Sunday, 30 December 2007

Good day had by all.

Had a really nice day today..foot isnt too bad suprisingly but sporting a fetching bruise:)
My dad is up for the Christmas so he and my brother came up to the farm to walk the dogs while I rode Polo.When we were ready to go they put the dogs(5borders 1GSD) in his jeep and my car then drove along the lane to meet me at the track as I rode along...saved me the usual job of walking and leading!
The dogs were tearing around, Polo must get dizzy trying to keep track of them but he's really good at not standing on them.My dad and brother turned back before me as its all uphill I kept going a bit further with my 3pooches in tow then galloped up the hills to catch them up.Buster is going through a bit of a rebelious faze at the moment and has a tendancy to run up to people and dogs barking but he was very well behaved.I always have a pocket full of dog biscuits when they come out with the horse to keep them focused on me when I need them close,Minx and Mouse are pro's and Buster seems to be getting the helps they are incredibly greed dogs:))
Dogs got deposited in the car to be driven to the farm while I rode back.
Polo was very keen and forward today so worked up quite a sweat despite being clipped yesterday.
I was going to take AliG in the school but it was busy so decided to go for a short hack on him.I honestly find it hard to put into words how laid back he is the only thing that seems to remotely excite him is other horse's,when a car passes he's nearly on the bonnet he's that unconcerned:)))
He had one little shy,its hard to describe what he does as a shy is move of a slow motion hesitation,but anyway it was when we passed the riding school their geese were in the field making a noise but he couldnt see them..perfectly understandable.
He got a few boots and sharp smacks for dawdling a couple of times but all in all he was pretty darn good considering he's only been on a few hacks by himself and how little he's done in the past few months full stop.
I really enjoyed myself today,I get very stressy/stroppy and tired when im at work and it definately affects how I deal with the horse's but this week has been great..minus the foot of course!!:)

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Strange old day...

I hung on and hung on this morning waiting for it to stop raining,it was lashing down.Gave up at 11.30 decided to go up do jobs as it was 'obviously' in for the day and I didnt fancy riding in it today.
No sooner had I got to the farm then the clouds broke and it was actually sunny = me fumming cos I hadnt brought a saddle!
The boys were pleased to see me as at some point the gate had blown shut blocking them out of the pen and their shed,so they were keen to get in and dry.
I poo picked then clipped Polo,I just take his chest and half his neck out,he's no bother to clip just stands dozing.I then trimmed his feet and gave his frogs a good spray with my cider vinegar/teatree oil mix.
I then decided to give AliG a quick trim.Im still using M's trimmer for Ali as his feet were all over the place when he came and I was a bit concerned about them but I usually keep them tidied up inbetween trims and to help keep his heels down.
He been absolutely fine about having his feet picked out for a while now but still a bit hit and miss with the trimming in that he snatches his feet away or will collapse down on you 'usually' on the front feet.
Anyway the bugger virtually sat on my when I was trimming his hind foot!:0
I could feel him start to drop onto me so I quickly let go of his leg and of course he stood on my foot..heavily.It was excrutiating(already my dodgy foot where my toe doesnt bend from the joint)I screamed at him then im afraid he got a wallop!
The thing is he doesnt seem scared when you do his feet its almost like he's thinking I dont see why I should pick my foot up and hold it so I wont,he's very well balanced so thats not the reason.I always keep it short so he's not expected to hold it up for long and dont both with the stand at the moment as he just keep snatching his foot away knocking it over.I picked it back up after I'd stopped hopping and swearing, gave it a few more swipes with the rasp to make a point then put it down and gave him a pat.
Anyway Ive got a cracking bruise and very sore foot!

Hoping to ride both of them tomorrow weather permitting.

Thursday, 27 December 2007


Well I reckon my two have deserved the title of Angels today!
My sister was up visiting so we'd arranged for her to come up to the farm this morning to bring my niece up to see the horse's,she was a little nervous the last time and would only look from a distance..well she is just 20months give her time:)

Anyway I decided to ride AliG in the school first ,if it was empty of course,then I could see them when they drove up the lane.Did lots of walk to halt to walk,if he didnt respond first time to my leg when asking to walk on I gave him two taps with the whip, he quickly got the idea.I didnt do too much in trot as he isnt remotely fit but did a couple of circles on each rein,any more schooling ideas that I can do in walk while he fittens up would be most welcome:)
My Phoenix feels like its sitting too low on the front and tipping me forward a bit but Ali seems to prefer this to the treed saddle.I'll try and pad it up at the front for now,im wanting to sell it and hopefully buy the new 17"Vogue eventually cos he does seem comfortable in it but I reckon a 17"would be better for both of us size wise.

I saw my sister's car so rode back over to the yard to see them. Well Ericka was much more confident around the horse's and AliG was brill standing quietly (not tied up)while she had a sit on his back and 'helped' brush him.Didnt get a pic of her sitting on him as she was off and on pretty quickly but he was very sweet and kept nuzzling her and my sister's hubby who's scared of horses:)

We then went and got Polo ready so Ericka 'helped' brush him,he was so gentle and kept his head really low seeming very interested in her.
I tacked up and asked her if she wanted to sit up on him with me, she was pretty keen so my sister lifted her up and she sat on the front of the saddle.So off we went on a little ride around the yard and a short way down the lane,my sister walked alongside just incase but he didnt put a foot wrong and just plodded quietly.Ericka absolutely loved it and kept giggling and saying good boy to Polo...reckon we have another little horse lover in the family.
I lifted her down to my sister then we went off for a ride.
My sister kept saying Polo was very quiet and laid back and couldnt ever remember ever seeing him like this before,im sure its the Ranitidene!!

Few pics of Ericka's first ride on a horse.....

Wednesday, 26 December 2007


Ive just deleted a whole long post by mistake:0 Cant face starting again so will do a shortened version.
Had to sort the electric fencing out this morning as it was down so Polo and AliG were in with Ellie when I arrived..spent nearly 2hours faffing about with that so ended up have a short ride on Polo up the lane with the dogs then 20mins in the school doing ground work with AliG, both were very good:)

On the way back in stood and had a chat to Jo who was there with her daughter,she was very pleased about the suprise pony but had wondered how Santa got him in the sleigh?

Short but sweet:)))

Monday, 24 December 2007

Fabby day:)

Well ive had a brill day..rode BOTH my boys and they were BOTH perfect!
YO came to see if I was riding when I got to the yard,I said I was meeting M to ride a 12 but was going to get my jobs done first then I had half an idea to ride Ali,well I'd put his saddle in the car so more than half an idea:)).
My plan was take him in the school and lunge him for a bit first but thought what the hell im sure he'll be fine so tacked him up and got on.
He actually looked suprised and pleased if thats possible so we rode down to the bottom of the farm to meet YO then went out on a short hack.He didnt put a foot wrong and led most of the way!
There was a black bag flapping around on the lane....did he try and run?....well obviously not..he looked at it then walked over sniffed it then picked it up flapping it around:)) He was fastinated by all the sheep which have just been moved into the fields(he might never have seen sheep before?)so we stood and watched them for a little while.I was very pleased he genuinely seems to enjoy being ridden and is naturally brave and confident,amazing for a three year old.

M didnt turn up so I went out on Polo,spent half the ride chatting on my phone and getting texts from friends while he happily plodded along....naughty me:0

Ive just got home from the beach,me and my Dad took all the dogs for a really long walk going from one beach to the next.Picture five Border Terriers (my three with flashing lights on their collars)and one German Shepards running wild,we were the only ones there,fabulous!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Oh be quiet!

Had a good ride on Polo yesterday with YO.He wound himself up a bit as we passed a huge bunch of horse's from the riding school heading home and he does like to show off when he see's other horse's.Nothing too bad just hurrying and bouncy which if your not carefull can lead to him looking for something to shy and spin at,Ryan said use the energy when he's like this to channel it so I asked for a nice outline and 'played' a bit which almost resulted in a bit of under no illusion I could get anything like this at any other time:)))
We had a good gallop up the hill home,hurdling the styles flat out..that was fun!

I then took AliG for a walk in-hand,the school was busy and didnt have anyone to accompany us long reinging,so decided a walk was better than nothing.
Now Jo had just gotten a pony on loan as a suprise christmas present for her little daughter so Ali and Polo have spent the last couple of days gazing at it over the fence(keep telling them its a boy).Well as we left the yard Ali proceeded to whinny loudly right in my ear with the pony shouting back at him.A little way up the lane he was walking like crab,totally focused on everything but me!He then whinnied for about the fourth time right in my ear so he got a slap on the nose with the end of the lead rope much to his shock,he almost went to winny again so I lifted to rope and he actually stopped mid whinny:))
He then walked lovely for the rest of the way..clever aint he.

Today I had a turf out...sorted both their stables and had a re-arrange,cleaned out my storage area and poo picked so didnt have the inclination to do anything else after this.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Twice in one week.

Think ive re-discovered my schooling 'mojo' went back in the arena yesterday with Polo and AliG,plus I thought all the kids have broke up for Christmas now so it might be too busy to get in over the next 2weeks.
Went in with Polo first im starting to use my brain a bit more when schooling him as I have a tendancy to repeat what ive been taught and not experiment enough.I do convince myself i'll make a mess of things and it took such a long time to get him to accept working in a school without major kicking off I dont want to spoil that but I decided to risk it!:)))
We did lots of transitions,walk-trot,halt-trot,trot-halt and tried a little reinback to walk and trot,he was very responsive after the usual 5min powering around and was halting and slowing from my seat alone..I was very pleased.
I let him have a couple of minutes cantering around at the end purely for fun for us both!

I then took AliG in and did more ground work..well the boy seems to 'have' the idea.He was circling and stopping with very little pressure,still less keen on the right rein but not putting a much effort into protesting.I honestly think the fact he's having to maintain the speed I ask without constant encouragement to keep going will help his mmmmm lets just say 'laidback' attitude to ridden work,I worry he's got the potential to be a horse you have to work at to keep going.

Anyway it was a very pleasing day,I just fed them today and im now off work for two weeks:))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Well I was very sore from Saturday's tumble it felt like I'd pulled every muscle in my body and to top it all off I had to go Chrissy shopping on Sunday!:(

I phoned in sick at work on Monday mainly because the girl im working with doesnt pull her weight so I knew I wouldnt beable to take it easy so decided I wasnt going to kill myself.Ahem I did manage to take AliG in the school and do some ground work though and ride Polo;0
AliG was excellent responding very quickly,he tried to get out of going right a few times so whenever he did this I sent him into trot on the left then when I asked him to go right kept it short and in walk.Hopefully he'll figure right is the easy option and be more willing!But I was pleased with his response and M came to watch and was very impressed with how he was reacting.
I then {shock horror} took Polo into the school,this was about the second time in 4months so I wasnt expecting anything wonderfull which was well and good cos it wasnt great:))
He was hurrying all the time but seemed quite loose and free in himself,I tried to slow him down by slowing my rise but when you stay in the saddle that few seconds longer he uses that as an excuse to say "oh you want canter now"..only trotter I know that prefers to canter! I didnt ask to much just tried to get him to soften a bit which he did a little towards the end and did some circles,leg yield's and a few shocking shoulder in's.

Today I long reined AliG,he acted like he'd never had a break plodding along.He got a bit excited at the top of the lane as some horse's came trotting up behind him,by excited I mean he did a few elevated strides of trot:))
I then rode Polo,well more of a plod really.We went along the lane and I just rode on the buckle and let him dicate the pace and how far/where to go.He was lovely forward but totally chilled.:)

AliG and Polo have now been stripped off from Ellie as they have both (Ali in particular) been getting rather frisky with her that past could of days.I think its because she's in over night so they only see her for a couple of hours a day so get excited and carried away.Suit me as I can sick to poo picking my bit and they have the shed on their side so can stay out as long as I want.
Im still stiff and sore today but much better over all.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


Well I took a tumble yesterday...not riding but taking AliG out for his walk would you believe it!
I started the morning off with great intentions of taking Ali for his walk then riding Polo as it was such a nice day and I had plenty of time to potter on.
Was in the fields with Ali and tried a little trot and he refused to move again so did a little circling then asked him to trot again went into trot straight away so pat then walked.But I couldnt leave it there could I and wanted to reinforce if he doesnt do it first time he would have to work harder in a circle.Anyway he refused to move again so on the circle he went and then im not really sure if he slipped or hit a deep bit of the field,panicked somehow ended with his backend to me and was off and running. I hung on for dear life with at that angle I had no chance of stopping him and got dragged off my feet.
Luckily there's only one way out of the field and he ran in the opposite direction towards horses in field so I legged it to the only bit he could get out onto the lane to see if he'd turn in that direction or was was calm and would stay put.
He stayed put but was looking a me coming towards him with a bit of a sheepish look on his face so I caught him and quietly walked home.
I honestly thought I was going to die as i'd run so fast I felt that bloody feeling in my throat and kept coughing,my side was a bit sore so I decided not to tempt fate and ride Polo.Still a bit icy on the lane so I figured the way my luck was going Polo would skid and fall over!:-0

So lesson learned rope work will have to be done in an 'enclosed' area (this is when I wish we had a school) going to have a week long reining him next week,luckily my brother is on holiday for the week-RESULT:))

I was very stiff this morning,get whiplash at the drop of a hat,my arms hurt and my side so they had a few hours in the stable while I went for my Christmas shopping.Dont think spending the night cleaning and putting polish on my floor helped matters.

few pics...would you say living out agrees with them?!?:))

and doing what they seem to do best...eating!

Friday, 14 December 2007


the ground work and in-hand stuff is certainly showing a side to AliG which I doubt i'd see if I was just doing the usual handling and riding.Took him for a walk yesterday and asked for a few stride of trot following me and would he heck move faster than a walk!No amount of encouragement would get him to speed up,I flicked his side with the lead rope and still nothing.So I did some circling with him throwing a bit of a hissy fit whenever I asked him to go right,I asked him to follow me and trot again and he refused so more circling..did this 3times then he hurrah he trotted I kept it to a short burst and gave him lots of praise and pats while he was trotting along with me:)

Muriel asked what I mean when I said lots of pressure.Im not great at explaining how I do things but I dont use a lunge whip,Richard Maxwell(who's 'stuff im following) uses a longer rope and swings it to indicate when you want them to move ie;swinging the rope to the quarters means move the backend over/away etc.So its a case of swinging the rope with more intensity and using your body to create the movement then as soon a you get what you want to stop which takes the pressure off.He believes you shouldnt continually nag at them to keep them going so they learn to take responsibility to maintain the speed until you ask them to do any different.The pressure only comes back on if they stop or start falling in on you for example.This should be good for AliG actually as he isnt the most forward boy to ride!

Its strange but Im feeling more of a connection with him recently which may well be linked to the groundwork we've been doing?He usually comes in following Polo and doesnt move until Polo does but this week he's been coming when I shout for them before Polo.I think because ive been through such a lot with Polo Ive found it difficult to feel any deep emotion for AliG but recently it seems to be happening:)
Must sound crazy when Polo's so difficult and AliG is what many people would consider to be a dream horse but im getting there,been a bit hard to deal with and accept as I love my animals with a passion!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007


Wow its really cold but it's dry so thats good,dont mind putting extra layers on but I hate getting wet AND cold.
I'll track back...
Sunday was a really good day out!
Oliver Townsend is so funny,typical young male eventer...totally without fear.He seemed a really nice lad,mucking in with all the kids between his demo's,they were having mini jumping competitions with their pony's and dogs and he was running round like crazy helping lift dogs over jumps and encouraging reluctant ponys.Lots of silly stories,jumping with his eyes shut and making faces at the crowd.He really emphasised that he lets the horse's think for themselves and doesnt 'nurse' them when they are jumping so they are clever and up for the challenge of cross country.
Heather and Max were really good but I thought the demo could have done with being longer..she was cut short by the organisers when people were starting to ask questions.Max's horse is a lovely big boy and I could imagine he was a real handfull when he came to him in the beginning (was going to be shot before Max took him on!).
Had a chat to Damien,one of Heather's old students about going for some lessons on his school masters.He's based at Sheffield which is around 2hrs travelling ,I reckon it could be a good short term solution to the lack of horse transport and decent local instructors.
M couldnt come due to more problems with her horrible OH so my non-horsey friend from work came(was a shame to waste the ticket), she really enjoyed it to the point she's now determind to learn to ride and wants to come to Damien's if I sort some lessons out.
My Mum and her friend came too and she bought me a new pair of Ariat long boots at an excellent price for christmas,I got AliG's heavyweight winter rug and a few other bits and pieces.

On Monday I did some groundwork with AliG.He definately doesnt want to circle right,he just stands looking at me refusing to move so I had to put quite a lot of pressure on to get him to move.He got a bit narked a few times as if to say "how dare you tell me to do that" his reactions are so mild compared to Polo though, its just a case of me 'trying' to be patient(not one of my strongest points)and persisting.I then took him out for a walk in-hand with Minx,Mouse and Buster in tow.
All the horse's up the lane started charging around the fields (that always happens with him??) well the most he did was have a little snort and bounce,not bad for a three year old who hasnt left the yard for over 5 weeks;)
Buster managed to get totally tangled up in his legs cos he thought the horse's in the field were going to get him and panicked a bit but Ali didnt react at all or it could have been nasty.

Yesterday it was Polo's turn and we went out for a an hour& half with the dogs.I have to walk the lane stretch with the dogs on leads as there's a lot more cars with the new livery yards that have opened and some of them dont slow down(even though they are horse owners..makes sense- NOT!) but its good exercise for me.It was cold but bright and we had a lovely hack,Polo was very chilled.
They both seem to be doing well living out AliG is still very 'round' and Polo's coat is a lovely rich mahogany type colour at the moment so as long as they stay in this sort of condition,well hopefully a bit less condition for Ali;),I wont change what im doing.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Ive lost it!

the plot that is...I rode today in the sleety,snow and gales!
There was a reson but I was still riding along saying to myself "you need your head read!":)
Well the reason was Polo was a naughty boy to catch so I got my determinded/
stubborn head on and thought if you've got energy to be a prat you can do some work. I got to the farm at 11ish and went into the field to get the boys in,Polo usually comes as soon as I shout then AliG follows him in but today he just looked at my then put his head down and kept eating (it wasnt raining,sleeting or snowing at this point).So I walked over to get them AliG came first so I put halter on him and started leading him in.Polo then proceeded to charge the dogs in the field then galloped off towards Ellie totally full of attitude..well I was furious and screamed at him.Bless him Ali didnt react to Polo being stupid and just tootled in following me.
I marched back in the field with rope halter incase I needed it when I caught him..yes when I never dont catch him when he's being silly!He gave me his 'look' that means he's not going to come without a battle of will's, so I drove him around the field swinging the lead rope at him making him change direction and keeping going until I decide to stop.The reason I do this is if I dont get the submission from him this way he'll let me catch him get so far then rear and pull away so he isnt allowed to dictate when he does or doesnt come in...he can come in nicely or do some work first then come in!
I was mad..can you tell:-0.
I think he was being a pratt because Ellie usually goes out in the morning after he and Ali come in for their couple of hours in the stable so he simply didnt want to leave his chick.

It had started raining by this point and was very cold and windy BUT determinded head rules out any common sense so I tacked him up and rode.We only went out for less than an hour but the weather was getting progressively worse,sleety blowing hard across the lane,we got legs were so cold it was like someone was stabbing me with pins and my face was totally numb.Needless to say we trotted most of the way and Polo was steaming time we got back.
Few pics...not sure if you can see the sleet on it?

Wet through and steaming


Having a good roll

I was going to take Ali for a walk inhand but the weather was so bad and I was absolutely freezing I couldnt face it but he had a good brush and I trimmed his feet a little and he was so much better and having them done.

Ive just had some pics developed from my 'proper' camera and there are some of the pups at various stages,last years Crufts with Mouse (yes last March)and some of god he's put a huge amount of weight on:00

Off to Harrogate tomorrow....

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Quiet few days.

Ive had a cold this week so havent done huge amounts had a short ride yesterday then rode out with M today and my three pooches.I have to walk them along the lane leading Polo as there a too many cars to risk it with the dogs but they all enjoyed it.Polo likes the easy option of being led me thinks:))).
So far out we pass a couple of house'hs and in the garden of one they had one of those huge trampolines well it was on its side with the wind and looked like it was ready to go up so we turned back, bit too risky one big gust would have done it!

Bumped into my friend while we were out riding she has a unrelated Border to mine and to be honest its really a poor example but she's desperate to have pups out of it and now wants to line it with Buster.Its a difficult one cos obviously she loves her dog but do I hurt her feelings and say it isnt good enough to breed from (I dont really want to encourage poor breeding) or say im charging X amount and if she's willing to pay let her get on with it?My oh reckons whatever I say she'll breed from it and at least if it's lined with a quality dog there might be a chance of improving the pups but Im still not comfortable about it.

Going to start with AliG next week its been over a month would you believe it so will do a couple of long reining sessions next week and the week after then will hopefully get out for a few short hacks while im off over Christmas:)

Monday, 3 December 2007


..this was the sight that greeted me when I got to the farm to ride today I didnt have the heart to disturb him so I left him to sleep and went home, went back up later to feed and put him and Ali out this afternoon:))
M said Polo and Ali were galloping around having fun when she arrived to turn Ellie out so I reckon he got his exercise there anyway.

Didnt ride Sunday due to the anticipated hangover,I dont go out often with the girls so tend to have a few too many:0, but rode Saturday and did some ropework(Aka RMaxwell)with Ali.
My brother came out with all the dogs which Polo enjoys and we had a canter up the verge with dogs in hot pursuit.
AliG was much better with the groundwork stuff this time so I think he just couldnt work out what I wanted him to do the first time plus I watched the DVD again and had missed a couple of things I should have done so I was obviously a bit clearer.

Somehow ended up on a waking night again due to more staff absences and possibly tomorrow but have arranged to meet M to ride in the morning.Hopefully will get some sleep after im done although the next door neighbours dog has howled all day today so dont fancy my chanced!