Laurel View on Lockdown #Log 11

Horses riding through water

Far from normality but getting marginally closer! This week we welcomed back some of our more advanced riders. It was a delight to be able to get some of you lovely folks back into the saddle. Obviously it had been a rather long time since many of you had sat on a horse, meaning nerves were a bit higher and riders were slightly rusty compared to pre lockdown, which is why we decided to ease our riders back in with a relaxed trip round the hacking track. Overall, it was a success! Whilst some of our horses have practically doubled in size during lockdown (Johnny), our riders have clearly shown more restraint as no last-minute changes of steeds were required, even with impressive growth spurts. And despite some riders potentially walking with a John Wayne kind of swagger after their ride, nobody seized up so badly that we needed to enlist the support of a tractor to remove them from the horse. Obviously in normal circumstances we possibly would have just got someone to push and someone to catch you in this scenario, but, socially distancing doesn’t exactly permit this (for legal reasons, I would like to acknowledge this scenario as extremely uncommon and reassure everyone that we don’t intend to remove anyone by attaching them to the forks of tractor, as somehow I don’t think this would fulfil health and safety obligations, even if it does seem like it would be good craic).

Horse & rider going through water complex

As a direct result of having customers coming in contact with our tack it means that each time a ride has finished, we have to clean the tack down completely to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Our fingers prune for you! The tack has never been so clean as we’re set to go through tack cleaner and sanitising products almost as quickly as I go through my chocolate supplies, smashing each of our personal tack cleaning records as we master our efficiency and effectiveness.

Horses ridden across field

Since lockdown we have not been anywhere much other than the yard and to the shops for our essential shop. Therefore, Mum and I decided to hit the road and deliver the great prizes generously donated by our sponsors to our local winners of the Virtual Charity dressage competition ourselves rather than trying to post all of them, making it the prime excuse to escape and go on a wee road trip. 

It was also another big week for Miss Winnie who not only went for her first walk up the road with a rider on board, but she also had her first dentist visit. The dentist gave her a little bit of sedation before rasping her teeth (a rasp is just like a large nail file) to smooth them and removing any sharpness which could cause her discomfort. The dentist then proceeded to remove one tooth cap and two wolf teeth. It is important to get horses teeth done at least annually to ensure the horse doesn’t develop any issues which cause them discomfort, potentially leading to behavioural problems as they try to express their pain. However, it is particularly important when breaking in a young horse to get their teeth done as they will be having a bit in their mouth for the first time. For instance, the dentist removed her wolf teeth as they are not actually necessary and can cause pain if they interfere with the placement of the bit.

Horse dentist at work

tooth cap and wolf teeth






I’m going to finish up now, as I have to go and book some lovely people in for their first riding session back. Hopefully between now and next week I will get to see even more familiar faces!

Riding on the track