Saturday, July 31, 2010

here's a thought

just sent an application in...

telling people

my decision....

those I've told so far this end are in support; partner thinks about time too, and Gaynor agrees the way to go as well

so, horse hunt...

I keep saying my next horse will be a gelding, who'll hack on his own or in company, and will do gates, LOL!

I want to be able to get out without worrying about whether we'll even get out the gate but also be able to train and actually get out and do some dressage as well (I've never been a jumper!), so i wouldn't want one that doesn't want to be in the arena

There's a lot to be said for an OTTB - a friend had a lovely one last spring that would have fitted the bill perfectly, but he was bought to sell on and now has been...but something of his stamp, with a sensible head on his shoulders - and they've all been out and about and know that whiteboards and such like won't eat them!

my plan is to potter on with Molly until we find something else (assuming she recovers from this weeks lameness, which one hopes she does, we didn't think it was anything too awful!)

Friday, July 30, 2010

6 years come october

since I had molly

here's the first entry of my earlier blog:

and then i moved to blogger in summer of 2006

What progress has been made?


the heading of this blog says

This is the continuation of the story of my mare Molly and her retraining into, hopefully, a sensible horse, a safe hack, and a horse able to obtain decent marks at dressage as she has really nice paces when she's working well ...."

i haven't managed that.

I've learnt a lot in the time I've had her, spent a lot of money, improved my skill set no end...

but I don't have a "safe hack" (unless she's safe because she refuses to go, or sets off and plants, that's safe enough), and i don't have a horse able to obtain decent marks at dressage.

And we're reverting to where we were in terms of being able to have a bit in the mouth, and being mounted...

and she's 16, and has arthritic changes in both fetlocks, probably...

I've made up my mind to retire her and get another horse that I can enjoy for the ridden work...

I could put her in foal, but there's little point - I'd be 60 time any foal was ready to be ridden, would i really want to be backing a baby at 60?

I'll probably keep her going till i find something else; they do grass livery at the yard I'm on....

also, i really HAVEN'T the heart to keep trying - as my friend said in the spring, this was the year for her to come good...

edited to add: as and when i get new horse, that will mean new blog, i shall close this one then...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

of bits and necks

usually, when the poll is out, one thinks that that causes various resistances

is that the case when the resistances were there in any event in a horse that, in its previous life, had been ridden etc. in a bit that hurt her?

been thinking about this all day, jean!

but think about the history - it's the same as her thing with gates, she remembers what happened when she was 6 months old, and IMHO the thing with bits is the same, she assumes it's going to hurt even if it isn't any more...

i think probably the poll being slightly out wont be helping, and obviously i've emailed the physio to come and see .. but i can't sensibly think that'll make much difference, in the scale of things...

at least she'll eat bute!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

we think

it's some sort of wrench or something due possibly to hoolying in the field on hard ground...feet of course were fine (trimmed last week!) not gravelled, no probs with white line of course, possibly very minor bruise in one very small place but that was dubious as a diagnosis...

nothing obvious to find, save a shade stiff on the right shoulder

probably nothing to do with the fetlocks, as this is a right sided lameness, not a bilateral one

so week off, bute for 4 days, double up her supplement for the same period, see how she is after that.

if that doesn't do it, it's probably old age.. doh.

cream for the eye

her teeth? the dentist had been doing a good job.

She is out at her poll, but i showed vet how that was NOT relevant to bitting...ah, he says.

it's all in her mind....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

and not sound...

i did wonder last night - whilst she was willing to trot and moving on and listening to me in terms of direction, etc, i wasn't totally sure that she was right...

so i lunged tonight - it's subtle, but she's not sound.

i'm hoping it's just a bruise somewhere from being kicked (unlikely, they've all been very settled from the day she moved in!) but more likely to be because she's living on a hill ....

just as well i've booked the vet!

and tea tonight will include home grown peas. shame partner can't stand peas! i haven't grown many...

Monday, July 26, 2010

dodgy eye and no bit...

fortunately I've already arranged for the vet to come Wednesday to look at her teeth, as when molly came in tonight her eye is a bit swollen and hot and there was red where there should be white; guess the flies have been at something, she now has her fly mask on (hope she keeps it on, it's a few years since she's worn one, as she used to be a dab hand at getting them off.

she wouldn't take the bit, even with her favourite feed as a treat, so we went bitless - and she was very responsive tonight, lots of circles and diagonals in a half decent trot, and i was able to slow it, and stop, with my seat, so more progress.

then a friend was taking her gelding back to his field, which involves going down the track towards the hacking area, so i followed; even more impressively, i was able to open the arena gate without getting off, well pleased with that!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

this free jumping malarkey

is quite good fun, if strenuous when there's only one person to direct!

she liked the hooley around she indulged in when i misdirected her (or rather, failed to direct her at all!) but made some quite nice efforts

started off with lowish poles either side of the arena, to be taken either direction, and finished with one larger jump - not huge, you get me, 3 pole pods high, with a pole in front one pole pod high, butted against the fence one side and with a couple of poles at an angle the other side to help keep her on track - and once i got the direction right, she made a couple of good efforts at that

Saturday, July 24, 2010

big scary model strawberry

and loads of parked cars round ig.

Me? go down that track when i can see that big scary strawberry, the parked cars and a field of horses between me and them? No, shan't, she said.

drat. and i had to get someone to hold her head whilst i got on.

on the other hand, when we went back in the arena, trot is starting to really come together, and the good note to finish was two proper steps of rein back. (and yes, i did walk her forward before getting off).

the but went in with a handful of her feed, which she loves.

friend is going to lend me a KK Ultra to try

we're going to double check her teeth, even though it's not that long since they were done, so that's an appointment to make monday.

now off out - to see Roseanne Cash at the Sage Gateshead. should be a good night!

Friday, July 23, 2010


it's a lovely evening, but am i riding? no ..

partner going out to a concert starting at 8, so had to eat early ...


it's the best night we've had all week as well!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

dead bra - and rain!

being poked by wire in a strategic place is not a good plan when riding, so having realised this was going to be an issue, had decided not to ride; then it was raining again anyway!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a new bit?

possibly might be needed.

I've been wondering for a while - you all know of the trouble i have getting a bit in her mouth!

and whilst I know that a 5" is too wide, i wonder also if the 4 1/2" is a shade narrow?

anyhoo, trimmer was out today, and stopped to chat for a bit after the feet were done, whilst i was tacking up, and she helped with the bitting performance - she also wondered if it was a shade narrow .... only a shade, though!

she suggested Nueu Schule (they're based about 30 miles away) and said that if necessary they can make one specially for the horse

also, there's a bit bank run by someone who trained there, and she comes out, so I've sent her an email asking her to do just that...

if I can find a bit she'll accept without a fight every time, and that she'll then work in, we'll be getting further!

Molly's feet were fine, trimmer very happy with them but suggests i put some linseed into her to keep the feet more moist (she says, better to put it inside, than outside!)

Rode after that; not as good as the other day, the trot was ok left rein but not right rein; the arena was a shade boggy at one end after all that rain last night

walk, however, is coming on nicely, and we're starting to make a small amount of progress on sideways and rein back...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a thunderstorm

going on outside; so when i get to yard i will have a wet horse....albeit a warm one, since it's still like a warm bath!

Monday, July 19, 2010

it's like a warm bath


warm and raining....and somewhat wet!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

muuuch better..

trot, with the bit in!

not that it was perfect, but there were some perfect moments....

so getting there, hurray.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

it must be the bit

as she's trotting fine with the bitless on...


well, i needed to organise a lesson, so that's something to ponder with RI...

not that i rode for long - time we'd done all the jet washing and other stuff associated with cleaning old stables! - but it was nice and quiet and I hadn't done anything for a couple of days what with rain/gales...

so only about 15 minutes, but trot was not a problem - brakes were, but trot wasn't. and i think the brakes problem was my problem, not hers, of course!

the arena is on top of an incline, and 6 ish is about the time when, just this time of year, the sun is going to be in your eyes in one direction, so i'll have to be careful of that as well

Molly was a lot calmer in the stable tonight - no moving about at all, to the extent that i actually felt safe picking her feet up (rather than, not being sure if going to be knocked over as she moves off again!) - not a lot happening, is probably why!

need to think some about the pad; happy with it, but did feel a shade tipped forward tonight which i hadn't the last couple of times i'd ridden with it..

but, local agent may turn up if passing - she hasn't one, and wants to see one, so i said if she was she was welcome to call...of course! I expect she will if she can...

Friday, July 16, 2010

TGI friday...

but it was very tiring...

we'd both got up earlier than usual, and did an awful lot of work...

too tired to work molly, i have to say!

hope the weather's decent tomorrow...had forgot have to go to hairdresser, and we have to clear out the ford cottage stables, and i want to try and ride, subject to the weather...

Thursday, July 15, 2010


5 of them in the field as i walked down to collect molly....ran away, they did

I'm sure there's something about a trailer or wagon that molly finds someone was loading up to go to holmeside, (well, i assume that one, and not the other! it gets confusing) and molly was somewhat "up" about this...

i wasn't planning on doing anything with her, FAR too windy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

if she's lame

she's got a very odd way of showing it... took her into the arena, and WHEEEEE

canter canter canter ... didn't have to ASK for it!

put some poles out on the polepods, and she volunteered to jump one whilst i was setting up the other on the other side...

i'm still not wholly convinced, but reckon if it's anything it'll be to do with living on a hill.....

and we got somewhat wet!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

i think...

molly might be lame...

a shade difficult to tell, but i was sure i felt some uneveness in walk - but she's still powerwalking - i thought left fore..

trot was crap, save when she was trying to passage when she felt fine...

when i turned her back out, she didn't seem quite right ... looked like right fore (doh!)

so tomorrow i'll lunge

it may, of course, be that that arthritis in the fetlock is bothering her, in which case she needs a different field (current one on a hill)

or maybe an abcess after the move

the good news was that bitting was a breeze (with the assistance of a different treat, LOL) and the new pad felt a lot better than it had yesterday, after a good bashing about (as recommended on EE, another user also found it hard after use and bash about each time works...)

so i'll persist with that for a while and see how we go with it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

first ride since move...

and i must remember, on Mondays, to bring molly in a good half hour later than i otherwise would; on Mondays, the people in the next stable take their horse to Richmond, and molly seems to find the loading process for the horse quite upsetting - the horse loads very nicely, never any trouble, so i can only suppose that molly either thinks she should go to, or just generically doesn't like seeing other horses loaded. weird.

anyway, that resulted in much bouncing round the box, and she didn't really settle despite having her massage pad on (which she likes)

after than, it took me ages to get her bit in, a right performance.

saddle? got a new pad for it - a smart panel, which is similar to the suberpanel but made by Cashel and specifically a high wither fit. it was a birthday present from partner. it was christened on Saturday in Nottingham, under a barefoot Cheyenne, when it felt fine.

under the vogue today, it felt like a brick. This MAY have been something to do with it being a bit nippy and i should have warmed the saddle up. AND I felt all to one side...although the saddle hadn't moved!

I think I need to try and move the cork filling about a bit and i will persist with it as i need to find something that doesn't involve shimming ...

anyway, got one after a couple of "right go and work circles if you won't stand" moments - TBF, she did have 3 days off! with our weekend away...

so then 1/2 hour walking, circles, half voltes - it was her first time ridden in the arena, so power walking and trying to trot occasionally was the order of the day..

halt was a bit of a problem, so i was riding with the lead rope in my hand for 15 minutes till someone came past - funny, she'd stop for that!

i need to solve the bit issue; the treats i'm using aren't having the desired effect, it may be the bit, but it's more likely just her! and i put my hat on after the second bitting attempt on safety grounds!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


lack of report on saturday's activities, BAAAD me...

first order of business was visit to saddlery on route to friend's, where a new pair ofbreeches were purchased - have to say, I shall be buying Mark Todd's branded stuff in future, these are rather nice & comfy! and very easy to wear in the heat...

then to friend's; toast and tea, other friend arrived, to field and horses/ponies

very good set up, compete wtih caravan for the humans!

free jumping some of the horses (largely by a couple of youngsters who help out, one of whom is a VERY good little rider...)

then lunch

then a hack out - friend & i got tanked off with up a hill, oops (pic in link). we'd planned to walk down that hill and all the way round the outside, back to where we started, but there were some tractors moving haylage bales around at the bottom of the hill where, i am told, there is normally no activity. pone i was on was somewhat worried by this, and we both agreed that trying to get a strange (to me) pone past a spooky tractor in a field i didn't know was not a clever idea, so turned round to walk back. I said, we can trot back - next thing I knew, we were cantering, and i hadn't even got as far as asking for trot!

nonetheless a nice hack, a nice cool breeze across fields, and a very cool wood to walk through!

and i discovered that my aids for sideways are correct (molly had me persuaded they were not) - the grey i'm riding did reasonable level dressage at one time so was a good for that purpose, and i had to do a lot of lateral to avoid low slung branches in the wood!

then more sitting about drinking tea/water, then feed the herd (there are 6!) then finally leave field and take all tack back to friend's house - time i got back to sheffield i was late for partner's concert, so showered and out - she'd left me a ticket, which no one asked to see! turned out her choir were not on until 10.10! dinner was a chicken wrap and wispa bar from a 24 hour Spar supermarket next to the city hall...

time we got back it was a bit late..

today, nostell priory on the way home, long walk - shan't be wearing partner's merrell sandals again, i have incipient blisters on the soles of both feet, caused by the place where the strap meets the sole! we walked most of the grounds before visiting the house! we do like to visit something on our way home from a trip away...

finally got home about 7.30 or so this evening....

Friday, July 09, 2010


were left at home - and I'm in Sheffield - remembered boots, hat, socks, shirt, underwear, partner packed toothbrush - i blame the fact that i was in a tearing hurry, my morning having substantially overrun (tribunal appointment at 10.30, didn't get in until 11.40). so i have to find a shop to sell me some first thing, and in the meantime all i have to wear are my suit trousers... doh.

edited to add - and this is the second time within the year that i've cocked up the packing ..

Thursday, July 08, 2010

too tired....

due to waking up at about 03.45 this morning .. i managed not to be sick.

don't know what that was about but gaynor texted me that she'd been sent home from work due to being ill all over, then someone said this evening that they'd had a bit of tum, so maybe some bug going round .if that's the case i got off lightly (touch wood)

but anyway, by close of working day i was FAR too tired to think about doing anything sensible with Molly, so i didn't try.

i did, however, get my foot stood on by yearling shetland - i was standing next to her talking to her owner when she moved .. and landed on my right foot, which was not booted, only had my crocs on .. thank goodness she IS only a yearling shetland!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

standing still

tonights lesson was to re-establish/ensure standing still at the mounting block

so 10 minutes rope circling, ensuring she would go back/forwards, first,

then after one attempt and thus some repeat work, she stood still at the mounting block in the arena - twice - without moving and whilst i leant over

and then the same with it placed in the corner of the arena (but required a shade more work after some movement the first time i stood her at it)

then i thought i'd try the same at the tall mounting block.

this was a shade more difficult - it's not in the arena, and can't be moved!

first time, backed off it and round

2nd time - good! stood, i climbed to the very top of it, leant over, still stood.


i MIGHT get on tomorrow - depends on the weather, if it's the same howling gale as today i might not!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

long boots

are needed in the arena; it's not horrid like the one at HH was, too deep for the horse, but still gets over the tops of the short boots....

two rein lunging tonight.

she worked well.

she did THINK about refusing right at one time, but thought better of it as she knew she wouldn't get away with it.

BUT .. I couldn't get the bit into her mouth to save myself original plan had been ordinary lunging, bitted and potentially with side reins. but that clearly wasn't going to happen without a huge fight which i would not have won

managed to avoid the rain, though. just spitting on when i got her in but time she'd had her massage (started doing that again, after all this time of not working her) it had stopped again.

Monday, July 05, 2010 a field!


time i'd got molly ready, the youngsters had set up a jumping course in the arena .. normally they'd have been done by that time of night...

tried in an empty field, but unsuccessfull, too many distractions, too windy, no shade from sun (i couldn't see, LOL) and molly then decided challenging me on going right was a good plan; plus it was not flat...


never mind, at least we did something...

Sunday, July 04, 2010

more gales.

but at least it was dry after a half hearted attempt at rain this morning...

so rope circling in the arena.

the arena is on the way in from the field, so we went straight into it (that task required nothing more than the rope halter!)

she did think about throwing a paddy, but thought better of it

a shade onward bound, but given the wind i wasn't too worried about that (her alternative is usually walk verging on halt, when she doesn't want to do anything!) and got her going i the direction i wanted (including reverse); need work on teh standing still when told, but again, the wind doesn't help.

so quite pleased.

she's not keen when i'm out of sight if she's in the stable, but that's not a huge problem - i was in the car, which she could see, but don't think she realised, LOL

and before that helped gaynor move her rubber mats, which are a heavier proposition than mine by a long shot

Saturday, July 03, 2010

started the work plan

longlined out

and molly was very good; one full turn round (she'd spotted the half open gate before i had, and i was about to trip over a hole so couldn't stop her without turning an ankle!) and another moment later .. but generally excellent.

and we had unexpected company - one of the girls was tacking up and came out with us - hadn't even known anyone would be there, of course! and poor partner, who had come with me for the walk out and to see what there was, got left behind as despite being a staunch walker with her walking group, couldn't keep up, LOL.

and molly seems a lot more settled in her stable now - knew exactly where she was going back to when we came back from the longlining.

and turns out RI is at yard twice a week, so i can start lessons in a couple of weeks or so and that'll fit in well.

rock on.

Friday, July 02, 2010

things attached to wall...

by yo's oh, who started whilst i was putting molly back in the field....

haybar and mirror up

proper home found for stuff..

looking forward to tomorrow; can't decide between long lining out round the tracks or ground work in the arena....probably longlining

Thursday, July 01, 2010

it rained!

which we needed, and it's still very muggy, but i missed what looks like it would have been a soaking as i was in a late meeting in Newcastle....

molly still relatively settled in her stable; a shade concerned when the horse we could see across the yard was led off to be ridden, but not horrendously so, so getting there

i showed her the tall mounting block on the way in; i shall have to do some ground work round that, as well as generally! that'll be fun, it's a tall one i can't just step off, and whilst i can work her round it, it's very tight! but once we're sorted for it, it'll be a lot better for her, her back, me, and the's high enough to be able to just put your leg over the horses back

plan is for longlining saturday, subject as always to the weather!