Saturday, February 27, 2010

and she blew, blew, blew, blew, blew...

...not the runaway train but la tempête!!! France has a helluva night ahead with winds up to 110km/h inland and 140km/h on the coast. We are only on orange alert but not far away is on red!! Already a guy has been killed by a falling tree...keep safe everyone.
As a consequence I played with the boys in the yard...just sharpening up some of the basics like 'don't mug me if we're CT'ing' and standing still and backing up. Massage and grooming to finish...wish I was a 'hos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


...the weather (spot the theme bloggers)
I managed to work both in the dry today. Nothing spectacular just in-hand and lunge stuff but I'm very impressed that I dodged the violent hail storm this afternoon, hehehe.

Here's the boys for reference puproses...Moo still bending and stretching and Chapsi trying not to be distracted by scary man in the woods.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


A lovely sunday morning for myself and the neds whilst Patrick took Lydia swimming. Lazy lunch after working the boys and then a proper big dinner to round things off. So now I'm flup; especially as Lydia and I made Raymond Blanc's chocolate mousse for pud...yummy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chapiro pics

Worked Moo before turn out and he was a good lad, lots more bending and stretches and to finish on the way back to the yard...backing up the hill.

Chapiro was a superstar, he has really picked up the idea of work, LOL and seems to love it. I am really pleased with him and we finished with a walk up the lane, lots of snorting which makes me laugh!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

moving the horses shoulders

The best thing about blogging is people asking questions, that in turn begs me to search my soul and helps me to get my head around things.
Firstly it was a good day for the boys again, Moo was mega spooky but I didn't give up and finally got the relaxation and Chapsi was a super star...mastering voice commands to walk, trot and halt when 10m from me *big thumbs up*. We did more on moving the shoulder and learning to bend towards me a little.

So on to Di's question of how to teach moving the shoulder away. There are a number of ways and firstly I think it's important to know why you want to move the shoulder. I can tell you why I want but there maybe other reasons and methods.
There are two BIG things I like to be able to influence with my horse; the ability to start and stop him and the ability to keep him out of my space (OK mabe we'll call that three, LOL). So moving the shoulder, along with shifting the hip away and backing are essential in keeping him out of my space.
Richard Maxwell (I really rate Max's horse skills on the ground) uses rope circling to move different parts of the body. Parelli (who I really rate as the no.1 marketing man) I believe grabs his carrot stick. For me it's a question of what works for your horse. I teach a yield to pressure early on, pressure on the girth means move on, pressure on the chest means go back and so forth and so it's not a giant leap to... pressure on the shoulder means move them over. It's best to teach it one the move...get a forward walk and then put pressure (maybe quite a bit to start so perhaps use the flat of the hand) on the shoulder and at the same time walk in towards the shoulder. Simple as that...believe you can and you will; anyway Remy is a smart cookie!!!
Being able to move the shoulder is great for starting leg yield and lunging, it's essential during changes of the rein whilst lunging if you want to avoid being walked on.
Remember though it's hard to move a leg if you have all your weight on it!! Play around with bending the head/neck more or less inside because heavy inside bend will place more weight on the inside shoulder which leaves the outside shoulder free to make the first important move to the outside and ONLY THEN will the inside leg/shoulder be compelled to follow the movement.
Go play the Di!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

scruffy pone

I've had a good day played with Moo first and he offered canter on the lunge *yay* so I know the work is helping him.

This afternoon the sun came out and I thought it was the perfect time to start the last preparations with Chapsi. This time I plan (all being well) to continue through to *proper* lunging and long reining in readiness for a late spring sit on. He was a good boy as we ran through all the basics...go forwards, stop, back, follow, lead etc but today I played around with moving his shoulders away from me too (hips are very easy to move already) at first he thought I was mad but after a couple of tries he seemed to have it.
He's filled out really well now (oops maybe a little too well), looking almost stocky from some angles. He is still a big baby but I think a few months of work will help him grow up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

one jumper less

It dawned sunny and bright, still bloody cold at -9 but a day of promise. By this afternoon I was riding in far less than I have done for weeks and it was +9, hope it holds!
Moo was great and we did our in-hand warm up with some massage in motion; he seems very happy to let me get into his tight neck muscles. I managed to do a bit of trot work today as the school had defrosted enough to venture outside of the 20m square I had kept nicely frost free for the last few days. He is really unlocking his neck in the stretches now and I'm getting a really good feeling in the Indian bosal, very positive all round. Leg stretches after riding to round off a good day.
Later this week I'll get back into the work with Chapsi, he's been just ticking over for two weeks as I don't want to blow his brain by pushing too much too soon.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Yesterday I caught up with a blogger who was having a blogging dilemma, should they continue or not? I'm afraid I couldn't think of anything uplifting to say nor offer any pearls of wisdom but it did rattle my cage a little.

Why do I blog? Well I started because it seemed (from Claire/Molly's experience) to be a posititve experience and I wanted to keep my training notes in better order. After just over a year it has been exactly what I wanted; a complete year to look back on and smile/grimace at hehehe!! I post my pics and vids, not as a 'wow I'm so great' but as a reminder of where we've been and hopefully a spur to urge me on to better things.
I don't crave 'recognition' but I love to hear a word from friends/regulars who 'know' me even if only in the www sense!

Yesterday I was surprised to see my feed record showing multi visits from a UK forum, digging a little I found they were discussing a video and posting that I made last year. No problem, I put it there in the public domain, feel free to discuss. However when I read a Parelli fan deciding that giravolta is the same as one of the parelli game1 exercises I feel my fingers start to tingle and have had to resist the urge to point out this is not the case. So it is a big responsibility to be honest and true in our postings (I really do try to be) but at the end of the day I can't change the world and I have to accept that.
Ha so there, see I said it, I want to change the world...well no I'm too damned lazy; I'll stick to playing with my pones and enjoying what that brings...someone else can go change the world, good luck to them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's been another cold crisp day without the threatened snow (well until about an hour ago and we've now had a couple of cm) and being a Wednesday (Lydia has no school) we decided to get into Limoges and buy the blinds/curtains for the newly finished guest accomodation. Aaarrgghh shopping with a fella is never good but with a nine year old added into the equation it is downright frustrating. Enough said we now have new blinds and curtains to hang.

It was late by the time I got to work Moo but he was a very good boy. I'm trying to not treat him to delicately; I've taken it gently since he's been back into work but I think it's time to stretch him (literally as well) by asking a little more. Yesterday I rode him, just in walk, and he tried really hard and we had some brief moments of nice work. Today I worked him on the lunge working with lots of inside flexion and encouraging him to bring the inside hind up and through a little more (by touching with the whip). We finished with some canter trannies...yay on the left, still a bit 'stuck' on the right. Back to the yard and he did his hindlegs stretches better than ever. Guess it'll be back to working in the snow tomorrow.

note to self...write next section for other blog by end of week-end

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

now you see me...

Yesterday was such a lovely day that I almost imagined Spring to be peeping round the corner. Ha bloody ha said Spring today, now you see me now you don't. So back to a biting wind by this afternoon but having decided to ride I did. Moo was a good boy and not bothered by cold extremities like me, I'm glad I'm not a horse hehe.
So tonight  snow threatens again (this is really quite tedious) and those little sprouts of hopefullness (daffodils) may once again be buried.

Monday, February 8, 2010

the bell is ringing, tinga ling

Di, Bev and I went off to the first meeting of the Blazing Saddles Horse Group where we democratically chose a name. Di and Bev liked Perigord Horse Group but I think Blazing Saddles is way cooler :-) and I'm going to have some 'flames' stitched to the @rse of my breeches for the next meeting, LOL.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm for Feb, so I worked the boys at about 5.00pm when they came in. Stretching down in the school and then stretches on the yard; good boys both.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

action vs reaction

Listening to the radio this morning I heard that it has recently been proven that instinct has the quick draw over pre-planning. In other words the guy who thinks about drawing his gun outside the OK corral will be 1/50 second slower to comply with his thoughts than the guy he's shooting at; the instinct of the guy being shot at being 1/50 of a second quicker to respond than the guy planning the attack. Reaction is faster than action in other words. Riding is reactive, you are always reacting to your horse and often without realising it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well today we had feet trimmed and sunshine YAY. I wasn't actually expecting Gareth to turn up because he was sick this morning, he was very quiet but I was very grateful that he'd been (11 weeks since last time) and very pleased that he thinks Moo's feet are really getting there now. He was 100% on the sharp stones after the trim which is a first.

After trims we worked on the in-hand, concentrating on bend and massaging the tight bits of the neck whilst in motion. Something that I'd been forgetting to do in-hand (but that I'd noticed on the recent vids) was to look up  wallbash; whilst it's important to see what's going on with him it is very important to have the forward (or sideways) focus to draw you.

Added in some small circles after bending  (making sure to straighten the neck for the circle) and some then shoulder/hind yielding into a halt and rein back  thumbs I love this little exercise because they really 'sit' into the rein back. Ended up working from larger to smaller circles and asking him to move out through the shoulder first on his sticky left rein. Lots of transitions direct and progressive and some great stretching down.

Had a short canter which somewhat spoiled the session  laugh as he had eaten ALL the beans. I'll try and get it on camera so that you can pull it apart for me, I don't think it's any discomfort more that he has memory that it wasn't comfortable before and he's so very sensitive, takes it all too personally.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

drip, drip

Oo-la-la, it has been cold, too cold again. Still it's nice and dry when it's cold. Well it was until the waterer in Peanut's stable sprung a leak and peed (at full jet force)  water all over his and Chapsi's stables :-(  I can tell you I was in a very bad mood for at least an hour, grrrr!! Oh well, it's never happened before and after telling me off for turning the water on and then taking Moo down for a lunge, Patrick has said he'll fix it.
The ground has been patchy in the school with such heavy frosts but I've been very able to lunge/'s Moo.

and lunging off the cordeo