Here at Parsons Close Stables we believe that horses need the healthiest, freshest environment to exist in and that to us means plenty of fresh air, good quality feed and hay and a varied training regime.
Being a small yard we are able to give each individual horse the type of work that it needs to thrive – some love hacking around the headlands and working alone, whilst others thrive on routine and need to go out in a string up the gallops daily.
Jo feels that her strength lies in taking horses that have not done well in big yards and being able to give them a ‘personalised’ regime in terms of the right feed, routine and amount of work to get the best out of them to win.
Every horse that comes in to the yard is given a full check over, its teeth are rasped by a horse dentist, its back is checked by a chiropractor and if there are any doubts about the horse’s wellbeing the vet is called to assess it.
After this is done, with all being well, Jo will get the horse ridden out quietly with one other and assess his/her behaviour. Jo will take a couple of weeks to work out what that individual horse needs to thrive, and the improvement in horses after a month at Parsons Close Stables is always obvious.
Each horse is given the time to be turned out on a daily or weekly basis, ensuring that they are able to relax and unwind when in full training – horses still need to be horses – they are not machines!
Having had problems with previous yards that have been contaminated in some way with fungal spores, Jo has learnt that when the horses are off colour there is no need to spend fortunes of the owners’ money investigating what is going on. Horses can get low grade viral infections when in full training, its expected, just like children at school.
The one thing we have learnt is let the horse get over it, spending money on blood testing, scoping can be done but only to establish what is going on, then let nature take its course. We sometimes have to be patient, but what we do know is that being in a healthy airy yard is the best place for a horse to stay fit and healthy!
With up to 22 horses in training at Parson’s Close, Jo believes its essential that the individual training regime your horse undergoes is matched with its ability and the class of race that is being entered. This will achieve the best possible result for the owner and provide the horse with confidence for future races and success.
The wellbeing of the horse is of paramount importance to Jo and all the staff at Parsons Close, and all horses are inspected daily whilst in training by the team.
The horses work is the focus of every day, with your horse either being walked out gently and turned out after a days racing, or worked at a canter or gallop on the all weather or grass gallops. A typical day’s training will include a variety of regimes to build fitness and develop the horse’s performance. This will involve walking and trotting to harden tendons, progressing to cantering and galloping at speed with another horse up alongside to set the pace, speed and competitive sprit required for racing and winning. For a case study of a horse that has come in and the assessment process click here.
The spectacular Lambourn Downs offers a superb opportunity for owners and their friends and associates to see their horses working at a gallop and no sight can be more thrilling than this - other than a win at the races! Jockeys come into the yard at least once a week to “school” horses, either on the flat on the gallops or over hurdles and fences; this presents a great opportunity to see your horse working and to see the jockey in action prior to race day.