Emily Gailbraith – Holiday? What’s that?!

With the eventing season becoming more and more of a distant memory, the shorter days mean having to fit even more into daylight hours!

The end of the October saw us wave goodbye to Viva as she left to go on her holidays, back to her owner Izzy. In fact, most of the eventers have been having a little holiday of late. You would be forgiven for thinking that this would be the time for us to kick back, relax and enjoy a slower pace of life for a while, sadly however, this is not the case at Belsesmuir! Jo and I have been kept extremely busy with a steady stream of new horses to break in for clients, our regulars who have continued to come for lessons and the exciting addition of some winter clinics which we have organised and held in the Scottish Borders!

Yard favourite Guinness, my Aunt Pammie’s 17hh+ cob, has been continuing to entertain everyone on the yard, adding best babysitter of both young humans and young horses to his repertoire. Is there anything that this cob can’t do? He doesn’t look it, but this boy can clear 1.30m easily! I wonder if we can persuade Aunt Pammie to let us take him eventing?

Teddy continues to enjoy his semi-retirement, particularly the addition of Horslyx mobility to his stable. At 20 years old, I have no doubt that this has contributed to his freedom of movement and hope to continue to see the positive effects of this product.

Another horse we currently have on the yard is Spice (Maple Valley Z), owned by Augusta Greenlees. It was decided that Jo would take Spice along to compete in the local riding club’s winter league dressage. At the October competition Jo and Spice rode P12 and scored an excellent 70.7%, which was enough for them to take 4th place. November’s competition saw them score 69.04% in P14, again earning them 4th place and at the final competition in December they scored 64% in P18 to come 3rd. Plenty to like and lots to work on before the next competition.  Well done Jo and Spice!

I’m lucky enough to have a strong client base, who continue to come for lessons during the wet, colder months. It’s great to see individuals progress and enjoy riding their horses. Recently we have been holding regular, monthly grid clinics in the large indoor arena at the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre, which is only 10 minutes up the road from us. It’s a non-stop evening, with 4 or 5 groups, ranging from new partnerships right up to more established combinations. I am enjoying the challenge of ensuring that everyone gets the very most possible from each of the sessions. I’ve met some fantastic people, and some very cheeky horses!

As the curtain closes on 2019, here’s hoping that 2020 is a great year for everyone!