Laurel View on Lockdown #Log 19

Horse jumping xc fence

Despite my right thigh looking like it has been attacked by a paintball gun due to my collection of cleg bites, I must admit, it has been an unusually nice week weather wise here. A major bonus of the bliss sunshine was that we FINALLY finished our first cut of haylage/silage, only a month or two late.

Obviously, us Norn Irish folk do not tend to have the highest heat tolerance in the world, so this week, hacking and light arena work seemed like the best option. Our riding school boys, especially sweaty boy Barney certainly did not mind this option either. However, at one of the slightly cooler periods Katie decided to take Casper up to the playground for his first time jumping XC fences with a rider on board. Despite being a little bit careless with his legs over some of the fences due to his inexperience, he did start to get the hang of it. Once he fully gets the hang of it, I am expecting big things from this little cob as he jumped almost every fence first time without a second glance, credits to Katie for doing a cracker job breaking in this cracker of a cob.


Mane pullingAs we are expecting the weather to make a turn for the worse this week, we decided to make the most of the remaining sunshine yesterday by having a bit of a pamper day for some of our horses. Blue and Rab are looking much smarter now that they have had their manes neatly pulled by Claire and Katie. Before and after tailSilver and Marvin had their tails restored to their former natural grey glory. And in spite of Zara and Claire’s creative differences regarding the length of Cindy’s mane, Cindy underwent a Gok Wan level makeover as she had her mane pulled and tail cleaned.

Yesterday was also an exciting day as our rosettes for The Big BHS Photo Show for BHS Ireland arrived in the post. Sparky was very excited about his win in the ‘Golden Oldies’ class. Sparky wants to thank everyone who showed their support and voted them into the final. I am sure everyone will continue to show their greatly appreciated support as we now look forward to the UK final!

Pony with rosette

One of our liveries Lana, who trained for her BHS Stage 1 exam with us, completed her British Horse Society Stage 1 care assessment (COVID-19 Style) on Monday and has since received the brilliant news that she passed. This week also Lana got to hear our peachicks chirping from inside their eggs as they got ready to hatch this morning. All six eggs hatched, and we now have four Dark Shoulder (the yellow coloured chicks) and two Indian Blue peachicks. Not the cutest chicks ever, I know, but I promise they are one of the most beautiful birds once they grow up. The book should have been ‘The Ugly Chick’ and not ‘The Ugly Duckling’ in my opinion, as peacocks truly have the best glow-ups of all the birds.


Sadly, for Ferdinando who has been running around the yard every day this week, he is now entering that awkward teenage phase (yep, animals have those phases too) were he isn’t the cute little duckling people once cooed over, but also hasn’t yet got any of his nice adult feathers. Guess it is all down to his personality now to win people over.

Since schools are now due to be starting back scarily soon, we have spent this week working hard to arrange our new lesson schedule which will soon be rolled out.  Whilst we wish we could resume lessons as they were Pre-COVID, unfortunately this is not feasible. We have had to factor in numerous considerations including insuring we have enough time between each session to disinfect tack thoroughly and ensure that we have enough members of staff on the yard to assist with these procedures despite some of employees still being on furlough or only being brought back for limited hours until it becomes financially viable for us to change this. We have also tried to take all of our customers’ requirements into consideration in the hope that our new lesson schedule suits as many people as possible, allowing us to see as many of our existing riders back in the saddle again, before we start to welcome some of the new riders that are keen to start.

We still have another BHS Stage 1 care assessment day to run tomorrow. So, I am going to head off now to check all of the kit has been thoroughly disinfected and left out neatly for tomorrow morning to ensure the day runs smoothly.