Saturday, 24 November 2018

Video of Ted Thistle (Billy Aprahamian) We Never Give Up (Lucy Burton) and Glory Hunter (Ben Pratt) schooling with Ted on this side upsides Jess.
We are going to watch our first point to point of the season at Barbury Castle tomorrow and then going down for a short break to Exmoor.
The horses are flying at the moment and we had a great schooling session on Friday with both Ted Thistle and Top Garry going over the big fences for the first time this season and doing it with ease.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

A perfect day - -Hunting in the morning and then home in time to watch some fabulous Rugby with England just going down by one point against New Zealand. It could have gone either way and was great viewing.
The horses who went hunting this morning were Kingsley, Ted Thistle, We Never Give Up (I was going to take Babbiloora but she lost a shoe and also has suddenly turned into a racehorse, so wouldn't have been the safest conveyance) and the good old Doctor Kingsley who literally came straight from the field. They all really enjoyed themselves and we finished just before the rain came. At the meet we had a minutes silence in to mark Remembrance Day. Someone blew the last post on a hunting horn. It was incredibly moving and somehow the seventy odd horses seemed to understand the importance as you could hear a pin drop as they all stood in silence. Haunting.

Lucy on Kingsley

Ben on Ted Thistle - It was Ben's very first day's hunting.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

 We were a bit short staffed this morning so the 'Greener Pastures' team (Doug and Freddie) stepped in to help with Doug on Kingsley and Freddie on Jess. Freddie has only sat on a horse once before last season with Paddy who took him on the leading rein and today he went on a long hack with us (no leading rein) and was absolutely fine. Jess (We Never Give Up) is a complete saint and could have dumped him if she had wished as we had a bouncy, sideways trot or two, but she kept him on board and he did really well. She also had a work experience girl, Ellie. who had never ridden before hacking her out last week. A horse in a million...

The horses are flying at the moment and all eight are getting fit and raring to go. We are now using the brand new Andrews Bowen gallop on the estate which is a lovely surface and great for the horses to go somewhere different. Because we haven't had much rain we have been unable to use the big grass field as it is so firm so this makes a great change for them.  We are hoping to take a few hunting on Saturday for their first time which should be entertaining.....

The new gallop

It was little India's 5th Birthday at the weekend and Josh and three out of his four children met up at Grandpa Barr's house to create a bit of havoc - SO gorgeous!

Birthday girl India, Archie and Hector - Just check him out! - I LOVE this photo! He is going to be SO naughty....

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Beautiful October sunset
Another lovely day and all horses worked really well - The first horses to go on the racetrack will be Top Garry, Ted Thistle and We Never Give Up, closely followed by Budge, Glory Hunter and Velvet Cloud - The first three have just started fast work and we are aiming for the Atherstone on the 16th December.It seems to have come round really quickly - Can't wait!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The weather has been absolutely stunning, so much so that I swam in the river today - I can't believe that the clocks are due to go back next weekend and yet it is warm enough to sunbathe and swim - Crazy British weather!
The shepherd huts are still busy and the glamping site has been booked up every weekend until now. It has been a great season.
All the horses are now in at nights and on full food. Pasta has been 'off games' for the last three weeks as she has had a bad case of cellulitis - It started with a slightly swollen hock and then her whole leg became huge and hot and she was hopping lame. At one stage it looked as though the hock was infected which can be very serious. Thanks to Walnut hill vets ( Lotty, Lily and Bridget)  as well as Lucy and Jane Burton who spent a lot of time hosing and walking her.  She is now completely sound and I rode her for the first time on Friday - A huge relief as we have been taking our time with her as we think she is quite special and was one of my big hopes for the season. Kingsley is also completely recovered from his sore feet so we are all fit and ready to go. Happy days....


Monday, 15 October 2018

Doug spent the day yesterday commentating for the Pytchley Team Chase - Because we had so much rain the night before the ground had softened nicely and it was incredibly successful with hundreds of horses going around.  A long day for Doug...
I, on the other hand had a lovely day celebrating by Dad's 88th Birthday with my sister, Rose and brother, Peter.
My lovely Dad who seems to get younger and younger

Rose and Peter my long suffering siblings!


Sunday, 14 October 2018

We have just returned from a wonderful week in the Lake District - We stayed in a lovely cottage in the foothills of Helvellyn and the weather was very nearly perfect until Friday when we were on our way back. It was a lovely time of the year to go as the colours were stunning and there were very few tourists. It was even warm enough (just) to have a swim in Ullswater.
Tatty and Poppy trying to take a break on the way up to Glenridding Dodd with Jack still full of enthusiasm
The fells on the way to Buttermere - High Snockrigg and Robinson Fells

Doug and Jack overlooking Ullswater on the way from Howtown to Patterdale

Ullswater - One of my favourite places to swim.

View from our bedroom window

We made it to the top of Blencathra - 2.848 feet and nearly got blown off!
We came back to find that Lucy Burton had done a brilliant job looking after things at Blackgrounds. The horses are still being trained from the field as it is so mild and with the help of Sarah and Ben riding out and her Mum, Jane in the yard they did a fabulous job.
She even took Ted Thistle hunting as coming from Ireland and a bigger yard he has been a bit quiet and bored with his work - Well - That seriously lit him up!!  He LOVED it and Lucy is still recovering!
Ted Thistle before he got going...….