HOYS groom’s blog: many more baths and blisters galore

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What a day!

First thing this morning I was off to Windsor Great Park again, this time with one of our maxi cobs, Bunree. When I woke up this morning, the wind and rain was battering on the windows, but thankfully, by the time we got to the park it had brightened up.

Back at the yard the near military operation of getting nine horses exercised and bathed ready to leave was already underway. Bunree and I headed straight to the wash box, where I shared another bath! One of the problems with the park is the sand from the tracks — it gets EVERYWHERE and washing it off is a nightmare. A production line was set up and I bathed six more horses with some of the other staff.

About halfway through the baths, we were all starting to flag. We have been full on for a few days now and there is only so much that coffee can do. Then my phone rang — word from the show was that The Humdinger had won his class! I yelled the news around the yard — it was just the lift that we needed. The rest of the bathing went much quicker after that!

A transporter has been hired to take the nine horses to the show, as our big lorry is safely enclosed in the HOYS car park, acting as grooms’ accommodation for the week. It was all hands on deck to get the horses prepared in time to be loaded up, and once again a phone call saved the day. Dinger had also managed to go coloured champion! That is now five years in a row he has won his class and four that he has gone champion. He is such an amazing horse — sharing a bath with him was obviously worthwhile!

I’m starting to feel the strain of the week now. I wear an ankle brace for a little extra support following an injury. Where I have been wet from bathing, sweaty from work and riding, the brace has rubbed leaving a lovely blister on my leg. I have another on the inside of my knee from riding in wet clothes. And I’m starting to ache — a full week of yard work is very different to my normal life teaching. Only another three days to go!

Tomorrow, very early in the morning (note to anyone considering a career with horses, there is more than one 3 O’clock in the day!) I will be heading up to Birmingham. Fingers crossed that there will be plenty to report!

Ruth

Don’t miss our full report on all the action from Horse of the Year Show in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 11 October, 2012

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk