Sunday, December 31, 2006

derwentwater (keswick, lake district)

I did remember to take my camera; here are some views over derwentwater.

this first one is from Friar's Crag through the trees

This has turned out slightly better than I expected...

And this clearly isn't derwentwater - it's on the shore, the soil around the roots of these trees has been washed away over the years and makes an interesting effect with the roots....

keswick & gales ...

yesterday in keswick ... it did stop raining, happily after we'd eaten, and we had a good potter about, along the lake, loads of brent geese, a heron (too far away to get a decent photo of that) and a norwegian sweater shop with a sale on ... still pricey, and we shouldn't have bought the sweaters that we did, but they are good. we bought one each, and the friends we were with bought one each, then another! and were given a hat ...

this morning we had another ride out - 5 of us altogether - she was still good, so i was pleased - but very cold, the wind got up after we set off and i didn't have enough layers on ... oh dear. and the wind got worse after we got back, so we definitely chose the right time to ride!

Friday, December 29, 2006


first time for weeks...

rode out with a couple of the others, short and windy! and molly was good again ... save for getting on. she ws even good when her exercise sheet blew off, ddin't want to turn round to let me put it back on again ....

then went to allendale to see and pay for queenie's keep, had breakfast on the way ..... useful thing, a croissant...

then visited several saddlers and replaced the troxel hat that got broken in july

then to the metrocentre (biggest shopping mall in the country, jean! just up the road from us) but only visited a couple of shops and starbucks for coffee - there was a plan there, the airport is not far up again and it was pointless going home (south) to go to the airport (north), then to another shop then to the airport in time to pick my ma up

her plane was late; her suitcasehadn't arrived ... duh.

nearly 9 pm by the time i got home, via our favourite curry house for takaway..


and it was teeming down when i finally came home as well.

tomorrow partner wants us to have an awayday, which is fair enough we haven't had one for a while....

Thursday, December 28, 2006

frosty ride

this morning, being as how i was there and the others were too, i went out for a ride with paul & julie; it was FREEZING and mist was forming on the river, but it was sunny. A long walk - along to the ford, through to the field, up holme hill (the rest of the world think blast up there, i don't believe in always blasting in the same place! and anyway we only wanted a walk) back round, across the road, along, back across, down the track back to the ford and home. Molly didn't put a foot wrong.

I really wished I'd had the camera though. it was gorgeous.

then had to go back at lunchtime (vet came to do booster jab, shoudl have been done last friday) so all in all i went to the yard 3 times.

if i get up in the morning i'll go out again with julie & kirsty...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

i should have believed the weather forecast

and ridden or whatever this morning.

got down to the yard, got her in, groomed her, tacked up, spoke to a couple of people about a couple of things, took the haylage away, put the bridle on - and the heavens opened.

i'd planned to lunve as we hadn't done that for a bit. decided against it. even with waterproof exercise sheet on, i'd stil have had a lot of horse to dry, which isn't a useful way to spend time on a cold wet wednesday...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

hi viz ...

rode out the way i had to walk her yesterday - i was done up like a christmas tree and gaynor wasn't .... she realised how important this was when we got to the top of the track and out onto the road... it had got a lot duller in the space of 10 minutes, i could be seen and she couldn't .... we cut short the original plan and went back fairly sharpish along the road (sharpish mostly in walk, charlie's quarter sheet came undone and gaynor had to try and do it all back up whilst on the horse!!!) and when we did trot i lost my stirrups, couln't keep the right leg down and a sewing machine trot....

but at least we rode what she woulnd't ride yesterday....

Monday, December 25, 2006

christmas day ride

not as successful as last year. she only got so far, following partner, when she stopped and wouldn't move forward wanted togo back. to be fair, i think half of it was a really odd noise that we could all hear, like an electrical whine, very bizarre. but i didn't want to get her to throwing herself on the ground in a tantrum and didn't want to let her go back. so i got off and led. which is tedious as i can't get back on again ... so i got exercised as well. did half the ride i'd originally planned, and thank goodness it was christmas day (back along a a country road - i ahd my hi viz jacket on!!!!). when we got back, i did some work in teh arena, and feel as though i'm getting there with the rising trot ... and i rather think nicola was right, the cheyenne tries to put you in a chair seat ...i'll do better with the fhoenix & knee blocks i think!!! getting there, anyway.

all done by 4 pm, now cooking our dinner ... duck breasts with roast veg.... yummy ... but partner hasn't done the mulled wine so no nice wine gravy...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

by the by - was far too tired yesterday recovering from friday!


don't always remember where they are meant to be.... i was back to trying very hard to keep my right leg where it belonged.

i was non the leess pleased. a bit hunched up through the cold, which didn't do huge amounts for me, had to keep remembering to sit up. when it worked, it worked.

i did a fair amount of trot; she sets off quite quickly then i have to think about slowing my rise down and making it more subtle; when it get it, it's good.

and now she's got back to to much arguing with the bit. i think it's in the process of accepting it - she will eventually - and she's working on a better way of going herself ... but she needs to stop playing with her bit.

and we wrapped it up with a walk through the yard to the geldings field (after managing to open the arena gate) with virtually no attempt to nap back to the stable and i took her back to the arena gate to get off. don't want her to learn that i get off at the stable ..

will try to ride out tomorrow; like to ride on christmas day, partner comes out on foot...

Friday, December 22, 2006

560 miles

from when i filled the car up last night to getting home tonight .... knackered....

but in the scale of things it was a good run, left mothers (she's about 17 miles north west of me) at about 7 a.m, dropped her at heathrow terminal 3 at 12.05 ... including two stops. A fairly decent run down, despite the patchy fog, largely, i think due to the fact that loads of people were off work. Also, i'd expected a huge jam to get into the airport, but there wasn't one.

getting back wasn't quite so good ... M1 northbound roadworks and an accident, so i did a diversion that included getting fuel (for the car and me!) and a 40mph trip in the fog back to the M1 cross country. i was really pleased I'd put the sat nav in the car - Milton Keynes wihtout one is a nightmare (I know, i did it in the dark one night without .... eugh).

The fog cut in with a vengeance then, so 50 mph to north of leicester (being passed by all sorts of pillocks going too fast), cleared, then cut in again north of Leeds for most of Yorkshire ... a fair way at 50/55 (sometimes slower, and again being passed by aforesaid idiots!). the one thing about fog, it minimises glare from cars coming the other way ..

back home by just after 7 pm .... pretty impressive.

but, as i said, knackered...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

no longer

tried the stirrups a hole longer again, but that didn't work at all.... just a bit too long. but it feels a bit short otherwise. will have to fiddle with it.

and didn't do quite as well as yesterday - apart from anything else, took 15 minutes to get on and then had to get jimmy to hold her.... duh.

there are no domestic flights to/from heathrow. mother was booked to fly to heathrow from newcastle .... she can still do her international flight from heathrow, but guess what i'm doing? 300 mile drive to heathrow and back.... horrid. happily, we have friends in perivale, so if i really am not fit to drive home, i should be able to stay there (if they're in...)

i am not looking forward to that at all ....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

putting it into practice

the stirrups went down two holes.... i think they'll go down another tomorrow.

result was - i couldn't QUITE get the feel i wanted in the trot, but it was a damn sight easier to keep her going, right rein especially .

She didn't really want to do anyting much at all . it was cold, should have put exercise sheet on and I rather think something went awry under the saddle ... but we did do some nice work and the trot on that rein was a lot better.

I was working on just trying to get my rise as low and slow as possible ... it wasn't quite low enought, hence the need to drop the stirrups another hole .. and in consequence wasn't quite as slow as i wanted, but as i say once i was very nearly there i needed no leg at all to keep her going.

And i didn't lose a stirrup.


methinks it'll be better in the new saddle.

I don't think the cheyenne puts me in a chair seat, but i think it's easy to fall into it unless you work on not doing so.

i think tomorrow, unless it thaws, i'll be wearing my fleecy lined chaps .... it was cold. but at least i was full of lunch; went to the chippy in spennymoor (it has a restaurant attached, it opened the year before i was born and is still going strong) with partner ... i'd been there anyway for the dentist. Realised that the cobblers was still there... took the boot in .. he thinks he can fix the zip without having to put a new one in ... YAY.

and rashly went to the saddlers at thinford ... wooly hat (left mine in yorkshire yesterday, oops) and pro choice trimmer/clippers .... which i'd been debating for a while, and since our jointly owned clippers have to go back as they're broken, and after hearing manypeople say these are pretty good for rechargables, decided to go for it.. me, made of money? no made of debt, OUCH. should stop really... or may be loads of stuff up on ebay, more to the point!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


today i went to wakefield for a lesson on the "rider powered" equisimulator there .... different. (if anyone want to know about them, go to and follow the links...)

by "rider powered" - you are on it and it goes if you make it go properly by using your seat. if you get it wrong, you either bounce or it stops.

It can simulate trot and canter (and really walk, in that some of the time i was practicing "walking my seatbones" to get a feel of what they should be doing).

It took ages, and a MUCH longer stirrup length (about where i thought i should be, or even a shade longer) than people keep insisting i ride with, but I DID get the rising trot right. I knew it was meant to be barely a rise, and knew i'd got it odd times on the horse ... what i meant was, it was even subtler than i thought, and i'd only partly got it on the horse....

gave up trying for the canter .....

the machine squeaks, and essentially the squeaks are in a regular rythm, and you slow and slow until you're right...

hard to explain really unless you're on it, and no doubt others would have a different way of describing it.

at least, nicola said I didn't squash her hand!!!!!! which was good.

the simulator had an SBS on it; I am so looking forward to my fhoenix!!!!

Molly, I hope, will appreciate my efforts - hopefully i'll be able to get on her tomorrow!! one thing is for certain, my stirrups are getting a lot longer ....

Nicola did wonder if the cheyenne was putting me in a chair seat - i don't think so, I've been working hard NOT to be in a chair seat .. but bearing in mind that my instructor had me sitting upright in trot rather than slightly leaning forward, and with a short stirrup, it's entirely possible.

Monday, December 18, 2006


all day.


did all the christmas cards though so felt very good with myself, even if strictly the post office won't guarantee delivery now....

went for feed and some shavings, saw a friend i hadn't seen in ages, told teacher about the new saddle, drove home inteh dark and fog - horrid, 30 mph all the way, couldn't see hand in front of face and cornering was interesting - trying to remember where the corners are, and metaphorically feeling ones way to them... there'll be some accidents tonight!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

loose horses ... on a road

nowhere near the yard - but gaynor, who'd been intending to ride out with me, spent 1 1/2 hours catching loose horses near where she lives - well, firstly trying to ensure they stayed on the patch of waste ground she'd herded them to, she couldn't leave her car as she had the bairn, then when the police arrived they didn't know what to do so she left them to mind the bairn whilst she caught the horses and put them back where they'd come out of (a broken down gate, who'd knocked the gate down being an interesting question.) this on a main road, and the passing traffic just carried on by, at speed, without a care for themselves or the horses.. typical.

so by the time she did get to the yard she was knackered.... and i've just remembered we forgot i wanted my back support back...duh.

anyway, whilst i was waiting and before i knew why i was waiting i tidied molly's mane up with the solo comb, that'll last a while now, and then eventually rode in the arena again. managed to stay on the stool whilst molly did a few small circles round me till she decided she'd stand, but did get off a coule of times - it's a small stool and if you teeter you're off, which i hate as the left foot still hurts even landing on the arena surface. but did get on on my own, YAY.

and then she did some really nice trot. (and some nice walk, but i think she overbends in walk .. better that than stargazing and we will get that right eventually).

I'm managing to keep both feet in the stirrups which is helping a lot!

i think next time i'll do more walk/trot transitions...

freezing again i think. left the thinner rug on, not sure yet when to change rugs ... may be a lot to be said for the thick rug overnight and the thin one when she's out ... will have to see how she goes and how she feels in the a.m. but she's certainly warm when she comes in...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

good weather!

well it was pretty cold (compared to recently) but sunny and calm and not raining or anything horrid at all, so was able to RIDE. Thought that was pretty amazing really considering i hadn't been on her for over a week and the last thing we did was lunge last sunday (and, btw, discovered i'd left lunge whip and long lines in the arena, they were still there, very very wet...eugh.)

But she was pretty well behaved. got a hand to get on, but at least i managed to stay on the stool whilst she walked round me LOL.

again working on my position, you can tell when it's right as she walks on better etc. I must start wearing my velcro stock again, it's amazing how much support it gives my neck (which is killing me this afternoon, partner had me helping put up christmas lights in the maple in the garden, which means looking up, which hurts, dammit).

And we got some really nice trot.

Teacher had said I should sit upright when trotting, but that's wrong.... it felt wrong at the time, so i leant slightly forward and that was heaps better - i was with her, not against her.

but towards the end she started having a minor paddy (very minor,but still a paddy) in that she kept wanting to turn to the gate. I had thought about riding through the yard again, but decided against it. I thought i'd done pretty well by then, and with the pain in neck (and right shoulder, goodness only kows what i've done with that to make it hurt like it does again....) i decided an argument wasn't what a wanted!

and then on the way home went for my sunbed session and the zip on the back of my riding boots broke. very annoying - mountain horse sport rider, not cheap, very comfortable especially ow they're broken in ... ggggrrrrhhh. Will see if i can get a new zip in, but have a feeling that what passes for a cobblers these days won't be able to help...

the shoulder - have had three falls on both shoulders (i.e., 6 falls altogether), first one in the bath at my ma's when i was 18, the rest off horses. either way, both are knacked, but don't usually hurt during the day....

dosed to the eyeballs with ibuprofen tonight then..

new saddle is in hand, finance sorted out, getting all excited. need a couple of boxes to parcel up the old ones ready for sale, but think i'd better leave that to after christmas .. no one wil have any money left at the minute.

Friday, December 15, 2006

a sign of old age

is when you get a letter saying come for a breast cancer screening - I'm now on the list and qualify for regular screening. letter waiting for me when i got home, and the appointment is first day back afer the holidays, so shall have to try and get it re-arranged. Still, at least over here we have the NHS with that sort of provision for free.

Should be ok, no history of BC in my family that i'm aware of - other things, but not that!

Had to ask someone to get Molly in tonight, knew i'd have to work later ... and i was right. and i still had to bring some work home...

Thursday, December 14, 2006


the wind, that is... but it was raining, so couldn't even get the mud off as it was wet...

hey ho.

but it's warm, and hopefully will be ok for the weekend...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


i thought the weather was bad earlier in the week, tonight takes the biscuit. gale warnings from the met office - don't think we need them, lorries being blown over everywhere, a portable building blown off a lorry on the A1(m) (that's the main motorway from the south, it's the only motorway from the south) and they finished closing hte entire thing for about a 20 mile stretch, htere were so many accidents.

i had to ring up and ask kirsty to fetch molly in when i came to a halt behind about 2 miles of traffic. turned out there were some roadworks as well and it cleared quicker than i expected, but horrid. makes me bad tempered, gets under the horses tails, hopefully no trees blow down that haven't already ... have visions of not being able to get to the yard tomorrow if that happens, one road i go down is very bendy with loads of trees to the right, and one came half down a couple of weeks ago, council had to come out on a sunday to sort it....

partners gone christmas shopping and i'm not allowed to go as she's getting something for me; she thought it would be quiet at the metrocentre if the weather was as bad as it is.... mmm.

and as for Molly? pleased to be in, wanted to know where her tea was, not too hyper considering...the muck heap was blowing away in the direction of her stable....

at least its a bit sheltered down there. the last yard i was at, all the rooves blew off two winters ago and we had to turn the horses out 24/7 until they got mended. they were better off outside than in in that weather (it is at the top of a hill and at least if out they could get away from whatever.... one horse was lucky to still be alive).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


decided a few weeks ago that the cheyenne isn'tworking ( i blogged about that it think ); can now get finance for a fhoenix.... approved ... i'm getting a fhoenix... YAY. so that's my christmas present to me.....

if anyone wants a Barefoot Cheyenne grasshopper? or a KES gp? off to find some large boxes and get them up on eBay i think! my luck they won't make a sensible price....

not that i can do anything with molly at the minute, the weather is pants.

but she's still in her lightweight rug - it's amazing how warm she keeps herself... it's inthe blood, her mother's the same (even now at 24 ....)

Monday, December 11, 2006

car sorted....

thank goodness. partner's car sorted. i got picked up at 6 pm instead of 5, partner insisted on trip to tesco, we went to see if i could get my tan topped up (for the psoriasis ....) but it had shut early, up to chester le street for car, didn't get in house till 8, didn't finish eating until 9 .... had of course organised for molly to be brought in as i knew i'd be late...but of course as it wass warm this morning she had a thinner rug on (she was well overheated when i got there.) and it's cold tonight... hey ho, can't win. and bad day at work.... need to think about it but by this time it's far too late and my brain is fried.....

Sunday, December 10, 2006


another howling gale, and substantial wind chill ... i hate a howling gale. so again, no work done... but that's winter for us ... at least we don't get horrendous heaps of snow..

Saturday, December 09, 2006

back to square one ..

i knew that would happen ... a week off because of the weather, and she wasn't having any of right rein. She loose schooled that way fine, but wasn't letting me get her going on the lunge right at all. Almost there once, but i made the mistake of bending down to pick my whip up which was her opportunity to turn in ... ggrrhh... eventually gaynor turned up, after i guess 30 minutes of me trying to get her to go right (i'd done the left rein ....) and i got her to lead her round. even then she turned straight in ... took the side reins off and she did it - for about 5 minutes or so and then turned in without my spotting the signs of her being about to. of course, i hadn't bent down for my whip, didn't want to lose it doing that ... propulsion was by my swinging the end of the lunge line round and round ....

so i was well hacked off.

not assisted by being ill all morning ... i was impressed i was even able to do anything, as when partner dropped me off i still wasn't feeling right and had visions of asking someone to bring her in ...

one car between two = partners car has had to go to the dealer (always expensive!) for some serious diagnostics, will cost about £300 to mend and won't get it back until at least monday night. and partner has to go about 40 miles north tomorrow for a walk (well, doesn't have to, but willl....)


BUT i have organised a session on an equisimulator week tuesday, looking forward to that, my mate's coming too (when I told her she immediately asked if she could ...), that's part of xmas present ....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

howling gales


and i'd rashly taken up the offer to have the horse turned out for me this morning, to give me a lie in, i regretted that! duh.

three weeks of me being off sick spoilt us in a way as i was able to do a load of work, but haven't been able to do a thing since saturday because of the weather...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

plans to pot

the plan was, partner was going out with friend, weather forecast was good, i'd work with molly then come home for tea...

partner rang at 5 to say she'd come home early ill again and would i come home instead.... so i did.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


very very wet ....

not even going to try to do anything ...

Monday, December 04, 2006


first day back at work after three weeks off sick, very wobbly really, so molly got a night off ... anyway it was spitting on to rain. so that's two days off she's had..

She was a bit stiff i think this morning pulling her out, possibly because i got her in early yesterday, or maybe just general early morning stiffness through lack of movement ...

groomed her, fed her, came home to find partner ill (literally) ...hey ho.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


molly's mother ... went up to allendale to see her today. got there and the horses were of course at the farthest end of the field ... but it was dry if windy. helped unload a load of shavings and went in for a cup of tea. came out - the heavens had opened. so we got them in.

Allison said a friend of hers came round the other day and asked who queenie was in foal to .... HAH. she certainly does look pregnant! does herself very well, person was amazed to be told her age (24) and she does look well. has gone a bit sway backed, as they do, but hasn't lost anything for condition.. and when we called them in she charged on up with the rest of them (on 3 year old rising 4, one yearling, and one shetland g*t)

The yearling is to die for. Black filly, by Dance in the Dark ... I want I want ... I can't have, she'll go for good money. Lovely conformation. We decided she needs to be shown ... her dams not been put back in foal this year (this one was her 3rd in a row) but I said really put her back to the same stallion next time ...whatever, this is her third lovely filly.

and Molly's daughter Cleo has been sold on for a good sum ... hopefully to a good home ..

bought some shavings from them unexpectedly (at £3.60 a bag, instaed of the usual £5, not to be argued with) and also unexpectedley bought a rug ... Allison had been to Blair horse trials and bought this but found it wasn't a fit on any of hers but it will be fine on Molly (too long for Queenie, who had it on .... her's being soaked).

More money I hadn't intended to spend ... but it's a nice rug, and I hauled my slightly heavier weight one out of the cupboard yesterday to discover it had a rip in that I'd forgotten all about and therefore will need to have mended....

the weather didn't improve at all. i got molly in about 1500 ....left her with huge quantities of haylage, but it was so wet, so windy, not going to improve and it's all a lot easier to do in daylight!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Molly can be a star about so many things, and today it was clipping.

She stood like a rock throughout, and actually seems to like having her face clipped.

We were particularly impressed as the clippers seem to be faulty - they 'seize up' for no apparent reason (and remain seized even after they've been cleaned out ....); it's analogous to the gears going on a car - put it in gear and nothing happens because they've died ... like that.

So we're going to have to send them back; and hte real pain is it is just over a year since we bought them, rather than just under ... we did wonder last year if they were quite right, but thought it was just not being used to them...

Ah well - she looks very smart

and I was really pleased i'd had it done.

After that, I lunged her; she worked so hard she had sweat above her eyes, so imagine how sweaty she'd have been unclipped.

She dried off well, however, and was toasty and warm when she got her tea ... although a bit miffed she had to wait so long for it.

And just as I was about to start my mother & sister turned up; seemingly sister had come up for the weekend, so they decided to come see me on their way elsewhere... neither of them dressed for standing around a cold yard watching me lunge, and being a horrid person I wasn't prepared to keep Molly standing about forever tacked up, we were ready to go....

hey ho. sister now knows both where my house is and where my horse is ...

Friday, December 01, 2006

photo shoot

the results of today's efforts.....

this is Molly with Jimmy, falling asleep together in the sun

and if i say so myself, this is excellent..... almost good enough to have someone paint it ...

so much for plans

the equine dentist came today.

my plan was, after she'd been, to do some ground work with molly - and it was a gorgeous day for it ...

i brought her in to stand in the sun with a haynet outside whilst i mucked out and we waited for the dentist.

first time i've tied her up outside since the end of june as she'd kept pulling herself free, usually to go back to the field ... and because she wasnt' doing being left on her own well.

so im in the stable mucking out and she's standing happily eating, in a suntrap .. it was about 65 degrees in that corner; farrier's just finishing another horse and that horses owner is watching that...

one of the estate workers turned up to empty the bin...

next thing i knew there's the sound of hooves and riots, and molly's pulled back in fright, snapped the lead rope and was turned round to head away ... happily not fast but still

turned out the man sorting the bin out decided it was a really really good idea to flap the empty new bin bag about ..... stupid person .

so when it was molly's turn to have her teeth done, she wasn't good like the dentist says she normally is, but generally was very unhappy, especially when we were trying to keep her head down ...

think she's probably given herself a headache

so i thought the better thing to do was not do any work at all.

but she went out without her rug on for the afternoon, as it was so nice...

hopefully getting clipped tomorrow

here's a picture: