Thursday, April 30, 2009


IT WORKED!!!! I rode Sam on Tuesday and he felt so much softer, bendier, rounder. It is amazing!!!!! I on the other hand am still sore!

So that is the great news. Bad news is that I can't get the farrier out until hopefully Tuesday and his shoe is loose!!!!! I am contemplating buying some farrier tools on the weekend and taking it off and putting a boot on him.

I am also going to have a go at clipping on the weekend. He really needs a trace or blanket clip. He is just so hairy and I can't ride until the afternoons and it is getting darker earlier and earlier.

I'll be sure to take heaps of photos though!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We are EXHAUSTED!!!!!!

What a huge weekend!!!!!!! This weekend was the Ron Paterson Clinic. On washed Sam and made him presentable on Friday arvo. Saturday morning I packed the float the car and headed off to the paddock. I was there by 11am thinking I may as well load up and head off even though my lesson wasn't until 2.15pm. I figured it would give us heaps of time to settle in and take it all in. I was convinced to wait as there is no shade etc. We decided to load up at 12.30pm. Sam finally got on the float at 2.30pm. Yep you read it right! We missed our lesson. I spent another hour just walking Sam on and off the float. He was buggered and so was I.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early to have another go. I didn't think it would take too long this time but I still allowed myself an extra 1.5 hrs just in case. We were on and off 4 times in 20min so I was happy with that. I towed the float out to where the clinic was happening. I need all the practice I can get. I get very nervous when towing a horse so I generally bring Scott along and he gives me guidance. Sam walked off the float happily had a look around and commenced eating. He was nice and relaxed. We wondered over to watch one of the other lessons for a bit . About 45min before our lesson I started to get ready. Sam was fine until Sarah rocked up with Benny. He is a vocal horse and once Sam heard him that was it! I decided to lunge him and he galloped around like a chook with his head cut off. That wasn't going to do him any good so I pulled him in and decided to just hop on!

He was tense but not silly. I walked over the warm up area and just walked him around. He looked at everything but wasn't too silly. Ron Paterson was running on time which was really good. I introduced myself and Sam, gave him a run down on both of us and off we went. Ron wastes no time and is very tough. He likes to yell and demands you to do what he has asked. Sam and I were shell shocked! We have never worked so hard in our lives! I got some really nice work out of Sam. He was tense but then he really has never done anything like that so that was too be expected. I had a few light bulb moments and I have learnt a lot to practice at home which is great.

He gave us breaks which we really needed and when we finished Sam didn't have a dry spot on him - neither did I! We hosed him off and loaded him up. No major hassles except he didn't want to stay on the float so we still took a few goes at loading. He is backing off nicely now - a few steps at a time.

Sam is going to be very sore and sorry for himself tomorrow - so am I! So now we have to work on flexion, coming back in the trot and then trotting out again, active walk, and lengthening my legs. I will give him tomorrow off and start again on Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're back in ths saddle!

Wow I didn't realise how long it had been since my last post. So much to report!

OK so we put the poultice on Saturday night. Sunday Sam was more than capable of having a good buck and pigroot in his yard so the poultice must have been working. Monday I decided to turn him out on a small paddock so at least he could have a good trot or canter if he felt like it. Monday night we took the poultice off - trotted out sound!!!!!! I tried not to get too excited so I went out early Tuesday morning to trot him out again - HE TROTTED OUT SOUND!!!!!!!!

Tuesday afternoon out I went for a ride. Walk and trotted in halter no problem. Put his bridle on and asked for a contact well that is when the fun started. I could feel him getting a little bouncy in the hind end. I really didn't want an argument and we have set up a dressage arena and how it is done has taken away the ability of being able to do a good canter around the riding area. I jumped off and put him on the lunge. Nope no lameness!!!!! He is really athletic! Sam gave some awesome bucks, pigroots and rears! He had a good canter and really enjoyed himself. I think he really misses his 15 acre paddock and his daily gallops. Anyway I jumped back on and he was good, forward but at least the hind end wasn't as bouncy! :)

Today I rode Sam again. This time I did a lot of ground work and I think that helped. I warmed up again in halter then put his bridle on. This time I didn't take a contact straight away i trotted out again and slowly took up a contact and worked him into a round frame. I think this works better for Sam - not as rude!

What does all this mean - We can do the clinic this weekend!!!!!!! Times are 2.15pm on Saturday and 11.15am on Sunday. I can't wait! So exciting!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Still Lame

Sam was lame at walk again this afternoon. On went aonther poultice. I will leave it until Monday or Tuesday and then call the vet I think. Poor little Sam!!!! Going to watch the dressage comp tomorrow. I hope to see some good riding to inspire me!!!!!!

Will he be ok?

Sam has had a poultice on for 24 hrs now. The farrier came out this morning and had a look. He is thinking it might be more of a stone bruise than an abscess. He was walking fine on it this morning. I will trot him out this arvo and have a look. If he is coming good and still slightly sore on Thursday I will give him some bute for the weekend - I really don;t want to do that but I don't want to waste $150 and the opportunity of two lessons with Ron Paterson. He only comes up here 4 times a year and it is hard to get good instruction up here.

Sarah has been great letting me stable Sam and letting me have the pony in with him for company. He is now out in the steel yards and I will leave him there for a few days I think until his paddock is dry.

I have also decided to go back to Sam's original diet. I just don't like how much weight he has lost and he is getting really picky about his food. That isn't like him so I will put him back on what we know!

Last night I tied up his mane so he looks a little more like a dressage pony. Poor bugger is so bored being locked up! I am going to try and find a toy of some sort. A new mare is going next to him this arvo so hopefully she is a little playful - he will like that!

I will keep you updated on his progress!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poor Sam!

Well we haven't been able to get into the training and riding due to the rain and this afternoon it had stopped raining long enough to go for a walk down the road. When I pulled into the driveway and looked over to Sam I wondered if maybe the mud had just impacted in his hooves too much. I cleaned them out and he seemed ok. We went for a walk down the road and then we tried a trot. That was a disaster! Poor little boy was very sore.

I did a little testing and I am wondering if it is a hoof abscess due to the wet weather. I rang Lew and he doesn't think it is because he saw me out riding but last time he had this it started slowly and took about a week to really come to head. I think Sam has a very low pain thresh hold.

I have just paid for the Ron Paterson clinic - $150 down the drain. I wanted to do a comp on the 9th of May but I guess we won't be doing that either. Never mind as long as he gets better! June so maybe a comp in July or August! Just had a look, 19th July. That means we will miss Townsville Show. He might be ok to take in led - hope so I was trying for that this year.

I just feel bad for Sam - I hate seeing him in pain. Then I wonder if it is his joints. He ran out of joint food about 4 weeks ago. I will order some more tomorrow and hopefully I will get that by the end of the week. I will keep you posted!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bloody Rain!!!!!!!

I know I shouldn't complain but I am sick of the rain!!!!! It is just enough to make the riding area unusable. We don't want to chop it up and I don't want to take him straight out onto the road so I am hand walking him every afternoon. This afternoon we went for about a 4km walk. I think he enjoys getting out and about and seeing new things. We went for a trot and also stopped and ate grass!

Yesterday afternoon I gave him a really good groom and trimmed around his head so he is starting to look a bit better. We have the Ron Paterson clinic in two weeks and I would like him looking good for that. I really want it to stop raining so I can get a little more fitness into him before the clinic because I can imagine we are going to be worked hard!

Because of the rain I have had the time to spend on the computer and I have down loaded a video onto you tube of Sam and I. The first one I have downloaded is of Sam in halter only. I compared it to the video we took of Sam when we were looking at buying him. His movement has really improved. He is more flowing in all gaits. I was very surprised. Now he even reaches down sometimes instead of throwing his head up in the air. I will download the other video of him in a bridle soon but for now

I hope the link works!!!!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just a quick update

I was able to ride Sam yesterday arvo and of course he was very good. I have noticed he is starting to move off my leg and little more which is great. His trot work is also getting better - not bobbing his head quite so much. Sarah is home now and she had a ride on Benny. It was great to see how Sam would react with another horse being worked at the same time. He wanted to follow and watch and then he settled down and was happy to work!! Such a good boy!

This afternoon we just went for a walk down the road. We had some rain last night and today so the ground was too slippery to ride on. I think he enjoys his outings. I let him have a pick for about 20min because you know he is a half starved pony!!!!

I have found an awesome combo on ebay for him so I am watching that for the moment. It will be too warm for up here but when we move to Wagga he will need it!

Considering another diet change - the one he is on is costing too much!!!!! I am not noticing a change yet either. I will give it another week or so though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Diets - New Headaches

I am changing Sam over to a all natural diet and I am not coping!!!!! I stress so much and tonight when I went out to feed him tonight he wasn't really interested in his hard feed. He kept swapping between his hard feed and Lucerne hay. I can't feed him the amount chaff that they want so I am trying to feed more hay but I just can't see it being enough to help keep weight on him. He isn't coping with the French White Millet again and he really needs to be able to!!!!!!!! Maybe I should just go back to the premixed feed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interesting Ride

We had an interesting ride today. Sam in the beginning was his usual - whatever, lazy self - then I put his bridle on and we went for a trot. (I started out in his halter again) He felt very forward after I finally gave him a good kick to make him trot. I don't normally do this, I generally give in and say the word trot but he needs to learn to move off my leg in transitions! He felt like he wanted to canter so I pushed him into canter and we were off!!!!! He was a little humpy - I don't think you would have really seen it from the ground - you know when you just feel it! He felt happy so I went into a 2 point seat and let him stretch out into a good extended canter. We then changed the rein and had a good extended canter the other way. I think this helped get the little excess energy out of his system. He can't have a good stretch in his paddock due to the paddock size so I might have to do this a little more often!

Anyway after he caught his breath back we were into it. He was a little more responsive to go into trot - I only had to niggle with my heels instead of actually kicking (I really don't like having to kick!) this is when it got really interesting. Sam decided that he didn't want to work so tried the following

#pulling the reins out of my hands
#rushing on
#tried to stop
#really falling out through the outside shoulder
#falling in on the circles so he became unbalanced
#locking his neck and jaw and not bending at all

Then finally he gave in and gave me two nice circles in trot - I let him have a break. What was so interesting about this ride is that I didn't give in or get cranky!!!!!!! That is big for me! Generally if Sam tries to get out of work I will say OK we don't have to practice today! So I was really impressed with myself for sticking to it and I was impressed with Sam for in the end trying. We stopped then because he is so unfit and it really did take a lot out of him. Even though it probably all happened within 15min he was dripping with sweat so we went for a walk and I gave him a really good hose down.

I can't wait to ride again on Thursday to see if there is a change. I am going to try and start work late so I can ride in the morning. I don't have lights here I am so I bound to daylight hours!!!! Makes it a little difficult but we can work around it. I am thinking of having him clipped this winter. He is already starting to go woolly even though the days are still getting to 32 degrees!!!! The nights I guess are low 20's - that would be a little cool for Sam!!!!! When Sarah comes home I am going to see if she is willing to change rugs for me in the morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Have I told you lately that I love my pony!!!!!

I love my pony! He really is the bees knees!!!!!! :) I rode him Saturday arvo and hubby taped it for me. I will hopefully sort it out soon and post it on utube for you. I warmed him up in his halter again. I think he enjoys this and appreciates it! I then put his bridle on and did a little flat work. His right canter is not very good. It feels almost 4 beats. I am wondering if something is out through his back or shoulder. Hubby thinks he looks good and can see improvement with his education. He isn't tossing his head up in air anymore - he stretches out and down now instead. I like it when hubby comes out and watches because he is a good judge of soundness and improvement.

Sam looks quite sound on the video - occasionally he steps short but I think he is feeling good at the moment. I look terrible but at least I know what to work on - sit straight, shoulders back and shorten my rein!

I took Sam for a walk around the block this afternoon. I like to do this every now and again - we just go for a walk. He enjoyed getting out and seeing all the new sights. He was very brave - we walked over a bridge. It is solid with bitumen but you can see over the sides to the creek below. Passing over it Sam had a good look and snort and on the way back he couldn't care less. Even stopped halfway across to try and eat a bit of grass that was growing on it! He really enjoyed watching the little Shetlands down the road and there was a little foal so it was cute to see that. I wonder if he misses Scout from his old agistment place. They weren't paddocked together but I would always tie him up to Scouts yard so they could play. Scout would pull at his halter and nip him on the legs. Sam loved it!

They chainsawed some of the branches off the big tree just outside Sams paddock today. I was told that they had to shoo him away becuase his was stretching his nose out and getting in the way of the chainsaw!!!!!!! Silly Sam. I am so lucky to have such a quiet horse!!!!!!!

One of the other ladies that is agisting where I am keeps asking me when I am going to sell him - NEVER!!!!!!!! I knew when I bought Sam that he would be with us till the end! He will be! HE is looking really good at the moment but I think he is still loosing a little bit of weight. Some days he eats his Rhodes Hay and other days he doesn't. I guess he will work it out!

I will hopefully be able to post some new pictures tomorrow!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Decision Made

I have decided not to compete. There is a Ron Patterson School on in 3 weeks and I will try to get a lesson with that. I had a look and there is a dressage competition in May around the 9th I think so I will look at that one but I don't think there is a prep class and there is no way we would be ready for canter by May. I will keep looking and reassessing. Hubby is going to video us tomorrow so I have a reference. I will get him to tape us every month or so so we can see if there is improvement! I will really try and get photos this weekend!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Will we be ready?

I rode Sam on Tuesday and this afternoon. Of course he was wonderful both times that is just Sam - until I actually ask for some work - then it all falls apart. Sam becomes lazy and tries very hard to fall through the shoulders, slow down in the gait or break into the lower gait. Entries close tomorrow for the dressage day and I am still tossing up whether or not to compete. It is only a walk - trot test and I think I should be able get him working reasonably well in two and half weeks but is it too soon? Should I just wait till the next one?

He did work better this afternoon. I started off in the halter today. He is so much more relaxed in his halter so I thought I would warm up that way for a change. He was happy to walk, trot and canter around and happy to change up and down through the gaits. We did this for about 15min and then I put his bridle on. He did work better than on Tuesday but really it was only the third ride today so I shouldn't judge too much!

If I can get out to the ladies house with the money tomorrow I will do it otherwise I guess I will wait until the next one.

I have Sam's new diet - I just have to buy everything and we can start. It is an all natural diet so hopefully he will do really well on it. Hopefully it will really help his hooves as well. I am a bit excited with the fact that my horse is finally going to have no processed feed.

Lew the farrier came out yesterday which was awesome. He was booked for tomorrow so it was great that he could make it earlier. He was surprised how good Sam's hooves were which is great news. I guess that means maybe the herbs are finally really working!!!!! Lew is a lot happier that I have moved Sam, not only because he is closer but because Sam is in a better paddock now for his hooves.

I will let you know tomorrow if I am competing or not!!!!!!!