Laurel View on Lockdown #Log 6

Horses in field

Poo, poo, and more poo! This week as I stood in a field surrounded by, you guessed it, poo, I found myself weirdly excited by the idea of the new shiny fork I was holding in my hand! The consequence of having lots of horses in a field (that each poo an average of 8 times a day,) is that you have lots of droppings that need picked up in order to practice good pasture management. Poo picking helps to keep the fields grazed down more evenly, as the horses won’t eat the long sour grass that grows where they have pooed. Also, regular collection of droppings is essential to reduce the build-up of worm eggs in the pasture. Horses ingest worm eggs from infected pasture, which then develop inside the horse’s gut or lungs where they have the potential to cause disease. Eggs produced by the adult worm will then be shed in the faeces to increase existing worm burdens on the pasture and so potentially infect other horses. Hopefully you haven’t been trying to enjoy your dinner while reading this part of my blog.  This week we were on poop duty to prepare pasture before the horses are rotated back onto a previous paddock.  Not my favourite task by far, but getting a new fork certainly became the highlight of my week (really not sure what this says about me as a person). The strong, unchipped, and evenly distributed prongs would become the key to my increased efficiency, supporting me in lifting the excrement from the tight grasps of the grass to transfer onto the trailer.

Power hosing barnThe other top priority of this week’s mission ‘deep clean’ was to power hose the new barn (finished in 2012!) This is an annual task at the yard anyway to help keep it looking professional and in good working order, and now seemed like the perfect time to get this job ticked of the long to do list whilst the majority of the horses are out in the field. Both Laurel and Simon have done a fantastic job of leaving the new barn sparkling, so much so, we are reluctant to put horses back into it.

At the start of the week I took on the role of yard bouncer, standing guard of the yard as we chased the plump ponies in from their daily brunch trip, stopping Tyson ‘not so Fury’ in his tracks as he strides towards me with the confidence of Kanye West with the hope of rampaging the feed shed. Later in the week we decided to allow these boys to spend the night in the field with the rest of the riding school boys. Meaning I had to resume my bouncer role, only this time it was like end of the night clear out time, as I practically dragged the chunky monkeys away from their gloriously green breakfast.

Horse lungeing over waterAnother horse that was reluctant to do as she was asked this week was Madam Cindy who decided making a splash was not her style as she refused to jump into the water jump on the lunge. With some careful coaching from Katie, she was eventually persuaded to jump out of the water jump. We concluded her exercising session for the day by lungeing her over some other XC fences which she was eager to jump in comparison. Leading to one conclusion, she is just a classic high maintenance diva. 

One pony who I just couldn’t bring myself to call a diva, as they have me wrapped round their little hoof, is Sparky. He’s one of our Laurel View riding school OGs, with an adorable little face that you can’t help but smile at. So, this week I decided to head to the field to snap some cute shots of Sparky and the equally adorable Polo who have been grazing in the front paddocks, as we all need to see heart-warming photos of these pair at the moment to brighten up our days a little.

Pony in the daisies

Polo pony eating daisies






We also wanted to take a moment to clarify our position as a business amid the current COVID-19 pandemic and request your continued patience and understanding. As much as we would love to resume business as normal and begin to carefully welcome everyone back again, due to Northern Irelands position remaining unchanged, we support their decision by following their guidance. We fully understand that this can seem frustrating as we all just want our lives to return to ‘normal’. However, it is crucial that we all play our part to try and slow down the spread. Jumping too quickly now increases the risk of a second peak later this year which would be even harder to cope with.  When it becomes appropriate to put our gradual return to business plan into action, we will keep you notified across our social media pages and website. Thank you to everyone for your support and we hope to see everyone safe and sound again soon. 

On a more positive note, we have some exciting plans in the works at present, which we will be announcing during the week! In the meantime, stay home, stay safe and keep your eyes peeled for our announcement.

horse jumps over cross country fever