Sunday, 30 September 2007

All Quiet on the Eastern Front.

Think I over did it yesterday so didnt do too much horsey stuff today.

Yesterday I rode out with my friend who's horse has just returned after being away 'somewhere' getting some work while she was on holiday,Polo was a good lad.Even though he has his hang ups he's very forward going so nearly always ends up leading.My friend's horse has a thing about the donkeys at the bottom of our lane so she ended up having to get off and lead him past them Polo aint keen but he trusts me enough to go past most things, usually with a bit of snorting mind;)
I poo picked the field,scrubbed and hosed out Polo's stable and mats, trimmed his feet,which are looking fab BTW(he actually has proper frogs now!) then did AliG's feet that proved to be a bit more difficult.He's such a sod about picking up his front feet he 'knows' what I want he gets this stubborn look in his face and no matter what I do he just will not pick them up.
Ive resorted to moving him back and forwards then picking them up as he moves, so what did he do??well he was refusing to move full stop!
After much sweating and straining I could feel myself starting to get mad so out came the Richard Maxwell rope halter.I did a few mins schooling,backing him up then coming forwards immediately or the pressure would go on he got the idea pretty quickly,I then went back to getting him to step towards me and picked his leg up first time!GRR
AliG's feet were all over the place when he came, high heels,small smelly frogs and lots of flare on his outside hinds so I think foot care hasnt been something he's had a lot of but he picks his hind feet up straight away so dont know why he's as awkward with his front feet?
I then went out for a Chinese meal for my Dad's birthday it was gorgeous but I had a stinking migraine at this point so just wanted to get home and lie down in a dark room:(
Incidentally one of the waitresses was showing eveyone pics from her phone of some Eastenders actors who'd been in earlier, they were up to do the Great North Run which was today...Max was one of them.

Today I went to visit my friend who's just had a baby boy then went to the stables.Poo picked field and brushed the boys then my Dad came to see AliG for the first time,he was very impressed with him and needless to say Polo got plenty of attention,my Dad's a huge fan of Polo!
Claire then arrived for a visit so more attention and fuss for the boys AND dogs who jumped in Claire's car.AliG was getting rather cocky with it all and became a bit mouthy but I reckon thats mainly his age and those little lingering hormones,I move him away from me when he does this.Ive got to be carefull to not allow him away with this, Polo is very cuddly and in your face for affection but he never has a nip but Ali is a lot younger and still learning the ropes.
Felt a bit rough from the migraine and couldnt face riding so fed and turned them was a lovely day so sheets back off,hard to know what to do for the best at times the weather's so up and down!

I then made Sunday dinner,did the most terrifing pile of ironing then hoover and cleaned..see I AM superwoman;)

Ps Claire do you have my email to send me those pics?

Friday, 28 September 2007

Dam..blast ..and bugger!

Well AliG has developed a splint..I think this has been why he's been reluctant to walk out and why he's been better after a couple of days off!
Its very small but I didnt spot it until after I'd rode him today.He wasnt happy when we were out even though we didnt go far he kept dropping back and I could see he was getting annoyed when I was getting after him to walk on his ears clamped back and felt like he was threating to rear at one point!
Feel a bit guilty for not keeping a closer eye I had wondered if something like this had the potential to flare up somewhere down the line simply because he's gone from soft arena surface to hacking on harder ground.He's not lame and it not huge so hopefully it wont get any worse but im kicking myself about it..I should have sussed when he was better after a couple of days off that it wasnt just a case of him being lazy.
Just done a bit of reading up and the standard recommendation seems to be minimum 30days rest then see how it goes,also the obvious cold hosing,Arnica and Ruta Grav(think that the one).
Polo had splints,probably the norm when breaking in trotting horses on roads,and it never bothered me but feel annoyed I could probably have avoided it if i'd been bit more carefull.:(

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Well I rode AliG and Jo rode Polo today and guess what Ali was slow again!
I think my theory of riding him every other day is spot on,I reckon his body needs that day recovery inbetween.Not that he's getting hard work in any respect but he is getting approx an hour hack with some trotting and cantering and the hills nearly kill him ;) It's possibly a mixture of both physically and mentally challenging for him I suppose due to his previous work all being arena based.
Im happy with that he is absolutely fine if you miss riding him for a couple of days and I did want to reduce his work to give him a break without turning him away completely so i'll see how he goes on that plan.
Bless him he's been broken,gelded and made two long trips within quite a short space of time and took it all in his stride.

Jo loved Polo,he was a good boy for her only a couple of mini shy's(well he couldnt possibly do none!)the YO had apparently tried to put her off riding him as he's sooo DANGEROUS but she said he was the best out of the bunch including Ellie!She was delighted at how he strides along without any leg and how sensitive he is to the leg,a touch and he moves over.Her boy needs constant pushing on so it must have felt refreshing for her.We had a trot and I had to tell her to take a contact or he'd be off along the lane a 100miles an hour,she couldnt believe how big and swinging his trot is!
The WOW saddle was a hit too;)

They both have their sheets with no filling on tonight ,its absolutely balic outside
reckon the middle weights are going have to go on soon if it keeps up!

Claire I couldnt find that page?

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Great ride today!

Im really chuffed ALiG was an absolute star today out hacking.
We went out with YO on her gelding,who Ali doesnt like, and Ellie.He was a bit slow to start with so he got a sharp smack with the whip and off he went walking really well and actually led for the whole ride.He def switches off a bit if he goes behind so I thought okay stay infront and he was fab:) We had a canter along the track and up the hill home with him infront all the time and he throughly enjoyed himself..his canter is sooo comfortable.He didnt have a single spook and walked past a skip being delivered with hardly a second look and the cars on the lane arent even worth his time;)
Ive was grinning when I got back and I could tell he knew I was pleased..was a great little horse he's going to be!

Polo didnt get ridden cos there was a bit of a mix up I thought Jo was going to come out with us and ride him so I waited for her to come back from riding her old boy but she had to leave early and it was too late to for me to ride two.She's going to come out tomorrow so hopefully Polo will behave himself,he's usually fine in company.I watched Jo ride he old boy and he's a right nappy/lazy bugger so she should enjoy riding a horse she doesnt have push all the way around.

Monday, 24 September 2007

A quick one. at work and just about to go to bed,on 4till 11 sleep over then couple hours in morning same again tomorrow then 2waking nights(dont know whether im coming or going at the moment with shifts!)
Anyway did nothing other than feed,T/O and do stables.Had too much to do at home with being away all day yesterday so was playing catch up.
Ali was a bit funny with picking his feet out when he first came just would plant them but he's doing really well at picking them up now so that all to report really ....oh and they have their sheets on tonight for the first time.
I suppose I was making allowances for Ali on hacks cos I knew he'd never been out and about so was thinking he had alot to take in but your absolutely right Caroline I dont want this tappy lapping along to become a habbit.

Buster,Minx and Mouse are Border Terriers Jean..fantastic little dogs but need masses of exercise luckily Polo loves them coming out when we ride so I usually take them with us a couple of times a week.Will wait till Buster's a bit older and more savvy, he is far too cocky around them and has been stood on twice.I dont let him in the stable or near when Im doing stuff with the horses but he squeezed under the stable door the first time and escaped out of the stable the second time,Typical male eh!!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Day off for the boys and show day for Ellie.

AliG and Polo got fed patted and turned back out then off we went to the show.We managed to get lost and drove around in the general vicinity for 45mins until we stumbled across ,they 'said' there would be signs up but didnt see one,ive been a couple of times but for some reason I find it really difficult to find everytime!

M missed her first class then got first in the veteran,well she was the only one in the class so done deal:)) then manage to get totally mixed up in where she was meant to be so missed her next ridden class!

Things werent really going well can you tell?The problem was the turn out for the show was really poor so everything was running too fast and with us arriving late M got a bit confused.

Ellie then went into the cob/native class didnt really go well and went even worse when the judge rode her..I felt really disappointed but she's carrying too much weight,hasnt really had any preparation so her fitness and school work let her down.Its really difficult cos she's such a nice mare and great to ride but her owner thinks she can bath her then turn up cos she been ridden a few times and she'l do well.I think in the past she's gotten by because Ellie performed on the excitement and adrenalin but she's getting older so its hard for her to get away with the poor preparation.

She ask what my opinion was and I was a bit blunt and said she needs more work to get some weight off and improve her stamina,lots more flat work and to be warmed up rather than just going straight into the class plus not going on holiday the week before a show oops!

Anyway few pics of Ellie,Buster and the girls..well you did ask!!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Someone got out of the wrong side of the bed!

Not the boys,ME for some reason!
I just felt a grump and irritable today for some reason, I slept for around 12hours which is extreme for me but ive been surviving on 2-4hours sleep Monday to Friday so its obviously caught up with me but you'd think i'd have felt great this morning?

Anyway rode both today despite the dour mood.Took Polo in the school first we literally did 20mins as he's unfit and never done any schooling for 6weeks.He was very forward,there was another horse in the school to impress mind;), his nose was in the air and he'd forgotten how to bend but he did soften a little bit in the end.I was quite pleased considering and he actually seemed to enjoy going into the arena which is fab as he used to hate flatwork and really play up.

AliG went solo again today short hack as he'd had a long one yesterday,I wouldnt have rode him today but im helping my friend at her show tomorrow so will be tied up all day.
He was very good by himself, it doesnt seem to matter to him if there's another horse there or not to be honest so im going to start building it up how much he does by himself.
Nearly forgot to say the next door neighbours dog always jumps up and barks when you ride past,Ali jumped at this on the way out but coming back didnt react when it good is that!

I'll try get few pics of Ellie at her show tomorrow..hopefully she'l do ok.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Oops Ali again..its not favouritism honest!

Didnt ride anyone yesterday was just too tired but I did get round to finishing Ellies clip who then stood on Buster(pup)..he's fine just cut his pad a bit.It was his own fault he has no respect for the horse's typical man really! I dont remember having to tell Minx or Mouse to move or watch quite so often around the horses when they were little..he a stunning pup though I have high hopes for him showing.

I had every intention of riding both boy's today but I got soaked through riding Ali and couldnt face going back out in it on sure Polo doesnt mind ;))
We went out with Ellies new fan and rode along the track then all the way back along the main road out about an hour.He so chilled about the traffic the only thing that slightly scared him was a wagon thundering along towards us at the narrow part of the road but all he did was plant his feet for a moment.Passed another couple of wagons,a bus and a weird tractory thing,J just asked for them to slow down a bit and he didnt flacker so im really pleased..Polo panic's big time at the larger vehicles.He walked really well today too so im wondering whether to ride him every other day now,he seems settled and doesnt get silly if you miss a day so think a recovery day might work well for his young body and mind.
Plus that makes things easier for me not trying to ride two horse's on the same day,its difficult to squeeze everything in when you work full time at such weird hours, have dogs to see to.. oh yes and a hubby you bump into occasionally!;)

Sheets are going on tonight with all this rain..Summer is most definately over!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

AliG's turn today.

I rode Polo yesterday and gave Ali the day off as i was aware the ride the day before was a bit longer than his usual and dont want to do too much with him only being a baby.
Did the same ride with Polo he was a bit spookier to start with than yesterday but then settled down we went down the steps and around in a loop then back having a little canter up the hill.I really like doing this ride its about and hour going up and down the hills and steps and you can have a couple of good trots and canter.Polo was infront all the way which tends to happen cos he walks the fastest!

Today I schooled Ali for the first time in over a week.He was very good and settled in the arena,there are horse's in fields all around the school and usually people coming and going so he found it quite difficult to concentrate at first but this was definately the best he's been.
We did lots in walk to start with getting him to walk on with a nice contact then spent some time in trot..I played about getting him to slow his trot down then opening him up along the long sides he was going pretty nicely in the end.
Just as we were about to leave the arena all the horses in the field starting galloping around cos a woman was 'trying' to catch her pony.Ali got very excited and I thought he was going up for a moment but I said no and just circled him a couple of times then let him stand and watch.He settled down quickly so we left the arena..I did ask Rachel if he'd still have some hormones kicking around and she said he most definately would and probably will for another few months yet.

Tomorrow should be long reinig day if my friend can make it and i'l probably school Ellie..still have to finish clipping her which I just havent had time to do.Owner is back Friday but the show is Sunday so i said i'd finish her off...just not enough time in the day!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Feel's like winter's on the way!

They both got out today for a hack today and it was freezing!

Rode Ali first with YO and another girl from the yard.He had a spook going under the fly-over as a wagon went over with something flapping loudly jsut as we were going under..I bounced in the air lost my stirrups thinking im off but he came straight back to me and I landed back in the saddle! Totally excusable the 24year old shot forward too,he calms down so quickly after a spook its unreal,Polo tends to escalate these things. We were out about and hour and a quarter, had a trot and a canter all nice and controlled,he walked ok of most of the ride but almost ground to a halt a couple of times.

Rode Polo next the other girl rode Ellie and YO went out on her other pone.Well needless to say Ellie has another fan and Polo was fab,when he's good he's hard to beat(why cant he be like this all the time!?!).He's totally unfit with the month off but lead all the way even though the hill nearly killed him on the way back.

Ive got a number of a possible new instructor going to ring her tomorrow hopefully sort a lesson for next week see whaat she's like..still sad Ryan left he was fantastic and really had Polo sussed.

Off to work on waking nights(joy)its until new peoples CRB checks are through but it earns me extra holiday's so not complaining.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Hack's all round.

Rode three today my two and my friends mare as she's away on holiday for a week.

Polo first,rode out with the YO wasnt sure what he'd be like cos its so windy and he's only just coming back into work after his incident with the fence but he was really good.He doesnt tend to be any spookier in the wind strangely enough ..if he's gonna spook he'l spook regardless so I just tend to ride him but he's been out of work for over a month so I was pleased.He's not entirely sound but I think his side is still a bit sore so we walkedall the way into the village and back, out about an hour.The vet said movement is good to get any last bits of infection out so im not being cruel riding him when he's not 100% honest, plus he's been piling the weight on!

Ellie next,she's a coloured cob and is the best fun ever I grin the whole time I ride her.She's just a joy,really tries for you is totally safe but get her going a bit and she goes bounce.. bounce in a totally sane way, I love her!
She's got a show in a couple of weeks but is a extremely good doer and is huge at the moment so im trying to get her out this week while her owner is away on holiday.

Finally I tried AliG out on his first hack by himself.He hasnt done any hacking before he came to me so that's what ive been concentrating over the last 3weeks but he's been out in company up to now so I wanted to see what he'd do without another horse.
Up to now he's been pretty unflappable but im very conscious he's only 3 and ive already got one spooky horse and dont want to scare him so my brother came out with his dog for back up.Ali got a little bit hyper when some horses started galloping around a field we passed but settled quickly and didnt put a foot wrong the rest of the way.

Im going to have a go at long reining him out by himself this week ..I desperately want a confident horse who stands on his own 'four' feet and think this could really help.
My friend works at a stud and has done lots of long reining so im going to see her tomorrow to ask if she'l help me the first couple of times to get us going.

The only thing im finding really difficult to adjust to between Ali and Polo is the walk,Polo strides out and powers along but Ali feels so slow..well he is slow.The YO cob is extremely slow and Ali is travelling at the same speed!
Im hoping long reining will help this too but any other tips to improve this would be much appreciated as im finding it a bit tiring keeping him going.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Bit of backround history!

The top pic is AliG on his 2nd day with me totally chilled and only 3!..excuse the tack and the state of us it was Polo's old stuff and didnt fit and I look pants!

Below is Polo ,the handsome devil, doing what he does best mooch around the field!

Bit of my horsey backround about me then well get onto the neddies.Ok started riding when I was 10/11years never had a lesson until the last couple of years so although I can stay on and was very brave in my youth Im not what i'd consider a 'nice' rider.
My first horsey experiences where on one of my uncles ponies,he was a Welsh Cob very ugly and old but an absolute star.He was fat and unfit when 1st started riding him and used to charge me out of the field so he wouldnt be ridden but then we fell in love ;) and he would do absolutely anything for me but after a year I turned up to see him to find my uncle had sold him without telling me...I was one devastated little girl I can tell you.

At the time my Dad was working for a local guy who had a couple of Standardbreds which he raced,Dad told him what had happened so the guy said I could go and help at his yard. I ended up riding everthing and anything at his yard exercising the horses as variation from going out in harness.I rode one 16'2" pacer called Bolero who would pull your arms out when you moved out of walk.I always remember when he went to his 1st race the driver was literally lying back in the sulky trying to hold him.He came back to the owner and said bl@#dy hell he's fit who's been exercising him for you,M pointed to me,I was 13years old, 5ft and weighed about 7st wet.The driver asked how do you stop him to which I replied I dont I just look for a very long stretch then give him his head...then he'l stop when I 'ask' him.
I also met Polo's mum ,StoneRigs Forever who was a dreadfull race horse due to her unpredicatable,hot,HOT temperament but I got on really well with her and loved riding her so M kept her then eventually started breeding out of her..she was a stunning horse.

Well after many years helping out M decided to sell up due to ill health.I had the option of buying a couple of Forever's offspring ,one was a very sweet yearlying out of a stunning black Hanovarian stallion.I should have bought him but didnt I go and fall for the bay thug who'd been returned to M after going on trial twice,enter Polo!
There's just something about him that was love at first sight for me so I bought him for £400 including bridle and saddle.
I then spent the next 12months thinking what the hell have I done,he was dreadfull,nappy,bucked,wouldnt load a simple task like turning him out was a nightmare as he would turn and double barrel you.
After a year of this hell I decided to turn him away for a couple of months to have abreak and see if it would help but of course Polo couldnt let this go smoothly and after a fight got kicked.To cut a long story short he ended up with an infected elbow joint with ligament damage and was given less than 30% chance of pulling through as infected joints are notoriously difficult to treat.
But Polo being Polo he fought with all his will and pulled through...3operations,6months box rest and me with a £2000 vet bill with an insurance company who wouldnt pay out (E&L dont touch them!!).
During all this he really bonded with me and to this day can be a total pig with other people but soon as I turn up butter wouldnt melt.
Down the line Polo has also proved to be very riggy,incredibly hot like mum,we've been hit by a car ,he's broke my nose,burst my eye,and lost all his confidence due to being terrorised in the field by a former yard owners son(I didnt know it was happening at the time).

He rarely bucks now but can spin at the blink of an eye,he draws attention wherever we go as he has huge presence, probably due to the riggyness (he shows off alot around horses often uncontrollable) and he's a big flashy mover.
He's the love of my life and I'd never sell him.

Think we should move onto AliG if your still reading (dont worry ive not had him long so not much to write yet!).Alagado was advertised on EE and I passed a few comments as I really thought he was lovely and the owner contacted me inviting me down.This put the seed into my mind..could I manage two?could I afford him?so I decided to go and see him then maybe re-jig me finances!
After one failed attempt to get down to Cornwall,(getting stuck on the M5 in the floods) I was very disheartened but determind so booked a flight for the followng weekend.Well I got there loved him a bought him..simple as that really :))
AliG's been with us for 3weeks and has been very good and has enjoyed going on his first hacks proving to be sensible and brave.

Im going to leave it there you'l be pleased to know and should be able to start doing more of a daily log from here.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Got round to it at last!

Well Ive eventually got round to creating my blog!
I'll back track a bit and do some history about me and my neddies when I get round to it ( waking nights at work,need I say more!) but I just wanted to get it up and running cos i keep saying I'll do it later.

In brief I have owned Polo a riggy rather mixed up StandardBred for 10years and have more recently become the owner of a 3year old Andalucian,Alagado(Ali or AliG)...much more to come hopefully tomorrow when ive had that thing you call sleep...........