Monday, October 1, 2012

Cleveland Bays

Cleveland Bay, I have always loved the breed but never thought I would have the opportunity to own one. I am lucky to have a Cleveland Bay stud locally and I visited them about 4 years ago, where I met and fell in love with a little yearling by the name of David. The stud is now closing down and all youngsters, broodmares and stallions are for sale.........

On Sunday my other half and I decided to go for another visit and see what youngsters they have. We were greeted by Impeccable Marksman, one of their stallions , who enjoyed racing us down the driveway.

We went to have a look at the rest who had been bought into a smaller paddock near the house. Who should be the first face we see..........Little David, all grown up!

His legs forgot to grow but the rest of him didn't! I don't think he is very tall, 16hh but very wide and solid!!!!! He is 5yo now, halter broken and basic handling. Friendly fellow and could do with loosing a few kilos but OOHHHHH so cute!

The next familiar face was Hilda. She is the same age as David and I remember her as well from our last visit. She is now broken in but hasn't been ridden for well over 12 months.

She has the same colouring as her dad, Marksman and such big ears!!!! She was very much in your face and wanted to know what you were doing and if she could help.
There were other beautiful babies and mums but one other caught my eye. A 2yo by the name of Magmus. He didn't want to come in with the others so was left out in the big paddock by himself but such a handsome fellow........
All the horses were in very good condition, maybe a little too good :)
This was a young filly
And another filly
There was weanling but I couldn't get a clear photo of him.
So the decision begins. Who should come home with me!!!!!!!!! I am tempted to take David, Magmus and Hilda home........................................

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tony the Pony

Those beautiful pictures were of Tony the Pony. Tony came to stay with me to be bought back into work to be sold. He arrived on the Sunday, sold on the Tuesday and was picked up the following Sunday. Great for the owner but a little disappointing for me. He was a cracker of a pony, quiet but not dead. Forward but not out of control and could handle a kick, jab in the mouth, rider being unbalanced. He has done pony dressage and showing and pony club. He has gone to a lovely home with a little girl who really deserves him. It was great to have him for a week and to have fun with!!!!!!!
The photos don't do him justice.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



We have had a visitor for the past few days, Roger. A friends horse that I have been trialling to purchase. Roger s a Warmblood gelding 16.3hh, 6.5yo. Handsome fellow and a real character to have around. He loves smooches and scratches and cuddles! Very important!!!!!

Unfortunately Roger requires a LOT of motivation to stay forward, he is a very exhausting ride. My friend eventing him to prelim level but he just doesn't have the want to jump so that is why she is looking for a new home for him.

I am not a strong enough rider to keep him going so unfortunately Roger won't be coming to live with us permanently but I have learnt a lot all ready!

I have been looking actively for a new horse for a now for 18 months. I have been looking for an educated ride to teach me. What I am finding are heavy in your hand horses that are behind the leg and are reasonably dull to the aids. Now I am by no means a great rider, I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but all my horses have always been light in the hand, I can ride them with my ring finger and if I have to close my hand on the reins I am not happy. Yes Sam is a little lazy but not like these 'educated' horses. So what I have decided is that I will look at a green, sound and quiet horses and start again. It takes me a long time to train the basics but at least they have always been light and forward while sensible. I have always gotten horses off the track so I think I will start looking there again.

It was my best friends birthday last month and she requested a pony cake and this is what I made her!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

And we're back!

And we are back!

Sam and I had a holiday over the winter break. It was lovely but I also eventually did miss riding.

Sam met a lovely man, Dr Rob Willis who is a vet but mainly does acupuncture. He spent 1.5hrs with Sam, looking, watching, feeling and pointed out a few different things. Sam has lower back pain due to the left fore issues and he tries to hold himself on the offside hind to help that. This is what is causing him to have trouble when travelling to the left. At least we have answers! So he gave him 4 injections straight into that area to see if that would help. The effects for the next three weeks were interesting. I had one pony who was in a lot of pain. In fact Sam was in a very bad mood, did not want to be touched, patted, talked to. Just fed and left alone. At first I was extremely worried as you could imagine. I mean, Sam would see me and canter to the back of the paddock and keep his bum pointed to me, if I grabbed his halter it would take a while to catch him and even if I bought the float out. But after 3 weeks Sam finally felt better and I was able to bring him back into work slowly. So he has been back in work now for about 10 days and is feeling really good. He wants to stretch a lot more, he is working over the back a lot more. The canter to trot transitions are a little icky but he is still very weak behind from his holiday so I will slowly build up his fitness and strength. We go back for a second visit about mid September.

I had to have Sam's left fore re x-rayed and things are deteriorating rapidly. He now has a spur, the side wall has increased and thickened and the joint disease has progressed. The vets could not believe that Sam was still able to be in work. They recommend having him put down or retired on bute. Of course I felt like the worst mother on the face of the earth and rang Dr Rob Willis for his opinion. He was surprised that the xrays revealed something so bad. He agreed that Sam was not sound but that he could be managed. Sam enjoys being in work and I am very careful on what surfaces he is ridden on and how he is managed.

Sam's tootsies are getting better, back to landing heel toe and he is much more sounder. My farrier comes back from over seas next week so we can get back on track.

I have been looking at horses for sale and I really have a good horse I just wish he was sound. I went to look at one mare and the poor thing was in so much pain. You could see she was sore from head to tail, also needed her hooves tended to properly. She could not hold a light round frame, she could not stretch down. If they didn't have so much money on her I would have saved her! You could see the pain in her eyes and occasionally when she would soften her little face, it was so beautiful! They just needed to drop her price by say $8000!!!!! I guess we can't save them all! So the search is still on...........

Friday, June 22, 2012


My farrier has headed off to Europe for 6 months to spend time with Boyd Martin the number one Aussie with Carriage driving. This left Sam and I (and many others) in a predicament. In my little town we have a shortage of good farriers. The one other good farrier is refusing to take on new clients. So last time Sam was due for shoes we packed him up into the float and travelled 2.5hrs down the road to see another farrier. He works with one of the Equine hospitals so I presumed he would be good. Wasn't I wrong. I should have listened to Sam. He hated him. All farriers love Sam because he stands still and quiet with no complaining unless you take over an hour then he gets restless and bored. Right from the beginning Sam wouldn't stand still, snatching his hooves away, rearing at times. I didn't know what else to do so I got that farrier to finish the job.

Today I went to a new farrier, only 1hr down the road. He took his time and looked at Sam's conformation, the way he stood, walked, his angles, everything. He asked questions and actually listened to the history that I gave him about Sam and his hooves. He took the first shoe off and when he cut away the excess hoof we were in for a shock. The white line at Sam's toe was RED!!!! He was like that in all four hooves at the toe. The previous farrier had changed Sam's gait so badly he had changed it so Sam was landing toe first!

Sam didn't show any lameness between both shoeings only a slight shortness of stride. I thought this may have been due to the fact that it was getting colder and that he was stiffening up.

So Sam now has better angles, was straight away a lot happier to stride out in walk and trot. This farrier created a lovely break over at the toe, my usual farrier always did this but the previous farrier took this away.  I wish I had taken photos but it was so cold and wet and windy I didn't want to slow the process down.

The importance of a good farrier, no hoof no horse!!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Betsy and Grass Seeds!

Yesterday morning I woke up as normal and went out to wake Betsy up (yes it is a tough life when you have to be woken in the mornings with sweet nothings being whispered in your ears). She started to sneeze. Big sneezes. Sneezes that were so big she would hit the ground with he little nose! She would squish up the right hand side of her face and sneeze so hard. Poor little poopie! They soon settled down but would start up again. After about an hour of sneezing fits I decided to take her to the vet.

Yep they thought there was something up there so she had to go into surgery.  I got the call about 2pm that she had woken up and they found a few long grass seeds stuck up there! Poor little Betsy!
These were the culprits!

When I picked her up she seemed ok but when I got her home it was obvious she was still very groggy from the anesthetic. She went to the toilet and then slowly followed me inside where I helped her up onto her bed.

She was up and down a bit, something to drink, something to eat but it wasn't till this morning that ol' Betsy came back to us. A lot happier and sneeze free!!!!!!

Oh she was a sad sight when she was still groggy. You really just have to love them too bits!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Our First Dressage Competition!

Well we did it. We did our first dressage competition on the weekend!

The weather leading up was terrible, freezing, raining, windy. I was only able to ride Monday night, Wednesday night, Friday I floated out to the local uni who has an indoor arena. That was an interesting ride. There was already 3 riders in the arena, I mounted up expecting Sam to be a little forward and interested. We started walking and after a bit he couldn't hold it anymore, he lept a bit, I was able to bring him back but I thought I would lunge him first. He had a good buck and twist and then settled. I mounted again and put him straight to work. We rode for about 30min and the other riders left. Poor Sam had a minor melt down. I didn't want the argument so I finished up as well.

Saturday was freezing, drizzling, just plain depressing weather. I was going to head out to the uni again but I decided to ride in the back paddock instead. I think Sam preferred this and we did mainly fitness work. So we trotted and cantered around on a loose rein and just worked. I then washed him (the blessing of having a hot/cold wash bay) rugged him up, gave him a warm breaky and let him be.

I headed into town to help set up the arenas for the competition. The ground was terrible and we all wondered if we should let the competition go ahead or not. One of the judges had already flown in and the cakes had been made so we decided to go ahead! Our main man who knows how to measure out the arenas first go wasn't able to help us so instead off taking 1.5hrs we there for about 3!!!!!! Never mind it looked great at the end!

When I got home I got all my gear together and plaited up Sam. He is such a good boy, he fidgets for about the first 10min and then gives up and stands quietly going to sleep. It takes me a while to plait up, generally about an hour and that is only the plaiting part, rosetting I do the next day! I packed the car and float, fed my special boy and headed in for a goods nights sleep.

Sunday came, I was up at 5.30am to finish plaiting, have a milo, get my hair done, load up and we were on our way by 7.10am. It was a pea souper! The fog was so thick!!! The drive was slow as I could only see about 30m ahead. When we arrived (only about a 30m drive) I unloaded, let Sam have a walk around and then gave him his breaky. Sam hadn't been to these grounds before and I was wondering how he would go. He was fine of course. Ate his breaky, happy to stand and watch the other competitors arriving.

I allowed a warm of about 40min. The warm up arena was nearly unrideable. We had about 15m wide and 20m long and that was even pretty boggy. We were both travelling along well so I went to have my gear check and warm up near the competition arenas. We have an area about 40m x 50m that you are able to ride in just before your test. This is where I started to come undone. My nerves really set in and poor Sam fed off that. Luckily it was my friend who was the gear checker and she could see what was starting to happen so she helped me through it. Telling me to ride forward, BREATH, and to trust my horse. Sam became very looky and a little horse shy. At one point I thought he was going to show us his acrobatic abilities but I was able to push him through.

Finally it was our turn. I said hi to the judge and headed on down. Our first test was a prep test so only walk and trot. Sam was a super star! About half way through I finally relaxed slightly and we did a pretty good test. We scored 69% and placed 6th out of 13 competitors. Not to shabby!!!!!

Rest time! We had about an hour which was lovely. Sam had a munch, I learnt my next test and caught up with friends!

Our second test was a Prelim test so this one included canter. I tried to have a canter in the warm up arena but that wasn't going to happen. I waited for the area where the arenas or to clear a bit and to let a crazy leave. One poor girl was having a lot of trouble with her horse. Straight off the track I'd say! I felt a lot more confidant this time. I had waves of nerves but on the whole I felt good. Sam cantered nicely both reins. We headed up to the judge and then we were on. We entered, trotted up the center line and our halt was great, forward into the transition and it was square!!!!! I felt we travelling really well, we were late with our canter but I managed to do an ok transition so I was still happy. We were just about to transition down from our last canter to trot when Sam lost it. I didn't even feel it coming, no swish of the tail, no flick of the ear. He bucked, lept, plunged. I stayed on pulled him up, burst into tears and decided to finish what we had started. Our ending was terrible, wobbly centre line, crooked halt but we finished which meant we would get a score.  If you would like to view our test here it is!  Yes we needed to be forward and to be more active but that is what we can work at for our next one!

We still managed to receive a score of 60% and placed 13th out of 28 competitors. I was very happy with this!

We loaded Sam up, Scott took him home while I stayed to help scribe and to help with the scoring and generally help out for the afternoon.

So now full steam ahead for the next comp in August. We have a training day in July which will be good practice.