19th May 2020
Well we all seem to have survived lockdown so far!! We'v actually had quite a nice time really as we have all stayed safe and well, and have managed to get a lot of jobs done and improvements done on the yard, everywhere is looking fabulous. We are now able to offer private lessons again so its starting to feel a little bit like the world is getting back to normal and keeping fingers crossed that it stays this way. Its lovely getting clients back in the saddle as everyone has missed their riding so much. I'v been lucky and just kept riding the jumping horses, so we have been doing a lot of hacking, schooling and gymnastic type work over fences and they are really feeling good. We were able to go and hire a venue for the first time this week to go schooling and it felt like we'd been let out for good behaviour!! I can only hope that if everything carries on in this positive way that we may get to go out again to a show within the next few months. We have certainly gone through a lot of Netflix series over the last couple of months!! I am waiting with quiet confidence for Cornelia to foal in the next month. She foaled 6 weeks early last year so we lost the foal, she fostered a foal who'd lost its mum, and the stud then covered her again, and so far she's looking fit and healthy and another 2 weeks and we should be safe, another fingers crossed. Stay safe and keep smiling.
2nd April 2020
Goodness what a year we are having with the Corona virus spreading through the world and our country on lockdown all of our priorities have had to change very quickly. We have been on lockdown in this country now for 2 weeks, but i'v had mum and dad on lockdown for nearly a month to try and keep them safe. Darrel has been doing our food shopping and i can honestly say we haven't done any panic buying, just our usual weekly shop and i don't think we wil starve or run out of toilet roll!! I am trying to keep as usual routine as possible which is a bit tricky when we'v had to shut the riding school so i'm getting used to sitting down for a lunch break, having time to do jobs in the afternoon and sitting watching tv in the evening!! I have carried on riding the horses which is a bit of a controversial topic as some believe we shouldn't be riding as may make extra work for our NHS if we fall off, i am keeping the horses to a routine that keeps them sane and sensible and less likey to become unmanagable, fingers crossed. It also keeps me sane and thinking routine otherwise everything will become too hazy and unstructured. In work at the moment i have Sunny, 7 yrs, Lexi, 5 yrs, Jimmy, 6 yrs and Fanta, 4 yrs. The three new horses we aquired in December from Jake Saywel, Darrell bought Lexi, Sam Wilson bought Jimmy and i'm in partnership with Sam with Fanta, a new owner who i'm really appreciating her support. She owns event horses but is really enjoying seeing her horses out jumping and coming and helping at the shows. Fanta was unbacked in December so we left her with Jake to back and now i'm enjoying putiing the basic flatwork in and building her up. She was nowhere near going to a show but she may well be when shows are up and running again as they have been suspended till the end of May at the moment, may well be longer! Jimmy is finding everything quite easy at the moment so i'v stepped him up quite quickly and he's now jumping Discovery/ Newcomers classes and is pretty much a clear round machine. A big horse with a big character and we all love him. Lexi is the most beautiful, honest horse i could ever wish for in a 5 yr old, i think i could put my mum on him to hack out! He's still got quite a weak canter which i'm working hard on and i think our new canter track that Darrell has put in is going to really help him. He has so much power and a great way of moving i don't think it will be long until he feels amazing, he's got all of the jump and is jumping British Novice/ Discovery classes easily. Was hoping to have him ready to jump some 5 yr old classes in the summer but it may not happen now this year. Sunny is feeling as good as ever and was looking forward to progressing to our championship classes this year including the Winter Grade C final, Blue Chip championship classes, 7 yr old classes and Foxhunter 2nd rounds that he's qualified for this year but not sure how many we'll get to jump this year depending when shows start up again. To be honest its not really worth worrying about at the moment as like i said above all of our priorities have changed and staying well is top of the list at the moment! My staff are down to just our full timers Jess, Imola and Simone who are keeping the horses looking well and staying safe themselves. Juliet is doing a great job in the office and we had a year full of lessons, camps, ride and relax days, but am not sure what we'll be able to do but hopefuly start up again asap. We thank our clients for all the support they are showing us at the moment. Darrel is having a good time and doing a wonderful job upgrading the surface in the indoor school and putting in the canter track surface that runs around the existing grass tracks which wil be a godsend if we have another wet winter, so we'll be able to keep the horses even fitter. He has put Salt machines into quite a few new yards including some top trainers and was just about to take a trip to America to install one until we were all grounded!! We'v just welcomed a rescue puppy to Weston from Romania called Coco, Milly has just about accepted her. I think all that is left to say is that i really hope that everyone stays happy and healthy, that we all manage to get to the other side of this without losing any loved ones and with our sanity intact! And i'll have time to update this blog more than just once a year!!! Take care and stay safe xxx
29TH jUNE 2019
Wow the year is going so quickly and we have achieved quite a bit so far. We have updated our old, tired outdoor school into a fabulous new all weather arena, super surface, great drains, so its a brilliant addition to our centre. Its available to hire at any time. We have a new arrival, Sigourney's son Larry was born on the 1st June, a week early, while i was away at a show! He is fit and strong and we are thoroughly enjoying having a foal about the place as our last bunch are now 6 yrs old. I have sold Stewy and he is starting his eventing career with Vicky. Unfortunatly Cornelia lost her foal, giving birth 6 weeks early, he was never going to survive, but she has travelled up to Scotland to be a foster mum to a friends foal who lost his mum, the process is going well so far. Ivy has started her jumping career and is going out jumping British Novices and feeling really good. Sunny is surprising me everytime he goes out, competing easily now around Foxhunter level, with a 1.30 here and there. He's qualifed for the Nationals in the Big Star 6 yr old class, has jumped some meaty 6 yr old classes at Hickstead, and just had a great 2 days at Norfolk show. We are very excited about his future. We had a great inspection this year, being given a 5 star rating for our riding school so very happy about that. I now have Juliet working in the office so she gets us all organised, and does help out on the yard, basically does everything to keep us heading in the right direction. We'v got some new faces working on the yard, Jess is my right hand girl, on an apprenticeship, and keeps her horses at Weston, but she keeps everything ticking along well. Also Zara is here a few times a week, worked for me when we first came to Weston so its lovely to have her back. Freya is a livery, but works when we need her to, has just finished her exams so we will probably making good use of her over the holidays. Darrell is making hay at the moment, we are hoping to get a good crop this year, enough to keep all the horses and ponies stocked up through winter. Our fences are looking great thanks to Juliets husband Paul and his men, they have been replacing all of our electric tape with post and rail, so we are hoping come the winter time we will have more fields to use, and none that the horses can escape from! The salt therapy unit has had lots of visitors, all gaining a lot of benefits from the salt, including horses with bad breathing, spotty skin, sweet itch, and its helped them all. Mum and Dad are still working away, Dad slightly having less stress in the office now he has a Juliet to help him, and mum has bought herself a pony! She's ridden him once, Silver, but he's a great addition to the riding school.
8th March 2019
I can't beleive i haven't updated this blog for so long! I thought i had done at Xmas but obviuosly i was having computer gliches! Well so much has happened over the last few months i'm not sure where to start. As its Spring i should say that we are waiting patiently for 3 foals to be born this year, Sigourney, Serafina and our new mare Cornelia are all in foal, very healthy and looking well. Sigourney is the first due in June with a Fantaland foal, and the 2 other mares are both in foal to Europe Sport horses Whisper in the Wind, and they are due in August. Fingers crossed they stay fit and well and produce some nice healthy foals. We'v had a fairly quiet winter competing, just doing some local shows, Sunny coming into the New Year with his double clears in Newcomers and Foxhunter and a Blue Chip ticket. Leo really behaving himself and has become a pleasure to ride. We have a lovely 5 yr old mare called Ivy, who we backed late 2018 and is showing real promise over her jumps. We took her out to a little dressge competition and she loved it, and am really looking forward to getting her out jumping. A few new horses/ ponies have come across the pond for us to back, produce and sell and we have a dedicated Facebook page to those horses called DT Sport horses, and all horses will have their progrees reported on it with videos to map their journey. Tye, Ronnie and Tammy being our first few and what lovely horses they are turning into. We are trying very hard to update our facilities and improve everything all round the place and i think its beginning to show. Our indoor is looking fabulous with regular work on the surface and some good sprinklers now in place hopefully we'll never get too dusty in the summer, and its level surface is so easy for the horses to work on. Weston riding club is going from strength to strength with over 40 members and a busy Saturday afternoon every week, i'm seriously lucky to have my fabulous volunteer organisers who run it for me and tell me what needs doing, where they need me, and what events they are organising. The members of our riding club get so much from it and have made friends for life. To make our life even better we have updated our outdoor school, with new drainage and a better surface you would never recognise it. It will give us all so much choice now where to ride and if the school is busy with lessons we can then still ride in the outdoor. Darrell has worked hard to get it right out there and is really pleased with it. The Salt therapy unit is such and amazing addition to the yard, with visiting horses benefitting from its huge healing benefits for all types of conditions, from breathimg issues to skin issues, everyone who brings their horse here is converted to this simple, non invasive system that benefits all types of horses. Mum and Dad are happy and healthy and still are the backbone of the yard. Dad carrying out all the repairs, now with Darrell to help him, and also rejuvenating the toilet block, putting in some showers if anyone wants to camp out here. Mum makes sure our holiday lodges are ready for anyone staying and still keeps baking lovely cakes for us. We have a whole new organisational system in our office, basically a lovely lady called Juliet who is getting us all ship shape. So the year ahead is hopefully full of sunshine, gorgeous horses, and great people.
26th August 2018
Wow what a summer we'v had here at Weston. Lots of shows, lessons, camps, weddings and unicorns have all played their part. Sunny has had an amazing summer contesting a lot of 5 yr old classes including Hickstead, Blue Chip champs, Nationals at Stoneleigh, and we are back at Hickstead next week. He's finishing the summer jumping Foxhunters, and hopefully over the winter he'll get his Newcomers/ Foxhunters double clears for second rounds next year. He got his Newcomers for this year but thought they would be a little strong for him as a 5 yr old. He jumped treble clear in a Discovery 2 nd round this year and contested the final. just having a fence down in the jump off. Leo has actually been a pleasure this year and has behaved himself and actually won a few rosettes, think his younger brother must have been having a chat with him! We'v put Sigouney in foal to Fantaland, a super stallion, so we are keeping our fingers crossed she has a healthy foal next year. We are thinking about putting Serafina in foal as well but time is getting away from us this year so we'll have to get a wriggle on. Our camp was a fabulous success with 24 children and horses/ponies camping out for 3 days. Our super organisers kept it running like clock work and many rosettes and trophies were won at the end of it. We had a wedding in the summer for one of our long standing liveries and friend Odette and Mat. It was a beautiful day with Odette riding her horse Wizard down from the lodges to the aisle, which was our lawn in front of the pond. Hooligan also did his wedding duties when we were asked if we could bring a unicorn to a wedding venue, duly a horn was aquired, little baskets were filled with confetti, and he paraded about giving it out. He is available for bookings. Mum has been keeping us fed with homemade cakes and Dad has been repairing fences and has started on the other side of the toilet block, as the new toilet that he's built is super. Darrell has been doing amazingly well with his Newmarket Salt therapy machines, proving their worth, especially in the racing indusrty now, with his machines in several of the top trainers yards in Newmarket. Sir Michael Stoute, William Haggas and Ed Dunlop, having a fabulous season of winners, after having the systems in over a year now, they are reaping the benefits of horses, top of their game and their well being the most important factor. With systems now being sold in all different parts of the country its becoming more and more recognised as an important therapy for the horse. We are so lucky to be able to offer the system at Weston, already noticing the difference with our sweet itch horses, great skin now, and any horses that are struggling with coughs, snotty noses or scabby skin. The jumping horses go through regularly to keep their lungs clear and their breathing at 100%.
27th April 2018
Well this year has been very strange, weather wise and exciting, business wise!
Once we'd got over the snow, which was hideous in every way, but we managed, everyone kept smiling and horses, i think, quite enjoyed it. Then we had the mud to wade through, i think everyone with horses found it very difficult to keep smiling, but finally the sun came out, for a few days, and we dried up and the grass started growing! All of my clients fully appreciated our super indoor school as lessons carried on through adverse weather conditions, horses were kept exercised and we are all looking forward to a bit more sunshine. My horses have had an easy winter then started again in January. Sunny being our yard super star at the moment, he's taken part in the Blue Chip Winter champs, just having the last fence in the Discovery final jump off and not being phased by the big atmosphere. He will be contesting British Novice and Discovery 2nd rounds this year, has already got several Newcomers double clears and has started jumping Foxhunters. He is entered for 5 yr old classes at Hickstead, big aim is to qualify for the main ring, Royal Norfolk and several other bigger shows through the year. Am really excited about how he is progressing. Leo and Sigourney keep going out and either jump well or don't, depending on their mood! Exciting news is we are just preparing to get Sigourney inseminated by John Whitakers lovely big grey stallion Cassini's Chaplin, so as much as i said no more foals, we will hopefully have another one next year! Stewy is progressing, but slowly, and growing bigger every day. I think i have reached a sad decision that i may have to sell him as just don't think my legs will be long enough to ride him! I'v also got Serafina advertised for sale as i think she'd suit a dressage home over a showjumping home, winning on her first debut dressage outing.
My private life as had a bit of a change around and i'm now very happy with Darrell Torrens, founder of Newmarket Equine Salt Therapy. A really amazing, non invasive, drug free therapy for horses, aimed at all respiratory issues, sinus problems, seasonal allergies, congestion, skin problems and a general pick me up. To learn more look on our therapy page. Our horses, riding school and competition, are all benefitting from this system. We are hoping to offer all types of spa packages to horse and rider. Its lovely to have Darrell's support and help, having showjumped, point to point raced and all things horsey in Ireland he's a great back up for me and the horses, and is really trying to get our therapy sytems in place at Weston.
Mum and dad are still a great help amd support, mum keeping the cakes baking, and dad totally rejuvinating one of the lodges at the moment.
25th December 2017
Merry xmas and a happy new year everyone. We have had a good day here at Weston. Getting 28 stables done and horses sorted by 9.30 so our staff can get off and have a good day, and i can start relaxing. My brother Daniel, and his wife Eunhee and daughter Mina, are home from Saudi, so we are having a lovely family xmas, and going to the pub for lunch. Been fairly hectic workwise as usual with lessons busier and busier through the year. Due to another local riding school closing down we took on their horses and ponies and a lot of their riders so we have opened up a sunday morning for lessons. Odette, my trainee coach, has been training these riders, and having a lot of fun. Lucy Blowers has taken over teaching on a Thursday/ Friday which lets me get a few more jobs done. Our riding school stays super busy with over 50 children signed up, some coming weekly, some coming fourtnightly, and all attaining different levels of their ABRS certificates through the year. After not such a great start to the year with Sunny, he absolutly redeemed himself when he started jumping at shows. Finding it all very easy he collected his British Novice and Discovery double clears very quickly and also 2 Blue Chip championship tickets, so has earned himself a nice holiday now until end of January. I have to say its such a lovely change to have a horse that goes in the ring and performs without having to make a song and dance about it. He is scopey, non spooky, and i'm really quite excited about his progress. I'll be aiming him for some of the nice shows through 2018 with 5 yr old classes as i think he should cope quite well with them. Our aim is to jump in the main ring at Hickstead this year, watch this space!!! Stewy is progressing slightly slower but is a lovely horse and will hopefully grow up more through the next year. He's big and powerful so is taking his time to mature. Leo is behaving himself pretty much at the moment and i'm enjoying taking him to shows. Enouvelle is a chestnut mare as usual but i'v had fun with her this year, she has her good days and chestnut days, but she has been to the Blue Chip champs and Stoneleigh National champs this year and when she plays the game she's great!! Serafina is still a work in progress, i like her a lot but may not want to be a jumper, sometimes she loves it, sometimes not so much! Lovely Bo is still going strong and looking amazing still at the age of 25 (nearly). Am very much looking forward to 2018, we'v made a lot of improvements to Weston this year, and we'll carry it. The toilet block is now finished, well one side anyway. Its disabled friendly, which is just in time as we have taken on 3 RDA ( Riding for the Disabled) groups, and they come 4 times a week to use our school and horses/ponies. Its a great addition to our centre. Hope everyone has a fabulous time over the holidays and we'v got lots of goals to achieve next year.
12th May 2017
Well its been quite an emotional year so far with a lot of eventful things happening, some not so good. We lost one of our beautiful homebred boys Little Legs a few months ago. He was struggling with lameness and after having scans and x rays it showed that he had serious degeneration in one of his feet which would never improve we had to make the hearbreaking decision to have him put to sleep which just about broke my heart. Our 2 other boys are coming on really well. Sunny showing a natural talent for his jumping and Stewy possibly dressage! Sunny had a bad accident in the lorry recently, getting his head stuck between the head board of the lorry and the wall, resulting in him bleeding out into his guttoral pouch and having to have an emergency tracheotomy to secure his airway. Needless to say another trip to Newmarket and their wonderful vets saved him and he has healed well and is back in work. My lovely dog Milly has also suffered, getting run over and dislocating both hips! Quite broken and touch and go with her, but another life saving vet toggled her back together and she is back running and jumping again, just doesn't have quite so much freedom! Then the bad luck continued on and passed onto my Dad who was making improvements on our toilet block when he slipped off his step ladder and broke his leg! He's pinned up and resting and recuperating, and annoying mum! Otherwise the yard and riding school are thriving. Our riding club is a really fun environment for the children and adults alike. We run 5 riding groups on a saturday afternoon with stable management sessions, with all members gaining ABRS certificates along the way. They are working towards certificates in each session which makes them all the more determined to learn. All my horses are going well, i try to get out to as many shows as i can but sometimes priorities have to be staying at Weston and working! Enouvelle, Serafina and Leo are all out jumping regularly. I'v just got a horse back that i used to compete for owners 4 years ago, Cabecera. He's a very large lad, approx 18hh, 10 years old, and i'm really happy to say i own him now so am looking forward to competing him through the summer. He's just done dressage for the last 6 months,previously been in a field since i had him, so was very happy to be back out jumping. He has an extravagant way of moving and that carries on over a fence so i have to hang on! The holiday lodges are getting booked up for the summer and they look lovely, all the hedges we'v planted have sprung up, keeping them a little bit apart from the horses, although only just! They really do provide a lovely get away from busy life with so much wildlife around them, the cuckoo is really loud at the moment, the heron is always keeping guard around the pond, and so many families of hares running around you never know where to look.
6th January 2017
Happy new year to everyone. What a good year it hopefuly should be. We'v got our 3 home grown boys turning 4 yrs old this year, Stewy, Sunny and Little Legs.They are all growing into lovely horses, Sunny and Stewy are approx 17hh now so are big boys. Little Legs is a chunky 15hh. All are behaving themselves. Sunny has had his first outing in the lorry to go out schooling and was super. Stewy is still scared of everything so will take a while to get his confidence up but has gone on and off the lorry quite well so hopefully he'll be out and about soon. We'v just started Little Legs off again and think he's going to be a really cute little horse. We'v backed several other horses for owners through2016/17 and all have been amazing to work with. Each horse teaches us something different every day and we never stop learning about them. We are full to bursting with liveries at the moment who all have their own ambitions which we encurage and help anyway we can. Our riding club has a life of its own, doubling then trebling in size through 2016 until we have 25 regular riders with others coming fortnightly, 4 riding groups every saturday. In 2017 we are hoping to start them off on their certificates which are widely recognised so should be a worthwhile project. I have some great help running the club, Lucy Blowers who has worked at Weston now for several years, helps me with the teaching. She will very shortly be a UKCC Level 2 coach and will be a great addition to my teaching team. Juliette Waller and Rainy Watson help with all the admin which i'm no good at and keep the club running super smooth. All our horses and ponies are another year older and wiser and are still fit and active. They have regular physio sessions to keep them in tip top condition, Limbo our olderst boy at 24 yrs this year is still our sharpest tool in the box and shows no signs of slowing down. Its lovely to see our horses coming out so fit and ready to work. Our ponies are all so well loved,several having sharers that come and give them even more tlc. We recently gained 2 more shetlands, Trixie Belle and Pumba, and Hooligan is enjoying being boss of their little herd. They free range all around the tracks of Weston and i frequently get phone calls to say i'v got shetlands out on the tracks but we sort of let them do what they like, its the easiest course of action!! I'v got a busy year ahead with the boys all hopefully starting the get out to shows when they are ready, Sigouney (Enouvelle) jumping Newcomers classes and has already qualified for the Blue Chip Champs. Serafina is hopefully going to start playing the game again and is enjoying her jumping, we'll take it steady with her and she'll be out and about soon. Leo has had time off but is back in work again and fingers crossed will come good again. Neil, mum and dad are still a huge part of Weston keeping things running smoothly. Dad has been making constant improvements to the place resulting in a new roof over the bottom yard which is a huge help and his ideas will carry on into 2017. And with record clients coming in for the riding school resulting in lessons running monday to saturday from 1.00 till 9.00 we look forward to another good year.
2nd September 2016.
How have i managed to get to September without writing in my blog since Febuary?? This year has flown with so many new things going on at Weston its been quite a hectic year. Our Riding Club has gone from strength to strength with lots of young members getting to grips with all sorts of horsey related days, riding and stable management has been going down well, have never known people to enjoy poo picking so much!! We'v held our first riding club show which involved a bit of dressage, jumping and gymkhana with a lot of rosettes flying around. Now we are members of the ABRS we are going to be running courses for people to gain their Progressive rider tests and for the younger ones, they can work towards their Rosette awards. Horses have been jumping well, Donna has gone to her new home and is getting on fantastically well. Serafina and Sigourney have had a few baby problems which they seem to be getting over and are getting on well. Leo is having a bit of time off as he's been getting on well and needed a bit of a break. We backed Sunny and Stewy in the summer then turned them out with Little Legs to have a few months out at grass before their real work begins!! End of October is their D day, coming in time to be proper horses! Am really hoping they behave themselves and turn into super stars. We'll back Little Legs at the end of the winter, am just leaving him a bit longer to grow as much as he can. Val and Tara have had an amazing summer with their best win to date being the Childrens Final at Hickstead in the main ring. There were tears. My biggest ambition still is to ride in the main ring, am still working on that one but never thought a horse of mine would win in it!! Lessons are manic and there are so many people wanting to learn to ride, its great for business but am always having to keep my ears open for new horses to build our team up. All of our riding school horses are still fit an well and enjoying their jobs still. Liveries are all still happy an we have a great bunch at Weston. Morgan Lee had a great result at Royal Norfolk with her lovely rescue pony Thunder winning the Rescue class and gaining Reserve Champion, such a super pony.
Will try not to leave it so long before my next chat.
12th Febuary 2016
Our mud is slowly drying up with all the wind we've had recently, never had such trashed fields at this time of year but think everyone is in the same boat at the moment. All our horses are going well and we are slowly getting the youngsters out and about, only today i got a saddle on Stewy and Sunny for the first time and started getting their heads around the lunging process! Both of them were very good boys. Valerie has made her way down to Tara Byrrt again as i'v sold them a half share in her so Tara will jump her for the next season or 2 and when she's ready to she'll come back home to retire and possibly have a foal. Am looking forward to cheering them on this year. Serafina has been out to her first show and went clear, i'm really enjoying her, she's a sparky little thing, think she's going to be another My Life.We'v backed several nice young horses for a couple of our owners over the winter and are currently doing another very nice little mare. We have started up Weston riding club which is proving very popular. So far we have got lots of youngsters keen and learning but am hoping we can open it up to adults as well. We will run clinics and shows as well as our regular training days on a saturday. Lessons are getting busier and busier resulting me being out till 9.00 most nights having started at 2.00 in the afternoon, which is great for business.
11th January 2016
Wow how did we get here this quickly!!! Happy New Year to all my friends, family and clients. Looking forward to a good 2016 with several new horses to play with and exciting new projects at Weston EC. First of all we are planning to start up a riding club here, open to all with a mixture of stable managemnent and horse care with a bit of riding thrown in. I'm looking forward to developing this and think we could end up with a fun group of people.Will be running on a saturday afternoon, hopefully starting at the end of January . The horses we have to play with this year are,of course, Leo - Night Life, Sigourney - Enouvelle II, Donna II, Wodehouse Serafina, and My Lord. Most are youngsters that we are starting off, Leo and Donna are old faces that i'v written about before, Leo won't go anywhere!! Donna i sold at the end of 2014 and has come back for me to sell for the owner so i'll enjoy her while i can. My Lord, the palomino stallion, we'v got for the owner to get him out doing things as he's just been having fun with his mares for 9 years. Serafina is a 7 yr old that i aquired last year, she's been a challenge to back and bring on but i'm excited for her future. Sigourney is a mad chestnut mare who i absolutly love, she's quirky,feisty but jumps for fun and think she has a big future in front of her. I'v got a good team of girls working for me, Vicky Engledow ,Lucy Blowers and India Fincham all of which have their own horses and compete in different disciplines. Our 3 youngsters Sunny, Stewy and Little Legs are 3 this year,can't beleive how quick the time has gone!! They will be coming in at some stage this year to be sat on, possibly not Little Legs as he's still quite small, but Stewy and Sunny need to do a bit of work as they are rather large! I'm really looking forward to getting them started. Neil has started a new job so hopefully that will go well, lots of big tractors to drive and hopefully he'll still be able to make our hay. Mum and dad are still enjoying them selves, are off to Iceland to see the Northern Lights tis weekend, at least they will escape the mud for a few days!! All i'm hoping is that we don't get too much snow!!
17th October 2015
I can't believe how quickly this year is steaming along!! We are nearly at Christmas!! I'm very glad that i welcomed Valerie B back home after her very successful summer with India. I'v really enjoyed cheering her on these last 2 summers with Tara and India but i think now she can stay at home and i'll enjoy her again, i'v missed her these last summers. Although i haven't struggled for rides as i'v been very lucky picking up the rides on some lovely horses, and now have quite a good collection of young horses who will be coming out over the winter and 2016. There's also the 2 yr olds out in the fields, 2 of which, Sunny and Stewy, who are very large so may have to do something beginning of next year. I'm currently working on a timetable of winter dates to put in your diaries, including some dressage clinics, unaffiliated show jumping and some jumping clinics with me and invited coaches so should be a fun winter. We are sorting out our gallery so there will be somewhere warm and cosy to sit while watching the action.
2nd August 2015
What a fantastic week we'v had here at Weston especially now the weather has improved again, the mud has dried up! I went to cheer Valerie B on and India Bussey at Hickstead the other day and amazing result yet again from my gorgeous horse. They qualified for the main arena in the Children's final on Friday so it was definitly worth a trip to watch. They came 2nd eventually being pipped at the post by a hundreth of a second! Should have been Val's class as she's due a really good win as she's been so consistant in these Children's classes but just missing that win that they deserve. I'm wishing India all the luck in the world now as she and Ego go off to Austria next week to contest the European Champs, should stand a good chance.
I'm getting ready to take several horses to Weston Lawns next week, Leo and a couple of the youngsters so will be lovely to get them out and see what they make of it all.
Then when i come home getting our academy teams sorted out for Weston Lawns in a few weeks time, looking like 24 kids, horses and ponies to get organised!! Then running our first junior camp which i'm trying to get ready for and get a timetable ready for all the kids that are either bringing their own ponies or borrowing one of mine.
18th July 2015
What a busy couple of months since i last wrote my blog. I'v been to cheer on India and Valerie in Holland, which went super well with them both getting placed in their classes. Neil and i have been on our hols, got a bit of a tan, and are back flat out as usual. Neil has made our hay, 115 bales this year which should keep us going for a while. Norfolk show has been and gone, which is my favourite show of the year. I didn't think i'd be competing this year as India has Valerie and Leo isn't quite up to Foxhunter level yet, so i'd got my dress out ready to be part of the crowd. A friend of mine then asked if i could compete her horse as she had been sidelined with an injury. I had a sit on her horse Chipie the weekend before Norfolk, all went well so decided to give it a go. Couldn't have gone better as we won the Foxhunter class on the Wednesday and got a 10th in the main ring on the Thursday. Valerie also featured in several classes with India and gained her leading Norfolk rider.
Our riding lessons are busier than ever with new riders coming every week and our horses are doing a fantastic job of putting smiles on peoples faces.
We'v spent the day today scrubbing white legs and tails, plaiting manes and generally getting all the horses and ponies cleaned and ready to shine in our big charity show up on the top field tomorrow. Really looking forward to seeing all the horses, ponies, liveries, staff and helpers getting dolled up and hopefully winning loads of rosettes. We can't keep the yard going without the help of my fantastic staff, lovely liveries and volunteers so i'm hoping they are all going to shine tomorrow.
I got a bridle on the 2 yr olds for the first time today and just did a bit of leading with Stewy and Little Legs, both were very good boys and enjoyed their little jaunt to the school. Serafina, my unbacked 6 yr old is currently nearly backed, trotting around the school now with Vicky, with the odd little accidental canter and i'm really beginning to think she's going to be lovely. We'v got a good group of youngsters, all of which are now backed and i'm looking forward to getting them out schooling and training through the winter. Its been a very good year so far.
25th May 2015
So India has been picked for the Childrens Teams on Ego and is taking Val as an individual so i'm looking forward to a little trip to Wierden, Holland next week to cheer them on, very excited!
Took a lorry full of horses and riders to the lovely beach at Holkham yesterday which was good fun. All the horses enjoyed them selves and so did the riders. One slightly stressful moment when Boss tripped and deposited his rider on the floor and had a bit of a gallop back to the lorry. Had to retrieve him and bring him back, he became my ride then as he was a little bit manic after that!
Bit of a busy few weeks coming up as i'm off to Holand then me and Neil have finally booked ourselves a week away so am trying to get everything organised so we won't be missed!
We have 3 bay mares all at various stages of being backed coming on very well, pictures to follow. We have Coco, a 3 yr old owned by Josie Gates, Sire: Chacco Bleu. She's quite a big girl so we have taken it fairly quietly with her but actually she loves being ridden, getting into it very quickly and is now cantering with a rider on her with no worries. She'll do a bit through the summer then have a break then get back into it in the wnter ready for 4 yr old classes next year hopefully. Then we have Anni, owned by Ross and Lorna Walker, 4 yr old mare. Only had her in a week or so but she's already cantering round with a rider on,think she's got one of those brains that has already been backed as is taking everything in her stride, lovely, classy mare. Finally we have Serafina, 6 yr old mare bred by Wodehouse Stud. I took her in exchange for Val's lease for the summer. She's a little bit more quirky than the others so have had to do a bit more groundwork on her, but finally paying off as we are now sitting on her. Looking forward to taking them all out at some stage this summer to see how they all behave, am hoping for 3 super stars......
7th May 2015
So we are keeping our fingers crossed that India and Valerie B are picked for the European teams after having a stonking good time at the trials!! Along with her other horse Westwinds Ego that you may remember i jumped for Josie 2 years ago now, basically anihalated the competition!! Winning 3 out of the 4 Childrens classes and coming 2nd in the Grand Prix on Val we are hoping that she can't be left out.:).
Very excited to be getting our summer camps organised for this year. Am hoping we have lots of interest and get to meet lots of new people. I'v got several instructors lined up, with different experts to talk us through how our horses move,and what we should be looking for when things go wrong! Also bouncey castle type things for the kids!
With the weather now getting better i'm looking forward to summer shows and the horses are all feeling good.
26th April 2015
Its the start of the summer and the grass is finally getting greener. A lot of the horses are starting to stay out which is much easier in the mornings, mucking out is a much easier job!! Hopefully we can get the stables all painted up this year as they are in a bit of a need of a face lift!
Valerie has started well with her young rider, India, nearly taking the Childrens title at POYS with the quickest time but just had the last fence, such a shame. They go to the European Trials at Chepstow International next week so keeping our fingers crossed that they are constantly consistant.
Horses are all jumping well, especially Leo who is surprising me at how well he's progressing.
The lodges are looking lovely and we are having a steady stream of holidayers in and out of them. I'v advertised them on the continent so am hoping that we'll get a bit of european interest.
Neil has been getting the top field ready for a fab hay crop this year so we are hoping for a few more this year, we'v got 120 to beat from last year!!
I seem to have had quite a few youngsters coming in to back which have been fun. I'm lucky to have a good team of girls working for me who are all keen and competent to have a sit on them as think these days i'm getting a bit too old to bounce! Although we'v had some very nice ones in and no bouncing has been done so far, touch wood!
16th March 2015
Well as spring is slowly staring to arrive we are all getting a bit more enthusiastic about lighter evenings and sunny days which help with all things horsey!!
We'v had several inter university shows at Weston as i'v been training the the UEA team on Wednesday afternoons. These are really quite fun as we'v had other university riders come down and compete against each other on our horses. Teams of 4 have to be drawn onto each horse, sometimes the taller riders have been drawn onto the smaller horses and vice versa which is a bit comical! Boss has been the super star dressage horse, Solly proving to be a versatile jumping horse but all of our horses have looked after the riders and been amazing.
Shows have been going very well with a nice outing to Keysoe with Val B, of course, coming back with rosettes and Leo actually behaving himself and coming on nicely.
Its looking like Val B will be leased out to a really good young rider to try for the Chiildrens teams again which will be exciting. She's a local rider so i'll be able to see her more as well so watch this space!!!
24th January 2015
Happy New year everyone, hope its going well so far. Its been a good start to the year at Weston EC with several new liveries joining the team. We've had several new horses arrive as well so are quite busy getting to know them. A friend of mine injured herself before Christmas so have got 2 of her horses to keep ticking over for her Liberty Belle and Zeus, both lovely horses which i'm enjoying competing and they are for sale so i'll make the most of riding them while i can.
So far the shows are going well so far with Valerie B already having a few wins and Night Life(Leo) following in her footsteps so am looking forward to their progress this year.
Really hoping the holiday cottages are full of lovely people this year as they'v been quite popular, would be lovely to see them full all of the time.
15th December 2014
The year is very quickly coming to an end and its been quite an amazing year at Weston EC.
This month did start off with a very sad decision being made to put our 2 lovely brood mares down, Mel and Star, down before the worst of the winter kicks in. Star's joints were bad, which was making it hard for her to get around and as they were best friends i thought it best for them to make the trip together. They have left us with 2 beautiful yearlings which i'm very excited about for the future.
I took part in my first CSI 1* competition at Keysoe recently with Valerie B and we got placed every day, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and won a nice bottle of champagne.
All our liveries are coping well in the winter and all our horses are looking well. We'v got several new horses in and its great getting to know them
We had an equestrian table top sale in the indoor school which was a fun afternoon and resulted in quite a lot of bargains being bought and sold.
Next time i write this blog will possibly be in the New Year so i wish everyone who reads this a very happy Christmas and bring on the New Year :)))
The25th October 2014
Been a while since I wrote in my blog so I`v got lots of news. I got Valerie B back after Scope festival in August after her phenomenal success with Tara over the summer its fantastic to have her back in the barn again. I'v given her some time off and now getting back in the ring again with her which is fab. She feels amazing and I'm enjoying her so much, just got a tricky decision as to whether to keep her for myself or sell her as a proven childrens horse!!
We'v been having some very interesting animal communication courses over the summer run by Niki Senior and she's been teaching in the barn with the horses around them and I think its worked very well. Even Hooligan getting in in the act, communucating that he's very happy thank you very much:)) although today Leo cob said he was depressed so I'll have to get to the bottom of that!
The other Leo however seems to be turning a corner with his bad behaviour and has started feeling great at a show and concentrating on jumping the fences rather than trying to deposit me!
I have sold the lovely Donna and am helping her new owner with her at the moment and wish them all the best for the future. Would love to get another nice young horse to work on so will have to start saving up!!
We'v got some horse agility courses running over the winter and I'll put the dates up on the whats on page and I'm looking into running some equestrian car boot sales as seem to be the thing to do in the indoor school through the winter.
All our lovely liveries have had a good summer, some have changed their horses and are so much happier.
I'v had a change of staff and I waved a sad goodbye to Vicky and Odette and wish them well. I welcomed Lucy and Frank ie to join our team. Lucy bought Lady off me so its nice to have her back here as well.
Our ponies Anni and Patch are having a good season with Morgan Lee and Neil's daughter Ellie has started her jumping career taking out Miri and Solly, 2 of our riding school ponies with lots of success.
Harvest has finished so Neil has his weekends again so we may look into a bit of a holiday, yay!!
3rd August 2014
What a good month we'v had here at Weston. We hosted the first Weston Charity horse show with a lot of showing classes and fantastic prizes to win we had a great turnout. Anne Fitzpatrick did an amazing job of organising it and took £1400 which all went to the Air Ambulance, she has already got dates organised for next year.
I'v just got back from Arezzo in Italy where i went to cheer on Valerie B and Tara Byrtt who were jumping in the Young Rider European Champs. Amazing experience and some super jumping. Val just had a fence down each day so didn't qualify for the Grand Prix but i couldn't have been more proud of them. They were competing alongside the best young riders in the world and they held their heads up high. One of our GB Children Robert Murphy won individual Gold medal so was fantastic to be in the cheering squad.
28th June 2014
Well Tara and Val have been selected for the European Champs in Arezzo, Italy in July which is so exciting. Am really looking forward to that little trip away. Had a great Norfolk show coming away with Leading Norfolk rider award jointly won with one of my academy members India Bussey. Bob got a placing in the 1.25 class and did very well in the main ring on day 2, we had so much fun in the Ride and Drive class. We are really getting our act together i think.
Neil had a fantastic result with our hay baling 120 bales on our first attempt so hopefully that will keep us going for a while.
Well Val B and Tara pulled it out of the bag in Bonheiden and were part of the gold medal winning team and i was so glad i went to watch, was very excitng.They also came 5th in the Grand Prix. After more good results they'v been selected to go to Hagen in Germany this coming weekend so i'v booked my flight and am hoping to take more pics of my lovely horse doing well and so pleased as Tara is riding her so well. Back at home the hoiday lodges are really taking off and we are meeting some lovely people who are coming to stay, all are commenting on what a lovely place Weston is and how much they are enjoying their stays. Sitting and relaxing on their verandahs and watching the wildlife is proving to be an excellent getaway.
All the horses are jumping well, i'm having some good placings on Bob, where he jumped super at Suffolk show and we are looking forward to Royal Norfolk coming up at the end of the month. The youngsters Donna and Bonnie are going well and jumping double clears in British Novices and Discoveries. Leo, as usual, is proving a challenge but i'm doing all i can to get to the bottom of his rather naughty behaviour and am hoping i'll get throught to him one day as when i do take him out he jumps beautifully.
Neil is watching our grass growing and is getting ready to hopefully cut it at the end of this month for hay, first year we have done it properly so we are praying for good hay making weather and lots of lovely bales of hay in the barn.
12th May 2014
Very excited this week as Val B and Tara have got selected for the GB children on horses team in Bonnheiden. Am trying to get organised to go and watch them at the end of the week, the Nations Cup is on Saturday so we'll get the GB flag flying hopefully. Our wildlife is very diverse at the moment, ducks and ducklings on the pond and we have had sightings of a white rabbit around the pond. We are enjoying trying to spot him.
3rd May 2014
We'v had some good results recently. Valerie and Tara 2nd in the Grand Prix at POYS which was so exciting to watch. I had a feeling they would do well so drove to Bury Farm to watch and was so glad i did. She just got beaten by a 10th of a second!!. As i write this they are at Chepstow International taking part in the Children on Horses team trials and so far have come 2nd in each class, keeping our fingers crossed they keep up these consistent results and take a place on the team. Reckon they are due a win soon.:). Bonnie the new 5 yr old and Donna a 6 yr old are proving to be really enjoying their jumping and considering Bonnie was only broken at xmas, she is feeling like she's been doing this jumping game for years. All the ponies are going well. We'v found Patch a lovely loan home and the little girl is having great fun with him.
4th April 2014
Been such a busy few months i don't know where the time has gone!! Lady II has finally found a lovely new home so i'm wishing her owners loads of luck with her and fun times. I also made a decision that i would Lease my lovely Valerie B out for the summer to a fantastic young rider to try for the Children on Horses teams. I can't wait to cheer them both on but i also can't wait for her to come home after Scope Festival!! I'm enjoying riding the Gates beautiful grey stallion Ballerino M (Bob) and things seem to be going well with him at the moment, will hopefull jump at some of our county shows with him this summer. Our ponies are flying with Morgan Lee so far having jumped at their first affiliated shows and not doing a bad job at all although Morgan's legs are getting longer so we'll be looking for a smaller jockey soon for our tiny but amazing Patch pony. The foals are all growing big and beautiful and i love to see them all out together on the grassy fields, i look forward to taking them to their Futurity grading this year. The Lodges are beginning to get bookings so i'm trying hard to keep up with it all but i can't wait to look over and see people out on their verandah's through the summer.
16th Febuary 2014
Well Weston has survived quite well in all the storms that we'v been having recently, only casualty being a roof panel coming off the indoor school so now we have a little sun roof until we can get up there. Wish we could do more to help the others in this country who are having such a bad time. Deezie has gone off on her travels and doing very well on the Sunshine Tour in Spain and already in the rosettes, i'm wishing her well. Kitty is doing very well with her new owner in Ireland and its lovely to keep up with her via Facebook pics. Bonnie is popping over jumps and will soon be out for some schooling sessions which i'm looking forward to. I'v got a new horse in from the Gates called Ballerino M. He's a grey stallion who's been with one of our international riders and i'm keeping him ticking over while they are abroad jumping. I seem to be getting on quite well with him even though i wasn't sure whether i would as i'm more a small, buzzy mare sort of rider rather than stallion but so far Bob is being a sweetheart.. I finally blew my old lorry up so the horses have got a lovely new set of wheels so i'm going to have to work extra hard this year to pay for it!!!
13th January 2014
Happy New Year everyone. Its been a good start to the New Year with lots of interest in the holiday lodges so we are hoping they'll be fully booked and full of happy holidayers in the near future. For any info email me. Also we've had a photo shoot with EQ Life magazine involving our new Saturday Instructor Katherine Walter focusing on Bio Mechanics of the rider and starring our 2 lovely horses Hatty and Limbo, as you can see Hatty was very happy to pose for pics. The shows have been going well so far with a couple of the horses getting their Blue Chip Championship tickets early on. We've got the new mare Bonnie backed and am looking forward to start getting her over some jumps and see how she gets on.
20th December 2013
Been a very busy week this week before xmas. Neil and i took an epic journey to Devon and back to take Quitana z to her new home and picked up a new 4 yr old, Espaja. Will keep you posted how she gets on. Little bay mare by Douglas with Darco as her grand sire i'm hoping she'll suit me a bit better than the enormous Kitty as she's only 16hh. Was quite sad to see Kitty go but am hoping to watch her improving with someone with longer stronger legs than mine!!
Had a nice day trip to Olympia mid week and now we'v got all our xmas meals to come.
We'v got a lot of children arriving Monday morning for a stable management/ riding morning then a bit of a xmas get together for clients and friends then we finish for 3 days over xmas. No lessons and we are looking forward to relaxing for a bit although we have 3 foals to wean at some stage over the holidays so am thinking it may not be quite so relaxing!!
Happy Christmas everyone. x
29th November 2013
Well the winter seems to have kicked in as we are all in our ski trousers and gloves but so far i think we'v been quite lucky as the sun seems to be out more often than not so i'm not complaining yet! The horses are needing clipping yet again which i have to find time to do along with getting our holiday cottages advertised as we are about ready to welcome guests into them which is very exciting.
23rd October 2013
Relieved today as Sunny and Bo have been at Rossdales since Monday as Sunny had a suspected infected tendon Sheath. Had to get them there asap as if it was he'd have needed an op to make sure he'd be fit and well in later life. All good when they xrayed him and just needed his infected heel cleaned and loaded up with antibiotics i collected them today. Bo had a clean escape as well as when we tried to load Sunny on Monday he really didn't think it was a good idea and tried everything in his power not to get onboard!! Bo got a bit impatient with him and had a bit of a kick and caught her hock on the partition. Needeless to say it was a bit more than a scrape and when i asked the vets to take a look she was on the dodgy list as well! Thankfully all was well the next morning and they are back where they belong, prime spot in the barn where my lovely Bo belongs. You really know who your friends are though as being in a bit of a predicament on Monday as there was no way Sunny was going on the lorry one of my super liveries let me borrow her trailer and my farrier rolled up in the nick of time, really to shoe my horses but i had to hijack him to drive the trailer as we had no truck to use so all my thanks go to Laurence and Alex for their help.
After a hectic week so far i'm trying to concentrate, get out of my comfort zone and practice for a dressage test i'v entered Cabecera in on Sunday, should be fun.
Also very exciting our 4th and final holiday cottage has arrived today, still in half but the fun begins tomorrow putting it all together. Am really looking forward to seeing all our homes with holidayers in them. x
8th October 2013
Had a good week this week. Valerie B back to her winning ways on Saturday so i'm really hoping she's fully recovered from the problems that she's had this year. Lynn Perry had a good clinic on Sunday with everyone enjoying them selves and coming out of her lessons inspired. Morgan had a great write up in East Anglian magazine and a lovely picture of her and the ponies plus my mum made an appearance as well. We'v also been getting the ground ready for our final holiday cottage thats arriving next week so that will make 4 in all. They are beginning to look really good and i'm getting excited about welcoming guests to them.
29th September 2013.
Hey everyone, this is a new feature i thought i'd write to keep everyone up to date on all thats been happening here.
Been such a busy year so far i don't know where to start but i know i'll get the worst bit over first which was when we lost our gorgeous Theo at the beginning of the year. At only 2 years old he'd already been champion yearling in the showjumping section at his Futurity grading in 2012 and was maturing into a lovely horse. We were all devastated.
However we then had 3 gorgeous colt foals one being Theo and Leo's half brother Sunny who is beautiful. The 2 other colts are half brothers Stewie and Little Legs, Little Legs was very sick when he was born but got over that and is now fit and healthy and growing as much as the other two!!
Competitions have been busier than ever this year. My 5 yr olds Leo and Kitty went very well at the beginning of the year jumping double clears in British Novice classes and Discovery and then they had the summer off as i had other horses in to compete for other people. Valerie B jumped well at the beginning of the year and then has had several niggling problems but is now fit and healthy and will start competing again through the winter. Deezie, the Gates 5 yr old has had a fantastic year contesting all the 5 yr old finals including the 5 yr old final at Addington and is now jumping double clears in Foxhunter classes already having her clears in Newcomers for 2014. Westwinds Ego has jumped some huge classes at Hickstaed and has been a great horse to be able to ride. Lady and Cabecera have been fun to compete and we'll hopefully find them lovely homes in the future.
My staff Vicky, Odette and Emily have been doing a great job on the yard keeping it running smoothly while i'm away or teaching. Also being kept busy with their own horses.
All my liveries have had a lovely summer with their horses. They are all a pleasure to have on the yard, they help my staff when needed and help each other out and the yard couldn't run so well without them. We look forward to several new liveries moving in for the winter.
Morgan Lee has done a great job with my ponies Patch and Anni, taking them to Pony Club rallies and making all the teams and coming back with plenty of rosettes. Showjumping seems to be their favourite as the ponies are like little rockets!! Patch probably being the smallest on the circuit!!
I'm welcoming Morgan's mum Andrea onto my teaching team along with Sarah Walker as Andrea has just gained her UKCC Level 2 coaching exam so that will be a great help amd we can hopefully accomodate more clients to an already bursting folder of clients as the riding school has been flying this year. We have got such a lot of lovely people who are so keen to learn to ride and look after horses and ponies that its a full time job at the moment!!
We'v started workshops with Dawn Mcgaig who is training us horse owners to look at our horses and try to pick up when they are wrong through looking at their muscles and the first one was incredibly interesting.
Also Lynn Perry is doing clinics concentrating on Pilates on horse back, we are looking forward to the first one on the 6th of October.
Winter is fast approaching so the clippers and rugs are all out in force.
Neil and i will be looking forward to our holiday at some stage, he's still working hard on the harvest so we'll wait till thats all over.
Speak soon. x