Saturday, October 31, 2009

pictures from today

after our ride described in earlier post ...

a lovely day .. if busy!

Molly was excellent today - went out for a ride round the fields with Gaynor on CHarlie, just walk, but it was all new to Molly bar the track to the road, and the way over the bridge.  She barely put half a foot wrong - the most difficult bit was getting on, as usual, had to get gaynor's partner to come hold her - and gaynor had only done that particular route twice before!  so we were both very pleased.  had one moment of dancing when we turned off the road after the bridge going into the field, a another very slight think about setting at the far end - you come up with the river on your left, the field narrows, clear fenceline coming up and a yellow no entry sign ...she expected soemthing!  but iwas very half hearted.

Oh, and she'd led the way along the track and over the bridge!  on the way back charlie led and i followed, as gaynor had forgot her hi viz, and then wene we turned back into our lane met three coming the other way, byt all behaved well

before that, i'd hoovered up a lawn full of leaves (maple and apple), mowed said lawn, and two lots of washing on the line... another lot in th washer - and when i came back it was still light and mowed the other lawn!  forecast to rain tomorrow, so glad i got all that done...

and it was a lovely day!  shirtsleeve order, no need for a jacket at all  and after our ride we turned them out again for a while as it was still sunny and warm...

Friday, October 30, 2009

walk out in hand...and bad news lasst night!

and surprised i did that, was in two minds whether it was going to rain or not, and the wind was certainly getting up! I'll only be able to do anything next week if i get up earlier; it's getting darker in the mornings, of course, and i'm finding at the moment that it's nearly 9 by the time i get back..  mmmm think i've said this before?

anyway, plan to ride tomorrow...

last night went to harbour house, i think i said (no i  didn't, just checked..).. anyway, the news later was that a yearling on the yard had died... grass sickness...i'd seen him at 5, lying in his stable head on owners knee..we were hoping it was anything but that .. depressing.  lovely coloured gelding!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

well done the BHS

And molly?

this morning, it was pretty cold and i was FAR too hungry to want to do anything with her ..this evening had an appointment, so didn't do any work with her today.  save get the mud off. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

another lovely day

so warm i was in shirtsleeves this morning - but put my hi viz on to walk round to the arena, since that involves that daft road....

Molly very good

i did about 5 minutes each way without side reins, then just put them on for a minute or so either way 

she is looking good, if i do say so myself!

on the walk back, again, people overtaking me where they shouldn't!  i kept expecting someone to drive round the blind bend and there be an accident, happily didn't happen ...idiots.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

another early morning

and glad i did, as it rained mizzly most of the day and my friend didnt' get anything done with her horse!

longlined some of the big field next to the paddock, having turned charlie out.  he was ok at first, but i knew i'd done the right thing putting his lightweight rug on, as he started running about ... not sure why, as if he'd stayed wher ehe was looking over the corner of the fence, he would have still been able to see molly .. but there we go!

i NEARLY lost her as well, once, but happily only mislaid one line not both....

couple of times on circles, both ways, and she was ok with that, and for the first time cantered .. but i wasnt' expecting it and that was cue missing line!  too fast for me too unexpectedly on longlines.

hadn't cantered her that way before!  think she wanted to be somewhere...

then went back along next to the paddock and further out towards the hill, she didn't want to turn round and come back...

when we did get her turned to come back, then met two ridden horses - all very good about that, molly didn't try to follow them as i thought she might, and they didn't spook at this horse being longlined!

Think i'll try and keep this up whilst the mornings stay light, subject to the weather of course, but go down a shade earlier - didn't get home until just before 9! 

oh, and molly's being a complete tart - i shall need to wash her tail and bum!  pah!  that's the one disadvantage of keeping a mare with a gelding, and molly takes after her mother, who was also a bit of a tart on the quiet!

Monday, October 26, 2009

bright and early

a lovely morning for some longlining before the day got going.  was at the stables by about 7 or thereabouts, decided to longline her out round a nearby field next to the river (a field she doesn't like!  it has jumps in it, and you go towards a bridge over the river  ) it was a good exercise!

She started off not wanting to go that way at all (wanted to head off up the hill back towards harbour house!  we're not going to go that way for a while) and napping away from the little copse you have to go to to get to the field i was aiming for (it's only a small copse, and a small field) - could have got a bit dodgy, i suppose this shows my abilities on the longlines are improving as well ...

after 2 or 3 naps she decided to walk on, napped again when she saw the first fence (which of course there's bags of room to go round, which we did) and then i set her on a circle round me (didn't want to go through the gate and under the bridge) and then back to the stables

by the time i got back, charlie had been turned out .. we think he'd be better out if molly's going out working.

later, charlie was taken out of the field to go across to the arena, does molly get brought in or leftin the field?  we decided (phone conflab) to leave her in the field, and she was good and happy about that, phew!  she's not used to being left on her own

and tonight, she was left in the field when charlie was brought  in, and again, good - she could stil see him!

so we're hoping they both settle when being left, on the basis that they learn that the other does come back!  we're not always going to be able to work at the same time (probably not at all during the week, only at weekends) so they need to be ok about this.

and what was really funny tonight - i went into the house for a cuppa and a chat after i'd fed molly, and said i'd left the outside lights on so i could see my way back! -  my friend had thought the lights didn't work and hadn't found the switch, LOL ..

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the arena i now have use of

is MUCH larger than the others i've used recently, and not as deep, and no boggy bits, and has a good view (which i forgot to take a pic of, sorry!)

it's the other side of the river from the stables - along a track, left onto a narrow road, over a bridge and left through main yard

lots of HI Viz!

it is a dodgy road, so we will be doing a christmas tree impression every time we go that way!

but molly was very good.

I didn't do a lot - took her over just in the bitless (the dr cook's acts nicely for all purposes, including lunging) with a lunge line and nothing else, just wanted her to see the route to it and get a feel for the arena itself before i ask her to do anything serious in it!

we were a bit concerned that the other horse might be really upset as molly went away, but apparently he only had one shout and settled straight back donw (having something to eat probably helped a lot, LOL!)

my friend is happy to do morning turnout .. but i might go down mornings anyway, TBH I hate leaving a bed to the evening, always ends up a lot soggier than would otherwise be the case, and of course now we have light mornings (clocks back an hour last night).

but i got up at 5.30 ... body still on last week's body clock, + overheating as it got a lot warmer weather wise overnight... and amazingly am still awake!

anyway, they both seemed quite happy through the day; Charlie got double barrelled in the chest (molly's barefoot, of course, so he was none the worse) and spent odd bits of the day with 5 legs... molly taking after her mother and being a bit of a flirt, i think i'll really regret this next spring summer when I'm having to wash her legs every d**n day! but they're getting on ok.

and they both have stable mirrors, so if we end up working them separately (which we will!  save possibly on weekend...) they both still have company. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

if you're on facebook

join this group ....(just click the title)

pics for jean....

another move accomplished...

After an early start to get everything out ready to be loaded on the trailer at lunchtime

walked molly down to ford cottage at about 09.45, meeting the other horse on is way to HH on the way, and also met a fantastic PRE, only arrived from Spain in the spring or thereabouts .. pic later, it's on my phone which is downstairs charging.

molly and charlie seemed to get on fine, as expected (dominant mare with slightly wimpy gelding, isn't going ot be a problem!).

got the stable sorted, and got them in about 3 as it was teeming down (then the sun came out 1/2 later, of course!).  molly settled very quickly in her stable, so that's a good sign..

then spent a whilst sorting out the tack room area, which is huge between 2 of us.
more to do tomorrow, as both our drills ran out of charge!

my friend thought i hadn't put much bed down .. but with two layers of rubber mats, she doesn't need a lot, and g hasn't seen how the wood pellets expand!

Friday, October 23, 2009

nice day...

and it was dry (at the yard, my washing at home was getting wet!) but having not done anything all week i thought i'd make a job of that, and lift the bed and matting ready for tomorrow..

Thursday, October 22, 2009

give up on this week

and give up on international dressage?

i haven't had the heart to watch this, but have seen a still .. .it's horrid...

and why give up on this week?  because nothing is going to get done with molly!  i was going to tongiht, started raining again near the end of her massage session, so put rug back on and fed.. and guess what, it then stopped raining!

tomorrow i'll lift the bed and get stuff ready for saturday morning

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

very surprised

that molly was prepared to go out again.

It hasn't stopped raining yet...

and she was ready for her tea

but didn't plant and tell me she wanted to stay in (she would if she did!) so i'm pleased about that, want her to stay out until saturday...

and then cleared a drain before we all got flooded, euch...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

i'm better but the weather's worse....

started raining about 3/3.30 and didn't stop.. horrid cold mizzly wet .. 

but molly's body was dry, did her massage if nothing else (head too wet/muddy for bridle to be added and do flexions...)

impressed she consented to go out again!  last year she insisted on stopping in from beginning of september or thereabouts!

Monday, October 19, 2009


me, that is.

must have eaten something that didn't like me ..hope it wasn't the fruit cake, i've not had a problem with iced fruit cake slices before...

whilst i was feeling a bit better by this evening, i decided not do do any work with molly "just in case"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

another first..

i think it was last sunday i said i'd failed to go the way I'd planned, a route molly has always refused

This is it

As you can see, from the bottom, you can't tell that there's a gap between that log and the fence...

today, she went up there without a moment's hesitation - even though YO's mother in her electric wheelchair thing was the other side of the hedge on the drive... YAY.

out the gate at the top (without getting in a tangle of lines!), left, through antoher gate that opened towards us!  round that field left and right, without being phased by geldings rushing up to fenceline to see what was going on, left along top of geldings field, at which point you could hear them but not see them, down the very steep hill and then instead of going back to the yard straigh away (we'd done a big circle at this point) round the 20 acre to make the circle even bigger.

i won't go so far as to say we've had total breakthrough and everything wil be plain sailing, it won't, but we have to be a long way on ...

why didn't i do all this years ago?  because i didn't know how....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

PMG & Fords (of two sorts..)

PMG first - that's Peter Maddison Greenwell - did a lecture demo at a local EC last night; Steph came down from Scotland, and Vic & Nicola, and loads of other people. 

I didn't post last night, as it was late and I wanted to reflect before commenting.

One spectator got thoroughly told off by a lot of people, including me, and I repeat here what i said quite vociferously at the time - if she thought PMG rollkurs his horses, she needs her eyes testing.  She clearly didn't understand a thing that she saw, in particular that.  She left at the interval, having had that altercation.

  1. he was showing us what we shouldn't do, as well as what we should!
  2. the breed has a tendency to "curl back" and if you're busy showing people what they shoudln't do, it's bound to have an effect!
  3. he doesn't have the horses warmed up before they come into the arena, he warms them up in front of you whilst lecturing, so you don't see the finished product immediately.

also, I have to say (and i've said it to him in an email) I think he relaxes more himself when riding with one hand than with two hands, I think he spends so much time riding one handed it's more comfortable for him.

What was really clear was the "body stop stop" - that is, stop the horse by stopping your body!

It was also really clear how to do shoulder in (not that that'll help me replicate it, but helps understanding of what to do, LOL).

The garrocha work was fantastic - on a 21 year old horse that was SOOOO supple it was unreal, proof that good gymnastic work will help a horse keep going into a good old age!

and the Q & A at the end was interesting - Trudi, i specifially asked, on both our behalfs, whether or not he thought good high level work was achieveable bitless, and he thought it was.  He'd had one experience with a Dr Cook's, and after a little play with said horse and bridle, had it soft etc and thinks it can be done. (i still think, the more so having seen him, that it's all in the seat!).

So that was last night.  no pics, sorry.

Now, fords, today.

Ford 1

Steph stayed over and this morning we went down with a view to riding molly up to Blackdene, using that arena, and riding back.  This was all very successful - Molly was very good going up, despite a halt as she clocked the YO's dog through the willow and we had to wait until it came up to Steph and Steph was in front of us, but then she was more than happy to go under the willow and take the lead most of hte way to blackdene, including on the road.

She worked well at the Blackdene arena, as I expected, as there's a  good space there unlike the one at Harbour House.  Here's some pics of Molly ridden by Stephanie - we forgot to take any pics of me!

then back down the way we had come - and she went THROUGH  the ford, of her own volition, without a lead - steph was behind us and to our left.  VERY pleased with that.

She needs a clip, though!

Ford 2

Gaynor lives at a cottage near where there used to be a ford and moved her horse down to there - this is all part of the same estate as the yard i'm currently on - with another horse and owner.  Had a falling out with other horse's owner for reasons that need not be gone into here, and asked me if i'd move Molly down there - you may recall that i mentioned this when i moved back to HH, had she known i'd wanted to move off blackdene she'd have asked me then.

anyway, I've decided to do that.  it'll be just the 2 of us, and the 2 horses, very quiet, i'm so HOPING that molly wil be cool about it, she's shared a field with GAynor's Charlie before for a year or so so that shouldn't be a problem ...

I'll be able to use the arena at the main yard over the bridge, and YM has said that if it doesn't work out for Molly there'll be another stable ..

Whilst moving AGAIN after only 2 months is probably not ideal ... we think it'll actually be good for molls in terms of new tracks to longline on (i've never ridden that half of the estate anyway) less traffic altogether, there'll only be us usually using that track

plus we're allowed to put big bale in the field, which will work out much better over all.  they won't be rushing their food when they come in, and won't be screaming to be in at lunchtimes over the winter!

So that's next weekend.  We had wanted to do it tomorrow (would have made more sense for me, as partner's away this weekend) but it'll be next weekend, YM says, whilst she sorts others out and lets people know

We have to poo pick the field, as it's only small, but that's not a hardship (it'll be a benefit, LOL)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


by ten to 7 ....

anyway, time Molly had her massage i thought it's a bit late to try going out, but nontheless set off - of course, someone had closed the d*** gate again!  so i thought i'd see if i could at least get it open 

no, was the answer to that.  after about 5 minutes trying.

and then it was getting dark and couldn't have gone on even if i HAD got it open!  so went back up the arena and did a lot of walk work

in one way, that'sa concern, but so long as she stays moving on, not so bad, and she did some nice work...

and even better - we got rein back, which i haven't managed for a while!  i'd done a couple of flexions ridden, and don't know if that might have helped... anyway, one step back, walk forward, halt, one step back ... three times, and ithought that's a really good place to stop!

and the midges were held off my scalp by my wearing my buff... a bit warm, but if it saves the scalp, i don't care!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


you'll remember i said we were struggling wtih flexions at previous yard as molly woulnd't stand at all... so plani tonight was lunge, but i was being eaten alive with midges on my specs, in my ears, under my gave up and back into the stable, and thought, let's see if we can start flexions again.

Well, not the best on the planet, need to watch dvd (new one and the one steph took last year) but Molly did manage to stand pretty square, didnt' protest more than a smidgeon and i think that was as much my technique as anything...

so now i know we're back to relative calm for that, i'll be getting back into doing those as well


and it rained most of the day

and still no simba.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

seamus heaney

is reading his stuff at Newcastle Civic Centre tonight, and we have tickets, so I am giving Molly a day off.  

In the meantime, we haven't seen our cat Simba since yesterday afternoon at about 4.30 pm (as i was going out to the post) so we're a bit worried; another cat from the street went missing a couple of weeks ago....

Monday, October 12, 2009

1/2 hour

in the arena, first time since what, last monday?  not perfect, but better.  got some nice walk and some pants walk.  trot?  in and out. There's really NOT the room, she wants to move on and before we know it we're at a corner, and can't really get balanced in the space, especially as i want to keep her moving forward.  Did get some nice strides on a circle, though, and a couple of times could feel her carrying me momentarily...

I'll be pleased when i get the hacking cracked and can ride up to blackdene and use that arena!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

loooong walk on the lines

i did think about trying another hack, but thought that given the nice weather, and the fact that i had time, it made more sense to do some more confidence building on the lines.

The original plan was to try to take her up the track by the drive, which involves a narrow gap between a huge log and a fence (normally the geldings are in that field, but haven't been moved back into it yet after the summer).

That plan went pear shaped when bellows could be heard across the valley (i think, chap trying to get his horse through the gate that i managed yesterday :-)) but molly i think thought the bellows were ahead of her, and wasn't having any of it.

so instead of that we went under the willow, along the lane, over the ford, through the gate on the right beyond that, along the bottom of that field through the (open) gate into the next, diagonally up to the left to the top of the hill at the far corner of that field, turned left along the top, through the narrow gap (open gate) and along the top of the first field, left down the hill back to teh first gate we'd entered through, back over the ford and then round the 20 acre and up the hill to the yard.

One hissy fit from molly, half way round the 20 acre just before the gap in the hedge at the middle, resolved by putting her on a circle

and my mistake?  i kept my jacket on.  I was totally melted by the tiem we got back to the yard.  it had been a bit nippy when we set off, but the sun got up, and most of the ride was sheltered from the wind .. phew.

and she's back out without a rug.  forecast not to rain for a few days....

i'm knackered.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

partly good, partly not so good

but overall, i was pleased...

set off to go round the 20 acre again, but molly wanted to turn right at the bottom of the hill not left (had i but known, paul was walking down to do the gate for me ....) anyway, so went through partially open gate to track through woods the opposite way from the 20 acre, but neither of us liked the look of that, seemed a bit plodgy...

so i decided to try up the steep hill, which is the opposite side of the geldings field from teh yard (if i look from my stable, the geldings field goes up the hill away and a track the other side of it) it's very steep, and horrid to come back down if riding...

she didn't want to set off, but did; half way up she clocked the big log further up the hill and stopped (for some reason, she's not over keen on big logs...) but i knew it didnt' block us, and got her going again...

i didn't know there was a closed gate to go through, where you turn off left to a track at the top of the hill through the top of the wood...

impressively, i managed to get her where i could get the gate open from on top YAY - pushed it away, and just enough time to get through before it swings back .. no way i was going to be getting it properly closed again .. but again, no stock that way

so carried on along, pheasants flying about all over the place .. got to a place where there's a small track up to the right that we have been along once a couple of years ago ... molly wanted to go that way, i didn't, the argument resolved into a neck setting marching back the way we'd come .. so back to the gate and i decided to get off and lead, on the grounds that the hill is far to steep to ride down

so that was the not so good bit, but overall i thought molly was very brave to do all that....we'll build on it.

and i think we got the best of the day, sure it';s going to rain again.

we're going to see joan baez tonight at the sage, looking forward to that, so after lunch and getting changed will be off out...

Friday, October 09, 2009


because it's forecast to rain a fair bit over the weekend and molly doesn't get first dibs at the field shelter....she's got a nice woollyish coat, but that'll not help if she gets very wet ..

friday night, and it was very dull and dark when i got to the yard, in fact was impressed i got there before the rain.. then of course, wouldn't you know it, molly's half way through her tea and the sky is lightening a bit the clouds thinned.

never mind, subject to the weather i'm going to try longlining her a bit further one day over the weekend, and try another hack out (but hopefully, without the saddle slipping !)

equine sports massage

I met Lucinda when I was at Trudi's in the summer, lovely lady, and the massage works a treat, so pleased to find she has a will be very interesting to follow it!  just a shame she's not up here...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

having left the numnah on the line to dry

longlining was again the order of the day (different set of padding under roller).  

round the 20 acre again ,the same unusual route we rode last night, and this time in stead of leading her through the narrow bit and to the gate, i longlined the entire thing.

the only vaguely worrying bit was opening the gate, which had been closed again, molly followed me through and me with my heart in my mouth in case we had a tangle, as i hadn't had the opportunity to collect the reins up even more and/or go back and longline through it.

happily, fisherman coming the otherway offered to close it for me.

after that, no problems at all, and i got back before it got dark..

won't be able to do too much of this in the evening unless i knock 1/2 hour off at the end of the working n day.. really i could do that without problem at the moment, as i'm starting work when i get out of bed whilst partner gets ready for work...(being disciplined about working hours....)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

vast improvement

despite the slipping saddle (twice) in that we went (eventually) roudn the 20 acre and a slighly different route to the usual...

first up, Molly more than happy to set off and go down the hill towards the 20 acre... half way down, i thought this feels odd, then realise saddle slipping to left to i gently got off before i fell off, put it back together and led her back up the hill (there being nowhere to get back on down there) and having opened the gate that would otherwise have blocked the route before i did so. I never know why people shut that gate, there's no livestock either side of it..

anyway, back up the hill, got back on and set off again

half way round the 20 acre there's a gap where a hedge used to be; through that, and we could hear hidden voices (hidden fishermen), which rather disconcerted molly .. but instead of wanting to go back, she was happy to turn left and walk parallel to the hedge, instead of the normal continuing along the riverbank (normaly one goes straight on and left at the far end of a square field, this time we turned left and then to go right, the other half ot he square) and ending up back at the normal gate back to the track.   I was singing to us along all of this ..

Approaching this gate from a different angle molly found most disconcerting, and wanted to nap back, and in trying to prevent that i realised the saddle was slipping again so had to get off.

so led her back along the track.

but i was non the less pleased after th eperformance of Monday, so maybe there is hope.

why did the saddle slip?

2 reasons:
  1. i hadn't gone back to the pro choice girth
  2. i'd rashly sprayed fly repellent under the numnah before putting it on molly. that possibly was a bit daft.  it's now in the wash!

so quite happy with that!
and a good thing about working from home, timed it so still done in daylight. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


all day, just about, with about 10 minutes of not raining and the occasional easing off.  not too bad when i went out, and i was surprised to find molly still warm, had been thinking i should have rugged.  so fed her and that was it, she was damp and would have taken forever to dry.... 

Monday, October 05, 2009

spitting feathers

that mare of mine!

decided to ride today, you never know the further longlining might have been sufficient to persuade her she can go  out on her own and remind her that she'd done so before.


and then she started kangaroo hopping in the arena again and the saddle was slipping even though the girth seemed tight enough..

on the saddle front, think i need to go back to the pro choice girth

on the kangaroo hopping front, god knows, save that the arena's tiny

on the hacking out front.  i'm hacked off.

friend suggested that i get RI to take her out, and i think i'll go with that suggestion. 

Sunday, October 04, 2009

busy day!

spent most of the day pulling up the rest of the potatoes that didn't get done a month ago!  it was a glorious day - went out wearing several layers and thick socks, ended up wearing my sun hat!  I knew it would be a long job (it's also an opportunity to pull out loads of stones/broken pottery/etc from that area of the garden) and by the time i got down to molly i really didn't have the energy to do anything much with her!

so i just loose schooled her round the arena, which happily has been rolled etc .. doesn't stop it being deep, but it's a huge improvement on where it had got to!  think she was the first horse in there since it was done last week.

the midges were still out in force as well, clouds of them...i'd have thought the overnight cold would have done for them by now, but no such luck!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

good drying day

and that's about al that can be said for it!  the wind was already up when i got up this morning, and still hasn't let up.  bits of trees on roads and verges, NOT a day for doing anything with one's horse.  So i didn't.  but some washing got done, hung out and dried!

Friday, October 02, 2009

getting darker...

will this be the last week we can do anything after work?  i think i'll be ok for at least another week, given that i don't have the hour's drive anymore!  but the nights are closing in (although it seemed worse today as it was cloudy, had rained all morning...)

anyway, i longlined round the 20 acre and back along the track, was about the last one there and don't think anyone else had done anything

molly was very good, more than happy and didn't play up, just as well as my boot lace came undone half way round the field and she didn't want to stop and eat grass whilst i sorted it out!

forecast for howling gales tomorrow, shame as a hack had been planned with a hoping the forecast is wrong...

Thursday, October 01, 2009


another first - molly walked under the willow with no argument whatsoever!  on the longlines.  very impressed.

now can anyone explain why she wouldn't even thinkg about going that way ridden last sunday?

anyway, only went as far as the ford, as didn't really have time to do much more, but at least we did that much!

hopefully will do a bit more tomorrow, and a hack, hopefully, in company, on the cards for saturday.