As the saying goes 'location is everything' and, up to now I have been very happy with the location of the second set or "field" stalls as we call them. These are the stalls we use once horses are acquainted with, and happy walking through then walking into, standing quietly and then trotting out of – initially. These stalls are situated in a ‘cosy’ corner on the yard and please don’t underestimate the importance of “cosy” because it’s vital these young horses feel safe, comfortable, secure and happy in the stalls. The last thing we want is for them to feel nervous, trapped and insecure.
These “field” stalls are stage two of their training in the starting gates, it is where they are taught to propel themselves out of the gates at speed, initially on their own (and often not as fast as we need them to be!) , once they’re ready for company they are teamed up with another horse at roughly the same stage in its stalls training and they learn to jump with company.
Recently frustration has set in because the field where these stalls have been situated for many years, along with the white racecourse rails on each side, have been almost submerged in mud. Relentless rain has made this particular field so wet we were not even able to get in with a tractor or machine to move them.
Finally, last night and with the help or Richard Bradley form the farm we managed to position them at the start of the all-weather gallop.
It’s not my favourite place to have them but it does the job for now and this morning we had a successful training session for three two year olds and one un raced three year old. It was a relief to get them schooled, happily they all went well although while one two year old was particularly quick on his first start with company, the older horse was extremely slow. George might have to swap his flat cap and wellies for his skull cap and riding boots for this one!