Posted on 16th January 2019 by Sue Tomlinson
We are back with a bump after the much needed winter break. Things are all go at Dassett Head Quarters; dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s to ensure the foundations are set for a safe and successful season in 2019.
The horses have been away on their winter holidays. So the stables, tack rooms and wash boxes have received a thorough sort out with pressure washing, painting, maintenance and improvements. Updates this year include new woodchip turnout paddocks, a 6 horse barn and an outdoor rubber floored pen for resident super Shetland Toshy!
Keeping Dassett Eventing clean, tidy and well maintained is no easy mission, but one that father and son team, Andrew and Christophe take very seriously and the standard of the facilities shows the hard work they put in keeping everywhere looking in tip top condition.
With the yard in top order, 22 Dassett horses have been collected from their winter turnout fields and have returned to Dassett HQ. All horses have been thoroughly checked over for any nicks or bumps they might have picked up whilst ‘relaxing’. As well as being assessed for general weight, condition and health, individual feeding plans are drawn up for each horse. We base each plan on a high fibre, low starch rations. A careful eye is also kept on water intake to ensure gut health, as diets change and turnout becomes more limited.
After 4 days of horse assessments with our Farriers, Sam Head and Josh Millar, all the horses were declared sound and the proud owners of shiny road pinned shoes, ready to start the main January activity, hacking.
Some of the younger horses have had as much as 5 weeks in the field, relaxing, growing and ‘being horses’. Whilst this is vital for physical and mental health, a gradual re-introduction to work is therefore essential to avoid injuries. Dassett HQ is surrounded by wonderful hills, so we will steadily increase hacking throughout January as this ensures a happy, sound, strong string of horses to work with as the season progresses.
With manes and tails to pull, legs to trim, rugs to repair and wash, hairy horses to clip and fittening plans to get through, I think we will all be having plenty to be getting on with!