Ok, so a blog about training horses ought to always be positive, banish all negative thoughts, appear bright, happy and full of enthusiasm at all times.  Well, a small confession –  I hate this time of year with this sort of weather, I hate not being able to plan where the horses will run, I hate not being able to tell anyone where we are likely to be at any time, I hate having to decline all sorts of nice invitations because of that uncertainty, I hate horses consequently being eliminated from oversubscribed races, I hate not being able to confirm to the team when they will be able to have their hard earned time off, I hate having to train the horses where I am able to train them rather than where I would like to train them, I hate not being able to school horses on grass, I hate having to decide how and when to harrow the gallops,  I hate effectively having to work harder to achieve less.

Arriving at the races

So, miserable sort of bloke then and the weather’s not even that bad (yet?).  Looking at the postive side I gain a modicum of satisfaction by somehow or other keeping the show on the road, its good going to bed knowing that the horses have all had their exercise and are well fed and wrapped up for the night.  I enjoy the way the staff raise their game again to make sure the job is done properly, I enjoy speaking to people in other equine disciplines who leave their horses in for days on end and are amazed that we crack on and take 30 horses out whatever the weather.  I enjoy the way the cold weather makes the horses legs cold and hard and any heat or swelling becomes much more obvious, less head scratching there.

Followed by Elmaatigra

Anyway, enough drivel, our horses were all balloted out at Catterick tomorrow which only saddened me slightly as there is an 8am inspection by which time we would have been half way there, if it does go ahead Lucy will ride Newdane Dancer in the 12.20, Saffa Hill in the 12.50, Bogside in the 1.50 and Ballymacduff in the 2.50.

“Checking in”

Delighted that Musselburgh have managed to get an extra fixture on Sunday 16th Dec; slightly frustrating that it clashes with Carlisle, there will be plenty of horses to go round but it does not create an extra “earning day” for all the jockeys and valets etc that earn nothing when racing is off.  I fully understand that racing on one of the blank North days around then was not an option given by the BHA and I commend Musselburgh for securing the fixture for the North but it does illustrate the slightly bizarre way the industry works.  Moaning again, anyway, Frank’s pictures make me happy, especially when they remind me of our last winner, Little Glenshee at Newcastle, frost frost go away from Kelso on Sunday!

All dressed up and ready to go!