And now for something completely different – and fascinating!
We have just returned after a day spent a day filming with the country file team for their programme featuring Nottinghamshire to be aired on June 14th 2015.
After a very early start we arrived at Brackenhurst Equine College to begin preparations. (Incidentally we were so impressed with the stables and school at Brackenhurst!) Sadly Freddie, now retired, was not able to take part but two friends very kindly allowed us to paint their horses.
The first, Forest Man (Darby), a beautiful 15hh Connemara owned by Mandy Ellis and the second Galwaybay Smokie (Smokie) a beautiful 17.2hh event horse destined for Badminton owned and ridden by Fiona Davison were both impeccably behaved all day.
The team arrived with all their equipment and we met Ellie Harrison and the production team. The fly in the ointment was definitely the weather. It rained and blew all day so we had to film indoors which was rather a shame as Counrtyfile does like to be outside. – Just not possible when water based paint is involved! First shots were of Ellie helping to paint. Everything has to be repeated several times to get the shots from different angles.
Eventually painting was complete (It was great having such a fantastic team to help get the horse ready and look after them when they were not centre stage!) and we moved to the indoor school. Derby was lunged and jumped. Both horses performed Pilates exercises and Smokie showed off his lateral work and jumped his socks off!! Both Ellie and Fiona rode in lycra skeleton body suits- no mean feat as the lycra is extremely slippy. It was fantastic and such fun working with such a professional team.
It was a challenge to presenting to a prospective audience of both knowledgeable horse people and those that know nothing about horses. The main themes of the interviews were: posture – one of my ‘high horse’ topics and particularly applicable in the case of Smokie! how important it is for us to be responsible for their well being – we can think of ourselves as being personal trainers to our horses and how much we owe to our horses both historically and in the present day.
The day ended with both horses being treated to a warm shower in the custom made spa box. Once bathed, pampered and slightly pink around the edges, they were then wrapped up warm and taken home for a well earned rest.