Moulton College Level 3 extended Equine Academy student Eleanor Broadley recently attended the prestigious Horse of the Year Show at the NEC in Birmingham, preparing show ponies for Lauren Brill Equestrian in various classes. She wrote a diary of her experiences at the event:
5pm – We rode the ponies down to the ring to warm them up ready for going in to the main arena that evening. The ponies were extremely excited so working them around and relaxing them for Lauren to get on was hard work but I loved it!
8pm – Afterwards we brought the ponies back and put them in their stables for the night, giving them hay, water and feeds. I had the responsibility of ensuring they were happy, had enough rugs and bandaged appropriately.
4am – We took the stallions Colin and Bertie to warm up in the main top spec arena ready for their classes in the afternoon. I had the pleasure of riding Colin, who was working well and wasn’t spooked around the big arena.
6.30am – We brought the ponies back, rugged them and gave them breakfast, making sure they were skipped out, hayed and watered.
7.30am – It was time to bathe Bertie and whiten his socks. I made sure he was bandaged and put away with a hood and enough rugs so he wouldn’t get cold.
9am – It was finally time for breakfast, as well as a bit of shopping and watching the workers class.
2pm – My job was to ensure we had all the ponies tack allocated rugs and to head down to the stables to start preparing the ponies ready for Lauren. At this point me and Sophie had the responsibility of making sure they were ready and down by the ring for Lauren to jump on in the next class. I tack cleaned while Sophie took off bandages and rugs.
I had to ride each pony down to the ring and quickly warm them up ready for Lauren to jump on. We’d then switch over and I’d take the pony she had just been on back up to the stable, bandage them up all ready for travelling in the evening.
By the time Lauren was finished we only had an hour to get all the ponies out and stables cleared. Harvey (newforest) won his class, Bertie (section B) came seventh, Colin (Section A) came sixth and George (Exmoor) came fourth and was the highest placed Exmoor pony.
I am overwhelmed with the whole experience, and although it was extremely hard, it was very rewarding! I am an event rider normally and exercise Lauren’s ponies, so haven’t had much experience going away to a show with them.