By Robert Booth

After what has felt like a very long winter, it’s good to see buds appearing at last on the trees and the fields gradually drying up.

Springtime for us is a very busy period of the year, when we have to start planning the year ahead for the competing horses, getting ready for the stud work and starting the youngsters.  Then, as people start seeing the better weather, they want to get going with lessons.

We have one home bred four year-old underway – Rodgebrook Ballet, or Candice to those who know her. She is full sister to Rodgebrook Charleston whom we are currently competing, both by our Stallion CanCan out of Bunty Girl, full brother and sister. They are very alike, except that Candice is a little smaller, feminine and dainty.  As with all our home bred horses, she is taking very well to being backed.  It seems like one day they are in the herd and the next day, another nice horse to ride. I guess it’s because they have known us from birth and totally trust us and understand what we are asking them to do.

Options for Candice

She is a little too small for me to ride competitively so we have three options: one is to sell her – although we are rather choosy as to where our homebreds go, so it would only be to someone we know and trust to do well with her.  The second option is to invest in some young riders to help produce her, or thirdly, to put her in foal to another stallion to introduce some new bloodlines into our breeding plan – probably the most likely option. 

We will again be standing CanCan at stud this year and will hopefully also get Bunty in foal again. We are awaiting a foal at home from a livery mare who is a full blood mare, which will be an interesting match. So, all in all, a good spring and summer to look forward to. 

Robert Booth is an equine trainer for Rodgebrook Horses. Visit their website at or telephone 01983 521870.