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.

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

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.

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


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.