Monday, May 31, 2010

Kiss me Quick

Well as Mandeigh so kindly suggested more 'photos, here we go.I'm afraid they're not great quality but I took them with my video camera.

Give us a kiss............ 

and more serious pose with Chapsi....

That was a few days ago before the perma-rain, it doesn't really seem to have stopped for about 48 hours now. Imagine then, Chapiro's shock when I lead him down for a lunge....he was a really good boy and is circling away well on both reins with good transitions (not yet with lots of activity but very obedient to my voice which is a good place to start) between halt/walk and trot. We work a little rein back into the proceedings too and today we chucked a couple of poles down and lunged over those too; it's a good way to check my directing skills. We had some great stretching down moments (that's where we're headed next) but I think that could have had something to do with rain avoidance LOL.
If it's dry tomorrow I'll be on board again, we have walking on sussed now (it isn't easy all on your own) and halt and back but I'll explain more tomorrow.
Moo got off with a massage as the rain had become decidedly heavy when I finished Chapsi.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

birthday resolutions

Yesterday the mileometer clocked up another year and I was ably assisted in my celebration of the event by Di along with my husband and child ( that being two separate humans). We had an 'eat until you burst'  Chinese buffet, swilled down with a drop of the pink stuff. It was a lovely lunch and once home, Di and I mulled over our horsey lives, with a glass of white wine to help of course. Thanks Di.

Before lunch I managed a ridden session with Moo; his birthday treat was to be a star :-) I have changed our warm-up and after a very short period relaxing down in walk we went forwards to trot; again on a long rein but not expecting the 'down' until being truly warmed up. This is quite a tricky process (and why I've avoided it for some time) as if I use my hands to slow him then I can't get the relaxation but I have to slow him to get the 'through' feeling and all his muscles warmed up and moving freely. So just the same as in the walk work, I turned him every time I felt the kettle starting to boil! No hands to create the turn just soft fingers to ask for the correct flexion and seat/legs/weight to define the turns. After about twenty minutes of weird shapes around the school he was really feeling relaxed, still rushing a bit but much better. We finished (after a walk break) with some giravolta work in trot coupled with some shortened trot work.

Today we continued the same warm up routine and he was a little quicker to the stretch but still rushing a bit too much, we did some nice trot/halt/rein-back transitions and then before a relaxing (well it's supposed to be) walk round the fields we had a short canter up the hill...really bouncy and short, a pleasure to sit on if a little tricky to pull up from hehehe.

Ah, the birthday resolution? To kick myself up the bum and get on with things ;-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

we're back on....

...after the house guests have departed! A busy time has left me little time to blog but it's been a time of visiting favourite old places and finding new gems; 'photos to follow later in the week. I've managed a healthy workload with the boys and taken full advantage of the most glorious spring weather.
Moo has worked well in the school, the big theme being transitions :-) and we've hacked (had to lead for a couple of minutes while he got over leaving home LOL) and played in the fields, walking down the hills and trotting up them...hopefully building up his 'carrying' ability behind.
Chapsi has lunged and worked in-hand, walked out in-hand and played with some clicker work; I've continued to sit on him a couple of times a week and he is trying really hard to 'get it'. I'm still only using voice commands from the saddle, one of my pet hates is 'stuffy' horses and I want to save all the physical aids for finesse and not getting him forwards. It's a game of patience, ask forwards, wait for a reaction .... WAIIIIIIT ...reaction, yay, click! So it's only ten minutes maximum but oh it feels so nice.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I'm too old for turning cartwheels but if I wasn't......
No rain and even a glimpse of the sun. The boys came in like lambs and I worked Chapsi and Moo on the lunge.

I used some cones to create a circle and worked Chapsi around the outside of them, he picked up the idea straight away on the right rein and as always took quite a few attempts to complete a circle to the left but he is massively improved in general on that tricky left rein and I'm pretty happy with where we are as he makes a pretty decent circle shape on both reins. We finished with some lighthearted liberty stuff and he was a star; he just makes me smile :-)
The best bit though was Moo, we loosened up as always with a little massage, moving him out from the shoulder and haunches etc. He was VERY laid back, almost lazy for him. He started to loosen up in the trot and just got on with the job, we worked lots of trannies, spirals and straight lines. Finally we cantered YAY on both reins and very relaxed with no arguments or head throwing. I'm so glad, I've been biding my time with the canter and all the work's finally paying off.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I'm not sure the boys actually appreciated their night in but at least I got some sleep. This morning I put them out at 6.30 and they got into some serious munching. I wish the grass would stop growing, it's so hard to keep them out without them getting overweight.
This afternoon I got them in to work as the temperature had climbed to a...drum roll....10 degrees!! The sun even popped out, wow!
I rode Moo and he went well, a little heavy on the front end in the trot work, he likes the forward, down, out  but loses his balance and gradually speeds up so I tried to lift a rein and take his balance back each time I felt him go. Not a bad session considering how little we've done lately.
Chapsi did some in hand work and finished with some lunging. Good trannies again and he really listens. They're back out tonight.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

snow in may

Well after a day of cats and dogs rain, 2 hours of snow (when it hit the 0 degree mark) and a wild wind, I decided to get them in tonight. They had other plans. Chapsi was a darling and came straight over but the others looked at Lydia and I and peed off in the opposite direction. After a failed first attempt (had to go and warm up my hands as they had lost all their blood) Patrick and I managed to get Moo and Chapsi but we had to let the pone wander up to the yard on his own...cheeky bugger did not want to be handled. They are now all munching hay and Patrick will probably sleep better tonight! Just hope this awful cold goes soon, I just want to play with my pones.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


How things can change in a few days; the temperature is hardly even making it to double figures and now we have rain to add to the misery of cold. I went down to the boys tonight with the intention of bringing them in for the night...they had other thoughts (wouldn't even come over to say hello to begin with) and were all warm and happy eating in the rain; so they're still out. They have a good canopy of shelter under a huge evergreen and a good thick hedge with some canopy so I'm sure they'll be fine but t'other half is giving me grief...argghhh. He's not one bit interested in horses these days but now he's doing my head in about leaving them out. Hope everyone's keeping warm during this un-seasonal chill.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

holiday week

Well it's been a week of trying to fit the horses' work around family life. Lydia is on school hols and we have MIL to entertain.
I had an interesting experience with Chapsi and he proved that he hasn't checked out of his energetic little self entirely. We were headed for the school and stopped for a touch session on the tractor as it was parked by the fence; he was good as gold but on walking on again he managed to flick his tail over a small rose bush in the fence line and swished it's prickles onto his back leg. OMG can he fly and buck :-O
He took himself off down the hill to stand at the bottom of the small paddock and looked rather upset, poor boy, no damage to him or the tack and he walked back to the school like a lamb, bless. We then worked in-hand and he eventually relaxed and we ended on a good note.
Moo worked well yesterday and his ridden trot work is almost staying as calm as the walk, he will stretch down and change rein on a long rein, swapping the bend beautifully. Chapiro lunged beautifully; good changes of rein, trannies and stretching and Lydia ASKED for a lesson on the lunge??? Has the world gone mad? My 9yo wanting a lunge lesson. Of course she insisted it was bareback so I insisted she had a cordeo to hold on to not the reins...that pone is a star and Lydia too. Today will be the last supper...MIL off tomorrow and Lydia back to school so I can get back to work proper.