Winter is downtime for the eventing yard

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This month, Toots Bartlett’s head groom Eve reflects on joining an eventing team and has been enjoying the quiet season to get ahead on much needed yard work.

I’m Eve and I started working for TB Eventing in May this year and am lucky enough to be Toot’s head groom, having always worked within the Equestrian industry covering different disciplines.  I am quickly learning the different responsibilities of being a head groom within Eventing and am thoroughly enjoying the multi facets of skills necessary in both horse and rider to compete competitively across the triathlon of dressage, show-jumping and cross-country.  It makes for a varied and fascinating skill set and as I enjoy organisation so much I have really enjoyed stepping up to the challenge.


There is no denying we are now into the winter months.  One of the perks of the eventing season being in the warmer months is the lack of plaiting over winter! As much as this is one of my favourite things to do, and is still necessary for dressage competitions during the winter, the chilly weather undoubtedly makes it more difficult on your fingers.
Currently Toot’s horses are on a holiday at her family home where grazing (much to the horses delight) has been well rested and plentiful.  However, the holidays are coming to end and December sees them all coming back into work. A gradual planned strength and conditioning programme is introduced for each horse to bring it back to full fitness over a period of approximately 12 weeks.
With the majority of the horses on holiday it has given us time to concentrate on one of my favourite horses, Charlie, who sadly is being prepared and produced to sell in the Spring.  He has been going to dressage and show-jumping competitions, winning almost every time out at Elementary level and with a incredible technique over a fence.  I wish I could I would buy him myself as he will make someone the perfect horse, he is so utterly beautiful.
The very useful down time in November has given us a perfect opportunity to get the horses stables at Fox-Pitt Eventing emptied, power-washed, disinfected,  painted and much needed maintenance work done so they are fresh for the season ahead of us.


Erin, our new member of staff, is getting on really well and fits in excellently with the team dynamic.  We are also extremely fortunate to have help from Donna Hills, who was Paul Nicols travelling Head Groom for 25 years. I personally am benefiting hugely from all her experience of travelling horses as I am doing my HGV training next week, so her help has been invaluable. 
With extra help on the ground it gives us more time for more horses. We have consequently been on the search for a couple of 4 legged projects to join the team.  However, after several failed vettings and some frustrations we hope to be introducing you to two new faces next month.
The season concluded with all of us at TB super excited to watch Kazuma Tomoto compete at the final 5* in Pau, France.  Kazuma is stabled next to Toots and it gives our team huge inspiration to aim high for the competitive months next year.

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