The January Diary of an Eventer is always going to be weather-heavy.  However much you want to avoid talking about this all-British of subjects, it can’t be ignored when you’ve got 11 clipped and stabled horses bouncing out of their skins, ‘trying’ conditions underfoot, and you and your team are outside for all the daylight hours allowed you… 

Today, we’re in the freezer.  Bright blue skies, but frozen and icy underfoot and not enough heat in all that blue to start a thaw.  By 8am this morning we’d already swept and de-iced the walker to render that safe; we’d harrowed the top fields to try and do the same for them; and we’d cracked ice off water butts, troughs, drinkers and taps.  Until the thaw steps up, we’ll be on walk exercise out on the Estate (and oh, how lucky we are to have that – thank you Euston estate) and will be making use of every hill and tussock we can find to burn up calories!


Weather or not, this time of year is always about keeping increasingly bouncy horses entertained and happily occupied.  Our four now-five year olds, especially, have come in full of confidence, teenage chutzpah and a fierce determination to show off some of the shapes that their ever-strengthening bodies are now capable of producing.  Luckily for me, that bounce seldom lasts long as none of them are as physically mature as they think they are, but it’s a constant juggling act to stay safe, push them enough but not too far, and work on boosting their (real) confidence while all the while trying to sit the acrobatics that their (pretend) confidence is busy generating.  

Fortunately I love this stage – but, umm, I love it all the more so when the ground is soft! 

An extra challenge this year is knowing when to start properly upping their fitness for events.  Go too soon and you risk over-cooking them and having a (rather fresh!) problem on your hands come Easter, go too slow and you risk not being ready for when events do start.  Anyone out there got a crystal ball?!

We’ve a couple of new young horses in for restarting and schooling.  Very smart types who were started off well in the autumn then enjoyed some time out before now starting up again in earnest.  We’re long-reining, feeling the way, enjoying getting to know them.  More later on them I’m sure. 

What else?  A lorry load of top-up arena surface has just come in.  That will help with this freeze and give the horses the perfect surface to work on.  Thank you #flexiride!  And we’re busy helping trial a new shavings product –  great that the team and I can help research as we fork ‘n shovel!   I look forward to working with Caviera Horse Bedding and thank you for the chance to be involved. Another big thank you to Maddie at Equestrian Talent for helping to set up these opportunities!

And finally our next scheduled photo shoot with Laura has had to be postponed because of lockdown but we’re looking forward to when we can get busy posing again.  In fact, maybe that’s what those pesky babies are busy practicing their shapes for….!

See you next time 😊 

Polly Mountford
Mountford Sport Horses

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