HOYS blog: meet freelance groom Ruth Baxter

  • Hi, I’m Ruth, age 26, from Sheffield.

    On a normal week, I’m a freelance instructor. I can be found teaching a variety of clients, from complete beginners to a foxhunter level show jumper (who hopes to be writing a HOYS blog next year), schooling horses for clients and running various clinics and courses.

    I also work as a freelance groom, a job which takes me around the country. So far this year my excursions have included the Winter Dressage Championships, the (very muddy!) Great Yorkshire Show and the BSHA National Championships.

    For the next week I will be joining one of the hardest working teams in the country, The Moor Farm team. Working for Carol Bardo, Jayne Webber and a number of other owners, we will be producing, bathing, transporting, turning out and showing 18 horses, in 15 classes, over five days.

    I knew very little about showing when I was first introduced to Carol and Jayne in 2007. I was a BHSAI working on a small yard where I was teaching Carol’s nephew. When my contract came to an end, I interviewed for a job with them. I have worked for them on and off ever since, taking breaks to pursue training and my real passion of teaching. In these breaks I gained my BHSII and I am now working towards my BHSI.

    This week I will be spending much of my time at Carol’s Berkshire yard with the ‘behind the scenes’ team. We will be working the horses and getting them ready before sending them up to the ‘front line’ team at Birmingham.

    I’ll be joining the Birmingham team at 5am on Saturday morning ready for the cob classes — in which we have seven horses! The hours will be long; as well as the preparation for the HOYS horses, there are another 14 horses on the yard who still need looking after.

    We may well resemble zombies by the end of the week, but hopefully the results will be worth it. It’s one of my favourite weeks of the year and such a fantastic team to be a part of.


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