As well as being the co-founder of Samberwill Equestrian, Hazel is Head Girl at a Horse Racing Yard in Cheshire. Hazel started working at the yard in the evenings, after school, when she was 15 and never left!
We are in for a treat today as Hazel has kindly agreed to share with us a typical day on a racing yard ...
6:30am I usually arrive at the yard just before 6:30am in time to start feeding and making sure that all of the horses are okay. We then turn out what needs to go out. We like to make sure that the horses go out as much as they can and they love to have a roll and a play. Turning out the horses helps to keep them relaxed and happy and they always get turned out in pairs.
The next job is putting the horses on the walker, this helps to warm up their muscles in preparation for riding them.
8:30am Time for a quick break!
9:00am Once I am back from my break it is time to start mucking out. We like to muck the boxes out whilst the horses are in the field – not only is it quicker for us to get the job done, but it is also better that the horse is kept away from the dust that is generated. We do a full muck out everyday and they get clean shavings put in. The waters are automatic drinkers, so they often need cleaning out as well.
I don’t ride out anymore as I am yard based, but whilst the others are out riding their lots, I will usually lunge a few. I really enjoy lunging as it’s a change for the horses and they love to have a good kick and a buck! If we have any horses to break in then I will lunge or long rein them.
It is then time to hang up the haynets and refill empty ones for the evening. We feed haylage not hay, as it has more goodness in for horses in hard work.
We then start to bring in the horses from the field that need to come in, feed the lunches and check that they all have rugs on before sweeping the yards.
Some days may vary, as I may be racing or we may have the farrier or vet down, so I tend to help with them. We also have horses that live out, so they have to be fed and checked everyday.
1:00pm Finish for lunch - I like to go home for a little break as I don’t live too far away from the yard.
3:00pm Back for afternoon stables.
Afternoons are a lot more straight forward, we start skipping out, filling the haynets and straightening the horse’s rugs.
We bring in anything that needs bringing in and I will do any medicals that need doing. We will then go round and give the horses their evening feed, sweep the yard and make sure that all of the doors are shut, as we really don’t want any escapees during the night!
We are usually finished by about 6:00pm and I go home, have tea and chill out. Ready for another early start the next day!
A note from Suzanne: Thank you so much for sharing your day with us Hazel - it makes me feel exhausted just reading about it! It has been really interesting to have a small glimpse of what life is like on a racing yard.