Life at Team Hannon normally started between 6.45/7.30a.m when the horses get fed, mucked out, hayed, watered etc ready for the day ahead! Number one groom Amy Marlow arrives at the yard at 7.30 to help with the mucking out and generally tidying up after my mess of hay and straw!!
Depending on what we have planned for the day, I’m normally on the first horse around 8a.m. Today we have our farrier Joe Whitehead coming to shoe Missy, and two of my sponsors Juliet Lock and Kate Norton coming to treat all of the horse’s backs and double check the saddles before the start of the season!
Typically it is absolutely chucking it down, so time to bring out the snorkel and flippers for the first horse of the day, Ziggy! While Joe is currently at the yard shoeing Missy and fitting her new go faster shoes!
Then it is time to give Missy (and her new shoes) and Tierro some canter work up in the hills ready for the start of the season! Missy started her fitness training back at Christmas time preparing her for Badminton at the beginning of May! Luckily the rain is now holding off, but blimey it’s seriously windy!!
After battling against the remainder of storm Doris I continue on working my way through the horse’s until everyone has been worked. We aimed to have everyone exercised before both Kate and Juliet came out in the afternoon!
Star, Sam and Fu all did a variety of flat work, stretching and practicing trotting/canter poles, centre lines, transitions… EVERYTHING!
By 2pm everyone is back in their stables and ready for their various appointments!!! Juliet works her way through the older horse, loosening them all off and straightening them out. The horses get treated every 4/5 weeks depending on their work load and competition plans. We expect them to perform like top athletes, so I believe they need to be treated as such! Plus they love it!
Then Kate arrives and starts checking through the various saddles I feel need looking at. She re-flocks and alters a couple of the dressage saddles and then starts fitting Missy’s new jump saddle!
Though it’s a disaster…. Missy has dropped a whole saddle size since the original fitting 6 weeks ago… This does often happen with her throughout the season, her body changes so much due to the fitness work and muscling up that we have been having problems getting a suitable saddle! Kate goes back to the drawing board but thankfully has come up with a solution!! Both Missy and I are very grateful!
Amy is back at the yard to finish up the stables for me while I check the saddles with Kate and chat to Juliet about the horse’s fitness and training plans! Juliet is a huge help in determining when the horses are physically ready for the various levels of training and pressures we put on them throughout the season. I always call her before ringing the vets! Plus she knows the horses just as well as I do!
As Amy is being awesome and finishing up the yard for me. I’m off to teach a quick lesson locally! I enjoy teaching and it helps me to give something back to the sport! Though not having a large number of clients works perfectly as even when we are busy I can still fit everyone in!
Phew that’s the horsey part of the day done! I’m now off to the gym… I do believe that rider fitness has a large impact on performance; being physically stronger and generally fitter means we ride much more effectively and efficiently therefore surely making our horses lives easier!
Back home to dinner and bed! Ready to repeat the same exercise tomorrow! We are off XC schooling ready for Oasby this week! The 2017 season is starting!! Woohoo!!
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