My partner, Portland, and I are lucky that while it’s really hard work, we get to work together day-in-day-out, doing what we love. We enjoy it, but it’s definitely not for the faint hearted! A typical day starts at 5am with a walk, pilates or a session on the bike to make sure we always stay fit and strong. Our walks include taking the dogs, and usually a horse too! We’ve found it to be wonderful exercise for the horses and a brilliant way to get them fit – especially as their legs get a little older. Breakfast is next – usually rice or buckwheat with plenty of fruit and sweet potato to keep us going all the way through ‘til lunch time!
We usually teach 3 or 4 lessons each in the morning and a couple in the afternoon so depending on our lesson schedule we’ll make a plan for the horses we need to work, pairing up the rides we’ll do together, and the horses that require both of our attention (such as foundation trainers) so that we get through them all in good time. Our list of horses usually includes two or more foundation trainers (horses being broken in), a couple of horses in re-training for problem behaviours, a couple of dressage horses, the eventing team and Portland’s own dressage horse.