Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Not alot to report the weather has made it impossible to even get the boys out of the field never mind ride. Their field is a few minutes walk down the lane from the yard which has turned to solid ice making walking them up the hill too risky so they've not been out of the field in over a week.
They've got a large rounding bale of hay in and ive been bedding their field shelter with lots of straw,feeding them and doing water and thats about it really. They finally have the whole field back and have stopped hanging around the gate constantly so I think they are pretty happy.
Hunting on Boxing Day is obviously out due to Ali not being ridden.

Dogs are all in the process of being stripped,yep Crufts preparation has started already, so ive splashed out on new fleece Horseware coats for them as they are feeling the cold. They look very cute.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2010xx

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

All better......

Ali's fine now, have been working him all of this week with one of Polo's boots on the affected foot for a bit of extra protection.
Im just hacking him at the minute to build him up slowly as work has been pretty inconsistent lately but all seems well up to now!
We went for a nice hack around the fields today with Buster and Ted for company,it was reasonably sunny and warm{ish} so we had a nice time.
Polo had a hack along the lane which was spoilt by the idiot farm workers who live next door to our yard hurtling up behind us in the tractor, bearing in mind the lane is quite narrow and Polo is scared of loud noisey *things*. So I trotted him more than i'm happy doing to get out the way but as soon as we got to the corner where the lane opens up they thundered past us sending Polo into trauma mode with him shooting into the air then cantering sideways up the road. I was furious so when I got back to the yard I told the YO's they'd better have a word or I would but it wouldnt be polite!I will be very angry tomorrow if he's lame.......

The other bone of contention at the moment is our field or should I say bog.
I stripped the boys off for the summer as its a big field and there was far too much grass,YO's asked if it was okay to put some horses in the top section for the summer which was fine as the grass was knee high. So we are now in December and the horses are still in the top section and because Polo,Ali and Ted are in the bottom half which is flat its like a mud bath and im really fed up of it!
YO's have been saying for over a month the horses were getting moved but nothing has happened, Vic said she'd had a word tonight about it. Either way on Saturday im moving the fence out a fair bit to give our boys more room !
I wish I had my own land.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cautiously optimistic.......

the panic is over, Im pretty sure its an abscess!
There has been lots of heat in his inside heel bulb and hoof wall over the weekend so he's been in all day with a poultice on. Tonight when I took the poulice off I spotted a small lesion along the coronet back at the heel and it all feels a bit squidgy so will poultice again tomorrow but he is looking much happier to stand with his weight on it.What a wuss though, Polo had two sheered heels when he first went barefoot and other than some slight footiness you wouldnt have know there was anything wrong,although Ali is canny enough to ham it up to get some time off:))
I reckon i'll be riding him in the next couple of days,its quite a relief as I was starting to become concerned there was some underlying issue niggling on.
I rode Polo on Saturday. Im just hacking him whenever ive the time and inclination and when he look comfortable, plus he's been a bit full of himself recently so thought it wouldnt hurt!
He felt pretty good powering along I had my first trot on him for ages. Ive forgot how powerful it is and got ricocheted out of the saddle honestly his power is scary.
Now im so used to Ali's more ridable and comfortable paces I seriously dont know how I used to...well stay on him,although half the time I didnt!:0

Im feeling a bit better as ive had a more relaxing weekend and cleaned my house and go on top of things which always makes me feel happier,I get very stressed when my house is untidy and ive not had time to catch up with it all -sad but true.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Fed up

I'll make it brief cos im at work and really need to go to bed but im a bit cheesed off with this week!
Number one reason is Ali is lame again,this time right hind. Looks totally different from the last time when he was just bit short mainly in canter and *looked* tight in his back.This time he's resting the leg,hard to say where its coming from as I cant feel anything and he keeps picking his leg up where ever I touch so that doesnt help. He was totally fine yesterday as he had a short lunge,infact I thought to myself how well he was moving at the time so im thinking maybe an abscess or he's skidded in the mud which leads to the other reason why im fed up.
The WEATHER..gale force winds heavy rain its horrible. Im so sick of mud already and the winter has just began. I spent most of today putting electric fencing back up as the wind had blown the posts flat,trudging through mud to make attempts at keeping ontop of the poo picking and getting the field shelter roof nailed back on as the winds had lifted the sheet off at the corner and I had visions of the whole sheet coming off and hitting one of the horses...not what I need!
Which leads me onto the other reason im fed up-TIME. I just dont seem to have time to turn around. I sleep in at work Mon to Fri shift starts 7am till 9am then get home pick dogs up get changed so I get to the boys around 10.30/11am I then walk them up to the yard and go back to do the jobs in the field,poo picking,fill water buckets haynets etc. Then on the odd occasion when I have a sound horse I groom tack up and ride,then back to feed walk them back to the field, muck out then walk the dogs as they've been stuck in the car. Im lucky if I get home at 3pm in time to have a shower and fly out the door as I start back at work at 4pm working till 11pm then sleeping in just to do it all again the next day.Ive been late for work every single day this week, im seriously lucky my boss thinks the sun shines out of my butt and we've work together for so many years or i'd get sacked at this rate!
I'll be lucky if ive had a total of 2hours at home this week and for some reason this week in particular its driving me insane?
I do realise most of its my own fault .Its my choice to have 2horses and lots of dogs and if I didnt have them I wouldnt have to work such long hours, most of the time im pretty accepting of feeling tired,sore and the fact im running around like a headless chicken but this week its really got to im having a bit of a pity party:(
Fingers crossed Ali's miraculously sound tomorrow and I win the lottery on Saturday -right!!!!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Good news

I guess its good news,it was muscular with Ali possibly the spook or hurtling around hunting who knows but pleased it was relatively straight forward. Physio gave him a good going over last week,not sure thats correct physio terminology:)) said to give him a few days off then start working him.
So I did a few days longreining up the lane and have rode him yesterday and today-he feels MUCH better. Today we went for a hack and his stride in walk was longer and freer so thats good.
Yesterday Vic and I were meant to hack out after we'd clipped Ali and Ted, obviously not my dog Ted but Vic's horse Ted,we also have a cat on the yard called Ted:))) Anyway it took ages to get them done (Ali is now sporting a lightening bolt on his bum) and was dark by the time we'd finish so we had to ride in the school with the lights.
I only did a 20minute spell but guess what?!?!...well the traver seems to be coming along quite nicely in walk so we were going down the length of the school in traver then got several steps in half pass!
Im very chuffed ive never done anything more than the extreme basics, infact spent very little time in a school during my years riding. Im sure half pass is pretty basic to most but to me its a real achievement not just to be riding it but to have taught it too.
I have to say although Ali can be annoyingly lazy at times he is such a straight forward horse to work with its easy to learn things with him and I do feel his attitude has changed it feels like he's trying more and is pleased when he knows he's done something well. It was pretty funny as I was obviously a bit over the top with the praise after the half pass and as I was patting him he reached around for his treat, typically I didnt have any in my pocket so had to steal one from Vic who was in the school also. Ive used treats no more than couple of times when he's done something well but its obviously had a big impact on him and he clearly thought he'd more than earned one so will have to make sure I am always armed with treats in the future.

Dog show last weekend, I wasnt too hopeful with the boys coat situation but Mouse looks well and Vic's pup Lottie was entered so we went regardless.
Ted got nothing and was all over the place on the table when the judge was going over him which I thought was unusual as thats the one place he's usual good plus he'd been standing well before this. Afterwards I notice the table was wobbling quite a bit so think this is what unsettled him.
I nearly pulled Buster as I thought if she didnt like Ted and his hairyness then Buster stood no chance so was really suprised when she gave him 3rd in a decent sized class. I do think she was really focused on movement and Buster powers his way around the ring.
Mouse didnt get anything and actually I thought she deserved a placing in the line up but infairness im still not convinced she's entirely over the back injury and I dont think she's moving 100%.Peter had a good outing all his dogs were placed highly including his new pup and the puppy's sister (who isnt owned by him) got best puppy in show so bodes well for them.
Vic's pup was slighly wild about it all, leaping around and going to jelly whenever the judge so much as glanced at her but was in two classes and definitely settled down by the 2nd class. She didnt get placed but I think gave lots of people a chuckle...exactly how a puppy should be at their first show.

Monday, 26 October 2009

What a fab day

Did nothing special just lovely not having to rush around as I always seem to be working on a time limit.
Got to the yard late morning brought the boys up,did some poo picking which doubles up as letting the dogs have a run around the field topped up the water and put some hay in the field shelter for later.

First I gave Polo a really thorough brush,his head and neck was caked in mud so got all that off then brushed from top to toe, mane &tail detangler applied and some coat conditioner for good measure. He was gleaming. Then swapped over and it was Ali's turn. Stopped for a break to give the dogs another walk up the lane spotted lots of rosehips so will be heading back there tomorrow to pick them, very good for arthritis and horsey feet.
Got back and trimmed Ali's feet then took him in the school. Physio said to keep riding him so I thought a bit of light schooling in walk should be okay. Its all very odd cos he felt okay not that I did anything in trot or canter. Anyway working on some laterals leg yield- okay,shoulder in - good. He's really struggled to get traver for some reason ive tried off a circle in walk and he just doesnt get it so ive been breaking it down halting him pushing his quarters over,ask for the flexion then ask him to walk on. Ive no idea if this is a correct way to teach him it but today the penny seemed to dropped and we got 4/5 strides in little bursts.I was very pleased with him and have started giving him a treat when he makes a good attempt at something, not clicker as such but when I say good boy and reach for my pocket he knows to reach around for his treat :))
They got fed then turned back out and the dogs had *another* walk, and I made a ginger cake when I got home-holidays are brilliant!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Just when things were going well!

There's a spanner in the works. Lunged Ali through the week and he's not right on the left hind. Its barely noticable in walk,slightly not tracking up in trot but canter looks awful its almost like he's swinging his leg around because he doesnt want to/cant step through:(
Im hoping he's pulled something so the first port of call is the physio who's coming on Wednesday to see him if its not muscular the vet will have to be called out for further investigation. He did rather over exert himself hunting and had a silly spook last weekend shooting forward so im hoping something simple like a pulled muscle but we'll have to see.
Physio recommended to keep lightly riding him in walk and trot only until she gets out so he had a tootle up the road today,not sure if im paranoid but he didnt seem to walk well going up or down the hill from the yard,fine on the flat...grrrr.

Nothing much else to report other that we were at a dog show recently and both boys got 3rd's which i was pleased about as their coats are very untidy and in need of stripping but im trying to hang on until Dec so they'll have nice coats for Crufts. I tried a bit of a tidy up last night, Ted slept through it so I just rolled him over when I needed to get at the other side he is the oddest dog ever!
We have two more shows before Christmas then will have a few months break before we gear up for Crufts in March.
Mouse is finally out of season and home,think my mum was trying to hang onto her as she didnt seem to want to give her back. Mouse is quite the pampered lap dog given the choice which suits my mum.

Winter does seem to have arrived, its been pretty wet and windy lately. Im so pleased to have the shelter up for the boys and my woodburner at home,as are the dogs, its very cosy.
Oh and im now on hols for 2weeks so very pleased about that.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Brilliant morning!

All a bit last minute, but found out yesterday the hunt meet was going to be within hacking distance from our yard so decided it was too good an opportunity to miss so decided to go with Ali.
The meet was for 7.30am so I was up and out before 6 this morning. When I first left for the yard it was pitch black and there was a heavy fog so it all felt a bit odd and gloomy but by the time we were tacked up and all ready to leave the yard after 7 daylight had appeared and the fog cleared.
There were six of us from our yard including me,Vic and another girl from the yard who'd never been before,and several of the horses hadnt been hunted before.
Took us about 20mins to get to the meet and basically once we go there we set straight off.
I rather niavely left Ali in his usual snaffle thinking he'd run out of steam after 5mins-WRONG! Take back everything Ive ever said about him being slow and lazy,he's just never been motivated enough.
We stayed at the back to try and keep out of trouble but everyone was really nice talking to us when they found out we'd not been before.
On the first gallop he took a hold,not too bad but he was keen,we then trotted along the road into the next field where there was a little break then set off for the next gallop,this time I struggled to hold him. Back to walk for a gateway which led straight into another field Ali was bouncing at this point so because the field went up a steep hill. I thought i'd let him go a bit up the hill to settle him BIG mistake as the field levelled off I couldnt stop him at all!
I blasted past another girl from our yard who was howling laughing as I hurtled past shouting "ive got no breaks.....",I did start to panic a bit as the gateway and all the horses waiting to go through it were getting closer and closer and he'd totally set his neck but he eventually came back to me and control was restored.
We headed straight up a really steep hill next so I kept him in walk as I did not want to find out what was on the other side while flat out. :0 There was another 5min stand/rest bit then off again the pace slowed down alot from here so we were able to chat and get our bearings then we realised we were a couple of fields away from our yard and we were heading into the badger set field. We'd been out around an hour and a half,maybe a bit longer and felt that was more than enough for their first time so decided to split off and head home.
I couldnt be happier with Ali, he was so well behaved standing quietly during the breaks,keeping out of trouble and despite the occasional brake failure he felt safe,sensible and balanced.
He definitely enjoyed himself as did I so we will be going again when they are local to our yard again.
Im now sitting infront of the fire watching Horse of the Year Show feeling very tired but pleased as punch that ive got such a fabulous little horse who seems to be able to turn his hand/hoof to anything. Im doing so many new things with him that ive never been able to do in the past and each time he exceeds my expectations and saves his best for when it counts and all at five and a half years of age.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Ted's turn..

Horse wise there's not much to report really. Ive not done a lot of schooling lately with Ali so lots of hacking out which is his favourite..other than eating obviously!
He did shoot out spooking across the road on Sunday because a sheep decided to stand up at the very moment we were passing a gateway,luckily he doesnt usually spin and is so well balanced it never feels particularly dangerous.
Yesterday Ali had his first outing for ages with the dogs,only took Ted and Buster due to Mouse being in season and Minx egging Buster on to hunt and go down badger sets etc.:)) The dogs were very good other than Ted getting infront of Ali a couple of times,Ali did bolt off up the field at one point when one of the dogs ran up behind him then jogged and cantered on the spot all the way back down the field but I think this was more the appearance of a new batch of cows in the ajoining fields. He still does not like cows,although settled down quickly and did the gates nicely,he's learnt the art of pushing them open with his chest or with a flick of the nose then does a lovely leg yield to close them.

Ive rode one of the horses the YO's have in to sell a couple of times this week. He's HUGE, about 17hands and a well built boy too,Vic took a picture of me riding him, i'll have to put it up its hilarious I look tiny on him.
Anyway he's a sweet,gentleman and I really enjoy riding him but I probably shouldnt keep riding him as he's so big and bouncy my back is hurting.

Been to two shows in the past couple of weeks. The first one I got nothing with any of them, Mouse did get shortlisted in a class of 19which was good going,its the first time for ages ive left a show with nothing at all so I suppose I was due one like that.
This weekend gone I was at another Champ show, Mouse didnt go due to her season so just took the boys. Ive seen this judge out and about quite a lot but have never had a conversation but had noticed her dogs are quite well built, top-end size Borders so thought we might stand a chance of getting in the placings.
However when the first couple of classes went through she seemed to be going for smaller,finer dogs so I didnt think we stood a chance,typical when Mouse wasnt there!
I was chuffed to bits with Ted as the tactic of just letting him stand himself and using treats seems to be a whole-hearted success and for the first time he really seemed to show himself. He was still bouncy but stood really nicely and focused on me. Anyway he got a 2nd in Junior and a 1st in Special Beginners,which is for dog and handler who havent won a Challenge Certificate,he won two lots of dog food,some money and a rather nice silver trophy. The judge seemed to like him a lot and was chatting away to him when writing his critique.
Buster was in a class of 19(!) and didnt get anything. Buster is in full coat at the minute and it does make him look much bigger but I dont want to strip him just yet as im trying to time all their stripping for Crufts.We still have a couple of more shows coming up so im going to attempt to have a tidy up tomorrow but his coat is finished so he's not going to look his best for the upcomming shows.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Well weekly(ish) isnt bad going:)

Hey im finding time to update already!

Ive been at work most of the week on training 9to4,im back to work on my normal shifts this week but I was very good all week and rode most nights,usually if I dont ride early in the day I lose the inclination.
Ali has been on lots of hacks we've not done any schooling at all much to his delight. We are going on a 10 mile pleasure ride in a couple of weeks so I want to build his fitness up,he's fit and could do it no problem now but I want to fitten him up a bit more cardio wise so we can have lots of nice canters:)
Today we had a hour and a half hack,ive noticed he backs off the leg the further away he gets away from the yard which he'll have to get over as we plan on lots of longer rides as along with the pleasure ride im planing on taking him to a couple of hunt meets over the coming months.

The dog show last week was a bit odd,nobody could figure out what the judge was going for. Usually you start to get an idea after a few classes as you see quite often see a *type* they are going good heads,a certain size,coat type or movement but it was really ramdom. Having said that Buster got 3rd in a class of 10 which is not to be sniffed at as its another Crufts qualifier so it was worth the long drive and early morning. Ted got nothing he isnt showing himself well at all and the more I try to stand him the worse he stands so im having a change of tact next time and am just going to give him lots of treats and let him stand how he wants..see how that works? He doesnt do well under pressure:)
I met my friend who has Buster and Ted's brother at the beach on Thursday. After our walk we headed back to the car through the dunes where we heard squeaking, I thought it was a bird at first but then discovered Minx,Buster and Harvey (Busts brother) with a rabbit. Mouse and Ted then joined in when they spotted what was going on.
I felt horrible but I knew we would struggle to get them all off it and it would probably be so badly injured it would die so had to leave them to kill it, which they did very swiftly. They then proceeded to devour it which was rather gross, their terrier instincts were in full flow I can tell you they were a killer pack at that moment in time!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Sorry....hadnt intended on such a long break!

..well actually i'd not intended on any break it just kind of happened then I think I lost my blogger mojo:))
Anyway im not even going to attempt to go through the past month or two but will do a brief summary,you'll be relieved to know.
Firstly both boys are well. Ive been off work for the summer so have had a blissful time just pottering on taking my time instead off constantly running around,had lots of fun hacks and long walks with the dogs.
Ive started riding Polo again, Vic's trimmer/farrier had a look at his feet and im pleased to say reckons im doing a cracking job and I should be riding him to get more improvement which im doing,in boots and pads. He also had a very extensive physio session he was pretty sore particularly in his deep muscles around his back and bum, which is hardly suprising as due to his feet being an issue. He's been compensating by shortening his stride which has made him sore elsewhere in his body.
He felt dramatically better 7to 10days after the physio and although im keeping the hacks short and in walk his stride length seems to be improving and quite often he doesnt want to turn for home so he must be feeling more comfortable.

Ali has been thoroughly enjoying having lots of hacks particularly in the fields and woods near our yard, he absolutely loves cantering in the fields but never feels silly or like he's going to do anything daft. We've had a couple of good gallops and although he's not the fastest he is a little powerhouse, canter feels so easy for him he just pings in and forgets how to trot at times:)
Ive not had any lessons recently and to be honest Ali really doesnt want to go in the school as he's been enjoying the outings so much but im going to try and be more consistant.
At the beginning of this week we went for a hack and it really hit home what a sensible boy he is,in the space of 5mins a tractor passed us and at least 3large wagons and he didnt even lift his head,its a joy to be able to relax so completely as you simply cant when your riding Polo.

The big news is Ali had his first show at the weekend. I was hugely nervous as I had no idea how he'd react and ive had some horrendous times with *you know who* at shows etc but the boy did me proud again and was absolutely brilliant.
First we had the large foreign breeds inhand. Vic had spoken to the judge on the phone the week before to ask if we could trot them up the traditional Spanish way which involves a few circles on the lunge in canter then coming off and basically running as fast as possible with them with them in an extended trot. The judge had said yes so we'd been practicing this way, Ali was probably run up like this when he was graded and took to it easily, but in the class we weve told to trot them up the English way. I really thought i'd struggle to get Ali to trot up like this but after an initial donkey moment he trotted up well with me running as fast as my little legs would carry me.
Anyway he got 2nd in this class out of about 7(?)which I was really chuffed about, a Friesian won it, this also qualified him for The Royal London Show in September not that i'll be going as its a bit too far away.
Just before we'd expected to go in for the inhand everyone seemed to disappear which was obviously an unannounced lunch break. Now surely the sensible way to do things would have been to have the break after all the inhand classes so everyone had time to tack their horses up and warm up for the'd *think*.
But obviously not which meant by the time we got back to the wagon and tacked up then got back to the ring they were calling our ridden class in so no time for a warm up.
Ali totally lulled me into a false sense of security bouncing down to the ring sideways for the ridden class then obviously thought that was way too much like hard work and went into donkey mode who could barely manage to canter!
Although infairness no warm up and me trying too hard didnt help but he can do halt to canter so a bit of sustained canter on the correct leg *should* have been do-able.Vic's mare was in the same class and was behind us which resulted in him hanging back and when it came to doing our individual show piece he was quite nappy for her.I admit to riding like a totally spanner too:0
This results in me hating the majority of the ridden pictures cos he's got his nose poking most of the time and are generally horrible. I could have taken a strong contact and gotten an "outline" but I usually warm him up with flexions and transitions so didnt think it was fair to suddenly pull his head in from the front.
The one thing I do like about the ridden pics is seeing how much his walk has improved. He had quite a choppy walk and i'd not realised how much it has improved until I saw the pictures so im very happy about that!
Anyway he got 3rd in that class but there were only four of us in there:)))
The judge was very nice about him and said she liked him a lot and could see we were having lots of fun together, she also gave me a bottle of Spanish sherry for most promising youngster.



Q and Vic behind us on this one

The dogs are well,sort of, Mouse jumped into the car last week and tweaked something in her back which resulted in a few seconds of not being able to stand up. She has some painkillers and anti inflammatories and is still a little stiff and sore but seems okay,im not ruling out contacting the horse physio if it continues to be a problem as she does dogs too.
We've been to a few shows, not sure where I reported up to but Buster has had another first recently then had nothing at the last two shows although was shortlisted in one huge class where I could tell the judge liked him but just thought he was too heavy. Ted continues to be a wally he seems to be getting placed quite consistantly, its usually a lower placing where as Buster seems to get higher placing or nothing, but im not complaining.
Mouse has had another couple of placings and recently got a Best Bitch at a local Terrier and Lurcher show which was excellent:)
Ive got a Champ show on Sunday just with the boys due to Mouse's back and the fact she is due in season soon.

Soooo I think thats about it for now,I shall be back to update more frequently:))

Saturday, 27 June 2009

None the wiser!

A reasonably quiet week riding wise.
Hacked Ali on Monday then light lunge Thursday, lots of walk with some trot using poles.
I gave Ali a bute sachet Thursday then again Friday afternoon so that he would have it in his system ready for a schooling session which was planned for today.
Well im none the wiser as the title suggests he felt okay on the favorite right rein in addition to the flexions, leg yielding and shoulder in-walk and trot,I focused on halt to trot and reinback to trot etc. I still feel he's not quite 'off the leg' so thought this would be a good way to sharpen him up plus get him using his backend and off his shoulders.
I moved onto his left,stiff rein. The flexions and bend werent as good so lots of half halts and flexing but the shoulder in was better than the right?
He threatened to buck when he first struck off into canter but didnt then once again which I put a stop to by lifting my hands and sending him forward other than that he was fine.
So he still wanted to buck despite the bute...probably not pain?
He did a couple of fabby walk to canters on the right rein just as our the YO's hubby came into the arena which I was pleased about as last week he jokingly told me I was an idiot to have paid so much for Ali cos he "couldnt do anything". His *idea* of a good horse is a horse that bounces,rears and cant stand still so to him my sensible 5year old PRE aint quality!

Tomorrow Ali is going for a hack acting as nanny again to a mare who was recently imported from Holland. She had a rough time coming over and at the dealers yard so lost trust and went a bit wild for a while so the owner has gone back to scratch with her longreining and treating her as unbacked Ali is perfect for the first hack as nothing the other horses do fazes him and his calmness doesnt wind horses up.
She really is the most stunning WB mare you will ever see!

Monday, 22 June 2009


We had another good show on Saturday...can you tell?!?!:))
Im a bit despairing with Ted as he just doesnt seem to be getting the idea at all, he goes into the silly zone boinging around generally being mental.He is getting away with it at the moment because he's still in puppy class and he did get 2nd which is brill at champ show level but im sure its costing him because how can they see him move when he's bouncing around. He is quite good on the table having said that.
Buster was in next and I knew the judge liked him as he came back to see him several times but as I expected his coat was probably the issue as just before the judge did his placings he came and gripped Busters coat as if telling me why. BUT he still got 3rd which at this level is not to be sniffed at as it was another Crufts qualifying class.
We had a wander around the various dog shops as there was a good gap until Mouses classes then came back to watch Peter's star bitch,the one who got best pup at Crufts. I thought she was a mile ahead of all the others in the class but she is being a bit funny in the ring so wasnt showing herself to her best,she still got 3rd.
Mouse was in shortly after this. Now I wasnt expecting a thing with her as Post Grad is tough,usually big entries and a Crufts qualifier.I did feel she was looking well and her coat is tip-top but when we first went in I didnt think the judge looked at her and as it was a large class thought to myself 'well the boys did well I cant complain'.
She is tricky to show and a bit of a live wire in the ring so I have to really focus on her so obviously missed out of the fact he actually quite liked her until the final line up when I saw him really looking at her and the bitch next to us.
She ended up getting 2nd which is absolutely brilliant as the other bitch is a *good* dog and that has qualified her for Crufts I will be taking the three show'ers to Crufts I cant believe it!:000
I honestly thought our last show was 'our show' of the year and although we didnt get any firsts to have them all very well placed again is unbelievable im totally chuffed.

Horsewise my pad hasnt come yet so hopefully tomorrow it will turn up,Claire ive just wanted one for ages and thought it would be nice for the neds no major concerns.

Ali had a bit of a quieter week as its wind-down time.I did school him once which wasnt good and he put in a couple of big bucks despite me totally giving him a loose rein to see if the contact was why he's had a couple of bucks recently.
Im swaying between he's a bit confused-the work is a bit more demanding now and he's protesting-and he's a bit uncomfortable sore somewhere?
He only does it on the one rein, this has always been the rein he's not wanted to bend on, anyway as soon I swapped to the other he worked nicely.
I gave him a light lunge the following day and he looked ok on both reins, yesterday he had a lovely hack and was walking and swinging along nicely.
Today I took him in the school. He was behind the leg intially but then improved, I started with his good rein flexing,leg yielding and shoulder in in walk and trot then moved onto his not so good rein. I kept it short half halting then flexing and he actually worked really nicely and was reaching into the contact,we then popped a tiny jump that was set up in the school twice and I called it a day.
Day off tomorrow on his 2nd wind down week so i'll probably do feet.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

and days turn into weeks!

Dear me ive got out of the blogging *habit* lately well ive had two weeks holiday from work so i'll say it was a blogging holiday too.
Sorry Claire I kept meaning to reply to your email after Corbridge but kept forgetting..we are both fine anyway.

Im not even going to try and remember in any detail what's been going on in the past few weeks so a brief round-up will have to surfice:)
Ali has been worked most days. I try to give him a good variety of hacking mixed with school work and lessons.
Hacking has been great he loves to go in the fields and will try and turn into any gateway that leads into a field, even if its a field we havent got permission to ride in! He is still scared of cows but tries to be brave although likes a bit of distance between him and the offending beasts.
We've had a couple of lessons since the last posts. Things are getting a bit more complicated now as intially it was just getting him to go forward with some flexions to get him more flexible and bending. He is now getting the hang of leg yielding and has a pretty decent shoulder in in walk and trot, his work is becoming more consistant although he still like to exit the arena when the opportunity arises.
One of the lessons was absolutely brilliant he worked really solidly and tried his heart out, the lesson last weekend was tough which is usually the case after a good one. D is quite an intense instructor so just when you think you have something cracked she ups the game and suddenly im pants again!
My big issue at the minute is im relying on the inside rein to turn and bend particularly on the left rein so im blocking him ...very frustrating!
Last week Vic and I did the fan with the raised poles, Ali is very good at this, towards the end we set up a couple of jumps for him, he's definitely got a decent pop!
He was a bit hampered by the school being small and wings getting in the way but he did make a couple of cracking attempts and seems really keen.
The weather this week has been pretty horrible so today I basically fed them, yesterday he had a 20min lunge.
My plan is to wind him down a bit over the remainder of this week and next have another lesson then give him a couple of weeks off. My reasons are i want him fresh for the show in August and because he's been in pretty much solid work since we moved to this yard (not counting the odd times of bad weather) I reckon a couple of weeks off will go down well.
Also im planning on taking him hunting a couple of times early in the season so he'll have to be pretty fit August and September so a short rest now seems the ideal time.
Plus ive got a fair few dog shows coming up so weekends will be busy over the next month or two.
Ive got a Champ show with the dogs on Saturday, Buster's been stripped and got no coat and Ted could do with being stripped so has too much not expecting anything:)
To be honest after the recent brilliant placings and the boys qualifying for Crufts anything more would be a bonus.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Much much better.

Had another lesson Friday and it was a vast improvement. I did think my tiredness last time was the main issue, I felt much more on the ball yesterday and it went well.
I had a nice schooling session mid week so I had an inkling the lesson would be an improvement on last one.
Yesterday started with getting him flexing and stepping through with the inside hind.D said he's so thickset in the neck and can look pretty infront without working properly from behind so getting him flexing and activating the hind is really important.We then moved into trot and did some leg yielding, concentrating on getting him to flex and be straight as he is desperate to lead with his shoulders. I have a tendency to try and correct this purely by pushing his quarters over with my leg but D had me half halting then using the inside leg to straighten the shoulders up instead which worked well and we got some nice attempts towards the end.I must admit it feels really weird as he finds this such hard work yet Polo seems to find lateral work so easy.
Next we moved onto some travers coming off the circle with the bend then moving the front end on the track with the quarters in,it was a bit hit and miss at first. Sorry if im not explaining this properly or correctly, im better *doing* than talking or writing about this side of things!
I did giggle as D said im very interesting to teach as although im not a technical rider im very practical..Im not 100% sure it that was a compliment or not but I *think* she meant it in a nice way? :))))
Lastly we did some canter work for the first time in ages and it was actually quite good. Because Ali tries to use his backend as sparingly as possible I have found his canter hard to sit to as it sometimes feels like his back is as hard as a board and im bouncing higher and higher and he's boiinging without actually going very far.
Anyway he felt more forward,softer and supple so D asked me to again ask for the bend half halting and using my outside leg on the girth to stop him falling out. We got a decent canter on each rein so called it a day there.
We were both chuffed with him as he really seemed to tried hard to do everything that was asked of him,I feel we are both making huge progress at the minute.

Today Vic and I went to see some Border Terrier puppies as she is joining the Border owners club. They belong to a guy I got chatting to at the show last week so Vic is now the owner of a little bitch who she'll collect mid July when she gets back from her holidays.
I later went for a hack along the lane with our YO which was very pleasant as the sun was out.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Unbelievable news!

Im too excited to string it out so to cut to the chase....Ted won his class AND so did Buster:)))
How amazing is that! I had two dogs in the line up at the end,we didnt get best pup or anything but im just chuffed to bit for them both to have won their classes. To top it all off Mouse was placed fourth in her class which was brilliant as it was a big class and to have them all placed was just the icing on the cake.
I was getting myself in a flap as Peter hadnt arrived towards the end of the dog classes so I didnt know who to ask to take one of them in for me luckily her turned up just in the nick of time and took Ted in the line up for me.Actually Ted stood better for him and was much better behaved as he was still rather exuberant in the puppy class bouncing along and fidgeting a lot.

Today I had a lesson and it was a tough one. D decided to step it up a gear and it was hard!
He is still not wanting to bend in the direction of travel on the left rein so D has us doing more lateral work this time which resulted in me struggling to control his shoulders. I seem to be better/more correct with my right hand as on the left rein although I stuggle to get him to bend when he does bend im controlling the shoulder well. Where as on the right rein although he bends/flexes better I struggle with my left hand placement so he totally falls out on the shoulder. Im sure I wasnt riding particularly well as I was so tired from the very early drive and long day at the show yesterday so the instructions werent really sinking in.
Plus on Friday I helped the YO and her friend catch her friends recently purchased horse who had decided not to be caught ever again.I ended up being swung around like tarzan several times by a 17hand Warmblood and as usual my stubborness got the better of me so I hung on in there till she gave up and came in. Which has resulted in me being very stiff and sore.
Anyway the result seems to be despite me thinking we had the outside rein sussed we obviously havent as D was totally correct in pointing out that im hanging on the inside rein and he's getting very heavy in my hand.
His build is partly to blame as he is very short and thick in the neck so he finds it difficult to bend but as D said this doesnt mean he cant do it and that it isnt important that he does.
We have another lesson on Friday so hopefully with some practice in the school this week that lesson will be a bit better.
Im really tired tonight so an early night is in order...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I love my pone:)

Had a really nice schooling session today.Nothing complicated or outstanding just a continuation of what we've been working on in the lessons.
Inside leg outside rein, flexions, turning with the outside rein (we are both really *getting* this now) half halts into the corners then forward and straight down the longsides then some leg yielding. Over all his work is gaining much more consistancy and the periods of good work are getting longer and longer im really pleased. Vic said she can see a huge difference in us both from when we first moved to now.
Lesson on Sunday which is good as I think we are ready to move onto the next stage:)

The plan is a nice long hack tomorrow hopefully we'll get some nice weather.

Saturday im in Scotland for a big Champ dog show,Ted's coat is good,Mouse looks really well but Buster's coat isnt looking great. I should have stripped him the other week but held off so ive ended up picking at it to try and tidy him up but made it all uneven! Never mind.
Minx had her stitches out on Wednesday the vet said to try and keep quiet for a few more days-mmm gave up one that days ago its impossible.
I have to ring him in two months with a Buster update. Then all being well he will contact the vet school about the possibility of trying him off the meds as after 6months of medication there is a percentage of dogs with this condition that have been able to be weaned off the Phenobarbital. He also said because its a relative newly recognised condition they are learning all the time so in two months they might have a greater understanding.
He also didnt rule out that something could have triggered this rather than it being a hereditary condition, in the months leading up to him being ill he and Minx ate that gunge at the farm then there was an outbreak of kennel cough going around the shows which he could have been exposed to, its a theory?

Monday, 11 May 2009

Nice couple of hacks.

Vic and I had a lovely hack Sunday. The wind had dropped so off we ventured into the woods,I had to get off and do a few gates one involved lifting a rather broken down wooden gate off its hinges (well what was left of them) so we could get through.
Ali was walking out really well as was Quenza ...which I heard Vic remark on mmmmm lets say a couple of times:0
Today we went for a pootle along the lane. Im pretty sure Ali is bored with the lane as he tried a hand-break-turn as we passed the gate for one of the fields we ride in but I didnt have a lot of time so the lane it was. He then went into go slow mode as a protest as did Q, the fields are much more exciting and fun so they obviously wanted to make their opinions known!
I rode Polo in the school yesterday,just in walk for 10mins. Honestly when I dont ride him for a while I forget how ultra sensitive he is particularly in the school. He forgot nothing and was lovely despite being very chompy chompy on the bit..well he's not been in the school very often and its SCARY.
Oh and Ali had escaped out of the field again yesterday so more tall posts are on order!
Jean ive got them strip grazed obviously Ali *knows* the grass is quite literally greener on the other side of the fence.

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Thats all we seemed to have had for days now,not ideal riding weather so needless to say ive not ridden Polo:)
When I arrived at the yard Ali was already in a stable.I thought how kind of Vic to get him in for me,infact he'd escaped into the top field so the YO had collected him and put him in a stable till I arrived.The fencing was all still up so he'd obviously jumped out, he's popped two 5bar gates and now a fence in the time ive had him,who says PRE's cant jump!
I'd actually decided not to do anything with him as it was Friday and I was tired but as he was there and shouting like a big girl's blouse for Polo (he wasnt bothered when he was grazing!)I decided to lunge him. He was very forward and rushed but I figured it was a fat burning exercise to work off all the extra grass he'd had so let him go for it:).
Had a schooling session today. The conditions were even worse, gale force winds and no sooner had we set foot and hooves in the school it started to rain which got pretty heavy towards the end.
Think we did about half an hour max the work was not totally horrendous.Mainly concentrated on flexions to start with then transitions within trot,half halts into the corners and slowing the trot down as slow as he could go then pushing forward on the long sides. His right rein is fabulous bending around the inside leg nicely, balancing and turning with the outside, left rein isnt so good he tends to fall in and not want to bend but we do get there it just takes a bit more time and work.
He did a wonderful ping from walk to canter unasked for this seems to happen when he's built up lots of energy. I can see why Caroline thinks this helps improve the quality of the canter work as the resulting canter is excellent.

Hopefully tomorrow we will to go for a hack..thats if we dont get blown away!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The resilliance of dogs...

Minx was full of beans literally the next day after her op,ive spent all week *trying* to stop her running around,jumping up and generally living it up with the others. Us humans are really pathetic in comparison arent we:)))

Had a few nice hacks with Ali,he is much improved with his cow phobia and has passed them on the lane a couple of times without any panic or hysteria, although still cautious,hurrah there's a future in bullfighting for him after all haha!
He also had a much improved schooling session without the antics of Liquorice who has been moved into another field due to his escaping shinnanigans.

Im at work and tired so brief and to the point!:)))

Friday, 1 May 2009

Huge sigh of a relief..

Minx has been spayed!I took her up this morning she still had a tiny bit of milk but the vet thought it was so minimal it would be fine to go ahead as this could possibly be a pattern she goes through with every season.
She's home feeling a bit sore and tired but perky enough to look for rabbits when we left the vet surgery and has just eaten some scrambled eggs. She's coming to bed with me tonight so she has some peace away from the others which she'll love.

I cant remember where I 'blogged' up to but today Ali was checked over by the physio. I didnt particularly think anything was wrong with him but the physio was out to see Vic's other horse so I thought he might as well get the once over. Physio said he was in great shape, he had a tiny bit of tightness in his bum on the right but only slight,he had a short treatment with her muscle machine 'thing' and that was all.
Polo will get the once over when she comes back next time which should give me a good idea if work is going to affect him adversely or not.
We went for quite a long hack this afternoon.Ali started off well then his pony mate Liquorice started whinnying and being a prat which unsettled Ali a little, not that he did anything wrong just was a bit behind the leg and distracted.
Once he got over it he was great and we had a lovely ride.

Come to think of it Liquorice sabotaged our schooling session on Wednesday by breaking through the fencing and galloping up into the field right next to the school. Ali couldnt settle with all this going on and I was getting really annoyed by it all so we were both lathered by the end and hadnt achieved a thing.
Naughty pony!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Its a busy old life..

I sometimes think coming to work is easier than my hectic 'out of work' life!
Instructor had to cancel the lesson on Fri as she was stuck in traffic so we ended up having a 20min hack around one of the fields.
The lesson happened on Saturday and was really good and hard for us both which is hardly suprising considering i'd barely rode in three weeks and Ali had been doing mainly work on the ground.
Instructor commented that his stride had shortened up again so she had us doing lots of flexions to get him to activate the inside hind then pushing him through. We ended on a really good note with him reaching down onto the bit relaxed and swinging in trot. I can feel my riding improve with every lesson, im riding with much better feel and am quicker to correct when things start to go wrong.
Then to be really mean Ali had a rest for an hour then went on a hack with Quenza...cruel mummy! We didnt go far just along the lane, it was a good opportunity to pass the bogey cow area when he was tired and he was great. He was a little hesitant but with encouragement and my leg on braved it,the cows being further off in the field helped matters.
Guess what?!?! I rode Polo too!:))
Went out with the YO after riding Ali back along the lane which I thought was the best option as he's been walked out inhand along there a fair bit.He was a bit spooky/looky for the first 5mins but then was absolutely brill,his walk isnt as good a usual but mooching around in the field isnt helping so im hoping getting him on a few hacks booted and padded up will work. His feet have deteriorated hugely since he's been out of work and im now convinced this is where all the problems stem from.This is why I first pulled his shoes however many years ago that was as I couldnt keep him sound,riding in boots and pads turned things around so im going to try that approach again.

I didnt ride Sunday as I had a dog show. Was a weird old day as it was the same judge who gave Buster a 1st three weeks ago and a lovely critique, well he didnt place Buster this time! He placed two of the dogs Buster beat first and second this time, I could possibly understand him placing different dogs and not Buster but not dogs he only beat three weeks ago? Got me baffled!
Ted was silly-AGAIN. Mouse however got placed in quite a tough class,she is looking really well at the minute but her coat still isnt through.A few more weeks and I reckon she's going to be in peak show condition which is just intime for the two big shows in May and June.Buster and Ted's coats are a concern as they are going to need stripping soon which will mean they are probably going to be out of coat for these shows..its a complicated business for sure:))

Yesterday Ali went for another hack with Quenza,he was a bit of a wally when I had to get off and do the gates as he wouldnt standstill when I wanted to get back on using a large boulder. I kept circling around until he realised this was much harder work and stood. Other than that it was a lovely loopy hack through the field and back out onto the road heading home.
Today Ali had a short lunge and Polo went out for a hack with Quenza. He started with the usually 5minute spookiness which unsettled Q a little but then they both settled down nicely.Q had to work hard keeping up with Polo's long rangy walk, she hasnt figured out how to lengthen yet which is understandable its very early days under saddle for her but she did squeeze past a tractor on the way home when I had to get off and lead Polo past haha.
Weather has been awful today and tonight,im hoping for a better day tomorrow and a schooling session with Ali.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Back with a vengence..

Poor Ali must be sick as a chip im feeling better:)
I rode him in the school again on Monday,not a long session but worked him quite hard his flexing to the left (weaker rein) has gone back and he was trying to motorbike a bit but we got there in the end.Im finding I have a whole new intensity and focus to my riding since I moved yards,ive struggled to stay focused in the past.
Today we went out for a hack with Vic who had her first ever hack on her mare,who she sat on for the first time last week.It wasnt planned, Vic just couldnt face anymore longlining and since the mare's been all over on the lines and has been totally unfazed during the whole backing process she decided to try go for their first ever hack. Huge success all round and Quenza was striding out by the end looking totally chilled and enthusiastic.
Yo came too and on the way home we had a good giggle chatting about our obsession with our horses and dogs.
Im going to give Ali a light lunge tomorrow then have a lesson booked for Friday.

Minx is also booked in to be Spayed on Friday so im going to be on tender hooks until she's through it and back home!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

I rode I rode..

AND it didnt hurt-hooray!
Half an hour in the school with Vic's OH videoing us,talk about a baptism of fire. He was a little less forward and more distracted than where we left off before the 'trampling'incident which is to be expected but he wasnt terrible and is definitely getting the idea of stretching and reaching down into the bit. I watched a bit of it back on the camera and was quite pleased with it there are some nice moments just need to improve the consistency of our work.
My YO rode him once this week to help me out and it was interesting to see how he went with someone else. She is quite a nice rider with a good seat but fiddled and see sawed a little with the rein which had him curling back quite a lot,looking really short and tight and not really using his backend so I was desperate to see what 'we' looked like together.Over all I was pleased with how we look together, although I have a horrible habit of looking down all the time!
YO liked him a lot:)

Im very pleased how both the boys are looking at the moment they are gleaming with health and shiny coats and Ali's weight is great, I reckon we got the field stripped off just before the spring grass really shot through which seems to be the key with him. He's still a little bit tubby but losing it steadily and toning up nicely:)

Was at a dog show this morning,it wasnt a good quality show to be honest,I went because the organiser rang to ask if I would enter and for practice for Ted. Ted got second despite being even sillier (when will he start to cotton on?). Mouse beat Buster in the open class so we got 3rd and 4th.No insult to Mouse but she's simply not as good a dog as Buster or have any coat at the minute so im not sure what the judge was looking for, sorry Mouse. He probably was another breed judge and not that knowlegeable of Borders?
Anyway i'd rather not get placed with a breed specialist judge against the best of Borders than get placed against not very good competition with an unknowlegeable judge..hope that doesnt sound conceited or like im a bad sport its not intended that way.

Of course im back at work tomorrow just when im able to ride again..typical.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

For Jean

Lovely Eh!?! Bear in mind the one on the right (my left) is the 'Polo' one and is nearly two weeks old so you can imagine how impressive it was at the time.

I rode today..but I shouldnt have. Coccyx is still bit too sore, it is much better than it was but not up for riding quite yet,I couldnt get my backside properly into the saddle so was perched. Couple of more days and i'll have another go.
Went for a hack with Vic who was longlining her mare.Well we've found something that terrifies Ali,a herd of cows! He was in pure panic mode and just wanted to run away I pointed him away from them towards a gate and hedge and he felt like he was going to go over it. This wasnt helped by the fact I couldnt sit in the saddle properly so I got off at the first opportunity to see if being on the ground with him would help. Usually if he has a good look at something he's fine but not with these cows,having said that the more he snorted and leapt around the more it seemed to attract the cows seemed like there were hundreds gathered along the fence and wall. In the end I marched him away as quickly as possible.Throughout this Vics mare stood grazing on the verge oblivious to Ali's panic...something tells me she's going to be a bombproof hack:))
I re mounted along the lane he was still a little stressy but settled okay,when we turned for home I rode him so far then lead him past the cow field.He was still scared but most of the cows had moved futher up th field so he coped going past with just few stops and snorts.Ive never seen him so scared.
Tomorrow I might lunge him then take him for a walk past the field inhand.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

We're on a roll!

Very succesfull time at the show yesterday Buster got ANOTHER FIRST and Ted got a second and a third,im entering him in a maiden or novice class ontop of the puppy one for practice.
Buster was fabby, he was in a very good and large class so I was chuffed to bits.Ted was marginally better than last week, still a bit of hooligan boinging around but there is some improvement in behaviour so he's getting there luckily they make allowances in the puppy classes.

Vic rode Ali out on a hack today accompanied by me,the dogs and her OH with her broken pony also called Ted it was a gorgeous sunny day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I also gave Polo a good groom,foot soak and trim and trimmed Ali's feet too. Yes my back is feeling loads better,I felt things start to improve yesterday so im pleased and reckon i'll be okay to ride mid week the way things are going. Thats if ive not set things back doing too much today but the foot stand takes most of the work out of the trimming so its not too hard going.
The other news is i think im going to have a matching black eye!0
Had a bit of a freak accident tidying up tonight which involved a board falling on my head knocking me down and cracking my eye on the corner of the dog's chair..honestly its unbelievable,infact if it wasnt me i'd not believe it. Its right on the fleshy corner bit and puffed up instantly ive had frozen peas on it, hopefully it will go down over night!
So Jean you might be getting a picture although I doubt this one will be as impressive as the other one was:))

Friday, 10 April 2009

Still not back in the saddle

Its very frustrating being on hoilday and not being able to ride but my coccyx is still far too sore to ride!
If im no better by next week im going to have to get something done so willing it to get better as ive got a serious doctor/hospital/anybody doing anything to me phobia:0
However ive a feeling Vic is willing me not to get better as she's rode Ali a couple of times this week so he has done something most days.
At the beginning of the week Vic helped with the poles and we did the raised pole's exercises Rach showed me.
Then Vic rode him in the school one day with me as instructor {haha} then took him for a short hack yesterday around the fields and had her first canter on him. He was little unsettled as i'd left Polo in the field where as I usually bring them both up together but I had my little 3year old niece for the day so it was easier to just bring Ali up.He was still as safe as usual just few head shakes and stops, Vic seemed to enjoy it anyway (hey dont get too comfortable on him Missus!).
Today I gave him a 20minute lunge and he was fabby..he's pleasure to work with.

Sorry Jean I took a picture of the eye but I updated my phone the other day and lost all the recent pictures,it was a truly impressive shiner still got a fair bit of bruising under and around the eye even now one week on!

Dog show tomorrow....

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Im still alive!

I have the most corker of a shiner you'd ever see honestly im impressed with it myself:))
Some of the swelling has gone down but its got some serious bruising, my coccyx is still really sore but better than yesterday so hopefully few days out of the saddle will do the trick.
And to top it off im hoping to ride the old lunatic this week or next while im on holiday,Im going to be carefully and only ride when my back is okay and Vic is going to come out with him on Ali to nanny him but he looks pretty good blasting around the field so reckon a few hacks wont hurt but may help with the excess energy that seems to be building up.
I lunged Ali on two lines yesterday he was fab as usual particularly with me hobbling on trying to keep up with him.

Nothing today as I was at a dog show,we should have been in and out first but they changed the schedule around so the Borders were much later getting into the ring than I had anticipated.
Ted was a hooligan again and didnt get anywhere this time,he really is sooo naughty practice does not seem to be helping!
Buster was an absolute star totally eyeballing the judge as he strutted past him how could he not win...which his did and we got a nice trophy too!That seems to be the way with Buster you can never tell if he's going to get a first or nothing but he always tries to please and gets lots of nice comments.
Mouse got a fourth with was good,he came back and felt her coat which I *think* was his way of saying why she didnt get a higher place,its still too soft at the minute from when she was stripped but im still happy with the day.

Ive spent all evening writing an assignment for the course I was suckered into doing for work and finished.It was painful and ive written total rubbish but im happy its done and I can enjoy my two weeks holidays.

Friday, 3 April 2009


I cant believe im having to say this after the last few drama filled months but Polo ran over me yesterday...yes RAN OVER ME.
It was a gorgeous day so I walked down to collect the boys Polo cantered down with Ali behind him,I should have known something was up cos he kept stopping and looking but seemed calm enough in himself.I got them through the gate and had turned to close it when Polo literal leapt forward in a blind panic I stumbled forward,unfortunately there's a dip in the ground at the gate so I fell flat on my face.It seemed to happen in slow motion, I knew Polo was coming over me cos I was right infront of him I remember shouting his name and feeling like I'd lay there ages waiting for him to stand on me.I think he must have tried to avoid me as luckily he only caught me with one leg..right on my backside!
I staggered to my feet and waited for them to settle down so I could take their halters off,Ali had followed him in charging around the field.Polo looked very sheepish when I got to him,mind you that could have been total confusion about my appearance as when I limped back to the yard and looked at myself my face and hair was covered in dirt.I knew i'd hurt my head, side of my face and my bum but couldnt really tell how bad at the time.
Drove home with my face and backside throbbing then had a shower which was when I saw the extent of the damage.
Im covered in grazes and bruises up my arms,grazed all down the side of my face which is pretty swollen and my eye has developed into a rather impressive shiner.
Probably should have gone to hospital but I hate the places so went to work instead:)))
I know why he did it, YO had hung a few rugs over the gate of the field opposite and because it was 'different' it sent him into panic mode.Im annoyed with myself more than anything cos he almost did the same thing a few weeks ago when rugs had been left over the gate but I caught him in time to stop him...grrr like I shouldnt know what he's like after all these years!

Today everywhere hurts,my ribs,my shoulders,my backside particularly around my coccyx, which ive injured once before,despite how bad my face and head looks this actually hurts the least.
I brought them in seperately today as Polo still seemed spooky,dont think the spring grass is helping matters the other two pones in the field are in high spirits too, although Ali isnt joining in with the madness thankfully.

I actually went out for a hack on him with the YO this afternoon I know I shouldnt have but the weather was so nice I did although it was so painfully I wished I hadnt,I wont be riding till my butt is feeling better.
Bless him he pootled along with me yelping and groaning and despite going around fields he's never been in before..YO is convinced he was looking after me.Of course it could have been the way I was perching trying to keep my bum out of the saddle:)

Hopefully tomorrow the stiffness will have eased NOT that im going to ride after today.I didnt half get some funny looks tonight when I did my shopping:0

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

What a week...well last week that is!

Last Sunday started okay,went out for Sunday lunch with my mum for a joint Mother's day/my birthday treat.
I was late getting to the yard to feed the boys,just as I pulled up I saw a few of the girls and YO leading one of their liveries up the field,I got a sickening feeling as I could see the leg flopping just above the hock.
They managed to get the mare into a stable while waiting for the vet to come I knew it was a bad break but we dressed it roughly as there was a cut which was bleeding steadily.Soon as the vet came she said there was nothing they could do due to where the break was and how bad it was broken...I knew this was going to be the outcome.
The owner couldnt face staying and our YO was in bits so I ended up staying with the horse while she was PTS,it wasnt nice as she went down on the leg but I couldnt let her go alone:(

Anyway I then took bad at work on Monday with a stomach bug or food poisioning,ive never been so ill in my entire life so most of last week was a total right off.Im still feeling a bit off but iam back to getting on with things.
I lunge Ali on Sunday as I didnt think riding with dizzy spells was a good idea but today got back in the saddle.Only had a half an hour session but it was really good actually I was definitely 'in the zone' and rode him very well if I do say so myself:),im finally managing to replicate some of the moments we get during a lesson and am really riding him if that makes sense.
He's still leaning in on the left rein at first but with a combination of flexing,inside leg with the outside rein half halting he is working through it,on the right rein things are much easier there were spells when I felt he was truly bending around my leg with no inside rein felt great!
...and the weather has been great this week too:))

Was at a show Saturday,it was a huge entry of over 250 dogs(thats just Borders btw) so all the classes were big.Ted got placed not highly but still placed despite being very silly and hyper again and in a big class to boot.
Buster was in a massive class with some top name dogs,he didnt get placed but we were pulled in when she cut the class down to her pick of 6 I was pretty pleased with this just a shame there are only 5placings.
Mouse was in another huge class. I was delighted with her as its the first time ive not used food to get her to stand as she can be tricky to show and she was brilliant.I thought she was going to get a placing as the judge kept looking at her but infairness she has no coat at the minute so this could be what cost her a place?
Got a small show this weekend then another breed show next weekend.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Short and sweet

Ive been busy today started off with soaking Polo's feet,trimming him then taking him out for a walk inhand with the dogs.
I then fenced off the last little gap where they can get into the river as Polo escaped and made his way into the top field this morning,much to the dismay of the boys left in the field who were apparently running around like headless chickens looking for him...he's quite he hero in herd:)
I then took Ali for a short hack around the fields,I figure he would be a bit stiff after the lesson cos I know I am so a gentle tootle to loosen up would help.He was lovely,a nice walk,short trot along one side of the field then a little steady canter up the hill-perfect in everyway.
His feet got trimmed too.

Ive ordered them some fly rugs as I think we are going to have a lot more flies at this yard with the stream and trees, I borrowed one of my friend's to try for size as her horse get serious sweet itch and she reckons this particular type are the best so they are now ordered.

Taking my mum out for dinner tomorrow so giving the boys a chill out day.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Super-dooper lesson today.

Im very pleased with my boy today and myself I might add!:)
Ive forgotten half of it already now but i'll do my best.We started with getting him to flex in walk loosening him up but with a forward walk and energy.Straight away he was responsive to the leg so I could concentrate more on what we were doing rather than keeping him going which was good.Then did some 20(ish)m circles flexing in then using the outside rein to move the shoulders across we got this quite well then D said to give him a long rein and go large around the school.Ali was really stretching and reaching down for the rein, D said was the best walk she's seen from him.
Then moved into trot it was tougher for sure,at first he tried to curl back,lean heavily on the inside rein then had a large buck and we also exited the boards of the school several times anything but flex and come off my inside leg but then he suddenly lightened and lifted and it felt great.
After a break on a loose rein D wanted me to ride him around the whole school totally giving with the inside rein and to create the bend using half halts and inside leg/outside rein,this was really hard but there were moments when we got it.
At the end of the lesson D said she was very please with us both,she said I actually ride him well and im correcting him and riding him with much better timing. I can get a bit fixed and focused on one rein then forget the other and I havent quite got the outside rein 'feel' yet.She said he was like a different horse today and overall there was a huge improvement from last week so im very happy.

Its turning into a weekly blog it seems so a quick re-cap of the week-
Sunday we went for quite a long hack,it wasnt the best hack in the world he started off a bit nappy and shouting lots then half way around became forward and a bit silly! I trotted him at first to wake him up and then to settle him down{doh}, we also had a decent canter along a nice incline where I had to really pull him up as he didnt want to stop.As we turned along the road for home the penny dropped where he was and he started to shout and bounce,I felt there might be a rear on the way so pushed him forward into a steady trot which seemed to do the job and he settled for the rest of the way home.

Through the week he had two sessions in the school one with me where we worked on the flexing and things from the previously lesson.
Vic had a ride on him on Wednesday and found to her peril just how wide he is but she really enjoyed riding him and playing about,he is the perfect horse to play about on as his paces are extremely comfortable and he doesnt get wound up.

The other thing that im pleased about is his physical shape,although he is still carrying a bit too much weight around his tummy its definitelg firming up and looking more toned.Also his chest and shoulders are looking huge,his chest is now wider than Polo's who's a bigger horse and well built in himself.He's turning into a real power house:)
The field is now stripped off so they now have less than half the field which they share with their Fell pony friend and Vic's horse Ted who moved in with them last weekend.
It was quite funny today as when I got to the field to bring them in I caught them just about to make a break for it.They were both in the stream which runs between their field and one of the other fields,I shouted of them which stopped them in their tracks Polo leapt out and cantered over to me luckily Ali followed Polo and not the Fell who continued up the river into the other field!
Need to strip that bit off tomorrow.

Hoping for a gentle hack tomorrow,well thats the plan.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Falling to pieces

Ouch im stiff today and think im getting a cold {yuck}.

Had a lesson yesterday with the instructor who was opposite my old yard.It actually wasnt bad I was dreading it a bit as we've not had one for ages but things werent horrendous at all,although im feeling it today.
D had us doing lots of flexing to get him bending around my inside leg, he tends to set his neck or curl in rather than flex at the poll.Spent time sharpening his responses up and getting him forward he did object a couple of times a did a couple of bucks D said to continue to ride him forward and flex him that basically he's objecting cos its hard work.
Over all I was pretty pleased,he softened much quicker than I thought he would and we had some nice moment,Vic watched bits of it and she said she saw some nice work at times.

Today I gave him a gentle lunge today to loosen up thinking he might be feeling as stiff as me although in honestly he looked pretty fresh.
Polo had a brisk walk-out in hand.

Tomorrow im stripping their field off as he's starting to put weight on, obviously the grass is coming through!

Through the week we had a day playing with the poles which he's not done for ages he was really good and bounced his way through them its a fab way to get him to really use his backend.
Also had a hack,he was by himself so bit nappy and did a bouncy buck when I first asked him to trot but once he got going he was fine if not particularly forward.

Buster had his photo taken a few weeks ago at a show which I like so I bought a copy,here it is....
Didnt attempt one with Ted as I knew he wouldnt standstill hopefully when he gets a bit experience i'll get his done.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


not a great day in the school with the 'G man' as soon as I sat on him I knew he was in grind to a halt at every opportunity mode so I should have gone for a little hack but he was so good in the school last time I went in anyway. His Fell pony friend was in there too who seemed to be in the same mode,maybe they'd been partying hard through the night?
Anyway the lateral work okay but not as good as last time,I tried playing about in trot half halt and gather him up in corners and short side of the school and open and forward down the longsides-tried being the operative word!
He argued about going forward at every opportunity and bucked a couple of times when I had the cheek to ask strongly (not in Polo's league matey!).I asked for a few canter transitions..horrible and a few more bucks cos I would accept him bouncing up and down like a rocking horse rather than going forward{sigh} hack tomorrow see if he's better then.
Im desperate for a lesson will definitely contact the instructor from my old yard see if she'll travel.

I took Polo in the school and had another crack at the rope circling,he was a sharp as ever, picked up exactly what it was all about instantly and wanted to trot round when I only wanted walk, he's the most incredibly sensitive and reactive horse.
He looked sound then off then sound then off but as we played he looked sounder,
maybe the herbs are working?!?!

I lunged Ali yesterday using the whole school and he was pretty good,we were just playing about really .

Forgot to say we went for a long hack on Wednesday,another new hack, Ali was really good although didnt like passing a smelly farmyard that had lots of noisy cows.He was mortified when it started to hail stone half way around and was tossing his head in disgust we had a few good trots and canters in the dash to get home. Mmmm maybe we just need bad weather to get him forward:)))

Dogs are all stripped now,I did Ted last week and made a start on Mouse. Ive never seen a dog react like Ted he positively loved it and was flat on his back while I did his tum.The others dont mind it but all have areas they dont like so much Buster is good all over but didnt like his shoulders done the first time,Minx is good everywhere but doesnt like her legs being done,Mouse doesnt like her tummy done.I finished Mouse off last night,well she has a bit on her tum still to got but I do that a little at a time,Minx got a tidy up as she had a bit of a mane,Ted a good brush through with the stripping blade and I tidied Buster up.
Im a bit cross with myself as his coat didnt look great for Crufts, his neck and shoulders arent through properly so it all looked a bit uneven but I was scared of making it worse so left it.Last night I pulled out all the long bit that were sticking out over his back and thighs and he looks fab now,still short on coat but its even and looks much better-typical!

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Just got home so quick Crufts news.
Well a day of highs and lows pretty much sums it up.This will probably sound weird but driving down this morning I had a feeling something bad was going to happen,I was paranoid the car was going to breakdown,Buster was going to take bad or *something*.The *something* didnt take long to rear its head but it wasnt aimed at us.
We'd literally arrived at our benching area and were putting the cage up etc when I saw an old man crash to the floor,it seemed to happen in slow motion as I watched,he simply went over backwards banging his head on the floor with the worst crack ive ever heard in my life.
A few of us rushed over, he was taking big gasps of air so we got him into the recovery position while shouting to get a doctor and ambulance.Seemed like forever until an on-site nurse arrived with emergency first aid kit,I could see he'd stopped breathing so told her, she proceeded to faffed on with an oxygen tank until another lady who was helping took charge and said he needs CPR and defibrillator NOW.
Another nurse who was just out for the day came and between the two ladies and another man giving CPR and a couple of us getting the defibrillator sorted we muddled through until the paramedics arrived who whisked him off like lightning.
His little old wife was standing through all this then got taken to hospital.
Well after this I have no idea what happened when for a while,I know I'd not give Buster his tablet when I arrived as i'd originally planned so ended up giving him it not long before his class.I cant remember if the old lady came back before or after we'd been in the ring but when I spoke to her,she was with Crufts staff and her husband had died.
What a horrible thing to have happened it was all we could think about all day,I kept hearing the crack.At the time I thought he'd gotten his leg caught on his cages but afterwards I reckon he'd had a heartattack and was probably gone before the paramedics arrived.The lady had no one with her and seemed completely dazed but obviously wanted to stay while the staff tried to contact her son and arrange her transport home as her husband was the driver.We kept an eye to make sure she was with someone all the time and incredibly she took her old dog into its class and won,apparently they'd shown and bred for many many years so im sure this was her way of handling the situation or doing it for her husband.
Anyway we did our class Buster didnt get anything my mind was not there and to be honest I dont think he'd have ever placed him anyway as he was going for much smaller dogs throughout the day and with a fair bit of coat,which Buster doesnt have because i'd had to strip him late with his illness!
Afterwards Peter said although he thought Buster looked great he seemed a bit flatter than his usually OTT self,im pretty certain it was because he got his tablet not long before we went in the class as one of the side effects is drowsiness.
I wasnt expecting anything anyway just getting there is an achievement and Peter said to have him looking half as well as he does and well him just being alive is not bad going.It did all seem pretty unimportant after what had happened anyway.

The high..well it wasnt mine but figure I can claim a little bit of it as it was Peter's glory and he's the one who's introduced me to showing so I was as pleased as punch when his little bitch pup not only got a first but then got best puppy of breed which is a fantastic achievement for him.

Im off for a bath and to sleep for 20hours....

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Wish us luck!

We are off to Crufts in the morning! Leaving at 3.30am{yikes!} so im in bed trying to sleep- interpreted as using my phone to go on the internet.
Im not looking forward to 3.30or the drive but excited to be going particularly with Buster's illness!
I'd would be a miracle to get placed but wish us luck to try &get some sleep now.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Good day allround!

Great weather,ground is drying up and had fun with the boys.

I am a dunce though!When I first had lessons with Polo the key to getting him working calmly and sensibly was lateral work, now I do 'some' lateral work with Ali but think ive been so wrapped up in getting him forward and off my leg ive kind of been going through the motions with everything else.Today I spent ages in walk playing about, turn on the forehand,leg yield,shoulder in etc and he felt as responsive to my aids as he's ever been.I could really feel him lift and was truly carrying himself at times.Worked on some laterals in trot which he made a good stab at then a few circuits in canter on each rein ,he was getting tired at this point but we got a couple of really departs so I was pleased.

I also Polo into the school and braved some rope circling with Polo,Richard Maxwell style. Now Polo is an absolute nightmare to lunge or long rein he just wont go away from me unless im forceful then explodes when im forceful so its something ive not bothered with too much cos its always been more hassle than it was worth. Today I thought i'd give the rope circling a crack and im shocked but he was actually very good!
Seems like Ali's my school master, because he's so forgiving when I make mistakes and stays calm when I clearly dont know what im doing its allowed my timing and skill to improve and this transfered to working with Polo.
Polo is quick to pick anything up,both good and bad,and cottoned on immediately to the idea I had to be very subtle and still he bounced into trot most times.I wanted to keep him at walk as he is starting to look sounder and I dont want to put the spanner in the works but it took some doing.Seeing him working even just for a little while makes me miss riding him and his extraordinary movement.

Ive decided to go hunting next winter,some of people from the yard went today and it sounded like such good fun.YO had gone too, when wife came back (she gone on foot as there wasnt enough room on the wagon) said she's definitely going to take one of her neds to a few of the local meets next winter as some of them will be within riding home distance.It sounds like such good fun and I reckon Ali is the perfect horse to take and have a great day out on.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Dentist day.

Both had their teeth done today.Despite noting that dentist was due several times over the past few weeks I still managed to forget this week and only realised this morning when I looked at my phone diary.After initially getting in a bit of a tizz when the penny dropped then remembering he didnt know i'd moved the neds and not being able to get a hold of dentist it all got sorted and I met him and on the road to show him the way to the new yard.
The over all opinion was they were in pretty good shape orally,Polo needed minimal work which is great,Ali a little more basically due to his age/new teeth erupting.Polo was much improved this time as he's always battled a bit since the work he had done at the vet school Ali just fidgits but nothing bad,dentist noticed Ali's chest has widened and how much he's filled out he was very complimentary about him.
I had intended on having a quick ride before he arrived but Ted put the spanner in the works by getting his head wedged under the stable door!Caused a fair bit of panic between us all for a while as we couldnt get his head out,in the end we lifted the door up a bit using a shovel while YO climbed over into the stable and wiggled him out.{sigh}

Monday, 23 February 2009

Show report but no lesson!

The lesson didnt happen instructor had to cancel which was disappointing,im going to contact the instructor I was using at my old yard see if she's prepared to travel to the new yard its not far so fingers crossed she will.

The show was a good day out on Saturday,Ted got a 2nd and 3rd which I was pretty stunned about considering he was totally wild,wouldnt stand even for a minute,tried to say hello to all the people ringside and actually sumersaulted over when walked up to the judge at one point!
I didnt get anywhere with the others,wasnt surprised with Mouse as her coat is finished and it was a huge class or Minx for the same reason but I reckon Buster deserved a place in his class..hey ho thats the way it goes.
Peter was relieved to see him and looking so well, he said he'd feared the worst when I was keeping him up to date during Busters illness, he got lots of nice comments around the ringside as usual:)
Crufts next week im just delighted he's well and I can take him and show him off
he really is a special boy.

Ali has been a star man again last week its going to make for boring reading:)
My mate,Vic, came and played in the school with us to help work on getting Ali forward,he's doing great on the longlines and improving on the hacks so the next step is to get him more forward in the school under saddle.
I rode and asked for lots of transitions as soon as I could feel him dying off in the pace or not responding promptly when asked to move up into trot etc Vic basically shooshed him from behind with a lunge whip.He made a few spectacular leaps forward until he got the idea but once he cottoned on he was travelling much better and carrying himself rather nicely with very subtle aids exactly what I want,he really lifted his shoulders when making the transitions up into trot which felt absolutely brilliant!
We also did this on the longlines Friday (I think).He did have me skiing a couple of times when 'shooshed' as for some reason he reacts far more with a lunge whip when working from the ground this resulted in some spectacular passage Vic was taken aback at how well he *can* move when he gets his butt into gear!
Sunday we had a fab hack with Vic out longlining her mare.We took them on a new route up onto the roads looping round through the woods and river and back through the fields.They both seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves on their adventure.We were both faffing about trying to take and pose for pics then had a giggle when we realised we'd both totally forgotten about the minor detail that we were out on basically a baby and an unbacked mare on longlines in an unfamiliar place:))
Trimmed both their feet and lunged Ali today nothing demanding just in his halter and playing about for a bit of exercise.

Polo's had a couple of foot soaks this week and two walks out inhand.I hope im not speaking too soon but he seemed full of beans yesterday and I seriously couldnt keep up with him he was striding out so well.I had to keep jogging and friction burnt the soles of my feet by the time we got back to the yard.Fingers crossed he's feeling better and on the mend!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

and another week goes by..

Ive had to switch shifts this week at work as we have no students in so im on days this week basically doing nothing! I wasnt told about any of this when I transfered from school so think its hugely unfair to be expected to totally work a different shift pattern,they'd not expect anybody working days to switch onto nights for a week several times a year..not even sure its legal!?!? I really need to get this sorted but didnt want to rock the boat until I got the days off I needed for Crufts haha.

The weather's been pretty bad all last week snowing then icy so the ground hasnt been good for much of the time plus the school has been frozen so we could do a great deal.
I longlined Ali in one of the top fields as this had the best ground,the field is opposite their field so when Ali's pony buddy saw him and started to gallop around shouting Ali got a tad excited to say the least.From the moment I said 'trot' he pinged into canter and well pretty much stayed like that for the 20mins we were in the field,purely his choice he kept boinging away and even had a few bucks.I didnt attempt to turn it into a training session and let him go for it thinking 'well ive wanted forward':) plus it was good for his waistline,he was rather hot and sweaty time he was finished.
He's had two long hacks Friday and Sunday and was a very good boy.Sunday we went out with another livery along a totally different route he seemed to thoroughly enjoy exploring although wasnt amused at having to ride along a muddy track on the way home and gave the other girl a good laugh as he took off into canter as if he'd figured blasting through would get it over with quicker,he really doesnt like mud!

Yesterday he had his second flu jab,because I was at work my friend saw to him for me,when I texted her to ask if he'd been okay her reply was 'yes he was so stressed about it all he couldnt even be bothered to stand up so he had it lying down in the field' I could just picture it too!:))))Slight difference from Polo and his needle phobia:0

Polo's been walked out inhand a couple of times and had a foot soak for his thrush!

*should* be having a lesson tomorrow yikes.........

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Trying to give me a heart attack!?!

This is getting beyond a joke why is it my animals are determind to give me heart failure..not the large half a ton variety I might add!
As my usual routine I arrived at the yard and set off across the fields with the dogs for their walk.Got into the second field walked half way up the field when I realised I only had Ted and Mouse no sign of Minx or Buster,they often run the outskirts of the field hunting the hedgerows but after calling and whistling I realised they were nowhere in sight!
I headed back down the field continuing to call for them after a couple of minutes I saw Buster's backside reversing out of the ground as he appeared his coat flipped over his head.Im not totally soft I only put their coats on when its wet as the have to sit in the car while im doing horses so I dont want them to get chilled.Anyway I ran and grabbed him and saw he'd come out of a badger hole.I deliberately avoid the middle bit of the field where all the badger sets are as they wanted to go down them when I fisrt stumbled upon them but this hole was situated way off to the left and down from the sets so hadnt noticed it...obviously they had!
I shouted and whistled for Minx down the hole totally flapping at this point thinking how far underground could she have gone? if she stumbles on some badgers they'd killer her....what if her coat get caught and she cant get out.
She was missing at least 10minutes,which felt like hours,but then her bum popped up as she backed out with coat over her head.
My god what a relief my heart was pounding!
I turned and headed for home keeping a close eye on them,they were both itching to go back.Its safe to say those two have the working Border ethic in abundance,I really should pursue the idea of getting them working certificates would be another string to their bow and I could enter them in the working classes,although they are few and far between.

This was when they first discovered the badger sets a few weeks ago..


Some of the fields we have to ride in at the new not taken today I might add!Not bad eh:)
Couple at the beach as promised

Meanwhile despite the snow,sleety and icy conditions ive been out on two long hacks with Ali yesterday and today, we've had to stick to the roads and lanes as they've been gritted whereas everywhere else is frozen and icy .AliG has been an absolute star im really pleased with him he's walking out much better to the point im only having to use my legs to ask him to move over,straighten up or on the odd occasion he stops and says "Mum it must be time to turn for home".
Today we went a 'new' way and he was fab led virtually all the way along the main road while my friend longlined her mare,he's taking his 'nanny' role incredibly seriously,although in fairness the mare seems to have the typical Iberian attitude of being scared of nowt:))
He halted and looked at a few round bales in a field along the road but that was it,his walk is longer and swinging most of the time now instead of being short and choppy so im really chuffed to bits with him.
Polo meanwhile has a few hours kip in the stable and munched on some haylage...its a hard life.
Tomorrow im giving Ali the day off as I think he's earned it as he's had two days of long hacks so Polo will get some attention and a walk out inhand.

Oh nearly forgot while leading them down to turn them out Ali stood on the lace of my boots which was poking out the bottom of my chaps.I staggered,nearly fell right infront of him then somehow got a good knee up the butt for good measure.Luckily he realised something was amiss and stopped dead,I did find it pretty funny but I suppose if he'd kept walking and i'd fell I could have easily been stood on as I was right infront of him..another Brownie point for Ali!