Yearling prep has now started!
At the yard where I am working there is roughly 150 yearlings and we have about 40 to get ready for the Magic Millions sales in January at the Gold Coast. The work load is alright at the moment, it’s similar to the work load of what I was doing at the yards back in the UK however summer is fast approaching here and i’m kinda dreading it. I’m gonna be the one who passes out everyday due to the heat. It’s been about 35-37 degrees this week and I’ve just about coped but it gets a lot hotter in the summer but i’m still going strong! Sure my cheeks have felt like they’ve been on fire, my tan lines are beginning to get embarrassing and I’ve been sweating in places I didn’t even know I could but it’s all part of the Australian experience right?!
The lead up to yearling prep was a long process. All stables had to be completely dug out, jet washed with disinfectant and refilled with shavings and it was a work out! The digging out was done pretty quickly but refilling the boxes with ‘yearling prep beds’ made me sweat. These yearlings are near enough all worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, some are already worth millions and when they get to the sales they could be sold for over 1 million so needless to say they have to be looked after. The bigger the bed, the less chance there is of the horse injuring itself. The yearlings (well almost all of the horses here) live out all year round. The yard is about 12,000 acres and they don’t have to deal with English weather here so it makes a lot more sense for the horses to live out rather than in and the paddocks that they live in are huge!! So in the lead up to yearling prep the yearlings that had been selected for the January sales were brought into some smaller paddocks closer to the yearling barn. When I say smaller, they are still big paddocks! Then on the 29th of October they were brought into the stables ready for the prep to start!
The yearling prep involves a lot of walking. Each day I have been doing around 20,000 steps and as the season carries on I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up doing a lot more. I don’t mind walking. I like being active. I like to finish the day knowing and feeling that I have been active and I have worked myself. I’m excited to see what yearling prep could do to my overall fitness level. It will push me at times, especially during the summer but I struggle to push myself when I do my exercises or workouts. In work I don’t really have much of a choice. It’s work. It has to be done. I’m gonna have to push myself. It’s part of the job and the experience but i’m looking forward to it. I’m excited to see the results of how the yearlings turn out and my own personal results.
I started here in August and I’ve been working with the yearlings since then. I have no previous experience with yearlings. When I first arrived I didn’t realise how different working with yearlings is compared to working with adult horses. Yearlings are young, uneducated they can be massive knob heads. Absolute wankers. It’s easy to be intimidated by them. They are a lot more unpredictable, borderline feral and have a lot more freedom with their legs than mature horses. Working with them has been eye opening for me. It’s made me appreciate those who have worked with the horses in my life. There are people out there who have done amazing work bringing on yearlings and turning them into amazing riding, competition and companion horses. So thank you. Your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed but I dread to think about how many times you may have been kicked, stood on, bitten, dragged, knocked over, trampled, struck, pushed or head butted. You guys are troopers!
It’s almost my bed time now. I’m now on my 7th day of working non stop so my bed times are getting earlier and earlier…safe to say I am looking forward to my weekend off this weekend! Today has been a good day though! Groomed my 4 yearlings, practised our parading skills and hopefully going to bath them this week.
I hope you’re all happy, healthy and well.
Sending my love to you and your companions,