March 2020 – Eventing life…but not as we know it
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March kicked off like many other event seasons of late, with a spate of cancellations due to the weather. It really feels like this is how we roll now, get ready for the start of the season, suffer a few false starts then finally get going in April…but no one was to guess how the 2020 season would play out at this time.
Preparation at home is glorious this time of year, its still chilly but we are blessed with well draining soil and hills, meaning getting the horses fit is both fun and functional and we can maintain early fitness goals easily.
Our work in the arena and out hacking is supported by our weekly visit to the South West Equine Water Treadmill and we managed a busy outing to Chard Equestrian with 9 to jump…it really felt like the season was closing in and we’d made it!
Our monthly pilgrimage to Talland Equestrian to see the wonderful Pammy Hutton was spiced up with some more filming for H&CTV…focussing on the half halt…so check it out if you haven’t already, its now live!
The weather had been so inclement for so long it is great to get up to Talland and focus on the horses and their training indoors without the worry of trying to dodge torrential rain, gales, sleet and snow!
As always Pammy was an inspiration and we were keen beans for the season to start!
We had a flurry of coaching days including the lovely Becky and her horse for a training session who won her lesson from Bicton Arena in October – it’s always great to give back to our sport and support grassroots riders in this way. I really enjoy coaching and training, it’s something I would like to grow and develop when time allows so if you are interested please do drop me a line or email as I am happy to discuss this for the 2020 season.
As part of our pre-season checks, Shane from Voltaire paid us a visit, checking the fit and condition of the saddles. We have used Voltaire for some time, we love the design, style and quality of both the dressage and jump styles but to top this the service they provide is second to none.
I know that saddles are expensive but they are an investment and if you invest in a Voltaire you won’t be disappointed.
Teamed with their accessories you really can’t go wrong with this brand. I’m proud to have signed another season with them and look forward to our continued partnership.
Check out their Facebook where they currently have a 20% discount on all accessories supporting Equestrian Relief in aid of Covid19.
And there we have it…the dreaded ‘C’ word…Corona Virus.
Our thoughts are very much with those effected through this tough time, and the amazing front line staff that are keeping the wheels in motion within the NHS and essential shops.
It’s a quiet old place, Court Farm Complex now.
Myself, Lou and Tolly are self isolating along with a yard full of fit, expectant event horses…all wondering what is going on. You may think its a ball having all this time off, chuck the horses out and put our feet up, but it’s quite the opposite!
The horses are primed and their fitness was at the optimum for the start of the season. We have to carefully manage them now as we make the descent back down to a level where they maintain fitness, without becoming a harm to themselves. All our essential team (with the exception of farrier and the vets if needed) are not coming to the yard, so we have to take on their roles as much as we can, and in doing this we aren’t able to replicate their skills, but we need to devise exercises, work, relaxation, playtime and downtime for each of the horses whilst not taxing their limbs too much. Its a careful balance that has got us all working flat out.
In addition to this, daily chores such as feed, bedding and consumables for both horse and human need to be planned out to avoid non-essential trips. We are missing seeing our regular faces on the yard in both key team members and owners – its a very strange and scary place to be right now, but we are committed to doing the right thing for everyone so we stay safe and can come out fighting when the time is right.
On that note, we would like to thank everyone for their support at this testing time. We understand peoples frustrations but we want to assure everyone that we are taking great care of our equine athletes, albeit behind closed doors. You’ll see plenty of snoozing, fun and frolics on our Facebook page during this time so keep tuned!
Stay safe, stay home.
Aaron, Lou and the (remote) team x