Friday, February 29, 2008

photo review

i think my hands are too close together as well....

+ 70 mph winds again

and no one had any electrics - there's a line down. got there in time to just be able to see the feed bins.....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

in the dark

amazingly, i could just about see to muck out this morning - vaguely dawn, and light from the tack room next door (there's a big hole in the wall high up...); it won't be the best ever mucking out but at least i could do it!

not so easy to groom tonight though (can't tie up outside, there's only room for one horse, blake was already there and even if he hadn't been they'd have got at each other over his door!) so decided to do some rope circling. that was a good move, she was maintaining the pace by herself much better than she has in the past and was listenign to me well - not perfectly, but well. She still likes to come in to me when i haven't asked her.

i'd just pulled the gate to, rather than shutting it properly, and a smallish gust of wind blew it open - so she started looking at that but didn't spook.

I found myself wondering if there isn't something wrong with her right eye - because, when she stands, she always looks at me with her left - does not face me straight on as she should - and since i can move her legs where i want, move round, back etc, i did start to wonder....

and whilst i was answering emails just now i nearly burnt dinner! just catching on the base of the pan! oops.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

partner's car

wasn't quite the nightmare anticipated, but not far off! and when i eventually got back to the yard, Molly's stable light had popped (and taken the electrics with it, someone had to go find the trip switch and put it right).

so will have to see if someone can get hold of the man tomorrow to get a new bulb in - can't see a thing otherwise. might muck out by the light of the car headlights in the morning....not quite light enough to do without altogether (and i don't get a lot of light in there, unless the sun is exactly right, which it isn't at 0630 in february!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

+70 mhp winds

worse than last week......lorries blown over on the tyne bridge, house blown down at whitley bay! aarrgh. partner has taken my car to newcastle.... and tomorrow her's goes to the dealer to be mended, if possible, that'll be a nightmare as well....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

much better today!

for me.

just because i'm not going to show you all the vid of me from yesterday, don't mean i haven't learnt from it. and of course i'm reminded of what i'd got wrong again!

I Think i said i'd decided i'd been having my reins too short again, so today i kept em longer, but still with a contact. I also put the mullen mouth back in...partly just to see!

once I was on (you know, she doesn't actually need her head held, she just needs to know she can't get away so when george walked towards her, having been asked to come help, she stood like a lamb. that was my 5th attempt. George doesn't believe i have any trouble at all :-)) she was easy to get into the arena and we started work - i knew it would take a long time to warm her up, i reckon myself it's about 30 minutes before she really starts accepting (and that is of course an improvement on pre december! or any time pre last summer when i started to get it better....).

After about 5 minutes paul turned up with his camera, which i think he'd brought specially, and has taken some video and stills. the still isn't bad - i've told him to email me the lot - but the vids of course we're still not soft in the jaw etc and i'm not fully relaxed into it. i think sometimes it takes me as long as it does her.

BUT i was getting circles much better than i have been (Natasha did a lot of them yesterday) and changes of rein a lot better, and when she did try to say she'd had enough (by walking into the wall, today!) i used the move the head trick which worked.

after about 30 minutes she was coming really soft and not long afterwards i could feel her back lifting under me, it felt really good.

then we got to a point where i got a soft halt, followed by a soft (no head up to resist, she maintained her position!) up into walk, and another soft halt.

That should, of course, have been the good time to stop. the trouble was, had i tried to get off at that point, i would definitely have landed on the fence! which would have been painful and broken something else.

this morning if you'd been listening carefully you might have heard me banging my head for forgetting that the suberpanel is meant to be used damp .....

now i'm off to put up a myler with hooks on ebay, and a stephens half pad (grey/black, if anyone's interested?)

one more video

this one from the mobile - this is first in time and probably should be looked at before th eones in last nights post:

very poor quality but you get an idea of what went before....

Saturday, February 23, 2008


i sometimes wish this camera didn't do sound!

the video of the major tantrum was on the mobile phone and hasn't really worked very well...

a visitor - a good day! video to follow

my friend natasha, who's a much better rider than me (she says not, but she is....has several more horses to ride regularly and trains with, inter alia, the bartles at YRC) came up to ride Molly today at my invitation, we talk about molly all the time and the troubles i have so i said, come up and get on.

so she did.

There is a load of video but it will take forever to up load (broadband? fast? not here!) and i will put it on when it's ready. We also have some video of me, but it's totally awful, for private viewing only (i was doing too much, got trot when i didn't want it, didn't have a bra on....dreadful!) Plus, I hadn't realised I'd shortened the reins up too much again .... and we shouldn't have been trotting of course! this was just after I'd got on so not really got warmed up (Gaynor had my camera to take photos of Charlie's sarcoid for the vet ....and before she went off to do that, decided to video me!)

So, 20 metre circles in walk working on getting her to accept the bit and work through etc - Molly threw her toys out a bit early on, but unfortunatley at that point I only had the mobile phone and the video of it is fairly dire....gaynor had my camera! My heart was in my mouth somewhat, but natasha got her through that and got her working nicely. every now and again molly planted in her favourite way, and Natasha showed me a good way to get her out of it without it getting into overload, which i did video and will put up, it was clever (one of Max's ... - move the head side to side). She was working really well for about 5 minutes, then would plant, then be pushed out of it, and so on ....but by the finish was really smooth and accepting changes of rein without going tense again. At one point she did a really nice leg yield, which i managed to miss with the video (i was conserving battery - new battery in, and by 3/4 hour no battery left...ggrrhh)

so you've got that to look forward to, and i'm reminded that less is more....

and we had our hair done this morning, 3 hours in the hairdressers (colour) - would only have been 2, but hairdresser decided allison needed her highlights doing after all (as well as her roots...) ggrrhh - but i read a lot of podhajsky whilst we were there, so it wasn't wasted time!

oh - but one not so good thing that i could see from being on the ground - the saddle moves slightly laterally on molly's back, not a huge amount, but enough to be noticeable! boo hoo..... :-(

Friday, February 22, 2008

as i said

late meeting. didn't get home till 9 - but went via favourite curry house on the way, so we're well fed!

wind even stronger ... scary. north sea ferry got loose at port of tyne, ended up crashing into an oil rig on the other side of the river!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

+50 mph winds

started up this morning - getting blown about the motorway going to work, no better coming home, so no riding.

got the feet picked out though. better tonight than last night. and i worked out how to stop her following me about hte stable so i could get the job done! she of course gets excited because she likes this game!

nothing tomorrow - got an evening meeting! friend coming on saturday, hopefully, to ride Molly and give a second view (this is the one whose partner is a vet...)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a clicker fix

the success for tonight - using clicker training to get her to pick her feet up without trying to kick me in the head - not that she really tries to do that, but her back feet in particular are difficult to do. She had an accident to her near hind in a wagon when she was 3 1/2 (will never pass the vet and you can still see the scars, although she's not lame on it) (same leg she hurt on the wire fence last may...) so she really dislikes picking the foot up on the other side, especially if she's the slightest bit unlevel/it's not flat ground. And there's not much flat ground about, even her stable has a slight slope.

I got them all picked out. I did have to tie her up = otherwise she wanted to follow me round the stable to see what the game was!

So more of that for that task, I think....

this morning, it was -5 when i got to the yard.

tonight, it was +6 when i left (and rising, had been =3 when i got there from work). So she's back in her lightweight rug (with the new vest on!) and i can put my thermal trousers in the wash. that's been one of the best investments of the winter... equigear thermal trouser, with sticky bum seat, from anna dressur on ebay. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


at the moment, in newcastle, is -9...

ok, so it was unexpected

but what persuaded me to go back to hay, that needs to be soaked, when the temperature is down to -7 overnight and not above 0 during the day? (-1 at lunchtime) granted this is not common over here.....

Mollys new anti rub vest, which i ordered sunday night, arrived today so that will go on in the morning before she goes out. She's my 4th horse, and the 1st one to need such a thing.... if anyones interested, the feedback is good, as are the before/after pics, so hopefully it does the job and i bought the right size!

so there's no way i'm riding or anything else after dark in this = too horrid. might have been ok during the day, apparently the sun was out, but there are limits to everything, and this is it!

off to check the weather forecast, if it's going to continue like this my very last bale of haylage is going to get opened...(i was going to keep it, it don't go off...)

Monday, February 18, 2008

minus 5

this morning and forecast to be -7 tonight (that's centigrade Jean :-)).

This morning the soaked net i'd left hanging up to drain had frozen - it had thawed out by tonight though. and the tap was frozen. tomorrow night's got soaked then put in the barrow and left inside! (i'm soaking one night what i'll need for the next night). Molly got a heavier rug on... it was supposed to warm up through the day, but i don't think it did and she felt cool tonight, which she doesn't normally.

I lunged her for 10 minutes and by then two fingers on my right hand felt as though they were going to drop off they were so cold... so didn't keep her out as long as I might have. if it keeps this cold, can't see me riding this week at night - doesn't work when it gets so cold you actually can't function!

And jean - I've never had a rodent get into the haylage if it is still wrapped - they'll get into the hay, but not the haylage...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

not as good as yesterday

i had to get help to get on. i put the treats on teh wall again, but she wasn't positioned right - my fault - and the second time we tried she was too far away from me, so went round to the barn for a hand.

after that, not too bad - but i think when it's as cold as this its hard to feel the seatbones, they sometimes seize up with cold!

but it was quicker to get molly thinking about it than yesterday.... and she did start to do some nice softer one point we had a really nice halt, she stayed soft for about 2 or 3 minutes - i just thought i'll keep that just there so we can remember the feeling if nothing else!

and the hay ? is being soaked. it was very dusty i realised, and she coughed today (whilst she was eating her soaked net whilst i was grooming her...) so will keep an eye on that. if i have to go back to haylage, so be it ....we'll see how it goes this week.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

a good day

a busy day, but a good one (apart from being unable to find holmeside hall arena - thought I'd not need the satnav for that, could see where it should be on the map, but couldn't find didn't see mate & her fiancé do their successful dressage tests).


1. let me get on (i put some treats on the wall in front of the mounting block - so she faces the wall and eats the treats whilst i get on, and we can then move off left. Hope that works again next time I try it, which will be tomorrow!)

2. didn't nap away from the arena - i think she half thought about it but didn't, and i was really pleased as, quite apart from not wanting her to, i was wearing "slippy" jodhs - i.e., not my sticky bums - and it was very slippy!

3. was listening to me

And I was pleased with me, as I've FINALLY worked out what is meant, and what one then feels, when slightly weighting a seatbone by putting that foot deeper into the stirrup. AND it works, we went in the relevant direction every time I got it right.

I did about 45/50 minutes in walk, again working on pushing her round turns rather than pulling her round them (i don't know if I'll ever get out of the habit of pulling my inside hand back, though....), and halt/walks - basically the same as earlier this week - and by the end she was starting to soften. still got a ways to go but i feel i'm at least getting the idea and so's she.

and I got my storage cupboards and hay all swopped round, looks a lot better (and of course tidied up as well).

but i MUST get molly one of those vests.....

Friday, February 15, 2008

friday night


and of course everyone going home early, so no riding. i did give a very passing thought to some groundwork, but it IS friday night and i DID (do...) have a headache...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

the plan - and the hay

I'd decided to put Molly back on hay - see how she does, but the haylage, whilst good value, is too difficult in the car, it's ok with a van bought in bulk at the start of the season but given that the haylage is very wet and very heavy, and the hay gets delivered, and is good this year, i decided to go back to that. This meant re-organising my area so as to be able to store the hay NOT under the leaky bit of roof.

I'd been told he was delivering Monday, so i put my order on the board this morning. could move stuff on the weekend.

email at lunchtime - it had been delivered today, and was in the barn.

so the plan had been to ride - the result was, woman-handling 12 bales of hay (4 trips with the wheelbarrow) round the yard from the barn to my storage area. the stuff didn't get re-organised of course, and Molly didn't get anything done with her...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


was where i went today - that's 100 miles from the office - to see a client. on the way back called at a friend's and discovered i'm going to miss her wedding - they set the day on Friday, and its in the middle of our france holiday. boo's al booked up, and in any event we;re house sitting and are relied on .....ah well, will try and get them a nice present, we know where to get rather nice RED champagne, gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

rode again

had to practice our circles at first, as Liz was lunging at one end (and it's a small arena so they weren't huge circles)..but i was pleased to have to do that, as it forced me to think about what i'm doing. sometimes i end up twisting myself instead of moving the inside seatbone on its own...

after liz had gone we went large and worked on trying to get her to soften. eventually i was doing walk/halt transitions and then moving into 20 metre circles again and she was starting to get there...

then everyone left and i had to get off. i suppose about 1/2 hour or thereabouts? not sure. freezing again...

Monday, February 11, 2008

3/4 hour

ridden work, in walk, in the arena. YAY. one of the chaps came roudn with me, we took a chair, he held her head whilst i got on. and shut the gate so she coulnd't nap out.

She went really well... considering she hadn't been ridden since well before christmas, i was really pleased.

Interestingly, having the suberpanel underneath makes it feel narrower - seems to add a bit of a "twist" feel to the saddle, which i'm not going to argue with.

a very forward walk, i was working on just ensuring my hands/fingers were right, pushing her round corners with my outside leg rather than pulling her round with my inside hand! did some nice half circles (just about lose it on a full circle, but the half voltes are good!)

she's working out the sideways push of the leg, helped by thinking about where to put it!

and we have much more control of her shoulders - no where near what it could be, but compared to what i had pre December, a major improvement.

stopped when the last person in the barn switched the lights off, as after that I'd be on my own.. anyway, it was pretty damn cold!

subject to the weather (and a potential trip to Sheffield on Wednesday, it doesn't look as though the case will settle till we get to the door of the court!) will try and ride if only for 5 minutes a night from now on....

the suberpanel i reserve judgement on for her. she doesn't object to it, but i do need to keep an eye on the fabric underneath. when I had a suberpad under the cheyenne, the fabric wrinkled. having said that, the cork felt looser in that than it does in this...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


i had to go to the yard when i knew there'd be no-one about - my ma's coming here at 4.30 - but it hought i'd try to ride.

I was correct to think that I would be better on the horse than on the ground athte moment. the difficulty being

1. getting on

2. getting her to go where I wanted without setting herself.

At the mounting block next to the muck heap, that was easy - turn the block so as she walks up to it she's facing some hay someone's put on it. she stands still, i get on, easy.

unfortunately, she didn't want to go into the arena. I could have lived with going down the hill and round the 20 acre had she wanted to do that; she didn't in fact know what she wanted, i don't think. But anyway, even if, having got to the top of the hill, she'd consented to go down it, i could see that the gate was shut (goodness knows why, it's always open, there's no stock in there - think a chap i'd seen on trail quad had shut it... ggrrhh).

She's in a bit, the myler combi, that is supposed to be one they can't really set their jaws against - she manages it though.... and i didn't want an argument given my ear ain't TOTALLY right (well, not totally sure that it is!) so got off, led her back. went to get stool and took it into arena. that didn't work. 1/2 hour alter, after being pushed off several times (cue pain in broken foot...) decided to go back to the mounting block next to the muck heap. got on; sorry, she said, not going back in arena. tied her up outside stable whilst i had a smoke and thought about it. decided, if food is motivational i'll tie haynet to arena fence to keep her occupied whilst i get on. good idea, you'd think, given that it worked at the mounting block. NOT. every time i got to the top of the step, she moved... and she does a nice line in pushing me so i have to step off quickly before i fall.

I gave up and turned her out.

and please, don't say I should spend more time on it. i get stressed, she knows she's stressing me, it becomes self defeating. and it hurts my foot.

i'll go back to having someone hold her for a while (ensure i go when there's someone there....) then maybe (assuming the suberpanel is the right thing) she'll eventually work out that it's not a problem again.

very annoying.

we did have a short spell last year when i could get on on my own, i'm sure....

Saturday, February 09, 2008

glorious day

so nice i've turned molly out without her rug....the bowl where the field is does get warmer than everywhere else, and it was starting to feel rather warm indeed!

For the first time in 2 weeks I was able to bend down and do her feet without feeling dizzy, which was progress - just as well since Farrier was turning up to trim.

Unfortunately, the idea of lunging wasn't so clever! maybe it was because i could see beyond the horse, being as how it was daylight. Not assisted by the fact that I forgot to take last night's tablet.....

It's got so damp i've had to fetch bridles home to clean, they'd gone mouldy! not had that happen for a long time, but of course i haven't been using them....that generally makes a difference.

just bought Nuno Oliveira's reflections on the equestrian art off ebay - believe it or not, the BHS has an ebay shop and only wanted a £1 postage for it, bargain...

Friday, February 08, 2008


less dizzy spells and this mornign i could feel the liquid in the ear move, which is good! at least I hope it is.

Very warm, hope it stays that way. farrier in the morning first thing to trim, and then will do some ground work with her, not decided what yet; not quite ready to get back on until I'm 100% certain about that ear

And i was talking to an orthopaedic surgeon yesterday who reckons he can mend my broken foot...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


has arrived. now all i need is for the ear to recover some more so i am safe to get on! and then we'll see if that helps/works. Might be able to persuade Gaynor to get on Saturday if I'm still not right (improving, but not worth taking chances with obviously!) but that'll depend on her saturday going to the usual plan, which with a 3 year old doesn't always happen! (her son, that is, not her horse!)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

the other thing about tonight

the training was in a local hotel. the chemical smell inthe corridor just outside the meeting room was overpowering - thoguht it was justin the corridor, but it was pretty bad in the meeting room as well. i've just emailed them a complaint, told reception about it as i left but no guarantees they'll write it down. probably chlorine from their swimming pool the other side of the wall, but really it was too too much and I'm so pleased i wasn't in the pool itself, would have knocked me out! not what i needed just at the moment, thank goodness I'm not asthmatic (or never have been) - you can imagine, a room full of claimant PI lawyers - not the people they want to be injuring!


for work after work....asked partner to go down after 6, by which time molly would be in, to give her her tea; she rang me at 5.15 to say she was wrestling with the mud to get molly in herself - and she had no wellies! silly girl.....

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

my left ear

the eardrum is dull and doesn't vibrate as it should, there's something wrong with the eusachian tube so there's nowhere for the fluid to go ... got some medication (which, according to the leaflet, is given for vertigo, meniere's disease and related matters) and an appointment for a fortnight. if the medication doesn't bring it right, then i'm off to local ENT department..... seems it's possibly from an old infection that wasn't caught at the time... and it's related to glue ear, which i'm not aware of ever having. right ear's fine.

this was after sitting waiting for 1 1/2 hours..i was a shade early, and he was running VERY late....

in the meantime, anja beran will be in huddersfield in may ....going to go!

Monday, February 04, 2008


tomorrow. looking forward to it! getting fed up with this.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

queenie & AliG

now looks very fit, good muscle tone and shine, outperforming the 21 year old TB owned by neighbour, and still being mistaken for younger pregnant mare... so that's pretty good, considering we nearly lost her in November. Had a bit of a problem with either a new rug or new haylage - not sure which - came out in little blebs - my money's on the stable rug i took up, possibly made her too warm (even though it was her own rug!). Mother and daughter - if you over rug, they get a heat rash type thing, and it's very difficult to get right when the weather changes...

Then went to see Nicola & AliG on the way back - and unfortunately the camera has not performed! took some video, pressed the stop button, then the battery died (and it was new in as i got there.....) - the card says there's no picture now, when if i check the card's properties via "my computer" it says there should be something there.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

haylage and weather

TBF, i COULD have done something with Molly - but by the time i'd sorted the body out, and then sorted the haylage out (which takes some doing, it weighs a ton and i had to work out leverage to get it out of the car with no assistance at all! and without knacking my back, and, importantly, without leaning forward and going dizzy again!).. then found the garden man waiting for me and seen him and discussed the continuing evolving plan for that - it was getting TOO cold and damp again, so i didn't. Which is very remiss of me.....

anyway i have a doctor's appointment on tuesday.

tomorrow go to see Queenie and pay her keep, and calling to see Nicola on the way back from there...

Friday, February 01, 2008

geographical oddities....

the weather, as we all know, has been truly awful. even if it wasn't snowing, there was a howling gale...

the yard is in a down this morning expecting the worst and you'd hardly have known there was a howling gale at the top of the hill - nothing had been blown over. out at the field gate it was a bit blowy but nothing hugely exciting.

just the same tonight

and yet at other times the howling gale is down there! very very strange....