Thursday, January 31, 2008

weather forecast

was for once right! it is awful.

wagon blown over on the M6, driver dead, this morning.

horsebox blown over on the A1 north of newcastle, 4 horses loose on the motorway in teh rush hour....

trees down all over.

pouring rain, or snow, and howling gales....with some sunny intervals, but still with howling gales.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

cold but

I did do some work with molly - wind was starting to get up but the arena is quite sheltered and i thought given that the forecast is pants i'd take the opportunity. just a bit of rope circling, but i kkept it going longer than i'd originally intended as she was challenging me - not wanting to do as I asked - i.e, going right rein! so i worked on that. she did do it several times but was not happy and not really "thinking". so more of that next good weather opportunity!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

same old same old

weather, that is - back to damp (i.e. wet horse) and windy - with more of the same forecast. to be fair, not totally teeming down, but enough to put a block on any work being done tonight.

Monday, January 28, 2008

am i getting better or not?

that is, in relation to the dizziness...

thought i was this morning, but this afternoon i had a hospital appointment (about all my aching joints, but in particular the right hip...)

i told him, i've got something going on in my left ear and would rather not bend forwards... so he had me do just that! and then on the examination couch, i was dizzy going backwards and the world swam when i was on my front so he could see my spine...

then would have it that a lot of my joint pains are down to stress.... duh. no, that's the muscles in my neck. he reckoned ditto with the hips. shoulders. de dah. i don't THINK so ....the shoulders are three falls on each side! the hip, probably the same....the knee - a fall, resulting in a torn medial meniscus and long term chondrolamacia patella...

he's referring me for phsyio, and says osteopath and arnica by mouth....

he was a Pole, it was his first day in that particular hospital.

and Molly? did 15 minutes rope circling.....i don't move my head, i move my entire body round MY inside leg...especially at the moment. I've found that the best way of ensuring i do stand still in the centre of molly's circle is to do that...

wasn't totally sure i should have done that for me, but molly needed the work and I need to watch the dvd again....

in the meantime, anyone watching City of Vice - very interesting, about the brothers Fielding who started off the Bow Street Runners, forbears of that well known institution, the Met....(Metropolitan Police, for those of you outside the UK) - dramatisation. Very good.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a bit better...

me, that is. I wasn't feeling at sea when lying in bed, so that must be progress. Mind, cleaning Molly's legs/feet was never going to be as easy as usual, did the legs by bending mine and didn't do the feet at all!

then did some ground work - some basic rope circling then some longlining - been watching max's DVD as I felt i needed to remind myself of what I should be doing, as I felt sure i'd picked up the odd fault! which i had.

both were a bit better than recently tonight, but i found once she felt she'd done enough right rein she started arguing about it.

If the weather stays as it was today - lovely and still and relatively warm by later afternoon - that'll do me for the week!

and I even got some washing on the line today, first time since about september...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

dizzy ...

still. probably not as badly as yesterday, but having to be really careful about bending and stuff still.

finally downloaded a dvd decoder for the PC - good to be able to watch my dvd's upstairs on the pc, easier than the tv/dvd player in many ways and it means i can watch those (horse related ones, of course!) whilst partner watches whatever she wants on telly...

not that she's watching anything tonight, spent the day in bed having been out until 0130 this morning and being very much the worse for wear...

Friday, January 25, 2008


twice yesterday through the day, and in bed a couple of times when turning over, and a couple of times more this morning (once when looking up to put headcollar on horse!!!!) - so, clearly not a good plan to decide to drive to thornaby, 25 miles, for work; instead, came home again and got doctor's appointment.

two choices - either infection/ears/like that, likely in view of sinus pain this week, or something in my neck. doctor thought the first choice more likely, there's some fluid behind my left ear apparently (which makes sense!) and see how it settles, or not, over the weekend. i reckon it will settle if the sinuses settle. very scary when you think you're going to fall over and the world swims!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

good news!

two lots, in fact.

the really really good news for me is that Pet Plan, the insurance company, have paid out for Queenie's choke! fantastic. I've still got the excess to pay, of course, £115, but in the scale of things that's small. I've won that gamble, then! as they're paying out more than i've paid them over the last 2/3 years....

and the other good news is that mother found her necklace - she'd put it in the bag she swore she'd been through!

on the other hand, the weather's still pants - we're either warm but blown away and/or wet, or we're frozen, probably with added wind...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

howling gale

and i don't begin to know where it came from. came out of the office and it was calm, by the time i'd gone 5 miles to get out of stockton you could feel the car being buffeted. so clearly no work with molly again tonight! but i did get the mud off her.

we have a pond (literally!) at the access to the mare's field; the geldings field is as muddy but stickier, felt it pulling my boot this morning.

the result of the pond is that Molly doesn't REALLY want to go through the gate - who can blame her, but at least she will learn that whilst it's horrid, she can do it without being eaten alive by the horse eating shallow water!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


well, i think it was just wind chill. thermometer says it was 6 degrees C - but felt a huge amount colder tonight. surprisingly, Molly was warm, in a thin rug - well, i was surprised, anyway, but the field doesn't get the full on wind and teh stable builds up quite a bit of heat, considering it only has one horse in it!

still recovering from yesterday's drive....

mother's lost her necklace, think she left it there! oops. whitby jet she had from her mother, hope it's retrieved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

we're home!

but the driving conditions! interesting how little time you really lose sticking to 50/60 mph for a lot of the way - too much spray, at one point the heavens opened seriously when i was on the outside lane of a 3 lane stretch, and all of a sudden i couldn't see my hand in front of my face, let alone where i was going. that was scary! but, still did it in 7 hours including stops, so we had a good run, avoided all the rush hour traffic round london (which was amazing, really, expected a bad time getting through the dartford tunnel but we sailed through!). and on 1/2 a tank of diesel, very impressive!

it was a "good" funeral - in that there was a huge turnout, and it was a real celebration of his life. even a singing group Jean, you would have loved them - a capella, old english folk songs I think.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


is where i am at the moment... uncle's funeral tomorrow. couldn't resist my internet fix and hotel has broadband wi fi....

good drive down, very little traffic in the scale of things, so even with lunch etc stops and mother calling to see a friend of hers in a home in north london, arrived within 8 hours of setting off. that is good going, and i didn't break the speed limit.

interestingly, my sat nav not only tells me where the speed cameras are, it also tells me when i'm doing 5 mph over the national limit, which is very irritating when you want to do 80 and get peeped at at 75!

it irritated mother no end, as of course we were going the right way to her friend;s, but NOT the way mother thought we shoudl go ... she wasn't happy about that at all!

cats and house are of course being minded, as is Molly ...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

problem longlining

on right rein!

now, we used to be ok on this, no arguments, especially no arguments with the bit.

now - this time and last, but i didn't say anything last time as it might have been a one off! - she's arguing on right rein, really arguing against going right and takes herself back left as soon as she can if i let her. to prevent that, i would end up really with too much pressure on the inside .

left rein is fine, she's moving nicely - not perfectly, but getting there! - and accepting the bit.

now, we hadn't done this for a while, i suppose, but nothing had happened to turn her against and she's been lunging right rein much better lately!

the only thing that happened between the previous sequence of longlining was the lesson with emma in december and i did more riding and rope circling after that, so maybe i'm doing something wrong now that she doesn't like re the longlining? although really i'm at a loss to think what!

ah well, she'll get another couple of days off now as it's forecast to tip down again for another few days!

Friday, January 18, 2008

wet and wild

that's the weather, so nothing else to say....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

one extreme to the other

this morning it was wet and warm. this evening it was very very cold but dry. therefore, Molly got her first shock of the year - given I had the energy, i took her in the arena for 10 minutes ground work. don't think she was overjoyed (it was about 0) but she did what i asked, which is about all i can ask for! then got tucked up for the night in a warmer rug than the one she went out in this morning!!!

Torchwood tonight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

where was I last night?

I was here - but i could hardly keep my eyes open and had absolutely nothing to say save for whinging about how tired i was. If it hadn't been for the fact that I had to drive home, one could say i probably shouldn't have driven....don't know why I was so tired, imagine it was not sleeping as well as I thought I had.

Tonight, i felt a lot better; I said to people at work before I left, where it was dry, i bet it's raining at home; guess what, it was raining at home & at the yard.


but one thing I did do last night was find a rather cool video on you tube - doma vaquera in action, wow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

rope circling and clicker

today I decided to reinforce some basics with some rope circling, which went well. Molly did try to challenge me a couple of times, but her heart wasn't really in it.

i need to work out how to get her to back up straight - she ALWAYS does it on a backwards curve to my right, her left - now why would that be?

after that, i did some clicker training - with a target. that seemed to go well, she was getting the idea

caroline the work for the garden was necessary - we've got a man in remodelling it and we needed some well rotted stuff for the allotment area! he wants to finish that off this week, so it needed doing and he can only go down there when i'm there in case he gets challenged!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


did some work with Molly - not till it was getting dark, of course, as had had a busy day getting trailer loads of well rotted compost off the muck heap.

Chap who's doing the garden had intended to turn up at 11. he rang - he'd lent his van to his mate; van is diesel, mate put unleaded in it = oopsy. happily it didn't get driven and has been drained off and sorted.

so i went down to yard to muck out etc, then of course was rung to come home again...

anyway, ended up doing the manure at 3, then going for feed etc, and Molly & I went into the arena at about 4.30 or thereabouts.

i decided to lunge - because it didn't require any further effort from me, by thtat time my back was not happy! - and Molly was pretty good. She rushes more right rein when lunged than she does when long lined, but did go right, and second time right she wasn't rushing nearly as much. So i was pleased about that. I lunged her in side reins, quite loose so she'll look for the contact, and she does that, which is also good.

Have loads of time tomorrow if the weather's good, as partner is off for a long walk up near Powburn, which is well up in north northumberland

Friday, January 11, 2008

a bit of luck

won a holiday! one of those where you have to pretend to be interested in a holiday club membershup and be very strict about not spending money - but we've had one of these before with a different organisation - so anyway that's to cheer us up. we would have to pay GBP 64. clealry need to do some research on the organisation, spot of googling tomorrow, but hey.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

ho hum

still did nothing. i'm now turning into a bad girl not doing any work. my excuse is that it's thursday and i'm knackered.

the good news is that my clipper blades are sharpened now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

gone back to cold now

and i'm not well today - essentially too much tea last night,and considering we had it really really early ... still feel full, which hasn't left me feeling good today. but it was soooooo cold. awful gales all day, and even when it did drop it was going right through you. did i say i wanted an indoor? not sure how much difference that would have made tonight mind....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

the forecast

was for 60 - 70 mph winds; you could feel it really picking up as i arrived at the yard, and the horses were soaked anyway as it had just stoppped raining, so i abandoned any thought of doing anything, fed and came home.

yesterday they change dthe access to the geldings field, back to the gate where i fell. I nearly fell again on the track getting into it, and someone else did, apparently, fall later. because it's a total quagmire and the grit ends before you get to that gate on that side (not so bad the mares side). and last night one of the geldings tied himself up in the electric fence (which was on) because he was going to the gate they'd been going to and got into a panic when his owner, who couldn't see in the dark of course, hadn't realised the access had been changed. happily he's ok, but he did get a bit of a shock.

so we're all well hacked off.

someone at one of the other yards on the estate broke his leg a couple of weeks ago, because he put his foot down an open drain that they'd been complaining about for a few years. so he's suing, I'm told - it was a very serious fracture and he's a policeman...

oh, and this morning i'd finally armed myself with my head torch (you know the sort that walkers wear! so i could see where i was going. was just behind a chap with his horses, who was slightly behind hand with his morning, and he asked me to turn the light off as it was scaring his horses. hence ending up in the dark and nearly falling again, couldn't see as blake the horse i was putting out was blocking what light there was..

Monday, January 07, 2008


Molly had her teeth done tonight, so i just left her - not fair to have her do anything after that, she dislikes the process so much. and really, it must vibrate through their heads and give them a headache! nex appointment july.

anyway, thinking about longlining - some people say you should start off with the lines in a lower position until the horse becomes more muscled/supple/collected, then move to a higher position....

but, as jean commented on my last post, might it be better to use the position that the handler finds gets the best result, given that the horse is used to the idea of longlining anyway?

And i know own a copy of Xenophon, looking forward to reading that .. i know it can be had online to print off, but then partner would tip it out, less likely to bin an actual book! and only £5...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


did a bit both circles and straight lines round the arena. Molly walks quite quickly and i felt i was getting towed along; not very clever that in the deep end (one end is deeper than the other!). I tried to get her to accept the contact the same way i would riding - give and take - but i don't think it's so effective on the ground, maybe because i have the long lines through the lowest ring on the surcingle?

trot circles weren't too bad - she was seeking the contact, sometimes she did some really nice work; on the other hand, sometimes she didn't. struggled to keep her right on right rein, given half a chance she was turning to go left. some of that was me. some of that was her. so to work on.

and before that? more walking, recce a slight variation on teh walk we did on christmas day, to avoid an overgrown path and 1.8 km of road work!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

in hand hurts

my bones. hurts my foot because of the depth of the arena (and the fact that the knee length boots i have, all of them, are not supportive at all!). hurts my back and neck because of the twist to the body. Hurts my shoulders (three falls onto each shoulder, separately - i.e., 6 altogether, one in the bath at my mother's when i was 18, and 5 falling off horses) because keeping one hand out on the bit of the nearside and the other at the girth stretches all that and seems to cause a bit of discomfort...

Molly was getting the general idea from what we've done before, was flexing, did move sideways, but I can't keep it up consistently myself because of the above issues.

not a lot i can do about the depth of the arena (and I'm not wearing short boots in there, a boot full of arena is just as distracting!) and i think it's daft to knack the rest of me further.

So, i guess I'll just stick to longlining & lungeing and rope circling for work on the ground, certainly until the summer when I could always see what I can find in the way of dry flat field.

feeling quite disheartened about that, actually, as it is something I want to do with Molly and it would do her a lot of good. but, don't do either of us any good if I can't do it right because my body ain't up to it...

Friday, January 04, 2008


follows the snow. it started teeming down on my way home and hasn't stopped yet....

Thursday, January 03, 2008


so no riding. no anything in fact. Kirstie rang as i was struggling home to the yard, to say our respective horses had been left out in their respective fields on their own which is a big no no for both of them. particularly hacked off we were about Molly being left as she'd been on her own for a good while, where blake hadn't been left for long at all. Plus, Molly was all done, so no reason for anyone not to apply their brain to the subject and leave her out. anyway, kirstie offered to put molly's tea in, and given the state of the weather I was driving through, that was an offer i was all too happy to accept! hate to think what it'll be like in the morning - they had to close the main motorway north today for a good while!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Simba was helping us yesterday - we had the remains of a roll of lino we wanted to cut up to put in the floor of the now tidied cupboards.

this was taken with my mobile, and all i did was point it down the inside of the roll and cross my fingers as I pressed the button:

a sad day

today was Jenny's funeral. there were a few buckets of tears wept quietly by most of us. Emma was very brave to speak, and did so very well. I want a hug smiley...

and some more bad news, i found out another former colleague, Rhod Robinson, died last year - he wasn't very old either, perhaps early 40's - totally out of the blue, apparently.

not a good start to the new year.

and whilst it was warm this morning, and i had no problem turning Molly out in her lightweight, it was really cold tonight, forecast to be no more than zero and snow. She was well ready to come in. the one good thing about the cold, it'll freeze the quaqmire at the gate inside the mare's field, which is becoming treacherous and needs some of the gravel they've put down on the track and on the outside of the gate.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


it rained, and it rained, and it rained. i suppose I shouldn't complain too much, we've been very lucky over the holiday, but I will, as I still didn't get the in-hand work done. but we have much tidier cupboards now...