Coral Keen’s eventing blog: enjoying the best of autumn

  • It’s a busy time here as although our season finished at Dauntsey, autumn is typically the time when horses are bought and sold. I have a few here to sell, including Highmead Proposition (Jake) who finished his season on a high with a super double clear and second place at Dauntsey in a very hot intermediate.

    I’ve also been on the look out for new additions to the yard, and after such a positive season, with consistently good results, I am hopeful that we’ll have some more horses for owners.

    I love starting young horses from scratch. It’s so rewarding as you go through their ups and downs, quietly teaching them all the basics and starting them off on their competitive careers. I also love freshening horses up. A change of scenery is often the perfect antidote for improving performance and one that is used with regularity in the racing industry when horses get a little jaded with their surroundings. We find riding across Salisbury Plain, just across the road from the yard, cheers up even the most lacklustre soul. A brisk canter in wide-open spaces is something a lot of horses find incredibly enjoyable.

    Cascadelle (Lola, pictured top) is now on her holidays after a great performance in a strong open intermediate at Dauntsey. I went there for a quiet run with Jake and Lola and didn’t expect such a strong track, but they both jumped super double clears without the need to hammer them round.

    Total Belief (April) finished her season at Gatcombe and is just ticking along while Total Darkness (Ted) will keep going in light work, as he’ll really benefit from a winter of dressage and showjumping. He’s still incredibly spooky, and at 17.3hh there’s a lot of horse to manage, but he’s improving every day and I have really high hopes for him.

    Roxy and Vodka have been enjoying themselves having days out at local hunter trials and we’ve been to Larkhill and West Wilts. They were supposed to both run at Calmsden, but sadly didn’t get in. They’ve both come on so much since I broke them in a year ago and are really super prospects for the future.

    It’s been really nice spending time with the girls, helping them with their youngsters at hunter trials, and I’ve also had more time for teaching, which is always really rewarding.

    We’ve started clipping as I am not a fan of hairy horses. They always have to look tip top and smart, even if they aren’t going anywhere.

    Continued below…

    Read more of Coral’s blogs:

    With the recent wonderful weather, it’s hard to believe that winter really is just around the corner and I think when the weather changes it will be quite a shock to the system.  But there are some hunt balls coming upso I am looking forward to letting my hair down with my friends.

    I’ll be breaking in Lola’s sister Chilli very soon. She has a huge character, like Lola, but I think she might be quite a handful. She’s so inquisitive, and already thinks she is very special. She’s by Quad and should finish at about 16.1hh, which is a lovely height. She’ll tick along next year in readiness to start eventing in 2018 as a five-year-old.

    I hope you’re all enjoying the autumn with your horses.


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