Big Plans Are Ahead

This year marks the year the boys, Steve and Danny turn 3. I’ve been pretty adamant for quite some time now that I wouldn’t be backing them until they turn 4 and I still intend on sticking to that plan. What this monumental year does mean though is that they stop their life of being essentially field ornaments (and sometimes stable ornaments) and begin their education before being backed next year. I’ve always wanted them to enjoy life as youngsters, hanging out and enjoying their surroundings. This has meant a limited experience in terms of the big wide world but it hasn’t meant a total lack of experiences. They’re fine to lead, to have the farrier tend to their feet and generally see to on a day to day basis by myself, my husband and the more importantly, the vets. 2019 however marks the year they begin their real education.

As much as I love cuddling them on a daily basis, I don’t think it’s quite enough to be considered a solid foundation toward backing. This coming summer will see them being introduced to rollers, bridles and some long reining. I’m still in two minds regarding lunging. It certainly serves a purpose although I do think too much of it can have a negative impact in terms of it being continually on the bend so long reining will be leading the way. I also intend on taking them out while I hack my big lad Jack so they get used to seeing me much higher up than I usually am. I think it will also give them the confidence to explore different areas they aren’t used to.

So many people asked me whether I would be showing in hand but aside from a distinct lack of transport thanks in part to some amazing vet bills, it just wasn’t really my thing. Do I regret it now? Yes! I wish I had of just skipped a few saddlery lunches and hired a lorry once a month when they were younger. I wish I had of helped them see the world a little more when they were younger. Hindsight however, is a wonderful thing. Will I know for next time, sure! But for now, it’s all about the here and now. Their confidence in Jack and Rambo will certainly serve a great purpose in showing them the way.

In terms of their education, I want to keep it as natural and easy as possible. I intend to go at their speed. The way I see it, I have them for the next 30 plus years so we have all the time in the world. Would I love to compete on them in the future, yes of course so I understand I need to stick to a certain regime or program in order to have them up to speed however competition really isn’t at the forefront of what I want to do with my horses. I love being around them, I enjoy hacking out and seeing the countryside and most importantly I want to enjoy our horses as a family. My main aim in life, as little as it may be in comparison to some, is to hack out as a family; my husband, our two daughters and myself. I can only hope this happens but if my daughters choose not to follow in the footsteps of their horse mad parents then at least we have their time at school to enjoy them together ourselves.

Either way, 2019 looks set to be a very exciting year for Danny and Steve. I dread to think of what 2020 looks like when it’s time to do the same with Hattie though…one can dream right?


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