Saturday, September 30, 2006

lunging & mirrors

gaynor and i finally got together to see about lunging molly right rein.

first time roud, without side reins, we conned her nicely - as i expected we would - gaynor on the outside with the lead rein, me on the inside with the lunge line and whip, she set away and did really well, including canter. once she'd set off she was fine, no signs of wanting to turn back in.

left rein as well, fine.

then the side reins, wiht a view to going right rein again. I was pleased gaynor was there - usual problem, even when gaynor had walked her on to set off she was turning back in again and i simply couldn't move myself fast enough to stop her.

so gaynor tried, and had the same problem

so then she lunged her two reins - and after a bit of a paddy (not too bad, but bad enough watching!) she caved in and did it.

I was pleased to see that done by someone else; and molly finished up working really hard and we were very pleased with her.

and the stable mirror was up when i got there.

Molly at first didn't notice it, then did a double take when she did, but was ok about it and spent quite a bit of time with her nose to her 'new friend' ...

so hopefully that will be a long term success.

Friday, September 29, 2006

wasps nest

that was what caused the accident two nights ago. the horse stood on it - and no horse is going to do anything but tank off in that circumstance. It could have been a lot worse. the rider has apparently a fractured vertebrae, bad but she can feel so prognosis not as bad as it could have been, and the horse is on a few days box rest. the nest got burned - but there is, apparently, another one that the YM will have to be told about!

Molly just got fed tonight. I think she thinks she wants to be in, but she would sharp change her mind if she was kept in!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

arena lights

were on tonight, for the first time this winter. probably woulnd't have needed them if it hadn't been cloudy as well.

i was lucky there was somone there to help me on though! me & one other. everyone else seemingly had been & gone.

I was pleased with molly, especially when the other horse came in, as that is the first time she's had another horse in the arena with her since 29th june when i fell off. she stayed calm, and we did some nice trot work to finish. i think she's probably getting a bit bored with doing so much walk, but it's good for her. can't beleive how many circles etc we're doing, keep varying what i'm doing to stop her getting too bored!!!

apparently the news on the injured girl is fractured vertebrae. not sure about the horse though ... apparently she was stiff this morning, which will be right, but no one who knew was there to be asked.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


we coulnd't drive down to the yard tongiht, the track was blocked by para medics and other rescuers. a girl out riding on her own had been dumped by her horse - probably startled by a pheasant - and been found with at least a broken shoulder and reckoned to have been unconscious for a while, although coming round. the horse had meanwhile tanked off, and having been found by the ford (a bit away, it would have had to jump fences on its own to get there ...) was just being led up. so caroline said take it down to our yard,and i went down to assist with that and see it settled and look at molly. there were far too many cooks trying to help with the incident and they didn't need another two.

got down and had left my yard keys in the car.

molly was standing at the gate - get the feeling she wants to be in, but she isnt' coming in yet - and all i had was half a polo.

hope the girl's ok.

the horse was lame - do'nt think it was too serious, but she'll seize up over night. nothing more to be done though least we didnt' need the vet as well as the ambulance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


for the first time since i fell off, i felt brave enough to go into trot. Molly had being doing really nicely in walk - if a bit heavy in the hand! - and wanted to move on, so i put her into trot, and did a couple of trips round the arena in a nice cool trot. she felt quite good under me as well. so that was the good note to end on.

and I'd got hte bridle on her with no argument at all tonight, so that's a good sign.

last night - i had a headache, and was 100% certain it was going to rain again (it didn't, but hey....i was probably only wrong by about a few yards!!!!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

in and out

today i decided to try riding in and out of the arena. the plan was to do that several times; but i was glad i'd done a lot of other stuff before i tried it the second time, as Molly said 'that's it, i'm done!'

put the leather girth back on; i think the wintec will be going on ebay, shame as i like wintec girths, have one for the gp (that i also must put on ebay!) and very easy to look after.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

walking out

in hand again, this time without another horse in sight, just me & partner & molly. she was very well behaved. i also stood at the stream with her but didn't have wellies on - will do that one once it gets cool enough where I can wear them without melting my feet (my wellies are neoprene muck boots, very hot!).

and i started the clicker training ..... but not too much as partner is taking the piss out of that, i don't know why.

oh yes, and i got the laptop back. seems to be working fine!

Friday, September 22, 2006

missed a night

don't know why i didn't post last night ..

i think because i'd stayed up late watching the telly ...

i did ride her, but it was SOOO hot and muggy neither of us could really be bothered. although she did try to go nicely, the little midgies were seriously bothering her, and it became pointless.

So i suppose i was only on her 10 minutes all told. but better 10 minutes than no minutes, which is what she did tonight. Although it was raining!!!!

the stable mirrors arrived today; haven't opened the parcel yet though

and the wintec girth is going to be sold on to someone with a less sensitive horse, i think!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


i had to buy paint tonight as the decorator was due tomorrow and there wasn't quite enough for the front room - he rang me on my way home to say he'd been today and there wasn't quite enought for the front room. a bit mortified as i hadn't piled the furniture up, but he'd done that himself. sitting room now looks wonderful.

It was blowing a gale, anyway, so I wouldn't have done anything with molly save look at her ... so that is what i didn. she coulnd't have cared less ... i think i've said before, i hate a howling gale. but it's forecast to rain a lot tomorrow ....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

wintec dressage girth

we realised tonight it has pressure points, no wonder she hasn't been happy to be girthed. Easy sorted, but very stupid design.

So you'll have gathered I rode. She was walking very nicely and smoothly indeed. I am almost tempted to see if I can get some company for a walk round the 20 acre. She's showing no sign of stress at all.

Which, as I said to gaynor, is a sign of how totally stupid we both were when I brought her back into work when my foot got better. should have spent a few weeks on flat work then, I might not be having to do it now.

Lesson learnt, I think.

also, her poll will still need looking at ... but having an idiot owner doesn't really help!

Monday, September 18, 2006

sunday monday

didn't write anything last night - didn't have a lot to say about molly at all, that was printable.

we'd tried long reining. she stood fine to let me put the tack on; i put hte long reins on in the arena whilst we're learning, and i wanted to try them through the roller rings.

she set of right rein three times, and three times then turned in and round to face me and there was nothing i could do about it. reins in tangle round her neck each time. tedious, frustrating. you name it. friend was supposed to have been there, i'd asked specifically if she was coming down and if she could help on the right rein issue, and the answer was yes - but didn't in fact arrive and didn't text/ring to say wasn't able to ......

tonight i decided to keep things a lot simpler, bridle only, lunge left rein, had to loose school right rein.

i really don't understand why she'll loose school right but won't lunge right ....

i had planned to ride, but there wasn't anyone there when i arrived and started grooming so didn't, hopefuly will do that tomorrow.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

walk out

today as I was getting molly from the field liz & paul were about to ride out, starting round the 20 acre - so i thought, perfect opportunity, and went with them. didn't take the time to go brush her off, put any sort of tack on or even lock stuff up again (ouch - but if no one knows the yard is there, which they don't unless they already know, no sneak thieves ...) and off we went. Molly was perfect, save the odd nibble of grass. Perfectly happy to walk along behind, no spooking at anything, no trying to get ahead of the other two (which she usually does when ridden!), and no grief when we turned back for hte yard and the others headed off the other way.

That was a really good exercise, to get her round there chillled and in hand, and i was so pleased i did it, especially after yesterday ...

tomorrow, gaynor and i are going to see if we can get lunge right rein.

and i bought a clicker .... so that will be interesting. I need to decide what object to use as a target .... and i've a horrid feeling she's not over keen on the spillers apple horse treats, which would be a shame as I have two bags..... she does prefer minty things.

and she got two windfall apples, which she thoroughly enjoyed rolling about the floor whilst eating them!

Friday, September 15, 2006

friday night

is not a night for trying to do anything with molly, especially when i've had a bad day, and there's no one there, and she's winding me up won't stand still do have girth done up and when i give up on that and try to lunge she won't let me round to her right (when of course there's no problem getting to her right hand side in the stable).

i finished up in tears, so that was no good and came away .....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

rain and long reining

the office was in a dry spot in the middle of loads of seriously heavy storms. very bizarre. for instance, it was dry in the car park when i went out at lunchtime. i went to morrisons, about 1 1/2 miles away - huge puddles in teh car park. same when i set off home. it was very odd.

but happily it stopped raining enough for me to do the planned long reining with liz's horse. She used one very long lunge rein attached to the bridle both sides and did it from directly behind the horse, which was the way she'd been taught. i don't think that's exactly right, but at least it gave me a feel with a horse that was more than used to doing it and wasn't going to do anything very sillly. i wasn't up for trotting him, foot's not up for that yet, but it was a useful exercise. couldn't put any tack on him bar the bridle, as he was too wet.

I knew molly was fine as whilst we were in the arena, the mares were careening round their field.

so she didn't do any work tonight, but she wasn't going to if i was doing that.

then i went to the tanning place round the corner from the house and had my first ever session vertical tanning. i want rid of my psoriasis, the fact that i'll get a tan (or more of a tan than i've got) being merely a bonus. it'll be worht it (and they've got a good deal on at the moment). if it works as well as it shoud it'll be cheaper than lashings of prescription creams and emollients...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

rode again

I rode again tonight - hadn't done since what was it ,saturday .... was pleased. She stayed really calm and walked on nicely, again lots of circles, serpentines and the like. I really must get my watch sorted out - i never know how long i've been on, i've only one watch that I can read without my reading glasses and it has a flat battery. But i think about 15 minutes, thereabouts.

There are issues re getting bridle on and girthing up, but it's interesting the way it's working. I come in to the stable with e.g. the bridle, she walks to the back of the box, i stand there and look at her and she looks sheepish and comes back.

I think I might take the noseband off the bridle, if only for now, to make it easier to get on (for me! I always end up with the noseband tangling up and getting in the way ...).

she still has a slight issue with girthing but I'm working on that slowly - maintain the cool calm and collected approach and it's fine.

It's odd she has an issue now with girthing when, once i'm on, we're fine.

and the saddle is a lot more comfortable with feathers in the cantle than it was with the hard form! so I'm glad I did that, even if there are still feathers floating everywhere..!

Liz is showing me how to long rein tomorrow, using her horse. Looking forward to that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

loose horse

when i got to the yard tonight and went through to go to the field for molly there was a person on foot, in riding hat, in company with person on horse, on the far side of the hill; kirsty with blake (who's been on months of box rest and can finally go out tomorrow) said person on foot had fallen off and horse was in 20 acre at bottom of the hill. i went down, instead of going to the field, to help catch horse if it could be found. met person who'd lost horse and we walked; saw horse with rider other side of hedge, she said, that's my horse someone's caught it..... i went back. when got back up hill to yard, kirsty said a friend had been on the phone, the loose horse had in fact gone back to it's own yard (part of same estate) - having survived a road or two!!!

by the time i'd done all that there was very little time left to do anything with molly; i thought i'd try a walk out, but found i'd done too much on my still poorly foot .... and it was getting dark.

time i got home i had to make tea, then watch csi, then set up mega new screen which arrived at the office this morning, then went on ebay and bought the stable mirrors .... paypal have changed their policies so i could spend the money in my paypal account ... whether they arrive before the end of the week is another matter .... but hey.,

and i recommend; order placed late sunday, goods arrived this morning, mega.

Monday, September 11, 2006

going backwards

i had been doing ok with the two rein lunging, but not tonight. we've lost it a bit.

but turns out one of the women knows how, so i've arranged for her to show me thursday ...

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I have been meaning for ages to remove the hard 'form' from the cantle of my saddle and replace it with something a lot softer - the stuffing of a cushion. i thought i had a kapok stuffed cushion. i in fact had a feather stuffed cushion ... now i know why pillow fights always ended badly (we ddn't have feather pillows to have pillow fights with back in the day ...)

prior to that, molly hadn't done too much of what i wanted .... she was not going to stand still to be mounted, even getting the stool next to her was becoming a chore. so took the saddle off and lunged/loose schooled. back to not wanting to go right rein. I think loose schooling her right must get her used to my being on her right side etc, but the effect doesn't last long .... i think i should go back to the routine of ride alternate with lunge .....

but not tomorrow, as i brought the grandeur pad and girth home to wash ... they won't be dry until after i get home tomorrow night ....

we have decided to order a new screen for the pc, got a good deal on dabs (but at this point in time i'm not sure if the order has gone through .... that tab is busy loading ... and i hope i didn't actually press something twice and end up with two)

going back to the old vdu screen when you've got used to a modern one is a nightmare ...

and this old one reflects the light a lot more than the modern ones as well...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

clicker training

i've been reading about clicker training and people having success with it, so i got alexandra kurland's book on order from the library, went and picked it up today. fascinating. so went to pets at home to buy a clicker - they'd sold out. i have to wait. fair enough.

what was really good - an ENTIRE CHAPTER on getting one's horse to stand at the mounting block. that's the one for me (once I've taught her about clicker and we've done some more basic stuff, of course!!!).

the plan had been to do a bit of work tonight with molly - did some loose schooling, but didn't do as much as i'd originally planned. taken partner with me, plan was she could watch; but she wasn't well really so just 10 minutes. but it was good. Molly was listening to me.

i think we're going to have to buy a new screen for this pc though. the gericom - it's an austrian company, which is fair enough, but all the support is over there, can't make sense of the webstie (even in the english version!) and anyway we haven't got hte receipt or the box any more. partner get's a redeye on when sees an empty box and puts them in the bin .... unfortunately, my recollection is that i taped the book and the receipt to it .... hope i'm wrong. but anyway without the packing nothing can be done in terms of sending it anywhere ....

Friday, September 08, 2006

poorly computers & stuff

the absence last night was accounted for by two things - firstly, the screen on the pc was buggered and still is (we've had to retrieve the old one from the loft, and I'd forgotten how dreadful it was. or maybe it's more dreadful because i haven't used it for a year. i bought it in 1997 when i bought my first pc, so that tells you what it's like) and also because i reaslied the laptop wasn't charging. so two computers down. the laptop battery of course only lasts an hour ... the charging cable is faulty and whilst it's still under manufacturer's warranty it has to go back to the manufacturer instead of pc world being able to give me a new charger ..... so i'm well hacked off. my entire lunchtime today was spent in pc world, trying to avoid having to send it back and thus be without it. i knew i wouldn't like using the pc with this naff screen.

i've had to set up the accessibility options so as to be able to read anything AAARRgh.

molly - i decided to take her for a walk out in hand last night; a good idea for her, but i discovered my foot aint really up to that at the moment.

the physio has offered me a date in october if i can get molly to darlington; that would be my preferred date, same day as my farrier's coming .... but i don't have any transport. if i can sort some out, and i've had an offer, i;ll take that, if not, it'll have to be later that week i think....

didn't do anything with her tonight, friday night everyone has gone home by the time i get there so no point trying to do the impossible (get on ) on myown, she has to have a polo to get her to stand still (and that was the same before she did her poll in).

will go down inthe morning, there should be people about

and the local library as alexandra kurland's clicker training for horses for me, thought i'd read it and maybe give it a go ... people seem to have success with clicker training.

partner is watching outtakes from the johnny cash movie

and i've got hte laundry going, supposed to be a good weather weekend ....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

easy does it

finally could give up shifting furniture so had time to ride tonight.

i've decided that the easy way to get on and keep her chilled is to have someone give her a polo whilst i mount. it saves an awful lot of grief and stress and keeps her calm whilst i do get on . so that's what we did.

we did some really nice cool calm walk, lots of turns, circles, serpentines again. i shall keep that up for a while and then if she stays chilled will see if i can get someone to walk out with me round the 20 acre or something.

i did try to go through the yard to finish up, but we'd followed blake back through - that's another horse who's only getting led out, being on loads of box rest after a leg op - and so she thought she ought to follow him, he's in the stable next to her.

stable mirrors - on special on ebay - with postage, between me and a lad in the same office, £35 each, can't be bad.

sylvia stanier long reining book arrived, mega quick, smal book, looking forward to reading it.

pc screen has died so i don't know how i'm going to turn it off safely - this is from the laptop networked, but the pf has to be on for the network to work .... oh dear, can feel crashed computer coming on ....

so if you don't hear from me tomorrow, that'll be why (we have the old screen upstairs, but i'll have to switch pc off at main and that always raises the prospect of a major crash .....)

Monday, September 04, 2006

back man

the horse physio - who's fully qualified in all respects - is about to go on holiday and won't be able to offer me an appointment until the 1st week in october .... so will ring vets in the morning and see if they can recommend anyone - but of course then they may want to come out themselves ...

and tonight we had to empty a room in the house for the painter coming tomorrow .... nightmare. this room to be emptied tomorrow night, at least we can then put most of it in the room that we've emptied tonight so won't be quite so fraught. and won't move this desk ....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

steady as she goes

I got on and rode in the arena in walk for 5 - 10 minutes, loads of circles changes of rein etc on a longish sort of rein

had to get a hand to get on - someone fed her a polo, that persuaded her to stand still! no tantrums at all (got on in the arena) although I was tempted (always am) as she was circling round me with me following with my stool ...... and walked her back round to the stable, she was fine doing that as well.

Not wonderfully keen again on being girthed up, but slowly and surely was the approach thereas well and got it done fine.

I'm using a wintec elasicated dressage girth now instead of the cheyenne leather one - a 70 cm instead of a 75 - i think i'll sell the leather one (hope someon wants it, I put a 65cm leather one up on ebay, gorgeous, and had no takers at all......)

Double checked that i've got the right number for the physio - apparently he's cheaper if you take the horse to him, but since i haven't got the transport and getting it would cost me more than the extra, i'll ask him to come out. and his waiting list is interesting, but if i tell him how urgent it is he might fit me in....

and have bougth sylvia stanier's book on longreining from an ebay seller, only £1.20 and postage, £2.70 altogether - the painful bit was the commission on the postal order, didn't realise they charged so much commission on them!!!!

more expense

and i came out this morning - someone had smashed the passenger door window in the car. not stolen anything (they were after satnav which wasn't in the car but all the horse rugs I picked up from the cleaners were there. so more expense, and the plans for the morning went for a burton. neighbours car got done as well - he HAD left stuff in .... and he can't have his window mended until tomorrow because he has a jag (old but still a jag) so we're all pissed off and waiting for the police. even more annoying, another neighbour said he chased some people really late on but he (the other neighbour) was far too drunk by that stage to do anything useful like remember a time or a description ....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

good news

the high probabilities are that her poll is out - i didn'tknow that could give a horse a screaming headache .... so will ring my favourite horse physio monday morning (once i've checked i've got the correct number for him....). was recommended to go to david peat, vet in barnard castle but i have no transport for molly and would have to get a recommendation from my vet, i expect ...

and I rode her, in the arena.

she didn't want to go in - and this was ajudged to be a stress reaction, given that the last time she was ridden in there i fell off. but she calmed down and we did a lot of walk work with teacher watching her reactions on either circle.

the plan is to keep riding her in walk and calmly; given some massage to try on her neck muscles to try and help her relax them; mount in the arena (and if necessary just follow her round with the stool - teacher hadn't seen that performance before ....)

then (after having to buy a complete set of tyres for the car - i'd discovered a slow puncture in one and the man said the rest were on the verge of illegality, ouch ouch ouch!) went up in the rain to pay queenie's keep. didn't see queenie as allison was at work not at home but we had a good long chat.

we agreed that something had gone adrift in molly's original starting; interestingly - i mentioned molly's assymetry and we agreed totally that it is identical to queenie's and therefore is congenital - may be able to sort it if we ever get some correct work into her - but that was interesting. it had really struck me this last week how similar molly was to queenie in that respect, as it is really obvious with a lunge roller on - clearly not straight one side to the other ... i know some would say i should look at a wow saddle in that case, and reflecting on that it may well be that i need to think more about shimming under the treeless ....

Molly's daugher is sold on and is doing really well - out at dalton show last week, new owners well pleased with her, went on wagon first time ever like a lamb

and queenie's been hoolying around the field like a good 'un, along with the others ...

so overall, i'm a lot happier, if a lot poorer!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

horrid thought

couldn't possibly be the treeless saddle could it? i wouldn't have thought so as if it was i would have been having real problems before i broke my foot, not after she'd had a month off..... and the sweat patterns are fine ...


is apparently what we'll have tomorrow when my teacher turns up .... everyone wants to know what she thinks. as of course do I.

Petplan have confirmed that I understood them correctly - essentially, I have to have a really good idea it's something physical and if the vet confirms it, then it's covered by the insurance. otherwise not. Oh dear. I think i've said before, vets charge more than lawyers - and DON'T of course do no win no fee! which is fair enough, we all want to be paid for our work .... that's cue for another rant, bring back legal aid for pi work .... but this is not a legal blog, it's a horse blog....

anyway, I didn't do anything tonight - it's friday, tired, foot hurt, she'll work tomorrow .....