Wow here we are again, less than a week before Christmas and I couldn't feel any less christmassy than I do right at this moment. However Ella is breaking up from school today and we are off to Olympia Saturday night for our annual night out with my bestest buddies. Im sure the Christmas spirit will overtake me for a few hours in the Champagne bar...
So as the title of this blog suggests we are moving house and yard in the new year to Patricia's Farm in Highworth. Patricia bought it about 8 years ago to have a place for Philip's broodmares and youngstock to go, however sadly circumstances changed and after Patricia doing the whole place up, it has been empty for all that time, apart from Sue who has been doing a fantastic job caretaking and running the farm.
Patricia offered me the chance to go there a few years ago and I turned it down, It terrified me as it was so new and big, I didn't think I was worthy of such a place. Also I love East Garston and the people in this village, I am happy here and all of Greg's work is here (let's face it he is the breadwinner!). However, we are fighting a losing battle with stopping illness spreading through the horses and quite frankly for me, it has come down to either packing in training or moving. I have to be honest, I have veered both ways over the past few weeks...
I think have am at a point of burn out, completely exhausted emotionally and physically and have been struggling to see the future as anything other than more of what we have been going through. But, slowly with much encouragement from all the good people around me, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the new yard is beautiful, airy and there are boxes in different barns and most importantly we have isolation boxes, right away from the others. Something that I think are key to keeping horses healthy. Here we only have 20 boxes in a barn, with nowhere to put one if it is under the weather. The farm also has 400 acres to ride round and a lot of turn out when the weather permits.
It's amazing how people on the outside can look in and say "what are you worrying about, grab the chance with both hands..." however I have had to think long and hard about uprooting Greg and Ella, I know it's only 25 mins away but it is still a completely different area and Greg continues to work over here. I have also struggled to cope with leaving what I feel is my home. The farm house we are moving to is beautiful and so big I think we may get lost, but this little house has so many good memories, I feel like I'm leaving a friend. When did I get so soppy? Must be old age...I also am so aware of the chance Patricia is giving me, I don't want to let her down.
Anyway enough of me being soft, I can now look forwards and start to get excited about the future, Patricia is very kindly putting a gallop and a school in, it will be 6 furlongs up hill and a circular 2 furlong canter. We will have our own schooling fences and hurdles and it will work out less expensive for the owners.
The best part of all of this is that My wonderful staff can come with, the two that drive in, Trace and Nic Nac, will continue to do so and Zora will live in the most beautiful mobile home I have seen..Seriously its amazing!
Having our own gallop will mean that we don't have to start work at 6am everyday, we can start later and let the guys do flexi hours, to make the journey easier and give them some more time with their families. Me too! To not get up at 5.30 every day will mean I may manage to stay awake past 8.30pm....Does this mean Greg and I will actually start to have conversations instead of being ships that pass in the night???
Finally Ella can continue to go to her school, it will just mean we have to be more organised, but it can be done.
I have also made a great contact who is going to assist me in raising the profile of the yard, syndicating a few horses for lease (The Big Yin and Jemima and possibly a very exciting new mare) and that will enable me to concentrate on the horses. My big hope is to train as holistically as possible, to let horses be horses and turn them out as often as the ground will cope with and to continue to encourage owners to take an interest in their horse's lives.
The gang here are all having a fairly easy time, I am a little bit in limbo at the moment, once we get a date for the gallop installation we will know when we are going. I may possibly run The Big Yin and Into the Mist before we go, will see how they continue over the next couple of weeks. They all look fantastic but handsome is as handsome does, I know that can be deceiving.
The Big Yin had a school over hurdles, he was brilliant and I am deliberating whether to go for another bumper of a novice hurdle at the end of the month.
Poor Alan scoped badly after his run but was also lame, it turns out he has arthritic changes in his hock with a spur, he must have really jarred it at WIncanton and we are working to settle it all down.
Into the mist has gotten over her disgust of being asked to run in a vile bog at Lingfield, she hated every yard so I may go to Taunton to give her slightly better ground next.
Jemima continues to impress everyday, she is just getting stronger and stronger and is loving life, sometimes a little too much, she's now strong enough to have a buck and a leap!
JB continues to be a great lead horse and the small one now is riding him off the lead rein...I am genuinely scared...
Dave has only just come back to earth after his run at Warwick, I love him but he's a touch trying to deal with. He will be a very nice horse if we can keep a lid on his brain.
Mr F now thinks he is god's gift to horses and buggered off with me on the gallop yesterday, the more I laughed the stronger he got, until I came upsides James on Marmont, not planned but it made him feel like the boss. He also gave our Trace a lesson in schooling, his attitude was i'm in charge young man, just hold tight!
Finally I would like to say thank you to all of you wonderful people, most of whom I have never met but hope to one day, for your continued support throughout the rubbish times as well as the good. I can't tell you how lovely it is when things are tough to know there are people out there who still believe in you, something I never appreciated before. I wish you all the happiest of Christmases and the healthiest and luckiest new year possible.