Friday, July 31, 2009

farrier arrived...

hurray! said, normal trim, and did just that.

so I will start working molly again tomorrow, weather permitting.

need to go to shop for glucosamine and think i might get some devil's claw as well.

Molly is in season - horrid! had to do leg washing yesterday whilst waiting for tooth person to arrive, and probably will need to again tomorrow.

the mares went in new field - right outside her stable! - today, and will be there for 2 months apparently, then back to the other one we've just left. not sure it wouldn't have been better to leave them where they were for the next 2 months and then put them in the front next to stable field for the winter, but we'll see.

one thing is for certain, I shall have to keep a VERY close eye on the legs for the mud fever/whatever it is... she was showing signs of that again yesterday as well. that would be a nightmare, as she won't want to stay in this stable 24/7, that IS for sure.

This week hasn't gone as planned, what with farrier having to cancel on Wednesday, as i didn't want to do anything until he'd seen her as well. and of course all these appointments were afternoon jobs so taking time out of the working day, so not quite caught up from being away. but almost! all the post is done anyway

hopefully, back to routine after today.

and nearly moved her again! my friend is renting house on the estate, and there are 2 stables next to it that were, until last weekend, occupied .. but the occupiers have gone and she was offered them, much more convenient for her. she thought of me second, and i would have taken molly down there... nice flat paddock, no mud (considering the wear flooded it 2 weeks ago, it's bone dry now!), just the 2 of us, and friend woudl do morning turnout/evening fetch in given it's right next to her house. but the person she first thought of decided to take her up on that opportunity...

for me the only disadvantages to it would have been no arena with lights,,and no 24/7 turnout due to small size of field but the field is VERY flat, and 1 minutes walk to an arena anyway, and could have lived without 24/7 turnout if i didn't have to go twice a day.

in the meantime, i'm waiting for a box to come free in the inner courtyard of the yard i'm on .. something happened whilst i'm away that makes it look as though i might have missed my chance for a while, which is somewhat annoying! just before my hols a horse was sold off the yard and a box came free but still facing the field, YM offered me it but i said i'd wait until yard came free .. i shoudl have taken that, and then done swop that i didn't know would be available to get the box i wanted, as that is what someone else has done. drat.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

teeth and tunnels

today molly had her teeth done, and was much better about it than she ever has been before. Dentist said her teeth generally were vastly improved and we can move to a 9 month cycle (it's been 6 monthly since i got her).

Farrier is coming tomorrow...

and tunnels? partner had arranged for us to go visit the victoria tunnel in Newcastle, it was an underground wagon way for the old pit at spital tongues (which closed in the 1860's) and was then used as an air raid shelter in WW2. Very interesting...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


the effects of the downpours whilst i was away are still to be seen .. one of the other yards onthe estate has a HUGE pond in one of the horse's fields....

Regular readers may recall that before I went on holiday i made an appointment with the farrier for today; unfortunately, he had to cancel due to one of those vagaries of life that sometimes afflict all of us (blimey, yes i did swallow a dictionary!) so we will have to rearrange. depressingly, he didn't have my number! he does now! and then it started teeming down again, as forecast.

Teeth tomorrow, hopefully it'll be drier....

and molly had been in a few times whilst i was away, once when they were all in during teh downpour, and seemingly a few other times when someone had to bring her in rather than leave her alone in the field. Three barrowloads removed... and of course she was not happy to be in!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

weather on all fronts..

there's another weather warning at home....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the holiday blog

is where it's at for the next 10 days...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


is the differential diagnosis of choice.

interestingly, the farrier turned up to do another horse whilst i was waiting, so i was telling him, and he thought that, on the grounds that molly doesn't have the feet she would have for navicular syndrome....

so, booked him for the day after i come back from holiday, as Molly will be about due.

I'm to get cortaflex (that's easy).

the real question is whether this can be managed barefoot, or whether i'll have to shoe in front.. and if so with what?

anyway, she got a good lunging whilst we were working it out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

it's interesting

what one finds one has learnt after years of reading/observing...

today i was helping someone with pole work and jumping, and noticed stuff about seat/hands that i would never have noticed a few years ago!

Molly? i took the Max pressure halter out with me and a longer lead rope than usual, put it on and pulled... she came. but she is not right. we are thinking navicular syndrome or something of that nature, which should be managable (Queenie had the same)

and in terms of this becoming apparent after living on a hill when she didn't used to live on a hill.. this makes some sense, for regular readers, of the "standing at the top of the hill planted" refusing to go down to the 20 acre...

and this may account for some schooling issues as well.

in the meantime, i dug out the fly sheet i had bought for queenie years ago. i must have shrunk it in the wash, as it fit molly a treat. the other mares didn't recognise her! they all had to do sniff polite checking that itwas in fact a mare they knew!

Monday, July 13, 2009

someone did a rain dance....

but there are various culprits - i was in the process of putting saddle on, two were outi nthe field catching their horses...who knows. but at least i didn't leave any washing on the line. and it's still tipping down now an hour after i left!

anyway - catching and bringing in was a fraction easier today ... the first stage was uphill, and after a minute's pulling, she came ...

she stopped when we got to the down hill bit.. whether that was because it was down hill, or because one of the other mares came trotting over to her, i don't know.

i did try to take some video of her walking down hill, but not wonderfully successfully .. one bit i thought i'd taken, i hadn't, and the next bit there's a lot of her head in the way!

i was starting to think about Queenie; she developed spurs on both front navicular bones.... but, her last few years she was sound barefoot in the field. alternatively, she's trying really hard to train me not to fetch her in, and failing....

edited to add: friend's OH, horse vet, says lame bilaterally in front.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

in hand walk..

after a wash off with hibiscrub solution for it's antiseptic/cleansing properties on the scabs.

and after a bit of struggle to get her in again. They were a lot nearer the gate. i took ordinary headcollar and schooling whip and bumbag with treats (happily the other 2 don't bother investigating those, molly would prevent them) .. caught ok, but again, no desire to move....movement was achieved by facing her, and tapping with the schooling whip (just touching) in/behind the shoulder....and me walking backwards!

i do think theres something about her action down hill... looked again on the way back out to the field, which is down a steeper hill but not on grass ...not quite right... will get someone else to watch, i think! or perhaps try and video it...

and the scabs...i wonder, actually, if she might be allergic to the fly repellent? i'd forgotten that i think it was one day last week instead of spraying, as the spray doesn't spray very well, i'd put it on a sponge and put it on that way?

so walked out in hand up to the next yard, stopped for a chat and back round...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

poles and jumpies

but before that, the ongoing saga of getting her in from the field.

today, there were only 2 mares out, mine & steve's; we went down together... Steve was back up at the yard (a hike up a hill!) and nearly tacked up by the time i got molly there.

I'd not expected her to plant when she could see that Tia was being led off and she knew she was the only horse left in the field, but plant she did. ggrrrhh

BUT, i do wonder if in fact it is the going down hill? whichever field we are in , one goes downhill to the gate in the valley, then up the other side to the yard. going out to the field, she moves on, but then of course she's going somewhere she wants to go..i dunno, but it's getting very tedious.

I might take up tash's idea and take my pressure halter and 12foot line out and work her in the field....dunno.

anyway, after she was in, and had her massage, still a shade scabby down the side where the saddle flaps woudl be, i decieded lunge and poles

2 poles on the ground one side of the arena, 2 poles on polepods on the other side.

she did both very nicely.

i then set up a very small jump which she jumped nicely from the right but not quite so nicely from the left...

then we called it a day.

it was VERY hot in the arena, no breeze - because it was blocked by the copse, soon as you left the arena and came to cross the road, lovely breeze blowing up to cool us down.

and finally, completely OT, the water lily in our pond has flowered:

Friday, July 10, 2009

30 minutes

to get her from the top of the field to the bottom ... a 1 minute walk, probably? i stand at the end of the lead rope .. eventually she moves to me.. and so on, for half the distance .. then she consented to walk on properly and follow me. duh.

the rash. could it be buttercups? scabbing, anyway, in places! so didn't ride as she's not wholly happy about the areas being touched. in fact, by the time i'd wasted 1/2 hour talking to lisa as well, then gave her her massage (another 1/2 hour!) i decided not to do anything with her as it was getting on by then.. turned her out, came back and realised baaad mummy had forgotten to do her tea!

she's clearly short of something, though, as she used both licks (one horselyx, one himalayan salt lick) neither of which she's touched for a while, so that'a s good sign in one way (that is, that she knows she needs whatever it is and helped herself!).

oh, and if it's buttercups ... there are sheep on the estate, but whether the estate would put them on the horse fields to get rid of the buttercups i don't know..

Thursday, July 09, 2009

big green ball....

Anyway, Molly had had a brain change, or had made up with me whatevert it was, or something...I had no trouble at all catching her, and she came straight down to the gate. that's the first time she hasn't protested one way or another since we moved to Blackdene in, when was it, April?

So that was a good start.

And she was very calm, for a change, in the stable.

She has what i think is rain scald - unsurprising given all the rain! - and it has com eup under where the saddle flaps and my legs would go ... so it was probably brewing on Tuesday and i should not have ridden then...

anyway, lady on the yard has a big green ball and i asked if i could borrow it, for something different to do. (that's her website, BTB, some good stuff)

took it to the arena and left it in the middle, went back for Molly .. time i got back to the arena there was a friesian being ridden round the arena and the ball was outside by the gate... molly not impressed by that, and i not impressed either .. we have no booking system, the people had come down from the other yard where they have an indoor arena... no comment!

so had to take her back over for a while (at which point i realised i'd locked myself out of my tackroom!)

anyway, eventually was able to go back over, the ball had been put back in the arena but only just inside, so a spook as we went in was in order.

after that, i was able to persuade her to touch it, and then i let her off to see what she would do .. wander round the other end, was the answer.

i moved it innto the middle and she wasn't bothered; led her up to it and she was fine, let her go off again and moved it, she trotted...

led her up to it, and round it, with her nearer it than me .. fine...

move it? opps.

so led her back and click/treated until she'd touched it, and had her touch it a few times, then stopped for the day.

happily, other person who shares my tack room came with key to let me in!

i shall keep an eye on the rain scald .. not had that before .. a few have it ... if it's not rain scald, it's something about the field that they're in ...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


caused by brining the boot lid of the car down on it... doh. that was outside new client's house at 5 pm.... glasses endedup on floor, amazed they're not broken, and i expect i'll have a lovely bruise in the morning.

partners gone to teh sage gateshead to see Ry Cooder and others (including someone from Buena Vista Social Club) and had it not been for the head i might have gone up to see if i could get myself a ticket...they were like hen's teeth and she'd got one but we couldn't get 2 so that would have ben on spec anyway...but given the head i thought that probably wasn't such a good plan!

did go down to see molly ... took bumbag with treats (she wasn't going to let her friend have them!), caught her no problem and took 1/2 hour to get her down to the gate, using click/treat ...

2 things... whatever she's developing an allergy to (it's probably rain scald, given all the rain we've had) seems to be now over the saddle area - under where the flaps would be i probably definintely shouldn't have ridden last night..

and i'm not totally happy that she is ok moving DOWN hill .... will have to try and watch her when i'm not trying to catch her... it may just be not wanting to be in!

anyway, hopefully that excercise will have helped in terms of getting her in tomorrow..i need her to go back to being caught and brought in easily. and i'd rather do it hte nice way first!

the alternative is take the pressure halter and 12foot line out and work her in the field (there is a flat bit at the top)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

1 hour later....

molly condescended to move her feet and come in .. that was after the 10 minutes it took to actually catch her! but then she planted herself. i did manage to not lose my temper, but am not totally sure how ... you can imagine I was NOT impressed.

so why, after that, i thought riding was a good idea, i'm not sure. particularly as, after her massage and when i was trying to put the saddle on, walking round the box was deemed a good idea... (that was because she knew someone was about to come up the hill....)

so you won't be surprised to learn that when i did get into the arena and got on she had a strop head on ... not for any good reason i could immediately discern

at one point we were sure she was lame on the near hind (tash was giving someone else a lesson ) ... i left molly being held by spectator and went back for my lunge line .. but she lunged perfectly sound.

Tash got on for 5, i got back on but it wasn't going to happen .. by that stage the lesson was at canter poles, so i was pleased that we stayed in walk, really ....

i knew i wasn't relaxed and really shouldn't have ridden.

i think ATM we're winding each other up a bit...

tomorrow won't do anything as i've an evening meeting so probably won't have time

Monday, July 06, 2009

wet and warm.....

that was molly

the thunderstorm started (centred over my village, felt like my house but not quite!) early afternoon, and it was coming down in sheets again .... still raining when i went out about 5.30, if not as hard...and was not going to stop!

i went down to the field (in my walking boots, the only things that are safe!) to see her, and she was very wet, but very warm, and at first not totaly overjoyed to see me, but did then decide to stand still so i could check her over ...

was still raining when i eventually came home after 7....

hopefully it'll improve for tomorrow! but the forecast says not....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

things to do with one's horse

whilst wearing a skirt... because it was SOOOOO hot i really didn't want my legs enclosed in jodphurs! so we did groundwork, which i thought was about right for the circumstances....apart from me being overheated, molly was really unhappy to be brought in (maggie one of the other mares had been in last night for a show today, so molly only wanted to stay out with her and Lady) and it took 2 of us to get her.. at least they didn't tank off down the other end of the field, which is huge and hilly of course.

so bounced about her stable whilst i brushed her off, whilst listening to see if she could hear maggie & lady (not)

so just did a bit of ropecircling stuff, getting her paying attention to me and so on...that was good, fed and turned out and they all cantered to each other! happily another mare goes out tuesday.

as i left, the wind got up .. could see big black cloud over home 4 miles away .. it was, torrential rain, soaed getting from car to house so much that i had to change.... rivers running down the road!

it's stopped now, of course

and that should help it all be a shade cooler...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

lunged ... and poles

it was so hot i didn't really want to ride...but i wanted to do something, so tacked up for lunging/longlining....

decided to lunge, and got a couple of poles out. it's a good long while since i've worked her over trotting poles, and in the past she's raced them, avoided them, anything but go over them nicely

today was a different story. she didn't protest about them at all, went over them at a steady trot as requested, didn't try and curve in away from them and generally was a good girl. that was on both reins. and she was lifting her back legs up nicely through them as well.

and this was with side reins on, as well as without

excellent piece of work!

she'd already been in for a couple of hours or so when i got there (roll on there being more mares!) and had spread her bed about with the result that the last place i wanted her to be was in the stable, the ammonia smell was horrid and there's no breeze in there (there was a breeze blowing gently up the valley, but not in her stable window, went past the front!).

so sorted it out afterwards and need to put some more down i think....

part of this is the way she's using the stable, as she stands with her head out the door, then has a walk round, then stands a bit, then walks round.... she didn't use to do this at previous yard, or not quite so much!

so more bedding on top and perhaps i might re-organise the stable ... thinking about moving the haybar to the back and have the bed at the front, perhaps. the idea of the haybar at the front under the (unglazed) window was that she could look out without having to move ...

ah well, have a couple or 3 months to decide before we're into winter again!

edited to add: the above was typed on the laptop out in the garden whilst waiting for the barbecue to get really hot.....

now guess what happened?

you're right .. i ended up barbecuing under an umbrella as it started raining! happily i'd seen the cloud coming and rescued the laptop, but had just put the food on ...

and partner insisted we eat under the tree, which, tbf, does provide some good shelter and it had in fact stopped by then....

Friday, July 03, 2009

more rain...

which i wasn't expecting today, but it started torrentially at about 1, stopped for about an hour mid afternoon then started again...

in the meantime, therefore, some pictures and video (the video of the lunge lesson is still proving working on it but am having to try and change format to be able to post it..)

They were all take on the mobile phone camera

the first pic and the video show how relaxed she is for her massage .. she loves this!

the rest on various days.

i think she looks rather well in this one - i'd just turned her out again and she's looking for her friends

the other chestnut here is not yet 3! as you can tell, going to be massive!

and this was this afternoon; they've been moved into this field for the weekend whilst the geldings get moved into the field the mares were in (the mares then go where the geldings have been..). one of the estate workers can just be seen in the background...he'd been set the task of chopping down all the thistles and digging up any ragwort found.

this is just below molly's stable door so if they stay there all weekend she might be a shade more chilled than usual ... although, perhaps not. more likely to be more keen to see where her friends are

apparently at least one mare is returning this weekend, so hopefully we'll have increased numbers in the field by next week, which will make life easier (i hope!)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

interrupted (again...)

2nd post with this title.

can't remember what it was last time, would have to go look. this time, it was partner ringing up because she couldn't find something on the computer, in the middle of walk/trot/walk transitions to get Molly balanced and with me, the plan being for changes of rein as well.

guess what.

we lost the plot after that....

she didnt' want to stand still whilst i took the call .. fair enough, it meant the flies settled .. and did a really nice relaxed forward walk round the arena whilst i was talking .. think it was about 3 times round EEK ... but couldn't get it back after that.

lesson? don't answer the phone. but i like to have it with me in case of need, of course!

but i think i was not losing the reins as much as i have been

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

thunder and rain

thunder started runbling around 2 or so ... wasn't surprised that it started raining just as i was getting ready to leave the house....had already decided not to do anything due to humidity/heat, the rain merely reinforced that view.

might, by close of business today, have video of that lunge lesson i had a few months ago ...i've been given the camcorder to sort it myself!