In what has been a bizzare few weeks we are settling down into a new routine. I have laid off all the part timers for the time being, many of these have children and whilst school is out it is important they be safe and have the time to be mummies! In the yard each day are myself, Rach, Vics, Dawn and mum Helen and we have all agreed we go nowhere except home and work. Mum’s normal day job – as a massage therapist – has been stopped so she has stepped in on a daily basis to cover for those unable to be here.
It is eerily quiet in the yard and certainly giving us time to think. Things are settling into the same routine every day and we have got ourselves into a lovely day in day out system which is working well. Rach and Dawn are the yard fairies doing all the mucking out, care and attention. I do all the ground work with the babies, school Leith Hill Lad and Black Sam’s Silver (his ears feature in the pic) whilst Mum and Vics go out on the breakers that are now being ridden, led brilliantly by our very own resident legend Loose Chips.
Whilst normally I love opening up the yard to all visitors, owners and supporters as and when they would like to come, it has been an opportunity this week to take stock and just be able to get on with the job. My brain is far more relaxed and the constant ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ has naturally subsided in this time. I know that I am incredibly lucky to have the business and whilst this time is worrying and difficult for many in isolation, we are very thankful to have work to do, be out in the fresh Cotswold air and have all our animals to talk to!
We may be quiet later in the summer when the yard is normally a hive of activity with our trainers, everything has just been brought forward six weeks in my eyes and thinking positively the holidayers will hopefully start prep in May/June and potentially be gone by July. We have to be forward thinking and hope that later in the year other horses will come.
I am very grateful to my landlord Christopher Leigh who has allowed me to open up the summertime grazing early, which has hugely helped in accommodating the many horses who have been sent home for holidays, gving them great spring grass and lots of space. In terms of the pointing I hope and pray they resume early for the 20/21 season. Last year – and what there was of this year – was a pretty horrid season for us and I know for many others, with soft ground and plenty of horses with potential who didn’t even run. The owners have all been amazingly understanding and supportive and I just hope we can repay everyone’s patience next season.
The most important thing for now is we all take care, follow the guidelines, respect what this virus is capable of and look out for each other.
Stay safe everyone!