Emma Schofield is a primary school teacher in Bolton. She owns two horses and also runs a livery yard.

“Covid has taught me that the horse community is strong”

“When the UK went back into lockdown and schools closed, I started teaching my nursery class online.

I have been a teacher for many years and have been teaching my current class since November.

Emma’s mare, Sky, is recovering from a field injury

It has been a challenge to switch between in class and online learning. I have tried to utilise using the farm and animals for my children.

Not being able to social distance from young ones while teaching is always a concern, but it would not be fair on the children — they need me!

I did once have a break from teaching to peruse other interests and develop ELS Equine — selling and producing youngsters with a sensible brain to make top allrounders.

My equine business came about after I had a riding accident and nearly died — I also lost my spleen. I went on a bit of a crusade to find a horse that I could ride without being in pain and felt safe on.

Friends started to ask me to find horses for them and that’s how it started.

I have fought hard to regain my confidence after my riding accident, but Covid made all those doubts return. I think this was because things were so intense and unknown.

The pandemic has been very stressful at times. My horse had an accident and my Dad and on/off partner, Phil, were sent into hospital on the same day.

I have been lucky so far not to have contracted COVID-19, but family members have.

‘The horse community is strong’

I run a livery yard of about 30 liveries, as well as continuing to run ELS Equine, teach at school, look after my own horses and help with lambing/bottle feeding on the farm.

Emma’s dog, Amber, has been a big hit with her pupils while teaching online

I also looked after Phil after he had surgery for a bone infection in his leg following a terrible accident at the beginning of the first lockdown. While he was in hospital I also looked after the farm, with help from my wonderful liveries.

I have two horses. Caramel is a three-year-old Warmblood — my heart horse — and the last foal out of my best mare. She is challenging and a real character. She’s on first name terms with the vets for being such a handful. She’s sweet with me, though, and I have big hopes for her.

Sky is a five-year-old Irish Draught/Thoroughbred mare who I bought to sell two years ago and never did. She’s like a needle in a haystack because she’s got brains, talent and beauty and I hope to event her in the future. However, she’s currently recovering from a bad wound incurred during an accident in the field.

I should also mention my dog, Amber, who has been an online teaching star during lockdown.

Horses are such a tonic; their breath on your cheek soothes your soul. I know for myself and my liveries that our horses have been our saviours during lockdown.

Covid has taught me that the horse community is strong. My liveries have been amazing and I am so thankful to them.”