A Day In The Life Of A Work Rider - Well That Was A Bit Of A πŸ“ Up!

Elf On A Shelf

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There has been lot's going on in the world of racing this last week and I will touch on that at the end but for now we shall focus on my own inabilities as a work rider πŸ˜‚

The weather has been quite kind to us since the snow and it's days where the sun is shining, it's a bit warmer and spring is definitely in the air that you decide that it is definitely a paid hobby that you do.

My first lot was Elmo. I haven't sat on Elmo since the day he broke his pelvis. Scary scary biscuits, never want that to happen again! He has been back in work a few weeks but you can be damned if I was getting on him before now πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Let's just say that disappearing sideways at high speed or jamming on fly leaping sideways is Elmo's favourite methods of showing you how well he is feeling! So this morning was a quiet πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ trot 2x then lob 1x up the straight gallop. So off we set up the drive, just Elmo and Dickie. Do da doo! Across the top field not a bother. Trit trot down the gallop ... BAM!!! "Elmo! You absolute fud!" I curse at him as he does his famous slam on and jolt sideways. There was a stray shavings bag stuck in the fence at the side of the gallop! I have no idea how it could ever have got there unless one of the sheep took it! Elmo continues to snort kike a dragon as he climbs over the back of Dickie's heels to get away from the pony eating bag. "If you don't like it don't look at it!" I say to him and turn his head away from it. We proceed to climb back down onto the gallop and continue trotting to the bottom. As we head back up I ask Scu to remove said offending bag when he gets to that point of the gallop on his way up to watch the string. Then we get to the bag again ... "Elmo! I'm warning you!" I say in a sing song voice to him and turn his head away from it. But we still went flying sideways past it anyway! "Idiot" I mutter under my breath as Elmo continues to snort like a dragon for the next 10 strides. So we make it to the top, then back down where he wasn't quite so dramatic about the stray bag but he still had a jink and a snort at it. Next up was lobbing. Ee by gum! I forgot how badly that horse hangs! Honestly it's like a one hinged, upside down, top heavy gate! You may as well take your left rein off your bridle and leave it in your stable for all the good it does! There is no reason for him to hang so badly he just does, always has this has nothing to do with his pelvis. "Steady lad" I murmur as we set off. 'Rrrraaaawwwwrrrrr!!!' Elmo says he flies through the air mouth wide open 'Cantering is what Elmo's do best! Weeeeee!' We didn't actually go very fast but by heck he pulled my right arm out πŸ˜‚ he is such a happy go lucky little guy you can't help but laugh when you ride him! "Right Elmo, come on now, we are done and heading in" 'Ok mum! No probs! But I will have to spook at the bag again once more on the way down because I forgot to on the way up!' He said as we promptly go flying sideways again πŸ™„ I do love this wee horse!

The Ginga Ninja!



My next lot was Big Bad Boris who was just trotting after running a very uninspiring race a few days before. He looked fat. The scales didn't have him in at being too heavy, only 8kg over, but the scales must lie as he was podgey! He took the few weeks of steady work due to snow/frozen gallops like a holiday. Well it's back into boot camp again!

Over at the other yard my first lot was a wee French horse who is probably in his last season before retiring due to age. He is quite a cool dude but he is sooooooooooo annoying! Put the girth on, snap snap snap go the teeth. Bring the girth underneath him to do it up. Snap snap snap. Into thin air to be fair, he wouldn't touch a human. Hop on, back up squiggle across the yard snapping at any horse who comes close to him. Do the girth up a hole. Snap. And another. Snap. And another. Snap. You get the picture. Heading out along the road he narks at other horses and if he doesn't have them around him he looks for things to spook at just to get a reaction out of you. The more you react the worse he gets. So I just completely ignore him. The lass who used to ride him (she has just left to work at another yard) used to react to him and tell him off for being stupid so he got worse every time she did it. On the gallops he has 3 ways of going. Head on the floor nicely in your hand, head flung up and to the right (courtesy of the last lass ...) or head on the floor towing your arms out. Today he was the first of the 3 thankfully! He is actually quite a nice ride when he does that if a little low in front but at least he is working properly from back to front.

My next lot was Big Midnight. He was a bit of a thug to put it nicely. Walking to the gallops he kept trying to push the horse next to him into the middle of the road. "Get back over" I say as I dig him in the ribs with my heel to shift him. He is perfectly well schooled to light leg commands when he is in the mood but that wasn't today. Thug. We head onto the gallops and al of a sudden his head disappears to the floor and he snakes his nose out as far as it can go. "I beg your bloomin pardon sunshine!" I say as I wrestle him up off the ground. Midnight just chuckles and says 'gotcha! You weren't paying attention! Now let's see who's boss!' It was 3/4 way up the hill before I had managed to wrangle him into some sort of respectable shape. 2nd time up he was much better though he did try it on again but decided he really is too much of a good boy to push his luck too much!

I didn't have a last lot as I was moving horses instead. 3 each way between the 2 yards, grand 2 trips in the 2 stall. I load up the rugs, grab the first horse off the walker chuck it on the truck, grab the next one chuck it on and away we go. Get to the other yard unload, rug up, reload, get to the top of the drive when I get a phone call "Er El you took the wrong horse. You took Mint instead of Earl" bollox! In my defence they both look very similar and were both on the walkers not in their boxes! So I headed back with 2 horses. Then another 2 got added to the list, one each way. I did 3 trips in total which would only have been 2 if I had been paying complete attention to the horses I was plucking off the walker πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ no one else noticed when I dropped him off either! So whilst yes I am a muppet at least I am not the only one πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ and Mint had a lovely hour away and 2 box trips πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

What's been going on in the racing world this week - well we all know what those muppets over in Ireland did and I am not going to discuss that here. There is a massive long thread over in the News Section for that. Instead I would like to reassure you that the racing world in Britain is absolutely disgusted by the picture and I think I can also say on behalf of at least 90% of stable staff from all around the world:

We love, honour and respect our charges. We care for them as if they are our own every single day. It takes years to make a reputation but seconds to break one. Please, please do not ever for one second think that we don't care. We do. Our reputation is being torn to shreds and it is unjustified. 2 people made stupid, crass mistakes. Please do not tar us all with the same brush. If any of you are on Facebook or Instagram then look up the # #lovetheracehorse. Us stable staff - current and past - have been trying to set our world right. We have been showing the world just how much we care. We are an army. They are 2 stupid idiots who will be dealt with by the authorties. Our world has been torn into by the press and by other equine lovers because of 1 image and 1 video. The good far outweighs the bad but no one remembers the good, only ever the bad.

We stable staff stand united with our charges to prove to the world that we do care.

This pic is of a horse who I doted on and thought the world of. I am so proud and humbled at the same time to be part of his career but even prouder that he has made the transition from racehorse to family horse seamlessly. He was a main stay in many of my previous blog posts - Maraweh, aka Weed aka Pony.

 

Velcrobum

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17 October 2016
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Thank you for your wonderful posts. Enjoy reading about the exploits but you need to tell us who your characters are by their racing names. I know Big Bad Boris is InvernessOrion.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Thank you for your wonderful posts. Enjoy reading about the exploits but you need to tell us who your characters are by their racing names. I know Big Bad Boris is InvernessOrion.
Elmo is Elmono, Big Midnight is Grand Morning, the wee French dude is Vengeur Du Guye. Most of our horses have stable names to do with racing names so Scu doesn't get confused πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ In which sense Dickie is Cockle Bay - we couldn't exactly call him Cock now could we πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

BBB is OrionInverness - same words, other way round 😁
 
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HorsesRule2009

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8 September 2009
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Thank you I absolutely love reading your posts, you right really well.



Just to add to what you have said at the bottom, I totally agree with all you have said, and know that the huge majority of stable staff care for the horses as their own.

I'm a hunt groom and enjoy what I do but I definitely do it for the love as could earn far more money elsewhere with out the ridiculous long hours that go with it.

But when you enjoy it, it doesn't feel like work xx
 

SEL

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25 February 2016
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I've got a few friends posting photos with that hashtag - many of them have adopted their charges at the end of their racing career too. Shocked and upset doesn't come close 😒

Love reading your write ups. I'd say that you make me feel I was there with you except I know full well there's not a chance I'd be taking any one of those up the gallops! #wimp
 

Trouper

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11 May 2015
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I am afraid the idiots will always be with us. Anyone with half a brain cell will disassociate them from the hundreds of folk involved in racing who love and care for horses so this, too, will pass.
Love your posts, Elf. They just terrify and amaze me in equal measure!!!!!
 

Bernster

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14 August 2011
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Agree, I really enjoy your posts. You give such a real sense of the horseβ€˜s personality and character.

As for the other stuff. Awful situation which totally baffles me but I don’t see it as a reflection on the industry as a whole.
 
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