix. The horses are all in a good place and ready for the next stage of their physical development to be started, so it will be interesting how the next 2 weeks develop - the horses all process this over different periods of time and some I have to take more slowly over the next couple of days and others I can crack on with - it depends how much they are having to change their way of working!!

Gavin had a couple of students shadowing him and it was fascinating listening to their in depth conversations about each horse - Gavin has an amazing amount of knowledge and it is great to learn from him. His techniques are unobtrusive for the horses and the horses work through his setups over the following two weeks. We always feel so positive after his visits.

Also, on Tuesday, Lindsey Hopkinson from Pull and Co came for the day to build are photo library and also to discuss the changes to my new website which should be launched in the next week or so - I am really pleased with this as it has a sharp and clear look. Sadly it was a wet day - surprise surprise, so this was slightly limiting on the photos but still lots were taken. I am looking forward to seeing them. We then had a late working lunch together about the website and social media activity and social media competitions.  All very productive and looking forward to seeing the results. Lindsey is a new member to the team and I have no doubt will be a huge help and benefit on the non horsey side of the business.

Wednesday brought Martyn Richardson, first thing,  to shoe three of the horses - this is always an opportunity to learn about the horses feet and their foot fall and the reasons why he shoes them as he does.  It is great having such a fantastic team around me and I am very lucky to have them all.



Three days of sun!!!! It does make everything so much easier and the days of repetitive mucking out don’t seem such a toil.

A new horse came in this week for 10 days so that i can assess him and see if i think we could build a partnership over a period of time.  He is a lovely stamp of a horse, good dressage and sj, but will he be brave enough XC? Time will tell!



Following the high’s of Burnham Market I have mentally found this week quite a challenge, not quite sure why but I guess some weeks we are all in a better place than others - this at least shows we are human! I think some of it was caused by waiting to see if Vinnie’s leg had stood up to his first run for 2 years and waiting for the discussion of the scan - this horse means so much to me and it was on my mind a lot. It can be very difficult not to let matters like this affect your mental state  - it may be easier if you have lots of horses - I don’t know.


Lessons Learnt

The Partner got his first full run at Larkhill having done a horse swop with V.I.P. Vino, so that he could have a run before Belton CIC**.  It wasn’t our finest performance and was actually quite frustrating as the work at home has been going well, but he was very tense and seemed a bit anxious  - this reflected in his dressage and he also had an unusual pole show jumping. I schooled him round the cross country very slowly, where apart from the first few fences he jumped very nicely and was so straight and relaxed - it is what he loves. There were only 8 clear show jumping rounds in my section out of 37 competitors -   It was a tough track with lots of down hill jumps which always tests the horses balance - Definitely a huge influence on the results at the end of the dayl Larkhill did a fabulous job to be the only competition running this weekend and I am sure everyone is grateful for that - I certainly am. The lesson learnt is that The Partner needs to go out more during the winter to get used to being surrounded by others before the season - he is quite a loner and likes his own space.  He is always happy when away in stables where he can’t see the horses either side of him. It is important that we remember this for next winter and set his timetable accordingly as next year will be a big year for him as he steps up to 3*!


XC Training

It was good to get out XC training this week - once at Lyneham Heath-early Thursday AM -  with The Partner and Vino where we went on their XC loop - it is a great way to train the horses when you can’t get on the grass especially as you can book it either just for yourself of for upto 5 friends - it’s great you aren’t in a small area with lots of people charging around too fast which often happens with the small all weather xc training facilities.  I had chosen to have the time spent individually with each horse so that I could really concentrate on them.

We also managed to get onto parts of  Boomerang XC to train some of the younger horses - we did a lot of playing in the water and new boy Dom (5) showed he is very brave and capable but does need not to be so over enthusiastic - his bucks after the fence when he feels he has been clever are quite testing to sit!!! He is smaller than all my other horses and there is not much wither or neck yet so I feel quite vulnerable!! He is certainly continuing to test my stickability!


With 8 horses in it is quite hard work with all the stable duties and riding to be done - we don’t have a full time groom so it has been great to have a few hours help from Immy and Kate so that we don’t finish at ridiculous o’clock!! Mum has been up pretty much full time and Dad has put a shift in over the weekend!!


Next week - reporting on Belton International where i will be doing my first 3*.


Lindsey Hopkinson