The Showing Journal - Absorbine

The Showing Journal

Downtime is Fun Time!

The dust has settled after HOYS and for a couple of months the pressure is off at the yard of top show producer and Absorbine brand ambassador, Jayne Ross.  But don’t be fooled into thinking they have their feet up – there is plenty to do keeping some horses ticking over and working with an exciting bunch of new babies!  We spoke to Jayne for a seasonal update.

Time to relax and have some fun

As usual, several of the old campaigners have gone out for a holiday, including Bernard (Twinshock Warrior) who loves his time out in the field.  But the hacks and some of the younger horses, especially the more quality types, don’t like being abandoned so they go out, sometimes overnight if it is fine, then they come in and get fed and get ridden 2 or 3 times a week.  They go hacking, or do a bit of dressage or pole clinics, which keeps them happy.  Louise Anderson’s young hack, KBF Palais Glide who was ridden by the owner at HOYS, won at an unaffiliated dressage competition recently and has been doing some dressage and a pole clinic, and Rose Almond has had success competing in arena eventing with Bloomfield Greystone, winning their first event. 

It is great for the horses to be doing different things over the winter, and it also helps owner riders to build a partnership with their horse and not have to think about staying in an outline.  It is good for everyone to relax, have a laugh and enjoy themselves.  We’ve got a lot of horses that are good walkers, and I believe this is because they do a lot of hacking.  They learn how to take a longer stride to step over a verge and think for themselves, trotting along on a loose rein so they don’t feel restricted. 

They don’t wear any gadgets – I think I own one pair of elasticated side reins and I don’t own a pair of draw reins.  We do like to lunge in a Pessoa, but I like them to have the freedom when ridden.  When they go into the arena for 15 or 20 minutes, we ask them to go in an outline, but other than that, when we are out hacking, they are on a loose rein, learning to find their own balance, and find their own stride. 

We usually hack out in a small group, with a sensible horse to nanny the youngsters.  Currently, Poppy’s (KBF Lucia) sister, 4-year-old KBF Finale, is the nanny leading the 3-year-olds as she is so straight forward!  Liam (Bloomfield Greystone) is doing his arena eventing and showjumping. He is great to accompany the youngsters and they just learn trust.  We are very lucky to have fantastic hacking with access to several large estates. 

The next generation

This autumn I bought a couple of youngsters with the idea of bringing them on to sell.  But we have fallen in love, and so we will see!   I have a 3-year-old potential large riding horse who is very smart and a delightful person.  He was bought from Gary Merton and was beautifully handled, so he was easy to back because he had been started off in the right way and is now enjoying hacking around.  I also have a beautiful 3yo which will probably make a competition horse as I don’t think he is going to furnish enough for a couple of years.  Liv (Olivia Minihane) has already got plans to do a Burghley young event horse or maybe even some novice workers, because he has got one heck of a jump.   Then we’ve got Buttons, Betty’s (Time to Reflect) first foal, which makes me feel old!  I first said that when Orla, Berkley Square’s foal, came to us, but it is lovely to watch the second generation come through!  Buttons, whose proper name is Time after Time, is by Kilvington Scoundrel, so he has got a bit of character, but he loves his work and loves hacking.   Scoundrels – I really like them and find that they are either good to ride and show their character on the ground, or they are lovely in the stable and show their character when you get on!  They have all got something about them but they are all beautiful, and whichever way you look at them you will rarely find anything wrong.  They are show horses through and through.  Buttons is playing around now, and may do a pole clinic or an unaffiliated dressage soon.

Christmas is coming

I am looking forward to going back to the London International Horse Show where I am judging the Rising Star Cob class.  This is a great idea to support and encourage amateur riders with these classes at such a prestigious show.  The judges are to give feedback after the class to explain what they have done and why they have done it, which will be informative for everyone and provide constructive help for those taking part.   It is an opportunity for me to give something back to showing, and I also hope to do my last-minute Christmas shopping!

Then I will be ready for Christmas.  I’ve got the most wonderful family Christmas coming up as my daughter Joanna and husband Nick are visiting from the USA, with my 2½ year old grandson, Will.  Alan and I will be getting together with the family for the first time in many years, along with my other daughter, Harriet, her husband Charlie, and my grandchildren Max and Lottie.  My sister, Sarah, and Jo Powell will be there, along with some more friends.  There will be about 18 of us and it is going to be the most wonderful, traditional family Christmas!  Happy Christmas everyone. 

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