New Year's Day and January
Moved the horses to the new yard at Fritham. Yard is rather a posh term but the fields consists of nine acres in the middle of the Forest with a couple of barns. We've got lots of work to do there but the idea is that we get it all fenced properly and that I have extra horses to stay for training and remedial work. As my customers will be able to combine this with riding on the Forest I may even get a few horses from further afield should people want to find accommodation for themselves too. I know a great bed and breakfast where the owners do massages and manicures. I'm really pleased with the land - it has barns rather than stables, a pony pound (where I can train untouched horses) and a flat area where I can put my round pen and do other groundwork. The fields slope downhill so there's somewhere I can ride the Pie pony uphill without him being able to put in a good buck and of course there are miles and miles of Forest just beyond the gate (plus the pub where you can take your horse for a drink). There's rather a lot of fencing, painting and repair work if anybody fancies a visit! All volunteers will be rewarded with food and a lovely rub in the middle of the forehead. Anyone who fancies a ride could take either Petra or Sasha out with me. Barns full of ancient hay, fences and buildings that need upgrading. Oh joy! The horses are delighted with their new field. Registered as business as from today.
3rd January. My birthday and my first properly paid job. Lovely Welsh Cob that barges and pulls and lies down in the trailer. Showed her owner how to do the groundwork exercises and eventually worked with the horse in the trailer. Next time she will take a short journey. Advised the owners about some simple safety precautions to take when the horse is travelling.
New farrier started with the horses. I have promised him a bottle of wine of he can keep Petra's shoes on for six weeks or more.
Started work with two donkeys who are going to be trained to pull a trap. Neither of them lead easily so that was a good starting point.
Later in the month the fencing materials and gates arrive at the field. The new vet from Endells came to visit the horses for their jabs and I booked myself onto a donkey behaviour course at the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth in Devon.