Friday, July 31, 2009


I do have vid from the Dr Cook work today but it was pretty awful so I doubt the vid will be any better, maybe just one of those days. However I did do Moralejo's stretches after working and he was very well behaved. He definitely struggled more on the right side and especially with the Ballerina stretch. Here are Lucinda's super 'pics and descriptions of the stretches, I think they are a very valuable resource. I'm waiting to hear from the osteo, not holding my breath now it's August in France!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Playing bitless

Well it was such a shame that Moo was poorly when Claire arrived as she had kindly brought her Heather Moffett saddle and Dr Cook's bitless bridle for me to play with. Those who read me regularly will know the problems I have had in accepting what is possible when riding bitless. I'm currently using a hackamore and really like the effect it gives in my hand and when Di visited we played at feeling where the pressure of the Dr C's BB and the hackamore acted on the horses head. Amidst lots of giggles I think it was easy to feel (human wearing the bridles!!) where the pressure was acting. Feeling the bridles on the horse and using flexions made it even more obvious to me that the hackamore has a more precise action; perhaps not unlike the comparison between a straight bar mullen mouth and a curb bit.

Any way, I digress, today I worked Moo in-hand in the BB which Claire has kindly left me to try. Interestingly he was hard on my hands :-( but I did like the straightness that I could maintain in his neck and head. Alas though no great possibility of getting flexions to the side as I can with the hackamore.
I shall video in both bitless options and see what it all looks like. Claire says I over analyse but I guess I can't just accept stuff so here I go analysing again, lol.

I now have all the stretches to do with Moo after he has worked so I'll keep you posted on how we go.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm on the top of the world..

Funny how some days just feel good; today was one of those.

Moo worked well on the lunge and I shall continue to ride him every other day and ground work in between. Yesterday's ridden work was great and he was very responsive; moments in the trot when he felt really *carried* and relaxed. Today he seemed 99% but it's early days and I'm waiting to hear about the osteo but I'm somewhat heartened by his freedom in the shoulder and quarters and it seems he won't be in retirement after all (the thought went through my mind many times on holday).

This afternoon the trimmer came and I'll have to take pics but Moo's feet are looking soooo different. Gareth is pleased with all three, phew, and when the hoof boots arrive Moo will harden up his soles and be ready for all terrain, lol.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

yay, back online

Well the holiday's over, the Languedoc Rousillon was it's usual sunny self and this time we ventured just into Spain to Port Bou and it's supermecado stocked with our favourite Faustino vino tinto...yum. So now I'm relaxed and ready to deal with horses, family and life for the next year.

Just before hols we had a lovely day, Claire and Allison arrived the day before and Di came over for lunch and playing pones. Sadly Moralejo had other ideas and hobbled in on 3 legs and a hop. To say I was stressed is probably the understatement of the century, lol. I won't bore you with the details but basically I left for hols with a horse on bute, only marginally less lame than the day before and one hundred, or more, thoughts doing my head in. Well we had various texts and chats between Claire, Di and I and I decided to avoid the horrors of travelling Moo to the specialist horse vets in Pompadour and instead went for some manipulation with Di's new found masseuse Lucinda and it was well worth the trouble. It seems that Moo has put out his wither and probably something behind too and so we will be having an osteo visit and exercises/massage and ridden/lunging therapy too.
I am just so glad that I had Claire at home to keep everything ticking along and updating me and also glad for Di's offer of taking him to Pompadour to the vets....thanks guys.

Well this entry is already long enough but I want to end on a positive note. I rode Moo very briefly on Sunday afternoon (in Claire's Heather Moffett saddle!!) and he was still a little stiff in walk and decidedly short in trot. Yesterday we lunged and it was almost imperceptible and today I rode again; lots of stretching and he was such a good man and about 95% so I think we may be doing the right thing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bastille Day

Lovely day today, cool start after a wet stormy night which was really needed. Put the finishing touches to the new *family* kitchen/living space and also had time for a natter on the 'phone to Claire, she'll be here very soon.
Moo was worked in hand in the head collar and he was a star, I'm going to play more with this after hols but I can get a decent shoulder-in/counter shoulder-in on a head collar with good inside flexion and really great, unhurried steps. Maybe I'm a convert to this bitless thing.
Tonight we went into our village of Jumilhac le Grand as it was Bastille day. Cheap bar, friends, live music and a fantastic display of feu d'artifice (fire works) which for a small commune like ours is pretty impressive. Perfect end to the day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


No work except lunging and that only for hoof conditioning. That's the problem with going away, organising it is a bit of a headache. Soon be time for Claire to arrive and then we can play for the day.
Still no rain and the grass is drying up, even though we usually have way too much grazing it's the drought times that prove difficult.
Hopefully a weeks break will focus my brain and I'll get back to regular blogging.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Feel so Different

I just love the arrangement of the strings on this Sinéad O'Connor track. The opening lyrics......

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.....

just sum up my recent feelings about my riding/training. The world of horses and their training is filled with ego and self confidence on one hand but humility and doubt on the other. I have no need of ego but the right mix of the other three is, I feel, essential. If there is a god I hope he will grant me at least a little of each. More thoughts when i have time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

trot video

Finally captured the latest trot work ; it was really windy but he worked well. He is still uncertain with his balance and so his head/neck are not that stable but much improved I think. I'm using the 1/4's moving when I *loose* him (ie when he gets tooonward bound and ignores my aids) and I find that if I ask for a giravolta as soon as he stops listening then it engages the head and then as I increase the circle I can replace the shoulders in front of the 1/4's....until he looses himself again, lol.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Weather that is! Much cooler and less humid, minor shower but any rain is welcome.
Just about to tack up after the rain shower (instant dust supression) and Lydia runs in the yard as if the house were on fire. She HAD to get to her friends house to play; I resisted the urge to say *ask dad* as he was plumbing in the new dishwasher. Put Moo away and took her up the road to her friend's place.
By the time I got on board the shower had pretty much dried but the dust wasn't too bad. Still playing with the lateral work, moving the shoulders/quarters about and generally enjoying ourselves. I captured all the walk but no trot as I just left the video running from the start, oh well at least i have vid. Trot next time. I really have to crack the outside control, it feels/looks almost there but it's where I loose him every time.
Good news!! We bought a Ripoffair ticket for Wednesday :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Oh well it's not quite as bad as the mis-spelled *scream* might suggest but following on from yesterday, with my patience at an all time low, it was just too much for me when MIL tried to amputate her leg. Screaming for my husband when one is in panic mode is NEVER advisable but after 47 years I guess she still doesn't *know* her son, lol. So I instantly knew it was me who had to run and rescue her, even though I had my jods, mid change, round my knees.
'Stopping panicking' I'm barking as I try to tackle the stairs, hampered somewhat (as one would be in a sack race) by my still half mast jods.
Cutting a tediously long story short she has gouged a lump out of her shin, she will die from the blood loss (hasn't yet) because she takes warfarin for one of her myriad of complaints and will end up needing antibiotics for the infection that she knows will set in.
Enough said, my bad karma has already come around and if I get more in return for this posting then tomorrow may be a very bad day.

On a good note...had a chance, finally, to ride Moo and he was great. I'm not in the mood to expand much but I'm finding that a stroke on the neck with the inside rein is a great *bitless* aid and I had some good trot work as a result, plus some good improvement in the lateral work.

Also had a *dust-free* ride today; no, the promised rain didn't materialise but my watering system did. I now have a tap on the side of the school and can place my waterer (spray system stuck into a bucket and then sat inside a tyre for stability) in three spots to cover the whole school. Result!! Tap will be good for Claire too when we are away as it's right next to the diddymen's paddock, result number two.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

minnie the moaner

That's me. Di kindly asked where I was; I'm here. Bugger is that so is my mother-in-law. Should have been on a plane back to Blightly but damn, she's still here. I knew she was trouble the day I married her son 21 years ago, she insisted on being *ill* and milking it ALL DAY. Things haven't really moved on and this sadly over-shadows her one excellent skill, that of being my domestic slave.
I threatened her with the exorbitant price of a single fare back home on RipOffAir but she refused to make an instant recovery and has huffed, puffed and sighed her way round the house ALL DAY. Her son refuses to entertain her hypercondria and so ignores her, I have learned to follow his lead. I shall never get to heaven, lol.

Normal service WILL resume when she decides to go home.

Oh and HI to Danni, thanks for following and please feel free to join in.