A Day In The Life Of A Work Rider - To Be Continued

Elf On A Shelf

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As a few of you seem to like reading my random updates I will keep using this one thread for new stories every so often rather than creating new ones.

Today was a rather entertaining day! All of my horses were fresh as daisies which made for some interesting rides!

Over at yard 1 we have a gallop set up that looks like this - a furlong sand circle with a 1.2f woodchip circle round the outside of it. Both of these gallops you can go straight off of onto a woodchip gallop that has 2 corners and a 3.5f straight up a hill. You can also just go up the straight from another point missing out the bends.

Sky was first and he has been being an absolute hyperactive toad since he has been back in and today was no exception! His work today was to trot 4x each way round the sand gallop, canter 2x round and lob up the straight. Instead it went a little something like this - fly sideways squealing onto the gallop, trot down to the circle at the speed of light, trot round 3/4 way before seeing the patch of ice that is still there so that required spooking at and shooting off! Next circuit Sky decides it would be more fun to bounce his bum sideways and kick out at the ice to try to break it. This carries on for the majority of the trot 4x4 until most of the ice was smashed to smithereens. Other bits of the 4x4 involved broncing, squealing and shooting forwards when the horses on the outer track cantered past either from in front or behind. The cantering 2x2 didn't get much better! The lob up the gallops was a success though! Before squealing and cannoning off back down them then cantering sideways back into the barn ... Sky is having great fun and truly loving life!

Next up was the Boris Bike! Boris is a horse that takes a lot of getting fit and winding up but when he is fit he is super good fun! The key to any lazy horse is to get them uber, uber fit so they are no longer lazy. Boris was just going for a nice easy 1 up as he runs next week so of course that means I had him up front, had him bouncing on the spot before ploughing off up the gallops and having a whale of a time!

Fatty was doing the same as Boris - 1 up. Fatty is not overly pleasant to ride on yard 1's gallop. He knows he can bowl round the circle, get his head longer and lower coming off the circle and going round the bends, lock his jaw a bit and be a big numb headed git! And that is exactly what he did! He turned into a numb git! With some broncing added in just for good measure! He likes a good bronc does fatty! He runs next week too. I would love to hunt him, round the fields he is a total dream ride, sits nicely in your hand, bowls up and down hills all day long without breaking stride, goes first, last, in the pack etc. He jumps for absolute fun too! But first he must be a racehorse!

My lovely wee Donkey was my last ride at yard 1. He has had a few weeks off over christmas and has come back absolutely bouncing! And bounce he did ... My legs are still sore now from clinging on to his spooks! He literally goes 6ft sideways from underneath you in a split second! I have lost count of the number of times my ankle round my cantle has saved me from hitting the floor! He spooks at nothing either! He does it just because! I would love to have a speedo on my to see just how fast he goes sideways! Donkey was supposed to be trotting round the fields by himself - I opted to join the babies on the woodchip circle for safety reasons as it was his first day over at yard 1! So we lead one of the babies who was very good all things considered! But my god was he strong! He spent his whole time pulling my arms out in trot when he wasn't spooking! I pity anyone that tries to do dressage on him! He doesn't do white bits on the gallop or at the sides! Blue, green, red, silver (or whatever colour bandages we have that week) not a problem! But white? That's just too scary to contemplate and must be leapt over/round at every oppertunity no matter how many times he has already gone past it! And of course he sauntered back into the barn on a loose rein like the quietest little pony on the planet - toad!

Over at the other yard I had Bucket Heed 4x up. He is in good form with himself too! He has grown up a lot now too and doesn't chew all of your tack as soon as you start opening his door! He likes walking his way to the front of the string these days and on the trotting bits he has been learning to leg yield. I know my pelvis is squint and I need to get it sorted so my horses always go left better than they go right and Bucket Heed is no exception. But he is clever and learns quickly. On the gallops itself he is much stronger and knows his job a little too well. Each time you turn he get stronger and keener. He is cantering halfway round the turn and cannons off these days - a habit I will be trying to get him out off as he needs to wait for his partner! He still canters back down without picking up the bit though and so long as he never learns to pit his massively big head against you cantering down hill I am quite happy!

Last lot was another horse on his first week back in work but Mojito is a wee dude! He saunters along quite the thing! He is a proper fat wee pony! That was an entertaining lot! Dodger is at the same stage as Mojito - day 6 of work and was broncing and bouncing on the spot at every gate we went through. 2 that ran the other days had their first day back and were jig jogging too. Then we had the new horse who got ridden for the first time in the school yesterday and came out hacking for the first time today. He was the quietest one of the bunch! For a 4yo straight off the flat he put the older boys to shame! He walked out quite the thing, did a gate or 2 and ignored all the antic going on around him! He might just turn into a bit of a dude!

Bucket Heed doing what Bucket Heed does best - sticking his tongue out!

 

teacups

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28 December 2011
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I was just thinking that!
How do you do that, with your knees pretty much up around your neck too! 'Ankle around the cantle' - gives a very funny visual image though <g>
 

Elf On A Shelf

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I don't ride with stirrups short these days - ride long live long! Trot work is done with my stirrups at a normal, leg long length. Idiots canter work is done 4 holes up so you have enough leg to wrap round but your high enough up out of the saddle when standing. Normal horses go up to hole 7 for cantering and bits of work go to hole 9 so never too too short - my hips can't cope with short short anymore!
 

Elf On A Shelf

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A Day At The Races

Yesterday was a trip to Ayr Racecourse with 5 horses for us. So it was up before the birds to get my lot done before heading to the yard to feed. Even though Ayr is only 2 hours down the road we like to leave with plenty enough time so the horses are in their stables 3 hours before the first race. All of our horses travel in a thermatex and a tail bandage. Nothing on the legs. So 5 get loaded and off we go, away by 8am! I spent half the lorry journey sleeping as per usual!

Once at the races all the horses are put in their respective boxes, all get water, a handful of hay and plaited up. I started with Midnight, got his mane and tail plaited. He stands good as gold bless him, it was only his 2nd ever trip to the races! But he is such a chilled out dude! I got Tiggy topped and tailed whilst Lauren groomed them all. She then did Celtic's mane, Mark did Mumgo and Stella's manes whilst I did the rest of the tails. My god my hands were cramping and sore by the end of that!

We got done in record time and so it was off for breakfast! Our first runner was Midnight. The ground was minging and I was glad he got the first run on the ground. It looked like a ploughed field by the end of the day! Everything got saddled in the stables yesterday out of ease as it was absolutely tipping down with rain - it's easier to get everything on and done in a oner than put paddocks sheets on, take them off, put them back on etc. So Midnight was tacked up and dolled up with my usual style of 1/4 markers (that didn't show up too well on a freshly clipped coat!) Out to the pre-parade ring for a few laps before heading into the main parade ring. I haven't felt like such a midget in years! Midnight grew from 17.2hh to about 19hh in the paddock! It's a good job he just walks fast and isn't bolshy! Jockey on and out on to the track. That's when my nerves kicked in! My job was done! Now it was down to Midnight and Derek.

Off they set. And jumped the first really badly. And then the next. And then demolished the next hurdle. Then they got it together a bit and jumped a few nicely. By this point Midnight was at the back of the pack about 6l off the leader and I thought he had had it. He wouldn't get through the ground. Turning for home he kicked on. He passed some horses. And then he passed some more and his jumping got better. Midnight jumped the last just in front! I couldn't believe it! I rode every stride from the last to the line with Derek willing and screaming at him to keep going! Keep his head in front! And he did! My big lummox galloped all the way to the line to win by 1.5l! It was only his 2nd ever race and he is such a big, gormless baby still but he did it! Being a disgusting, wet Monday afternoon there wasn't much of a crowd to greet us back into the winners enclosure but hey! Who cares! The beast won! Unsaddled and heading back to the stables for a bath - it took 3 washes to get all the mud off of his legs and tail! We walk them round for 20-25mins after the race to cool down before they go back in their box. But the beast won :D :D :D Can you tell I am a wee bit buzzed about that?!?! :D

Midnight showing that he can indeed jump when he gets going!


Looking rightfully proud back in his box!


The rest of the day was a bit middling. We picked up 2 Best Turned Out's, a few more places and then Stella ran. And a crueler race you couldn't have found! She jumped off in front, did all of the donkey work leading the field. Turning for home she got swollowed up and dropped right back through the field. Between the 2nd last and the last she found her second wind and strode past all bar 1 to go down a hard fighting neck! To gallop on so strongly in what was essentially a ploughed bog by that point and to be denied by such a short distance is gut wrenching! She tried so so hard bless her! Both horse and jockey came in head to toe in mud. It was not a pretty sight! Once washed and cooled down we packed up and headed home. All legs are checked before we leave, and cuts bandaged (thankfully there was only 1 yesterday). Once home there is hay and food waiting for them, legs are checked again, rugs on and pat the ponies good night!
 
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I really enjoyed reading about your day at the races and well done on a successful day, Ayr racecourse is my local course and it is the coldest place ever!
 

ponyparty

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15 October 2015
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Another who loves your updates here too! A great insight into racing life. I always read with interest, thank you for sharing :)
 
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I'm sure you'll like this little memory.
I've been Horsey since a lad and was looking forward to seeing Owned, Trained and Ridden up in the frame at Aintree all through my teenage years ( the dark ages you'd think!) but things took different turns as they do.
Page to when I had a group of highly successful businessfolk in the car when we happened to go through Lambourne and passed a second string coming back from the downs. I saw several very famous horses lumping along like so many donkeys at the seaside( they were there in my day!) and happened to point them out to the guys in the car. "How do you know?" They asked "They're all brown!!!"
Later on we lunched in a themed pub where agricultural implements were dotted about and a gadget like a sack barrow with a kind of winch attached caused a query or two- "what's this then Phil? Why does it have a crane on it?" "Because the damn grain sacks wieghed 1.5cwt - wanna try lifting one off the ground? I was doing it at 13."
Then to cap it all - one asked "I've always wondered - what's the difference between hay and straw?"
 

Elf On A Shelf

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A random update because I have been super busy!

Midnight won again on Sunday &#128522;&#128522;&#128522; and it wasn't easy! He sat in the 2nd rank, came through to join the leader just before the 2nd last with the other good horse in the race and they scraped it out. Midnight got the better jump at the last whilst head to head but the other horse went half a length up on him shortly after. Midnight then stuck his neck out and fought back to win by a head! I am glad he had to fight, it shows he is willing to get down and want to win!

It was a horrible day at the races weather wise - snow! Snow, snow and more snow! One of the races you couldn't see the horses down the back straight it was snowing so much!
 
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A random update because I have been super busy!

Midnight won again on Sunday &#55357;&#56842;&#55357;&#56842;&#55357;&#56842; and it wasn't easy! He sat in the 2nd rank, came through to join the leader just before the 2nd last with the other good horse in the race and they scraped it out. Midnight got the better jump at the last whilst head to head but the other horse went half a length up on him shortly after. Midnight then stuck his neck out and fought back to win by a head! I am glad he had to fight, it shows he is willing to get down and want to win!

It was a horrible day at the races weather wise - snow! Snow, snow and more snow! One of the races you couldn't see the horses down the back straight it was snowing so much!
N'aww well done Midnight! Give the clever beast a pat from me.
(and keep this thread going, it's brilliant!)
 
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