Laurel View on Lockdown #Log 17

Horses head profile









Whilst the work never eases for our hard-working employees and Saturday volunteers, time seems to have slowed for new best buds Marvin and Johnny, as they have been blissfully enjoying their time together. Getting on as if they are in a soppy romcom, this duo spend each spare second with each other whether it be blissfully harassing liveries for more food by rattling the gate, pulling ridiculous faces and snatching hay nets within their reach, to recreating that iconic spaghetti scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp as they insist on sharing the same hay net at ALL times. They truly have become joined at the hip, (metaphorically speaking, obviously, as you can barely see Johnny’s hip under all his extra chunkiness!)Horse walking over poles

Cindy also enjoyed a couple of well-deserved days off prescribed by the back specialist. We decided to get Miss Cindy, or as my sister affectionally calls her Princess Cinderella, a once over as when riding her we noticed her becoming more rigid and uneven in her movement, partnered with the fact that she was uncharacteristically moody when we were trying to pick out her right hind hoof, it became clear that her hip was giving her a little gip. After he worked his magic she looked much freer in her movement and walked with her head lower to the floor as we would like. This reminds us of the importance of not writing off our horse’s behavioural changes simply as just that, as typically our changes in our horses’ behaviour is an indicator of something deeper. For instance, if we just thought Cindy had randomly started kicking out when we were picking out her hooves because she has always been a bit of a classic moody mare anyhow, she would have had to continue working in discomfort without appropriate treatment or may have resorted to more extreme methods of trying to tell us she was sore, for example, bucking while we are riding her. Moral of the story, our horses may not speak our language, but a good horseman can listen to them by learning and understand their language.

Spreading fibre

This week also seen the spreading of our new fibre which was delivered at the start of the week for our large arena and outdoor. We enlisted the help of Alistair Lindsay’s muck spreader driven by his son Tom to help distribute the recycled carpet efficiently and evenly across both arenas. For those a little concerned, no need, don’t panic I can confirm that their muck spreader had been beautifully cleaned out before use.  Once spread we then mixed it in with the existing surface in both arenas with our rotavator before then wetting the indoor with our water tanker and letting good old NI weather work its magic on the outdoor to complete the process. So far, the upgraded surfaces have had very promising feedback as its been described as bouncy, sponge like and one person even said they were tempted to lie down on it!


Volunteer trainingYesterday we ran a training afternoon for our Saturday volunteers as they came along to learn about how they should appropriately and safely interact with customers, particularly our lead rein riders as we prepare to reintroduce more of our riders back to lessons when appropriate to do so. Connie the pony was used for the demonstration, while Jessica agreed to be our mock beginner and our wonderful instructor Rebecca kindly volunteered to model the fabulously striking fashion accessory of 2020, the face visor! We anticipate that our instructors will wear a visor whilst teaching as it enables the riders to understand the instructors more effectively as they will still see their facial expressions and lip movements. Meanwhile all our leaders will be wearing facemasks to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Socially distanced trainingThe training session also discussed how to assist our riders with understanding certain tasks without the same physical interaction, for instance, how to hold their reins properly as this is often a confusing task for those just learning to ride. Over the past week or so, the Saturday helpers have been volunteering alongside our staff to learn and practice the new protocols to consider when tacking up and untacking horses and sanitising tack after each lesson. Whilst it is a long winded and slightly more complex process, we believe it is essential to help promote the safety and wellbeing of everyone coming to Laurel View.


That is all from me for this week, I am away for a quick nap on our new surface after hearing all those reviews, but if you are feeling a little more awake than me make sure you head over to as you can still check out what all has been happening over the 2020 Bank of Ireland Virtual Farm Weekend. Make sure to watch the Laurel View Farm video and the Animal Olympics featuring five of our animals, “assisted” by a Davis family member!