It has been all steam ahead from the beginning of January. We are very fortunate to have Becca back with us for a second year, and then we have a new groom called Sophie Benger, who is lovely and settling into the King routine very well. My horses did 3 weeks roadwork, then I started to introduce a bit of schooling. lunging, pole work and then a little jumping at the end of Jan. We have their teeth done by Keith Evans, who is an excellent equine dentist who lives in the Westcountry. We also get Richard Stringer, our excellent vet, to get their ‘flu/tetanus boosters done. Gradually we get them clipped and tidy and looking like real event horses again. Emily and I do these things quite differently! I am old fashioned and like to do a hunter clip with their saddle patches and legs left on, whereas Emily likes hers to be clipped out completely, legs and all. She keeps her horses tails full, and trims her manes with scissors to give a straight square look (influenced by working in Germany in a show jumping yard!). I pull my horses manes and tails...although part of me thinks why on earth do I pull out their hair?...but in fact my 3 enjoy having their manes and tails pulled so I feel its okay!
I did quite a bit of teaching in January..2 days at Rectory Farm in Glos, 2 days in Aberdeen and Angus in Scotland, and a single day at Duchy College in Cornwall. Hard work, but the pay is good and I taught some lovely friendly keen riders.
Having returned from a fabulous weeks skiing in Les Houches with a bunch of friends (Freddie my son is working there for the season), it was then time to begin the horses canter work. We canter every 3rd or 4th day and are lucky to be able to use a friendly farmers long sloping grass field. Through Feb we start to go to jumping shows, and have booked in for some dressage lessons with Ferdi Eilberg, who has been my trainer for many years. Lecture/demos, 2 River Cottage evenings, yard visits and evening talks are filling up our Feb diary.
Here is our provisional spring event programme...not long now before the start, WHOOPEE! :)
29th-31st Burnham Market
10th Aston Le Walls
23rd-27th HOUGHTON CCI
29th-3rd TATTERSALLS CCI