Monday, 31 March 2008

Sunshine at last!

so why am I not riding?
Well Ali's r/fore is slightly filled so its getting ice boot and cold hosing and a couple of days off...ive got everything crossed he's not developing a splint on that leg as its high up, exactly in the same place as the splint on his other leg:(((

Im going to ride Polo tomorrow to see how he goes,he's had over a month off now then i can ring the physio if he's still dropping.

They both have their rugs off and will probably stay off now of the weather report is correct for the upcoming week,its 'supposed' to be a lovely week!
Thats about it news wise for me.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Some good..some bad.

Think I learned quite a lot today about the young man,Ali!
Rode out with Jo with the intention of road work in the opposite direction to see how he'd react.
Sure enough as soon as he got to the very top of the lane he started,ears pinned,head down with the odd attempts at a rear.I tried several tactics today to see if anything would snap him out of it.When it started we stayed on the lane away from the busy road and I tried turning him on some tight circles then sending him forward-this didnt seem to bother him or make a difference.He is completely unperturbed by whats going on around him so we decided to keep going down the road so he doesnt learn everything stops cos he's having a hissyfit.
I alternated between putting his face in the hedge keeping him slightly sideways to alternating the reins keeping him disingaged and off balance to prevent him from rearing.Smacking him definately makes him try to rear more!
He made one serious attempt at a rear but I caught him just in time pulling the right rein out which put paid to that,I have to admit to giving him a few socks in the gob when he tried setting his neck or yanking me.
This went on all the way down the road for a good 10/15mins during that time 4buses passed us,2tarmac wagons and a tractor,(not counting all the cars etc) then he stopped and started walking nicely!Very tellingly this was when he could see the turn off which we can go along bring us in a loop back to the top of the lane ie;home soooo I kept him going straight down the road(horrible arent I!).
Well sure enough the sod started again so we kept going down then hill once we got off the main road I tried giving him a hard boot to send him on,wasnt keen on trying this on the main road for obvious reasons.Im not sure if that worked or he realised we were coming up to the next track that turns right looping us back to home but he stopped the shenanigans and was foot perfect and an absolute angel all the way home.
He was sweating heavily by the time we got back to the farm not sure how much was because its all hills on the way back or cos of the sillyness.

So what ive got from today is that he's going to be bombproof in traffic,he WILL eventually be a cracking hack cos when he's going nicely he's forward and totally unspooky plus im starting to read him much better.
He's also totally unreliant on other horse's which will be great for when I take him places in the future.PlusI still feel reasonably safe most of the time this is going on,not keen on rears but the rest isnt scary at all.Polo can send out the most powerful explosive vibes which can turn you to jelly..Ali doesnt!Not that I enjoyed it but it feels managable probably because he's not doing it through fear so its not panic or instinctive reactions which are more unpredictable.

I feel a bit guilty because I believe ive unintentionally caused this problem..Why? Well after the splint and the time off I kept the hacks short I tended to go so far along the lane or tracks then come back he's obviously decided a hack involves going so far then coming back:(

The plan of attack is lots of loopy rides, no going so far then turning for home.The problem ive got is i'll have to go on the busier roads to do this and because Jo only rides Sandy a couple of times a week (he's 26) it means having all this going on with no horse to block him in or help if I come off.
Im up for riding him through this but not on a main road so im going to ride him so far get off before his trigger points lead him with the pressure halter then get back on a different points as soon as we get off the roads.Im hoping this wont train him into thinking he's going to get led everywhere..I dont think it will cos im going to ride him off and on the yard and get off before he starts,what do you reckon guys this sound a sensible plan of attack?

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Road work.

AliG had some seriousy road work exposure today!Rode out with Jo along the lane then back along the main road.
The first tester was along the lane passing the police training the dog's in the field, 3vans and barking dogs to deal with,AliG led Sandy past(who was spooking and napping) he appeared to want to climb into the van at one point much to the policemen's amusement!
No sooner had we passed them then the bin men's wagon approached so I tucked Ali onto the verge, its a narrow lane, and he didnt flacker infact walked on before it was past us as if to say what are we hanging around for.
Got onto the busy road and the first thing we saw was a large tractor heading towards him,I tucked him on the path and he let it pass without reaction.Im being extra carefull so as not to give him a bad experience he's not reacting but I want to make sure he is still extremely green really.He seemed unfazed by the actual cars,which were passing fast,he had one spook at a big piece of plastic on the verge but it was a little jump sideways certainly no Polo type spin.He did have three little ear pinning episodes I gave him a sharp tap on the shoulder told him to get on and used the reins putting him at and angle to put him off balance incase he went up.He responded well and didnt escalate it at all,he was quite hurried and along the road until he got to the point he recognised.
So im now 99.9% certain the behaviour is due to him being outside his comfort zone and being a bit worried even though he hides it well!
We are going out again tomorrow but in the opposite direction with less roadwork and coming back up the bridleway track which hopefully he'll enjoy.

Managed to give them both a couple of hours without their rugs on which they loved particularly Polo who was head to foot in mud.
He very clingy at the minute as soon as he hears my voice he's at the gate so I think he's feeling a bit put out that AliG's getting more of my attention.
Hopefully when the physio comes he'll be able to help and I can start rding him again..he looks so fantastic its almost feels a crime to be talking about retirement....

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Its official... now my work place's fully trained first aider!:0
Had the final day of the course and exam today..only did it to get out of work for a few nights but its been pretty drawn out and boring,how many times do you need to dress a pretent wound or do CPR on a dummy!:)

Not a lot to report didnt ride yesterday as my Dad was doing 'jobs' in the house for me (he's a joiner) plus there was a fair bit of snow thoughout the day so nothing to make me feel guilty about doing little with them.
Tonight I took Ali in the school for a longreining session he was very good to start with reacting much more quickly to the walk to trot transitions....did a good couple of canter transitions then decided he'd done enough and couldnt do them anymore!I took him back to walk to trot then asked for canter again and eventually we had a few nice strike off's so called it a day straight away hopped on and road him back over to our farm.
Hopefully will get out on a hack tomorrow weather 'seems' to be picking up.....

Sunday, 23 March 2008

An industrious day for me!

Ive been very busy today I mucked out,scrubbed and filled water buckets,filled haynets then had a good sweep up.
After this I did feet.Polo first, seems like there's very little to do with him these days other than take a bit of wall height off and balance them so was done pretty quickly.
AliG came running to the gate when I first brought Polo in but by the time i'd finished his feet Alig was off grazing in the field so I went and brought him and did his feet.His heels needed loads off again and his frogs required a fair bit of tidying up.He was fab while I did the front two but got a bit fidgity while doing the hind's threatened to go down again at one point which he got wrong for..foot still recovering after the last time!
I then tacked him up and we went out for a hack he tried to turn a couple of times going down the lane,I pushed him on and gave him a tap on the shoulder he was trying to turn.He was really good for the rest of the ride..granted slower going out than coming back but thats a work in progress.He was exceptionally good going past the riding school's arena as a horse was turned out in it and it was going balistic bucking and tearing about...absolutely no reaction from Ali.
Further along the lane someone had dumped a fridge/freezer he stopped when he spotted it looked but approached it with encouragement had a sniff then carried on.We trotted most of the way home as it was freezing and starting to hailstone.
Big difference from Polo he passed the fridge/freezer with no reaction on the way back,Polo would still shy even after having a good look and sniff at it!
One thing I learned today is that Ali responds to a tap on the shoulder much more than behind the leg he almost seems to resent it when you use it to back your leg up.

They are both back out tonight Polo with a full neck rug Ali in a summer sheet..he is far too fat!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Its my Birthday!

Ive obviously reached 'that age' when birthdays are just another day!
Anyway im 36 before you ask but a young looking 36 as Caroline kindly said previously..{snigger}..unfortunately I dont feel young at the minute:0
Done absolutely nothing special today other than have my breakfast cooked for me by my mum then mope around hoping the sleet and snow would die off.
I did get lots of money for my birthday which is going towards my trip to ST Piran's at the end of next month for some intensive lessons with Rachel.
I did bid on some of the Richard Mawell longreins on Ebay tonight but they shot up to the price of nearly new so I abandoned my bidding.

The weather did ease off teatime so AliG had a rope circling session in the school,he was very good AND someone else was in the school lunging their horse.He was very good considering I usually wait to use the school when its empty (not our school so dont like to take the mick) although it did make him a little bouncy and more forward he was sensible with it,he only tried to turn in a couple of times and was maintaining the pace nicely without pressure.
He was very sweet afterwards as I chatted to Jo and YO he stood patiently waiting he loves to be in the thick of it but doesnt hassle for attention.

I got my insurance form back from the vet and she's recommended Polo have physio so thats good as this can also go through the insurance.I reckon by next year I'll probably cancel both their insurances as Polo's going to have too many exclusions to make it worthwhile and 'when'they go up again its probably going to be more viable to bank the money every month,im paying nearly £80 a month now.

They are both in again tonight as the weather forecast isnt good for the next few days.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Nice combination...NOT.

We have gales,sleet and its extremely cold..lovely:(
I brought them in tonight as they looked like they'd spent most of the day standing in and around the shed,figured they may as well be in their stables tonight.

AliG's had a hack and two schooling sessions this week,one ridden one in the longreins.
He was pretty silly on the first hack granted he hadnt been ridden for two days or been along this particular way for a while but he definately was trying it on.He left the yard perfectly happy then I cut along the field where we'd done alot of the longreining in the beginning.Trotted him along the bottom where he tossed his head so he got a boot which resulted in a bouncy canter so I kept him going along the bottom then all the way up the side..if he's got energy for attitude he's got energy to work!
At the top I could feel him wanting to go right towards home,some piles of old tyres dumped didnt help, but he went past after having a look and sniff at them.I rode him alone the lane as far as it goes then turned and trotted him steadily,his ears were very mobile and he felt a bit unsettled still but then as we got back onto the field his attitude changed completely and he was lovely for the rest of the way home.
So ive pretty much decided he's being nappy but not out of nerves/fear I think its purely opinionated laziness.Strange why it always seems to be when we turn off left on the hacks,when we go straight on or along the lane to the right he seems happier?

Anyway I rode him in the school the following day and any sign of napping to the gate or him using other horse's as an excuse to be distracted resulted in a boot and a wallop.This may sound harsh but if I think the napping on the hacks is exactly the same as him napping to the gate and switching off in the school..he's lazy and basically trying to do as little as possible.
He tried setting his jaw a couple of times so I did lots of serpentines and loops which helped soften him.One of the girls from the yard was leading her horse to turn it out which he tried to use as an excuse to grind to a halt so he could watch, I gave him a sharp kick and a smack to which he bounced into canter from walk.
By the end he felt great soft, forward(ish) and more importantly listening to me.Its difficult because I dont want to bully him but it seems like he's the type who only respects you if your tough with him!

Spoke to the vet the other day about Polo,she's still convinced its arthritis which im not anymore.I told her I was giving him a month off to see if that helps,she said if its muscular,ligament etc then rest would help which would answer a few questions if not then we'd chat again and decide where to go next.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Not as bad as expected.

I really stuggled to pull myself out of bed this morning even though I had a lie in!I eventually dragged myself up,after snoozing the alarm several times,then went up to the farm.
I'd not been there 2mins and Polo popped his head round the shed to see me with AliG right behind him...must have heard me arrive which isnt difficult with the dogs running riot as they do:)
I put them their stables with some haylage to tuck into while I went off to poo pick.We have a mole in the field at the minute and its driving me mad with all the mole hills its incredible the distances they cover... industrious creatures thats for sure!
I tacked ALiG up and off we went for a hack.I'll admit I wasnt really looking forward to riding him after his laziness of yesterday but he walked off the yard and I didnt have to push him on that often for the whole ride.
I decided to take him alone the lane then around a field he'd not been in before doing a loop then coming back he was slightly nonplussed when we turned off the track. I trotted him up the hill along the edge of the field then all the way along the top then instead of going back down the field I spotted a gap in the hedge that we could get through which would take us back onto the road.He was baffled as it was narrow with quite a steep drop down onto the road you can almost hear his brain working as he thinks thing's out.He cautiously approached got between the hedge then stopped looking at the drop,I had my fingers crossed he didnt decide to launch himself as they sometimes do with a drop but he steadily walked down with just a little skid.
He walked home lovely ,I had that feeling he would have like to have gone further as he was enjoying himself so let him have a root around the farm on the way back exploring the farm equipment and YO's stables.

I was really pleased with him when we got back and Im sure he knew it.I fed them both then had a good turf out of their stables before coming home.

Im off on the town with the girls tonight so what we do tomorrow will depend entirely on the extent of my hangover:)))

Friday, 14 March 2008


Ive been a neglectful mum this week as ive done nothing but the bare essentials with the boy's,feeling very tired and burnt out this week.
Im sure they've been devastated having more time to eat haylage and play in the field:)))

Today however I gave myself a kick in the butt and worked AliG in the school.Oh Lord is he lazy I think I was more tired than him at the end!I was half expecting him to be fresh as he's done no work since last week but he continually tried to grind to a halt so I had to be really on his case.Polo is always fresh after some time off even on 24/7 turnout Ali most definately isnt!!:0
I started off with 10mins of rope circling then 30mins on the longlines.I had flashes of forwardness using lots of changes of rein and walk to trot transitions but I had to really drive him on at times.I did get a walk to canter transition completely of his own accord at one point though:)
Im finding the lunge lines hopeless for the longreining as they are a bit too light and keep getting caught in the wind plus I cant flick him with the outside rein properly which helps to engage his backend.Can see im going to have to buy some better quality ones.I know Richard Maxwell sells them so reckon going to have to bite the bullet and see how much they are.

It was a lovely mild day so Ali was quite warm by the end,hoping to get him out for a hack tomorrow but the weather report isnt looking great...AGAIN.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Well we didnt win:))) nearly was a disaster actually!

Left at 4pm Saturday the first 100miles flew then the rain started and it was torrential at times.Could barely see where I was going even with windscreen wipers on full belt.Eventually arrived at 7ish but then couldnt find the hotel we'd managed to drive straight past it even though it was a massive place.After half an hour driving around looking for it the thought entered our heads to ring the hotel and get directions:) found it easily after that!
After settling into our rooms we went out for a walk and to let Mouse go to the loo before bed.Thats where it went a bit pear shaped,Mouse started limping badly.I carried her back to the hotel couldnt find a thing so washed it and put some sudocreme on(my fail safe for everything) hoping it would be okay for the morning.
Had a rather sleepless night as Mouse kept barking and growling everytime someone walked past the room or she heard noises.She was still lame in the morning so I didnt think we'd be going in the ring but knew there'd be a vet at Crufts.
Saw Peter the breeder when we arrived and he manged to squeeze a bit of blood out of her pad she'd obviously stood on something so it was looking doubtfull.
Found the vet area and they gave her a injection of metacam.
I carried her around for most of the day to keep her off it and she was loads better time her class came up.

Anyway I wasnt hopefull as i'd noticed the dogs he was picking were a different 'type' to mine and we didnt get anywhere as expected ..not that I was expecting anything anyway:))
I was slightly suspicious as last year all the dog's were stripped out completely where-as this year lots of them were unstripped and they were getting placings plus the judge was Southern and a LOT of the accents of the placings were Southern.
Its the same up here at the local shows to be honestThe people who are showing may be judging the next week so they are showing and judging each other, stands to reason there's a fair bit of you scratch my back and i'll scratch yours.
But no complaints thats the way things go and Mouse has done incredibly well to qualify for Crufts twice we arent exactly hardened breeders or show people.

No horsey news obviously other than they seemed pleased to seem me tonight and I had loads of poo picking to catch up on.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Wish us luck:))

Im in a tizz obviously didnt pay any attention to dress last year at Crufts so watching it tonight on TV has suddenly raised the issue ive got nowt to wear!!:0
I usually do shows in jeans and shirt but everyone at Crufts has suits on..I aint got a suit believe it or not,dont ever wear them.
So im going to have to get something sorted pretty sharpish as we are leaving tomorrow afternoon,not looking forward to the fact I know im not going to be able to find anything so will be in mega panic mode.This is typical ME.
Anyway we are planing on leaving at 3pm tomorrow with a possible stop off at the Metro Centre:))

I longlined AliG in the school yesterday and gave him a good work out.He was being a bit lazy,suprise suprise ,so I had to get him a bit fired up to get him really going forward after that his was working well.
His trot has improved hugely he can lengthen properly now and it looks pretty impressive,considering I have Polo who can extend for fun and has a breathtaking trot I dont say that lightly.
At the end we wandered around the school with me behind on the lines while AliG examined all the show jumps,he thought knocking the poles off with him nose good fun.

Doubt i'll get anything done with them tomorrow due to poor weather forecast and lack of said outfit so see you all when I get back Sunday night.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Migraine today...

but I still rode!
Ive not been sleeping well the last week or so and had stinking headache last night and woke up with it this morning so I dosed myself up with painkillers and went up the farm.
I'd planned on riding Ali in the school but when I left the yard a young girl was in jumping her pony.It was pretty terrifying to watch as she wasnt the best rider then trying to get it over pretty decent sized jumps when all it wanted to do was nap towards the gate..there were a few cat leaps!:0
So I decided against going in and we went off for a hack.He had one spook where he got nearly 45degrees around until I stopped him,its slow motion compared to Polo's spins and he keeps his shoulders up so you dont feel like your going anywhere.It was a justified spook there was a van parked up with the back doors open and flapping then someone popped out behind the hedge.I let him have a good look then he walked up to it step by step until he was having a good nosey.
He behaved fabulously walking through the riding school,just as we were passing the school a horse shot over shouting and other than a little bounce in the air he walked past lovely and calmly.
He was fine all the rest of the way we had a few trots on the way out and back..he's definately improved in this area...just wish I could get more oomphh to his walk!
No pinned ears or attemps at rearing:))
I however felt rubbish my balance was all over the place,couldnt get comfortable in the saddle any my legs felt all shaky almost like i'd had a huge fright. The painkillers helped the headache but my body is still affected by the migraine ..i was like jelly.legs are trembling now funnily enough!

Polo was flat out asleep when we got back so didnt have the heart to get him up so he did nothing today.
Never got the chance to phone the vet today but ive pretty much decided to rest him for a good period then see how he goes.Jean mentioned Acupuncture.Im definately open to trying 'alternative' treatments how he'd react to that in particular im not sure with his aversion to needles although he's been really good with the last couple of injections.
Thinking back he's never been 100% since he went through the fence last summer!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Yeah we ARE famous!

Well we were in the paper..pretty inacurate(spelling im really tired!?) and I DEFINATELY didnt describe them as "cheeky scamps" at anytime but hey not complaining fame at last:)))

I've been on a course all day today for work so have been off this evening which makes a nice change.The course finished at 4pm so dashed home got changed and got Polo out for a half hour hack.
Im still not happy about him he feels better in some respects but he's still not 100% and doing the dropping of the shoulder about the same.He has the last Adequan injection this week so it should have kicked in if it was going something it could fix sooo im going to ring the vet tomorrow but I think my next plan is rest.Im a great believer in leaving alone and seeing how things go and even if I agree to him having tests now they probably would say rest so im going to try this first.
Im going to ride him for the rest of this week,last injection is Wednesday, then if he's still doing it,which I know he will be, i'll give him all of March off and possibly April.He's perfectly happy in the field so if rest doesnt work I'll have a re think to see if anything can be done, it may just be a case of him being a pasture pet which is fine by me although I will miss riding him.

I then did Ali's rope work/lunging in the field which is a first.He was rather put out at first but actually did better than I though he would especially considering the field is on a slope and YO was turning out and bringing horses in at the same lots of distractions.

Off to eat a nice Indians for tea now...yum yum!