Friday, August 31, 2007


I'm wrestling with it.

Partner replaced the laptop, nice toshiba; Vista preloaded. yes i could have got one with XP online, but I don't know about you, I like to see what i'm buying.....

and I invested in office home & student as well (open office is all very well, but I don't really like it, probably because I need everything to work with the office system and i find it don't....) ..but i think i'll have to buy outlook. I'm using thunderbird at the moment, and much prefer outlook which I find easier to use

also have to wrestle with installing all my favourites....

the weather was windy and my head was killing me - I am SO looking forward to seeing the optician tomorrow - so we just fed Molly after we'd bought the laptop and then had dinner out, to save cooking ....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

off balance

and trying too hard.

that's me, not the mare

She's being very good - she will now even take the one required step forward and stand still.

Think she's not objecting to the new bridle, not being nearly as resistant as she was. people i know think crank nosebands are generally horrid, but i think that's a lot because a lot of people tighten them too too much; i'm just tightening it enough. and the flash strap just enough.

but me.

we start off straight enough, but then it is the case that i am putting more weight right foot than left. that, i think, then puts me off kilter a bit and trying to straighten myself up results in the body getting a twist on.

so i need to work on that.

i guess over the last year i've been favouring the left foot more than i realised. so to be worked on.

but, having said that, i was doing better tonight than i have done recently.

i think i need to put the martingale neckstrap on. i find that the leather "handle" thingy (can't rememebr the correct word, leather strap that fits between d's at front of saddle) not in the right place for me to hold on to at the same time as the reins....

good night though. but we could do with a hack out now.

and finally got the farrier. he's coming tuesday first thing, hurray.

and the laptop? we don't have accidental damage cover for such things, counts as personal possessions and becuase laptops, cameras etc are normally taken about you need to buy extra cover.

so new laptop about to be bought by partner....i'm off to and other places to see what's out there...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

more good work

on the longlines. not a lot to say about it really, she went nicely (new bridle on, bit in) turns smooth, what can i say.

but - the farrier hasn't rung me still.

and my laptop is now history. claim on the home contents policy, i think (someone got up to quickly and knocked it off the table......)

so if anyone has emailed me recently i haven't got it as said someone had downloaded the emails to the laptop....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


you know when you dismantle a bridle and have to put it back together again? i think -in fact I know - i should have taken a photo before I started dismantling ... this is the bridle, very nice, plain black. I think i've cocked up the strapping on the noseband... and i think i need the noseband higher than i had it...

Molly let me get on no bother, which pleased me no end after 10 days off.

i was working on keeping myself upright and straigh. when i had it right, it was clear from her way of going, and when i had it wrong that was equally clear. i think i concentrated too much on keeping the weightin each leg even and don't think i managed it....

did i say, i think it's odd as normally i keep my weight off my right leg such that it's forever coming upwards....

anyway,didn't get that feeling so much tonight, so i suppose that's a good sign....

and finished before the rain - when we got home the heavens opened!

Monday, August 27, 2007

back home

one cat looks pregnant (he's male, he can't be....) the other hasn't been seen. worrying. mind, he never does do regular hours, so we'll have to see...

molly was so pleased to see me she cantered up to the gate. then wolfed her tea down. didn't get there until 8pm..... and left money for farrier in the morning, hope he does her (hasn't returned any calls, but know he's coming for other horse....) so left money and have sent text message to other horse owner (who knows of plan.....). hope he hasn't forgotten he's meant to be turning up (the farrier, that is....)

will try new bridle tomorrow night...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

scone palace

Scone is where we went today. first started in the 13th century as an abbey, apparently, and where all the kings of scotland were crowned - you'll have heard of the stone of scone, this is where it was originally. it was very interesting, and still lived in - by the earls of mansfield, a scottish family with an english earldom (2 earldoms, in fact....)

it was a good day, interesting

Saturday, August 25, 2007


horse trials.

we had a good day - the friends hadn't been before, but enjoyed the shopping, the children enjoyed the play area - I enjoyed the shopping, molly has a new bridle! she doesn't have a new bit or a mattes correction pad, but hey ....

didn't see many horses; my ankles had given up by then! watched some showjumping (that was a CCI* as well...), there was a disabled rider demonstrating dressage to music - the RDA was the charity this year.

the UK version of Ansur were there jean - total saddle solutions it is now over here... and i went into one leather/saddle place, earwigged a bit of conversation and said "how do I know you're talking about treeless?"!!!! they were of course, so had a bit of a chat - the saddler not convinced!

the car? i've done 300 miles on 1/2 a tank, which is about £25, so that's really good, very pleased. handles well, lots of oomph when needed! and it's got much better lights than my previous one, and the heating/air con/etc is automatic, you just set the temperature you want and it does it all for you.

very impressed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

that lesson

was so needed. we've decided i'll go do that once a fortnight for a while.

i need to straighten myself up.

it was an interesting start. .... baby squirrel in the arena, spuddie hadn't seen it before (fair enough, carole hadn't either!!) and i sat the resultant major spook!!!

it's clear that i've lost a lot with all the time off. It's also clear that the reason i feel as though i'm in a chair seat is because i am.... mind, that is difficult to really tell, as the fhoenix is much more likely to put me in a straight hip heel line that spuddie's saddle, but in the scale of treed saddles it was in fact pretty comfy.

my rising trot it much more the thing on a balanced schooled horse - but, i twist and tip, and am very stiff to the left.

We think I need to insist on a new xray on the foot; i physically couldn't do the excercise stand u in stirrups due to the consequential pain. you could tell when i got off how much weight i put in the right stirrup by the way the saddle had slipped that way. this was on the lunge, you'd expect more weight on the inside and thus to balance out over the total ride, but it hadn't happened....

the saddle did slip during the spook and we probably should have got off and put it right properly, which didn't help/

so i spent a lot of the lesson trying to get the bottom of my leg below the knee to stay back and on.. by the finish we had my left hand on the left shoulder for a while and it was obvious how that helped me loosen and straighten (and that'll probably account for the pain in that shoulder if i lie on it? a thought!) i could feel the difference.

i don't think i'll ever get it totally right; the left foot, apart from last year's fracture, had had a previous fracture (or was that the right foot? ) but definitely a load of sprains - and no physio after any of them....

but if i get myself a lot straighter it'll be a major advantage!

so a lot to think about and i'll go back a fortnight tonight. and i made better time getting there than i thought.

don't think the cars have heated ignition, it's a hdi, different from the engine on a tractor/old style landrover (which had one).

the cat's got gingivitis and if he doesn't recover might have to have a load of teeth out! but we were half expecting something a lot more serious...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

10 days off

is what molly will have had off by the time i can get back to some work with her.

yesterday i went to look at new cars - mine has 110,000 on the clock, so needs replacing. found one, 2 1/2 years old, only 17880 on the clock (done nothing) diesel so more economical. bank said yes, so i spent lunchtime sorting that out and knew i had to empty the car tonight, due to the lunge lesson tomorrow. plus, the man clearing our garden wnated the shed emptied, which is fair enough cos it's dead (the coal man backed into it more times than was good for it over many years...) so then that had to be done. didn't finished until it was getting dark.

so by the time i've had my lesson tomorrow it'll be too late then....

and we're out saturday, blair horse trials sunday, what can i say?

hope she remembers what she learnt...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


it rained on saturday, sunday, yesterday (plus that headache) and today. I suppose to be honest I COULD have tacked up today - other people did and rode out - but it was mizzling, had teemed down whilst i was driving home and seriously looked as though it was going to again. so i didn't do anything. and Molly didn't want all her feed. this is probably because i've got some new feed, she's had it before but not for a while, and i wonder if they've changed the formulation? mmm.

Monday, August 20, 2007

reading glasses

were left at home this morning and i didn't realise till i got there, so didn't come back home as it's a 50 mile round trip.... but oh the headache!

anyway, it motivated me finally to ring the optician for eye test - was due to go in June and didn't, and I know i need a new prescription!

so in consequence molly only got fed and turned out again.....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

very damp...

had it stopped raining at all, i might have ridden. as it was, it was raining this morning and it's raining now, and there haven't been any dry spells in between to speak of....

Saturday, August 18, 2007


is where i'll have to go in the morning. i thought it was just a cut, but i think it's gone into the joint (knuckle at base of 1st finger left hand) as it's seizing up and hurting....


the stable and the rubber mats - and inside the haybar - in consequence of which i'm filthy .... but looks a lot better. i should really paint, but doubt that i will - maybe next year! earlier in the year.

and went up to see instructor - decided i need a lunge lesson, and wasn't sure if she still had a horse to do that with. Old Spuddy (home bred by her OH, must be hitting 20 now -spuddy, that is - so called as he was born in the potato shed!) will do the job and I'm going up Thursday after work. note to self - put hat in car! Makes much more sense to work on myself whilst NOT on molly!

Don't think I'll do any work with molly today though ... totally knackered, and still have to go back with the Stanley knife to trim the rubber matting, it's amazing how it spreads over a winter!

edited to add - nearly cut my finger off with the Stanley knife....well, not quite, but I've bled a lot!

and it rained a lot as well...

Friday, August 17, 2007

I need to find out

if the saddle agent has recovered from her broken leg .... really need her to come look at the saddle set up.

but apart form that we got some nice slow trot today, and my rise wasn't too bad.

started off with the feet out of the stirrups to get my legs stretched down a bit. think i should do that occasionally throughout each session - give her a break and stretch my legs down ... and then think also perhaps i need the stirrups a hole longer?

made the mistake of trying to taker her down to the 20 acre. she wouldn't even go to the top of the hill. possibly doing that after some time in the arena was a mistake, but anyway we struggled to get back right after that. on the other hand, at least she left the arena ...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

longlining with the bit

for the first time since our accident on the 26th may - was a "bit" worried about what she might do, but thought it would be ok as i've been working on her acceptance of the bit, and we've got the strap shutting her mouth. and she worked well, as well - if not better - than on the bitless.

our changes of direction are getting really smooth, i've got to be really careful where i make that change as the arena is so small, did it right both ends.....

she wasn't on the bit until near the end, partly down to me as i didnt' want to push the issue too much in the circumstances, but when she came back to walk she was looking good so i tried to push it a little bit in trot.

and the halt was a lot better.

i wished i'd had someone videoing it.... but there we go.

oh, and we only had one walk off when i was putting the longlines on...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

working on trot

in the dry, happily!

she moves better in the arena, you're right Jean, because it's better going (if a bit deep!) so i worked on keeping my position right, keeping my rise low and keeping her going where i wanted to (after I'd got off, adjusted the saddle and got back on again ... sometimes I don't put it on quite centrally, not assisted by her slight asymmetry, and it was really obvious tonight!). I was a bit better, I think and we got some nice circles. I'd forgot to put my sunglasses back on which made left rein difficult (straight into the evening sun up the long side, painful!).

her walk is improving and she's not arguing with the bit so much in that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

rain again

i suppose we can't complain too much, but it would have been nicer if it had rained whilst we were all at work.

so i went to the shoe shop and got some crocs..... thought they might be comfy, they are.... would like some flip flops (the one's i got in france have been overused, not had them off my feet for a month!!) but they didn't have the right size, and as for the colours ... well, not for the office, that's al i can say...

yes, the kerrits fit excellently well - i think it was the xl you got me (in the car, and too wet to go out and check!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

i need

a lesson onthe lunge, never mind molly!

i'm fine in walk. but seem to have lost trot altogether, even with the stirrups up a's as if i can't sink into it properly when out, but can in the arena, i don't understand at al....

felt most of today's ride as though i was perched - didn't feel as though i was sitting really deep at all. .....i could think i'm still getting getting used to the saddle, given the little riding i've done this year one way and another, but still and all...

molly was very good. stood still, when i asked her for one step forward so i could get on she did that and didn't move any further.

so i reckon we've really cracked that one (she says, touching wood!).

We went through the ford again going out following suzie, but she's not yet confident enough to take the lead through it, and to be fair it seemed a bit stronger today after yesterday's rain...but overall a nice ride, and we came back through the 20 acre and she was striding on ahead nicely and didn't even come to a halt at the site of the gate (open) in front of her (it's a narrow one..)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the Ford

Molly went through it - with barely even a hesitation, let alone an argument - on the way back from a nice slowish hack out with Jackie on piper. I was really pleased, as by that time she'd got totally fed up with my telling her to keep her jaw soft! but there we were, through it. Really good, so now she's no excuse for not doing that one!!!!!

I must have a lesson, and must try and see if I can get the agent to see horse & saddle yet. I'm even more sure i've not got it set up right/i'm not right, and i'm not sure which is first..... can't get the trot right when i'm out at all, and found myself bashing back on the cantle whilst trying not to. not clever, and accounts for the sewing machine (who can blame her).

On the other hand, my sitting trot is getting better, assisted by the sit's as if i'm sitting better and feeling better, so that's better, but have lost the ability to rise to the trot altogether....ah well, in the scale of things, that's not such a huge problem and no doubt i'll get it right again soon. all this not riding over the last 3 years hasn't helped!

but - we got a few canter strides as well, up a hill on a track, thought i'd go for it as i haven't cantered since i fell off last June (06, that is....)

partner and her friend spent today making this:
Mr I Hulk.

for a "find the scarecrow" game as part of the village fair next weekend. To be put up in our garden Saturday morning.. and in the meantime to frighten us all in the dark!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

this is worth a read

if sadly now over before we found it....

walk to halt

since she didn't want to go out on her own (if i'd got down there an hour earlier, could have gone out with a group from the barn...)

anyway, walk to halt and lots of work just keeping my fingers going when needed to keep her jaw soft. combined with circles, half voltes and serpentines.

stopped when I got halt with the jaw remaining soft

her habit is to set her jaw and bring her head up when i ask for halt, so that's to be got out of.

i was pleased with what we did. she was starting to get the idea by the end clearly....

and of course that helps me as well in terms of my position, so all good.

Friday, August 10, 2007

she wasn't happy

in fact, gave me a bit of a fight over the right rein thing.

we were doing groundwork..

going right, she kept stopping and turning in before i wanted her to.

then at one point she really took off, pulled away from me, bucked and kicked and pulled the rope out of my hand, and took off in canter round the arena. was so pleased I'd shut the gate!!! stopped herself once by standing on the rope, then set off again, but eventually calmed down and stopped and i was able to pick the rope up again...

dear dear

so i made her go right a few times more, but was struggling to keep her out ... possibly didn't keep at it as long as i should have done, but it is friday night and i was starving (still am, come to that.... tea currently a work in progress...)

we'll get there though.

she also tries to come in when i haven't asked her to, and if i send her back, she doesn't go straight she does it on a circle so she ends up with her left side to me.... mmmmm.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

back to work for molly


She did very nicely, no argument at all. and I didn't rope circle first.

Lots of trot both reins, we strictly need more space than we have in our arena, but we're doing really well. Halt is a bit difficult; but i'm still longlining in the bitless, until i'm totally confident about what I'm doing..

at the end she was standing square so i thought i'd try flapping one rein against her side to see if she'd go sideways; she didn't get that and didn't really appreciate it! but hey, we'll learn.

and the garden man? seemed to be going ok until he got to talking about rotovating. we have bindweed, and if there's one thing you don't do, it's rotovate bindweed. I started discussing this, and he had a tantrum said he didn't want the job and buggered off sharpish. My view, if the man won't debate something as basic as that, i don't want him ...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


james, they can't do that save in limited circumstances, and certainly not on a buy it now AFTER the item has been paid for.... go check it out.

molly has had her tea and gone out again; i'm waiting for this garden design person that partner has organised to arrive.....and for said ebay vendor to provide an explanation....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

the cat

was vetted by my horse vet .. who was slumming it at a different practice. well that's not quite right, he's reduced his time at the horse practice and is doing reduced days and is no longer in the partnership there, so was locuming (is there such a word) at the small animal practice the cats get taken to...

he's got a gum infection, for which he got a jab of antibiotics, but there's some concern about other infection/whatever and if the excess salivation don't clear up in a couple of days, take him back for tests.

that's depressing, he's not young and broke his hip earlier this year....

as for molly - she was pleased to see me when i finally got there.

now, here's a thing. last night i found a myler combination, the right size, new on ebay, very good buy it now price, so i bought it. today, my money was refunded, "due to urgent unforeseen circumstances" it was withdrawn ... after i'd bought it?.... duh.

Monday, August 06, 2007

and again!!!

and much better - she didn't move around at all, I was on dead quick!

and then had a nice ride out with Julie, round the fields, up the hill, trot, walk, trot, walk... now, the sewing machine trot when out?

and I'd put the sit tights in the wash, and forgot to put the furry cover on the saddle... like glass. now why didn't i get a suede seat? you tell me, must have been a moment of madness...

But I was very pleased with the molly mare tonight again...

partner has arranged for me to take HER cat to the vet tomorrow night after work, and for a man to come and discuss hard landscaping our back garden the next night after work.... i have complained, but the arrangements were made by then!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

and again...

but it took a bit longer today, and I did have to get off at one point and lead her back round (it was better to do that than have the tantrum that was incipient...)

she then marched happily down the hill to the 20 acre.... into it ... then promptly decided she was frightened of smething in there, the mare that happily marched on ahead of suzie all the way round last week!

then we went up to the gelding's field with gaynor, and back. she's pretty much given up napping ot the stable.

then of course, since she refused to go anywhere on her own, she ended up in the arena.

I've just bought a new book - schooling exercises for dressage riders - so set to with some of those, one of the trot ones in walk, then walk/trot/walk/trot, and some flexions to try and get her to soften to the bit instead of setting herself. she gets that for a bit, then loses it. partly me, partly her.

at one point we had a lateral movement across the arena; the trouble was I hadn't asked for it deliberately but I know what the problem is, my right hip/seatbone.

then back through the yard to the willow (preventing her from napping to the stable quite smartly!!! it's scary when she starts that as its hard concrete with rocks on top (small rocks, but sharp ones!) and next to a stone wall) and back to the arena to get off.

I still suffer with that foot i broke last year if I land on hard, so do have to get off in the arena. anyway, don't want her to get used to me getting off in the yard, as that would be an excuse for more napping back to the stable. the stable is NOT where we stop work!

Saturday, August 04, 2007


got on at th emounting block by myself with no help

took three goes - but she wasn't moving her bum away from me, she was moving forward. and I didn't get off, just kept turning her back to me .. at one point i thought i'd try getting on the wrong side, but she moved forward again... YAY.

then went in the arena (had thought I might go out, but that would have been pushing it!!) and did some work, my rising trot was better but I wasn't really trying for anything exciting since the success of the day had already been achieved.

i suppose arguably i should have got off again and then got back on.....

foot & mouth


let's hope they get it under control this time, and we don't have a repeat of 2001.

where i keep Molly they have cattle & sheep - it's an organic farm supplying at least one major supermarket i guess there'll be restrictions on our movements as well!!!

last time was a total nightmare for everyone who did anything in the country....

Friday, August 03, 2007

will it or won't it?

rain, that is. looks like it's going to, damp grey clouds...

Molly and I did some groundwork again, rope circling. she went the directions I told her at the pace I wanted, which is progress. didn't do much (thought it was going to rain, and it did start to try to, and it IS friday night!). little issue on goingback and coming forward to work on. she goes back. all I have to do is turn her in and drop the rope to the ground and she goes back, which actually she's not suppose to. coming forward she comes to far, and she comes when she hasn't been asked sometimes.

But i got what i wanted for the night...

Thursday, August 02, 2007


we've cracked the problem with mounting from a proper mounting block straight on in the yard, but not the stool in the arena?

whatever, got on again tonight - TBF, Julie was at her head again, but she showed no signs of moving away AND let me do her girth whilst mounted, which is always a disconcerting task with dressage girths!

and we had a nice ride round the 20acre in walk, we knew where the brakes were when waiting for Julie on Suzie, and she didn't try and trot back to the yard from the ford as she was wont to do.

so well done her.

the only fly in the ointment was when I went through to the arena to get off (still have problems wtih that foot i broke! plus i don't want her to get back to the habit of napping to the stable) and lo and behold she took serious exception to a piece of farm machinery that has been tied up next to the arena entrance for months and months. nice sideways leap that i sat to, and got her in ....

here's a picture i saved from google earth:
the black line is the River Wear, and the 20 acre is the second field above the buildings in the middle next to the river....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

last night and tonight...

last night we had a bit of a battle re whether she'd long rein or not, which i won.

and then she was going very nicely!

tonight, decided not to bother with the ground work. the YO had moved the mounting block from where it was (where you had to go round the corner to get up onto it, thus giving the horse an immediate excuse to turn quarters away) to another place next to the muck heap where it is straight edges. so thought we'd see how she went, and I'd go out with Julie who's still on walking exercise with Suzie.

so led molly up to the mounting block, julie stood in front of her with a polo, and she showed no inclination whatsoever to move away or into me.

very pleased. and since it's the first time on her since 5th June (and that wasn't a success due to my leg ... last time i actualy rode her in earnest was April, I think!!!) i was even more pleased...