It can be in a daunting journey for even the most intrepid of travellers, the road from foal to racehorse. Our yearlings have already completed the preliminary stages, being prepared for the sales and going through the ring. They have settled in here nicely and have now accepted bits in their mouth and saddles on their backs. Several are in the process of being lunged and long-reined, with the second group due to start a couple of weeks later. Long-reins are just as they sound, long nylon leads that attach to the bit, thread through the stirrups and are held by the handler (a safe distance behind the horse) who uses them to teach the animal steering and breaks before we put someone on their back. Those that are being long-reined (or driven) are walked through the yard, around the parade ring and along the quiet lanes before heading back to their stable via the starting stalls. Allen is responsible for the vast majority of breaking-in, but every now and again he calls on his wife for assitance. Anna, who many of you know, is most commonly found chained to one of her two desks in the office, but before she became an office body, she spent many years working with racehorses in several different countries, including Japan where she and Allen broke in many, many yearlings together. She popped out of the office today to help him with one of the more boisterous colts that needed a woman's touch! Those of you who know the couple will also know that they are complete opposites - where Anna is gentle natured and reserved, Allen is gung-ho and forthright, a combination that makes them a great team when it comes to breaking in yearlings. Next step will be backing them and getting them ridden away.
And so the journey begins...!