Charlie Lucas has worked at Billow Farm for 10 years, since she was just 14 years old. As Yard Manager, she is responsible for overseeing and carrying out a variety of duties that ensure the wellbeing of almost 50 horses.
Here, she talks about her busy schedule!
“I have had a passion for horses since a young age, when my Nan bought me riding lessons for my sixth birthday. You could say that it’s in my blood, as my Mum and Grandparents were always keen riders, and my Great-Grandad was a blacksmith.
“Since joining Billow Farm my love for horses has continued to grow. As a teenager I worked part-time whilst I studied for my NVQ 2 and 3 in Horse Care Management. I also have a BHS Level 1 qualification in Riding Road Safety and hope to complete Level 2 in the near future.
“My role here has adapted as the farm has grown. There were only two stable blocks when I started, now there are six! Facilities have improved too, including a new indoor arena, wash boxes and solarium. The changes have bought many more horses to the yard and there is never a dull moment!
“Being Yard Manager at Billow Farm certainly keeps me busy, but I love my work and wouldn’t change it for anything. Below is what a typical day might look like…”
7am I carry out safety checks and feed the horses, putting hay nets and water in each stable.
8am We rug up and turn out the horses into our paddocks for the morning.
9.30am Now the not-so-glamourous job of mucking out can begin! Three days a week, we will also refresh the straw in the stables.
11.30am Today we manage to have enough time to level the lunge arena ready for one of our liveries to use later this afternoon.
1pm After a quick sandwich, we bring the horses that we took out earlier back in to the stables and change their rugs. Next it’s time to soak the hay nets to remove excess dust and sweep the yard.
3pm I groom one of the horses who stays here as an assisted livery.
4pm We put the horses to bed, ensuring they all have water and hay for the night. Followed by a bit of tack cleaning before I get to do what I enjoy best…
5pm Go for a ride! I currently ride two horses, Jade is my 5-year-old mare, and Ollie who I exercise for one of the liveries.
“Luckily, I have three Stable Hands (one full-time and two part-time) that assist me to get all the jobs done – we are a great team!
“My favourite thing to do is clipping, which is great as now Autumn has arrived, I’ll be doing more of it. I enjoy trying out different patterns, and seeing how smart all the horses look (not to mention cooler) once we’re done.
“I love working at Billow Farm, it’s a fun and friendly place to be and I’m proud that all the horses here are safe, happy and healthy. That’s the biggest reward of all.”