Routine work today, typical of Monday mornings, two two year olds schooled well in the stalls, showing a decent attitude and a calm demeanor before jumping well, although the ground was far from ideal thanks to the wettest winter on record and no signs of it stopping. I have decided the next item on the "shopping list" is an all weather strip for the stalls in the field.
Why not just move them to the bottom of the all weather gallop? I hear you say. Simple, that is quite literally the worst possible place you could put them, horses are creatures of habit and as they approach the start of any gallop their blood is up, heart rate is generally elevated and they are ready to jump off and head up the gallops. What they are not ready for, is a little meandering around behind stalls, nice and relaxed, just the way you want them. Stalls training needs to teach them to be as relaxed and calm as possible, to stand quietly for a period of time and then to jump out and gallop.
The calculator will have to come out and the thinking hat will have to go on, or I pray for some decent drying ground, now.
This afternoon I headed off to Leeds with our apprentice "Rowan" to meet with his consultant regarding the shoulder injury he has been suffering with for several weeks following a fall from a two year old at home. After a conversation I had last week with a 'man in the know' I was quietly worried that he might be told he needed surgery, and would be out for months. Thankfully the news was good news, there is an 80% chance he won't need any surgery, he is making very good progress, the dislocation did not produce the usual, expected damage, instead he has some minor damage to a part of the shoulder usually associated with basketball players and rarely seen in the UK. Trust 'our Rowan' to be different.
Instead he is to return to work tomorrow and start riding out, gradually building himself back up to full fitness once again with the help of "Jack Berry House" and their amazing facilities for injured jockeys. Sometimes we forget the myriad of first class back up services our industry enjoys. It won't be too long before he is back riding and claiming a very useful seven pounds off our horses. The owners 'will be pleased' and frankly so will we.