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Jo's Diary

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Tuesday, 4th January 2011

Well December has indeed been a challenging month for us all in terms of weather with minus 15 degrees centigrade recorded here. For the first time I can truly say thank you Mr Nick Funnell for your brilliant Claydon Horsewalker - without it the horses would have been stood in their stables for days on end. We have managed to get them exercised on it twice a day. Obviously during this time hard feed has been cut back so that there is no danger of the horses tying up once they came back into work.

However this has left us with some very fresh horses to contend with now that the snow has cleared and Holly was the first casualty on the floor closely followed by Flora and then Annabelle Galt today who has her horse on DIY livery in the same yard as ours. I am grimly determined NOT to fall off as at my delicate age it is going to hurt a lot and I don't bounce like the youngsters!

Portia settling into her new surroundings

We were lucky to be able to use Paul Webber's (racehorse trainer) indoor school for a couple of days to start off Sandrose silk and Portia again once the snow had cleared. He is based literally just 5 minutes up the road from us. Sassy was perfectly behaved in the school and I started off rebreaking Portia here as well which worked very well.

Spirit has finished his education with me - he has ended up being a really lovely ride, very mannerly and straightforward - he will come back in the middle of next year hopefully to do a few Novice Hack classes - I am very pleased that he has such a good temperament for a young horse and this bodes well for the show ring when he will have all sorts of judges riding him. I took him back in the two days that the weather thawed on 16th December and swapped him with Portia who is a 5 year old large riding horse who I will produce for the new season. She was lightly backed as a four year old and then put in foal. She had her foal weaned two days before I collected her. She is a lovely mare, dark bay, 16 1hh and seems to have a sweet temperament. I sat on her in the indoor school at Paul Webbers and have now just ridden her for the first time here at Clattercote today in the outdoor school.

Tilly enjoying her ride on Toby

Toby has been a complete hero during this time manfully coping with the weather and because of his phenomenal temperament I was able to keep him ticking over more than the others by riding round in the field in the snow. Tilly our new terrier puppy has completely fallen in love with him and the pair of them stand nose to nose with Tilly licking him all over his face. She has also been allowed to ride him in from the field!! Pictures to follow!

A lovely shot of Holly from her Double Take Photo Shoot

During the freeze Holly caught the flu which then turned into pleurisy so she was really poorly for two to three weeks and so was not able to start at Ferdi Eilbergs on 26th December as planned but has now started today - 3rd January. Holly never stays in bed when she is ill but this pleurisy completely floored her for the first time and with the freezing cold weather she had to be really careful starting off again.

Denise Bumford's traditional coloured pony stallion after the first of his many makeovers!

Kenny has also been a real dude - an amazing temperament for a 3 year old - I just got on him straight away and rode him in the school for the first time after nearly three weeks of being on the walker. The break has actually done him some good and he is a really great established ride now. His owner Denise Bumford rode him for the first time this weekend and really got on well with him and then she went out on a hack with Ginny and Toby the next day as well.

My big news for the New Year is that I am moving yard to 10 minutes from my home. My new yard is based in Horley - I have an 8 box barn all to myself with lovely Monarch stabling. We have a covered horsewalker and two outdoor schools - One is fenced and floodlit and is used primarily for lunging and the other is a big 60 x 25m school. I have individual turnout as before. The owners who have event horses live on site and are able to check on the horses at night for me as well which is great. It will be a real wrench to leave where I am now but I have managed to negotiate a price for the entire barn which is much more sensible than paying for individual stables. It will be nice to have an entire barn to myself and I will be able to have everything just where I want it and keep everything just so! I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Taylors for all their kindness during the time I have been there which is I think 4/5 years - I have managed to establish my business thanks to their fantastic facilities and I shall really miss their company.

2014 Nov, Oct, Sept, Aug, July, June, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan
2013 Dec, Nov, Oct, Sept, Aug, July, June, May, Apr, Mar, Feb, Jan
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