Monday, August 31, 2009


looks like she's just about sound again!

She trotted half across the field towards me when i went out to get her, and looked a lot better,but i took her in the arena for a quick trot round loose to see properly

a LOT better, so it must have been muscle. still, possibly, a very minor twinge left, but i reckon i can start doing something with her tomorrow.

of course, after over a week off, it'll be a couple of days lunging I think before I get on (and of course, that'll give me a double check on her soundness)

and whilst i was grooming her, it was teaming down! and tonight we've had a massive thunderstorm - all coming from your direction, jean, LOL!

BUT, she had a large dried up and not deep cut on her right flank, behind where the saddle flap would be, but i'm not sure what caused it. never mind, it had dried, and i put ointment on it. should be ok.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

raby castle

Built by the Neville's in the early 14th Century, owned by the Vanes (lord barnard) since the 1600's. Kitchen the original medieval one .. unfortunately, no internal pics, not allowed!

this is the castle from the car park:

and this is it from the other side, across what they call the high pond:

This is a VERY interestingly clipped yew hedge of some age, in the walled garden:

and in the middle, yes it IS a white stag:

it's on days like this I wish i had a camera with a better zoom .. i almost wished i'd brought out the film camera, which i haven't used for some years but no doubt still works and does have a better zoom...

That was our Bank Holiday sunday trip out; Molly got fed, but not tried in the arena to see what's happening as by the time I got to her it was raining and i got very wet. tea and turned out again. Hopefully (I doubt it, forecast is bad) i'll be able to have a better look tomorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

just for vicki

Vickie on Albie, her daughter's new pone, a youngster, out with Sheila on Maggie May (the coloured, lovely mare). sorry for the poor quality, the light was behind them....

Molly in her stable having her massage....

the local library

came up trumps with a copy of Hilda Nelson's "Francois Baucher, the Man and his Method"

cost me £5 as they'd got it in from the British Library, but still...

part read it at Trudi's but didn't finish it, so looking forward to doing so....given that I've read the Racinet, it seems to me I ought to read this as well....

i also asked them for the Charles Harris Notebooks, but don't hold out much hope of those at all....

anyway, it's blowing a gale (good drying weather if nothing else) and when i've finished my cup of tea I shall go down, see molly, and make a start on attaching things to the stable wall (the hay bar, for starters, LOL)

Friday, August 28, 2009

still lame....

not that i tried her in the arena at all .. but when i turned her out again she had to trot away as another of the mares had a go (this was a mare that hadn't been in the herd last year) and she was not sound.

i still think it's the front, but can't find anything in the feet or leg, so it's looking like shoulder...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

still lame...

i brought her in and straight into the arena to see what the trot looked like... stopper her sharpish! she's still not sound.

i still think it's more likely to be bruising somewhere... but have decided that if she's not right by tuesday next week (that is, it'll have been a week) i'll have to get the vet


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


virtually all day .. didn't finally dry up at all until a couple of hours after i'd fed molly and turned her out again.

supposed to be dry tomorrow, so i'll see how she is in trot then... couldn't really tell anything today...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

proper lame...

it's either an incipient abcess, or she's pulled something during the settling in period ... either way, lame .. not noticeable in walk, but VERY clear when i went to lunge her, it not being raining! no heat to be felt anywhere. She wasn't feely when i picked her feet out - indeed, ability to pick her feet out without grief is great, compared to what she used to be like! so i don't think it's a bruised sole, might have noticed that at that point.

got someone to watch her trotting up, and conclusion is it's left fore. so we'll have to give that a few days to see what pans out.

apart from that .. she's all chilled out back in her old box. didn't move bar once, a long way from the bouncing round the box she did at blackdene!

you never know, i may even be able to do some flexions without it all going very pear shaped very quickly!

Monday, August 24, 2009

friends again...

Molly and Scarlet have reminded each other that they ARE friends, so that's really good

what's better ... for the first time since i can't remember when... Molly started to walk towards the gate when she saw me, without me waving a feed dish at her. AND later when i went back round and was talking to one of the fishermen, she saw/heard me and came right over the field to the gate....

So, i reckon, friends again..

anyway, it was raining, quite hard, so i only brought her in, fed and turned out again.

then took some time to start filling my cupboard again ...partly as i'd assumed partner wouldn't be home for a while, and partly because the bees (nesting under the concrete floor.....EEEK) were not about! i know they won't sting voluntarily but that doesn't mean it's not scary having a few flying about at chest height!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

gloucester lodge show

not with molly, of course! Nicola with AliG, Vic with Quenza (Luso) - both in the "foreign breeds" class, in hand and ridden; donna & jack, part bred arab in hand and ridden, and another lady I know from various legal courses over the years, with her arab in hand and ridden...

All got rosettes.

Quenza in particular was a superstar - ony backed 4 months ago (by vic), first time out, didn't put a single foot wrong; AliG (PRE) of course is still young and he didn't put a foot wrong either. Jack is only 5 as well - they were all much better behaved than some others!

and it didn't start raining until we were nearly home, thank goodness.

Molly? well i tWAS raining time i got to the yard. She's still in one piece, thank goodness, butnot yet allowed into the herd. But i did catch her first time of asking, gave her a good groom and her feed.

will, probably, do some groundwork/lunging tomorrow... the scabby fly bites are healing up, but want to be sure they're gone before i put saddle back on!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

my bad....

i didn't post yesterday.... forgot! haven't actually forgot before.

But i dind't have anything to say, as all i'd done was lift the rubber mats and take down the hay bar...

Today we moved back to Harbour house. I had planned to ride down, but when i got her in i found the flies had been at her back and there were scabs under where the saddle would go, either side of her spine. so they got treated and i walked her down in hand.

the herd is the same one she left last June...but they haven't yet recognised her. but at least when I went back later she hadn't been kicked in the hock!

She was moving wonderfully well, i didn't have the camcorder of course, hadn't even thought about it, but i should have done...

Then spent the rest of the day packing stuff ... and moving everyting up to where it could be easily loaded on to the trailer.

that itself took no time at all, neither did getting it off the other end .. but a lot of sorting out to be done.

i put the mats down, and put everything in the tack room tidily and came away as it was 8pm by then...

and if i hadn't needed a shower when i started, i certainly needed one when i finished, it was warm work!

off to gloucester lodge @ blyth tomorrow to watch/help Nicola & Vic in the luso class and I gather some other friends will be there as well, so will be a long day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

bruised foot

mine, that is.

i'd groomed, picked feet out and went to apply the Effol hoof stuff ... was bent over doing the near fore, first foot, when she went to move and put said foot right on my right foot... full on .. she sharp took it off though and stood like a rock whilst i did the rest. haven't actually looked at it yet, but i'm expecting it turning a lovely colour. but i can still move my toes, so no fractures it seems.

I'll be so pleased when she gets into the stable at HH and settles down, we never had any of this grief there...

it was seriously windy when i arrived and no way i was going to ride in it - specially when i saw the big grey cloud being blown in .. so thought i'd do some flexions, or try to, since she pretended she was more settled and she's been so good about the ridden work lately ...


she won't stand still ..

so i stopped that idea, and decided to try some click/treat to get her to stand where i put her.

that didn't work either. despite only getting clicked/treated when she stood still, that didn't prevent her walking forward to look over the door when she wanted and a struggle to get her to move back again.

so i gave up, rather than fall out with her altogether. fed and put her out - it was still raining, having started before i'd started trying the flexions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

hot, muggy and very windy

all at the same time, and really i thought it was too hot to ride (which it was) so decided on some rope circling/ground work stuff .. got to the arena, and everything was blowing around, includin the arena surface! so glad i'd decided not to ride - it might hav eblown the flies away, but we still wouldn't have got a lot done!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

definite fly bothering

tnoight i put fly repellent everywhere... including sponging it round her face..but it doesn't work, and it got hotter, and we got hotter, the more we did.

trot is stil good and improving.

trot to walk is coming along nicely, especially if i remember to stay upright, LOL

a serpentine, haven't been able to do one of those for months

didn't ask for canter (she wanted to, and one could argue i shoudl have gone for it, but i want canter when i want canter not when she wants canter!)

walk? that's when the flies bother, of course

so we did some, then some more trot, and finished with trying to start rein back again..

one half step back, praise walk on, then another...

but the flies were all round her head so since we'd done 20 minutes i thought that was enough.

Monday, August 17, 2009

walk? what's that?

Lovely trot. excellent canter (BOTH directions this time). but walk? didn't want to. she's VERY forward, LOL

The initial trot/canter were showing ourselves off to Gaynor (and i hadn't asked for the canter right, well, didn't know I had, if you see what i mean)

after that some more trot and i decided i ought to go back to walk and do walk/trot transitions...

But we were struggling with this....she wants to moooove.....

and then the flies were really bothering her face...

anyway, did about 20 minutes i suppose!

will try again tomorrow, hopefully with more success..

Sunday, August 16, 2009

more howling gales...

varying between warm and chilly ...

did a small amount of in hand work - i'm really not totally sold on this, largely because of my body twist, but left rein molly goes round on the bit very nicely - right rein a nightmare for both of us because i'm then on my non dominant side!

but at least we did something.

i left my purple schooling stick on the fixed mounting block - someone's put it away ... that's what i get for leaving sticks about the place. it'll turn up!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

windy windy....

after yesterday's long day, didnt' get up until 9! and the winds... pah. at least they were warm winds didn't need a coat even when it was raining.

anyway, thought i'd arranged to hack out at 3. ..... that didn't happen.

molly didn't get her tea yesterday (apparently she wouldn't be caught) and therefore hadn't had her devil's claw and cortiflex.... so she got double devil's claw today. umph.

so today.

now, bear in mind that the arena, on teh opposite side of the road from the yard, has a large grove of trees down it's left hand side as you go in, between it and the yard. so in the yard, it seemed quite calm.

go into the arena, however, and the howling gale was howling, making the tree that overhangs the arena substantially creak and groan (there are branches rubbing against each other, and one came down t'other week when no one was in there thank goodness)

so after getting on, i got off again ... i hate a wind, makes me ratty, which winds molly up, so no point.

so i decided to do some mounting practice at the fixed mounting block ....between showers.

we have one place wher eyou can stand under cover so under there, during a shower, i did about 5 minutes or so of click/treat when she stood still with me at her girth.

it didn't translate, however, to standing still at the fixed block.

at the finish, she was getting sick and refusing to even move forward to be alongside the mounting block ..

when she did she'd stand still. that was fine, got clicked/treated for it; then she'd move on. pah.

so, after about an hour and wanting to finish on a good note, i went back to the arena (which is where my portable moutning block is) - of course the wind had totally dropped! - to be sure i did get on again before finishing for the day. left he gate open.

did get back on after 5 minutes - and rode back to the yard (the arena gate is impossible to open from on horseback)

so that was that.

trudi - i got the potato dish to work! used a different receptacle, and a higher heat (possibly too high, the top burnt, but hey) very tasty too!

Friday, August 14, 2009

a long sad day...

you will recall my post about my cousin Yvonne, who died on the 3rd August.

Today, a large number of people gathered on a lovely hill (in a marquee, in her arena) for her funeral, which was excellently done, a non-religious ceremony and very good. most of us cried a bit, and laughed a bit, and felt our mortality I think...the celebrant was excellent, and the 3 people who spoke did so very movingly

meanwhile, back at the yard - arab mare Susie was PTS today, after a long life (i seem to recall being told, much longer than the vet had thought about 10 or more years ago....) - i forget how old she was, but it was her time. so hugs for HER owner.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

lesson report...

is someone giving Molly speed? whizz....

I wasn't as relaxed as usual .. or was more tense than usual? it ended up a bit of a rush... there were three of us to have separate lessons, me, brooker& her ma vicki - and we were chatting away not paying attention and assuming RI would be late .. when RI turned up on time, Oops. Brooke went first, i rushed off and caught molly and only had time to give her 20 minutes massage rather than the usual 1/2 hour!

she didn't much want to walk, we had some attempts at passage and piaffe LOL

trot was good left rein, not so good right rein (I haven't been doing as much right rein, and, as i said, i'd felt tense - shown greatly by the fact that i had to take my stirrups up one and still felt my knees rising, when tuesday that hadn't been an issue at all)

anyway, cantered again, left lead only but did it first time of asking, despite my not setting it up very well today...

we think Molly now needs time to wrap her own head round the fact that whatever it is isn't hurting any more ... and for me to get her more willing to slow down.

but RI agreed she looked like a different horse, said it's the first time she's really seen Molly using her back muscles

so i'll probably have another lesson in 3 weeks or so....

and I'm moving Molly back down to Harbour House (which I left last June, you'll recall, original yard on this estate) - no hills (they've served their purpose in making us SEE the lameness issue!), she's back in the box she came out of which she'll settle in, as she isn't in this one, she knows the other mares there already, and she WILL learn to hack out and back up to blackdene for lessons in the larger arena. Plus, now she's working better and better balanced, we'll be able to get better work in the small arena at harbour house. the move will happen at the end of the month.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

did nothing

well, i did a fair amount of work, but didn't do anything with molly save feed her ... was supposed to be going to see a client, so had to feed and go ... she was half way through eating when i got a text cancelling the meeting.

I COULD have gone back some hours later, but decided not to....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

whoo hooo

canter in teh arena today

HUGE grin on my face.

Her trot is improving all the time - so much that walk is difficult, but frankly, who cares!

anyway, Brooke was in the arena with her new pony, her mother and another lady and they were telling her the aids to canter by the time i'd heard them several times ithought, sod it, let's go for it.

first attempt was wrong lead, i hadn't set it up

second attempt - YESSSSSSS lovely transition.

so round a circle (well, frankly, only 3/4 of one!) pulled her up and called that the good point to stop.


forgot to say.. the lesson has had to be rearranged again...

Monday, August 10, 2009

rain cancelled lesson

so that will hopefully take place tomorrow, subject to weather... it rained most of the day, the horses were wet, and if we'd got them in to dry it rained again anyway.

here's what i harvested yesterday afternoon:

enough garlic to feed the street:

and a winter's supply (I hope) of onions

and i think my sweetcorn is about ready...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

yesterday and today

First, the more bad news for today - Horace's owner has another horse, Alan. alan came in this morning and needed the vet urgently, he'd been scratching his right eye and had caught the bottom lid, which was open ... she didn't need this! I don't know yet what vet said, will ask tomorrow, but certainly Alan will be in his stable for a while, I expect, whilst it heals.

anyway, Molly yesterday.

I nearly didn't ride - got there and headed into the field to get her, but was stopped and told she'd only been out 15 minutes - they had had to get all the horses in, whilst the man came to take Horace away, and had only just finished turning out. I still hadn't sorted out putting notice of my numbers up so no one had mine or i would have gone down if called.

And of course they were right at the bottom of the hill.

So i decided to thoroughly skip the stable out, moved the bed over, lfted a mat tthat had acquired too much bed underneath it etc, and then they came up the top so i went and got her in.

Gave her her massage, and decided to do some ridden work in the arena - given that i'd lunged yesterday. Mind, by that time I was VERY hot - hot day, and the wooden stables become pretty hot inside!

Planned on 30 minutes but after 20 M had had enough .. but we had done a LOT of trot again, I was very pleased with it, so it was a good session.

Today. Arrange to hack out with Sarah. plan was to find a hill for a canter. We knew which hill, getting there was an issue, as M was backing off the first (shut) gate we came to so badly i had to get off and lead through, and was then a bit stuck ... so walked down the route we'd planned to GAynor's, she came out with some small ladders and held molly whilst I got back on.

Then we had to go through another gate to get into a meadow where you then go under the road bridge to get through to canter up the hil the other side.

Beadsley (Sarah's horse) wasn't having any of that, he was in the lead; then two horses cam along the track beside where we were and molly decided she wanted to be with them (or perhaps thought she shoudl be, don't know....) real pain! but at least i stayed on this time, sarah came back and then (don't you know) molly led beadsely through quite happily

and I cantered a long canter up the hill! first time since I broke my foot back in June 2006! so that shoudl help a lot on the canter in teh arena stakes.

and then to keep me happier, Molly was quite happy to open the gate at the top of that hill back to the road (and blotted her copybook again, as we were going through it she really set her jaw and flung her head about .. but at least we stayed on the verge!)

then back along to the yard on the road, job done. will do more of that now!

Lost a packet of polos though - we were both parched, sarah and i, after the canter but i had polos in my pocket - got one for me, handed tube to sarah who handed it back - and then i thought i'd put it back in my pocket, and then realised i'd dropped it.

then came home for a VERY late breakfast (about 12.30, LOL)

When i got back to the yard after i'd hosed Molly off, standing talking and realised my phone was doing loads of things it shouldn't - playing music, on the internet, doh. switched it off. When i got back home, it wouldn't switch back on again! (I didn't say at the time, but whilst I was in France i'd dropped it down the loo, it had recovered from that, but i think it has given up). So have had to move the sim back into the phone i'd originally lost and then refound (at least I refound it) and resynchronise .. but of course, realised I hadn't synced the phone since it's replacement. So i shall have to replace a few numbers, unless the other phone recovers! doh.

But anyway, pleased with today!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

RIP Horace

A Sweet old gentleman of 28, retired police horse, who died in the field today .. owner devastated, of course! despite his age this was not expected....

sorry the pic isn't great, all I have...

not a good week all round, really ...

Friday, August 07, 2009

on a happier note...

I lunged. had intended to ride, but found i'd left the re-charged battery for massager at home...

Anyway, i was very pleased with the lunging efforts as well.

Particularly canter - I was better with teh aid, and Molly was prepared to keep going for 2 circles in canter, both ways, which we haven't managed before. I've never been sure if that was me or her or both, but really i think it must have been something to do with whatever the "no bute" is now sorting out...

RIP Katie

A lovely pony a friend has had on loan for years; a victim of laminitis despite all the best management and TLC

Thursday, August 06, 2009

full 1/2 hour...

this timer is a really good idea!

i set it after i'd got on (again, an exercise achieved with no difficulty, the more impressive as i was carrying my schooling whip which i haven't for a good long while!) - really useful tool! if i clip the phone (in case) to the back waist, it doesn't seem to move where if i clip it at the side, it does....gets pushed off.

anyway, essentially more of what i did last night, with added leg yield to see if i can crack that (sort of)

The trot is still good. i did more trot/walk transitions tonight as well as trotting round circles and the full outside track, was very pleased.

i felt more as though she was carrying me, which i haven't felt for a good while, so pleased with that, and she was a bit more accepting of contact as well.

overall, good session.

finished with an asked for turn on the forehand, as opposed to a turn on the forehand done as an evasion!

lesson on Monday - RI was there giving someone else a lesson, and the plan is to have them on the same day and follow each other... save i'll probably only have one every other week, i expect...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

mixed day ... RIP Yvonne

You'll gather the day started with the bad news.

My cousin Yvonne died (at 62!) of a very aggressive ovarian cancer ... her brother's a bit shell shocked, we're all stunned, and I imagine her husband's past himself ... The last few years we'd met at funeral's of aged uncles ... Yvonne is the first of "our" generation and it certainly makes you think of your own mortality much more than one might have done otherwise.

The good bit? Molly .... I was able to get on first time with no trouble at all. I set the timer on my mobile for 1/2 hour (not having a watch at the moment, it's the only way!) and first off worked on a nice walk, directionality (diagonals, serpentines, circles); then tried trot.


somethings working.

round the outside track, 20 metre circle, outside track, 20 metre circle, and that again, then change rein, same again right rein (once, as it's worse rein) and change rein again and back to walk.

Didn't worry about too much contact/outline, i was so pleased to get a forward active trot with no grief at all. AND i didn't lose her shoulders.


so a good note to end the day on. I didn't do the full 1/2 hour - after 20 minutes, the flies were really bothering us (probably because we'd been working hard and it was hot!) so i did a little more walk, and called it a day at 25 minutes.

I do like that timer idea, though, why i hadn't thought of it before i don't know....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

longlined with a bit...

realised it's been a good while since i've longlined, and an even longer time since i'd longlined with a bit, been doing it bitless more recently (since we moved to blackdene).

So tonight that was the plan, and the bitless being out on loan, bitted she was.

and went relatively well!

I found i have to work a bit harder to get her going, and to get her moving forward and thus keeping her head up and jaw unset ... some of it wasn't so good, but a lot of it was a lot better than we've done bitted in the past, and i was particularly pleased that I didn't feel as though I was being dragged, particularly to the right (whcih mean the jaw wasn't set...)

Monday, August 03, 2009

well that was better...

did some groundwork first, then got on and that was's a bit diffiuclt to use the reins with a 12foot line in your hand as well, though, so i had to get off and get on again using a lead rein... the catch on the 12 foot line is impossible to undo onehanded!

then we did some trot as well, only on the long sides but it was fairly regular and she didn't try and tranter, so i was pleased with that!

something starting to work on that front, then, hopefully the devil's claw kicking in...

but i've smashed my watch, no idea how - the glass is broke, in one place (like a hole)and there are bits of glass inside preventing the hands going round. Hopefully i'll be able to get it mended, although partner thinks i might as well just get a new one! anyway, the result is guessing how long i'm out there with her... but it felt about 3/4 hour. I'm leaving the mobile phone on a fence post to avoid losing it.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

good and bad again...

But i shouldn't have ridden.

The good.

she caught easily, and was relatively chilled in the stable. and i got all 4 feet picked out, which hasn't always been the easiest thing in the world with her...

she lunged ok - i had saddle on but not the roller/side reins.

the bad.

the flies were awful in the arena for some reason (not a problem in the yard at all).

an expected issue with mounting (unsurprised about that given i haven't ridden for weeks!)

she set her jaw after a couple of times round the arena and woudln't unset it, and was windmilling her neck

so got back off and lunged again, then got back on to try again, to the same effect

I think i shouldn't have ridden, should have done more ground work, and i need to let the devil's claw etc have a couple more days to kick in to effect before riding again. and back to the combi when i do, i think.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

lunging and medicine...

time to start to do somethign again .. i've just looked back to see when i last rode, and it was nearly a month ago!

Anyway, I knew it was a while since I'd been on her, and the last time was dire, so thought that starting off with some lunge work would be a good idea.

I think i said yesterday the mares are now in the field next to molly's stable... anyway, whatever the reason, no problem at all getting her in (mind, it is uphill to the gate, not down!)

and she was much more settled largely, i expect, because she knew her friends were just "there" rather than miles away....hopefully this will help settle her in the stable prior to the winter, since i've missed my chance of a box in the enclosed yard for a while!

as I say, lunged....i was very impressed with her lunging. didn't do too much, but what she did do was good, i let the side reins out 2 holes and she was wrokin through from behind into the bit and had a lovely outline. and no trouble getting canter first time of asking both reins, which was also pleasing. only a half circle each way in canter, but it was the getting it i was after

I'd bought the cortaflex and some devil's claw so put that in her feed.. the recommendation on both is that you give a larger loading dose at the start, but i think i should not have given quite so much devils claw, the brand i bought had an additive in that smelt lovely, but not sure Molly was TOO impressed with it! ended up feeding her the bits left with my hand :-)

Hopefully these will have the desired effect.