Thursday, June 25, 2009


Oh man I am really bad at updating at the moment. I have to say, since losing the old blog the will to blog is weak. Also, nothing is really happening at the moment. Last winter i had the clinics on and so had to ride a lot to keep the horses improving for those, but this year I have yet to do a clinic. I'm being very cautious with my spending so far, though I may do one later in the year the are very expensive. $150 for 45 minutes, so last year taking two horses, it was costing me $600 a month over the winter. Thats a huge cost and now the new farriers costing nearly twice what the old one did, I seem to be really burning through money.

The other thing is that I don't think that Grant will be thrilled by Kate. She doesn't jump the way he likes, and she is just a pretty ordinary horse. Certainly not the potential like her thought Fred had, but seeing as I really enjoy riding Kate and I'm having fun, I don't regret selling at all. The view from her back really makes me smile, and it's a nice change to ride something more forward thats keen to go. I hate that I have to ride her in the pessoa, but a saddle is a saddle I just have to deal with it. I haven't fallen off her yet so it can't be that bad.

So two days ago I dragged Connie out of the paddock to ride her for the first time since January. She is doing an excellent bear impression, easily the wooliest horse we have. Her back leg where she was kicked has got a hard lump where she was kicked and she will probably have that forever now I guess. The first time I rode i just got on and trotted around the paddock a bit. Which is naughty, because the paddocks are too wet but I wanted to see how she felt. She was mostly good, but pretty spooky and so lazy. I forgot what riding her is like. Hard work! What I did appreciate is that every so often, despite the fact she has no fitness (She maintains a 0 level of fitness when not in work, unlike say Kate who stays relatively fit without work), she still occasionally reached down to the contact and worked round. I wasn't even asking for it. Normally i would lunge a horse a bit, but ground is so wet, it was easier just to get straight on. So big ups to Connie for not dumping me on my head.

Then yesterday I took Kate for trot around the farm. There is a nice internal loop through the farm, maybe 3 kms long with some hills. She has such a rocking canter. I have to be really careful to keep my lower back relaxed so I don't bounce. I'm also learning that she likes a long rein. Then today I did the same loop twice on connie and she was very good. A little snorty but no more so that normal. She felt really awkward at first but we having been taking down her heel on her clubbed foot and it feels like she took a while to get used to that. By the end of the ride she felt really good, fluid and forward. She has a great trot but even when she is out hacking she has the dawdliest walk. You just get no where. After her ride, I jumped on her and rode her back to the paddock with just her halter. She is a seriously cool horse. I'm actually pretty proud, because even though she has a superb temperament, I have done every piece of her training and I don't think I have done a terrible job. Between her and Kate, the coming season should be a lo more fun than the last one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

From Yesterday (oops words!) Sorry for the epic fail.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

While I'm away

I have been on holiday for a week, staying with my BF up North. And while I'm away shenanigans occur. Unbelieveable.

Rascal seems a little unsure about this whole deal. I think she would rather park up with the cars.

Who is this grinning midget on my horse?? It's my Mum. First time she has ridden in a year.

Yup Rascal does want to be parked with the cars. No riding for her. And why a stick Kim, are you too cheap to buy a crop?

Not exactly a beautiful day I have to say.

The instigator of course. Who else has a grin that cheeky??

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I'm a thinking rider, perhaps too much so. I knew buying Kate that I needed to school her, that she came with standard Kiwi schooling- basic wtc and jump. I knew she didn't understand how to move away from the leg, or take the contact down. I knew this. Still it's a little disappointing to be rigt back at the start again, walking circles, teaching Kate what I want. I have done this a lot now it seems. At least I am getting quicker so she wont take as long as say Fred did.

Anyway, as I was walking circles I was thinking, which I know isn't ideal but i find it really hard to stay focused. I have decided that, within reason, it's not how you ask so much as it is how you reward. A prompt appropriate release trains faster than anything else. Take Kate, who when I rode her today was far far quicker to offer me what I wanted, the stepping away from my inside leg, with a softening of the neck and jaw. Maybe she is special and super smart, but it was the same thing with Connie. The quicker I am to release and reward the behaviour I want the qucker they start to offer it consistently.

Kim was asking in nearly the exact same way I was but because she hasn't done the same amount of schooling, she hasn't mastered the timing of the release and so didn't progress like Kate did. Thats no slur on Kim, it's just something I have learned from the extra four years on the Earth I have had. She will get it no doubt, and then there will be no stopping her. Incidently, for my reward I simply release the inside rein, while keeping my contact on the outside rein and keeping her direction with my leg.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

That time again

Gah clipping. At seems like such fun when you think about it, but in reality it's a pretty sucky job. Rascal was supposed to be very difficult to clip, and terrified of the clippers buzzing but she was good as gold to do. We had a sedative on hand and used it after the bulk of the clipping was done to do her head and then so Kim could pull her mane.

It was Kate who was supposed to be good to clip that was difficult. She initially freaked out and then was really good to do most of it, but super touchy. I was doing under her flank and she jerked her leg forward and I cut her. Ad then forget about it. Obviously someone has clipped her and cut her armpits and flanks because as soon as we went to do those areas she really started to act up. Needless to say she has a very untidy clip in these areas. The plan was to have a staron her bum but then it looked stupid so I just took it off. She also didn't like me clipping up around her ears, and now she wont let me touch her ears. Stupid people who think ear twitching is ok.

Still the hair is off, and despite both of them looking like they were clipped with hedge trimmers, at least they will dry quickly now. It was interesting under Kates coat, she has a few patches of a skin problem. So she will have to be bathed today I guess. I know it's not good and I should just train them better, but I love clipping sedated horses. After all I only clip once a year and when they are asleep, you can dpo neater lines, they don't get itchy and you don't have things like Kates leg jerk/cut happening. It didn't help that I was running out of light and had to clip Kate in a hurry also I guess. After I was done, wiped the horses down and leapt straight into the shower, to get rid of the serious case of the itchies I had.