Monday, 17 May 2010

Back to Blogging

I've not blogged for ages now for several reasons.  After the various life changing events which have affected me recently I just haven't had the heart for it.  Everything seemed so small and petty in the whole scheme of things and really not worth recording. 

However, I feel as though I am now starting to come out of those dark dark feelings and look to the future.

I have made a HUGE decision, to move my horse to another yard.  Reasons:-

1.  Money.  It is a completely DIY yard but I can keep him out 24/7 over the summer which is what he's used to anyway.  It is half the cost of where I am now until winter when I'll need a stable as well but even then the rent will still be cheaper.   I'll need to buy feed (which I do already anyway), bedding (shredded paper, free from work, maybe mixed with some shavings) and hay at £3 per bale from the yard.

2.  My daughter badly wants a pony of her own since her Section A, Catrin, was sold when she grew out of her.  Although she has been able to ride almost whatever she likes on the farm and train up the youngsters, its not the same as your own and I can understand her feelings.  We will look for a loan pony for her maybe over the summer and in the meantime she can ride Santana.   She also has several friends already at the yard we're going to so I'm sure she won't be without a ride.

3.  The farm has lost much of its magic for me since Tom died.  I love the rest of the family, but it was Tom we were working with every day, Tom who we looked to for support, Tom who gave us the confidence to do things we might otherwise not do.  I think the time has come for us to move on.

In the meantime I've had lots of problems with Santana.  Looking back, ever since I broke my wrist last year I don't think I ever re-gained my confidence properly.  This obviously transmitted to Santana and he also lost confidence.  Falling off twice over the winter just compounded the problem.  He would spook at the slightest little thing and charge off like a freight train at top speed.

We decided to start Santana's training back at the beginning with lunging and teaching him voice commands.  We changed his bit from a Wilson snaffle which is surprisingly harsh, but which he didn't respect at all, to a rubber mullen mouth Pelham.  This has given me a lot more control and I think we are starting to understand each other a little better -  I don't hang on his reins in a constant state of panic and he doesn't charge off on the slightest whim whenever he feels like it.

I've spent a lot more time with him on the ground talking to him while grooming and all that sort of thing.  I think we are now back on an even keel.  I think he likes me again and I feel that I can hack him out without fearing the worst.

There is a lovely outdoor menage at our new yard and lots of riding on the farm so I'm really looking forward to it now that I've made my decision.  I've had lots of wobbly moments about whether I've made the right decision, but I can't wait for it all to be sorted now.  I've bought some electric fencing to make a paddock in the section of field which I've been allocated, so I can rotate the grazing within my area.  It should arrive this week so we'll go and set it up one evening.

Moving day is next Saturday ...*gulp*


  1. Lots of changes for you, Jooles! You and I share some of the same issues with our guys and we are both taking the same approach. Good for you for recognizing that some work may be required on your part and on Santana's. I love fresh starts. I have a good feeling about the changes that you are making. Best wishes on your new barn adventure!

  2. Jooles, I missed you, but can completely understand. I recently lost two friends--YOUNG friends--and am looking at losing my dog of 16+ years soon. (Not that that even compares to losing your wonderful father!!!). I was in quite a dark place...
    Moving sounds like exactly what you need! No more second guessing, it sounds like a step up for you anyway! Glad you are ironing out some of your fear issues with your boy, which I can also well relate to! Anyway, glad you are back in the saddle on both points, blogging and riding!

  3. Thank you for your support guys, it really means a lot. As the saying goes "A problem shared is a problem halved".

    Wolfie - I agree, I too felt that we have some very similar issues. Its good to know you're not alone!

    Mindy - Thank you for missing me! I'm sorry to hear of your recent losses. 16 is a really good age for a dog, he must have had a wonderful life.

    I had a sleepless night last night pondering on how it could all go so wrong (as you do at night) but by morning things didn't feel so bad!