Monday, April 30, 2007

stiff as a board....

that was me last night, never mind this morning.

after yesterday morning's mishap, the next job was to go walking with partner, who'd managed to get herself lost the day before as readers will recall.

I had to go as despite not having done the mapreading course, i can read a map (and also did the walk every year for 7 years when at school).

roseberry topping & captain cook's monument circular .... she's recceing this for a walk she's leading in 2 weeks, and put "gentle inclines" on her walk description ... WRONG. I knew that when i saw the description, but had forgotten how steep it was. 7 miles .. not the walk for a first walk for a couple of years when one's foot hasn't recovered from its fracture of 10 months ago...

so here is roseberry topping

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and here is Captain cook's from about 1/2 way between the two

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and here is roseberry again, from cook's

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fantastic walk, but the path down from cook's had been blocked - looked like there's been a fire ... so we had to take another one whcih was horribly steep, and the path down from roseberry back to the carpark was a nightmare as well. I'd rashly put my ariat's on for support ... but the soles aren't grippy for that sort of steep!!!

If you think Roseberry reminds you of something - that's the matterhorn lookalike! the sheer drop was formed when part fell down in the 1920's.

and Captain cook's is so named as the monument is to Captain cook.

I went to school in the village below, the Friend's School Great ayton, now closed...and turned into posh houses (did a good job too, the old school is Grade 1 listed)

so I was still a bit stiff tonight and saw little point in inflicting myself on the molly moo... and of course we'd been pretty late last night as well, so stil had the jobs to do that didn't get done yesterday evening.

Will get on tomorrow night though, and see if we can get some sense out of her...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

frustration ...

so this morning i'd got on having got help from someone inthe barn, then molly napped into the arena and wouldn't come out again. paul who i was supposed to be riding out with came through (on his horse) and said was i ridng in the arena, i said, no but she won't come out of here - thinking he'd come through properly and give a lead.... no he turned round and went off .... molly at this point realising perhaps something was going on and consented to come out of the arena but then napped to the hill down to the 20 acre. i'm going to have to put the martingale on, and really with the BB there's no control to get the head back down again when she's windmilling and makng like she might go up... had to get off ... despite asking someone to come hold her head to help, i was ignored, so had to get off and go back round, by which time paul had gone off with the other person riding ... his wife helped me get back on and said oh they're waiting but they weren't.

eventaully went back into the arena and eventually later did get some nice trot work on both reins. but so pissed off.....

people know we're still a work in progress and yet still think i can always get molly to do what i want. well i can't...and some assistance when i'm clearly in bother would be helpful instead of just being abandoned....

on saturday morning

i was all tacked up, waiting for the others, when my phone reminded me that partner & i were due at the hairdressers molly got untacked and put back out. I never got back. the plan for the day then went very wrong but it turned into a good day and we got home at midnight...

hairdressers first; in and out in record time 1/2 hour for both of us, unheard of; then partner said since we were up that way let's go to ikea (swedish flat pack furniture warehouse) normally a nightmare during the day but it was before 1p.m and it wasn't too bad and we got the one thing we wanted (chest of drawers)....

then plan for the day as origianlly set was partner to recce walk roseberry topping & captain cook's that she's done before (north yorkshire, a hill named after captain cook who discovered australia) and i go to saddlers further south with friend to see if they'll buy my two saddles.

dropped her off about 1500; went to friends, went to saddlers; on the way to saddlers partner rang three times to say she was lost (she's done mapreading so when we came out of saddlers (still with our respective saddles, they woudn't give us enough money) we went to pick partner up and then back to friends (100 miles round trip....) then waited for friend's partner and went to pub for dinner, gorgeous food, slow service (all freshly cooked) and left there after 11 ......

today we have to repeat the walk and i have to walk it, complete with bad foot, as I am unlikely to get lost....

Friday, April 27, 2007


out! yay.

the lady who's elderly mare did her tendon in back in the winter, now is allowed to walk her in hand all the way round the block. so she waited for me & moly and we went out with her.

so molly got the lead from suzie along her least favourite track, and we cam back round the 20 acre. had to go ahead at that point as molly by that point had her confidence and no longer wanted to be behind.

was really good until we were nearly at the farm end, and she could see the fence/gate - which she's done a fair few times on her own, last time the other week when i eventaully got her roudn on her own.

so we stood.

then she turned round - slowly, but still round - and stood and looked at suzie approaching - we'd been a fair bit ahead.

all this time i was just stroking her neck and telling her she was a good girl, even though by that point she wasn't really as she'd turned round.

and in due course - suzie still being a ways off - she gave a sigh, turned round and off we went through to the fence through the gate and back up to the yard.

way to go. and we were, of course, bitless.

and a thought occurred to me - don't know why it's taken so long .. but i wonder if the reason she blocks when she sees a fence ahead of her is because she remembers what happened when she was 6 months?

when she was weaned, she was brought down to the yard i was then on and just turned out with the horses already there. first day out, she was obviously chased about and foudn by a total stranger staked in the middle of her chest. you wouldn't know now to look at her - but i think the high likelihood is that that is what she thinks of with a field fence in front of her....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

bit out

you might like the look of it Jean, molly don't; she lost no time in reminded me that she didn't like it, as soon as i picked the reins up. I tried the gentle pressure each rein, etc, but after 5 minutes of not moving save to toss her head, etc, i gave up, went back and put the bitless on (then had to find someone else to help me on...).

any myler mouthpiece comes with any of their rings, check out their website (, i think)

so maybe i'll try a lozenge bit.....or if i can borrow one, a myler mullen mouth with full cheeks and NO HOOKS i don't like the hooks, i think they've a tendency to dig.

and she was doing her level best to pull it through as well...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

bit in

the project for tonight was to see if, now some days have passed, i could in fact get a bit in molly's mouth. the bit in question being the Myler 02 with hooks (not that I use the hooks was all they had in in the right size at the time .....). After some argument, and then some of her resting her head on my shoulder (whether that means she's tired or she trusts me) it went in. so i did the bridle up, left her a couple of minutes or so, then took her out in hand and walked her along the track in front of the house that she won't do on her own ridden ...

that was it.

when i arrived, as i got changed, etc, there was a howling gale blowing and a huge black cloud building up, we all thought it was going to team down any minute. time i got back, maybe 10 minutes, the wind had dropped ... typical, what!

so tomorrow we'll tack up and see how we do with this bit in. But without the noseband. it's too much hassle when she's arguing about the bit, to be trying to keep the noseband out of the way as well..

partner made it home at 20.05 last night ....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

message on answerphone

on mobile, partner had gone out without key (left with workman) and would i come home, she didnt't want me "rolling in at 8" .....

it's currently 19.33 and i've been in since about 18.33 ... still on my own .... mmm....

i did have a plan for molly tonight...

apparently, the farrier said molly didn't really need doing, one assumes because i've been able to ride her much more .... and he's now decided he won't do horse unless someone's there .... so hope he starts doing saturdays again, a whole heap easier than having to take the odd day off work... but thereagin, if i sort that properly, can add to the weekend...

Monday, April 23, 2007

farrier and rain

in that order. went down on my way to work to bring molly in so she was there, don't know how impressed she was, and happily got a text later from the other person for whom the farrier was coming to say he'd turned her out ...

mucked out tonight (not too bad!) and lifted some mats, left the last two back in the corner with what's left of the shavings and they'll get lifted in a couple of weeks and then the whole thing jetwashed out.

and that was instead of riding since it was raining on and off ... more on than off! but we need it pretty badly, so not arguing!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


we ride out on sunday mornings, a few of us (generally 4...)

this morning i pitched up at the usual time got molly in, people were already there tacking up .. they all went off without me .... yes ok, so i didn't say "are you waiting for me" or whatever .. but....

i ended up in tears, partly because i really didn't want to go in the arena again, and partly just sheer frustration.

was supposed to be richard maxwell today in yorkshire, when friend said 22nd, i said, but that's sunday. she's been trying to get hold of them to confirm. i've been trying to get her since thursday to check theplans (since she would have to come to me and collect molly, the plan had been to go there for the weekend....) couldn't get her thursday friday all yesterday morning, eventually got her partner who said "we're off showjumping will get her to ring you" tried again this morning eventually got a text that she'd had no response at all despite several attempts and concluded he wans't coming....

i responded, "but what if he does"

and i went and got the money out of the buildings society yesterday, on the grounds that it was no good not having it if i didn't need it.

ggrrhh - but i'm half expecting a call this afternoon saying he's arrived...

molly was doing some nice trot in the arena and i was doing much better at keeping a better position. but she woudln't go out on her own at all....

the thing with the BB is I don't think there's quite the steering and finesse that you have with a bit. but I'll be using it for a while till she forgets about the trauma of friday LOL

think i might investigate lozenges though ... they're slightly different from the french link ...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

back to the bitless bridle

she wouldn't have the mullen mouth snaffle in for love nor money ... so back to the bitless (with a bit of trepidation on my part, it's a while since we've used it and i didn't know what she'd do) and apart from a couple of attempts at not going right, it was like riding a different horse after this last week.... we walked, we trotted, we didnt' try to buck, we nearly got some lateral movement, i could think about me without fighting her, she didnt' pretend to be lame ....

so i guess i'll be inthe BB for a while (it's a Dr Cook's, jean) but wihtout the rope reins i bought for it, they'll be going on ebay along with the pelham, i need the thin rubber lined ones i got recently... the rope ones have no grip and i rather agree with gaynor, they're not nice, especially for small hands! hurt after a while....

Friday, April 20, 2007

back to square one

she did not like the pelham.

got it on, sorted the curb out, jackie who uses one was there and checked it that was fine. tacked up, spent ages failing to get her to stand still and eventualy gaynor turned up and held her.

move? no.

windmill head? yes

buck? yes tried from standstill.

bit ring in mouth? yes (the lower one, for the curb rein).


wasn't prepared to really get after her. i was, after all, trying to also get used to two reins. didn't have any pressure on the curb rein at all, except accidentally when she was windmilling.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

rain at last ...

all afternoon, apparently (it didn't where i work).

as i walked round the corner to get molly from the field, she was in the very act of rolling. so damp mud all over her body and, to be tedious as i was going to try hte pelham on her again, all over her face.

so that was that. it would have taken hours for her to dry enough to get it off. i always say, the main point of a rug is really to keep them clean!!!! especially when they're generallly as warm as molly usually is.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

through the wood

not that that had been the plan, but it's what we did, with a woman from one of the other yards on the estate and her daughter. nice potter out, oodles of midges everywhere.

the plan had been to put the pelham on and see how we went with it, now we've got the elastic curb.

put it on, and rather thought it was too big. when i thought about it afterwards, i could have used the rings nearer the elastic, but i'm not convinced that won't then catch on the bit rings


So tomorrow i'll look at putting the curb on the other rings and see what it looks like, but i'm not sure it'll be right and am not sure it'll fit snugly in the groove....

so put the ordinary bridle on and went in the arena, had to have a hand on; she would no go right at all, everyting i got her going that way she ended up arguing facing the fence about she'd rather go left...

and it was actually she who decided she wanted to go withthe others; i decided that was a good idea since it has to be better than schooling and she re learns that she can go down the hill and through the wood. and i wanted the company, as everyone on my yard had gone home, pretty much (save the person who helped me get on!) before i got there....

jean you may be right about the saddle, possible need for more shimming ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

trotted up

in the barn (level, concrete, no pebbles) sound. so fed her and came home to ring france, where there was no answer save answerphone...

Shall see what Molly's like tomorrow then; the elastic curb has arrived so I shall wrestle the too long chain off, put the elastic on and see how we go.

believe it or not, someone giving me major earache last night on the subject of not using that severe bit, a pelham, suggested i try a dutch gag .... what can one say... speechless. not helped by being unable to explain the theory behind use of the pelham for the purpose.

i think i need more shimming in the saddle, and having the moulded panels in tipping me forward slighly won't have helped anything. but she's always had a vague tendency, which goes off with work, to look lame when she isn't. this may be to do with the congenital assymmetry at the front.

hope none of my readers have been directly affected by that horror at virginia tech ... bring on gun control in the states, i say, amend the constitution (i know, i'm not american, what would i know .... i know guns breed more guns!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

not sure

if she's going lame or not. something on her left fore/shoulder, possibly. we wondered the other day but then she started moving properly when i got after her. yesterday she wasn't quite right onthe lane in trot, but i put that down to the poor going (it's a bit pebbly). fine in walk. will see tomorrow. trot her up on the level with someone watching (you know what it's like trying to do it yourself....)

anyway, tomorrow i have to come home early and ring friends in france, about our summer holidays (loads of americans will be there as well, jean, the couple are french (husband) american (wife) ... going for youngest childs christening.

and i mentioned to someone i was going to try a pelham when the elastic curb arrives- well, talk about earache. the earache impressed me less when said person suggested i use a dutch gag!!!!!!

I've just re read HM on the subject and realised that i have in fact been using the fingers on both hands together instead of alternately, oops.

well sorry folks but with molly it has to be tried. if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but i really think it's the way forward (and in any event, i could use it without the curb at all and that would prevent her pulling the bit through her mouth all the time....... yes, i know, different sort of bit or bit rings for that )

Sunday, April 15, 2007

loads of photos - and a battle won

well.... and this will be long, i expect, as well as full of pictures.

The usual suspects didn't turn up. i asked to if they'd wait for me but they said they were only going for a walk and didn't. went for a help to get on in the barn, and rode out of their with paul and liz but they were going for a fast hack. that left me to myself. i thought, I'd try and get round the 20 acre, since we'd been down the hill yesterday that shouldn't be a problem. it wasn't the first time, but we only got a 3rd of the way round when she decided to turn round and come back and there was no telling her otherwise. in one way that was funny, cos at the top nearly back to the yard she decided she didn't like that either (the way was apparently blocked by a large builders van that she'd had to come past to get down .... duh...).

anyway, here's a shot of the 20 acre in the distance, looking across the mare's field where molly usually lives...

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it's the dusty field in the distance, we have to ride round the outside.

so i took her back down, which was fine, but we barely got through the gate, maybe 100 yards into the field when she was back round again ... ggrrhh..

so i went through the yard, with a view to going up the side of the geldings field or up the drive. here's a shot of the willow tree at the beginning of the track that leads to the ford -she won't go under there on her own in this direction yet...

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i think it could be that it looks too dark and uninviting, i don't know.

so that didn't work. i tried it a few times.

then we went and stood at the top of the hill down to the 20 acre

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but her head wasnt' in it and her ears were back to the yard

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- as was her body in due course. we did stand there for ages, right at the top of the hill, me thinking forwards and not letting her turn, but eventually a fisherman with his rod started climbing the hill so we had to go back

so we went back and forwrd through the yard. by this time everyone else was back, untacked, and leaving; i was well hacked off, i can tell you. but i thought, one last try. partly i was feeling stuck to the saddle which helps a lot, and secondly i was so t'd off with her messing me about (which was all it was ) i really got after her with the ends of the reins. that seemed to do the trick, downthe hill we went again, through and round the field. That got very scary at the end, as there was a huge roller at the other end of the field AND as we approached it a tractor was driving down from my right, the other side of the hedge - round she went again .. but i WAS NOT going all the way back. the tractor driver realised i was there and backed up and switched off, and molly sidled past the roller and through, we turned left to go back and the tractor was on our right at the ford ....

so this left brings us to the track that she won't go on from the yard

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you can see that it would look like a black hole from the other direction, I think. and this was taken whilst she was walking not standing, as were the next two - a view of the willow from this direction and finally molly virtually under the willow

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So as you can imagine, i was very pleased indeed!!!

it took forever, i was probably on her about 1 1/2 hours if not 2 (left my watch at home!) and she had to be washed off when we got back.

but that is a major success!

and i felt really secure. don't think i could have done that if i'd been slipping about!!!!

I really don't think it's a trust issue with her at all, i think it's a "i'm going to try you out" and always have been - and with the proviso that i don't want her to start throwing herself to the ground again like she did last summer, I think we might have less of that from now on!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

flat batteries

on the camera

it turned into a gorgeous day - i couldn't see the end of my street at 0645, but by the time we rode out the sun was blazing.

I did eventually get molly to stand stilll .. i think what did it for her was when the others came round mounted to see how i was doing. that was after 10 minutes of circling the stool - every time i put my foot on it, she moved. when i finally got on, i was only half over her back when she moved and lucky not to come off the other side, but hey, at least i got on.

down the hill, then instead of going roudn the 20 acre which has been ploughed, turned left to go through the woods - it's so unusally dry the usual bog in there is dry as a bone! I got my camera out of my pocket, to find the batteries i'd put in last week were flat ... duh. so no photos, which i'd planned.

Molly was very good. couldn't undersatnd why the others were panicking about the odd tree stump, newly planted baby tree, whatever - until she got to the gate, when she said no. I do think she has an issue in her brain about being shut in when she's ridden, very odd as she has no such problem in the stable or the arena, but if we're out and she comes to a place where there's no apparent way out, she naps back.

then we went down to the park, the bogey hill = and i was so stuck to the saddle it was no problem at all, to the extent we were able to give another horse a lead.

and then on the way back she got two gates open, which was good.

and I took my leathers up a hole... was really a shade too long for hacking. Having said that, i think i'm contracting a bit from where i was after the equisimulator. I expect that's because i've spent so long trying not to slip....

so a successfull morning!

now if only the milkman had done his job, i'd be a happy woman - no milk delivered today or thursday! so can't have any tea until i get to the shop...

Friday, April 13, 2007

friday tired

there's something about friday afternoons .... i'm totally fried! and it's been foggy and chilly all day, we've got too used to the warmth this last couple of weeks, and i was late out ... she got fed and turned out which pleased her!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

ground work

i decided, since it was a while since we did it...

i took some photos - not brilliant since i was on the end of the rope! - and got my mate to video the last bit of work, which was good as she did trot (had woken up by then!!!!!). I'm trying to get stuff uploaded to photobucket but it's on some sort of go slow. so, here's before we begin

and here's during ....

and when photobucket has finished i'll post the video...


and here's in the field afterwards

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

sit tight - glue tight

WOW. gives a whole new meaning to sticky bums ..... I stuck to everything, including sticking to the car seat, and the saddle as I got on. WOW. and i see why they are called tights ... totally different from anything we can get over here...

They're going to take some getting used to, and I need a belt to hold them up to my waist till they mould to me. But i shall be recommending these to all my friends, and certainly won't be slipping off the saddle on the way to the park!

in the meantime -- Molly stood still for me to get on. WOW to that as well. i didnt' think she was going to.

I carried mywhip - didn't half wake her up, possibly a bit too much, but she was listening to me. shame I was so stuck i couldn't get quite right! Actually, i think my right hip has gone a bit crook again, and that's possibly because i need to change the leathers ....

anyway, I was so stuck i was able to think about working on sitting trot, which is good - but i need to be able to keep the legs down, they're creeping up, i'm losing what i had and i think that might be because of using the moulded panels a few times. so i wasn't keeping my leg on as well as i should and wasn't keeping my feet firmly down; but next time i'll be able to use my balance strap, which has finally stretched enough to fit the saddle! which will help me loads.

also i really must see if the local saddle agent has recovered enough from her broken leg to come out and check us out (and one gets a bit of a lesson from a lady who trained the irish olympic eventing team at dressage a few years ago...)

and james - yes, loads of patience and i dont know where i get it from. go back to last july and read all that, if we hadn't sort out those issues I don't think Molly would still be with us ....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


took the moulded panels out and the original panels are much better, left me in a much better position. decided to see how far we could go on our own. first up, thought i'd try the 20 acre, which we could do last year. she wouldn't go down the hill, but looking down i could see they'd ploughed the field, and later realised the tractor was still in their ploughing, so probably just as well!

so got her through the yard without too much napping back to the stable - had to boot her in the sides but got her back round. through the yard reasonably in order - there was someone rattling something round a corner that she couldn't see, but got through and then right the way to the corner of the geldings field. tried up to the left of that, towards the big log, but she was nappig back and since that was where she nearly dumped gaynor in the hedge last year, decided to try andother way. so went along the bottom of that field - sun directly in my and her eyes - and that wasn't a problem. she doesn't like being faced witha gate though.

thinking about it, up the left side of the field there's the big log - huge - and she never really likes coming up to a gate - maybe there's some psychological issue with being hemmed in when ridden? or maybe not, there's no problem in the arena. but anyway, i was pleased to get as far as that on my own!

then went back into the arena and eventually got some decent trot. Think I'm going to start carrying my schooling whip again, if only to hit my boot with. Today i used the length of the reain to make noise off the saddle when she wasn't doing anything.... worked.

whether i'm prepared to do that to get her away from home yet, i'm not sure... maybe leave that one a bit longer!

Monday, April 09, 2007

and the other problem

went to get the cash from teh ATM = put my card in, and the machine promptly crashed big time (started running windows NT reboot scripts, got into the DOS!) with my card still in it..... AARGH


this is Queen of Timber today ....

and this is Didi, a gorgeous 2 year old by Dance in the Dark.... believe it or not she was black ... is going to be grey ... and has movement to die for...

molly's mum

Queenie; I saw her today; i should say, i do still own her, she's in retirement about 30 miles away and i see here when the person who has her is there (she often works weekends and so often when I go up to pay her keep i have to go there, not to the farm). I'm not sure she's going to do next winter. I'd been getting good reports through the winter, one person apparently thought she was about 10 years younger then her present 25 and in foal ... but when I saw her today I'm not at all convinced. She seemed to have lost a bit of condition, which she hasn't in the past (always did herself well!). I'll pay more attention over the summer; where she is, is very good, I trust the people implicitly, i think it's one of those things where if you see the horse all the time any changes creep up on you where if you don't, the change hits you in the eye immediately.

Anyway, I'll post some pictures later when i've got them off the camera.

As for Molly - i did more than I'd expected, jackie was riding out up to one of the other yards on the estate which has a much better arena than ours so I went up with her. Molly wasn't wholly impressed - fair enough really, new place, new route to get there, jumps in the middle, etc. Spent a fair amount of time throwing her head about! But i think, i wasn't at all helping her. the stirrups were even this time. But i've decided to go back to the original flat panels, not the new style moulded panels that i'd put in. I very much felt as though these panels were tipping me forward, and that's no good! Also, I think the stirrup leathers have stretched!

But i was nontheless pleased by the finish; and Molly was striding on along the road going back (she does like a tarmac road! and it's good for her feet).

Sunday, April 08, 2007

lovely ride`

shame about the rider's incompetence today ....

i was wondering for ages why i felt uncomfortable etc, and then when we went to trot i couldn't ge her moving and felt as though i was tipping....

realised a stirrup was the wrong way round (quite important with HM stirrups...) then a little while later realised i didn't have the leathers the same length ....duh. i was thinking the saddle had slipped, all sorts .... what a nit.

but we saw some new born lambs - molly nearly stood on the afterbirth whilst we were standing watching the mother lick the later one dry ... they were so new they still had the umbilical hanging down, we must have just missed the birth itself by seconds... and i had the camera with me, with what i thought were new batteries in ... dead as a doornail. heyho.

and i really don't like hills at the moment.... niether of us are balanced enough for them. we went down a different way, all grass no rocky tracks, so it was easier, but still not totally clever. never mind, we'll get there, and i'd have been a lot better had my stirrups been right....

Saturday, April 07, 2007

some views

this is the Tan Hill inn, which as you can probably tell is quite high up....

this is the view from the pub car park ... looking north over the A66 up towards Durham

this is the view of the pub from higher up - we walked up the bridleway opposite after we'd eaten, this is part of the Pennine Way which runs up the spine of the country.

some orphan lambs - i like this pic, the light was perfect!

and the lambs again (there were three .... plus another brand new one ...)

and as you see, the dogs didn't think "dinner" - we thought perhaps because the lambs didn't run away from them .. they were just like puppies, really ...

Friday, April 06, 2007


and this is why i wanted to go to hawes on saturday (they're closed sunday) - you never know, i might get a training halter at a better price...

berwick upon tweed

for a blog supposedly about molly, this goes off topic regularly .. but then so does life!

and the peril of having a partner is that sometimes one has to go on trips...

and today was berwick upon tweed

we'd never been before, either of us, and were glad we did - despite the length of time it took (heavy heavy heavy traffic, totally mad, with no reason for the 15 mph on the dual carriageway...)

here's a picture of the view out over the bay

we were looking down towards holy island, but don't think that has come up on the photo, you can see it in life....

and here's a picture of a greyhound, forever waiting outside the house:

and molly? she got her tea, after she'd run the gautlet of getting past brooklyn, who took a chunk out of her bum. i rather think they're not all totally overjoyed to be out all night, as all three horses came running to the gate when i appeared (the pony didn't bother ....)

tomorrow, Hawes to meet some friends, and eat at Tan Hill the highest pub in england.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

house clearance

because partner's parents are now both gone, we had to do some final clearance today - and collect the bed. so crack of 0830 collected rental van, filled it with stuff from our place, went to parents, filled there, went to tip, tipped it all, lunch from a store, diversion to the barbour factory shop (if you want anything jean ... but the sizings are impossible, even if the prices are perfect!), back to pick up bed, then pick up my car ( had dropped it off for handbrake repair) came home, had a rest, went to see molly but no point trying to ride - there's nothingn like carrying a mattress for doing your fingers in - came home, emptied the van on my own save the mattress (got the neighbours to do that) made tea sat down .. phew...

gorgeous weather again as well, shame not to have the time to ride but the job had to be done and i suppose it was the right weather for what we had to do....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


a lovely day, the washing's all dry (well, except the stuff that went out at 4 p.m!). the carpet is fitted in the spare bedroom, i managed to get the moulded panels into the saddle and had a ride out! timing on that was perfect as (I hadn't know) the others were all riding out as well.

back down the park - scary steep, but at least i wasn't slipping off totally, just a little bit! and molly was very brave about the lambs. last year when she first saw the lambs on the other side of the fence, they were really horrid horse eating lambs. today, she had to go past some = and did. also someone was having a XC lesson in the field we were walking through, no problem (person of course slowed down etc. whilst we went past).

and i think i got the thing about lateral - had to push her over a couple of times and thought about the hip/weight thing, worked.

and we did the last gate out onto the drive! in the past she's really not wanted to know about that gate, but we did it tonight. took three goes to get her lined up to get the catch, then i had to go back round again to pull it open. but we did it, i was so pleased with her!

and the others went off for a canter (i'm still not doing that ... haven't since i fell last june, but i don't care, we're both still building confidence again!) and we walked back down ourselves - i thought she'd prefer her usual of going down the drive, but she volunteered herself to go down the grass track between the drive and the geldings field, and that pleased me as well. it's downhill, in the past she's had issued with the large log jump that makes the track very narrow and she sometimes rushes at the bottom.

it occurred to me that one of the things about down hill - as well as feet - will be balance. so that should improve with more work, i hope!

then i went to the store again and came home and washed the car. I'd mucked it out earlier - needed it, after all the shavings/haylage/feed/mud etc in the winter. i can now not be embarassed to let anyone into it!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4 1/2" pelham

with curb chain that probably belonged to a 7" ....ggrrhh

i've been meaning to try the pelham for nearly a year. i bought it last spring when a local tack shop had its closing down sale. it was 1/2 price, which was good. but didn't get round to it.

yesterday discovered that the bridle was too large for it. so dug out the wintec that was in the house and took that down. perfect. BUT .... the chain, even when turned to lie flat, was miles too long ...

so, the usual bit went in. and we did a bit of work. better than yesterday

i'm trying to get some lateral movement but not getting there. i can get turn on the forehand but not leg yield. we're getting something wrong ...and it isn't that her sides have been kicked numb, that's for sure! i wonder i think i need to have even more contact (and less grief from her on the subject!) and i know i get a bit tense when trying something like that..

Monday, April 02, 2007

she exhausted herself

eating in the field and really didn't want to do anything at all.

and i didn't feel as though my position was up to much tonight... whatever i did. the only thing that worked well was at the end when i rode her through the yard and along to the start of the track; she wouldn't go any further, but since we got there with no traumas at all (a first) i was quite pleased with that.

the new thin reins are good, i've definitely got a much better grip with them.

had i had my brain in gear when i knew the richard maxwell thing wasn't going to happen this week, i should have organised myself a lesson at some point this week = much easier during a weekday than on a weekend when everyones doing other things for themselves...

what i forgot to say

was that we also nearly fell over, but i didn't realise at the time.

as we set off, we went along the track past the house and to the ford.. it's a bog standard farm track typ of thing, hard, pebbly in places, some soft bits, and it goes past a copse on the left and the house/orchard on the right.

molly kept trying to go one side or the other (her feet a shade soft after the winter, of course) and i kept trying to push her back but as usual she wasn't really listening to my leg, what's new there.

in the orchard they are digging a "ha ha" ( a form of ditch, usually called this when a design feature) and just past the orchard there's a relatively wide bit of what looks like grass ... but is in fact quite soft and she doesn't do mud.

she went onto it and it was a lot deeper than anyone had realised - i'd thought it was just soft mud.

one second i was thinking oh well it's wide enough grass don't argue, then next second i didn't know what was happening as molly under me seemed to be trying to get quickly towards the fence as if somehting had bit her bum or whatever. it was very bizzarre sitting on top, and all i could do was maintain a contact, steer her away from the fence (we ended up next to it, the ground rises slightly to the fence) and sit up.

that was fine, got her back to the track and carried on.

then when we got back everyone said how well i'd done there particularly, and when i looked at her legs she'd clearly been hock deep! I still didn't register, but they were still talking about it in the evening

I went back to have a look - AARGH - we were clearly very close to actually falling over one way or another, it was seriously deep and no warning that it was going to be. you could see the huge hole where the first leg had gone down deep, and then you could see where she'd been struggling to pull herself out of it. if i remember i'll take a photo...

so i was even more pleased with myself, and i think this may account for why she was listening to me more after that - maybe i do know best sometimes? despite the twingey feet? dunno, but i think we've both learnt something there, definitely.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


we weren't expecting them in the chill breeze (not quite as cold as yesterdy, but working on it) but once we were out of the wind - flies all round!

had a really good hack.

wore my winter cord jodhs' - they help the stickability! and the new very thin rubber lined reins I got are a great success - only had cob size in the shop, so hugely long, but it's much easier to keep my reins a correct and consistent length than it was with my favourite continentals - which are now relegated to second favourite in consequence!

Molly did two gates as well, which was good, and has started to listen to my leg - not as much as she should, but compared to her previous ideas, very good. possibly assisted by my continually improving position.

We must have been out for 1 1/2 hours, longest i've been out on her, loads of walk really and a couple of trots.

and she spent most of the ride out in front, so she's getting loads of confidence back

and she didn't nap at her usual place

so i'm very pleased with her indeed!

teacher's rights

thought this might be of interest jean .....