|Riders at Dawn|
Monday, 26 December 2011
Boxing Day, 6.45am, the Kinneston kitchen, I come in from feeding the horses, make myself a lemsip, Lucy at the computer, packed up and ready to go, checking the traffic situation, very stormy outside, she has 5 rides at Wetherby this afternoon (4 hour drive first), then booked for one at Wetherby tomorrow, three at Catterick on Wednesday, four at Kelso Thursday and one at Haydock Friday - nothing confirmed beyond today but she heads off, nomadic, unsure where she will be spending next two nights, where she will be riding exercise, what horses she will be riding where, its a unique life, that of the NH jockey, made more unique by living on the periphary.
I head to the office to prepare the daily worksheet. 7.15, pitch dark blowing a gale and raining, the girls start to arrive here, by 8.30 the yard is mucked out and 8 horses are trotting in the school warming up, I head over to assess and talk to each of the riders about what I want to do, can't believe it is still to all intents and purposes dark, shortest day behind us, trying to keep things simple this morning, repeat the process for second and third lot, big winds and fresh horses, sticking to the all-weather, all twice up apart from Isla Pearl Fisher, due to run on Thursday so he goes up a third time, a bit faster, strong work, he was the only horse exercised on Xmas Day, the rest on the walker for 50 mins but him, a lone dark figure training up and down the all-weather.....will do more with them tomorrow, back on the grass, perhaps a trip to Lucinda's woodchip, some schooling, take advantage of the open weather, although these south-westerlies are unpleasant they are preferable to cold hard weather for this job. Our only other entry this week is Papamoa who may go to Haydock on Friday if weather looks dodgy for Ayr next week.