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!