"We are currently enjoying some lovely weather, and without wanting to be a pessimist, I can’t help but think this is too good to last! The paddock certainly seems dry for this time of year and I would rather like to have a good warm and dry summer this year, not a repeat of recent ones!
The raceyard has just completed building stables for another 24 horses, that’s an additional 96 feet to care for. We manage our time in there by booking our other clients in the morning so that their appointments are kept on time and we can enter the raceyard at some point in the afternoon and leave when our list is finished. It is often easier this way as the yard is quieter during this time and the younger horses who may be unused to being shod are calmer when the yard is quiet and horses have been exercised in the morning. They will soon be preparing for turf flat racing throughout the summer and those that have been raced on the all weather during the winter months can enjoy some time off and spring grass!
Most owners cannot wait to get horses out as the days get longer and enjoy competing in the summer. However, spring for some can mean a constant battle to keep weight down of particularly good-doers and there is always the added risk of laminitis for some horses and ponies.
Do monitor your horses body weight carefully – a weigh tape could help you with this. Obesity is becoming a larger problem in the UK than underweight horses and the lasting effects can be very detrimental. We see a number of horses with joint and limb problems and whose career has been prematurely shortened purely through carrying additional weight and increasing wear and tear on joints – we all know how hard it can be to run around and exercise if we have over-indulged!
I have a number of owners who have laminitis-prone animals and it is always sad to receive a phone call bringing news of another attack, even the most vigilant of owners can fall foul to this horrendous disease. I would urge all owners to be extremely careful, nutritional helplines can offer great advice and support as well as additional tips to help avoid another attack.
Harry and the rest of the Welsh Team were third at the Home Internationals in Ireland which was a good result for them - the apprentices are a young team and have really come together in the last 12 months. Both Harry and Robbie will be competing with me at the re-scheduled Master & Apprentice Competition next weekend.
Already there are a number of clinics in the diary to attend. Clinics and conferences are acknowledged to be part of our continuing professional development and ensure our knowledge is broad and up to date. I have a new partner for competitions and will be working with Duncan Thomson (Gloucestershire area) at the Royal Bath & West in June. Fingers crossed for a good season ahead!"