Friday, 29 February 2008

We are famous..well we 'might' be:)

Had the local newspaper on the phone this week, they are running an article about people from the region who are going to Crufts and my number was given to him!
It might not end up in the paper as im sure he's talking to a few people but I had to send him a picture this morning and he says the piece will be in Monday's I forget to buy it:))))

Found it difficult to keep up to date with blog and everyone elses its been so busy at work and i've developed a 'lovely' cold.

AliG has done some of his rope circling work this week ,which I havent done for a while,and Wednesday Jo rode Polo so we got them out on a hack together.
We went a different route to see how he did and apart from his ears going back a couple of times he was fine.I checked him as soon as he did it which he seemed to respond to,we played around with postion Polo infront,slightly behind,alongside etc and the reaction seems to be when Polo is coming alongside then slightly infront.AliG was horrified when we had a trot and Polo roared off infront but then settled and didnt panic or rush to try and catch him up..strange isnt he?

Anyway in full of cold and the forecast is pants but hoping to get more done over the weekend.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

No more Mr Nice Guy

Ive done very little with the boys since I longreined AliG mid week,my excuse ..the weather of course...its been blowing a gale this time:(

I decided to get to the farm sharp then try and get into the school next door before it started getting busy.
I tacked AliG up and rode him over,it was still pretty windy but better than the past few days.Oh dear he was painfull to start with,slow,distracted,neck set you name it with me getting more and more frustrated.I spent loads of time in walk doing circles and trying to get him to soften and listen I could feel myself getting stiffer and thinking too much to myself.."its me he's been used to better riders""he's a baby".I had all this going round my head when I realised ive been treating him far too preciously and making allowance's cos of his age and thinking im going to spoil him. No so much on the ground,handling etc but ridden work.
So I decided to ride him like I'd ride Polo so we moved up to trot and he got a few wallops for grinding to a halt,acting distracted every time a horse passed and generally when he had a hint of 'attitude' going on (negative attitude).
What a difference I literally worked him until he softened and was completely paying attention...I was much happier towards the end and he was knackered:)

I then rode out with Jo and her little daughter...Polo was very good and sensible.I spent most of the time giggling at the dinky pony who was determinded to keep up with Polo and Jo's daughter who just wanted to trot all the way:)

Oh and Buster got first place yesterday at his first ever show..he was really good actually although seemed rather baffled about it all:))
He is a BIG pup compared to the rest, Peter thinks he wont grow any more and although he's big for his age reckons he's not overly big for a dog but we may need to move him up through the classes quite quickly so he's competing against older more mature dogs that him.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


We've had a decent few days weather wise lots of sun but its absolutely balitic overnight going as low as -5degrees.
I got to the farm just before 10am this morning and Polo had an icicle beard and his tail was white from his hocks downwards.It looked very pretty and Christmasy:), his body felt nice and warm despite this.Strangely AliG didnt have the beard or white tail but did have some hanging from the feathers down his legs.
I rode both boys on Sunday not that I can feel too smug didnt go out long on either of them but at least they both did something.

Yesterday I was at work for a training day but managed to squeeze an hour ride in on Polo he felt quite sharp and was winding himself up a bit spooking,possibly because he was getting ridden much later than usual and the light was starting to dip not that he needs excuses to wind himself up:))
He felt free in his movement and think I counted 3drops which is less than he had been doing and they werent quite so obvious as they have been so im hopefull the Adequan is kicking in and having the desired effect(he's had his third injection).

Today I decided to see how AliG would react being longreined along his 'trigger' route by himself,my friend came along just incase. He walked along well got a bit excited as we passed a long line of kids out for a hack from the riding school but only in the form of a few moments of jogging and slight bounciness.He was perfect when all the mare's in the nearby field came galloping over towards us absolutely no reaction other than to look at them.
So we got to the turn and sure enough there was a little head toss and he tried to turn back so I pushed him on forward,he had a mini objection so I put him on the circle and lunged him around me.
He cantered a few times round then brought him back to walk for a few more laps until he looked calm then asked him to walk on.After a few strides he tried to turn again so I lunged him in the other direction,he was much calmer this time so I kept him going for a few circuits then straightened him back up and asked him to walk on again.He did this with no objection so I praised him then asked him to stand for a minute then walk on,I did this a few times to see if he would protest or try to turn around which he didnt so we went a bit further then I turned him for home.
He was foot perfect all the way home.

Im still not entirely sure why he's doing it,its not all about dominance as he reacts when there's no horse's about. The turn ,where he kicks off, is in the total opposite direction from home,if we cut through a field we be back on the lane heading home(not that we've ever cut through this field)so this may be a factor although he doesnt object going in other directions.
He doesnt seem fazed or worried being out and about but maybe Ive be fooled into believing he's more confident than he actually is?Not certain yet BUT I am happy that each time he objects its less explosive and he's definately listening to me so thats all pretty positive!
Im thinking of riding him along there next time then getting off well before his 'trigger' spot then leading him with his pressure halter and line then if he starts I can lunge him safely then when we pass and head for home get back on him...

Friday, 15 February 2008

That seems to be the way to go.

Jo text me this morning to say she could ride if I could get there for 10am to try Ali out in the longreins in company.So I flew home from work got changed then dashed straight up the farm getting there bang on 10(makes a change as I spend my life being late for things!).We set off her niece came to riding Jo daughter's dinky pony so I thought it was a good tester.
All the way out Ali walked along quite happily,I can really see an improvement in his walk and stride length but thats beside the point:),we switched places between us to see if he'd do anything but nope.
Then sure enough we got to the same spot and he started again I'd watched him closely all the way so I didnt miss the first signs, it starts with his tail swishing then the ears go back.
Soon as his ears went back I growled at him he perked them up again for a couple of seconds then back they went so I walloped him hard on the backside with the whip,he shot forward then tried a rear which I stopped mid air by pulling hard on the right rein knocking him off balance.Jo on her horse got out the way by this point as I was worried i'd wrap them up in the longreins as we were a bit all over the place for a short time,he is so strong!
I then went into the center and positioned myself basicallyto lunged him using the outside rein behind his bum.I did this so Ali was trotting past Jo and her ned,the slightest hesitation or negative look at them go him a flick behind.
After 4/5 circles Ali had a look on his face which could only be described as worried,he was looking at me very submissively wanting to turn in and face me.
I asked him to halt then Jo came over with Sandy and stood next to him,he didnt react so we walked alongside to the end of the track then stood chatting and praising him while they stood together.
Jo leant over and was stroking him from Sandy and said next time she'll bring some treats to feed him from Sandy if he's been good.

So im pleased if it means he's going to be a bit 'scared' of me for a while so be it,the thing is he's been so well behaved and good the only time ive really had to repremand him was when he stood on me so this is obviously his 'issue'.Not that I want him to be scared of me but he has to learn the rules of going out with other horse's and that IM the one he should be thinking about.
I still can not figure out why he'll walk alongside happily for so long then at the same spot starts but at least I know if I keep taking him there that will trigger it and give me the opportunity to deal with it.
All the way home he was fine and when we got back to the yard I stood him next to Sandy and there was no me puzzled why he's not like that all the time?
I turned Polo then him out and watched them for a bit,its weird cos Polo was standing eating a pile of haylage and Ali walked around him then stood eating off the same pile.He didnt scowl or try to make Polo move he walked around...Polo's been top dog in many fields and when he walked up for something the other horse's were expected to move out the way yet Ali who is acting dominant doesnt do this...baffled!!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

BADDDDD BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Im doing this in a bit of a rush cos I should be getting ready for work but want to get it down while its fresh in my mind.

Today Jo rode Polo and YO came out with her pony and I was riding AliG.All started well Ali striding off infront happy and ears forward,so far out YO pony trotted to catch up and got close to Ali,Ali's ears went back but I just put my leg on and he kept going no problem.We'd been out 20mins or so ,going around the brickworks as I dont want to go too far for either of them at the minute(its about a 50min ride all told) anyway Polo came alongside Ali and the pony was about a horse length behind.Ali clamped his ears back,was tense and doing his head down 'snaking' type of posture,I completely ignored him and just kept my leg on asking him to go forward but he continued to be very tense with the ears back.
We got to the end of the lane and there was a short discussion about taking them over the fly-over road which I said I wasnt happy about as it very busy,Polo isnt great in traffic and AliG wasnt behaving (hate it when people think you dont know your horses!).So we were about to turn when Ali reared up onto Polo front legs paddling,Polo backed up to get out the way and Ali was basically vertical for what felt like ages!He was literally a couple of degree's from going over backwards,I let the reins loose cos I felt if I'd touched them he'd have gone completely over and took my feet out the stirrups.He turned while still up and I slid off to the side,totally fine landing on my feet.I was so mad and he got a couple of really hard wallops with the whip as I felt a huge reprimand was in order here as ive given him the benefit of the doubt on the previous times its happened.
Jo and YO were convinced he was going over.I got back on and put him between Polo and YO pone and he got a sharp smack whenever he looked like he was going to go again.
So Im sure its a dominance issue now but cant figure out why he went at Polo cos he adores him and they get on fantastically well in the field.Ali is a very dominant type, self assured and confident he doesnt look to other horse's for help or confidence.Ive never had these problems when he's out by himself YO was wondering if it was a protect me/jealousy thing but im not convinced to be honest.
He's not been ridden a great deal in company,even less since he had the time off with the splint,but im not happy that he's now done it twice in the last 4times he's been in company(the doc's riding up behind him I consider seperate and understandable).
So Im toying with longreining him out a couple of times in company to a) see how he's reacting when im on the ground ie to see if im missing something and b) to avoid the risk of him going over on top of me and finally c) if he does it I can drive him on and push him through it so he learns up is not and option.

What are you thought folks....

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

What is it with me and my feet!!!

Polo managed to stand on my flipping big toe today when I was giving him the injection,my toe was flat when I pulled my boot off and its looking rather bruised now.Its the same foot as Ali stood on so im lucky he missed the rest of it cos thats STILL sore and got a weird lump!

Anyway got the injection in,thats the second one of the course...5 more to go oh joy:0
I rode him today and im a bit scared to say it but he was definately walking better and only did one drop,that was just after he'd turned to come home,his usual long stride was nearly there and he just felt more comfortable and easy.It could possibly be because he's not been ridden much over the past week but I doubt it?

I longlined AliG in the school and he was excellent even though a horse in the paddock next to the school was charging around screaming.I spent some time working on his walk as soon as he started dropping back and easing up I flicked the lunge line on the back of his legs (im running the lines through the stirrups and with outside line behind him)which worked great at getting him to lengthen his stride.We did some trot work and when I pushed him forward using the same technique he did some lovely lengthened strides,got some fabulous changes of rein then a bit of canter before coming back to walk..I was really pleased with him:))

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Still sunny:)

It was a bit overcast when I first got to the farm but the sun broke through after a bit and it was very nice again, although much colder than yesterday...have you noticed how much we talk about the weather or is it just me?!?:))))

Polo must have heard me shouting for the dog's when I got there cos he was nearly at the pen when I went to fetch them in so he came in first and got a brush then AliG appeared at the gate so I went and got him in.
I did Polo's feet first.I'd left them much longer than I usually do,5weeks ish,but I was impressed at how little I had to do was just a case of taking some wall down and balancing them up really.As I suspected he has had a abscess come through at the heel at some point recently but sure ive said before he never goes anything more than slightly footy so I 'think' they arent deep rooted.Very pleased with the cider vinegar/teatree mixture considering he's been living out this winter and its been muddy his frogs are better than they've ever been:)

I went out for a hack on Ali next he was a bit slow fast slow fast going out but im finding alternating my legs is working best with him.He's still very curious about the sheep so we had a stand off at the gate with a dozen of them for a few minute to let him have good look at them..sure its just a case of him wondering what the heck they are cos he's not frightened.
He walked past the riding school which was full flow with a jumping lesson and he went past without batting an eye so all in all a very sensible relaxing hack.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Have I missed something?

Has a few months passed me by or something because I could swear I woke up this morning to summer!I spent most of the day in my t-shirt it was warm and sunny thought I'd died and gone to heaven:0

Roped my poor old mum in to help me have a good old turf out at the farm...well it did mean the GSD could run around to his hearts content with his mate Buster,who BTW is lying beside me wrecked from it all:)))
We started by clearing my feed/storage area restacking my shavings,sweeping the floor and scrubbing all my feed bins etc.Then poo picked flled up the water bath in the field,inbetween throwing sticks for dogs,I tacked AliG up while my mum filled haynets.
I rode AliG in the school while my mum sat in the sun and watch.He was very good and although he 'tried' to act distracted at the kids flying around on the quad I even more determindly insisted he pay attention,which he did!We had a nice little canter towards the end im working on this a bit every time as I find his canter so bouncy in comparison to Polo's im not sitting it very well.
We only did about 20mins but he was pretty sweaty at the end which is hardly suprising with the unexpected heat and him still with a heavy winter coat.

I then took Polo for a hack up the lane with my dogs intow just really to see if he felt any different(I know impatient arent!) and left my mum the task of emptying out the storage box in Polo's stable and hunt for a girth I borrowed from M and forgot to return.He didnt look happy to be tacked up which is a sign he's not feeling great but walked okay and managed to contained his anxiety when the kids flew up the lane on the quad.

Im now going to go off on a tangent here to see if putting thoughts out 'there' will help me make my decision..SO I tried them both in the treed saddle I bought with Ali.It was a nice fit on Ali which is why I bought it in the first place and 'looked' a decent fit on Polo today(its one of those saddles that looks like it will fit a wide range of horse's if that makes sense),incase your wondering I switched to the Fhoenix on Ali when he had one of his little episodes which we now know was caused by riding with scowlie Ellie:).
Im in a bit of a saddle quandary as at the momment I have 3 saddles which virtually add up to £3000's worth of tack.Im wanting to sell the Fhoenix and buy the new Vogue when it comes out as I think its a much better design,hence why I wanted to see how Ali would go back in the treed. I now feel comfortable selling the Fhoenix and putting the money towards the Vogue.
But this will still leave me with the WOW and the treed saddle which seems a bit excessive.
Polo will let you know if he doesnt like a saddle straight away so the treed appeared to get the thumbs up from him.He seemed to develop issues with the Fhoenix last year,scowling when tacked up,very slight amount of atrophy on one side. I had his back checked several times and all was fine there.This behaviour hasnt gone away while using the WOW so im now wondering if he had some niggles going on last summer causing the atrophy that are unrelated to the saddle but he related to discomfort when being ridden?Hope this is making sense:))))
So im 100% decided to sell the fhoenix and get a Vogue knowing Ali is happy in the treed in the mean time but is it worth me keeping the WOW when Polo's probably going to be doing less work now and I could probably use the treed and Vogue on both of them,WOW nowhere near to fitting Ali and probably never will.
I will get the fitter out to double check the treed saddle before I commit to selling anything first....if that hasnt totally confused i'd love to hear what 'you' guys would do.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Its started

....the Adequan that is went up to collect it this morning then Polo had his first jab straight away,everything crossed it works!
Im sure he has a needle seeking devices as he seemed to know what I was going to do and tried his usual technique of throwing himself around but I got it in quickly,luckily its only 5ml but he's not going to like me at the end of it all!:0

Not much else to report as I flew home waiting for the building inspector to come and finally pass the extention we had built on the house but he didnt turn up,he rang me later and turns out he'd gone to the wrong house!
By the time I got back up the farm I had to sort out the electric fencing as AliG had gone through it AGAIN so didnt have time to ride.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

More sun!:)))

Today was meant to be the best day of the week and it was lovely..sunny and dry,bit nippy but definately not complaining!
I wanted to longrein Ali first so got him all ready and walked over to the school to see someone lunging their horse so we went for a little detour up the lane first then came back down and went into the school.I got the lines sorted and in place and set him off to walk when two girls from the yard came out riding their neds bareback up to their field.Im not sure what happened next but I think either the horse's spooked of the girls were carrying on but AliG got a fright and took off across the school.I couldnt hold him,he's extremely powerfull, so off he went charging around the school snorting then came to a standstill at the gate.I walked over to him and let him stand for a few minutes to calm down then got my reins sorted and started again.He did some lovely work with beautiful changes of the rein and some really nice forward trot, towards the end I moved him up into canter and it was stunning!:)
I'd watched the Richard Maxwell DVD last night and spotted some things i'd missed so it was good to do it while it was fresh in my mind.

I went for a short hack on Polo he seemed to be walking a little better and only dropped a couple of times but I 'know' there's something going on,he's just not right.Cant wait to start the Adequan ive decided if it doesnt work i'll give him a month or two off to see if rest will help.After all the ops when he was younger he really distrusts vet's,hates needles and everything that goes along with it so i'd rather not put him through it unless its completely necessary and if that means he's retired then so be it.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Lovely day!

The sun was shining..actually shining so I rode both boys today and enjoyed it hugely:)

I went out for a hour on Polo with M and Ellie,he felt like he was walking freer and striding out better but he was still doing the dropping shoulder..only a couple of times but im still quite worried about it.Never the less it was a nice hack and he still managed a whopping buck on the way home as Ellie decided to take off.It was a full backend up almost handstand buck which are easy to sit to so he's obviously not feeling a huge amount of pain to feel fresh enough to do that,it wasnt his objectional head between the knees bronc:)

I hadnt planned on riding AliG as I was running short of time but YO asked if I fancied a quick ride,I thought it would be a good test to see how he behaved with another horse so borrowed M's SBS as I hadnt brought his saddle and we had a smashing ride along the lane.Ali walked out well and didnt put a foot wrong so thats confirmed the issue's with Ellie and the faces she's pulling at him.On the way back a HUGE tarmac lorry came up behind us ,bear in mine the lane is pretty narrow I asked AliG to stand and let the lorry past, it was so close I could have reached out and touched it.He didnt have and ounce of tension in his body just turned to look and followed it down the lane I was very impressed Polo would have had a hairy canary at it:))

Phoned vet when I got home and explained he was still dropping his shoulder but felt a bit freer so I would like to give the Adequan a try then see what happened,she agreed this was a good place to start.Im picked injections up on Friday it'd like to start them sooner but I wont get time through the week as Im only away from work from 9.30tii 4 Mon to Fri and the vets a good distance away so Friday it will have to be!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Funny old day...

Been a strange day today I went up the farm this morning with the intention of doing the stables,getting them both out I also had to go for my food shopping I usually do it Friday but didnt get there.
Mucked out etc then it started to sleet again so I decided to call in at my Mum's leave the dogs there while I did the shopping when I got there my sister and neice arrived so I ended up staying for a while.Time I got to the shop the post office was closed and I couldnt get parked cos it was so busy so I turned around and went back to my Mum's clipped the dog's tums ready for their show in a couple of weeks,at this point it was late afternoon and I'd accomplished nothing and half lost the inclination.
But I got back to the stables and pushed myself to get going.AliG first we went for a hack he started off perfectly well then half way out I could hear horse's coming up behind us fast as could Ali who was getting rather excited by this.It was the 'eventing doctors' from the top of our lane,they never show any concern or manners for any other riders although they expect everyone to slow down for them but anyway they trotted past then almost straight away turn back for home passing us again.I kept AliG going he was pretty wound up by this point but I walked him on as far as the lane allowed then had to turn for home.He could still see them way ahead so was jogging a bit then just at that moment a car flew past us making the weirdest of noises,AliG seemed to sit then do a mini rear then leap forward.I circled him a couple of times then continued on towards home,he kept trying to jog for a while which I kept stopping, we where going down hill at the time.
Soon as he couldnt see the other horse's he calmed down I gave him a steady trot along the flat and then he walked home striding out lovely.
I was a bit cross with him then when I thought about it I keep forgetting he's so young and green and if that had have been Polo at that age (or even a couple of years ago) he would have been 100times worse.

I had a little bit of daylight left so I quickly took Polo in the school for half an hour he did one drop on his shoulder on the way out the yard but that was it..hopefully I'll get him out on a longer hack tomorrow to assess if the bute is making a differenceNeedless to say he was very forward:))