Wednesday, September 30, 2009

pitmen painters

went to see this play tonight - at the Theatre Royal, not the live theatre, but same play - about the Ashington Group.  excellent, hilarious, true  - we wonder quite how it works in other geographic areas where pitmatic is not the local dialect - entire audience howled with laughter throughout save in the serious bits) and they got 4 encores.

the only problem with the night - it was match night, so traffic was at a standstill going in and not much better getting out, but i think the theatre was out a different time to the match

anyway, i'm going to do my month end accounts now, much easier than doing them tomorrow!

oh - and molly? since she's the point of this blog?  i went down mid afternoon, hoping to time my visit with that of barefoot trimmer that new livery has, but that had been cancelled.  given we were going out, i didn't have time to do anything with her so just groomed, massaged, fed and turned out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


is my friend Lynne's horse; on the way back from Edwinstowe, i called (by arrangement) for a horsey afternoon as her yard is on my way back - a good time was had by all (including saffy, who will offer spanish walk at the drop of a hat!).

molly was fed her tea whilst i was still on my way back, all sorted.

Monday, September 28, 2009

back to groundwork

well, i thought rope circling, largely because i'd had a bad day, not assisted by yet ANOTHER late lunch!  i get into what i'm doing and forget about lunch, very silly!  and then at 5 pm i'd started sending a very long fax (the email with attachments that i sent middle of last week having bounced back to me today!) and it was just as well i waited as it crashed half way through (overloaded document feeder, methinks!).  so time i got to the yard i wasn't in the fettle for a long walk, and decided on a small amount of rope circling. all good, save that now she's trotting round nicely right rein, but not left... guess she's still feeling that shoulder a touch even if she does look sound, so i'd best not do that again for a while...

when we got up this morning there was no water - turned out the entire village had no water!  didn't' come back on until mid morning, who knows what the problem was!  better not happen tomorrow, i have to put the suit on and go to nottingham to see new client! 

Sunday, September 27, 2009


She refused to go anywhere save the arena.

back to the longlining, i think!  i wasn't overjoyed, as you can imagine ...

never mind, it'll come!

but i wish the midges would go!  one got me in such a place that i had to go buy two new bras without wire....which i've always disliked. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

treeless saddles and horses backs

occasionally one reads articles about treeless saddles being bad for a horses back .. 

i thought i'd say that Molly's back has improved a lot over the last while since i've been using a treeless saddle (mostly a fhoenix or vogue, after a short spell with a barefoot)

I did that as would never have got a treed to fit molly anyway and having read up on them decided to go that route.

I think if you buy one that isn't from a reputable manufacturer/name, isn't properly constructed (i've seen pics of some horrors with e.g. cardboard where the memory foam shoudl be!) and don't put a proper pad underneath whatever you use, then yes, you'll have problems.  in the same way that if you use a treed saddle that's too narrow/wide/unstuffed/other fault you'll have problems.

but i think a properly made treeless saddle, properly fitted to the right horse with the right pad/numnah, will not be bad for the horses back and in fact will be positively good.

there are some good before/after photos about of horses whose muscles have come back to their proper form/place/state after use of a treeless

and we've all seen awful atrophy at the wither of horses ridden in ill fitting saddles...

guess I'm a convinced convert?

i don't believe they do work for all horses, and i don't believe they suit all riders...

but they're not bad for the back!

and molly?  muscling up much better than she ever has, after some good work in a treeless saddle!  i'll never get rid of the congenital asymmetry, but no more hollows and is looking good!


we went round the 20 acre on our own, with a fair amount of trot, and NO signs of backing off once we'd got through the gate at the bottom of the hill out of the yard that had been left shut (I never understand why that's shut, there's no livestock either side of it and the gate at the other end is never shut...go figure)

happily, a lass from blackdene was coming the other way and did the gate (and i met her on the way back as well, as we essentially both did a circle, one of us one way, the other, the other!)

and i dropped my stick there, so whilst molly was eating her tea after i walked back down to get it.

I was WELL impressed.  whoo hoo!

i reckon this is a function of 2 things

1.  no bute & cortiflex
2.  longlining 

Friday, September 25, 2009

2 dead mice

in my carrots - the carrots hadn't lasted 5 seconds anyway due to the heat, and needed binning, but 2 dead mice, looked as though they'd fallen asleep actually but hadn't.  

I lunged.  I think she's fine so will ride tomorrow!  hurray!  thinking i'll try round the 20 acre just, we'll see.

but I think we all need those old fashioned veils ladies used to wear - would keep the d*** midges off!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

about 2 miles

is what we did tonight, i think, judging by how long it took us .. longlined out the yard, under the willow, along to the ford, over the bridge at the ford, turned right along track immediately past there, right along to the end, then turned round and came back.. was going to go through the gate, but there were cows immediately the other side of it so i allowed molly to turn round there.  She had previously shown a desire to turn round twice, but i'd kept her on the line i wanted... was a good night!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

not much done tonight either...

because i went down to wait for the farrier; i went early (you never know) and he turned up late.  so that was 3 hours gone between us, and i had to come home and do some work that i hadn't done ....

but the good news is, i slept until the alarm went off this morning!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

because i woke up at 04.30

for some reason (pain in my neck, tingling in my fingers, overheating badly) and then started working at 5 (nothing else to do when awake at that hour, and not wanting to wake partner) i was totally knackered by 5 pm .. no energy to do anything with molly, so didn't, just fed her and applied cream to another wound on her flank.  and didn't notice the skinned inside aspect of her off hind until after i'd turned her out again!  the mind boggles how that happened, but it is just skinned, no wound, no bleeding etc.  i'll have a closer look tomorrow.. but if i'd groomed her i probably wouldn't have noticed until i got kicked for touching it!

hopefully i'll get a good night tonight; i've changed my pillow, think partner had put the wrong one on last time sheets changed...doesn't help.

Monday, September 21, 2009

looking ok, i think...

lunged as planned, and she seemed ok - i reckon, if you've forgotten which leg it was, there's not a lot wrong!

didn't do ahuge amount, maybe 15 minutes if that.

if the weather is ok, i'll longline tomorrow.. it rained a lot today, and is raining now!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

i'll get fit

if i keep this up LOL

today we went down the hill and longlined roundthe 20 acre and back along the track.  I led her down the hill, as I wasn't sure about the very narrow track to get down to it - they've fenced off part of what is usually a wide track with electric wire, not sure if it's on, probably not, but it leaves a narrow gap to walk down, and then to get into the 20 acre there's a gate and i'm never sure if it's going to be open or closed.  so the plan was to start the longlining once through that gate.

as it happened, i was pleased i'd led down, as, as we got to the gate, there were 2 horses being cantered towards us ... and the lady in front was struggling with brakes!  happily all ok, molly didn't fret about it and we set off in good style.

and half way round she suddenly went left in front of me to take a different line, whilst still going straight on, and i couldn't understand that .. someone had left a white tub in the middle of the track. probably the gamekeeper, it looked like something he'd have kept pheasant feed in, but silly place to leave it.

when we got back to the track, molly wanted to trot up, but i'm no way fit for that!

and when we got back i made her go through to the arena area, i don't want her in the habit of napping to the stable just because we've got back to the yard, and she was ok with that.

tomorrow i think i'll try lunging, means i can actually look at the shoulder! 

edited to add: this was AFTER we'd had a blackberry picking walk this morning, and it was a gorgeously hot day..

Saturday, September 19, 2009

as suggested yesterday

I longlined.

started in the arena walking round both directions.

then put her on a circle round me still in walk; left rein ok, but i wasn't wholly convinced by right rein.

then decided to go out!

back through the yard, prevented her napping back into the stable, through the opening out to the drive and then to go under her bogy willow to the back drive and along to the ford.

she really didn't want to go under the willow!  took me 2 goes, first time she turned round back towards the yard so i had to turn her back and we did get it.  i was very pleased with both of us.  me for having the control to do that, her for doing it.

my thinking - having been reading larri's blog, where she's starting a youngster - is that if i can get her longlining out nicely in front of me, which puts her in the lead, then when i come to start trying to hack out again it SHOULD be a lot easier to get her to go these routes she hasn't wanted to.

this was all bitless; i decided that if we did have a problem, i didn't want to end up with her cutting her mouth as happened once a couple of years ago when everything went totally pearshaped one day.  i'm better at it now, but i think longlining we are better without a bit generally at the moment.

when i got back, saddle agent was there - new livery on the yard has 2 fhoenix's she wanted the fit checking on her horses so had arranged visit for today,  so i spent the rest of the afternoon helping with that (and learning some more ont he subject as well!).

Then i asked agent to have a quick look at Moll, lady does equine massage etc as well, she was very impressed with how much muscle molly has built up and the way the atrophy she had had is filling in.. we think i can get rid of at least one thin shim.  and she suggested a rearrangement of my shimming  .. it was an "of course, doh" suggestion that i should have registered myself!  she says molly's the worst she's had to fit, and that'll be right...between the asymmetry and the TB withers, not easy!

happily the weather was great. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

what shall I do tomorrow?

lunge or longline? those are the choices ... or perhaps a bit of rope circling?  i think not that, a shade too small a circle..

i think, longline in the arena, and think about possibly going round the 20 acre...i think lunging on the circle i'll have might be a bit much unless it's walk only

anyway, certain it is that, subject to it not teeming down of course, Molly will do SOME work tomorrow.

my plan is a week of ground work of various sorts before getting back on again the following weekend... see if the shoulder is right for work before i get on, and groundwork will help me see that...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

sparkly mane...

whilst molly's massage pad was doing it's thing tonight i took the opportunity to solocomb her mane (i can't pull, due to a right wrist injury .. too painful!). she was standing with the evening light glinting on her mane and i was struck by how glittery and sparkly it looked! so i took a pic before i shortened it
this isn't as good as if it had been with the proper camera, this was with the phone, but you get the idea...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

visit from my mother

later than i'd expected, so i missed the post (oops) and was later than usual to the yard. Where molly was loitering by the gate waiting for me.

last dose of bute tonight, don't suppose she'll be too upset about that, so back to the normal no-bute tomorrow. and then we'll see how that shoulder is when the full on proper bute has worn off.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

still fine..

but i am going to hold to the plan of giving her this full week! before starting some ground work/lunging before riding again.

it's a shame; i'd been hoping to have cracked the going out alone malarkey before the nights totally draw in, but it looks like i'll have missed that opportunity! ah well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

continuing sound

appears to be the case. hurray! i still intend to give her the rest of the week before starting to do anything with her but so far so good. at least she seems hapy to go back out again after her evening massage and tea, whcih is a good sign!

and new neighbour has a barefoot trimmer rather than a farrier; didnt' know there was one in the area. i shall investigate....costs more than farrier for a trim ...

why, for interest, do vets dig holes in horses feet when they are brewing an abcess? surely that just lets more muck in even if it does get the infection out?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

flying changes

was what i saw molly doing after i turned her out.

My thinking was, she's had her week in, she seemed sound, if i didn't turn her out and then ring the vet tomorrow, I've nothing to say save that she seems ok and then i turn her out and we see what happens.

so, turn her out today ...

she enjoyed that.

when i got her in this evening she still looked sound, so fed her and turned her out again (pleased that she was happy to go, LOL, when she decides she wants to be in nights, she certainly tells me about it)

So hopefully that remains the case. obviously, at least another week off, and if she goes off again, it'll be off to the vets. but so far, so good...

and then we had a busy day, a walk round some local woods we hadn't been to before, visited a building we hadn't even known was there, and i mowed 2 lawns...

It was heritage open days in Durham this weekend, so yesterday we went to the Old Shire Hall and today, the woods and Vane Tempest Hall, which was built for the volunteer militia in 1965, now used by the community centre and war gamers (model war games, that is ... the battle of Winchester from the American Civil War was set up on a table.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


was the job for the day - up to stanley to get 4 bales of farm grown into the car! cheaper and larger than branded stuff, and its always been good quality from there. shame i don't have a trailer, but have asked a friend if she can take me up and then i can get stocked up for a while. if i could get one of his large ones, i would, but there's no way it would be able to be put into the area i have for storage - they are large, oblong, and hold the equivalent of 8 small ones, and of course work out cheaper.

molly still showing improvement. Tomorrow will be interesting as she won't be in the bull pen, so it'll be interesting to see if she shows any sign of stiffening up in consequence of having less space to move around.

although having said that, i'm not sure how much moving about she's been doing - when i got there today, she was in the stable sheltering from the heat (it's a suntrap in front of our stables, and in the heat we've had the last couple of days, roasting..)

Friday, September 11, 2009

a lot better

Molly wasn't nearly as stiff this morning as she has been, trotted up nicely (friend was there to watch, which was why i did that); perhaps not totally perfect in turning, but still. so we had a very brisk walk to the ford and back, not sure how far it is, perhaps half a mile? i didn't let her stop and eat, i wanted her moving!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Molly's at that difficult point where you're not sure if it's improving or not. sometimes looks a bit stiff on that shoulder (and still finding turns not easy) but sometimes moving out quite nicely.

and of course, the Bute is killing the pain, which means one doesn't really have a true picture, IMHO.

ah well.

another £12 on haylage today, plus bag of feed as delivery finally arrived at retailers (there's only one place in the area does the particular feed i feed her!).

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

pedro almodovar

is a very good director and if any of you get a chance to see one of his films, take it.


had her massage this morning after her walk out and whilst i was mucking out. then had another groom this afternoon before i went to the pictures....

TBH, if our friend hadn't already bought the tickets, i think we'd have cried off, but it was a good film!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

busy week...

molly being on box rest has made an already busy week busier = we'd booked a night out with friends last night, i had a late afternoon/early evening meeting tonight, which i left an hour early, and tomorrow we've got pre booked tickets for a film that starts at 5.30pm!

so molly had her first day in the bull pen today; i decided, bull pen through the day, her own stable overnight - she seemed happy enough, but of course i don't know how much pottering in and out she did. i reckon she spent most of her time in the stable eating, and certainly hadn't poo'd in the yard area.

she was pleased to see me and get taken out for a bit of grass.

but it's annoying all these evening activities, as i haven't had the time to put her massage pad on at all, since sunday. shame.

don't really have time in the morning, even though i am working at home - although, think i'll work on that and make that happen as well, i feel sure it'll do some good as the vibrations from the massager work through the body, even though the direct effect is over her back.

Monday, September 07, 2009

box rest, bute and walk out in hand

and if she's still not right by next monday, ring them and she'll need to go in for xray and ultrasound.

and in the meantime walk out in hand 10/15 mins 2/3 times a day.

shoulder, definitely - it's a question of which bit is hurt, and how severely. not helped, of course, by having been lunged last Tuesday and ridden last Wednesday (but could see why i did, given that she'd been apparently sound)

so this'll be a not much to report week!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

her day in and my new fridge...

Molly was still well lame this morning, i put her in jackie's front yard area whilst i mucked out etc, that's two boxes along, an old bull pen, and she struggled to get there....then took her to leg stretch a little way up the yard (as far as the muck heap, which is about 100 yards? i dunno... and she was struggling, but enjoyed the thistles!

this evening she was much improved, in that when i took her out for some grass she was moving a lot better and on a mission a bit to get round to the field gate LOL

I think i will still ring the vet in the morning though - wonder if they have a portable xray machine?

And fridge/freezer? when i got back from the morning chores, opened the freezer to get something out to thaw out for tea... and the stuff in the top drawer was thawed out. Oops. so this afternoon had to go buy new one (old one at LEAST 10 years old...)

so pulledinto parking space and bloke in next car, on passenger side, said to partner "did you see how close you pulled in?" Eh? i was in the parking space, within the lines, don't see what his problem was. very bizarre.

in the meantime, this morning after breakfast i pulled half the potato crop up. it's currently drying in the dark and to be bagged in used feed bags, more next weekend.

and home grown corn on the cob for tea, yummy.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

box rest

she went out yesterday a lot better than she came in today... could barely move the offending limb! i was so concerned i rang the vet .. but by the time they rang back, i'd decided it didn't need an emergency out of hours visit and will ring them monday morning.

something horrid is going on in there! and i wouldn't be surprised if the other horses are taking advantage of that fact (well, one in particular)

so i should have had her in last night, clearly

anyway, she's in now until we sort out what it is and she starts showing consistent improvement.

some hours after i brought her in, she still struggled to turn in that direction to get to her hay....

see how she is tomorrow, there might be something to be said for abandoning use of the hay bar for now and putting the hay in front of the door next to the water

but was pleased I'd gone early afternoon instead of early evening, as at least that meant there was still a feed store open to buy haylage, of which, of course, i had none. .could have borrowed, but you know what that's like ....

Friday, September 04, 2009

it's a shoulder/elbow injury

co-incidentally, one of the best vets in the county was at the yard when i arrived tonight (seeing to friends horse's eye infection, usual fly borne thing)(and i've met him several times over the years!), so i cheekily asked if he could spare 10 and have a quick look.

he agreed immediately it wasn't foot, and after seeing her trot up (reluctantly, she wasn't sound tonight) said she was rotating the leg out therefore looking like top of leg shoulder area.

she clearly was unhappy uncomfortable with the examination at the top of that leg.

so we're hoping it's just a kicked muscle ... 10 days, and if it's not right she should have an x-ray to exclude fracture of the elbow. I think he'd really like her on box rest... i'll see how she does. they're pretty settled at the moment now i think, but a new horse arrives a week monday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

i'm sure it's not the foot

if it was the foot, she wouldn't be nearly so happy to step down into the stable, with the offending limb being first to touch down; and i wouldn't be able to pick her feet out with the ease with which I now can! or it was a bit of a bruise from standing on a stone. hell,you can wind yourself in knots with these things!

so on balance, i'm in favour of muscles being the problem, or some sort of bruising from a kick further up, that i hadn't given her enough time to recover from the in the first place...

anyway, she seemed somewhat better when i walked her in today. Not that i did anything with her, just groomed, picked feet out, fed and turned out again. tomorrow if the weather's ok, i'll try a free school in the arena and see what she's like.

i'm restraining myself from rugging, as she is warm, and she's the sort that, if rugged, will overheat. plus she's now overweight, and becoming hairy as winter coat starts to come in.

i think she's winding herself up to want to be in , but she's staying out as long as possible (we have to have them in overnight by the end of october, no later, yard rules). anyway, i reckon the weather will improve again, it is after all only the beginning of september!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

b****r drat and d**n ...

frm which heading, you'll gather Molly is lame again.

she started off sound. trotting quite happily, and in fact quite well inthe small arena...

but i started to think she dind't feel quite right.

got fay to have a look .. who said, when she'd picked her jaw up off the floor (she hadn't believed gaynor when told by her about molly's improvement, s
he said... ), said no, looked sound...

then molly didn't want to move, but i got her to in walk... not convinced myself.... got off ... stone lame.


i think this time it's a bruised sole...either that, or we're back to muscle strain or incipient abcess. still no heat, obvious injuries, whatever. and the arena is littered with stones coming up from below (the stuff under the arena surface died some time ago)

but b****r drat and d**n ...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


i was a shade dubious when i got her in from the field, but stuck to the plan of lunging and she was perfectly sound, not a problem.

i was a problem, lost track of canter - but that might be because we're back in smaller arena as well as the fact we haven't lunged for a week or 2 and she's done nowt since what, week past Friday? week past Thursday...

so i reckon I'll lunge again tomorrow with a view to riding Wednesday - all subject to the weather, started teeming down again as i left the yard and i was pleased it held off as long as that.

Jean, i am still reading your blog but struggling to comment ... we're now at the stage where i should read yours last, or everything locks up and i have to go off blogger altogether for 5 minutes or so before trying again. very bizarre indeed!