Friday, 30 December 2011

What Is It About Horses?

Santana and Sonny
What is it that makes us all so passionate about, not only our own horses, but everyone else's horses?  What is it that brings such a wide diversity of people together with this common theme?  Diverse in age and ability, people from all walks of life.  People with money and those with none.  We all have this burning passion for our horses.  We each have a different reason for having horses - to compete in various spheres, either for fun or in serious competition,  to train and move them on up the ladder, to train others to do likewise, or simply to ride for pleasure.  We all still share the same love and desire to care for our animals.  We will give up endless hours to spend time with them, clean up after them and pander to their every need.  We will spend more time and money on their wardrobe and appearance than on our own.  We would rather spend our last penny on our horse and go without ourselves than deprive our him or her of something we believe they "need".

I was just thinking, as I was reading the posts on Haynet, that we are all so different and so widely dispersed across the globe, and yet we all think pretty much alike.  It never ceases to amaze me how the world of horses can bring people together in this way.   

So, what is it about horses that brings out the passion in you?

Friday, 16 December 2011


Can you imagine - several weeks of preparation for about 3 minutes of walking and trotting around an arena?!

It was about a month ago that my friend persuaded me to enter a dressage test "because Santana would be fabulous".  So I let myself be persuaded and the preparations began.  Intro B test was purchased and I attempted to commit it to memory.  That was never going to work because I have a memory like a sieve.  I managed to remember about a third of it so Santana and I practised this bit - enter at A in working trot and proceed down the centre line, turn right at C ... etc. etc.  Trotting was fine, we're not bad at trotting.  When it came to transition to medium walk we dropped all the anchors and plummeted into plod.  So, downwards transition needs work.  We spent the next couple of weeks practising transitions and keeping some momentum going and we made some progress.

The date of the test was looming nearer and nearer.  My only chance to ride is at weekends now the dark nights have set in so I took to walking around the menage with test in hand, talking to myself.  My yard mates must have thought I'd gone loopy! I think I ran through the whole test about 4 times in total with Santana before the test day.

The day before The Test Jasmine and I arrived at the yard armed with buckets, sponges and shampoo.  It was a cold day but Jasmine insisted that Santana must have a "proper" bath if we were going to impress the judges

Poor boy!  Fortunately the sun was shining which brought a little warmth with it.  My goodness, he was gleaming by the time we'd finished - you needed sunglasses to stop the glare from his white socks.   I don't think he's ever been so clean!  We wrapped him up in cotton wool (almost literally!) and left him tucked up in his stable for the night.

We were back at the yard bright and early the next day and there he was - looking like a show horse with the light reflecting off his black coat.  He loaded on the lorry like he'd been doing it every day of his life and off we went.  We arrived at our destination half an hour later and were pleased to find it not very busy.  I discovered that we were one of only three entries in the Intro B test.  This means of course that I am guaranteed a rosette - result! We tacked up Santana and marvelled at how beautiful he looked.  I climbed on board and off we went to warm up. 

All this time Santana has been behaving like an absolute angel, as if this was all just in a days work for him.  How odd!  Surely something is bound to go wrong soon.

We entered the arena - bearing in mind this is the first time Santana has ever been inside an indoor arena he just walked in without hesitation.  He had a snorty huffing look at the jump wings stood around the walls but soon decided they weren't the enemy and even managed to say hello to the judge.  After one leapy spook for good measure we got on with the test.

For first timers I don't think we did at all bad, we got 59% and some really  nice comments from the judge, along with some things we need to work on.  Also, I'm still using my Pelham at the moment so we would have been marked down for that.  We came third (of course!) but I was well happy with my boy, I wouldn't have cared if I'd come thirty third.  My friend was right - Santana was fabulous!

Feel free to take a minute to look at my video...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

So Exciting!

1997 Renault Master
This is mine! I can't quite believe it! (and I'm slightly worried about the amount of money I've just spent and the ongoing financial commitment, but we won't dwell on that). I had to travel 100 miles for it and 100 back again but I think it was worth it. I now have no excuse not to do the dressage test next Sunday :/

But what a lovely van! The horses are rear facing and the ramp is side loading and very shallow. Hopefully Sonny, Jasmine's horse, will take to this better than a trailer. It is all easy to operate on your own as the ramp is very light and almost opens and closes by itself.  Santana has already shown his approval by walking straight on, shuffling his back end round and looking at me as if to say "Do I stand here mummy?"  Bless him!

Roll on next summer!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dressage Practice

Today, for the first time, I practised my Intro B test.  This is a basic walk/trot test.  Now, I can do walk and I can do trot and so can Santana.  Today we couldn't do either of these things.  We trotted the straight lines banana fashion and the circles were more oval shaped with indentations - golf ball stylie.  Transition from trot to "Medium walk" (whatever that is) was like going from giraffe impressions to sulky teenager.  So, other than make a little progress in getting the test into my head, we didn't achieve a great deal today.   I hasten to add that none of this was Santana's fault.  I think I expect him to understand that we are no longer just meandering aimlessly about the menage - we are now doing (fanfare here) ... DressageOf course it all means nothing to him at all and despite my failings, I still enjoyed myself.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Thursday Schooling

On Thursday I was working at home so I was able to go to the farm in daylight for a change.  As Jasmine didn't have any lessons until last lesson she came too and we took the opportunity for her to ride Sonny in the menage and do the first 'proper' schooling since her wolf tooth was removed. 

She did some walk and trot work and after a warm up, took up a contact.  No reaction.  Halleluia, I think we've cracked it!  I don't want to speak too soon, but it all looked very good.  She moved on into canter and Sonny went very nicely.  Throughout the whole session Sonny tossed her head about twice which I think we can allow her as she is still very green anyway.

I did take some pics, but they were all on Jasmine's phone so I don't have them with me.  These are the only ones I took on mine:-

Sonny enjoying a well earned dinner
Santana showing off his shine and having a bit of dinner so Sonny didn't have to eat alone!

Sunday, 13 November 2011


What a fabulous day for a ride!  Warm sunshine and the trees looking beautiful in their autumn colours.  Went to the farm with all intentions of having a lovely day.  It didn't work out quite like that though.  Jas had her "teenager" head on today, so nothing I could do or say would be right, unless it involved buying her something, such as that new pair of yard boots she's after or an appointment to have her hair done.  She's already forgotten that I only just spent £169 on an iphone 4s and before that £120 on a laptop for her.  £50 for the vet for her horse, oh and she also needs a passport for the school ski trip and a pair of GHDs .  I know you bring this on yourself when you have children, and I love my children dearly, but I don't need this kind of treatment right now.  I have enough going on already!

We did ride, but it wasn't very enjoyable for me.  As you can see we weren't really 'together'.  When we got back to the yard I didn't waste any time in putting Santana back in the field and took Jas home.   Then I went back to the yard to have some "me" time with my friends.

One of my yard friends has bought me the Intro B walk/trot test and has instructed me to learn it because she's going to take me to a show on 11th December.  Yikes!  I need to learn the markers first because I haven't a clue - I just about know where A and X are!

When I got back home, it was still sunny and lovely so I took Sybil out for a long walk.  Bless her, at nearly 15 she is definately slowing down.
Come on mum!
If I was a few years younger I'd chase that bird!
Are we nearly there yet?!

Thursday, 10 November 2011


I would like to thank Haynet for renewing my enthusiasm for blogging about my horsey life and stuff in general.  Also for the inspiring posts and blogs from all the members.  How wonderful to have such lovely horsey people from all around the world all in one place.  What a wealth of knowledge, ideas and experience to draw on!

Vet, Teeth and a Crazy Canter

I had a day off work today for the vet to visit.  My work involves me taking minutes of a meeting all day on a Wednesday and I then have the option of working at home on a Thursday to type up my minutes if I wish.  This is really convenient because our vet's free call out day is a Thursday.  This sort of happy coincidence doesn't normally happen to me so I make the most of it!   I gaily booked the vet for Santana's flu jab and while he was there, to look at Sonny's teeth because we concluded she had a wolf tooth coming.

Typically, my meeting was cancelled on Wednesday (doh!) so I had to take a day out of my leave.  As it happened it was a lovely day and I spent most of it at the farm and getting other odd jobs done.

Santana was duly jabbed in his backside, much to his dismay, but he quickly got over it after he'd turned his nose up at the vet's peace offering in the form of a polo mint.

Sonny's turn next and she had a jab in the neck to sedate her so the vet could rummage around in her mouth in relative safety.  He found the offending wolf tooth and made short work of whipping it out.  You wouldn't think such a tiny little thing could cause so many problems.  We will see in a week's time whether it has done the trick.

While Sonny dozed off her sedative in her stable I went for a ride round the farm with a couple of yard mates who happened to be there.  Most of the ride was nice and calm and relaxed, until Friend no.1 suggested we have a canter up sandy hill.  Friend no.2 is a slightly less experienced rider and happened to be in front at the time.  She turned the corner to sandy hill and shot off into the distance in a flash before we'd even got round the corner.  Santana was popping on all fours with his neck arched in an impressive imitation of a prancing arab stallion.  Friend no.1 said she'd be ok if I went so, I slightly eased Santana's reins.  He needed no further encouragement and shot off up the hill after Friend no.2.  Speed I can cope with, it was the fear of him bucking which I didn't like.  Luckily for me it didn't occur to him to buck and started to run out of steam halfway up the hill.  Ah ha! I thought, you're not stopping now just cos you feel like it! and I pushed him on up to the top of the hill.  How exhilarating!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Swapping Horses

On Saturday there was a shoot on at the farm so we had to get the horses in early.  Fortunately it was just a small one and they were only planning on bagging about 10 birds so it was over quite early.  We were able to ride at lunchtime and so we went out for a hack round the farm.  Both horses were chilled and we had a lovely relaxing ride.  Back to the yard to feed them and muck out.  Had a quick look at the poo filled field, and decided it would still be there tomorrow.

Today, Sunday, Jasmine wanted to do some schooling so she went in the menage while I watched. Sonny was very attentive today and Jas was really pleased with her.  I have a quick ride on Sonny when she had suitably tired her out.   We walked and trotted and then tried a canter but Sonny is much more forward than Santana and I could feel myself tensing up so I called it a day. 

Next it was Santana's turn and we went in the menage too.  He behaved impeccably, walking out nicely, trotting in straight lines and nice round circles and some lovely cantering.  The only mishap was when we were cantering and I went to push my hat up out of my eyes (*note to self - buy new hat!) and Santana thought something untoward was going on and rushed off.  But we quickly got back under control and I suffered with  my hat over my eyes!

Jas had a ride on Santana and was impressed with how much he has improved since she last rode him. Its good to be able to ride each other's horse from time to time as you get so used to the way your own horse goes that you can get set in your ways.  Jas was saying that Santana's canter is so different to Sonny's and she has to use different muscles just to stay in the saddle! 

We must swap horses more often.

An Ache

As I get older I seem to acquire aches and pains like they're going out of fashion.  But the one in my heart at the moment is like no other.  I miss my son and my daughter so bad.   My son came to dinner last Friday and it was so lovely to see him, I wanted to hug him and never let go, but you can't put that much pressure on your children can you.  I see my daughter every day, twice on weekdays, but its not the same as living in the same house.  She has been a bit "off" with me recently..  I don't know whether its normal teenage-ness and I'm reading too much into it but, it hurts when she snaps at me.  I know its very hard for her too so maybe that's why.  She was quite cheerful and chatty today which was lovely, and it tore me apart to leave her at home and go to my mums after we'd ridden.

Will this ever seem "normal"

Monday, 31 October 2011

A Sad Tale

Not a horsey post this time.

Saturday was a very sad day for me.  I had been having problems at home for some time and had decided some time ago that there was no future for me and my husband together.  Things had gone badly wrong and I only realised just how bad they were about a year ago.  I talked to my children (aged 21 and 17) and they understood why I had come to the conclusion that I had to leave.  My son was, at that time, planning to leave home to rent with some mates anyway which was a weight off my mind.  My daughter would come with me to live with my mother (who was just in the process of selling her 4 bed house to downsize to a bungalow - bad timing!).

Due to my mother's move, it was not possible for me and my daughter to move straight in so we had to hang it out at home.  In this time my son's mates dropped out of the plans to house share and so he had nowhere to go.  The bottom has complete dropped out of the housing market so we were not able to sell our house.  Result: my son doesn't want to move out, my husband can't afford to move out and I am left with no choice but to move in with my mum on my own.

So here I am - on my own - having done the one thing I always said I would never do ...leave my children.

I know they understand, I'm sure they understand, well, if they don't now then I hope they will come to understand eventually.

My husband had not worked properly for over 3 years.  He was a childminder (because he didn't want to be an "employee") and allowed his intake of children to dwindle down to one before and after school.  Before that he could never manage to earn more than I did and I'm only an administrator so hardly a high flyer.  He totally resents the horses and the time I spend at the farm and expects me to come home from a full day's work and doing the horses and still do the housework and walk the dog while he stretches out on the sofa watching tv or sleeping the day away.  The house is going to rack and ruin and needs so much money spent on it.  I had to get out while my sanity was intact.

I will see my daughter every day when we do the horses but oh my God, how I miss both of them and its only been three days ...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Monday Ride

I  had a day off on Monday.  My sister-in-law was supposed to be visiting with her girls as its half term but she unexpectedly couldn't come.  A good opportunity to fit in an extra ride!

We just had another turn around the school - just to make sure our Saturday ride hadn't been a fluke.  Again, he was fab.  Not a single spook, other than a good long look at some new jump wings just outside the fence. 

We just did some walk / trot / walk and halt and he was paying attention all the time.  I'm trying to get him to walk more actively but we're being very successful at the moment.  He does like to plod at every opportunity!  More practice needed methinks.

Avoiding the scary jump wings!


and again!
Didn't he do well ♥

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Horsey Weekend

I have had a lovely horsey weekend with confidence boosts galore!  On Saturday we didn't get to the farm very early as Jasmine had had a night out on Friday and was somewhat hung-over.  So much so that she wasn't up for riding (!!!)  So, I thought I would take Santana in the school for a change.  I don't go in there often because he finds all kinds of unlikely things to spook at.  Lily was already in the school and I waited for a bit hoping they would finish.  Lily is fab and extremely well schooled, but she has her moments!  I decided to bite the bullet and go in with Lily.  We took one end of the school each and Santana didn't bat an eyelid.  We started just walking and then moved up to trot.  Our field gate is right beside the school and people came through with horses and dogs and still Santana didn't even glance at them.  He listened to me and kept on going, doing whatever I asked of him.  We changed pace from walk to trot and back again and trot to halt and he was just fabulous!  I even managed to canter a couple of times - we cantered two circles, back to trot for one circle and canter again for another - a lovely controlled, but active canter.  I was so pleased with him that I called it a day after that and walked him round the farm field to cool off.

We're still only cantering left handed because I don't want to get into an argument with him about which leg he should strike off on.  We can sort that out later when I have some more lessons.

Today (Sunday), we went to the farm intending to just have a walk around the farm fields, but some of the others were going on a hack to the pub and back.  We thought that sounded like a better option and tagged along with them.  On the way out a shotgun went off quite close to us which made Santana jump and then he tried to bomb off, but I got hold of him before he could go anywhere.  I'm getting much better at not clinging to him like a limpet when he does that - I can sit back and bring him back to me and it doesn't worry me now.

After our drinkie at the pub we went to get back on using the bench in the playing field behind the pub as a mounting block and a family started running about trying to launch a kite.   Not a very horse friendly activity, but they stopped when we asked them to whilst we got back on.  Santana couldn't wait to get off the field though and pranced his way out of the pub carpark!  

I have a day off tomorrow and I think a bit of tack cleaning might be needed as it hasn't been done for a while now.  I might even ride again too! :D

No new photos this weekend so thought I'd add a nice one from back in the summer.

Santana and Sonny

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Bit of a Problem

I arrived at the yard today to find one of my field buddies in a bit of a tiz. She had been to get her horse in and found him, together with Santana, in the far corner of the field knee deep in a pile of discarded half rotten potatoes. This wasn't the main problem though. There were several piles of dumped potatoes and earth but mixed in with this was a whole load of general rubbish, including broken pallets, wooden boxes, plastic boxes, glass bottles, cans, bricks and lumps of concrete. !!!

What the hell!?!

It seems the farmer has used our field as a dumping ground for all his old rubbish. We fenced off some of the piles with some electric tape and scoured the other piles for potential danger and came back with armfuls of lumps of wood with rusty old nails sticking out of them. Needless to say we were less than happy.

The farmer was nowhere to be found this evening so all we could do was tell his wife of our displeasure. Fortunately she agreed with us and said she would let him know, but something will have to be done. We can't leave that lot out there. What on earth was he thinking!?!

The Rugs are On

So we went to the yard the other evening. Okay, so its starting to get a bit chilly, a hint of frost in the air in the early mornings, etc. but no matter - I have a hardy Section D, a butch cobby type who could cope with a bit of cold weather. My friend on the other side of the barn asks me, "When are you going to rug Santana then?" "Not yet" I say confidently, "It'll have to get colder than this for me to get the rug out. "

A little later on another barn friend arrives. Its dark by this time and getting really quite cold. She says, "Have you heard the weather forecast tonight? They say it's going to pour down with rain and freeze!"

I had a complete fit of conscience and out came the lightweight Weatherbeeta to keep poor Santana dry! My resolve didn't last very long did it?!

There was method in my madness though - the reason I didn't want to rug up too early was because last year I had to de-rug him in November because he started walking straight through the electric fence. Consequently he was out in minus 10 degrees c completely naked. I wanted him to grow some coat of his own in case he did the same again this year. Oh well, lets hope he has enough space in his field this year to stay put.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


For some time now everyone has said I should hog Santana but, although I always knew it would suit him, I was resisting because I need those few strands of mane that he hasn't rubbed off to haul myself up into the saddle. Well, the time finally came when what was left of his mane was looking so rough it just had to come off. He was a good boy with the clippers, bearing in mind he'd never been near clippers in his life before, but the twitch had to come out eventually. The bit between his ears had to be done with scissors.

Although I say it myself, he looks stunning! Where did this handsome chap come from? I see now I should have done it ages ago! I now need to have a rummage in my 'random stuff' box to find an old stirrup leather or something to use as a neck strap. In the meantime I'm using my cliprope tied round his neck - very fetching!

On another note I have ridden around the farm on my own a few more times recently and today was a landmark day. I went for a longer ride round the farm on my own past the massive scary hosereel, past the stupid baby pheasants that wait until you almost tread on them before flapping out from under your nose shrieking like banshees, past the REALLY scary stopcock on the waterpipe, and past the loudly rustling sweetcorn. We got to the stubble field and were feeling confident enough for a little trot along the edge, we turned to the left up the hill and pushed on into canter. Oh yes, we cantered. How lovely! We got to the top of the hill and we were on top of the world! A leisurely walk back to the yard and our day is complete.

Friday, 9 September 2011

"Why?" - I ask myself

Last time we hacked to Toddington Show I promised myself we would check the weather and not go again if there was any sign of rain. Promises are like pie crusts - made to be broken. Although the forecast said "a chance of heavy showers" we thought we knew better. It looked fine when we left the yard. Sure enough by the time we arrived at the show it had clouded over and started to spit. No matter, we thought, it'll soon blow over. Jasmine bravely entered the clear round ring. Sunny was a little sticky. Perhaps she remembered her sore leg last time she was here. Over the first few jumps and then screech to a halt with bum on the ground when she spots the monstrous blue water trays under the next jump.
Totally freaked out she refuses to go anywhere near. Water trays moved to the side, then moved out of sight, then the back rail removed from the jump and eventually she very reluctantly jumps it as a tiny crosspole. Jas comes out a little disheartened. After a think she decides to have another go, without the water trays this time.

Sunny is having none of it and a few feet into the ring plants her feet refusing to move. After a little encouragement from the whip she demonstrates her objection by rearing up high then throwing a huge buck sending Jas flying.

By this time the rain was coming sown in earnest and we were starting to get a little wet. We decided enough was enough and set off home. The rain came down in torrents for the whole hour it took us to ride home. I don't think i've ever been so wet. Water was
sloshing around in my boots every time I kicked Santana on! (He behaves like a star by the way).

When we got home, although it was still raining we took Sunny in the ménage and set up a couple of jumps which she did several times with no problem.

Why do I not listen to my own advice?!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Vest top or thermals and jumper?

You may wonder why we English are obsessed with the weather, but when we go from one day getting sunburnt whilst poo-picking, the field rapidly turning into a dust bowl around you and not a single blade of grass in sight, to the next day of howling gales and horizontal, torrential rainfall ( June!) can maybe understand our obsession. You think its safe to stash your thermals away for a few months and slap on the suncream instead and the next day you're dragging them back out again.

Well, on one such day we thought it would be a great idea to hack 6 miles to the local show. Okay so it was starting to drizzle a little when we left but no matter, surely it would stop soon - the previous day had been a lovely warm and sunny day. We are in the middle of summer after all! No. The weather had other ideas and by the time we arrived at our destination the rain had settled in for the day and the wind was getting involved too. We arrived wet and cold and I was all for turning straight back home again but it was only polite to wait until the others had done the classes they had gone there for. Jas did a 1'9" clear round with Sonny - it was the first show she had ever been to and seeing several jumps all at once rather than the one or two she was used to came as a bit of a surprise. She got round them all though and only demolished two!

I haven't jumped for ages so I wasn't brave enough even for 1'9". Besides I was so stiff with cold that I could hardly move by this time. I had to get off when we arrived, before my legs went completely numb. We had a cup of tea and a burger from the van in a vain attempt to warm up, but after waiting a couple of hours for our companions to jump their classes my bones had seized up. Getting back on Santana with no mounting block was ...errm, interesting! Lets just say I got up there eventually, much to Santana's dismay, and we set off back home - at last!

Needless to say we will not be attempting this again unless we have guaranteed wall to wall sunshine!

We've arrived! Can we go home now?

Monday, 30 May 2011


Rain interspersed with periods of steady drizzle today. April showers at the end of May. The grazing fields need it, but I wonder if its too late to help the hay crop.

Still, we managed to have a hack around the farm today, just three of us. It was really nice, despite the wet. Santana is so much more relaxed, as I am too. We've hacked out such a lot over the last few weeks and I think its really helping.

There's a big day coming up for me - next Monday I'm having a saddle fitter out to bring me a new saddle! Well, when I say 'new' I mean new to me. My funds won't extend to a brand new saddle, but I'll be just as happy with a secondhand one fitted properly by someone who knows what they're doing. How exciting ! After that I've promised myself I'll start having some lessons because last time I had a lesson I was on a high for days afterwards.

Jas had a lesson on Sonny on Saturday which went really well. We've definitely done the right thing by getting Sonny. What a relief. We paid a visit to our old farm this morning and while we were there we went and had a look at Sonny's daughter, now 2 years old. Jas is plotting to go over next year, break her in and buy her so she can have both. Dream on Jas!


Sonny's daughter

Monday, 23 May 2011

What, no grass?

Whatever happened to March winds and April showers? We're having May winds, does that mean we'll get June showers! Oh well, I count myself lucky to have a Section D who doesn't seem to need grass to remain a picture of shining health!

This was on a pub ride a couple of weeks ago. What a gorgeous boy! He hasn't rubbed any of his mane so far this year so we now just about have enough length of mane to plait - Woohoo!!

Bathtime - lovely white socks and
a plaited mane!

Anyway, I promised photos of Jasmine's new horse so here you are, this is Red Sonya aka Sonny.

This is her at our old yard: -

This is her when we first brought her home:
First ride at home:
Three weeks, some conditioning mix and a couple of lessons later, and looking gorgeous:

Monday, 9 May 2011

Confidence growing

What a lovely weekend of hacking! An hour and a half on Saturday and two and a half hours on Sunday in perfect riding weather - sunny with just enough breeze to keep cool without that spooky wind. Not only that but last Thursday evening I rode round the farm for half an hour on my own!! How fantastic is that? I was so pleased with myself and Santana although he must have thought I'd gone a bit loopy because I chatted nonsense to him the whole time. We came across a couple of scary 'monsters' but I gave him time to have a good look and see that it was all in his imagination.

So by the time we rode at the weekend I could ride feeling quite relaxed and confident - loose reins and everything! I'm sure Santana is much happier and more confident too.

Next problem to overcome is sore feet. I asked the farrier to take his shoes off a couple of weeks ago (he'd lost both back ones anyway) and I think he's feeling it a bit after so much walking at the weekend. He'll have a rest this week and then more hacking next weekend - yay!

Another thing I have to write about is Jasmine's new horse. Gosh, how exciting and unexpected that was. Photos and details to follow soon...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Springtime = New Life ...

... in more ways than one.  The grass is starting to grow and daffodils are blooming, but that's about as good as it gets at the moment.  Life in general is not great otherwise.   Its looking like me and my husband will be going our separate ways.  My 21 year old son is planning to move out soon anyway and Jasmine will come with me.  Its a strange feeling after nearly 30 years but its not before time and its been my decision, not his.

As far as Santana is concerned, he has been great these last few weeks.  We've been doing a bit of hacking and a bit of schooling in the menage.  My friend was telling me the other week that he looks good enough to do some dressage with.  The only problem with that is that I'm not sure that I'm good enough to match up!  I might give it a go - at least it will give our schooling a bit of focus anyway. 

After a lovely hack on Saturday with Jasmine riding Benny (a lovely Ffiord pony at the yard) I was saying how settled Santana had become and hopefully this year of his 6th birthday will be his best yet.

On Sunday we went in the menage for a short while, Jasmine put up a small cross pole which we trotted over both ways several times - lovely!  Then, two strides out Santana suddenly charged at the jump, went straight for the far corner of the menage, did a sharp left back across the menage and before I knew it I was in the opposite corner, where I hit the deck, or rather the fence, on my back! 

I was so cross that it had happened and I hadn't been able to do anything about it that I got straight back on and made him trot sensibly around the menage several times and stay in trot over the cross pole again.  Talking to people at the yard, they thought he had probably just got over excited about jumping and, its true that I did get the feeling that he was really enjoying himself, so that could be it.   Anyway, I have to try and blot that out and pretend it never happened because he's been so well behaved recently.   The only trouble is I now have a lovely colourful bruise on my back to remind me!

Oh well, worse things happen at sea, so they say!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Old Field : New Field

Another whole day spent electric fencing - dismantling from one field, taking the eyelets out around the whole perimeter,  and re-erecting in another field, plus putting up a temporary paddock to put our two in while they get acquainted with the other field residents.  It was hard work but worth it.  OH came with us which was a great help, although he broke the drill attachment on only the second eyelet!   

Old field:-
This is unusually dry - there's usually a massive lake here!

The quagmire formally known as our 'field'

Ahh dry land ye old landlubbers!

New Field:-

This will be our new field.  The electric paddock is just a temporary measure for a week or so.  The absolute bliss of walking into the field without fearing that your boots will be sucked off your feet by the mud, not to mention the sticky mud all up the horses legs.  And, I have a horse with four feathery white socks!

So, that was Saturday.  On Sunday I actually got to ride!  Hang out the flags and rejoice!  No, maybe not, it was blowing a gale all weekend so not the best of weather to ride when you're on the nervous side.  Still I just had 10 minutes in the menage and Santana was fab!

What a gorgeous boy!

Friday, 4 February 2011

On the move ...again!

Its not quite as drastic as it sounds - we're still at the same farm.  We've moved stables to one of the other barns on the yard.  There are seven stables in this barn rather than the three in the other one, so its a nice size and we all get on well together.  And we have space to tie up under cover outside the stables which we didn't have in the other barn.  OH has put some lights up for us so we can see to muck out which is a bonus.  Now people have noticed he has some electrical skills he's acquired three more lighting tasks for other people too (oops, lol!).  Oh well, it keeps him busy!

Next move is a field move.  We've discovered that another horse is moving into our field.  He was there before us so I guess he has a right to return.  Well, the field can't sustain four horses so we need to find elsewhere to go.  One of the girls in our barn said that she would be happy to have our two in her field, so I checked with the other girl whose two horses are in the same field and it's all good. 

The only problem is that having just spent £60+ on electric fencing for our other field, I now have to dismantle it all and move it.  I was so proud of how well we put it up too.  Ah well, can't be helped.  I certainly won't miss having to wade through a knee deep, boot sucking lake of mud to get through the gateway.  There will still be mud but hopefully only ankle deep.

So, tasks for the morning:-

1.  Dismantle electric fence.
2.  Erect electric fenced paddock in new field.
3.  Electric fence one side of new field.
4.  Ride?  Maybe not!

Note to self - remember to take the camera and take some pics.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Confidence Giver

Jas had the opportunity to ride a lovely pony at our yard yesterday. She was so excited to ride something that wasn't likely to dump her the other side of the menage fence! Chevy is a 12.2hh pony from showing stock. He's a fantastic pony and he gave Jasmine a lovely ride. She was so chuffed when she'd finished - she was doing a little dance with excitement! Hopefully she'll be able to ride him again and she can then build back her confidence.

Trust me - her next pony will be very carefully chosen!