Sunday, 30 November 2014

Fizz and fun

Well it was all go this week, all horses have now been moved over to the winter grazing, we had lots of rain and the river broke the banks that night! At least we beat it this time, not like back in June. Other than that, Rio has pretty much spent the week being a field ornament. Boy, did he have something to say about that yesterday. 

I had planned on schooling (braving the scary outdoor grass arena) before going with Millie to try hacking out her new potential horse. As it turns out, Sarah pulled up as I was tacking up so she went and got Franks and we went for a ride out around the village. Neither of them were settled, they both wanted to be in front, or jogging, and on the way back onto the field, Rio decided to try a little bronc/buck thing, so we made them walk back the long way around! Cheeky little thing. Franks decided it looked like fun and tried it on too - cue visions of hurtling across the field - but we both sat firm and told them off and they managed to walk back to the yard with no further argument. Boy was I glad I didn't try schooling - I think he'd have been a total nightmare. 

 So Millie's hack got cancelled, which meant my day was free. Luckily Sarah was heading over to help finish her friend's menage, and I decided to go and help out. 3.6 tonnes of fibre topping, and almost 6 hours later, the five of us had successfully broken up and spread the surface ready for soaking, rolling and riding today! 

At around 300kg per bale of this stuff, it was heavy going getting each one into the arena ready to be opened and spread. I can certainly feel it today, I have Hulk shoulder on the right side! I wasn't about to let that stop me riding it today though.
I kept Sarah company this morning when she went to pick up Millie's new boy, a lovely boy the same age as Rio, a Connie x TB. Once we were back at the yard, we awaited confirmation that the school would be ready to ride on today, and dashed off to get the boys in, and loaded up in the trailer when we received it. After clearing the wooden track that was in place by the entrance, we got to tack up and set foot in the arena for the first time! 

After the fun ride yesterday, neither me nor Sarah expected much productivity from today. I was so pleased with the work we managed. We played follow the leader for a bit, and after some walking and a bit of trotting, I slowly pulled Rio up and we went it alone for a few laps. We took up following again and tried a canter, which was mildly successful - following Franks and Sarah - other than Rio's sharp cornering in order to keep up around the circle. After that, we went our seperate ways and I was pleasantly surprised with how he got on. He wasn't so keen on the far end of the school (as usual) but did better than expected considering I hadn't taken in a schooling whip to touch on his shoulder. Most excitingly, we cantered solo, and managed almost a whole circle on the left rein, and even better - two whole circles AND up the long side on the right rein, before I brought him back to trot! A momentary flash in my mind of future canter exercises in schooling made it all worthwhile. Unfortunately, he was pretty sweaty after not much time at all, so lucky for me, he needs clipping again already. I think I may be giving it a go myself this time though, with a borrowed set of clippers, as no way can I afford that at the moment! 

25 sleeps to Christmas! 

Ride/play safe x

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Any tips on keeping your blog active? I think I need to pre-plan some posts! I am more frustrated for future me as I will be reading this blog back in years to come, and there will be so many blanks and gaps! 

Guinea piggies are settling in well, and MJ seems to think they are her pets. She sits for hours watching them both outside and inside. 

On Thursday, it was mine and Rio's Horsiversary. I can't believe how much has happened in just 12 months, and I can't wait to see what the next 12 months hold in store. 

Then and now. He does need his legs clipping out again. I have decided he will probably remain clipped year round (if I can afford to do so...) I love the picture I got of him on Thursday sticking his tongue out - such a cheeky chappy. 

Rio is having turnout in the back part of his field as of today, as we will probably be moving over to the Winter grazing very soon. I went down to move him back into the front of his field this evening, and after a few minutes of coaxing him from a distance, he made his way back through the open gate. Sadly he decided he wanted to make a dash for it when I went to close the gate, so I had to retrieve him a second time with his headcollar. He came through with no issues though, and he was a sweetheart standing with me for some cuddles before I left him for the night. 

We spent a little while one evening this week exploring the barn - his stable is in the depths of the barn, so we've been using the end stable by the door to practice walking in and not freaking out. He managed to walk into the stable twice, without pooing (he usually stress-poos) and didn't just rush straight out again. Today, after our hack out around the village, I hopped off, and as usual took his saddle off and left him to it for a minute. He actually took himself into the barn; what's more, he didn't turn around at the spot he froze at during the week, and happily let me lead him out through the other end of the barn. 

OH! Rio had his first session of physio on Thursday too. He is in good shape, had a couple of locked ribs which have been put back, and is ever so slightly tight through his left shoulder. However, Claire said that he was doing very well, and was lovely and loose through his back, hips and pelvis, and is doing well for his age. I was super chuffed with how well he behaved as well, as it can be a bit confusing what he's being asked! This all took place after I found a lump on his leg on Monday evening. He's got what the vet suspects is tissue growth following a knock in the field. I was worried at first that he'd popped a splint, but there's no swelling or heat, and he's not lame at all. As it goes, it does seem to be going down already, so it's just a case of monitoring it. 

Ride / play safe x

Friday, 7 November 2014

Winter Blues and some news

Oops time is flying by far too fast at the moment, can't believe I've not blogged in almost 3 weeks! There's not much exciting to report as we've not been doing any riding during the week. Rio is a field ornament in the week, and coming out for rides on the weekend. We had a great trip out in the box on Saturday last week, to a new spot I'd not been to before. There were BRIDLEWAYS! We never see bridleways where we are, so this is such a novelty you wouldn't even understand. 

Rio is enjoying working his way through the long grass in his field, he gets a bit opened up every other day. I want him to be in tip top condition for the colder weather, and also to make the most of the grass before we move over into the Winter paddocks. I don't want him to get bloated though... Balancing it is hard. 

He's looking pretty good. I'm not convinced he's enjoying being rugged up to the max, but we've been getting away with 100g for now, except one night this week which got down to 0, and I was super pleased I'd put his 220g on. It's been pretty soggy so his field is now getting mushy, his head and top of his neck and mane are muddy and it's all dried in, and poo picking is a bit like skating around some mornings. Hey ho, bring it on. 

In the meantime, I've been helping out a couple of times with my cousin's horses. I schooled Baby the week before last with my cousin schooling Oakey and today we went solo as my cousin wasn't able to get down. It's good to have a ride in the week whilst I'm not able to do as much with Rio, but it's also good for me to be able to ride a different horse. It keeps me on my toes, makes me concentrate, and gets me thinking about my position. Riding a 17.1 warmblood is markedly different to riding a 15.1 welsh D cross! He worried me this evening as he was bobbing and dropping his shoulder as if he was lame on his right fore/left hind when we first went up into trot. However, it seems he was just trying me on as once I asked him on and he picked up a more forward trot, he went absolutely lovely!

In other news - meet Coheed & Cambria, our new little piggies:

Ride / play safe x