Sunday, November 28, 2010

snow in November

It seems winter has hit early and we have already had a decent covering of snow. The boys are still out and currently none of them working as the weather seems to have been against us on all but a couple of days this month. November has always been the month I dislike most and so I doubt it's doing any harm having a quiet time and at least I have caught up with lots of non-equine chores jobs that needed doing.

This last week I started to feed and hay morning and evening and the boys have settled into a good routine, each content to take their bucket of feed in the field and  with very little argy bargy during the process.

This was yesterday's ad hoc hay trip due to the snow, by evening they were happily picking grass through the snow.

Yesterday I saw a 'first' that I have read of but never seen...Manolo my neighbour's horse was eating snow! It's a fair trip down a steep hill to their water source and a good distance from their shelter and hay and presumably he thought the snow would be a short term solution. I believe a horse has to eat at least five times the volume of snow to achieve the equivalent volume of water so I do hope he took the trip to the water before too long.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Yesterday brought a reprieve from the perma-rain! The temperatures having dropped last week I had put the boys rugs on, by friday it had climbed to 15° C at 9.30am so I  derugged three sweaty neds; I truly hate rugs! Today, although it's still not cold, the rain is back with a vengeance. As well as hatred for rugs I also have hatred for November so it's unlikey they'll be working much for the time being.

Just for the record here is Moo looking, erm filthy LOL

Chapiro wanting to play with me!!

The sheltered corner at the bottom of the field

Pony's eye view of the sheltered corner!

The resting paddock that they will be able to graze when the perma-rain passes.

The paddock that we'll use for daily turnout when they start to overnight in the stables (hopefully not until after Christmas).

Cacahuète sunbathing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the past (what to do on a rainy day)

The weather has been truly miserable this last week (in fact since I promised to go over and play pones with Di!!) and so I've made chutney from my last green tomatoes, cleaned the house, raked up leaves and generally been a stepford wifey :-o

Yesterday I began to get my books in order (reading ones that is not financial ones) and amongst the horse tomes I found that I had secreted away some ancient pics of previous horses.

 These shots are of Eite, my Friesian horse that I bought in 1998 as a barely touched 5 year old.
The advert in Horse and Hound had stated suitable for dressage and the guy on the 'phone failed to mention this was just a hope and not in any way reality! So off we went to see my first ever Friesian. Eite was what one could describe as an 'eyeful' of a beast. The guy selling him had never ridden him only long reined him but assured me he had been ridden out in the field by someone at some point! I have always had a rule that I never get on a horse until I've seen it ridden, well this wasn't going to happen in this instance so it was rule break or go home. Of course rules are made to be broken and I rode Eite who was greener than green but very kind and very reactive to seat and weight. The rest, as they say, is history and the big man was duly delivered to us.
Anyone that has worked with a friesian will understand that canter had it's problems that we did conquer in the end but lateral work and collected work was a joy to teach him. During this period I was competing and also had a huge moving Gelderlander and an lighter framed WB but Eite had a lightness that was more like my current Spanish boys and a desire to work with me that was so different to anything I had experienced before. The photos were taken not long before I sold him, I was 6 months pregnant with Lydia and had to downsize the herd. He is the one horse I really wish I hadn't sold, especially now with all the bitless and liberty work I've learned but I think Patrick may notice if I tried to sneak a big black beasty onto the premises :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

ducking out

Sunday's jumping lesson with Lydia and Cacahuète heralded a real breakthrough. We've been working on little grids with poles and very small jumps. The pone when too tired or lacking in sufficient confidence to actually jump will usually just stop dead in front of the fence. This week, however, he produced a magnificent duck at the last minute and ditched Lydia out of the side door. Wow I was so proud of that pony, he had the energy to actually duck and run when he thought he couldn't make it! I was very proud too of Lydia who just climbed back on and rode straight at the fence with none of her confidence dented and in a much better rhythm he managed the 50cm easily, LOL. The thought often crosses my mind that I should spoil her with a 'proper' pony but I think Cacahuète still has a thing or two to teach her.

Here's Moo at the weekend working on softness in the reinback, he's getting there but boy is he filthy. It's cold and wet today so they're all rugged up which frustrates me but the pone's too old to be getting cold and wet.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's quite strange but I'm struggling to blog! Since being inspired  by Claire to start blogging I've really enjoyed it but just lately it's been a bit of a chore. Di asked was I too busy to do the boys but no they've been working away well and making good progress, especially Moo. They are living out still with no rugs and as yet no need for hay, they have gorgeous fluffy coats and as long as I don't work them too late it doesn't matter that they get a little hot and sweaty. So on the horse front it couldn't be better.

On the renovation front we have practically finished indoors, how good it feels to have a home again you can only guess but it is making a big difference to all of us to be free of builders dust.

It's been toussaint holidays here and it's been great to get out with the family and enjoy the mild autumn weather, duck feeding at Brantôme is so good for the soul!

So I think it's just a phase, I will be back blogging regularly soon but maybe I'll get my arse into gear and write some stuff in my other place.