Thursday, 31 July 2014

Growing up with Rio

I was looking through my (hundreds of!) photos of Rio last night, right back to the day he arrived with me on 20/11/2013. That's this first one. The other two are from the first couple of months of having him.

The bottom right is the "before" in these. It's from March 2014. It's probably just me, but he looks much better in the two "after" photos, perhaps it's just where his neck has chunked out a bit - along with the rest of him! 

This is 17/12/2013 vs. 20/07/2014. Definitely happy he's had his mane pulled. Seeing the difference here really makes it pop. Now just to get the stumpy bit of mane under control and he will look super handsome.

I think you can see even in his face that he has grown up, but again that's probably just me being sentimental! I think the beard is the next tidy-up project, that will make him look much smarter. 

Ride / play safe x

From bronco to nanny

The boys' mothers meeting this morning
So after our little incident on Monday evening, tonight was the night for getting back in the saddle. Tuesday night I was waylaid by a table top tack sale which was a little disappointing, but I did come away with a faux sheepskin white numnah for a tenner. Last night I was shattered and hungry and had a bit of a headache, so I just poo picked, watered, fly sprayed and ointmented up. I've started doing the 5/2 diet so for two days a week you stick to 500 calories or less. It's my first week, and Monday and Wednesday were a bit hard!

Tonight I went and got Rio straight out of the field instead of poo picking first (no time to talk myself out of it because of the heat/wind/headache/insert any other lame excuse here). I have now started riding with a schooling whip as he's been getting a little big for his boots recently, and so far its working pretty well. A little tap behind the leg if he's being a bit silly and he gets on with it. 

We were walking around the school chilling out and working on not looking at the scary thistles that have cropped up along one side, minding our own business. All of a sudden we were half way across the school with me growling and yelling expletives at him whilst I sat out a spack attack. What I thought happened was that we jumped sideways a bit and tried to bronc, and that I'd stood up a little out of the saddle in my stirrups before he calmed and we carried on walking around. What actually happened (as we almost ploughed through Stacey and her horse!) was that he literally jumped with all four feet off the floor and turned mid-air and had a little attempt at broncing. It also turns out that I probably didn't actually get up out of the saddle, that's just what the view looks like when I sit up and pull the reins up to keep his head from going down. Go figure. We moved onto a nice trot after that. 

Stacey is an instructor, so I was pleased for feedback afterwards, and especially pleased when she said I didn't move a muscle sideways and just went with him, and handled it well (perhaps other than the swearing...) Let's hope this is the start of sitting this kind of nonsense out - or better yet, the start of me winning a battle of wills against him doing it at all. 

We went on to do some nice trot work on both reins, and even managed a few strides of trot on the bit, and then I bit the bullet and sat in for a canter transition before I had time to think about it too much. It went very smoothly, we did a half dozen strides, and I brought him back. On the opposite corner, I asked again, and we did a few more strides down the long side, brought him back. Lots of encouraging words and strokes to the neck, and some more trot work before we changed the rein and repeated the exercise on the other rein. It was equally successful, and made me feel much better. There was no hint of a bronc, which leads me to further believe that Monday was a rebellion. 

After that we walked off a moment and then escorted Millie and Miss B on a walk around the village. Miss B is Millie's TB rescue project, and had her first set of shoes on today. We made it around the village with Rio as a nanny horse (yes... we actually trusted him with this responsibility... hmm) and Sarah on her bicycle. Miss B has a tendency to go backwards. A lot. When she stops and doesn't like something, back she goes. She was especially trying this on the way out, but it's got to be a behavioural issue as she was absolutely fine out front on the way back. 

I'm pleased to say that Rio didn't bat an eyelid whether he was in front, behind, beside, or being backed into - aside from one mystery "rush" where he did a few little steps of trot/canter on the way back for no apparent reason (cue another growl - I've finally found my voice, which is good as he is quite responsive to vocal cues). Luckily we were a few steps behind Miss B and had the room to do it, but who knows what that was all about? All in all, I'm pretty pleased, and fingers crossed we can take on the stubble field soon... Perhaps with Sarah and Franks'supervision!

Ride / play safe x

Monday, 28 July 2014

Double Whammy

This evening was interesting. Yes, it was windy. Yes Rio had a little bit of a funny five minutes after standing quite nicely at the barn for quarter of an hour. Despite the wind, he settled once I untied him and moved him away for a bit. Once Millie and B got up, we tacked up and headed out for a ride. B was very spooky with his owner yesterday, so it was a bit of a test to see how he would go. 

Both boys were walking out very nicely, and Rio was being good, so I decided we would give the river field a go. All was going well, and we had a lovely trot around the outside of the field. Unfortunately, I made a grave misjudgement and didn't bring Rio back to walk before the corner. We trotted a few paces down the middle track (our regular canter track...) and then I sat in and squeezed him on. What ensued was a few regular bouncy excitable strides which I was ready for, followed by broncing, and my third fall. I was expecting that he would do his usual couple of excited strides then settle down, so I sat in, instead of getting up out of the saddle. 

Rio stood and waited for me, so I got up and got back on. Mistake number two. We'd ended up back on the canter track. No sooner had I settled my bottom in the saddle and was about to find my right stirrup, and he was off again. I wish I'd had the reaction time or thought to give him a short sharp smack with the schooling whip, but with one stirrup I was more focussed on trying to get out of the saddle and attempting to bring him back. I failed. Off I came again, and managed to wind myself this time! I felt so bad for Millie as she looked on, the second time I came off she said I grabbed my wrist (I guess to hold onto something whilst I got my breath back) and she thought I'd broken my wrist! She went off to get Rio as he had wandered off a little this time, and was going for a wee... So it's obvious to say that this wasn't a spooking incident. This was boundary testing again. 

So we walked the boys in hand to the bottom end of the field, straight down the canter track. You would think that butter wouldn't melt! Millie held on to him whilst I got back on again at the end, and we attempted to pop him behind B to walk the route home. He wasn't having any of that though, so I let him go ahead, and we walked back up the outside of the field and out across the bridge with next to no issues. We got back to the yard without further incident, so I got off and unsaddled him, and off he went on the lunge to work. It's only the second time I've lunged him and before it was a bit rubbish. This time, he came to quite nicely in the end, trotting and cantering much better shapes. He worked until he got a bit sweaty and dropped his head to stretch out on each rein... 

Work in progress. I'm just hoping it's not going to be every time he comes out without Franks that he plays up. He was fine when I got back on him the second time, and he was fine cantering back in the outdoor grass arena, so now I don't know whether to get his saddle checked, get his back checked, or just put it down to him being an absolute sod, and a youngster. I often forget with his mainly sensible head that he's still just turned 5.

Ride / play safe x

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Our loss is Rainbow Bridge's gain

It's been a week of gains and losses, and ups and downs, and change.

Rio is back in his own field permanently. I got down on Monday morning to find that he fancied a side of Franks with his grass dinner. He has had a bit of a gammy eye earlier in the week, so he had this rather fetching fly mask which we bought from Sarah as she wanted one with a nose for Franks. Rio wore it fine for a couple of days, and then decided he didn't like it any more, and kept taking it off and has ripped the top of the mesh away. He's now in a different one of Franks' old Mark Todd fly masks which doesn't have ears to see how that fares... 

We've had a breakthrough with the NAF Mud Gard Ointment with clearing the small mud fever patch on his right hind pastern. I slopped a good blob on when I went down on Friday night, and on Saturday morning the scabs all but completely came off with ease. I've been reapplying it to keep it safe, and keeping the last little bits of scab at bay. Fingers crossed it's now on the mend, although there's now a chance he has mites. Woohoo for a gorgeous feathery boy hey... Watch this space. Our post-ride routine is getting longer by the day! We now have to wipe down and apply mud gard, part all feathers and spray in parasite spray, and he's also being washed down with warm diluted dettol to keep his coat clean and shiny (plus I love the smell!)

So this week we have gained a few bits. Fly masks (x2!) sheepskin saddle saver, courtesy of Sharon, because my jeans are starting to go bobbly on the bum due to my suede saddle! We have also acquired nettex mud away from my cousin, which we are yet to try, but should help keep the mud at bay once the weather turns again. Finally, today, we've been given the parasite spray to try before I have to resort to calling the vet out about Rio's foot stomping mite possibility, and Deosect, which I've not used yet, it will be a last attempt before calling the vet. 

Sadly, we have also had a loss this week. Due to his arthritis, the decision had to be taken to put him out of his pain. He was a fantastic little horse, safe and sturdy, and so loving. Our yard really pulled together for Millie, and we spent Tuesday evening at the barn until almost midnight whiling the hours away before the day. Bob's field mate of 14 years didn't take it too well (understandably) but he seems to be doing well now. He's a round little 11.2 pony, and is definitely missing out on his daily scratches. Rio was only interested in trying to eat him when we put them in the school together, so he went in for some cuddles with Franks on Friday. Brandy actually came out on a hack with us this evening, he is such a sweet little pony. 

We went out for a mini photoshoot with Bob out and about the yard. He will always be remembered at the farm. Rest easy big guy xxx

Ride / play safe x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Happy Horsey Weekend

We've had a lovely weekend! Yesterday, Millie and I spent almost 9 hours "at the yard" (we did pop out to the local tack store, which counts as being at the yard in my eyes!) You may have seen a picture of Millie's little pony on my last post - meet Brandy. He's a darling little twenty year old pony from the New Forest, who loves being in his cart. It was my first time driving, I've never been in a cart before! We had decided we needed to pop to the shop to get a drink and maybe an ice cream, so Brandy took us. We parked up in the car park, and boy do people come and talk to you. Several people came over to stroke him, and were asking all sorts of questions. That was new. I'm not really a people person... Interesting experience! I even got to take up the reins on the way back home, and we had a little trot and everything. It was awesome.

Today was pamper day, and my cousin kindly pulled Rio's mane for me this morning. He looks so super handsome now, and his short tufty bit doesn't look quite so short and tufty. I begrudgingly let her pull his forelock, but wouldn't let her do more than one pull as I love his forelock long. Admittedly, it does look very smart now. We decided that before he had his bath, we would ride round the village and stop off at the shop on the way back as there was a little bit of cloud coverage and a slight breeze. Rio wanted to show off his new 'do' to the world as he's a posh boy now. They were a little fidgety whilst waiting in the car park, but overall it was pretty successful. Who needs to park a car in a car park when you can park ponies?

So when we got back, it was bath time. He was much better than usual on the left side, I even managed to hose him down, lather him up with the shampoo, and rinse him off on my own without too much fuss. However, the other side wasn't so successful, and ended up with me holding him whilst Millie hosed him. He was very naughty at one point as he kicked out when his hind end was being hosed. Due to his left brain thinking, however, he didn't kick towards anyone or anything, rather he kicked out behind him like he had an annoying twitch. After a telling off from Millie and I, there were no more legs going out where they weren't wanted, and although he didn't stand still, we made it through. Perhaps whilst the weather is still warm, he may get hosed down daily for the next week to see if we can't get rid of this silly behaviour around the hose. 

Just because he's such a poser!
Amazingly, and possibly for the first time ever, he didn't even roll when I turned him out in his field. It's a big night tonight, he's spending tonight AND the day tomorrow in with Franks. We've extended the fencing in their paddock so there's more grass in there again so fingers crossed there will be no bitten bottoms. He's also back to having a hard feed once a day, as they're not getting all the nutrients needed from the grazing at the moment, so he's on chaff and a low calorie balancer to make sure he's getting all he needs whilst he is (still!) growing. Come on Rio, let's get that last inch or two out of you!

Ride / play safe x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Jump on with both feet

Me and my boy are in training together!! After last night's adventure out with Sarah on her bicycle keeping us company, we went out for a mooch around the village with Sarah and Franks. I've come to the conclusion that I may have to carry a schooling whip when we're out and about - he had a stop yesterday when it was just us, which I managed to move him on from. Sarah was there for moral support to get on at me to get on at him, and it worked. 

Today, we took the lead for most of the hack, although Rio did tuck himself in behind Franks in the big field for a little bit at the start. We kept a good pace throughout, and Rio was pretty good, even when faced with a bus that slowed down but didn't stop to wait for us to pass! We went out across the grassy field by the river, but couldn't take our usual route thanks to the recent rain. Half of the track was a mini creek! We took the outside track, and stuck to a good walk, making our way through the little ditches that had formed. 

Rio was going well until we came across a patch of ground where there were distinctive different colours, lots of brown long grass across the green. We had a sideways hop with a 90 degree left turn into the foliage, which I think I comfortably sat. I turned him back to where we were headed, and tried squeezing him on, but he was rooted to the spot. I gave him a few seconds to have a look, but he was just planting himself by this point so I had to try and show him I meant it. A few strong pony club kicks, talking to him, geeing him on, and he still wasn't moving a muscle, so on this occasion we had to put Franks in front, and have him show Rio there was nothing to worry about. We took the lead after this again, and he was really good for the rest of the ride, even staying up in front across the big field on the way back home. Funnily enough, he still side stepped at the spot where he threw me. Such a strange boy. I had to take that route back or I knew Sarah would tell me off for avoiding the incident site! Haha. Got to love it. 

Rio will have tomorrow off as we are off out for dinner for my mum's birthday, then we will see what we get up to on Thursday evening. 

Ride / play safe x

Monday, 14 July 2014

So what is your horse for?

I got down to the yard to see Rio this morning with his girlfriends - yes, plural! 

Now I know why I have Rio, but I wonder for what reason other people get their neddies. For me, it is not just about me and Rio but the yard itself, and the people. The atmosphere of peace after a long stressful day, somewhere where I don't have to sweat the small things and can roll with the punches. I love that he's not a perfectly preened show pony; if anything, he's an absolute mud monster at the moment. He comes back from a hack dirtier than he leaves, because he's s a sweaty boy. He has a fidget and tries to scratch his butt on everything in reach when he gets hosed down. He pulls silly faces when he's trying to eat an apple because he can't figure out how to bite it once it's in his mouth. He has a huge trunk on him, and can't stop snouting at everything around him. 99% of the time, spooking doesn't even result in him moving from where he is. The other 1%, well who knows. Our bond is getting better every day. I can easily while away any number of hours at the yard, whether it's with Rio, or just chatting away the time. We keep on breaking new barriers together, and today we had our first adventure out together with no other horses, that wasn't just around the big field. Yes, my friend cycled with us, but we were the only horse and rider, and you know what? It was wonderful. 

All in all, having him just makes me smile. That's what Rio is for. He keeps me sane.

So what is your horse for?


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Cuddles with my boy

I'm very pleased with how Rio has been the last couple of days. The weather has been so blustery, I've not ridden since Tuesday, but he's been very responsive. Moving him between fields last night when the wind had trees bending over in the gusts, I was a little nervous that he might be a bit of a numpty, but he walked straight out with me with no hesitation. 

I was a little concerned when I got down and Rio was laying down, and didn't move to poo pick with me, but he got straight up when I was done and put his headcollar on. He's looking much better now him and Franks are alternating nights in the fatty field. 

He was still very sleepy when he went into the field with Franks so there wasn't much to see, but a friend said that he was pushing Franks about later in the day. He came up this evening to have his feet picked and the scabby bits on his pastern seen to again. His skin is starting to look much more pink and fresh, so hopefully the Hypocare is helping, and we are getting somewhere. He even came for a trot with me at liberty in the field tonight, love him! 

Ride / play safe x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

New arrivals & some peace

The boys managed to survive the day together yesterday! I didn't get down to the yard until much later than usual last night, but Sarah sent me this. Franks very kindly offered to spend the night in Rio's paddock to help graze it down a little more, which I thought was lovely of him. I am pleased to report that even after one day of being on a barer field, Rio's grass belly was visibly reduced, and when I tacked him up to ride last night, his girth is actually in the same place, if not one hole higher than it was before. 

I'm waiting with baited breath for the delivery man to turn up (the tracker says he was due 10.45 - 11.45!) as I'm home on my lunch break, and have to leave again in ten minutes. It's Rio's grazing muzzle. He will be back in his own field tonight, so I would really be happier if I knew he had it on so he doesn't undo the good work of yesterday, last night and today being in Franks' field! 

This little man is the reason I was late down to the yard yesterday, meet my new nephew Benjamin! We had to get up to the hospital before visiting hours ended at 7pm. He's a little darling, barely made a peep the whole time we were there. That's the kind of baby I can deal with!

I decided when I got down to Rio that we would do something, it had been raining earlier this afternoon and we even had a bit of a thunder storm, so I'd all but discounted the option of riding. By the time I made it there though, it had been dry for a couple of hours, and Rio was actually pretty dry so we had just a little schooling session. I *think* we managed a couple of steps on a contact, but without someone on the ground I'm still getting used to telling. We did some trot poles, and gave cantering a go, but had to take it easy as he's not got the hang of cantering around bends in the school yet, and lost his footing behind on the damp grass. All in all, I was pleased, and glad we got to do something just the two of us. Still not taken him back out again on my own since the fall, but I'm working up to it!

Ride / play safe x

Monday, 7 July 2014

Keeping control

Tonight's purchase. Since Rio bit Franks on the bum, and went back into his own field, he has ballooned over the last two days. We are going to try putting them in together during the day, and in their own fields overnight, but for now that means that he needs some restriction other than the fencing that I put up to make his field a bit smaller. I don't want him to be restricted to a tiny paddock, but he definitely needs to get rid of the grass belly. I'm disappointed really, he'd just started looking so good. 

I helped my cousin take Oakey out on long reins this evening around the big field, and for his first time out, he was a little superstar, very trunky and looking at everything but that's exactly what you expect from a four year old! He had a couple of little side steps but took it like a pro. 

I left the yard feeling a little deflated this evening, I didn't ride or anything as felt absolutely shattered. I was downhearted when comments were made about Rio's belly. I'm not kidding myself - I know he's ballooned the last couple of days, I'm not denying it or saying he looks good. I don't want him to be this round. We are working more often than before though, so I'm hoping it shouldn't last too long and the plan is that the boys will do a couple of days in Franks' field, and then one in Rio's. If all goes to plan, I'm hoping that they will eat the grass down in the next couple of weeks, and he won't have to use the grazing muzzle for long... He won't need to wear it in Franks' field, only overnight in his own, and he can have it off during the day that they spend in his field. 

Ride / play safe x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

(No more) Soft Touch

After such a pleasing day yesterday, I was a little hesitant to hope that today would live up to expectations. After breakfast with hubby and my father in law, I headed up to watch some of the stressage at Stratford Hills. It all looks very scary to me, there were 6 arenas on the go when I arrived, and lots of horses in the warm-up area. Lots going on! Anyway, it spurred me on to join Sarah schooling when we got back, and give riding with a contact a go. Rio has offered it up to me once whilst out hacking, but I didn't really ask him, so we're starting from square one.

I have an issue with loopy reins, so first things first was to get to grips with keeping him on a shorter, tighter connection so that I could feel him properly on the end of them. He gives a bit of a fight for it, and this is where I need to toughen up. Once the fight has been had, he is quite a natural at carrying his head in the right place, THEN you can soften up with him. I need to have that bit of a battle, and because I know he's not a kicker or a total idiot, I can more or less trust that if I can arrange myself, he will eventually follow. I was still struggling a bit, so Sarah and I swapped horses and I got to try riding a Franks! It's the first time I've ridden him, and I was a little nervous! 

Franks is pretty special, he's done all sorts with Sarah over the years, and no sooner had I picked up the reins, did he take up a contact. It was great being able to feel what I'm looking for from Rio, and Franks' trot is amazing to sit to - I don't have that luxury with Rio as he's a bouncy little dude! The saddle is also a nice squishy armchair of a dressage saddle, which was wonderful. I took comfort in the fact that I was able to keep my hands steady and maintain the contact with Franks' - good news as it means it's not my hands waving around that's causing the issue. I need to learn with Rio to hold my hands up a little and ensure that I keep a slightly tighter outside rein to maintain the contact, whilst playing a little with the inside rein until he drops down. My problem is recognising when he drops his head and relaxing (but keeping!) the contact in that second. 

Once Sarah had got Rio going nicely, I hopped back on, and worked on the same. We did manage a few good steps in outline, but boy was it hard work. It's certainly something we can work on now that I know what I'm looking for! I was also really pleased as Sarah got a full circuit and a half of canter out of Rio on his right (good) rein. Even she found it hard work though, and it took a bit of verbal encouragement (read: noise) to keep him going around the top bend of the school. Something else to work on. In the meantime, we have trot poles laid out to intersperse the serious stuff. Rio loves them! Please ignore my heels in this photo, I was just trying to keep him in a nice active trot (something else I'm working on... heels into the ground!) It won't be long before we try a little cross pole hopefully, especially if we continue at this rate. 

Ride / play safe x

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Needle in a haystack (or field)

Rio had a long hard night on Thursday. Sarah goes down a little after me in the mornings, and it would appear that the boys had a little routine going. (Past tense as Rio bit Franks on the bum Thursday between my visit and Sarah's, and is now back in his own field...)
  • Graze at opposite ends of paddock when mum comes down, Franks to acknowledge presence, and possibly say hi, Rio to come and loiter around the wheelbarrow ready for poo quality control checks
  • Graze together for a bit as mum leaves
  • Rio to lay down for nap time in prep for Sarah's arrival, and Franks to stand watch
  • General grazing after Franks has had breakfast, including extra curricular activity such as sliding stops, cantering up the long side of the field in pairs, and apparently a smidge of cannibalism (although this can be thrown in whenever fancied...)
It's a shame really, as they seemed to be doing very well together in the field. They will be having supervised play dates in future, as although I don't want him tearing poor Franks to shreds, being able to interact with another horse is invaluable at his age. Having been the one with the horse on the end of the bullying originally, I don't want to be the mummy of the bully... 

How can such a funny boy be capable of such things hey?! This has to be one of my fave snaps Sarah has sent to me so far.

I spent my evening last night fencing Rio's field off so that he's got an L shape to roam and graze. There's still a LOT of grass in there, but thankfully the sheep have grazed down a little bit of it. I'm hoping it will be a good incentive for me to keep up the riding routine, so he doesn't balloon again. With any luck Franks can come over and visit for a bit and help with the grazing down too. 

I was just tidying all the bits up, when I realised that I had pinged the inch-long pin out of the fencing reel (the one that holds the end in place so it doesn't all unravel in storage)... I wasn't prepared to accept that vet bill, should Rio find it whilst grazing, so I had to walk the fence line in the hope it hadn't gone far. Would you believe I managed to find it? I was so pleased. I'm not sure I would have slept last night if I hadn't!

Today was one of those good days. Rio walked straight out of the field with me, walked up nicely, tried being a little cheeky on the last stretch and came back to me when I put my foot down. Stood nicely at the barn, picked his feet up with minimal fuss (he's been a little impatient the last few days with his feet). Stood perfectly to be tacked up, moved over when asked, and took his new bit without question. SIDENOTE: We are definitely keeping the Neue Schule, the new wider bit fits him perfectly, and I was actually sent a brand new one to trial this time! No need to even return it for a new replacement to keep. Result. Rio seemed indifferent to it being any different to his current bit, which I will take as a positive. It's a bit narrower than the steel one, but I'm hoping the Salox will even out the difference. Now to work on the contact... 

I actually schooled again today. We did a few transitions (nowhere near enough though now that I think about it) from walk to halt, and then from trot to walk to trot and some that were just trot to walk. He felt active underneath me, and although his shoulder was falling in on the end of some of our circles, we were trotting shapes in a nice forward way. We have a bit of an issue with Rio's canter transitions. He's picking them up much better in the bottom corners of the school. This is where I usually ask for canter. He's still struggling to maintain a canter for a full circuit, but the transitions into canter (in his "canter corners") are becoming much easier to make. So now we need to try cantering from other parts of the school. 

We finished off doing some trot poles, after getting some advice from Sarah on how to try and work him onto the bit. It didn't go so well today, but it's something I'm just going to have to work on with him and find our own way of discussing. I've never really worked "on the bit" before, so am not exactly sure how to ask what I want to ask, and because he hasn't particularly been taught to work on the bit, he's not sure what I'm asking yet either. Any advice welcome! I've had him take up a contact whilst out hacking on the field once before, but at the time, I wasn't specifically asking it of him, I guess I just found the right combination of things and was properly relaxed without intending on it. The trot poles were great fun though! We will definitely play with those more.

In other news, my cousin has got her new 4 year old OTTB at my yard for a little while whilst a space comes up at her place. He's fresh off the track, and is a cute leggy little chestnut. Watch this space!

Ride/play safe x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Relaxed pony

Love how he stands like a show pony so often. 

Rio had the evening off today, he wasn't very forthcoming with leaving Franks in the field, but with a bit of pressure and release (and unfortunately a bit of snaking) we made it out in a few minutes. He's proving his intelligence again as he's figured out that when he goes for a wee he gets to stop and munch some grass. Clever boy.

He's been stomping his feet a little recently, so I've been keeping an eye on him as he could have mites in his feathers. He's not been so bad these last couple of days, but I brought him up this evening, I washed his legs down with some hibiscrub in case he has any unseen sore bits. He had a little leg massage, and was very good and stood steady pretty much the whole time. He's also got a little scabby patch on his right hind just on his pastern, so I've been treating that with warm diluted hibiscrub, and taking the scabs off. A friend has lent me some udder cream so I've been putting that on, and it's starting to look much better. A quick application of baby oil on his feathers, hypocare on the graze he keeps catching on his back leg, and it was time to head back down to the field. 

Ride/play safe x

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Totally-awesome Tuesday

Perfect hack with the boy this evening. We took a friend out for her first hack with her share pony somewhere other than the yard, and she loved it! 

Had to get a photo with the "Bridleway" sign as we don't have any near our yard...

This hill is awesome. You can't appreciate it with all the ferns at the moment but it's just awesome. It's not huge, but it's pretty steep, and the power from behind you can feel when you canter up it. Just (you guessed it!) AWESOME! If you watch it through, you'll see us take out a fern on a sharp bend, and right at the end, I just missed the shot that would have been great to get - Franks leapt up from standstill and Sarah's matrix style somehow meant she stayed on. We honestly thought she was a goner! Sadly you can just see Franks' legs come out and me saying OH MY GOD!

Lovely canter after Franks' little episode - have to laugh at my little wobble when I've turned around. Was so great to have my camera on my wrist and be able to get photos and videos. Will definitely do it again until I have the joy of a head cam or Go Pro!

My third attempt at a running plait - I think I'm getting the hang of these things! This was taken two thirds of the way into our ride, and still all in!

Having a munch back home before we went back down to the field. We had a little discussion at both ends about getting into the trailer, but all in all was not too bad. 

Ride / play safe x