Saturday, 28 June 2008


What at night im still recovering.

Started off with the usual going to the wrong place..getting lost....then not being able to find the other Holmside(there are two!)I flagged a bus down at one point after driving around for an hour getting more and more in a panic bus driver didnt know where it was neither did any of the passengers:) Anyway I went up a little lane as a last ditch attempt had all intentions off giving up and going home at that point but luckily it was along that lane so arrived an hour late but still in plently of time for the 7.30pm start.
Max came over had a chat about AliG any problems or issues I told him Ali was pretty issue free but he was difficult to trot up in hand and generally lazy and behind the leg particularly in the school.
He then sent me in a total flap as he said ok we'll start with you so if you tack him up.....GULP!I had brought my tack but didnt expect to ride thinking it would be all focused on groundwork. I manage to splutter that i'd not brought my hat I didnt realise i'd have to ride Max grinned and said you can borrow mine!:0

I was terrified his 2nd trip anywhere with me in in a new place infront of a full audience for us to make fools of ourselves,I had my short boots on which I hate riding in as they are slippy and I hadnt even cleaned my tack!!
My friend walked around to entrance of the arena with us to give us moral support then in we went.
I walked him around to let him have a good look there was a cafe along the side of the arena,lots of people obviously plus a horse in a trailer ready for the loading issue part.
He had a spook down the side as the cafe was a bit noisy and was very up (well up for him)but he took everything in, I could almost feel him thinking and assessing the situation they saying "oh okay then".
Max asked me to explain his history and what I was having problems with for the audience.He then asked me to just work AliG until he got to the point were he was switching off this didnt really take long :)))
I missed alot of what Max was saying as I was trying to forget the audience and just focus on Alig until he'd reached his ive had enough point.
Max then took over and worked AliG on the ground getting him to move his quarters then work on the circle.I realised where ive been going wrong with this as I was jumping in too quickly when AliG was slowing down where as I should have been letting him stop THEN get on his case so is entirely his responsibility to maintain the speed without me niggling on.
Max then did some work getting him to trot up in was quite funny as he did have Max blowing a fair bit but it was incredible how he achieved it.He did the total opposite to what your mind tells you to do instead of driving him from behind or flicking his side etc he spun the rope at the front while running backwards then Voila AliG was trotting inhand!

Max told me to get back on to do some work on getting AliG really going forwards off the leg.Max gave me a short rope to loop over my wrist then said squeeze with my legs and if he didnt respond flick to rope over three times left to right clipping him behind my leg.Well boy did this wake him up he was positively leaping forward into trot or a bouncy canter we did this several times until a slight touch and he was off...success!:)
That was our bit done so AliG was loaded into the horsebox where he stood like an angel munching his hay while I watched to rest of the demo.

Max did some work with a spooky over reactive horse and explained how he trains these types at home.He said the key is for them to be kidded into thinking they can chase the thing they are scared of away.He starts with a bottle full of stones rattling it then the horse follows it believing it can contol and get scary object to move away he said by the end he has them chasing quads and tractors.He believes repetitions is the key as an example he said the average horse is girthed up a couple of hundred times a year when he has a horse in for starting he will girth walk a circle loosen then girth walk a circle and so on so by the end of 10days the horse has been girthed 250times speeding up the whole learning curve.
He then had a horse which wouldnt load or standstill for mounting by the end the horse was walking over to the mounting block and positioning itself while he was leaning against the wall!

Now I knew Max was good but he's not just good he's absolutely amazing I would love to send Alig down for a couple of weeks I think it would give him the most fabulous education infact i'd love to send them both I would love to see him work with Polo.

Anyway got back to the farm at 12 then home at 1am and had to be back up this morning at 6.30am to return the box so im a tad tired now.
Im delighted with Ali he was totally amazing so sensible and clever he's is going to be a dream horse for sure:))

few pics the ridden ones werent great my phone camera doesnt pic up movement very well......


Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Both off.

M put the boys in today to get them out of their muzzles early (I dont finish work till 9) only to find they werent wearing them.She thought I'd changed my mind and not put them on but no they were definitely on when I left yesterday!I found them lying in the field still fastened up so the must have worked them over their ears somehow..can just picture them helping each other out:))
Tightened them up a bit and they'll be back on tonight...for how long I dont know?

My friend from work came and helped me long rein AliG out this morning he was fab. We passed a huge bin wagon on the lane,I motioned the drive to stop but despite this he kept coming towards us,AliG didnt bat an eye(i didnt think he would but was just being carefull) infact he has a tendancy of trying to go right up to things and nearly touched the back of the wagon as it went past.We went around a big field then back onto the track which passes the riding school's mare's field they all came charging over to us AliG was a good boy and didnt for one minute get excited by it I reckon that would require far to much effort.
Headed home back a long the lane AliG had a look in a few car windows as they passed and played with a couple of wheelie friend is convinced he's actually just a large dog:))

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

More exciting news!

Had a bit of an unexpected phone call today.
Months ago I bought tickets for Richard Maxwell's demo evening this Friday, he's travelling around the country doing the demo's and this one is about 15miles from us.At the time on his website they were asking for horse's they could use at the demo for Richard to work with and i'd put AliG forward.I'd heard nothing so didnt think anymore of it until I got a call today asking if I could take him to be a demo horse.Nicki said she'd been trying to email me for a week but they kept bouncing(dont know whats happening with it!).I had a flap and panic as I dont have horse transport now but didnt want to miss out on the opportunity either after ringing around ive managed to organised a hire horsebox so we are going!!:)
I also get my ticket money refunded for taking AliG so that will help reduce the cost of the hire so its worked out pretty reasonable.
Im really excited as im a big fan of Richard's work cant wait to see how AliG idea what he'll be doing with him fit to burst!

Back to 'normal' news now:)
Yesterday I rode both boys,Polo had a hack with the dogs in tow and he was the most settled he's been in ages.I did have a rude comment from the local eventing Doctor,she was trotting up behind me and asked if was ok to trot past,now thats a first (the last time she did it to AliG when he'd only just started hacking by himself and didnt ask!).As she was passing she asked how Polo was going and I said not very well that he'd been lame and I was slowly bringing him into work her parting shot was "try getting some weight off him then" oh I was mad.He's been strip grazed,muzzled,brought in off the grass,has soaked hay what else am I supposed to do I know he's fat but if you cant work a good doer it aint easy to keep the weight down!

I then had a schooling session with AliG he is getting really good at the neck flexions now as they really confused him at first and he kept falling in and trying to do little circles .At first he found the lower one's difficult because he has such a short thick neck but they are coming along great and he's so much more flexible and supple now.
We did some trot work which was good then a little canter towards the end im keeping this short as im still struggling to ride his bouncy canter and dont think its fair to do too much until he's fitter and im riding it better.He most definitely has an opinion on how much work is acceptable and was napping towards the gate near the end but after a few firm corrections he realised he wasnt getting his own way:)

I padded out the other muzzle today so they went back on..AliG was fine about this Polo was not a happy bunny and stood looking sorry for himself while I was about.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

What is going on.

The weather is making progress impossible,yesterday it belted down with rain all day and today we've had gale force winds its ridiculous and im getting pretty fed up.An indoor school would be very helpful at the minute I dont mind rain but it was cold too and it was far too wild today.

Ive done nothing today or yesterday other than the usual jobs.They were a bit crackers today,when I get them in Polo took off galloping and chased my mums dogs so got screamed at then tonight he took off doing one of those silly squeals when I turned out. AliG was slightly calmer but still charged across the field.The wind must be sending them loopy needless to say im pleased I didnt risk trying to do any work with either of them!:)

Yesterday I did an impromptu dog show,it was a little country village show which was nearby so thought we'd have a trip up.Well I pretty much cleaned up Buster got first in his class,Mouse got first,Minx got second the Mouse and Minx won best brace and to top it off Buster got reserve overall terrier.Dont get me wrong it wasnt exactly top show level but the judges were hunt terrier men so know good dogs.
The guy pulled me over when he gave Buster reserve and said what a cracking dog he was but he was more a Jack Russel man and was a bit unsure if Bust was a little big for the breed.I had a good chat and told him how well Buster was doing and although yes he's a big dog he is within the size limit.Guy loved him and said if he'd been more certain of the size limit he'd have won which would have qualified him for a big 'hunt' type show called the Cock of the North..shame cos I believe it has quite good prize money :)))
We got soaked through but we'd paid to get in before the really heavy stuff started so stuck it out cos the rosettes were really nice.

Friday, 20 June 2008

What a star.

Had a lovely session in the school with AliG today.I thought I'd get in today as its really busy over the weekend,its usually empty mid-week cos everyone's at work or school.
I didnt have the energy to ride so I put him on the longlines which I havent done in the school for weeks and he was brilliant.His work is so much more consistant on the two reins than just being lunged and you can do so much more with them,i'll make sure I dont leave it so long next he enjoys it more than being lunged!
Started off doing walk with changes of rein then some trot work he was reaching for the bit and stretching down and through his back but not long and low to the point of going onto his forehand he did some beautiful balanced figures of eight in trot.
Moved up into canter he is definitely better on the left rein than the right but he was still pretty good,seems to find it easier to balance with the two reins than when he's lunged.
I finished off doing a little bit of the close inhand work that Rachel taught me.Its the first time Ive tried it with him but once he got the idea he was actually meant to walk when I was alongside him he was excellent:)
I was all fingers and thumbs as it wasnt ideal doing it was the longreins as I had too much in my hands but he did some lovely flexing and some leg yielding.

It started to rain so we finished I was suprised to see we'd been in the school for 40mins,AliG didnt seem keen to leave either so he must have enjoyed it too.
I was going to ride Polo but the sky went black so I fed them and turned them out..obviously the sun came out at this point:)

Ive customised one muzzle lining and padding it with lots of fleece still waiting for the other one to arrive (ebay seller didnt realise i'd paid for two grrr) im reluctant to spend an hour stabbing myself with a needle doing a borrowed one so even though I want them back on asap i'll wait till the other arrives:)

Thursday, 19 June 2008


Jill phone me today about the Vogue and said the saddle is most definitely all wrong,the girth straps had been put on too far back the left flap was an inch further forward than the right basically its all out a balance and is going in the bin!
Im going back to a standard Fhoenix as im not prepared to risk ordering another Vogue, with the various changes they've made im not convinced it will fit.

Ive had to take the muzzles off the past two nights they were rubbing and making their faces sore.Im going on the hunt for some cheap sheepskin to line and pad them out.Luckily YO had topped the field so there's less grass at least until I can get the muzzles sorted.
Ive done nothing with the boys this week other than trim feet,Monday seemed to wipe me out and ive not been able to catch up on sleep so ive just not had the energy to do very much i'd better get cracking this weekend!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Belated happy birthday Buster!

Was Buster's 1st birthday yesterday:)
Show was good he got second and apparently we were robbed for first as the dog that beat him wasnt a patch on him(not my opinion few people came and commented to me).The official photographer came over and said she loved him,reckon there'll be a good chance his photo will be in the Border Terrier book for next year:))
I'd moved him up to Junior even though he could have still done the puppy class, by one day, after his class we went back to the benches to give Mouse a brush when a woman came running over to say he should be in the ring challenging for best pup.Although he was in Junior because he was under one year he was still an unbeaten pup but I didnt know this and wasnt called by the steward time I got there it was too late!
Seemed to cause bit of an uproar as the lady who'd noticed we should have been back in had told the ring steward and he wasnt interested and still didnt call us,if he had Peter(breeder) was sitting ringside and he could have told him to wait while he came for me.This lady was causing uproar over it as she said its always the same if your not a well known face they arent interested I was disappointed as that was his last chance to go for best pup but was too late to do anything.
Peter reckons Buster's creating quite a stir and the 'right' people are noticing and talking about him, I do keep thinking its luck but I suppose two first,one second and one fourth at champ shows says different!:)

Anyway havent done much horsey stuff as last night my colleague phoned in sick I ended up covering her waking night so after an 17hour shift didnt have the energy to do anything today.Monday I took AliG in the school and had a crack at the pole work been a while since we've done that he was good although slightly distracted by the foal...what is it with that foal?!?!
The muzzles are still on and although im waiting to the weekend to weight tape then to see how much they've lost I can tell they've definitely lost weight.Its been a bit of a fight to get the muzzle in Polo the last two days as he's objecting now but cruel to be kind and all that!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Made it through the night:)

I half expected both muzzles to be off when I arrived this morning,I was convinced Polo's was at one point cos he was head down grazing and certainly didnt rush over to me,AliG did mind:))
Im really pleased they looked noticeable less bloated than usual after a night on the grass. Mr OTT Polo who I was expecting to be tramatised by the whole event was completely chilled out AND the best bit his legs were cooler and tighter than they've been in ages!
I poo picked while they tucked into some soaked hay then rode AliG first in the school for 35mins.He was being a wet lettuce about the foal,the same one Polo was silly about (must be some foal),so I did some ground work first as I could feel my patience wearing thin.I then got on and did lots of trot work with a bit of canter,didnt see the point in working on anything else till he was settled and listening.Towards the end I spend some time working on his walk which I think is his worst pace as he grinds to a halt at times. I concentrated on not nagging him but as soon as he started to drop back I gave him a sharp tap with the leg then the whip if he didnt respond quickly once we had some nice forward free walk on both reins I called it a day.

I then rode Polo up the lane with the dogs he was much more settled today which was a good job as Buster had a long chase of a rabbit in the fields which is always accompanied by lots of excitement and yapping from the dogs.Buster was hyper after that so I had to watch and check him quite a bit after that as he kept trying to take off looking for more so Polo was an after thought really:)
Did a very short trot he felt ok ,when he's been out of work he struggles to shorten and steady his trot so I literally did half a dozen strides,didnt want to risk more of his big long trot on the hard tarmac.

Left them in for the day then turned them back out teatime they were pretty accepting of the muzzles going on.
AliG made me laugh he managed to get a larger plant through the hole and wouldnt let go but was obviously struggling to bite through it.He came over to me and we had a tug of war trying to snap it,I gave up in the end cos he wasnt letting go he eventually bit through it and the root dropped out.
They were off grazing in the longer grass when I left,I'll be there early tomorrow morning to put them in for the day as im off to Kelso,Scottish borders for a dog show all three entered :)

Friday, 13 June 2008

Nasty mummy!

Felt pretty mean this evening as I took the plunge and muzzled them both.Their weights are climbing despite coming in every day and making a track to restrict the grass so I borrowed Ellie's muzzles until I go a get some(you'll think im extra cruel when you see the colour!).
When I first put them on Polo looked totally baffled and was walking backwards as soon as AliG realised he couldnt graze properly he got pretty mad and started charging around...suppose thats burning more calories.
I poked grass up through the hole for them so they'd realise they could eat im hoping leaving them on all night isnt a bit long for the first time but after much head tossing,rubbing and galloping around they did seem to be getting the idea and going to the longer grass,Polo definitely has the wiggle going on to work the grass through the hole.I hung around for a good hour taking sneaky looks at them (as soon as they saw me they came running over doing the guilt trip) to make sure they were fine.

I rode them both this morning.Polo had a hack up the lane with the dogs,he was still very tense,hurried and sharp so I rode him up and down four times until I could feel him relax and drop into a 'proper' walk.Its difficult cos I cant give him a good trot or canter to take the fizz out of him as his soundness and the reasons behind his problems are still both in question..although seeing him gallop around the field makes you wonder how bad he is!

I then was going to take AliG in the school but as usual just as I was going over someone from the yard went in so I lunged him in the field first for fatburning/cardio then went for a hack we didnt go too far as I was running out of time but he was a good boy.

Oh the shame.........

Lets gallop they might fall of....

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Time bomb of what!

Ive replied re the saddle on my last post:)

Well I rode Polo today and it was like sitting on a ticking time bomb..couldnt tell you if he was sound or not he was that hyper and bouncy!
Took him in the school for a gentle walk around,well that was the plan, I figured this would be better on his legs.Im not sure what got him so worked up but there was a mare with a new foal in the small paddock next to the school that he seemed fascinated with.He can do ANYTHING when he's in this mood so I suppose he did well holding himself together and not dumping me,he was chomping on the bit like demon.
I'd almost forgot how sensitive he is to the seat seems so long since I rode him, despite him being seriously wound up a slight shift and he was changing directions I just stuck to circles,loops and serpentines then called it a day after 20/25mins.

I then re-stacked my shavings and cut down a ton of dock leaves and weeds in the field,remind me why I pay livery?.
My brother came up to go out longreining with AliG we went out for well over an hour and my feet were killing coming home.He was a good boy walked out well apart from the odd grab at grass,we went down the steps onto the road then round a back up the hills which was HARD,he had a little spook at a bus but it did hurtle past us apart from that he was great.
We had a near miss coming round the corner not far from the farm.I could see the car coming down the lane pretty fast just as we were approaching the corner I was totally helpless as I didnt have time to move Ali and tuck him in so I stopped and literally stood shouting waving my arms.The drive saw us at the last minute and slammed his breaks on luckily just in time I was terrified and did a good deal of swearing,bless him AliG didnt flacker!
Drive apologised but I see him flying up and down the lane all the time as he works at the garage which is on the yard owned by the same guy who has the livery yard,I'll have a word with him next time I see him.

Feeling very smug and satisfied with myself tonight!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Spring cleaning

Im being very hit and miss re this blogging malarky but ive been very busy cleaning quite literally EVERYTHING thats crossed my path!
The dogs have had a bath...ive been through my house doing windows,floors etc.....and today the stables have been emptied and powerwashed:)

Im having bother with my new treeless (Vogue)so after much discussion and Claire bringing her Fhoenix for me to take 'compare' pics its going back to get checked over.Im hoping its faulty cos if not then its simply not right for either of my two and im not sure whether i'll be stuck having to re-sell it and end up going back to the Fhoenix which will be a pain!
Im borrowing M's SBS this week cos nothing else fits AliG he's that wide I am going to continue with the long reining too as I think its done wonders with him, he so much more forward and seems to be enjoying his work.
He was funny yesterday I lunged him in the field.He was obviously having a bad day or couldnt be bothered and had a right strop on which invariably leads to working much harder than i'd ever ask:))

The weather isnt great today,rain, but im hoping tomorrow to ride Polo and maybe longrein AliG out if my brother is free....

Friday, 6 June 2008

1st day over and counting.

Oh I love being on holiday the things you can accomplish when work's not getting in the way:))
I had a nice schooling session with AliG today.Spent the first 10/15 mins in walk doing figures of eight,serpentines and circles just using my seat and some of the upper and lower neck flexes Rachel had me working on.He was very good on the right rein but set his neck on the left and was leaning I persisted asking for the flexion and we did eventually get some bend although rather hit and miss.I did cheat and use the corners a fair bit:)
Moved into trot and again he was leaning in on the left lifting the inside rein up and across seemed to help idea if this is correct or a good thing to do but it got results.
He had a boing when all the horse's in the field started fighting and galloping around but that was it no explosion aka Polo.
I asked for a little bit of canter towards the end,I was much improved since my trip to Cornwall as ive been finding his canter really bouncy and difficult to sit to.His strike off's were spot on, im eventually getting my head round the fact unlike Polo he doesnt need a whole lot of preparation and 'help' to go into canter its easy for him.Even when 'I' feel there's not enough impulsion and forwardness he can still spring in still learning to adapt to the differences.
Had a nice chat to a girl on the yard when I was leaving the school.She and a friend have lessons up a Rock with Peter she said I could have jumped in their wagon but it only takes two! Anyway she mentioned her friend teaches,have seen her riding a gorgeous chestnut who she's produced to medium-advanced herself,so I said i'd pop over and when she's about and book a couple of lessons to get us started.Im still waiting to hear if my paid for lesson will be transfered over hoping to get up there for the July clinic if not August for sure.
She absolutely loved AliG who was standing patiently while we gassed:)

Spoke to vet yesterday(she's been on holiday) I explained my LGL theory she's happy for me to see if I can get him comfortable with reducing his grass intake then go from there.Im hoping to introduce him to light work next week and see how he holds up if things still arent right I'll get back to her.

No horsey news tomorrow im off to Bramham for the day for the XC faze...its brilliant day out,very well organised with lots of shopping to be had so im really looking forward to it although not so keen to be getting up at 6!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Hot work

Ive been working day's this week as although the college is semi closed for two weeks we still have to be in to do 'paperwork' and other bits and bobs(very boring).
The hormones on the dog front have been more settled today but Mouse is starting now so the peace wont last long!:0
We did get away from work early and my friend from work was bored so volunteered to come longreining.I was naughty and lunged AliG for 5mins in the top field before we set off as he'd not been worked since Sunday when he was a bit hyper and I couldnt use the school as it was busy.I think YO's hubby might have seen me so im half expecting a slapped wrist next time I see them.It's the field they use for their horrendously bad hay(full of weeds and hay disappears in a puff dust!)I did stick right to the edge next to the muck heap but if YO is having a bad week she will pull me..which is fair enough I suppose.
Anyway AliG was most definitely NOT in a hyper mood today its safe to say,in fairness it has been an extremely hot day and I was too hot to be bothered:)
So he strolled off the yard dawdled down the lane, having a play with a wheelie bin on the way(friend was opening and shutting the lid much to his amusement),tappy lappied past the riding school then along the lane without a care in the world.He really is quite hilarious you can see him soaking everything in and almost whistling to himself.My friend said he's like a young kid you see walking home from school scuffing his shoes with a sachel on his back:)
He seemed to have a very nice time anyway.

My friend was puzzled then impressed when we arrived and I said "hang on I let Polo out for his wee he'll be desperate", took him on the verge he had a pee then put him back in his stable(he hates weeing in his stable) said she's never met a toilet trained horse before:)
They are coming in around 7.30am until teatime,im hoping with the restricted grazing and coming off it all day will help in the battle of the bulge,havent been able to feel any pulses in Polo's legs the past few days so that good.

Work all day tomorrow them im off from Friday for a week ..hurray!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

What a difference a day makes!

It was hot and sunny raining and pretty chilly.

Ive been really busy this week hence my lack of posting.Minx is in full season and Mouse is starting,Buster has got me demented with whinging.OH has been taking Buster with him through the day and me the girls or vice versa.I'd like to spay the girls before their next season(Mouse might be going to breeder this time as its now or never:-0) but if I do thats the end of showing them having said that this is hard work!I cant see why they cant be shown neutered seems ridiculous they've done so well it would be a shame not to be able to continue.
Need to think on it some more...
Oh Buster got fourth at the show Monday didnt get anything with the other two although I did think Minx was going to be placed at one point.I wasnt expecting anything to be honest as the particular club who were organising the Border Terrier classes are really clicky and ive never been placed at any of their shows:)

Ive not done a huge deal with neddies this week AliG's had a sesson in the school and a couple of lunge/groundwork sessions.
Polo's still not right im starting to think he's LGL ,ok well im convinced!Ive had my suspicions for the past couple of summers which is why ive always brought him in through the day and strip grazed.For the past week they've been coming in early morning till late afternoon yesterday however I was late getting to the farm and when I brought them in he had a definitely digital pulse.
Im not certain this is the whole problem but it wont be helping matters so yesterday I made another track cutting down their field and grass substantially they've been in from 9am till 6pm when I turned them out they positively bounded around the field and Polo looked pretty light on his feet.

AliG had a longreining session out and about today.The weather was awful,lots of cars on the roads and the riding school down from us was having a show so it was pretty testing for him.He kept stopping and looking at all the goings on as we passed the show and whinnied a fair bit but other than that was fine.It did fire him up though and he was on a huge mission walking and jogging along.He got rather excited/sharp going over the flyover,dont think the noisy,wet busy roads helped, but he had a few spooks and bongings.
All the way along the track he was doing this very lovely slow contained trot,we were still just at brisk walking pace,I kept him on a slight angle for control alternating all looked very impressive:)
Soon as we got onto the field and lane for home he chilled out,he was steaming when I took his tack off.

Physio is coming tomorrow to check on Polo and 'do' AliG:)