At DL Dressage we are looking forward to forthcoming competition season with a fantastic string of horses. Some are new and some have been with us for a while. Our brilliant team behind us include Rebekah Alison Wintle, Kathryn Diprose and Julia Livingston who help us with the day to day running of the yard, helping keep our horses in top condition.
Both Lucy and I start our daily routines at 7am by feeding and mucking out all the horses – yes we still have that daily job too!
We aim to start riding between 8.30am and 9am each day. All the horses have their own plan depending on age, level and character. They are never schooled every day and we like to give them at least two days of the week hacking out. The 4 year olds will only do 3 short schooling sessions to ensure they have time to strengthen up. We use the ClockitSport app developed by KER and Saracen to help assess the horses fitness and gauge whether we need to push a little less or harder.
They also get daily grazing or they go in the turnout pen. In the summer the sensitive horses go out overnight which helps to relax them.
I tend to go away teaching a little more often than Lucy and I have a lot of clients I regularly coach in Sussex so when I am away Lucy has a bit more to manage!
We are lucky to have a gorgeous array of horses, all with kind dispositions. I put this down to the great team, a calm environment, careful nutrition plans from Saracen Horse Feeds and a bit of good luck thrown into the mix.
Dillon owned and bred by Mrs Felton is a huge character. I ride him and Lucy rides his mother. Dillon has a huge sense of humour and pulls the worst faces you can imagine. Although I think all he actually really wants is to be told how fabulous he is. He's extremely demanding and gets very upset if anyone is ridden before him. He won't tolerate having his window shut no matter how bad the weather is. He likes to be hacked regularly and has us all very well trained and by the way, he learnt it all from his mother, albeit she's a little more polite about it all!
We will now qualify all our horses for the summer regionals and will participate at some Premier League shows. Lucy and I hope to get good results at Small Tour with the more experienced rides and to train the rest for a future at advanced! Most importantly we want the horses and owners to enjoy the season as much as we do and of course, every horse finishes the season as sound as they started.
The yard is taking on more lovely horses and with a growing relationship with Newton Stud in Devon we foresee more to come in the future. We feel very privileged to be starting the horses and training them through all the levels.
Last year Lucy and I just took a few days away with the terriers to Cornwall and this year we are going to the opposite end of the UK – Scotland! We may also get time off to go abroad somewhere a bit special, as it will be both our 30th birthdays, but we will see.
Horses for the upcoming year:
Dillon - 8 Year Old Diamond Hit / Fidermark - winning at Medium Level and will debut at Advanced Medium this Spring - fed on Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes / Essential Balancer -owned by Mrs Felton
McCoy - 7 Year Old Master / Donnerhall -winning at Elementary and will debut at Medium & Advanced Medium this Spring - fed on Alfa A / Essential Balancer (please note he is a mighty 18.2hh and struggled with his weight for a long time but with the help of Saracen he looks a picture!!) -owned by Mrs Felton
Fergana - 13 Year Old Fidermark / Rosencavalier - will compete Small Tour this year - many outstanding results - Alfa A (molasses free) / Essential Balancer -owned by Mrs Felton
Quince - 4 Year Old Quaterback /Donnerhall - outstanding young horse whom we have just finished backing - fed on Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes. He is very large so we will take it quietly with maybe a few novices in the Summer -owned by Mrs Felton
Waterloo - 14 Year Old Negro / Damocles - will compete Small Tour This year - top horse fed on Alfa A / Essential Balancer
Freddie - 4 Year Old Franziskus - top young horse for the few owned by Isobel & Justin Wessels - Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes
Scirocco - 7 Year Old by Showmaker - Winning at Elementary and will contend Elementary / Medium level this year fed on Alfa A / Essential Balancer - owned by Mrs Farquharson
Belmondino - 17 Year Old by Beltain -has had long break from competing and previous ride of P Storr. Will compete at Small Tour - Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes - owned by Mrs Singer
Fabioso - 15 Year Old has had long break from competing and previous ride of P Storr. Will compete at Small Tour - Alfa A / Essential Balancer - owned by Mrs Singer
Saladdin - 7 Year Old by Showmaker - winning at Elementary and will debut at Medium this year - a massive 18.2. Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes - owned by Mrs Nelson
Newton Domino - 8 Year Old by De Niro - winning at Advanced and will debut at PSG this year. Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes - owned by Lorna WIlson
Newton Daliance - 6 Year Old by Diarado and a new ride owned by Mandy Shaw Porter- Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes.
Newton Delano - 8 Year Old by Dolany - winning at Elementary and will debut at Medium. Alfa A / Show Improver Cubes.