Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter is back!

Well the big freeze has hit us too! Over the weekend temperatures dropped to 14 degrees during the day and Sunday night was down to 4 degrees! Over at Perisher it snowed! We are in summer people, normally we are sweltering in shorts and singlet tops at Christmas time, lying around until the evenings because it is too hot to even breath! They say things will be warming up soon - hope so I had to pull out winter rugs again!

Saturday I had to work and Christmas shop. I was exhausted when I got home so Sam got the day off. Sunday was horrid weather - thunderstorms rolled on through at hourly intervals and the wind was horrible. I tried to brave the conditions in the afternoon racing out between storms but Sam would not have a bar of it. He was up on his toes and monsters lurked in the long grass, behind trees and who knows where else! I thought I would stay in the arena area, just at a walk do some suppeling exercises but this just made matters worse. I ended up getting off and taking him back to his paddock. Walking over there the rain started again and he was trying to hide his face out of it - Sam really is the biggest princess ever!

Monday was still cold and windy and I was just too tired to play with the horses so they got an early dinner and I went to bed early.

This afternoon we rode. I changed things today. I know I have said it before in the past. WARM UP is soooooo important. Especially with a horse who takes a good 20min to warm up and start being able to work. Today we spent 10min in the walk, suppeling, moving off the leg, stretching down. Halt, walk, walk, halt. We moved up to the trot. The walk, trot transition is usually horrible, a huge jump in the air instead of using his hind end. Today the first transition to trot wasn't too bad. I didn't correct him because I could feel that he did try and use his hind end. In the trot I just asked once again for bend around the inside leg, changing the rein a lot, small circles, big circles. After a while he started to really focus and start to show some rhythm.

Back to walk and he really stretched down and stepped out. I would be very happy with that walk in a dressage test. After a bit I picked up the contact and we worked on some walk, trot, walk transitions. These were quite good, especially the walk, trot.

We moved up to canter and after a warm up with going forward in the canter I thought I would have a go at these trot, canter transitions. Quite a few were a disaster but I really concentrated each time so I could change the way I asked each time until I figured it out. We got two really good ones so I stopped there. Back to a walk. Once again it was big and forward with stretching down.

I thought I would have a go at the trot, canter transitions the other directions. Walk, trot transition perfect. Trot was lovely. So lovely I ended there instead.

I went to get Poppy to take her for her 20min trot exercising off Sam. We started in the back paddock and trotted around for 10min. Poppy started lag so i thought we would have a go at going across the road into the reserve. We just got there when Megan my neighbour came up the lane way on Gundy, leading her new horse Cooper. Well she is trialing Copper. He is a little Quarter Horse Gruella in colour. About 14.2hh, 5yo. He really hasn't done much and injured his knee about 2 years ago. It is huge but seems sound. Vets have checked him out and say he is good to go. His hind quarters aren't very nice but he has a lovely face.

After having a chat (as we girls like to do) I showed Megan the tracks hubby and I had mowed into the side of the hill in the reserve. The grass is so high in there - over Poppy's head! With the fear of snakes and goannas the grass was just too long to ride through. I was so impressed with how both Sam and Poppy dealt with this. They both walked along happily with Megan and her two behind us. At the end we stopped and chatted some more and all the horses stood quietly, swishing their tails a the mozzies. All good ponies!!!!!!

So another go at riding everyday with the good weather!!!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


OK guys I have just noticed poor little Poppy's muzzle is starting to be covered in warts! I know sometimes babies go through this stage but she is meant to be about 3.5 years old. WHAT SHOULD I DO!!!!!!! They are growing so fast.

I heard smothering them in Vegimite works.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I hope all my American friends are surviving the big chill you seem to be having at the moment. Does it help if I tell you, we have had a few very warm days but it starting to cool down a bit again, but still t-shirt weather during the day! Sorry had to rub it in! We have had a lot of rain, flooding so mozzies are out in full force. Sam and Poppy are sprayed with aeroguard every morning and night to give them a little peace.

Sam has started his fitness program. I am starting now, getting him ready for his first dressage comp in March. He is working ok. I am finding that he is starting out quite stiff and it is taking a good 15-20min for him to loosen up. His walk trot transitions are improving. He only jumps into them about the first 4 times then figures out to use his back end first. Then you can really feel the power.

Poppy is doing well but OMG she is fat. I have started to work her more to try and get her to loose a few pounds. How do people keep weight off little ponies? She is allowed out on native pasture for 1hr in the early morning (when the sugars are low) then she is locked up in a dirt paddock about the size of a dressage arenafor the day. During the day she gets 350grams of wheaten chaff, 1kg of oaten hay and the scraps of hay Sam has left from the night before. In the afternoon she is led off Sam at a trot for about 15-20min or lunged for 15-20min. For dinner 350grams of wheaten chaff, founderguard, 1kg of soaked and dried lucerne hay. She gets to have a pick of grass while I work Sam. She has pockets of fat in places where she shouldn't! Her crest is still loose but I really don't want her to founder - I worry.

Spoke to a fellow about an arena so fingers crossed that will happen in the new year. I had the gentleman out to look at the area for the wash bay so he will pour the concrete in the new year. Hubby and I will get the posts in over the Christmas period for the wash bay area and another yard. By the end of January I should have a wash bay!

My wonderful hubby also put shelving in my tack room. I think it looks great, all I need now is to find some saddle racks. It is all coming together slowly!

Friday, December 3, 2010

We are alive!

Yes we are alive! Life gets in the way!

Sam is working well, we have had another lesson and it was in a new place. Scary place. The arena was surrounded by trees and shrubs but Sam worked well, of course. I had a small panic attack during the first canter but Sam looked after me and carried me around like a pro. My instructor was happy with our progress which is always fantastic. She did tell me suck it up and just ride. Sam is quiet and isn't going to do anything bad. I also have to be a bit tougher, not let him get away with so much. Because he is a lazy horse by nature when I let him get away with things - be sloppy through transitions - it is harder for me to get him to work when I want him too.

Poppy is improving as well. She is really starting to trust now and allows me to put her flyveil on without much fuss. She is doing well with her ground work and lunging. She is even jumping a small jump while on the lunge. She seems to enjoy this, kicks up her heels afterwards and squeals sometimes! I gave Poppy her first bath and plaited her mane the other weekend - she loved the attention! I love ponies!

I was able to head down to Melbourne for Equitana. My neighbour came with me and we shopped for ten hours straight the first day and about 5hours the second. I purchased two saddlecloths, some Eco2000 shampoo and Show off spray, a horse dressage head belt buckle, a polar fleece jacket, wormers and some white dressage boots (the fleece ones) for Sam. I was very controlled. Found some great info about fencing, working horses, generally looking after them. Next time it is on (in two years time) I am going to be organised and get tickets to some of the performances and clinics. My head was spinning for days afterwards with all the information - it was a bit of an overload! It really was awesome.

I got to pencil at the Wagga Wagga dressage Championships the other weekend. I have never done it before and had to pencil for the Grand Prix, and Intermediate tests but the judge was lovely, helped me out and we got through it. My friend Katie was competing and did quite well. I got a photo of Wilson. Wilson is smaller than Poppy and just beautiful. He has a huge character and does his job very well. He was bought to baby sit one of her big horses. He used to panic and scream and just be a ball of nerves at competitions when she took the other big horse away. With Wilson he stays calm, is happy to stand tied to the float and munch his hay! Happy horse, better competition results!

We are having terrible weather at the moment, a lot of unusual rain which is putting a dampener on our riding. I will be taking Sam to the indoor on Saturday and Sunday so we can do some solid work.

I have been reading all your blogs - keeping up to date with everyone. Sounds like you are all having fun even if it is starting to get chilly for you guys!

I promise to blog more often! I will try and get some up to date photos of Sam for you. He is looking good at the moment.