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.