Friday, November 30, 2007


pouring down when i left the office, and i think it's following me up - forecast to be awful.

i jammed my finger in the stable door when i shut it after giving molly her tea. don't know how i restrained the shriek of pain!

now, shall I take my friend up on offer of wagon to Richmond EC on Wednesday and have my lesson there? she said, if the weather's pants she'll do that (would mean a 4 time trip for her, as she's south of there!) and she wants to watch the lesson anyway.....which means i get a camerawoman as well. which reminds me, not getting the wagon i was going to get - not mended yet, and with incipient big vet bill if insurance doesn't pay... well...

And yes it's petplan nicola, so with what you say, I'm hopeful!

no news on Queenie yet today, I haven't rung as I don't suppose anyone is in ATM, will ring tomorrow and no news is good news.

cat to vet in the morning....normally partner's responsibility, but there you go, she's away.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

eating up

Queenie is. ate her slop last night. was let out for an hour today and TROTTED down the field to the grass! tucking into her hay at 5pm tonight. So looks like we're out of the woods. Here's a photo from the recent set I took (for all you reiki practitioners if you could/would?)
So we're all pleased about that. insurance claim form in the post to the vet, so crossing fingers that they'll pay!

Molly did a bit of groundwork again, after she'd had a good grooming. I was pleased to be able to give her a bit of attention. she was even behaving pretty well! but it was SOO cold, i only did about 10 minutes as my fingers were starting to get really cold.....

EE lesson next wednesday - friend is going to come up, watch, operate the camera, and if it rains (must look that up) she'll come up and get us and take us to richmond EC, which will be appreciated by emma, I expect. Apparently they're cool about letting you use the indoor through the week - especially for my friend who's friends with them and whose partner's a vet...

pleased about that; she'd originally been going to be away so i hadn't said, but her plans have changed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

cleared - phew!

mid morning ish.

She was apparently a lot happier this morning. when vet eventually came (not the 0900 first said!) Queenie was tubed again, and it had pretty much cleared so swilled through again with water.

She went out for a pick of grass for 10 minutes in the afternoon to encourage her appetite (i expect she's got a humungous sore throat, which won't be helping!).

she's on very little and often for a bit; clearly if she doesn't start eating then that'll be a different matter, but for now we're all very pleased.


and to help = i rang the insurers (she's insured for accidents, a veteran plan) and said, how do you treat choke? accident or illness. the young lady on the end of the phone said, ah! has been treated as accident, a subject of debate, get form filled in, vet to do full report and they'll look at it! which sounded very hopeful. that's petplan ... if they meet it, it'll have been worth the 10 pcm i've paid them since she retired, as it'll amount to pretty much that much anyway i would have thought, three visits and loads of drugs already.

As for Molly - ii suppose she was pleased to see me - i told her her mother was ill, but she didn't care - but she was pleased to have her tea tonight! it's raining, of course, but frankly after the emotions, travelling and hoo ha of yesterday, i don't think I'd have had the energy to do a lot anyway.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

queenie - choke

I was rung this morning just before 11 - she'd been found this morning, clearly had been in some distress, vet called (had been and gone by this time but was coming back). had had some liquid poured down the usual tube but to no great effect.

I obviously went up - happily boss was OK about that when I told him (i was filling up, of course). We & vet spent about 50 minutes pouring the best part of a bucket of warm water down tube, got some out, but it's still there.

happily it wasn't blocking the windpipe, but is blocking the stomach.

vet's coming back in the morning, and is going to have one more go if it doesn't self clear overnight as a result of the sedative. if that doesn't work, the only option would be invasive surgery, and I'm not prepared to go there - she is after all 25 about to be 26.

so if it doesn't clear and the vet can't sort it, the decision is made that Queenie will be PTS. vet pleased I'm of that view, she said. I said, whilst we were in the process of pouring liquid down, that I didn't want to be officiously striving for the sake of it if it wasn't going to work. She says she's had 4 or 5 so far in her career and has always got them clear.

so of course emailed friend to do molly tonight, just as well didn't get back here till gone 8....

Monday, November 26, 2007

cold and dry so groundwork

rope circling the order of the evening, and i was quite pleased with both of us. i kept my body language positive, and she decided she had to go right and left in trot when i asked.

now, can anyone tell me why, when i send her back, she doesn't do it in a straight line? ends up with her left flank to me....

dug a rug out - i wanted a compromise between lightweight and heavy - and foudn one perfectly clean but with a rip in it. i think she's had it on once, and i forgot it had that rip..also i seem to recall it wasnt' perfectly waterproof...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

fugly horse

link in sidebar ... thanks to others for the reference ... love it. especially love the writer's take on rollkur..

alone for a fortnight

up at 04:00 - to get partner and her friend to airport for 0600, friend at Stocksfield which is about 15 miles cross country

so at yard about 0610, home for 7, breakfast and back to bed until lunchtime!

This is "worming weekend" - it is tedious. 48 hours in, and the YM never does what she's supposed to do = collect samples for testing! and, as with every other yard i've ever been on, poo is never picked. so I really can't see the point of keeping them in.

Anyway, got to the yard about 2 30 ish i suppose, groomed/mucked out. Clearly going to ride in the arena, no one about.

I decided to try the mullen mouth - had longlined in it the week before last and that was fine. But clearly was never going to be a good move today. She was setting her jaw against it before I got on, and in any event wouldn't stand to be mounted.

So, to the myler. she wouldn't let me put that in at all.

So, after several goes at that and rather than continued to stress us both out, i went for the bitless. That shocked her, actually, she was expecting to have another argument about a bit in and found herself bridled up with nothing she could do about it, tee hee.

That all wasted 1/2 hour!

Still couldn't get on, happily someone turned up and held her so finally got into the arena at about 15.40. Once the saddle had warmed up again, and i'd kicked myself for not wearing sticky jods, we got some nice work in the scale of things.

I decided to try what really raising my hands would do, and it did seem to help substantially in terms of direction, and we had some not too bad circles in trot. And I managed to find my left seatbone, which goes missing regularly, so I must have been doing something right there.

then decided to see if i could get through the yard, as she'd been going reasonably well. did that - she didn't nap back to the stable as I had schooling stick and kept tapping down shoulder on stable side when she tried. So we went out of the yard (heading to the bogey willow, after yesterday's success at going up the geldings field thought that might be worth trying on my own). Not to be. Partly she'd realised she'd let herself be conned into getting out there on her own, partly, possibly, because the old lady of the house & her companion had come out for a walk - so started paddying all over. That meant I had to get off - not because I'd started shaking again, I hadn't, but because the old lady is very pottery, has to have an arm to hang on to, and I certainly don't want to be the one to knock her over with my horse. don't have quite the control with the BB as one does with a bit.

Anyway, is there something with her teeth? who knows, tooth lady due over Christmas.

And the shaking - possibly once, Caroline, many many years ago and ended up feeling quite ill. but that time I hadn't got as far as getting on! don't know what it was about yesterday at all.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


and I don't know whether i'm annoyed with Molly or with me.

I did say whilst I was grooming that I thought she was in a bit of a mood - bouncing round the stable which she doesn't normally, but then the shoot people were all arriving.

when i got on, at first she was standing nicely which was what i wanted whilst the others got on, then as gaynor drove through in her car she HAD to follow and go into the arena.

on the other hand, she came out of the arena at the first time of asking with no difficulty.

She then happily went up the side of the geldings field, with no demur at all, past her bogey big log with narrow gap, having totally refused to do so for about a year.

Also walked happily along the track along the top, beside the drive, didn't spook at the new cattle grid, and waited calmly whilst the gate to the next field was opened and walked quietly through.

so you can imagine, i was very pleased so far.

The field we're now in is pretty big, and we walked round the outside, then through a gateway that has no gate, and about half way down to the gate we were going to leave by - she turned round. she wouldnt turn back. and just to really help, i started shaking quite badly. i'm not sure if it was the cold, the fact that i hadn't had breakfast (and it was now about 3 hours after i'd got up. i tried to relax, but couldn't stop shaking, and clearly shaking, whatever the cause, is not clever when you're on a horse that is in any event dooing what you don't want.

So i got off and led her back, which is about 1 1/2 miles. phooey.

and then she was, for a wonder, good as gold to be wormed (it's worming weekend, they come in no later than 10am and can't go out again till monday morning).

so what was all that about with both of us?

Friday, November 23, 2007

greek dinner

was huge - we went for the mezze (feast) and couldn't begin to finish it. food all very good though, the lamb was melting in the mouth. Friend did molly - impossible to do her and still get out in time - as it turned out, partner got stuck in ginormous traffic jam caused by massive accident on the motorway....we could see it driving up the side road parallel when we did set off, looked like a real horror (apparently a wagon had overturned).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

the broken foot

regular readers will remember than in June 2006 i broke my foot and had three weeks in plaster.

Ever since, I've had pretty continuous pain - at varying levels - at the site of the break and was convinced it wasn't mended.

back in October I went to the GP and he referred me to hospital, where I went to day - orthopaedic outpatients at north tees hospital

xrays were duly taken - and guess what, it's still broken. a clear flake fracture, never got anywhere near healing.

They can't take the flake off as it has a tendon attached to it and there would be no way of getting the tendon fixed back in place, so essentially i have to live with it.

as to support, he recommended one of those support things one gets from the chemists or wherever, such as sportsmen use.

ggrrhh...might do some research on the 'net to see what comes up, but i think he's probably right, and i don't want to do anything that might make it worse. i know i'm not short of calcium, that bone builder, as i eat loads (probably too much) cheese

and as for the fall i had Monday this week - think I've done something to the left leg, particularly noticeable when I try to get up from a chair, so will have to go back to the GP for another orthopaedic referral and more xrays on that. might be just bruising, but i've a feeling not.

as for molly - the weather is no way near good enough to do anything, so again she just got fed and left. can't even groom when it's like this (dirty bits are wet as well....)

We're out tomorrow night, so we'll see what the weekend brings in terms of weather and riding possibilities.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

dried out

at least, didn't have to drive home in the rain. but huge traffic jams.

i think i really jarred myself when i fell on monday, left leg seizes up interestingly when i sit at my desk at work...

looking forward to the next fortnight - sounds awful, but partner will be away and i therefore don't have to answer to anyone and can spend longer at yard at night without being nagged (subject to weather, of course!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


just like everyone else in the country....

so i'm watching telly - bought a new digital box with hard drive recorder so have set it to record soemthing and we'll see what happens. a vast improvement on the old one though! and not hugely expensive

Monday, November 19, 2007

tempting fate

That's what i did last night by talking about the slippy mud and Blake's occasional tendency to bounce a bit when being taken out.

he was, in fact, good as gold. But that didn't stop my right foot slipping, Blake standing on it, and then me falling my length in the mud .....

i had to go home and have a second shower after I mucked out, and i haven't looked at the foot since then but anticipate a mahoosive bruise.

the jodhpurs & knickers I had on - which were clean on - got taken off IN the shower then left to soak all day. the jacket got left to try and dry in the tack/feed store area, and currently is in the washer without washing liquid to try and rinse all the mud off, along with the gloves. the plastic bags I'd had in the boot to protect it from plant dirt ended up on the car seat to protect it from mud whilst i drove home for the shower...

and I've been really stiff all day, so must have really jarred myself up!

Oh, and younger cat decided the catch for last night was - a PHEASANT! FULL GROWN! goodness only knows where he got that from, we don't GET pheasants in the churchyard or anywhere near the house...

and that was all in the dark.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

at least we didn't get snow

as caroline did ....but an awful lot of rain. It's going to be horrid leadinv them out in the morning, the track to the field gate is very slippy. Molly wil be OK but BLake, my friend's horse, has a tendency to pull a shade if he think's HIS friend is out. Hopefully he'll behave!

Plus, this morning the road to the yard was closed - apparently there'd been a fatality (one assumes an RTA) at about 0500 - not only did they close that road, they seemed to have closed all the roads roundabout and people had to remove bollards to get to the various yards! don't know what the police think people are supposed to do! and we didn't see any anyway! Open again by tonight.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The reiki, that is. The person could tell where molly's off hind had been injured in the various places - more interesting, she asked about the near hind above the hock. I'm not aware of any injury there, but who knows?

molly was very good. took the off hind away a couple of times, but that was all.

I didn't do anything else with her at all today, planning to ride in the morning unless it rains. I thought (and reiki person agreed) it was probably as well just to let her be. She thought it would be interesting to know what reaction a Reiki master would have/molly would have to same (person is level 2, not planning on going further with it).

went and bought plants though; dwarf conifers I'm seeking for one side of new rockery, also bought some new raspberry canes. must get some rotted stuff off the muck heap man suggested he'd get his trailer emptied and fetch that down, otherwise its plastic bags in the car, not clever!

I should really post photos of what's happening in our back yard -- it's having a makeover of major proportions. when it's done, i'll post a before and after. new shed was put up yesterday (the old one was falling down, having been backed into several times by the coalman over the years (people in this street still get coal delivered....)

Friday, November 16, 2007

martin luther king

40 years ago this week, was given an honorary degree by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (about 12 miles from here) and came over in person to be given it. I didn't know that before; it was on the local radio station tonight, as they are doing a special event commemorating the occasion. I didn't know he'd been to the UK at all (but I guess I can be forgiven, I was 12 at the time and he was killed about 5 months later). I do remember the following April when he was shot - I suppose by the following year I was taking more notice of what was going on in the world.

As for Molly - everyone had gone home by the time I got to the yard, and partner's going out tonight, so I didn't do anything - save put a heavier rug on. unusually she was feeling cool, most of last winter she was fine with the lightweight, but i guess we've been having much colder weather than this time last'll be totally filthy by the end of the week, from clean on tonight!

Tomorrow a friend is coming to give her reiki; don't know whether it'll help or not, but friend offered and it's for free, you never know! friend does massage as well....

Thursday, November 15, 2007


was in two minds whether to work or not, so groomed, then decided on longlining ... only 10 or 15 minutes (wasn't prepared to dig my watch out from under the layers to find out!), with the mullen mouth in.

she was working much better left than right - seeking the contact, softer on left rein, where right rein head in the air (not too much, but up) and slightly set in teh jaw. but i felt much more in control of the paces today, she came back to walk very nicely which she hasn't done in the past, so i'm doing something right there!

and i'm having a lesson on the 5th december on inhand work, clicker training ... see where we go. emma, hope you're enjoying the read! you're welcome to comment in advance!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


i had decided i really had to come home and get some washing done (running out of things to wear, as you do) - and it was cooold and daaark and looonley .... (now there's a whinge!). Molly only wanted her tea anyway (nothing new there then!). She'd managed to untie the haynet, which was in the bottom of the haybar (haynet for when she first comes in, then i can take it away easily if we're going to do something). also, alternate nights is good in the winter (unless it ends up raining tomorrow, of course...)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

and a lie in

thanks to friend doing early turnout! and I was so glad. didn't muck out until about 0900 on the way to the dentist.

Molly did a little bit of groundwork tonight, rope circling - worth doing that at least once a week, although probably should do more. I hadn't dried my glove off properly after it got wet this morning, the result was raynaud's in the right index finger which is pretty painful so we only did about 10 minutes work. but she was better about going right again this time (maybe the lunging last week helped!). But, she insists on coming in to me when i haven't asked her to when she's stopped, and so i have to send her back out again without moving myself. tedious. She is, i think, starting to find it easier to cross her hind legs when i ask for turn on forehand, so that's good, must be doing something vaguely right.

there's an auction (for a charity) on EE ATM and someone put up an EE etc. lesson within 2 hours of sheffield. I'm within 2 hours of sheffield so i've bid on that, so far the winning bid. I'm at the extreme of 2 hours from Sheffield, but it is 2 hours! assuming no traffic jams or other horrors....

and I'm seriously thinking about changing RI....

Wagon is still where I left it; it is going to be taken to vendor's fitter and looked at. consensus still is muck in fuel through being left.

I have said that next time i have to do that sort of trip i will go the day before (I'd been saying that anyway, but was over-ridden)

Monday, November 12, 2007


by train - 0656 from durham, got back there at 21.25 -----just got in ... .aargh. if there is a next time, i hope to be able to convince boss that the day before by car and drive back after...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

better day....

in that the kitchen floor got cleaned, Molly got ridden, and I'm cooking a home made moussaka; it's ages since I've done one of those so really looking forward to it.

I was pleased wtih Molly. I nearly didn't ride at all because of the cold, but braved it as I knew I'd warm up. She had to be held to be mounted (ggrrhh...) but when we went into the arena we were doing some nice trot, in that it was balanced, moving forwards, circles, diagonals, and she was wanting to move. almost, I thought, to th epoint of wanting to canter, but I don't think I'm up for that quite yet (still haven't cantered since last june!). I want to be much more sure that i'm getting walk/trot right and that we're more connected and balanced altogether before I do that. It's quite a small arena - not a full 20 x 40, keep meaning to measure it - so the horse (and rider) have to be quite balanced to canter it meaningfully.

Then did a lot of walk work just trying to get the contact right and keep the walk even and where i wanted to go. that was partly right and partly wrong, but when it was right it was excellent. we finished wihth a full circuit of the arena with her on the bit in walk. YAY.

Caroline, you're probably right about the fuel. wagon hasn't been anywhere since July or something. someone else suggested condensation in the fuel lines as well. either way, need to talk to vendor to see what plan we have. As it's still a decent wagon (partner not impressed, but as I said to her, new ones come in at £30K, not going there! unless i win the lottery, and if I do i think i'd rather have one of those canvan type ones.). If that's all it is, shouldn't be too bad, it's just a case of deciding whose paying to sort it out!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

what a day.....

well. Started at about 5 in the morning when it was clear younger cat had caught a mouse. so i got up and rescued that, then back to bed. Sleep was a struggle as partner had taken the duvet, the cats had the rest and my hip decided hurting was good. Julie was turning Molly out, so no rush.

Plan was, when we got going, to get wagon, take it to fitter's at Tow Law, then back to yard to do Molly and, if it had stopped raining/blowing, ride possibly. set off late (partner's idea of urgency leaves a lot t be desired!)

anyway, got down to friend's - 50 miles, not too far but the last bit from the A1 to the house is a pain - partner set off home andleft me, we did the paperwork and i set off.

Going up hill out of Masham, engine chucked it. I thought, might be i'd just not got enough power in it, got going again, didn't worry.

Got through Bedale and on to the A1 again at Leeming. First hill - and I was in top gear - chucked it again! This is a major dual carriageway folks, happily this section has loads of laybys. you can see already where this is going.

Got it going at third attempt, another couple of miles, next incline, chucked it again. this time had to sit a bit before it would start again.

Then it did it again. just before the catterick exit opposite the airfield (RAF Catterick; there's also an army base)

Rang fitter (who was waiting back specially for me - he was going to sort the hydraulics on the ramp). he thinks there's air getting in the fuel.

rang vendor - who was mortified.

We decided I should nurse it to Richmond Equestrian Centre, which I duly did, and leave it there. oddly, if I didn't go above 20 and didn't get into higher gear, it kept going.

Then, of course, how to get home? partner hadn't even got to where she was going by this point (her sister's in Cleadon).

This was about 3.15 in theafternoon by now. I finally got picked up at about 10 to 6 at night ... by which time i was frozen.

Some of the time iwas usefully entertained - the North East Welsh Pony show was on, so I watched the last two classes whilst keeping warm in their big indoor (partly in the cafe, which had a heater!).

There were some very nice ponies, some being very nicely ridden and some being very badly ridden.

two caught my eye in I think the ridden Section C's - that's what they looked like, too small to be section D's, too big to be section b's, although they might have been ...anyway, both in Pelhams with two reins. One was being very quietly ridden - the other, i cringed. The winner of that class was neither of those, but a nice palomino (slightly darker chestnut than the norm...) Having said that, the quietly ridden one, whilst looking to be on the bit, had a very downhill canter to my eye. and at one point i really cringed as one of them got sooooo overbent....

And then I saw the show championship - 5 winners from other classes. one lady on a Section D, nice horse, but the rider ... I know my ridings pants but she did let the horse down a bit, slumped.

and some of the kids in the earlier class - kick kick kick and of course pony won't move...

But interesting, and warm.

then they all finished, of course, and it was only 5pm... and it was blowing a gale outside... choice between sit in the wagon and freeze or find a sheltered spot and freeze. The wagon only had a view of the hedge.... i thought, partner would come to car park so chose sheltered spot, which wasn't that freezing; partner in fact went to wagon.

wagon will be picked up by vendor at some point and we'll have a discussion tomorrow about what to do. When my mate (it was her fiance who was at home) finally got back and heard, she texted me asking did i want her to tear the cheque up or send it back. She's fuming, but clearly we're going to be able to sort it. she's blaming the person who last used the wagon ..which will be right.

So we went to pub in catterick for dinner and got home about 10 minutes ago.

And of course I had to ring and get someone to do Molly ...ggrrhh..

and of course I hadn't been for shavings, since that was also part of the going home plan....

and when we got in, the elder cat has a very weepy eye. happily, still full of antibiotics from his op the other day (they do a long lasting injection these days) but has clearly scratched it. he's back to the vet tuesday...

Friday, November 09, 2007

a successful day.

firstly, Simba came home - in the middle of the night - but hasn't been anywhere since, i guess he thinks that was all too much! it won't last, he loves being out. I think we'll just have to get used to the fact thatoccasionally he does vanishing acts. the trouble is, knowing whether he's just having an adventure or is run over or has found a new home, it's a worry!

secondly, a major success at work. case went to trial - a rarity in itself - on the question of whether the client had brought his case within the time allowed. A Result - yes, said the judge. that's pretty impressive for a HAVS case - usually you are landed with having to persuade the judge to disapply the period and nothing else. But he said he would have found for us on that as well. so we're well pleased about that.

Then this evening I rode. Mind, I'd had about 8 goes at getting on myself before Julie turned up to give me a hand... ggrrh.

got some nice trot. but she's not as light in the hand as she was when i first put the bit in, and she certainly doesn't do what people say horses generally do with this bit ... i.e., have the head pretty well vertical.

But it was ok, i was pleased by the finish.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


bear in mind that there are no security lights in the yard - the only lights are when people turn them on, and of course we all turn them off as we leave.

so i got in the car and julie turned the yard light off - i started backing up before turning round to go. i was only going to go the edge of the wall (can't see if anything's coming through it whatever the conditions. someone thought i was going to back into their horse (which i couldn't see, as it was dark with a dark rug and h/she was in dark clothing). Oops. I wasn't, but they didn't know that... but i really couldn't see anything behind me.

but i guess i'll be consequentially unpopular.

julie said apparently someone nearly drove into another horse this morning.

guess we need to see YM about some proper security lights...

and it was very very cold and very very windy. So molly got extra haylage and her tea, which was all she wanted, and that's her tucked up.

apparently another friend has gone to YHL at Stoneleigh - jealous, moi?

and i finally got insurance sorted for the wagon, so need to see partner about going down to get it, and need to ring man who's going to sort the ramp, as it will have to be picked up and taken straight there....probably. makes sense to me, anyway. the alternative is pick it up one weekend and take it to tow law the next, either way, partner needs to be about to drive the car...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

road closed

the main drive to the yard was closed (but you didn't know until you turned in); we had to go much further a long and use the track (which apparently is called the "back drive" there's posh) which we normally use to ride along, the one that goes over the ford. potholes, very uneven, pitch black, very few passing places and an extra 2 miles. Didn't do a lot for my headache, of which i have a stinker due to my neck being stiff (and I blame the dental hygienist for that one!) so I just fed and came home.

and the missing cat is still missing.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


haven't done that for a long time, as you know, but i wanted to know if any of the work we've been doing has helped towards lunging.

answer - yes and no. I didn't take the risk of trying to do the side reins up in the arena, did them loosely before I left the stable (and we had to use the bitless i didn't want to dismantle bits and bridles ...but that was good anyway as if i needed to do rope circling it's good for that.

so, into the arena, got her away left rein ok - after she'd realised we weren't longlining, which she'd set off to do!!!!

right rein? had to use the end of the lunge rope to get her back end moving and then to get her away the direction i wanted, but once she did, she moved on and didn't turn in immediately, and when she did, i was able to get her moving again. What was interesting, i could use the whip to circle, i.e., use the end of the whip in the same way as the rope...

so i was pleased with most of it, save that when she did stop she came in to me instead of staying, but i was able to move her back out again.

Will have to dismantle a bridle one day and re-organise bits to see if I can do the same bitted, which would of course be preferable. Not sure that the myler combi would be quite the thing for lunging!

so, that was moderately successful.

the cats, however, are a problem. one went out abefore we came home last night and hasn't been seen since, so that's a worry, he's been away before a couple of nights at a time but 5th november? more worrying that usual.

the other was at the vet and has come back with no teeth. he was a rescue cat anyway, and has always had problems wiht his teeth & gums, but it was beyond controlling with antibiotics etc so he's had them all out.

he's still a bit wobbly, but asleep on a windowsill above a radiator.

Monday, November 05, 2007

commuting & bonfire night

can only be done once one can get out of the office car park.

Gridlock tongiht. there are two ways off the "office" estate where i work, one over a bridge over the tees, through stockton and home - that's my route, and about half the entire estate's route, i think. the other is right through the estate, onto the A66 then the A19 ....

the bridge had been closed from 10am this morning whilst they set up firework displays for tonight.

result - total gridlock. one of my colleagues came back in after 40 minutes sitting in the car park... i didn't go out, but rang the yard to have molly given her tea/more haylage than i'd left her!

Bonfire Night - otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night - celebrates the demise of one Guy Fawkes, a 17th century home grown terrorist (tried to blow up the Houses of parliament), seem to recall he'd been trained abroad! this was during the reign of James 1, it was a religious thing (just goes to show, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and religion is the root of a lot of strife in the world!) is tonight. can't move for fireworks and fires. I had to ring the fire brigade on teh way home, someone had started a large fire in some trees between the A66 & 19 ... so i imagine they had to close both roads to sort that out! the trees are tinder dry, i should think, as we haven't had much rain lately!

Red squirrels are not extinct, but becoming very rare due to the influx of grey squirrels from north America. They are confined (reds) to a few locations in the North, and Allendale is one of them. Which I didn't know until yesterday! Greys are to be shot on sight....well, perhaps not!

Queenie is still mine, albeit retired. Bought her in 1995, when Molly's younger brother was weaned. Now 25. back the day when British Eventing put the results online, I could have linked you to her eventing record... but it's not there any more.

Pheasants are bred here for shooting as well (those that don't breed in the wild). but they're thick as two shorts, do a nice line in running under car wheels. this one wasn't tame, just curious .. perhaps a more clever one than his colleagues? who knows....

anyway, i've found the link to my first post on my earlier blog, here

Sunday, November 04, 2007

of horses and squirrels.


First, Queen of Timber. She looks tons better than she did when I saw her last month. Maybe it was the light in the stable, maybe it was a change of coat, but I was much happier today than I was this time last month.

Apparently, she's in charge - there's no youngstock at the moment, just Queenie, a grey Julia, and a 4 year old Blue (going grey, possibly ID connemara cross).

Second, the pheasant that was terrorising me yesterday. every time i moved - into the stable, out into the yard, into the tack/feed room, there it was, virtually at my heels. Maybe it thinks it owns the yard during the afternoon? certainly a safe place to be on a saturday when they're shooting!

Very unnerving though - sometimes clucking, the next minute hissing at me, a couple of times i was sure it was going to have a go!

And this is another view of the Tees from the work carpark, with swans. this was earlier this last week.

and the squirrel? driving up to the farm where Queenie is, you go up a very quiet narrow country track between some beech and conifer woods. There's a red squirrel crossing the road. it ran into a tree and sat looking at us but by the time i got the phone camera out and sorted it had moved and I simply couldn't get it. Fantastic though, they are becoming very rare (too many greys, killing them off by passing on a disease!). I hadn't realised they were up there.

early bird

mucked out, ridden and home by 10am. Fell out of bed at 0730 thinking OOPS .... didn't expect to ride as didn't expect there to be anyone to ride with, but Julie's back off her hols and despite not getting home till midnight last night, came dwon this morning. So we rode.

Round the 20 acre, through a couple of gates, up another field and back down.

There was the very odd sight of a hang glider not moving - goodness knows where he took off from, but there was clearly no wind up there as he wasn't going anywhere.

Molly blotted her copybook once - that was trying to knock a woman down who'd "helped" me get on, but since that particular woman is hopeless at the task (is frightened!) and also is telling untruths about another friend, i didn't tell her off too much. i rather think it was own fault - push my mare around she'll push back, kind of thing! and if you will walk away directly in front of a horse that's known to move onwards before rider is settled in saddle....

Oh, and going dwn the hill she decided she wanted to go the other way from the 20 acre - normally when i've tried to get her to do that she wouldn't. so maybe she's getting braver, but too opinionated. did get her sorted once she decided to listen!

off to see queenie today, have another good look at her - you'll recall i wasn't totally convinced last time that she is as good as she should be for another winter.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

rein back

Well, we tried it. Got jackie (who was nearby plaiting her horse, and did know the aids!) to come push Molly from the ground whilst I gave the aids. She did give a couple of steps of rein back, but I couldnt' repeat it for myself, so something to work on. But, I see what is meant by getting them under, she was moving better afterwards. Did try it your way first, caroline, but she went forward so i was obviously doing something wrong!

And before that, I'd realised the one mistake in dressing this morning (in a hurry to go down and turn out, that I hadn't remedied) - no bra. Doesn't half force you to ride correctly, though, to reduce the bounce!

and after about 20 minutes in the school, we went down to the 20 acre. down the hill no bother, through the gate, then i put her into trot. She's not sewing machining as much as she did. But we still only got half way! still, it is progress.

She was in really early in consequence - not quite wrapped my head round what time it gets dark, and we were done a bit sooner than i might have planned, could have left the house an hour later!

and i really must get Muriel out to look at the saddle...

now, on the subject of saddles, that barefoot cheyenne is on ebay, will someone please buy it!!!!

and one disaster. I bought a large container of screen wash the other day, and hadn't yet opened it. it should therefore not have leaked even if it did fall over. it fell over (in the boot) and leaked all over "100 exercises for dressage riders" which is now hopefully drying out with tissue paper, but you can guarantee a load of pages will stick together and therefore illegible if i try and pull them apart. bummer.

Friday, November 02, 2007

friday night

dark and lonely. i don't ride when everyone has gone home which they had tonight. generally there's at least one person around a lot later but not tonight! looking forward to a nice day tomorrow, weather going to be good, they say.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

i might regret

putting a rug on molly tonight, but i might not.

it was really warm again this morning, so she went out without, but then rained all afternoon - when i got to the yard, she was warm, and dry by then, but muddy. BUT the forecast had said it was going to get cold again, and obviously she can't keep warm in teh stable as she can't move about as much. so rug on (once i'd scraped the mud off!). but it was still warm when i left, so i hope the forecast was right or i'll have an overheated horse instead of a nicely warm one.

and it was continuing rain.

Mylers - it depends on the Myler, I think. This particular one is for a purpose, given Molly's issues. if we end up with a long term result, then probably I'll go for a dressage legal one ...this one certainly isn't that!