Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Yard Manager

The 'unpaid' Yard Manager

Having had horses for  years, I have been to a fair few yards in my time. Every single yard that I have been on has a 'Yard Manager'. Now I am not talking about the person who is paid to run the yard i.e. the actual Yard Manager. I am talking about the person who 'thinks' they run the yard. Here are a few common characteristics to help you identify the 'unpaid' Yard Manager on your yard;

They know everything there is to know about horses.

Injury of illness, this person will undoubtedly be the first person on the scene to offer their advice about the problem. They will know it all and will have seen it all. No struggle will be too big or too small. Sometimes you won’t even know they are there, but as if by magic they will pop up out of nowhere and interject any conversation with some helpful advice or anecdote.  And please do not dare to question their authority on the subject as this is likely to be met by six months of evil stares and a more concerted effort on their behalf to prove to all that they are the fountain of all knowledge.

·         They know everything there is to know about the yard.

Whether it’s when the next hay delivery is coming or when the horses change fields, this person will be in the know. Their knowledge may even run so deep that they can tell you the size and make of every horses rug as well as where it is stored on the yard. If you are like me and you tend to keep your head down when you’re at the stables and not get to involved in the goings on, having an ‘unpaid’ yard manager around can be quite helpful if you’re not sure of anything. But most the time it can be rather annoying as the reason that they have so much knowledge is that they are constantly trying to get into your business.

·         They are always there.

When you pull into the car park, you can guarantee their car will be there. They are the first ones there in the morning and the last one there at night. On our yard the ‘unpaid’ yard manager comes to the yard at 6am feeds all the horses, goes home and then comes back two hours later for no apparent reason, other than she is able to tell everyone that she is ‘always the first person at the yard in the morning’ in a I’m much more committed than everyone else tone of voice.

·         They will have some sort of superiority claim.

The ‘unpaid’ yard manager is the person that drops into every conversation that they ‘used to be a professional showjumper’ or they used to work for some top rider somewhere. Often their words will carry little substance and their claim will be questionable, for example the ex-professional rider who for some reason or another cannot get onto a horse anymore.

Every yard has one, and if you’re struggling to think about who this might be on your yard, remember it could be you??

Thursday, 5 April 2018

4 The Love of Horses 🐴

About me...

How would I describe myself?

I’m tired, really, really tired and it shows. Every morning my alarm goes off at 05:30am, and I require a minimum of two cups of top strength Colombian coffee before I have some idea of what day of the week it is?

Every day my life is manic and filled to the brim, but I have come to accept that this is how I like it.

After having my first daughter, Lexi 13 years ago, I opted out of horses having had enough of the dirty clothes, the non existant social life and the empty bank account. I dreamt of a life for me and my child which was filled with long holidays to the Bahamas, hands as soft as an angels hair and Sunday morning watching TV with my family in bed. It didn't happen. In fact, my life is quite the opposite.

Both my children have ponies. They are as hooked as I was at their age. And coming from a non horsey family, it is quite a blessing that I have something I can teach and share with them. Sparkles is an 11h Welsh Section A mare, she is actually a 'mothers dream' and we are extremely lucky to have her, she looks after Holly my seven year old daughter and is teaching her the tricks of the trade. Tiffany on the other hand is a pain in the arse. She is a 15.2h Dutch Warmblood, chestnut mare, who does all in her power to keep the 'chestnut mare' stereotype alive. But we love her, and when she decides that she wants to, she rides like a dream. When she decides that she doesn't want to, Lexi is learning to 'sit tight' and 'hold on'.

Most of the time, I am still not quite sure why I do it. However, I just cant seem to stay away and now I have two children in tow. So maybe this is a blog about survival more than horses, but mostly it is about horses. So please enjoy.

The Yard Manager

The 'unpaid' Yard Manager Having had horses for  years, I have ...