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!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Caught out...

Yes its been a whole week since ive 'blogged',when ive got time im too tired to think then if ive got energy im too busy to sit down!:)))

Anyway a quick recap,last week I was pretty consistant again and AliG had 'work' of somesort or other most days.I longlined in the school and he was fab again.His responses are much sharper and he'll keep ticking along at the pace set without looking for any excuse to stop, the canter is great!
Rode out with my friend again while she longreined,he alternated between walking out really well to backing off and grinding to a halt.Her mare was a bit wandery and slow too so they may have been influencing each other?
I had a bit of a eventfull longlining session in one of the fields on Saturday,just as I was going in some people from the yard were walking towards us with dogs i'd taken my gang so its was a bit of a flurry of excitement leading to Ali not wanting to stand to shut the gate.Eventually we got that sorted when two groups of riders from the yard came into the field one was YO's hubby so I warned him not to come blasting up behind us as i'd end up mud skiing.Its amazing how many people wouldnt think twice about doing this but on longlines not a good idea.I took him down around the field to let all the riders get out of the way,when we came back up he obviously 'thought' we were doing a small loop and then heading for home so wasnt impressed at the idea of continuing into the field.He spun round which cause one of the lines to flip over his back then continued to spin leading to the line wrapping around his neck I let go a ran and grabbed him up near the bit then untangled the mess!Soon as he realised we were heading that way again he objected and tried to spin and take off so I set him off on a circle and lunge him in trot and canter for around 10mins then set off in the bogey direction.I think he'd gotten the message at this point and gave in then was fine longlining around the perimeter of the field.

Yesterday I took the dogs to the beach in the morning but hadnt really wrapped up well enough and got totally chilled to the bone so only fed and haylaged them.
Ive still got lots of pics to put on the computer as soon as I get time.

Today we have had HEAVY snow showers, I managed to get to the farm which is 'fun' with my skid at any excuse estate car.They looked quite happy when I arrived I had to hike all the way to the top corner of the field to get them when usually I shout and they come running!I lunged Ali in the school which was fun as there was a lovely soft snowy footing he seemed to enjoy it as he was very forward and bouncy.
More snow on the way tonight, so they say...........