Thursday, April 30, 2009


to the gate, which was a relief. i didnt' try and catch her, as i knew i hadn't time due to late meeting, but went and said hello and fed her polos...

as i walked back to the gate, other owner was brining her mare up and molly started shouting for her....

i'll try to get her tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


of my mare.... she would not be parted from the other mares in the field.

it's a huge field, uphill, and they were on the flat bit at the top, from where you cannot see the field gate...

this was taken just into the field from the gate - straight up under that branch in the way, and then up and onto the flat that can't be seen!

when i first caught her, that was fine ... until we got over the brow of the hill so she could no longer see the others and then i was in trouble. i did not have my gloves, my hat, or my pressure halter, and we were on a fairly steep hill ... circling her was all very well, but she was getting more and more aerated so the safest thing was let her go .. whereupon she cantered back to the others!

i went back up and caught her up again, but she was even less inclined to walk away..

and if I had got her to the gate, the track down from there is even steeper and SERIOUSLY slippy even in the dry... after the last day and half rain, it would not be the place to be with an excited horse!

you can see from this pic how steep it is up to the field gate...

and back down again...

so, next time i'll go armed with all the equipment, and if no one else is bringing their mare in (which would be the ideal, of course!) i'll probably take her out the very top and walk her down through harbour house and round to my yard that way .. with the pressure halter and 12 foot line, i would at least have control!

eventually, of course, she will realise she gets to go back out again, i'm sure it's just because she's worried she'll get kept in again (plus, of course, she doesn't want to leave the grass, LOL)

so no work done since last week - and none tomorrow, as i have a meeting after work.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

i know we needed it.....but

the rain could have confined itself to overnight! or at least just a few hours...

So, molly as you all know was out rugless. i was expecting her to be desperate to be back in again - not a bit of it. still eating. wet, but still eating. I went and put the headcollar on, felt all over (warm) looked all over (no wounds i could see) and took headcollar off again and left her.

I expect that if I had brought her in she would have started shivering as soon as in the stable so i would have had to put a wicking rug on and keep her in overnight, which would have hacked her off....she's as well where she is, putting some weight on and making friends.

but the access is going to be really dodgy in the wet. steep in the dry, but in the wet it will be lunge line for horse (so if she wants to go on ahead back down hill she can and i wont' lose her) and walking stick for me (otherwise i'll fall back down hill .... it's very steep and slippy! quite treacherous.)

and there was a bog between the field gate and the horses that i had to find a way round as well, not having my long boots on.

and my Drizabone, which i've had for about 10 years if not longer, needs reproofing ... over the bum! still, 10 years aint bad going...

Monday, April 27, 2009

she's out

in the rain but she didn't care - GRASS!!!!

not as much running around as i thought. after 10 minutes i left them to it and went to muck out ... heard one bellow (I can hear but not see the field, it's the other side of the trees that form the view from molly's stable door!) and then nothing - they are all too busy eating.

rugless, but there's plenty shelter under the trees if she wants it, and it's not cold.

so i'm not planning on going back until tomorrow teatime - first time since early september i've been able to have a lie in (not that i WILL, i don't do them... but nice to know i could if i wanted!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new saddle racks

2, because I need one for the saddle, and one for the terretted roller & accoutrements...

and one rug rack (goodness only knows where my last one went!)

two walks out in hand for grass, one prance round the arena to look at it, one lunge session in the arena (bitless and no roller etc) for exercise.

As before, she's happy when the horses in the field are at her end of it, and not when not; she's spent most of her time with her head out of the door as i can tell from the poo pile..

if i want to top up her hay without going in, i just need lean in through the glassless window, LOL - so that corner is where the haybar will go, once she's out in the field and i can get it up.

She is too stressed to tie up outside sensibly at the moment, so i'm not even going to try....

she's allowed out as of about 4 pm tomorrow afternoon ... i'm planning on videoing, i think!

and i'm not planning to do any real work with her until she's relatively settled again...

and i'm going to get fit. walk down hill about 5 mins to mares field, and back up again ...

and the field itself is massive, with a heck of a climb to the top if that's where they happen to be!

So hopefully, i should get my muscles a bit toned up and lose something off my hips that's been gradually creeping on the last few years

and she does look a bit thin....but then there's not been a lot of grass at Leamside....and yet, if i gave her more than 16 lbs of hay overnight, she wasted it...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the view

from Molly's stable door is rather good.

I left her at about 16.30 with huge pile of hay, water and her tea of course, having wormed - i'd done as much as i could sorting stuff out, need to by a saddle rack (or two = saddle, and roller with terrets - and decide where to put it, think a table that was already there might get moved to the other side of the storage area ...

she was not too bad about loading, a bit disconcerted and shouted a bit as we set off, but good as gold.

Friday, April 24, 2009

part way there

a lot of the stuff that can go in the car got moved, the rubber matting got moved and the bed is down ready (although i think it needs more bed down, can't tell atm.)

tomorrow afternoon the rest gets moved as does Molly.

you won't be surprised that Molly didn't get ridden, lunged, or anything else!

now, can anyone explain why (on the pc, this is being typed on the laptop) I can type in word, but if I try to type anything on the internet everything is put in in reverse? weird.....i'm hoping it will get sorted by a reboot.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


after about 1/2 hour or so, and not getting anything like a nice trot, i took her back in, put the bitless bridle on, and voila! trot, no kangaroo steps.

so, it's either my contact - unlikely, as she was doing the same wiht RI! - or back to bit problems.

and my money is on the latter.

WE've been lunging off the bit for a while, as my lunging cavesson isn't really right on her and i can't find one to fit. I shall just have to find one to fit.

in the meantime, i'll be riding bitless and working on my seat, LOL

and partner has just told me she has tomorrow off! (flexi...) - that's always difficult when i'm trying to work! but i'm not working in the afternoon ...starting the move

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


walk was nice but trot was pants.

i had to get off and re adjust the saddle shims ... will email agent again, they still move as i get on ggrrrhhh

so trot? kangarooing again ... eventually i just gave up any thought of contact, shortened my stirrups and pushed her on (whlst being careful to keep off the fences, LOL) .. both ways, and called that done.

i did suggest to RI the other day that might be the way for now, just give up with contact and push her forward ... i may have something there....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a picture of concentration

molly eating grass in the quarantine paddock, which has more grass than the winter field she was in, and which she has all to herself...

From Molly - Bitless, Barefoot, Treefree
From Molly - Bitless, Barefoot, Treefree

and work?

well, for one thing, I CANNOT do in hand work for more than a couple of circuits on each rein - that is because the need for the body to face the horse, whilst the face looks where one is going (whilst also looking at the horse, yet!), results in pain in the neck .... shame.

lunging (i was planning on doing both anyway) was half successful and half not - in that she didn't realy want to do much, and we couldn't get canter, but when she did move, she was looking good.

as for yesterday - i don't think it's a success to have to get off and lead back into the large arena...

and i haven't put the video from saturday on the pc yet, no time - and spent about 4 hours today wasting time with software support people... they've zipped a copy of the stuff to themselves to look at the code! did i want to do any work?

Monday, April 20, 2009


lunged first at RI's suggesting in the small arena, then got on ... still inteh small arena as we're not allowed to lunge in the main arena...

lots of walk, thinking about softness and not overbent and the SI position on corners (lot of them in there ...)

then thought i'd try to ride her from one ot the other, normally she won't even undo the gate and then will have a nap back to the barn

the success, was getting the gate open from horseback.

unfortunately, she did start napping to the barn, and i had to get off and lead.

back into the large arena and got back on...walked round, nice and soft - tried trot .. phooey... did get on half decent circle, but that's about all that can be said for it!

but, after that we got some rein back, so I thought that was a good note - particularly as there was a hot air balloon starting to loom up!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

lunged bitless

this morning, and she cantered both reins, and was bringing herself into an outline....quite impressive!

lunged again tonight .. she wasn't so keen...

hadn't stood in, she was in the winter field on her own talking to the geldings over the fence.. and eating what grass there was, at least she had it to herself...

i think she's in season, is all ... the bed was in the worst state it's been in for a good while!

and between morning and evening, i did a lot of gardening....

and then made a roast beef dinner and a rhubarb pie...

tomorrow i will ride and see how we do.....and see if i can remember the shoulder in or if i've forgotten the aid AGAIN.. wouldn't be suprised!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

even RI struggled

to sit the kangaroo hopping ..

Molly was tense from the off, so we struggled.

started with shoulder in right rein, to give me control of the shoulder...hopefully, how to do that will now sink in to my brain, i('ve done it before on queenie, but can never remember....)

that at least helps me keep her away from the fence LOL

we did that both direction for a while, all in walk, then pushed her up to trot...

left rein first since it's usually the better rein, but taking a good while to get her right.

was able to keep my leg long - put the ariat long boots on, for some reason they help me keep my leg right, recent difficulty has really been when wearing short boots and chaps..

anyway, right rein - no way Jose! kangarooing....could not get it

anyway, we had planned a 1/2 lesson 1/2 RI got her hat and got on ..

and had the same trouble as me
i was able to video RI's ride (misssed a couple of bits, you know what it's like when you're trying to watch and video)

i see what people mean when they talk about the horse curling back...she was doing that, and going above the bit as well, and then kangaroo hopping, and when RI got trot, you could certainly see why someone would think she was lame when she isn't .. .jsut tense for some reason..

then i got back on .... and after 5 minutes we decided to just concentrate on getting a nice soft walk, as we were getting nowhere with trot...

we wonder if she's in season?

she didn't want any sort of leg aid, tenser than she's been for a good while.

been in all day (is going to be in all week until after we've moved) but that sholdn't be a problem, it didn't cause and issue when she was in for weeks in the winter with her mud fever..

anyway, i'm going to put the video on the pc and study it, and RI will come round one day and study it...


so i guess the main thing I got out of today was a reminder of how to do shoulder in, which i needed....and that's about it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

woo .. 11 followers!

thanks people... partner takes the michael when i mention where people are who read this, but i'm well impressed..

anyway, did ride tonight, stirrups back down to where they were until recently, i.e. long leg, with a view to stretching my hips/thighs..and in walk, with a view to holding my hands higher to see how she does and to try and imrpove the steering ..

whilst we've been working a lot on forward, i think we've lost other stuff ...

and having my hands low, as RI says (and which TBF molly does seem to go better with) also has th effect of seemingn to pull me forwards more than i shold be AND i can't maintain my hands upright with thumbs on top at all ...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

my knee

has been given another night off - the bruising was wonderful by close of play last night, i've bought some arnica cream, hopefully it will be a bit better tomorrow. I wasn't sure it was even up for the movement involved in lunging, so discretion being the better part of everything else....

hopefully it's sorted by Saturday teatime, as I've just arranged another lesson - it's going to be half lesson, half molly being schooled... and partner is thinking about starting lessons again herself...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

the fog

hasn't lifted all day so whether anythhing gets done tonight is a moot point... it's not 5 pm yet, and not looking at all promising.

edited to add, at 19.01 ... it still hasn't lifted!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

knee off fence...

due to Molly's inability/unwillingness to do anything sensible right rein, and/or my inability to make her....

ah well.

the work yesterday didn't REALLY transfer to my own horse...

i did take my stirrups up, which did help a bit... but we need to rearrange the lesson that DIDN'T happen week past sunday ....

the shims are fine now anyway

and i've bought a HM seatsaver from an EE vendor for use during lunge lessons and if I ride anyone else's horse....

Monday, April 13, 2009

lesson report

There will be some video, after we'd started I found people videoing it EEEK. but apparently it looked ok.

Firstly, Del is a good bit bigger than Molly, and it's such a long time since Ive ridden anything other than molly it felt quite scary! It also felt quite slippy at first, but it wasnt'

Second, it was a jumping saddle, and the pommel was high (well it felt high!) so i leave you to imagine that effect. It also, of course, had slightly forward set next time we'll either try my saddle on Del, not sure owner too keen but she's worried how he'll react (fine, i would expect, no tree.... and shouldn't need any shims!) or i'll buy a seatbone saver...

I'd been told his trot was bouncy - well, i couldn't feel any bounce so I must have been riding it properly!

Anyway, started off with some thigh stretching exercises, one of my main issues is to release my thigh to allow the leg to drop properly.

Then those things I never did as a child - arms waving out, carryig them up, out, on hips, whatever ... helpt a lot, and of course not something i could do on molly moo at the moment!

We'd put my reins on (he normally has those thick rubber ones which I can't use) and then I was trot/walk/trot on the lunge, and then RI took lunge off and I was left to my own devices - and he went wel for me, but i did lose my leg towards the end....I also tried halt/trot and got some snappy transitions - he's a horse you've got to get moving on to get the reaction ....

But he's very nice to ride and I had a lovely time, albeit i worked hard!

Molly got a day off, of course...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

longline bitless

thought i'd see how that went, why not.

not very well, really .... moments of making an outline, but ... probably won't do that again for a while!

and the lesson? didn't happen, RI was too late back so we'll try to set it up for tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

canter improving

on the lunge on the right rein, she was offering it.

on the left .. nuts. i cannot get it, she cannot get it, miscommunication beween us. i think there's a lot to do with balance on either rein...dunno. RI was in next arena so i anticipate some tipes on that one when we havce time....

anyway, tomorrow I have a lunge lesson myself, on Del-Boy, a big 16hh 3" or more wide well set up animal belonging to another livery owner...and RI says i'm going to canter.

the only thing is, of course - this being to help with my position - it's a totally different horse and a totally different saddle. ah well.

and, of course, the parcel i was waiting for, new shims, arrived whilst we were in chester le street, was too big for the letterbox they say, and i can't get it now until tuesday... phoeey.

Friday, April 10, 2009

middleham open day

Middleham, for those abroad/who don't follow the racing, is a small village in North Yorkshire packed full of training yards, top quality ones (the biggest trains for Sheikh Hamdan/Darley). and Every Good Friday they have an open day in aid of charity, 0930 - 1230 for the central yards, and 12 - 4 for the one outlying one (George & Ann Duffield).

and this year for the first time there was stuff in the afternoon, and my friend natasha & her husband Philip had been asked to do a dressage to music (the afternoon events were largely about what a racehorse does after it's racing career is over, and they do a nice line in ex racehorses!) so i wanted to watch that.

so off we went - up early, much to partner's disgust (slept in car on way down, only an hour) and molly got turned out but i left the mucking out until later

and we had a really good day, despite the morning rain.

some lovely horses! as you'd expect! and the drssage to music was good, despite the slope, teh howling gale (low moor being misnamed and being quite high!) - particularly impressed, philip, with your walk/canter transition!

then in antique shop bought an old print of a farrier hot shoeing, rather nice - can join the pile of pictures looking for a wall to be hung on (we need to decide what goes where, now the house is fit to have pictures put up!)

got back home about 4, time i'd mucked out etc and got molly in - could see a BIG black cloud heading our way - the rain started whlst i was grooming ... so could see no point tacking up, and that was right, time I left the rain was coming down hard....

Thursday, April 09, 2009


i really can't remember the last time I did longline, so i took it carefully and did a lot of walk - some trot, but a lot of walk, round the large arena, diagonals, circles ... as much practicing myself as doing anything for molly!

sometimes she was working nicely, sometimes she was hauling the contact down to the floor ....

but given the length of time since we did that, not too bad - especially given the wind! the lines were getting blown away a bit

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

hot cross buns

decided to make some, a long time since i have ... but used the machine to make the dough. the results are not as uniform in shape as i would have liked, but so what. and there will be home made burgers for tea.

and we were blown away this morning, not quite literally but working on it ... had dropped a shade tonight, but i decided on ground work in the round pen. it's a long time since I've done any of that - not since I came back from Wilmslow - and she was very good. as part of this, i had her move away from steady hand pressure just behind the girth, she did that nicely both sides. was pleased with that (the idea, of course, is to get her to grasp the idea!)

someone had some hay delivered, and whilst stacking it they managed to knock mine such that it's no longer stable .. hopefully, it won't all fall over.. Goodness knows how that was managed, it was perfectly stable this morning!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


i can cue canter right rein ok, but left rein not.

she does have a very nice canter, and is starting to be able to keep it going longer on teh lunge, which is good.

trot needs some work, can pull side reins in a shade but ok.

Monday, April 06, 2009

we needed rain, we were forecast rain

we got rain.

i hadn't realised ti was raining until i turned round to go out ... didnt' seem THAT bad, but then it got wetter, so i just fed again and came home.

and now we've had our teas and it's not raining ...

there we go!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


wasn't right. had all gone dead (too squashed) and generally not right at all. so put some others in that agent had in her box of tricks and found what worked .. so off to get some more.

Decided, therefore, to cancel the lesson... but hopefully will have a lunge lesson later in the week.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

wouldn't you know it...

i thnk i said somethin gthe other dayabout the weather being better in the morning, usually ... certainly true today. by the time i got back to the yard at teatime, with a view to the promised longlining, it was far too windy! RI had been lunging someone else's horse and had had a hard time of it with that....

so Molly just got to stand eat!

but my day had been spent productively - my potatoes are planted and a lot of weeding got done....and a lawn mowed....

and lesson tomorrow

and to recap i have a new yard to go to end of month, sorted it out this morning after i'd mucked out ...and i know some people there already, it's another yard on the estate i was on until last june, for those who remember (with a better arena...)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Molly will be moving - again!

I think I might have mentioned that YO has planning to become a Riding School.

She tells me there is going to be a lot of children.....

So, I shall have to move Molly. whilst children individually are cool, I would struggle with that...

So, I shall have to move her... just emailed YM at previous yard to see if there's any spaces anywhere on the estate, but email has bounced!

In the meantime, looking forward to Sunday's lesson, since not doing too well tonight, save that we worked out backwards again having forgotten how to do it since last summer! so that was helping a shade...

Think I'll longline tomorrow.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

no key

last night as i was locking (well, trying to lock)the tack room door, which lock is one of those double lock ones and a shade sticky, my key for the same broke. which meant, since there was no one about when i got there tonight, I couldn't do a lot.

Having said that, the fog was rolling in - i'd been able to see it coming from the sea, and bearing in mind we're about 10 miles from the coast, i expect a foggy damp night - and molly and her mate, last 2 out, were desperate to be in. I did vaguley think about lunging for exercise from the bitless bridle, but decided not to.

so i just fed her and left again.

new key will turn up once one has been cut, sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ah ... getting better

right rein, that is.

thanks for the tip about my weight, i tried to balance that better, so it may be that that was why there was some improvement!

lesson arranged for Sunday, hope the weather holds!