Wednesday, May 31, 2006


What I don't understand is, we get some nice weather - we're not getting blown away or soaked or both - and no one is riding (save the person who got there before me and is coming back as I arrive).

So I got molly in, got a hand to get on, and did some work in the arena concentrating on me feeling my seat bones and getting to go where i wanted without any grief from her. That worked. I found my seat bones, which is always good, and her walk work was good, and she was going where i was telling her in both walk and trot.

I then thought, I'll nip round the 20 acre. That might have been a good idea, but we came to the top of the hill and two fishermen were standing at the bottom with their fishing rods sticking up above them looking like bogeymen. Probably because they aren't usually there. She wasn't having that at all. The estate lets the fishing to the local angling club and there's always people turning up to fish, but normally they are in fact doing that on the river not loitering about frightening the horses .....

The good news is, I've to send the grandeur pad back as it is agreed by the vendor that there appears to be something wrong with it. So trip to post office tomorrow for brown paper ... and I'll be back to riding bareback, which will do me good, I suppose!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


is what the weather forecaster calls it; I think the rest of us call it more than that. It was so bad no one at all was riding tonight - only people there were there to feed, and no one else turned up. so I used the time to move some stuff from the barn tackroom to the new tackroom, having been given a key. once it';s sorted I'll be able to start leaving my saddle there, hurray.

Shall need to take a hosepipe down to hose down the new stable then paint it when it's dry; hasn't been done for a while by the look of it ....

but my washing was dry tonight, and I'm expecting the same again tomorrow so got some more on the go .

When I went out to the field to check Molly over I nearly got blown away; she's fine, pleased to see me but pleased not to do anything.

I suppose if I lived on Caroline's cheshire hill above macclesfield I would have to get used to that sort of wind, but since I don't have to - wind makes me ratty, and makes the horse ratty, so I can't see the point as no sensible work would get done anyway for mutual rattiness!

Monday, May 29, 2006


a gale and getting soaked - where's the summer folks, this is more like mad march gales! All I did today horse wise was email the barefoot people about the saddle, and tip the shavings bed. We're moving out of the barn next weekend and I'll be getting rubber matting for the stable (because of the dust allergy Molly's got, don't want it to turn into full blown COPD) so the old bed had to be tipped. most of it was given to Katie's owner, so katie will now be standing about 2 hands higher than she normally does and if she stands on the bed she'll be able to see out (she's a small pony in a large stable!)

but I got some work work done, which was something. one of the files I brought home to do work on, I found I'd already done the work I was planning on doing .... ahead of myself more than I thought i was.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

and one other thing

i was wrong about. today, she had a wee whilst mounted. Waited till we were in the farthest corner of the 20 acre, sheltered from the wind by the trees, i'd been asking her to stop anyway so Emily could catch up, so she took advantage of the opportunity.

Thinking about it, it's a very long time since a horse has done that whilst I've been riding .... queenie always used to hang on, and I seem to recall Billy did as well (he was a long time ago ....)

barefoot london

Today, Marylou's mum came to show me her barefoot london; gorgeous saddle, much nicer than the barefoot cheyenne, If the london had been out when I bought the cheyenne, I would have bought the london. It's a larger seat; the form at the cantle is set further back on the london than on the cheyenne so you are less likely to sit on it, and the form at the cantle is made of a much softer polystyrene than the fibreglass used at the pommel in the london and in both forms on the cheyenne. Riding it was very comfortable - in many ways, more comfortable than the Fhoenix. The leather is gorgeous.

She then rode in my Cheyenne, and decided she was pleased she didn't buy one. We then deconstructed the cheyenne - complete with use of tape measure - and it appears that I was right to think there was something wrong. The Grandeur pad is not symmetrical, which will account for a lot of slippage issues/rubbing issues.

The grandeur pad on the london didn't move a bit; mine does move. It never stays where it started, and always looks cockeyed under the saddle. I could never tell whether it was the saddle that was cockeyed, the pad that was cockeyed, or my eye. It's amazing what you find out with a tape measure.

I shall post some photos later that I took with the phone (hope they've worked) and will be emailing the vendor.

After that, i took Molly out for a walk - she'd only done about 10/15 minutes in the school, if that, so I decided the 20 acre was a good plan. She had a minor balk at going down the hill, but did it, we caught Emily on Kate up and then Molly marched on quite happily ahead of Katie, no bother at all.

So last weekend was probably just a glitch caused by a week off.

The only trouble was - whislt I was trying to get on her, on my own, she stood on my right foot, with her back foot ... Ouch! I haven't looked yet, and hope it isn't broke, but certainly very badly bruised ....

Saturday, May 27, 2006

hacking out again

It was like riding a different horse today.

TBF, I realised putting the barefoot on today, having had the Fhoenix on yesterday, that I had had the barefoot too far forward. so I put it further back, and you could see the difference in the sweat pattern and lack of rub when we got back. So that's a lesson learnt (just as well, I'm going to have to sell loads of stuff to get a Fhoenix!).

Anyway, once we got out, after a couple of glitches when first going out (whip round turns, happily in walk, and not wanting to go through a gate that had nearly crashed into her, which I can understand) she pretty much settled down nicely.

We went through the park, under the road bridge next to Cocken, then cantered up the hill (me in front; I hadn't necessarily wanted to do that, but when we got there it was too inviting and I was in front. Gaynor wasn't too chuffed as I hadn't said I was going to, I'd thought I'd only trot, but it all felt good so we did it. Happily Gaynor & Emily on Charlie & Kate stayed behind me).

Then we walked the rest of the way, the reverse of a ride I'd already done under the main east coast line, round the top through tracks and a field, back under the east coast main line, down a field and back down the drive to the yard. The others went off to do another canter, but I was happy with what we'd done.

And did it all without the martingale on; had taken that off yesterday (knew Muriel wouldn't approve, and I need to stop using it really it was on to stop her windmilling) and didn't put it back on.

The ony downside was that when I got back and took the saddle off, I reaslied there was a cut, a thin line really, under the lower part of the saddle flaps. I hadn't seen that at all tacking up, and I think that was because it was dry and invisible and unfeelable, whereas when we got back, it was wet with sweat and clear. So that's depressing. But she hadn't played up because of it so I don't think there's any harm done.

BUT someone's coming to show me the barefoot london tomorrow, so I do hope I can put a saddle on her. I've a feeling the barefoot london won't go over it as it's differently cut to the cheyenne.

Rescue Oldies

Friday, May 26, 2006


I can't remember if I said, the local Fhoenix agent was coming today.

She did. Brought with her the GP Prolite and the Suberpad dressage, both 18"; the GP with the HM stirrups.

So both were tried.

With the GP, eventually Molly went really nicely.

With the dressage, she didn't go so well; the saddle seems to sit you up more, but I didn't feel so comfy in it, my knees were falling out of the front of the saddle flaps, and I wasn't riding quite as well.

We put the GP back on again.

Conclusion: GP Prolite.

The agent is Muriel Allen, a well known dressage trainer and as I said to her I was particularly impressed that she had taken up this saddle. She thought Molly had even changed shape slightly by the time we'd finished, although I should have thought that would be unlikely - it was only an hour!!!!! It was also of advantage to have a bit of a 'free' lesson as well (I said it would be scary - I think I said that in a forum post on enlightenedequitation!).

So anyway, the end result is that I shall be selling the Cheyenne and the GP and the grandeur pad and the endurance suberpad, and buying a Phoenix.

You could feel the difference in Molly, and considering my 'feel' aint that good yet, that was good.

Not that she was willing to stand still to be mounted - interesting Muriel clocked that it was only the mounting block which is an issue; that's true. I can be legged up, or get on from the ground, and she'll stand, but she really don't like mounting blocks. and considering a mounting block is much better for her back than the other two methods, that's silly!

The one interesting thing about me, that Murial didn't comment on whilst I was riding, was my right tilt in the spine. I asked her about that - she said it was clearly something I couldn't do anything about so work with it (or words almost to that effect ....)

And she cleared up somehting I hadn't been able to get straight in my head re weight aids; whether I keep it straight in my head is another matter, but I'll try.

The thing is now = what do I do tomorrow? bareback again?

I did think I might take the inserts out of the grandeur which may make the cheyenne slightly better for now, it occurred to me when I looked at them and where they are that the rub is under them, I think.

Muriel agreed with my view that the endurance suber isn't long enough for the cheyenne (I still think that might be because it's a size 2, not a size 1....)

anyway, I was very pleased. Even partner, when told about the results, didn't scream about wasting money on saddles (although no doubt that will be to come).

Ah well, better go get the camera out and find some packaging. the box the Cheyenne came in got taken to the tip by partner (i knew that was a mistake, but partner hates junk about the place) so I shall have to find another one.

Having said all that, I'm looking at a barefoot london on Sunday; but if that has the same issue on rubbing as the cheyenne has .... mm.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

a bad night

well i suppose it could have been worse than it was .... but overall fairly dire.

Decided to ride out with the others - 5 altogether. We got along beside the geldings field and the plan was to go through a gate into the sheep field. the catch was the sort that is on the wrong side of the upright, and it kept being blown shut by the wind. Molly and I ended up down through the coppice and on the track and she was NOT going to go forward. lots of quick tunrs (nice turn on the forehand but not what i wanted, maybe i should take my own advice i gave someone the other day and push her into lots of turns on the forehand?). ended up back in the arena, and then realised the saddle wasn't on right.

Got off to put it right, couldn't get back on till my mother turned up. Not that I wanted my mother to turn up, but she stood in front of the horse long enough for Molly to stand still and me to get on. And all without realising she was being helpful!

So then I had to talk to her (not easy, she's stone deaf....). I tought, I'd go back to the geldings field and round to see if she'd do it on her own, but met the others coming back, so that wasn't going to work at that point. back to the arena. didn't want to play. mother came back over to talk some more. argh....

someone else came into the arena, molly even less wanted to play. decided one last time to try the geldings field, down the side etc. on our own without a lead. I didn't in fact expect her to do it, but she did. So good note to end on.

went back to untack, no sooner took the saddle off than she had a wee ..... clearly, that was probably the main issue all the time. Going to be one of those that won't have a wee when mounted ....

a disaster all round really. Hope we do better tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

horse rescue

tonight on the way back from the tack shop closing down sale, Fay in the back said, there's a horse with it's foot stuck in wire.....

we went round the roundabout and parked up and sure enough, there's a horse with it's foot stuck trhough some sheep wire (the other side of the fence in the next field were sheep. sheep wire is small squares of wire).

Gaynor and I piled out of the car to go see if we could sort the horse out. It, thank goodness, wasn't panicking but clearly had been there a while.

it had put it's foot through the fence and when it pulled itback, a length of wire went between the shoe and the foot - that is a seriously tight place for wire to get stuck.

So we pulled the wire, and at the same time pushed the foot the other way, or rather, I held the foot whilst gaynor pulled the wire and I pulled the wire. Durin gthis, the horse was busy nuzzling our necks and nibbling my sunglasses - a total sweetie, thank goodness.

We got the foot free and pulled the foot back and in got it stuck on the next strand up so we had to do it again .....aaarrgh.

but we got that free as well, and it didn't tank off, dint us in the head, just stood there and let us check it over, pick it's foot up, check the fetlock for injuries. thank goodness there weren't any, it could have been really nasty if the horse had panicked, or spent the night rubbing it's fetlock off the wire to try and free it's foot.

and then as we turned round, a fire engine pulled up =- it seems someone passing before us had called the police, who in turn had called the fire brigade and sent them to free it.

I think we did the better job - we didn't have to cut the wire, and of course know about handling horses.

So we're chuffed with ourselves. and anothe passer by went and knocked on doors until she found someone who knew the owner, and that person turned up after the excitement had died down.

So that was the excitement.

Oh yes, and I did spend some money in the closing down sale ... a pelham for £13 instead of £26, a newmarket wool excercise sheet for £14 instead of £28, and a couple of bits and pieces. Gaynor was pissed with me = she'd picked up the excercise sheet but put it back down as she'd assumed it would be too expensive, instead of asking it's price. I said, tough ....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

riding again ...between showers

I knew it was going to rain before too long, and wasn't sure driving up quite how fit I was - but got on anyway.

concentrated on trying to get some nice trot paces, which I got, and then worked on walking and halting and serpentines. I'm as much trying to get myself right to get her right, as I am on her right if you see what I mean.

And after 25 minutes it started raining, but by that time I'd got the nice work that i wanted for the evening (bearing in mind the b. she was sunday) so that was a good note to end on, I was pleased with the walk serpentines, the turns were not too bad if I say so myself.

but the saddle slipped. partly my own fault as I hadn't done the girth up enough (to keen to get something done before it rained, I think!)

Tomorrow we're going togo up to annfield plain, a saddler whose been there as long as I can remember is havinga closing down everything half price sale this week only, so can't miss that (although most of the good stuff will have gone yesterday, the firs day!)

Monday, May 22, 2006


what summer? at this rate we'll be back to where we were in september, never mind three weeks ago. it's a bit wet folks ...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

one week off

and we go back several.

I was going to ride this afternoon with Gaynor but the weather forecast is dire (looking at it now, rightly) so decided to go down this morning.

She wouldn't go down to the 20 acre, she wouldn't go further than the office the other way

I lost track of time rather; tried one way, into the arena, tried the other way, into the arena, and so on - the idea being do some work in the arena to get her listening to me and then see if we can go where i want.

I did give up at the finish.

apart from anything else, I do still have some pain and could feel it! and i was on my own totally after a while.

so if it doesn't rain (I can feel that it's going to, but you never know ...) I shall be annoyed - might even go back down and ride again in company if it does stay dry!

Saturday, May 20, 2006


to get back on board were scuppered by the weather - a wet horse indeed!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

last night

i coulnd't think of anything to say, as I hadn't done anything with Molly save groom her, cover her with fly repellent and turn her out again. same again tonight.

But I am feeling better - actually felt like doing things today, which is always sign of an improvement, so did some work work, did a load of laundry and got it dry, all in a potter about and it'll get done kind of way ....

Hopefully, I'll be well enough to ride tomorrow, I do hope so .... Molly does not need all this time off!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

all i can say

is that i'm glad it's me that's got colic, not my horse ..... that would be even more horrid.

but it's not been nearly so bad today

and Molly got groomed - first time for days she's been dry enough to be groomed! LOL. then covered in flyspray and her fly veil put back on.

I don't think I'll be quite right to ride tomorrow, but hopefully by Thursday.

and it was funny = when I went down this evening there were a couple of folk there, jaws dropping - hadn't realised people get colic as well (i suppose we all know babies get colicky, but we don't normally think of adults doing so ..... only our horses!)

happily, we didn't have to wrestle molly past the gelding (I think he's a rig, TBH) that rushes up to the fenceline and pretends to be a stallion every time he sees her. In fact he must be a rig ... they were in the fenced off part of the field so no where near while the other half gets fertilised.

Monday, May 15, 2006

or not

sick note - week - can't remember when i last had a sick note ...2 years ago when the same thing happened, possibly! Molly knew she didnt' want to do anything ......

Sunday, May 14, 2006

getting better....

but not well enough to go out and think about riding. did manage to go down and look at her - getting wet in the field, but fine!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


me, not molly. been in the house all day, up since 0420, bed all afternoon, rang gaynor to check molly, euch.

Friday, May 12, 2006


too early in the year for them really.

I was really late out of work and totally knackered, especially after last night's late night as well. Molly had lost her fly weil again! that's every night this week she's had it off. We think it must be too big for her, but surely a pony size would be too small? She really needs it though, the flies do plague her eye....

Forecast to rain the morning so we're riding in the afternoon; i've brought some work home, nightmare, must do it, but partner's working tomorrow and walking sunday so I've no excuse...

If the saddle shows the same mark this weekend as it did tuesday under the left stirrup leather, then clearly there's something adrift about this saddle on molly, which would be a shame.

I'm waiting to hear from the local agent for the Fhoenix, and someone local is going to bring her barefoot london ( a dressage version of the barefoot, looks rather lush...) to try; but really one needs a trial I think.

But I really don't want to end up with her where we were with her ma, there's no need (although it might prove rather expensive getting it right).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

christy moore

was on at the sage tonight as we discovered last night, so partner wanted to go and booked some tickets at the last minute so we went; whilst I like his music on CD, I didn't really get into it in concert, which was a shame as it wasn't cheap. So molly got fed, flysprayed and turned out again ... I had planned to ride as Iknew the others were going out tonight, but there you go, sometimes one has to do what one's partner wants .... and it was Shearer's testimonial tonight, you can see St James Park from anywhere in the town and from the Sage (which is south of the river, folks! in Gateshead) and bye could you hear them! They had a good night, i gather....

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

200 miles

is what my car did today, i only did 100.

Partner's car needed MOT, booked in at Hebburn. out of the house at 0700 to hebburn to drop car off; then to thornaby to take me to work; partner then takes my car to durham for a training day she's doing; then goes back to hebburn to pay for car, then comes to thornaby for me, we go back to hebburn for her car, then to pub for dinner, then I go see Molly.

We actually were earlier than we'd thought getting finished, as I hadn't expected to be picked up from work til about 1800, in fact she was waiting for me. But I didn't have the saddle or a change of clothes so Molly only got checked over and her fly veil put back on again .... I'm sure she knows its good for her, but that doesn't stop her (or one of the other horses!) getting it off.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

lovely ride

4 of us went out for a hack tonight.

We started off well as Molly in fact managed to stand to be mounted WITHOUT ANYONE IN FRONT OF HER. I was gobsmacked.

had to tap her to get her to follow the others, then she was really good. She got left behind when a gate closed in front of her (one of those tedious one's where it opens uphill and then swings back) but she didn't paddy at that, I even got her turned round to close it, the catch needed a boot to shut it. Then trotted round a field without too much upset. And the field had sheep in ..

After that we crossed the road and went round another field, that one she kept shying away from the fence for some reason.

further on, I set her away in canter up a hill, it was a nice steady canter, no tanking off, and brakes at the top (even if we did veer off away from teh gateway we were approaching - no gate, but some really deep ruts!).

and so one back home. She wanted to be in front all the way (she doesn't do behind except when she blocks) and was very well behaved altogether.

I was very pleased with her and so was everyone else! We're getting there folks.

But when I untacked, there's a line of what looks like it could be pressure from the stirrup leather, so that's not good. Will have to keep a close eye on that one ...

Monday, May 08, 2006

missing fly veil

I bought Molly a new fly veil on Saturday; of course, when I got her today, it wasn't on her head! Happily, it didn't take me too long to find, not caught in a hedge but lying on the grass. I was lucky I set off the correct way round the field (it's always a guess). She has to have one; like her ma, the right eye needs protecting from the flies!

Didn't do anything with her; partner had been at home alone today (holiday) and so I thought I'd come home sooner ..

Thinking about what we've been doing, and how I haven't been doing something every day, I wonder if that hasn't been the right thing to do .... we're certainly moving on nicely in terms of getting things coming together, and maybe something alternate days as opposed to every day is better for her?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

out on our own!

after a trundle round the arena, and getting a couple of canter transitions (if badly) i realised the saddle/suberpad - not sure which, really - had slipped so got off, sorted it out, and went back to the barn to get help getting back on. So then decided to try the 20 acre on my own. We did it, in trot, no trying to turn round, mega good. the only minor problem was that on the track back to the yard she tried to jump a puddle and i stopped her (i wanted her to go through it) and after that she felt like she's lame - but probably isn't. since we were nearly back by then we just walked back. But I was SO pleased with her.

Not sure I'm so pleased with the saddle, still ...... it's not the saddle as such I don't think (unless it's got a built in asymmetry .....) but getting the padding right underneath. the Suberpad is better than the grandeur, but it isn't right .....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

the leg

btb, the wound on the leg was indeed a re-opened very old one; now that I don't understand. It was one she'd had before I got her (an old injury in a wagon .....) and I really don't understand why it should re-open now. Unless co-incidentally she caught the same place again, but that would be odd as it is on the INSIDE of the near hind, not a place that could easily be injured ...

but she seemed sound enough on it.


well, a good short hack.

Allison came with me on foot, and the plan was to at least do the 20acre without any traumas - which we did very succesfully, I was very pleased with Molly, it was almost as if last week hadn't happened and she wasn't even phased by the normally scary red & white tape.

When we get to the end of the 20 acre, we have a choice - along the track, or through another small gate and up the side of the hard track on a grassy track with logs, which ends in another gate to a big field.

I had allison open the gate, and we cantered the grassy track, no problems, stopped at the top, didn't want to tank off again, excellent. I did vaguely think about going through the field, but decided not (wide open spaces are never my favourite thing anyway....) and was glad, as I had forgotten it was full of sheep.

So back to the track and trotted home in good order.

It was only 1/2 hour, but a good 1/2 hour and that's the point ....

Friday, May 05, 2006

teeth & leg

tooth person came this morning for Molly's 6 month check and rasped a couple of teeth - i of course coulnd't be there, but gaynor was. And Molly's leg's dried up nicely and there doesn't seem to be any heat in it, so rather than play further with it and turn a good job bad I left it and turned her out again. Hopefully the weather will remain good for tomorrow for a ride and she'll be fine.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

wounded molly

she had a open wound on the inside of her near hind - and it rather looks like a very old one has been re-opened. I washed it, clagged wound powder on it, and turned her out again, and have asked gaynor to look at it in the morning when she gets her in for the equine dentist coming.

and mozilla has refused to work since it's latest download, so I'm off there now to find out what the craic is with that; i quite like mozilla now i've got it, especially the tabbed browsing, so that's rather tedious.

in the meantime, here's a zebra molly ...

not quite as good as the one of the grey, but not bad!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

gorgeous evening

after last night, who'd have thought? spent some of the afternoon sweltering in a new client's conservatory - we all melted .... then got to the yard a bit earlier than usual. no one riding, so decided to lunge, since I haven't done that for ages.

Molly was excellent on left rein, which is about what I would have expected, but right rein - took me ages to get her going right, i thought we're back to the old argument, but i think she was just trying it on. She did eventually give up arguing and did it, nice trot work and some canter, so since she had, I left that as being the good note and took her back in.

Normally i like 5 minutes each rein with and without side reins, but since the success for the night was clearly doing right rein at all, and she did work well, and we hadn't done it for ages, i left it at that, i.e. didn't do the right rein without side reins but had done all the rest. and I wish I could remember to take my watch! so i could time it properly, rather than guessing.

and it was so hot we were both melting ....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

winter gales

are upon us again. The only good thing about it was that it was a good drying day, so the laundry i hung out in glorious sunshine this morning (before 0700, folks!) was dry when i got home. But I hate a howling gale, so just fed molly and turned her out again. It's quite sheltered in the field as we're down in a dip and don't get the worst of it, but to ride anywhere would have been exposed to that. Others were brave enough, but I certainly am not (anyway, gales make me angry, which isn't a good mood to be in when riding, especially when you are angry anyway, as I am tonight!)

Roll on spring, anyone?

Monday, May 01, 2006

kirkleatham hall museum

the fountain:

may day

Involved molly doing nothing more strenuous than getting wet, eating her tea, and moving into the new field which was scary as she didn't get being led right round the barn, and wasn't happy until she realised the other two mares were following her.

as soon as they all went in - you can say, they all three immediately came into season (well, near enough - they knew where the geldings were, and if they weren't in season tonight, they will be by the morning!).

Partner wanted a day out, so we went to kirkleatham hall museum and to Hartlepool to the Quay and went on HMS Trincomalee, well worth a visit if you're around that way (both of them, but especially the ship). Build 1817 in India of teak, the oldest european warship still floating, they say. Pretty big, but of course tiny next to the stuff they build now...