Saturday, 30 January 2016

News and New Stuff!

Well I have some happier news to report - and an explanation on why Sarah is riding Rio in this picture! We are pregnant, and will be 26 weeks tomorrow! Rio has been off work since my last post, for my peace of mind but it also came at a good time over Winter whilst I'm trying to balance his digestive system. Sarah kindly agreed to brave the saddle for me a few weeks ago just to see how he is getting on, and he was a little angel. He had started pulling his head down when I mounted, because he was getting uncomfortable, and there was none of that on this day. He usually takes 5 - 10 minutes of being a little more alert, on his toes and joggy before he settles in our friend's manege. Not this time - he was lovely and relaxed from the get-go. This may have been down to the groundwork and long-lining I did with him before, but this was the first time he has been under saddle in 3 months+ so he could have done anything. It was lovely to see him looking a happy chappy again. 

I think he is looking well at the moment (and I think in this picture he does too!) He has had a follow-up visit with Donna since September and we saw great improvement. He has been less spooky, and thanks to the groundwork we even ventured out around the neighbouring field on long-lines on our own a few weeks back. It's been keeping me active having Rio - and although some days I've possibly done a little too much, it's great for keeping me going! 

In other news, I have an exciting new venture in the planning stages! I've decided to take my maternity leave as a perfect opportunity to really sink my teeth into my photography, and launch myself into business. Please do add me on Facebook and Instagram so you can keep up with my updates. I'm super excited to open a brand new chapter in my life - and not only that, a chapter that can tell other people's stories! There's plenty to plan, and lots to get sorted, but I can't wait to give this my best shot and see what's out there for me. Launching my business with my first child on the way is not complete madness, right? ... 

I'll try to be a little more active again now, it's been a bumpy few months, but we're back on track! 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Poorly pony

Selfie with the hubby!

There's lots going on at the moment, and it's starting to get dark and dismal of an evening. I took the plunge and invested in a visit from Donna Blinman for Rio last week. I had a niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right with him, as he's been getting more and more reactive in his spooks, and had been getting less attentive whilst playing on line. Boy was I glad I went for it!

So it turns out Rio has problems with his stomach. It could explain his spooking, and why he can't control his adrenaline and bring it back down when he does spook. It could also explain why he's been uncomfortable backing up, and brushes behind with his hind feet. It may be the reason that he's been stretching his head down to the ground when I've been mounting him to ride for the last few weeks. My poor guy was pretty sore - Donna was quite surprised we had been out riding, and spent most of his appointment working on his stomach. He's been such a trooper and barely showed me he was in pain, but I'm so glad I followed my gut instinct. 

He's now on green clay, and out of ridden work for a few weeks to let him get more comfortable again. Fingers crossed it all starts to come good again soon!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Misty mornings and lush hacks

Misty mornings are upon us, and the temperatures are starting to drop overnight. Rug season is here, and yes I rug my Welsh Cob!

We had a fantastic ride out at King's Forest a couple of weeks ago. 2 1/2 hours of unadulterated forestry and tracks, and the most awesome canters. Rio was a total superstar and really surprised me with his stamina. So much love for this boy!

He wasn't so impressed with his hair 'do' when I took his plait out though, teehee.

I also went to Burghley for the XC phase again this year. We were at the crossing when Andrew Hoy was unseated, but luckily didn't see any of the other tumbles! My lovely hubby came along for his first experience, and I think he almost enjoyed the day. 

And to finish off - a bit of 3 way boy love after a pleasant hack out around the village with the girls whilst Franks and Sarah were away in the New Forest!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Catch-up on fast forward!

Stubble fields.

Boy love.

Overcoming scary objects on wheelbarrows. At liberty :)

Sunset stubble field hacks. The world's longest stubble field, and Rio actually tired himself out completely. We had the best canter, after I was initially not convinced. Both boys came off the trailer and were very antsy at the start of the hack, but by half way across the first field my worries were gone, and by the third, I was up out of the saddle able to give his back the freedom he needed! Franks with his long legs and better fitness motored off whilst we slowed to a leisurely trot and then walked to catch up with them - what a good boy!

 Misty beautiful early mornings.

More boy love.

Observing at a Silke Vallentine Level 1-2 clinic on the weekend and taking away some interesting and useful hints and tips.

Not having my phone on the one day that Rio ends up brown and brown because he's caked himself in mud!

Treating us to new Le Mieux navy sports boots - to match the numnah of course.

Replacing the waterproof coat in the nick of time - today was a washout!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Blasting away the cobwebs

The cruise was fab. It was the perfect break that we needed at just the right time. If you ever get an opportunity to sail on a Clipper, absolutely go for it! 

Back to real life, and I'm getting back in the swing of things with Rio. His confidence has taken a bit of a hit under saddle, and he's been a bit spooky, but on the plus side he's much improved in hand. Yesterday we went for a ride around the village with Millie and Bailey and finished with a little canter up the field which was interesting. It's been a while since he's had a proper leg stretching canter out on a track. The first half was very much a rocking horse gone mad, with his head between his knees! There was nothing malicious, but he was certainly happy to be out and moving some. 

This evening we hit the track up the road for a proper blast to try and clear some cobwebs. The wind was pretty gusty, but I wasn't about to start down that "nervous in bad weather rider" road. We tacked up, mounted, and headed off. We were so busy chatting away that I barely even noticed the wind. The ride was pretty relaxed all the way, and we had a fantastic canter up the hill and across the fields including a little bit of a gallop across the top! He was very responsive, keen and I think we both had an absolutely fab time. He's a little star, and I'm so pleased to be enjoying him again. 

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Thinking time

I am pleased to say that today I actually wanted to ride again. This afternoon Sarah and Franks accompanied us on a ride up the track, and we had a fab trot from the bottom up all three fields. Rio needed the leg stretch, and I needed the mind-clearing time. 

I'm off on holiday for a week on Saturday - we are off on a cruise. I thought that as the grass is growing so fast at the moment, that I would bite the bullet and open up the super long (dying) grass in the front part of Rio's field. He now can choose whether to eat the short sweet stuff, or the longer bulkier stuff. I'm hoping that I will be riding again a little more so he can then maintain a reasonable weight. I was happy with him this evening as he didn't jog at all - possibly the first time I've ridden without him jogging around in months! 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Keeping myself to myself

I'll keep this short and sweet, and make it pretty with some pictures of Rio and I, developing our bond at the recent play day at the end of June. Sarah also kindly put him through his paces up the bank, which he loved. I am very proud of him, Parelli really seems to suit us both. Anyway - more on that another day.

This should have been a happy post, but sadly my husband and I have just been through a very difficult time. Last Tuesday we were expecting to announce the due date of our first child, but instead we found out that we lost her in the early weeks. 

We are keeping busy. Rio has been a beautiful field ornament for the last week or so, but thanks to our groundwork, I'm confident that this shouldn't be too much of an issue as soon as my head is in the right place to get back in the saddle.