Tuesday, 27 January 2009

No Pressure

How lovely it is now I've decided, no schooling, no pressure. My lovely horsie is so obliging and eager to please now I'm not asking him all sorts of questions he doesn't understand. We managed to ride on Friday, Saturday (after riding club), Sunday and Monday. Wow, four days in a row!

On Sunday, me and my daughter, Jasmine and our friend Angie all went in the xc field to pop over some of the xc jumps. I followed Angie on Mysti as Santana needed a lead and although on one or two of them he seemed to run out of steam halfway over the jump (not a good feeling!), mostly he was very good, picking up his feet nicely.

Jasmine was riding a pony she's been training for a while, Penny, a New Forest cross, who has got a lovely jump but is as inexperienced as Santana. She got a bit excited and put in a few big bucks after each jump. Jasmine fell off once but she wasn't hurt and got back on and did it all again. Penny did settle down a bit after a while and jumped really well. All in all a good fun ride. We even got some video footage which Jas has made into a film and uploaded to Youtube. Haha!

Still waiting for the ground to dry up a bit, but it seems to be getting wetter and wetter. Jas is hoping to get some video of cantering through the lake in the front field next weekend!

Friday, 23 January 2009

A new field and a new plan of action

John, the bull, in the middle of his harem. He's huge.
The horse on the right is a shire x.

Ah yes, at last we are out of the field with the cows and John. the bull! Cows sure know how to decimate a field, there's hardly a blade of grass left in that field and they get loads of hay twice a day ...greedy lot!

Anyway, Santana and his mates are now in a different field which makes it much easier to get him in.

I managed to ride him three times during the week, but on Tuesday I'm afraid I got a bit cross with him for being so rigid in his neck when I was trying to turn him on a right handed circle. He has more strength in his neck than I've got in my whole body! So, it wasn't a good day; he wouldn;t turn right handed, he wouldn't canter on the right leg. I got cross and he got thoroughly confused.

We both had Wednesday and Thursday off and today I decided we would just do really basic stuff. His canter is getting nice now so we'll do walk, trot, canter transitions on the straight and only circle in walk. When the ground dries out a bit we'll try some figure eights and bending, etc. all in walk and gradually build from there. So that's the new plan - fingers crossed.

He was lovely today. Aren't animals forgiving? I was mean to him on Tuesday but he still loves me. What a sweetie.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Big Freeze

Not much has been happening recently due to the freezing weather and the ground being like concrete. I had a couple of days off work the week before last as well, thinking I could go and do some serious work with Santana. But no, it wasn't to be.

In fact I didn't ride from Sunday right through to Friday when I rode Strawberry, a youngster I've been bringing on. I usually ride her every day so I get worried if she has to stay in for too long as she gets very mischievous and full of herself. I probably shouldn't have ridden as the ground was still very hard. I couldn't get on in the yard, I had to lead her down the track and under the railway tunnel to the front field and get on there, on the grass and then do it all in reverse on the way back.

Of course she was well up for a gallop and buck all round the field, but I managed to stop her doing that, although only just.

Saturday riding club was cancelled as the farm was still in the grip of the freezing temperatures. Santana had to wait until last Sunday before I could ride him. At last the ground had thawed in the Pit, enough to ride on anyway. Trouble is Santana is so unbalanced he was slipping everywhere again as now the ground is wet. Doh!

Tried him out in the field at the front . This was better as he had more grip on the grass. Rode again on Monday and did our circles in the front field. He is still heavy and difficult to turn but I think we started to make some progress. I have also started doing some lateral work with him - turn on the forehand and leg yielding. He's getting the hang of it and hopefully that will help him with his balance.

As he's turned out 24/7 I'm getting him in every day now for a hard feed. He seems to have struck up a friendship with John, the bull, in his field, which means I have to drive into his field to get him and then lead him out of the car window back to the yard. I must take a photo of John one day - he's enormous!

Anyway, its Thursday today so weekend soon, yay!!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Dental Therapy

Santana has had some dental therapy. Poor thing, I know how he feels! On investigating his mouth it was discovered that he had wolf teeth which were giving him some pain, particularly when the bit was in his mouth. I feel bad now, considering I contributed to his pain. Anyway the offending articles have now been removed with very little difficulty and Santana is now feeling very much better. We did a few jumps yesterday and even popped a coloured pole at about two foot! Hooray!

Hopefully, now he is without pain in his mouth he can concentrate on enjoying himself. Yesterday and today he already feel lighter in my hands, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we've solved the problem. Unfortunately it was below zero all day today so the ground didn't defrost enough to do any schooling. Instead we went on a ride around the roads which was lovely because there were seven of us who all rode out together. Santana was both the youngest and probably the most sensible of all the horses of the ride. What a star!