Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Just getting in early, well only 2 hours really for me but

MERRY CHRISTMAS and I hope 2012 brings you all wonderful horsey times!!!!!!!

Give all your ponies extra hugs and kisses and maybe a few treats extra this Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nina's Arena!

Yep Nina's Arena is all finished and fantastic to ride on!!!!! Not sure if Sam is that thrilled with having his own arena - he actually has to work now! Friday night I felt like riding about 9pm so yep I did! I've got lights and an arena so why can't I ride whenever it tickles my fancy!!!! Mind you it was finally a bit cooler then too!

Little Poppy had a bath the other day she went from this -
To this!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And it has started!

On Friday afternoon at 4.30pm I recieved a phone stating that my arena was being started in the morning! Machinary would be dropped off that afternoon!

I couldn't think straight, I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't BREATH! OMG IT WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!!! I WAS GETTING AN ARENA!

When I got home the machinery was arriving, a roller, a bobcat and the water truck. The large tractor with the leveller would come the following morning. We ran through again what I was after and we measured things out.

So without further ado I would like to present the Nina Arena!!!!!!
This what we started with
The leveller at work

A closer look at the laser level machine
This is the leveller, in the bucket it can hold upto 20 tonne of dirt! The yellow thing on top is part of the laser system. It talks to another thing that they have set up and when they drive around this machine goes up and down to help get it level.
The bobcat hard at work. The bobcat was used as the area was such a small area for the leveller to work in.
The water truck did his part as well!
I then got test out the pad before they rolled it. Had to make sure I has happy with the level.
Then the roller flattened out the pad
The gravel was next, we missed photos of this part but once it was laid and rolled this is what it looked like!
So this is what stage we are up to, the pad done and rolled, the base done and rolled, the rest of the sand will be delivered and spread out on Monday. A neighbour has also offered us telegragh poles so hopefully I will be able to pick them up soon!
Just thought I would show you some footage of the leveller at work!

video

Monday, November 14, 2011

Best lesson ever!



I had a lesson yesterday and it was the best ever I think!

Sam and I have been really practising about being forward and active and it certainly has paid off.

I got there nice and early and Sam and I watched the last 20min of the lesson before us. Boy did she get a work out! Once I had the headset fitted to me I mounted and started straight away by walking around the entire arena. Sam is a little spooky at this place so this time I thought I would take the initiative and show him around, we haven't been there for about 3 months either. He had a few looks at the arena letters and a blue marker but other then that he was good to go. We picked up a trot and I pushed him out so that he was active. His frame was low and round but his nose was still sticking out. We didn't mind while we were warming up.

Then I was asked for some shoulder in. We had attempted this in our last lesson, a first for both of us. I hadn't tried this at home at I was still unsure about trying it alone. You know what, we did ok. Changed the rein and it was even better. Wahoo! Now don't get me wrong it certainly wasn't competition level shoulder in but for the second attempts ever I was pretty happy and so was my instructor.

Walk break before we moved onto the canter. First transition was good, he was a little stiff but we eventually had him listening and using his hind quarters better, then I got to try leg yield at the canter. I was whooping out loud I was so excited. Down the quarter line, straight then asking him to move over, straighten the shoulders and ask again! We were so good the lady who owns the place where we have our lessons came out to watch! This lady doesn't get excited about much was happy for us! Round and round the arena we went at the canter, rhythmical and forward and active!

Change the rein, this rein isn't very good and still needs a lot of work but he tried hard! The transition was pretty good for this rein. No leg yielding on this rein, we worked more on his falling out through his shoulder. Another walk break.

This time when we moved up into the trot we got to start on the beginnings of extensions! First two across the diagonals Sam just didn't get it. We were kicking every stride to ask him to activate his hind quarters a little more. He tried throwing his head, he tried pulling me out of the saddle and then on the 3rd go half way across he broke into canter. Yay, we were actually happy with this because he went somewhere! Next diagonal I felt his back come up a bit more, he stretched down a bit and I felt some power from back there! He gave me this 3 times. We left it there.

Yep I have a pretty smart clever pony! What was great as well is that his fitness has really increased so he recovered quickly after the lesson. It was hot, 30 degrees. I hosed him down quickly, offered tepid water (didn't drink) and let him have a pick of some green grass. Once he was dry and seemed content we loaded up and headed home.

I couldn't be happier. He held a decent frame for the whole lesson, yep he tipped onto the forehand, yep he came above the bit at times but you know what he worked well for him. Hell I rode well. I wish I had it filmed but never mind........next time!

Monday, November 7, 2011

In the bad books.........



Oh dear I was in the bad books with little Poppy Poppin tonight. My wonderful other half is away this week on a Charity motorbike ride so it is up to me to hold down the fort. I had a dressage club meeting after work tonight which meant I didn't get home until 10.30pm. Little Poppy generally greats me with a lot of low nickering - due to being starving of course!

So when I got home tonight I was expecting a lot of loud nickering when I got out of the car. (Where I park my car looks straight into the large yard that Poppy is kept in.) No Poppy, no nickering. I went round to turn to the light on and still no nickering. Poppy had come to the gate and just stood and stared at me. I felt soooooo bad! I made up her dinner and fed her first, still no nickering, no nuzzle of my hair that I usually get when mixing up her feed. She just stood and watched me and then followed me into her night time yard.

Yep I think I am really in the bad books! I did give her a good scratch and cuddle and kiss before I fed the Super Sam.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

OMG OMG OMG OMG

OMG I think I am getting an arena! I mean one that is laser leveled, has a road base base and sand on top!

We had a gentleman out to give us a quote on our septic system, we need a new pit dug. I was talking to him about where they were going to put all the dirt. We chatted about an arena and the specs that I was after. He said that he had access to a machine with a laser level bucket on it and it was actually in my little town at the moment. Leave it with him and he would figure out a quote. 4 hours later he was on the phone and we were agreeing to an arena!!!!!

I think it will end up being about 48m x 22m. I am more than happy with that! Also it will be done in a day! The only thing we have to do to it is spread the sand. No problems, neighbours tractor and bucket will be able to do that for us. That has saved us a bit too.

This morning we got up at 6am to remove the fence from the front of our property so they have access. We had to move our sawdust from one side of the driveway to other and I had mulched part of an area where the arena will now go so we moved that over to the other side as well. I have a bit of other temporary fencing to do but otherwise it is all ready to go! I find out tomorrow what day it is all happening!!!!!!

OMG I AM SO NERVOUS, EXCITED, IN SHOCK!

This means that my "new horse fund" had dropped by at least half but hopefully Sam will cope a little longer now having a better surface to ride on. He works a lot sounder in my lessons when I am on a sand surface. Photos will be coming for sure!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hope you are all ok, and Warm sunny days

I hope you are all ok over there! I heard on the news about a terrible snowstorm. Power cut, freezing temperatures. So hope you all are staying warm and so are all your fluffy pals!

Down under is starting to warm up. Our day time temps are starting to rise and so are our nights. Winter rugs have been put away, sent to the cleaners or are in the washing pile. Coats are falling out and you can see hair floating on the breeze!

Flies are starting to buzz lazily around, mosquitoes buzz in a frenzy in the early evenings. Horses and ponies stand lazily under trees during the middle of the day, swishing tails, stamping hooves, shaking the head occasionally.

Cut pasture aroma hangs in the warm air and the faint hum of tractors can be heard all day.

Sam and I are doing well when I get the time to ride. Last weekend we floated the hour to my instructors place and had a lesson. Sam worked really well as usual, I need a lot of improvement but we will get there. We even dabbled at shoulder in.

This is poor Sam not impressed that I am setting up markers that will make us ride our corners!

We had the sheep at our place again for about 3 weeks. Meet "mum" she is pretty old and follows you around every where...........even though she was very noisy, she was still my favorite!


The great horse search continues and I am glad that I am requesting video footage before making the trek, I haven't physically seen a lot of horses due to such poor work shown on videos.
I am considering on making the trek to meet Arky though, I really like his rhythmical trot. He is not a show stopper but looks honest and sounds lovely.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sam's First Show

Sam and I attended our local show this morning - The Rock show! There was stiff competition, Sam didn't place in his led class but it was more about getting us both out there and showing Sam what a competition atmosphere is like. He handled it all like a pro. We arrived around 7.30am - for a 9am start.

I took him for a walk around when we first arrived. He grew about 2 hands but stayed in control. He then stood happily at the float and started to eat his hay. He let me finish prepping him even though he was starting to bet bored, chewing on the spare tyre, running his teeth along the float!

They were running late starting so we were on around 9.30am. Sam walked around the ring happily and trotted out nicely, listening to me the whole way. He wasn't too impressed by having to stand still for the judge but eventually we got there. The other horses in his class were very beautiful and very will prepared. I was just happy that we came and conquered!!!!

I then rode him over to the side of all the rings. I lunged him first and he was good on the lunge so on I hopped. He was good under saddle, a little preoccupied but still listened. He walked, trotted and cantered without too much trouble. I think we rode for about 15min. I could feel myself starting to get a little worried so Sam was starting to get tense through his back so i decided to call it a day. I was proud of myself for riding in a competition atmosphere and VERY proud of Sam dealing with the morning!

Now for some photos!

This is what we started with, a very dirty pony!

Not very impressed with being bathed!
Standing quietly by the float waiting for his turn!
All ready for the show ring! With his dapples glowing and all!A very relaxed pony happily munching!

Home again with a curly mane!
Yesterday at the back door waiting for carrots please!
NUM NUM carrots!!!!!!I love my carrots!!!!

video

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sorted out my account and back riding!

I have finally sorted my account out and can be back to blogging!

So much has been happening!

Sam has now been officially bought back into work. Day one I had to lunge first. I mounted and tried to walk around our back paddock but Sam soon told me that he was full of beans and that there are monsters hiding under all the trees. I popped him on the lunge until he had shown me just how acrobatic he can be and until he was ready to slow down, breath and to start thinking again. I don't mind Sam being silly on the lunge as when I need to use it as a training tool and working tool he does listen and work properly - I'm lucky that way. We have been doing a lot of fitness work mainly. The back paddock is about 3 acres and we walk around it twice, trot twice and canter twice and change the rein and do it all over again. He his starting to really get his breathing sorted in the trot work.

I am now wondering about the diagnosis of pedal osteitis for Sam as he seems to be warming up out of the lameness. It is not totally gone but he does get better throughout the work out. I am considering when I have time to take him to a different vet clinic that is about 3 hours away but their reputation is remarkable for lameness issues.

So Sam is working well, accepting a contact, holding a nice prelim frame in trot. Canter is still very stiff. Any ideas for suppling exercises for the canter? I really need to be able to loosening up his back.

Sam got new shoes all round on Thursday and on Friday he was a little touchy so I gave him yesterday off and will see how he is today, if no improvement I will call the farrier.

Little Poppy is doing well. Fat! She has a sore eye at the moment that seems light sensitive. I have been bathing it with warm salty water and I have given her some bute (an anti inflammatory and pain killer). This has been helping but if I stop for about two days the eye becomes sore again so I will take her to the vet this week. I can't see anything and it isn't really weeping, maybe she has bumped it but I would prefer to be sure.

Little Poppy excelled her self when my niece and nephew came to stay. We have never known if she has been broken to saddle. She accepts a lunge roller with no issues and has been long reining really well. We decided to put my nephew on her. I made sure he had a helmet on and he wore his gumboots - better than thongs - my OH was also holding onto him just in case Poppy showed us that she wasn't ready for it or happy about it. SHE WAS QUIETER BEING RIDDEN!!!!
video

She is a little super star!

I am heading off again next weekend on another road trip to look at a horse. Only 6.5hrs away this time!
Harvest Arbitrator He is a 16.1hh 14yo Warmblood Gelding. Trained to medium level dressage, currently competing Elementary level. He is meant to be very quiet and schoolmaster like. You have to press the right buttons or he won't do it! If you nag him too much with your spur than he will cow kick at your leg - I thought this was a good thing, makes sure you keep your leg still and quiet and only use it when required. He has the same Sire as my old instructors horse in Sydney and her horse swishes his tail a lot as well - I will presume it comes from the Sire. I thought he looked happy and willing and very patient in the video. These are his official placings.
Thoughts?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Darcy Saga

Well my OH and I have just returned from travelling a round trip of 1900kms (1186 miles) to see Darcy. It was a very interesting drive as we hadn't seen this part of Australia before so the landscape was interesting, very flat and not hugely fertile through the middle of the trip.

We arrived 30min early and the owner was already there. I was introduced to a dirty, paddock condition, wet, nervous horse. Darcy was tied up in a stable and could not stand still. He appeared quite on edge and nervous. The farrier was due that morning and still had not shown up. We were just starting to have a look and chat about him when the farrier turned up so we waited while two new shoes were fitted and the back hooves trimmed. His hooves were so long and the farrier commented that it had been 3 months since he was last shod!!!! His heels were very under slung, I wasn't impressed. He kept moving his leg that was being worked on for the farrier and certainly wasn't relaxed about the whole process.

Finally we were ready to saddle him up and see him move. When the tatty rug was taken off he certainly was in paddock condition. Not skinny just no muscle tone. The story had been changing a lot about how much work he was in and on Saturday afternoon they story was that the owner hadn't actually seen the horse for 3 weeks (he agists) though on the phone the weekend before he couldn't talk as he was taking the horse to Pony Club? I am not quick enough with my thought process to pick up on these things at the time so I couldn't question this.

Darcy was not impressed about having a bridle put on, threw his head a lot and once on kept chomping the bit. His teeth were badly over due and looked quite long. We headed out to the grass arena, the indoor was being used for a clinic. The weather was terrible. It was very, very cold, windy, raining and the chill factor I am guessing was about 3 degrees. The owner proceeded to lunge Darcy (I had been told that you could get straight on anytime, no working down required), he showed some acrobatics but nothing too bad and he showed me a lovely trot. I was finally starting to like what I was seeing.

I was asked to hold Darcy as the owner needed to go back to the stables to get his helmet. Darcy could not stand still. I kept backing him back away from me every time he stepped towards me but he was so on edge he wouldn't really listen to me and just could not stand still. The owner came back and somehow climbed on board. Off they walked around the arena. Darcy had a very high head carriage and took about a circuit to finally listen and drop his head carriage. He couldn't keep walking and started to jig jog so the owner let him trot on. The trot was tense but I still liked it. Rhythmical and even. You could see that Darcy wanted to speed up at times and was finding it hard to control himself. He finally let go, shied, ,lept and reared sideways. The owner bought him back to walk, walked around the arena and came up to me and said it was my turn! I was already very disappointed at how tense Darcy was and pretty sure he wouldn't be the horse for me but I didn't travel this far not to have a ride. I did question the owner on his temperament. One of the main reasons I came was because he was advertised as a Schoolmaster. The owner commented that he had never been like this before.

We adjusted the stirrup length and the owner held him still for him. I mounted, lasted all of about 10 seconds and dismounted. I felt like I was about to pelted to the ground. He terrified me! We thanked the owner and left. We started to head back on the 9 hour trip drive home. We hadn't even made it down the drive way and I burst into tears. I think from shear disappointment (I was sure he was going to be the one for me) and from the fear.

I have gone through a range of emotions, fear, sadness, questioning where I had gone wrong, whatever and anger. I have now moved on, I have a new list of questions to ask about the next horse before I even set my bottom down in my car!!!!! I guess it just wasn't meant to be!

On a good note I rode Sam today. He has had 2.5months off and went quite well. We even went over the road into the reserve where he showed me his acrobatics, but really he worked well considering it was cold, windy, a little rain and 2.5 months off!!!!! He was stiff and didn't stride out well but that will all improve with suppling exercises and work. I am looking forward to bringing him back into work. He seemed to hold up reasonably well with his lameness issue - it felt the same as before he was turned out so I guess that is a good sign!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sam's Home!

I received no phone calls last night from the vet so I took that as a good sign. The vet phoned me at 8.20am to let me know that Sam did well through the night and showed no more upset signs. He did want to take bloods to check his kidney and liver. I was happy for them to do any test that they thought necessary. I confirmed that Sam could stay the day and I would pick him up at 4.30pm.

Sam was sleeping when I arrived. He had eaten his breakfast but hadn't really touched his dinner. The vet was a little concerned and offered to keep him for another night. I said that he will more than likely be fine as Sam can be picky with his feed and I wasn't too concerned about this. His blood work was basically clear but his white cell count was slightly low which meant that he had a very slight infection somewhere in his gut. They still have no idea what or why this happened. I am just happy that it was all caught early. Once again I was told he was a star patient, very body loves him!

Sam seemed ever so slightly down when I lead him out but then he probably hadn't been walked out at all so he was probably a little stiff after being stabled for over 24hours. He loaded well and we headed home. About 10km's from home the car decided to loose power. I had forgotten to change the fuel tanks over! I called my OH and he came out and rescued us!. I was impressed with Sam as he stayed reasonably calm while we waited. Trucks and cars were flying past and he didn't batter an eyelid as long as I was standing with him. He called out a few times when I had to try and start the car but he settled again.

When we got home I let me out in the native pasture paddock with Poppy. He had a good walk around, didn't want to play even though Poppy tried to engage him. He started to pick at the grass and I watched him have a drink. I went back out 2.5hrs later to bring them in and feed up. He tucked into his hard feed nicely. I rugged him up as the temperature has dropped and I have left the gate open tonight so he can graze at his will. I will probably check on him through the night but I think we were lucky!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sam is having sleep over's

Poor little Sam is having sleep overs at the vet's tonight.

This morning I went out to put a rug on him as the rain started, he trotted back into his stable - precious can't get wet!!!! I rugged him up and offered him some hay - No Thank's Mum, so I made him his breakfast - No Thank's Mum. I wasn't hugely concerned at this stage as this isn't totally out of the norm for Sam. He is becoming picky with his feed. I left him and started cleaning the stables and yards but kept my eye on him. Over the next hour he sat down, lay down and stretched out 4 times. On the 4th sit down he started to look at his belly.

I rang the vet's and organised to take him straight in. They were ready and waiting for us when we arrived. Sam was a little bloated, with very little gut sounds. After an internal examination the vet found that his large intestine was sitting slightly lower than normal and had a very small twist. They put the tube up his nose and down into his stomach and poured some water in there. This was to help move anything if there was something blocking the way up further.

The vet wanted to keep him over night, just to observe him as he said Sam was at the point where it could all settle down or tip over the other way and twist further. I was more than happy to leave him there in their capable hands. It could also be a build up of gas! So we settled Sam into his stable. He has a friend next door to keep him company.

They will call if anything happens, otherwise I will hear from them in the morning and hopefully be able to pick him up after work tomorrow afternoon.

Poor little Sam but hopefully he will feel a lot better soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go Little Poppy!

Tonight I put a roller on Poppy for the first time. She didn't even flinch just watched me tighten the girth. I think she has been broken to harness before.

Firstly I lunged her with it on so she would hear the rings on it cling and clang, also to get her listening to my voice commands.

I then attached a lunge line to each side. I ran them through the rings on the roller and attached them to her bit. She was brilliant. Stopping is still a little issue, just takes her a while and she is leaning into the bit. I just asked verbally and put light pressure on the bit in a give and take motion.

It wasn't long until we were trotting figure of 8's and even trotting over trot poles! Sam decided to join in by cantering around, rearing and kicking out - just trying to get us to play with him really and she ignored him and kept focused on her job!

What a good little pony!

Sam looked a little left out so I took him out to give him a quick lunge and to see how lame he is. I see a few strides every now and again of him either stepping short or actually limping when he is carrying on out in the paddock. We did some ground work, moving off pressure, which he did very well, he was excited to get out on the lunge and showed me just how acrobatic he can be. Such a clever boy. The left was his bad rein before being turned out and he wasn't showing signs of being 'worse' with his pedal osteitis so I think he will be able to come back into work quite well. Arena work will be kept to a minimum but it was good to see.

I have been looking into transport companies for if I buy Darcy. So far I like the look of Southern Cross Horse Transport. I have asked for a quote, just so I know what I would be up for. I have also started to look at different equine vets located near him so I can organise a vet check quickly. I really hope Darcy is the one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maybe Mr Darcy

It has been very quiet here since I turned Sam out. He has been having a lovely time at my neighbours keeping one of her horses, Gundy company. He did reek havoc while he was there - scraped his teeth down the bonnet of their ute, was banned from living with the sheep due to chasing and harassing them, learnt to live with cows, found how to get through the fence into the other neighbours 20 acre paddock and showed everybody how to gallop around the perimeter 4 times! Sam and Gundy below having a lovely grooming session - as you can see Sam is in his best paddock daggy coat!


He came home due to getting an abscess in his hoof last Friday. I took him to the vets to have it drained and the farrier was able to put a shoe back on today so Saturday we will start work again. This was when we got to the abscess! Even though Sam was acting like his whole leg was going to drop off - the abscess was actually quite small and he was sound by the following morning.

The sun is finally being warm again during the day so Sam will be washed, mane pulled, tail trimmed and put back into work.

Poppy is doing well, very fat but we have started lunge work again and I was even able to long rein her a little on Sunday. She trotted out in front of me very nicely, we can't do a straight line but she took it all in her little stride. I just used her halter as I don't have a roller small enough yet.

The second weekend in September my loving OH and I will make the 10.5hour drive to Adelaide to meet Mr Darcy. He is a 9yo, 16.3hh Warmblood x Thoroughbred gelding. He is being advertised as a showjumping school master but he is training novice/elementary dressage and seems very quiet. After talking to the owner he has ticked all the so far! Fingers crossed!!!!

I hope everybody has survived your terrible weather! Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding - all not happy horsey weather!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No more Fred :(

No Fred :(

The owner isn't really negiotable on his price and he doesn't believe he is in poor condition. I can't justify the amount of money he is asking due to the time and money it will take to get Fred into good order so I said thank you but I wouldn't being buying Fred.

He wasn't very happy.

So the search is back on! I am travelling up to Brisbane (about 1400kms north!) to see my Dad in 2 weeks so I am seeing if there are any horses on the way that I can look at.

Thank you for all opinions about Fred - please watch this space for more ponies!!!!!!

In the mean time have a little dream with me! :)

Happy riding!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meeting Fred again

This morning on our drive to see Fred again, the rain came down. I knew that the arena where Fred is would be fine but I really didn't want to ride in the rain! As we reached the front gates the rain started to ease. A good sign! Fred was already saddled and waiting for me.

I was told that Fred had been in more work since I had last seen him - about 5 weeks ago - so I was expecting to see him with more condition and looking better. This was not the case. Unfortunately Fred looked the same, his coat dull, no muscle condition, large grass belly.

I walked him down to the arena and mounted. He was a happy chappy to walk around. Up into trot. Not forward but happy to mosey around. His head carriage was better, not as jerky and could hold a frame a little better. His canter was better than I remembered, it is so comfortable and light. I guess the best way to describe what it feels like is Pepe Le Pew but forward.
A friend of my mothers who is a very accomplished dressage rider offered to come out and give her opinion. She turned up after I had been working him for probably about 20-30min. She watched me ride walk, trot, canter and transitions.

Her opinion: first impression of Fred just standing there was poor but once he started to move she liked him. His paces were even and nice. He showed an ok lengthening, not huge but some. His temperament sweet and he came across to her as very trainable. YAY!!!!!!!!! Hooves look good and strong, conformation is good, neck a little short. Smoochy always wins points!

She didn't like his condition, the lump on his head, the scar tissue/wound on his back leg, a small lump found under the dock. All these things will be checked on vet check and xrays.

I took him out into his paddock, trotted and cantered around. He wasn't fussed when the horses in the joining paddock kicked up their heels and the two horses in the paddock we were riding in, joined in. Fred wasn't fazed. He trotted away from his paddock mates with a little more coaxing but still happy to do so.

I then took him out on the road. Walking around to the front gates he was looky but went forward off my leg. He had a good look around out on the road but the further we went the more relaxed he became. Along our ride we came across a herd of about 20 goats. His head went straight up and he started to slow but when asked him to round again and keep going forward he just kept an eye on them out of the corner of his eye. We turned around and he was happy to walk on a long rein. He went to head back down the road to home and I asked him to keep walking past.

Fred: Um I know you're new around here and home is down this way
Me: Thanks Fred but I would like to investigate what is up this way
Fred: OK then but it really isn't very exciting

We didn't go too far and turned around. Once we turned into the road to home his stride length lengthened but he didn't start to rush. I asked him to halt. Nope that wasn't going to happen. Head went up and he found it hard to keep his feet still. I insisted that he halt and every time his feet stopped moving I relaxed my seat and hands. It didn't take long for him figure out that it was easier to just halt. I would turn away from home and walk back the way we had come, turn around and start to walk home again. I did this quite a few times, each time it took less and less time for him to stand still. About 100m from the front gate the owner of the property was crouching down weeding. This was a obviously a monster of some sort crouching down and getting ready to pounce. I could feel Fred's heart pounding, head was high, nostrils flaring. He didn't spin to get get away, instead he stood and looked and when asked to move forward, did so even if it was slowly. When she stood up Fred let out a big breath and continued to walk home.

I took him in and unsaddled him. Gave him a brush and a good rub. He wasn't really sweaty and it was cold so I just rugged him again. They did give him a small hard feed. When he was finished I led him back to his paddock. When I took his halter off he just stood there. I gave him a good head rub and a kiss. He watched me walk back up the hill before rejoining his paddock mates.

I found out that he isn't getting any extra feed at the moment, only if he is ridden and if it is what they gave him today, it isn't much. The paddock is full of manure and the grass isn't good quality so no wonder he is so light on in condition. He was taken to jump club last weekend where he was taken in the 60cm class by a very nervous young rider who had never been out before. I got to speak to her and she said that he was fine, knocked a few rails but didn't put a foot wrong for her.

My thoughts after today: I really like Fred.

Pros
Temperament
Paces
Very Comfortable
Quiet
Good hooves
Strong bone
Mainly clean legs
Training level
Has been taken out to competition environments

Cons
Condition/lack of muscle
Lump on head
Large wound/scarring on hind leg
Braces against me in downward transitions

I am going to ask for a trial. My main concern is what he is going to be like when he is fit and feeling good. I expect him to still be quiet just more active and forward in his paces but it is a risk. The owner is away competing this weekend so I will have a chat with him when he gets back.
Fred

The lump on his head
The wound/scarring

Fred when I said goodbye









Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cold weather!

While everybody on the other side of the world is experiencing the lovely warmth of summer we are having a very cold winter! We haven't really gotten any warmer than 11 degrees all week, it has been blowing an icy wind and overcast to top it off. I don't think Sam enjoys this cold weather, he is very grumpy and poor Poppy can't do anything right!

In the cold weather have you ever experienced your horse not pooing as much? For a few nights there he only did 3-4 poos where he normally does about 8. He didn't have a temperature, feed intake has slightly decreased, normal gut sounds. I was wondering if he was using more from his feed to keep warm?

He is rugged up and always feel warm when I feel underneath. He has also become very picky with his feed lately. It is driving me crazy because in this cold weather I am trying to keep the feed up to him so he won't drop any weight. Some nights he hardly touches his hay and then other nights he eats it all up. Same with his hard feed. He isn't in work at the moment due to the awful weather. This weekend I kept an eye on him during the day and he doesn't seem to be grazing much either.

He hasn't dropped any weight and will eat his hard feed when I sit with him and hand feed it to him. He is such a worry. Tomorrow I am going to change paddocks to see if that helps.

I guess all I can do is keep an eye on him. He is still drinking though this has really decreased and I am putting this down to the cold weather as well. He is getting some moisture out of the grass due to the bit of rain we are also having as well.

We did have a morning where it was -3 degrees!!!!!! That is very cold for us!
Very frosty and crunchy under foot!!!!
Then the fog started to roll in

It was coming in pretty quick!
Yep that is little Sam over on the left having his warm breaky!

I am going to have another ride of Fred on Saturday. (to see my post about Fred please click here.) I haven't been able to stop thinking about him so I figured it is worth another look. Shaun tells me he has been in more work since I last saw him and is working a lot better. He also went to jump club today so I will call Shaun to find out how he went. Shaun won't be there as he will be away competing but he is happy for me to go and ride. I am very appreciative of this as he obviously feels that I am a good enough rider to ride one of his horses without supervision. I will try and get photos this time and more video footage. I am going to ask if I can take him out on the road and pop him over a small cross rail as well. He is also being used to help teach a nervous lady how to jump, I like that!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Photos!

Little Poppy has her first combo! She looks so cute!!!!!
Then I tried to get Poppy and Jack together but because Poppy chases Jack you can imagine he was very nervous being asked to sit next to her - then this happened................Mum, she's looking at me!!!!!!
I am turning Sam out for a break. It is too cold to ride when I get home after work and I am sure he will enjoy having some time out. I am just waiting for my neighbour as she is going to turn out her good Campdrafter with him.
This is a photo of Sam in his winter woollies,
Here is Sam whispering sweet nothings into Poppy's ear :)
Our cat Wilbur likes to cuddle up in our wardrobe during the day now that it is so cold
I was driving home the other day and I saw an Echidna crossing the road, they are very cute in their own way so I pulled over and got some photos. He came really close to me,

Friday, July 1, 2011

More opinions please

We have a monthly magazine over here called Horse Deals. It is our 'bible'. Every month my neigbour and I pour over it, seeing what is for sale, looking at new saddlery and dreaming. I have found a few and rung up about them. I would love your opinions!

Number 1:

16hh 4yo Warmblood gelding Broken in at the beginning of the year. Never bucked during breaking. Quiet, green with training, very willing, has been out on trail rides. Hasn't been to Adult Riding Club or Competition. Being sold as owner is now pregnant.
This video footage is the latest so shows where he is up to with his training - concerns - video has been altered and no canter shown
This footage is earlier in his training with some canter but not a lot and in a round yard.
This footage shows him being handled - take a look at his confirmation, has he got a ewe neck? He seems weak in his hind end?
Him just running around

He is about 4 1/2 hours away so a bit of travel.

No 2: The owner was given this horse by its breeders - The Northern Warmblood Stud, for payment for her working there. He is 16.2hh 5yo warmblood gelding. She had him broken in and on the second day of being under saddle was taken out into the bush under saddle. Has done a lot of bush riding, seen kangaroos, goannas, sheep, cattle and hasn't battered an eye lid at any of it. Also has been taken to a few shows to see the sights and sounds and placed in all his hunter hack classes. Hasn't had a huge amount of work due to his age.
Currently stabled at night and out during the day and in work about 3 times a week. His flaw, when he was 1 day old he got a thorn in his eye. He is now can not see long distance but since it happened at a young age he knows no difference and hasn't bothered him. The owner said that he has never shown it to bother him. The eye is slightly cloudy. If I like him I would have It checked by a vet during the vet check.
He is located about 2.5hrs away.

These two are the main ones so far. i am hoping to get out to meet Deliha next weekend. She is about 5hrs away so I am trying to line up other horses while I am over that way.

I would love your opinions.