Friday, April 30, 2010

click/treat for bitting...

my original plan for a friday night was some in hand work - that, of course, requires that i get a bitted bridle in her mouth...

so the plan changed to click/treat for touching th ebridle, the plan being to end up with bit in mouth ..

no way jose!

she'll touch it no bother... but don't try the bit

the tooth person is coming 10th may - i have to wonder whether molly has an issue that is making the bit uncomfortable?

in the past we've been on 6 month visits, and this one was a planned 9 month .. mmmm maybe go back to 6, see what she says on the 10th!

in the meantime, my black office boots have been taken to spain...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

some work

just a little bit of rope circling, followed by seeing if she woudl follow me loose - which she did, walk, halt, trot, halt ...i guess i'm doing something right!

the cat was returned .. nessie was terrified! someone said later we should have got a big cage and kept it in that for a few weeks...

i don't like those

if we get another, it;ll be a kitten than nessie can mother.

she's just climed up and over and is now in the gap behind the pc monitor and between 2 sets of drawers i have on my desk.. this is why stuff gets knocked over, of course!

interesting place to curl up...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

still a headache.....

and had to be in Boldon for 6.30 pm, so molly got another night off....

and she'll get another tomorrow, probably, as i have an awayday...

we have a new cat - we were asked to rehome one ... so we'll see how it works out. 18 month old neutered tom, seems like a nice lad, nessie a bit hacked off ATM but no real hissy fits so expect they'll settle...

Monday, April 26, 2010


was what i ended up with ....

not assisted by the bright sun right in my face whilst trying to groom! left the baseball cap at home, guess it should live in the car....

so just groomed, fed and came home - oh, and poo picked the field.

i think it's a lot to do with not being able to sleep in over the weekend!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

riding bitless

Molly is noticeably heavy in the hand riding with the BB; much more noticeably so than when i first started riding her bitless way back whenever that was - i guess, i haven't ridden with it for a long time, and we'd been going relatively well last year in particular...

still, an opportunity to think about my seat, and we did eventually get STRAIGHT, not, head over to one side whilst i try to push her the other way...

which means that i did sort out my seat as much as anything else.

no grief getting on, and no charging off before i'd got the second foot in the stirrup, and no problem stopping to adjust the stirrup...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

lambs and birds

this morning, gaynor watched a lamb being born just over the fence from our stables - this is it at about 3 hours old

and tonight, this bird decided that trying to get into our front room was a plan - very odd! i hope it stopped once i turned the light off

and Molly?

i lunged. For a mare that used to never go right rein, and still sometimes challenges when asked to go that way, she was going very nicely, very even paces, and listening to me. amazing. We had thought we might ride, but Gaynor's OH wasn't back, and i need to ride molly bitless and haven't done that for a while so need to get back into that within a confined space....and by the time we'd sat about drinking tea for a while... well, lunging was a plan, LOL. probably a good idea after thursday to go back to that...

Friday, April 23, 2010

night off....

for molly; i decided after last nights chew on, and some minor issues the night before, she could have a night off... gaynor agreed, when i explained why i wasn't coming out for a ride with her (first chance she's had this week!)

in the meantime, here's a pic i took last night - nessie in the apple tree...
and one i took last saturday on the Wear in Durham
a bit fuzzy - phone and not brilliant zoom for the distance...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

well that was pointless

did wonder when she wouldn't have the bit in again (and it was clean) - eventually gaynor came and did that - even treats weren't doing it!

anyway, tacked up and thought i'd go over to the arena. first off, she didn't even want to set off (led!)

very slow going over

got there and someone was half way through a lesson...stood and talked to an aquaintance then went to watch

molly quite happy stanidng watching, then just before they finished someting spooked her and she grew herself a couple of hands...

went in and had to circle her round before i got on, and when i did get on i nearly came off the side again as she set off in fast walk, oops

she decided she didn't like the top end of hte arena where we went in, something in the field next to it (which only has grass in it, go figure!) i think...

and would she stop whilst i did a stirrup? no.

i gave up after about 10/15 minutes, it was clearly going to be pointless, and in effective with one stirrup longer than t/other!


bitless in our field tomorrow, possibly...

trimmer came at lunchtime; at some point in the previous 6 weeks she's blown an abcess that hadn't made her lame! doh. fine, happily, but i would never have known... must buy stiff wire brush!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


but i wish that wind would change direction! cold!

Molly wasn't wonderfully co-operative - didn't want to take the bit, that took me 5 minutes - annoying as we haven't had a particular problem with that for a while! and then took ages to get anything sensible, but did get some nice trot ... i really should have gone over to the arena, i think!

and then should, really, have joined a lady from other yard who rode past...but didn't. will next time!

and have now changed the modem to the one supplied, and (fingers crossed) so far so good! so there may well have been some issue with the original modem. seems a lot never know, jean, i may be able to get your blog to work for me all the time LOL

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

internet problems

i changed ISP and phone provider last friday; have had internet problems since Sunday on and off - rang them sunday, sorted.... it gave up this afternoon and not been cured yet.. they said, check the settings within my modem! pshaw. if it worked already, it works..

a weird problem - i am connected, but no web pages and no email... go figure.

so, i plugged the broadband dongle into the pc, not expecting it to get a signal, and here we are. (for any americans out there... mobile broadband through a wireless signal into a thing that looks like a usb drive but larger...)

Molly? did some groundwork in the field. I was cold, and dispirited, and nearly didn't do anything but doing something cheered me up vaguely...

the weather is not warm ... the other reason to wish for a change of wind direction is to warm us all up, as well as to enable that ash cloud to disperse so all those people can get to where they are going.

i was thinking about that today ... when i was little, no one flew anywhere; no one really went anywhere much in the scale of things ... and now people fly all round the world without a second thought

horse and cart anyone?

Monday, April 19, 2010

longlining out...

up the park, and through a gate, and up a track where i had to lead (something in the wood, and wanting to go back, bit of each!) and through another gate and along a field line to another gate and across the Harbour House drive and along beside it... then got to the gelding's field for HH and they all came charging up to the fenceline and molly thought this was all a bit much (or a bit interesting, LOL) so i led the rest of the way back down the park to the stable...

on the way passed a fair few lambs - one so new we walked past the afterbirth!

it's steep going up! have to angle it to reduce the steepness!

I was pleased i was able to do any of it, as i arrived in a flurry of rain that i thought was going to set in, but happily didn't!

and 2 bags of feed arrived at home - from the pure horse feed co, was anticipated to arrive tomorrow...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

back to winter!

certainly feels like it, and wet! and they're forecasting frost by wednesday...

horses came in wet so got fleeces on - normally, i take the view that when the rugs are off they are off, but it did get really nippy and a cold wet horse is not a good plan.

so nothing done...

i've always said the weather is generally better in the morning - so had i gone down then .. but there we go....

if it's tipping down tomorrow, we'll keep them in..

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a ride out! :-)

Gaynor had childcare sorted, and we planned an evening ride - at 6 pm, when everything is a lot quieter - went up the park from the stables, a steep climb through the new born lambs (two VERY new, looked like todays..) then left along the harbour house drive, through the gate, along to the road, left along that and left down cocken lane and so back .. probably no more than about 1/2 hour, all in walk, of course! but very pleased all round (with both molly & Charlie)

Got on in the field - to keep the routine and avoid any possible issues - that was fine again

she might have done our first gate immediately outside the stables, but Charlie's nose up her bum put us off that one!

no prospect of her doing the next one - not sure why she "blocked" but she did so Charlie went on ahead to do that...

She'd led most of this, and continued to lead for a bit longer - a half "block" some way along the road, and then another one ..... charlie ahead again!

but no setting

and we were both doing something else right, in that i turned her to stand whilst Gaynor & Charlie were closing gates behind us. when in the past she's set her jaw and it's been a struggle to get her back (which of course causes problems for gaynor, as charlie wants to follow!)

only possible issue was going down the hill to home when two motorcylists appeared coming the other way and about to come really fast - the saw us, and slowed right down, and the cahp at the back nearly got rear ended by the car behind him.

generally find motorcyclists are quite good, they being in the same boat as us for being invisible to car drivers

on the subject of which - what is it about drivers that they think they can see round a blind bend? when they can't? they really shouldn't pass us on our bends, even though we are going a lot slower, but they do...

and so one back,

we were both happy, neither horse did anything much wrong, both stayed nice and calm (even molly's "blocks" were calm ones, LOL) and i'd forgotten to give her the calmers i'd bought ...

Friday, April 16, 2010

nice work

we're certainly getting "there" quicker now, so i'm starting to think we're really making progress on getting back to where we were last autumn. in the field again (Gaynor's OH said, from over the hedge, you've got the entire park .. but he don't do horses and hasn't seen the grief we get going out on our own, with gates...)

she was very good when vicky & brooke cantered past on theirs (mother & daughter) - first at a steady canter alongside our fenceline, then full pelt up the hill! i thought, oops, but molly was cool!

we did some nice trot work, she was much more accepting than yesterday, and i started trying to work on lateral (trying for SI) along the fencelines.... a concept i never really grasped despite being taught it several times, but thought about what i've seen people do who can do it re aids and such and did get some progress....

and she's starting to grasp rein back, and i am too .. not that i went for many strides of it, one is sufficient for now! once i know we know what we're doing for one stride, i will try keep it going for 2, and so on...

got home and nessie was pretending to be stuck up neighbours conifer - she was half stuck, but she eventually worked it out, and it was interesting to watch her sort it out and get back down! we promised her we weren't going to help, LOL, on the grounds that if she got up, she could get down...

went out to the chippie and the village was full of policemen, VERY unusual - at least 6! apparently because of the kids (can't drive along the road without interrupting a game of football (soccer, for american readers) being played across the road, always concerned someone is going to run out in front of you .. all in the vicinity of the corner shop - and there's a huge playing field that COULD be used.. but isn't... and apparently some person had been caught trying to buy booze for some underage child...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

and a river runs by it..

this evening we walked along to look at what we've been offered for a summer field (where we can do full turnout).


it's huge.
the grass is good
there's water
it's a good 10 minute walk each way

the disadvantages

it's huge
the grass is good
it's on a hill (flat at the bottom, but a nice incline after that)
the water supply is - the River Wear!
it's a good 10 minutes walk each way
oh, and people have been riding through it when they aren't actually allowed to!

not sure what to do.

Molly was lame living on the hill at blackdene last year. BUT she's now on supplements for that.

the river - flooded last year, and left a load of crap in the field. some dead tins, stuff like that...

teh gates can be padlocked, so that's not a problem

the access to the river is a sandy bank down to a gravel beach. a shade steep (well, for me!) but shold be ok.

BUT molly may not want to do it.

so we'll have to think.

we really do need to rest ours, which is small. having said which, the grazing on it is poor enough to be good for them!

anyway, after all that (and we walked all round the field as well!) i didn't ride....lunged her instead!

and gaynor has just texted to say the rugs are back on - it's down to 4 degrees C

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a spectator

was just what i needed to give me that extra confidence boost to work through into a nice trot...

Riding in our field.

Molly was a total star about mounting - there were two horses going past at the moment i was going to get on - we both knew they were there, of course! - and she didn't move a muscle.

i have to say i think we're making real progress on that front

anyway, walked right round field both reins, pushed her into contact, did some serpentines/circles; practiced halts from seat and that's getting better - save that she moved off when i wanted her to stand whilst i took the left stirrup up one (it has to be a hole longer for mounting than i need to ride, and of course, on dressage leathers it's a bit tricky - nearly lost the entire stirrup off the leather!)

anyway, Gaynor came out after a while, at which juncture M was starting to argue with me, and that gave me the confidence boost i need to work her through that.. so we got some nice trot both reins, and finished with a really nice circle with the trot really moving forward, and the halt from that was good as well.

only 20 minutes all told, but as i said, we're reminding ourselves of where we were at the end of last summer and getting it back relatively quickly in the scale of things!

and, thank goodness, the hay delivery arrived not long after I did, so relieved as i had a fraction less than i really needed for tonight! phew.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the in season mare

is SO not worth working, so i didn't try.

she's been horrendous all day - i went and got them back in about 0930 as it was raining and chilly and they didn't have their rugs on, and when i got them they were flirting like mad...

gaynor turned them out later, and Molly was being a dreadful t**t

so she didn't do anything - not even get the mud brushed off, bad me!

as it happened, the planned hack for both of us couldn't have happened, as gaynor's OH was still on call, and out!

Monday, April 12, 2010

timed lunging...

a benefit of having my watch back - i knew how long i'd lunged each rein.

i always like to do 10 minutes each rein, 5 with side reins, 5 without, but had been guessing wihtout a watch

and she worked nicely until the last 5 (which was without side reins and on her lest preferred right rein!) when she challenged me a couple of times and then tried to canter - well, did canter! - when all i wanted was trot, but at least she went, and i got her back to trot.

i didn't want canter because

a. it wasn't what i wanted
b. the ground is like bell metal

(hadn't gone over to the arena, road a shade busy!)

but overall pleased.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

wither rub and arena work

i actually noticed the wither rub last night, but had so much else to say forgot to mention it. I reckon it's the new lightweight rug i bought her ... can't be anything else, as she's never had a rub there before. drat.

Anyway, arena today - gaynor's OH still on call..

we need a lesson fairly soon, is the lesson i took from that.

having said that i remembered what RI said when she first started working with us over a year ago, and pushed Molly on in the walk on a long rein and then gradually took back the contact

kept the inside rein wide to the inside, and remembered about keeping it against the neck on the outside, on circles.

by the end of 40 minutes, we had something a lot better than we started with!

we had also (well, i had also) remembered rein back, and Molly did to, so that was the good note to end on.

and I was VERY pleased to be able to wear a watch for the first time in i can't remember how long - my previous watch broke (smashed the glass) and i'd bought another but developed an allergy to the buckle (i can't wear the metal of a watch next to my skin); had been intending to take it to watch shop for ages to have my leather strap from original watch (that i'd bought separately anyway) put on the new watch; it randomly ended up in my pocket yesterday (had planned i might have taken a trip after wrestling with hay...) and today sitting in gaynors looking at hers, got mine out - and she sorted it for me. YAY. she seems to have the knack for that type of thing. i couldn't even see how you could do it.

i will now know how long i've been working molly for instead of guessing (the alternative being to take the phone out and unlock it and try to see what it says whilst trying to prevent the light reflecting back off the screen)

So i knew i'd done 40 minutes!

oh, and Gaynor's OH kindly lent me a spare monitor he had (he's a computer person) to try, as i was sure mine was dying but we didn't want me to spend money on new monitor if the problem in fact lay elsewhere...

it was, as i'd suspected, my monitor that was dying, so that's more money to spend.

shoudl go off to eBay, but not sure i can wait for delivery...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

and a garden helper

i had a helper in the garden today - guess he was attracted by the prospect of worms, since i was bringing them to the surface whilst weeding...

this mounting malarkey

appears to be becoming much less stressful....i walked her up to the mounting block and got straight on, she didn't twitch.


hope that continues.

i think, even if we do go out for a hack, i ought to continue mounting in the field for a while and then ride back out...

anyway, didn't get a hack today, despite the glorious weather - not prepared to try her out on her own, yet! - and Gaynor's OH was on call, and was called out, so she couldn't leave the premises (2 small children).

So rode round our field for about 1/2 hour (must get a watch ...) practising circles, stop, start, directionality (i'm not good at that in a wide open space, LOL) and so on, not totally successfully as the shims had slipped... tried a bit of trot as well ... eventually she said she'd done enough, and TBF she had bearing in mind how little she's been ridden since october - this was the 2nd time on since the winter ended, i think?

hopefully we'll ride out tomorrow, depending on gaynor's oh's work...

the promised hay didn't arrive. apparently, the farmer the chap had bought it from had to reduce it from big bale to small bale, and hadn't done that yet. but he didn't even deliver the shavings. my phone wouldn't make outgoing calls all morning (a network issue, i've whinged at them ) and eventually i borrowed gaynor's to ring him... we had to go over to get her one bag of shavings to keep her going, and then went and begged another man to sell me one bale of hay (otherwise i didn't have enough for tomorrow night). that was a struggle, he really didn't want to sell me it, but did (when we were able to point out that most of his usual customers could now have their horses out 24/7, and are doing so, where we can't). I didn't ask for my change, though...

and the original plan had involved getting my hair done, so that didn't happen... and partner was supposed to rearrange my appointment, but had forgotten she was supposed to do that, and came home worrying that i was ok

the hay is now promised for Monday, along with the shavings.

only one good deal for the day ... not that i was in the market for jackets, but a buy 2 for the price of one on saxon blouson fleece lined jackets was not to be missed, £35 for two and they're ok (one for me, one for partner)

Friday, April 09, 2010

a black coffee day

probably because i need new specs and the eyes are very tired at the end of the week! my eyes were red rimmed mid afternoon, never a good look!

so didn't do anything with molly, of course!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

in hand....first for a while

after a massage, which she also hasn't had a for a while (got it out last night, but battery was flat) - and that results in economical use of time, poo pick whilst she has her massage, perfect

so we pretty much remembered what we were doing with the in hand work, but i can only keep it going so long due to the need to twist the body slightly ...then went to Trudi's way of doing it, which has the major advantage of not hurting the neck!

Gaynor had been watching from the house and hasn't seen that done before so didn't know what i was doing, but thought Molly looked as though she was working well, which I'd thought too so nice to have that confirmed..

and thankfully I've found some hay! rang the only remaining local chap yesterday, who coincidentally was going to look at some yesterday, so rang him back this morning and he's delivering saturday. phew.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

a dry field

is somewhere where one can also lunge, longline etc, without having to treck along the track and then over the busy bridge

going not perfect, of course, a bit hard, so didn't ask for canter, but pleased with her trot work and she didn't argue with me at all

the other advantage of doing this in the field of course is that charlie, in his stable, stays calm, LOL

i could see a big cloud coming towards me and after about 15 minutes or so could smell the damp, so stopped and went in.. put her in before it started spitting!

and then this evening after i got home i got these cute poses...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

got on my horse!!!!

the wind had dropped; it had served it's purpose by drying the ground up. I had time. I had no rain. I had a calm horse (once Charlie came back, he'd been taken on a hack!)

So, into the field with the mounting block, this time tacked up.

some circling - that she couldn't be bothered with LOL - some go back, forward, etc

and to the mounting block

stood like a lamb

put the reins on, changed from teh 12 foot line to lead rope, back to the mounting bock, still stood like a lamb

took her away again, checked the saddle/girth, back to the mounting block, up, on, not a twitch

do you think we might have cracked it after the winter off?

i don't suppose so, but i was very pleased with that.

then did 10 minutes or so walking round, circles, so on nothing exciting as it's a long time since we've done anything (that hack out to harbour house earlier in the year don't count), nothing to get either of us worked up, and then off again.


hopefully the weather stays good. i'll intersperse ground work (lunging/longlining) with mounting practice and riding and see how we go. if our field stays as it is now, i shan't need to go over to the arena...

planning? what planning?

we'd spent the week forgetting that yesterday was a bank holiday and that it was, therefore, unlikely that our usual monday delivery would appear. and of course, it didn't, as we found out on sunday afternoon ... ooops. not assisted by being deceived into thinking that there was enough, the pile wasn't as big as it looked to be..

so after the usual monday opening stores didn't have any haylage, we ended up down at harbour house to try and borrow some... did get some, but time i'd gone back, collected it, etc, it was far too late to do anything with molly

having said that, i'd said to Gaynor that i wanted to put her back onto hay anyway, even though it means soaking it...she'll eat less of it, which will be good for her and, yay, when i went down this morning there was a little left

so whilst soaking hay is a pain, and TBH i wouldn't have wanted to do it through that freeze of a winter we've just had, it is the way forward.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

that's better!

went over to the arena to see if we could do better than we did yesterday; had to wait 1/2 hour for someone to finish their longlining lesson, and then we did indeed do better than yesterday!

interestingly, she's doing some lovely canter on the lunge these days, i used not to be able to get it at all;

it wasn't the best lunging she's ever done, a bit speedy but not unbalanced, but since she hasn't been in work over the winter that was no matter, the point was for her to go the way i wanted until i said stop

she had one glitch towards the end - second time going right (which was of course always her least favourite direction) when she challenged me a couple or three times and had to be corrected and set away again

i found the thing then was to let her out as far a possible to canter and then draw back in to trot...

all the while could hear Charlie shouting for her from away across the other side of the river!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


in between showers, we lunged in the park; molly kept stopping and turning in, in between cantering, and eventually Gaynor & I swopped.. after all, it might have been my technique, not her. it was not my technique!

and she worked herself so hard she didn't get to get any grass, had to put a sweat rug on and leave her tea to be fed to her later!

but at least we got something done!

Friday, April 02, 2010

why is blogger

telling me i am not following any blogs, when i am? what bit of technology has gone wrong?

uses of a bread knife

do not include cutting flower stems so they fit in the vase.. so i told partner when i returned from seeing molly to find that it had been used for that purpose ... ggrrrhhh

had to work today :-(

freezing this morning (literally) when i went down to turnout etc; time i went back at teatime, i no sooner got there than it started to rain .. doh .. then stopped .. then started ..

there's some daffodils out, though, in more sheltered spots, which shows that the weather will improve at some point....

and i'm going to have to mow the lawn soon, it seems...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

easter weekend

is gonna be cold, it seems! but if the wind dies and there's no snow, we might get something done (although I'm going to have to work work as well :-( )