Friday, November 28, 2008

That's horses for you!

Pony has been starting to do some wonderful flatwork, soft and round, and his transitions are getting a lot crisper, and easier. The steering and response to the legs is getting noticeably better every day.

Did some trotting poles yesterday and he thoroughly enjoyed it, and was excellent.

However, I still have major mounting issues: he just simply will not stand by the mounting block. Yesterday we had a wee session, and he has started to have his head around by me, and kept it there when I (finally) was able to get on....I didnt however give him enough rein and when he moved off he moved over the centre and the mounting block - then kicked it over, and ran! Given our combined height I was forced to lean down onto his neck while we blasted out of the shed - me with no stirrups. Upon emerging he commenced big leapy boundy bucks (which thankfully were actually quite comfortable)....I pictured us galloping off up the road out of control.
Nope... I had him stopped before we even got to the first gate.

He then stood as quietly as anything, while I put my stirrups up etc....then we went off and rode as if nothing had happened....he wasnt even remotely worried.

So here was I bemoaning my mounting troubles, and all set for another 'session' today when I find the pony had somehow been kicked when naughty Jackson let their tape down (obviously they all had a hoon around)... Unfortunately it was too late for the vet to stitch it and so the flap (which was very deep) was cut off.
He now has lots of padding and bangaging, and will be out of action for a while.
If we are unlucky, there could also be damage to the bone.

The pony was absolutely amazing...he stood really quietly while the vet poked and prodded, and endured numerous injections.
He really is a kind horse - and although the mounting problem is indeed frustrating; it beats injuries and being unable to ride him at all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting there

Not ready for the "after" photo yet, as he is still a 'work in progress', but so pleased with how he is developing thought it would be nice to have an on the way pic.

Well it has taken a good week but he is almost over the sneezing wheezing spluttering that rendered him virtually unrideable. Obviously the meadow chaff just did not agree with him. So I am very pleased to be able to get back into riding him again.

He is still very hard work, but is coming ever more soft and consistent in his outline, and the upwards transitions are getting better and better. It is the work within the paces that is most difficult at the moment. Both Mum and Saarin tell me that he looks nothing like a green horse going (but he most certainly feels it!).

Still having mounting issues, and may try some other ideas to resolve that one, as he is definitely not worried in the slightest about me mounting, but it is rather a snag to need someone else to assist.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


The wee boy had been feeling a little too well; hardly surprising as he was getting identical dinners to Willie who is in FULL work, and can tend to be a duller type of TB. So decided that as he had put on a lot of weight (cover belly straps had to be let out six inches) and it was more a case of muscling up now, that I would put him on a somewhat more boring diet.

I have also discovered that he tends to be a little cold backed if he has had a day off. He is far too polite to buck, but is just a little tight behind the saddle and odd behind for a few moments.

So, decided I would try him on meadow chaff. Having never used the stuff before, I was surprised to find when I opened the bag it smelled very strongly of penny royal (?). It was also very dusty and resembled dry lawn clippings (looks JUST like and smells like them too once soaked).

The result of which is that I now have a horse that is sneezing, snorting, wheezing and carrying on so much that he is virtually unrideable....also doing the whole throwing head up, out and around. Can't be absolutely sure that the meadow chaff is to blame, or if something so simple could have such an extreme reaction: he could I guess just as easily be allergic to some kind of pollen or other, but at this stage a temporal connection is enough for me.

Have now taken him off the 'lawn clippings' and it will be interesting to see if there is any improvement, although one day off them has not made the blindest bit of difference.

I will give it a few days, and if no improvement (or worsening) will look into hayfever / allergy treatments??

So am feeling very frustrated at the moment, and crossing fingers, toes, and everything inbetween that his snorting sneezing and wheezing will abate rapidly!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

WEC (again)

He is still finding even the carpark paddock eye googly worthy, although today for the first time he had a friend (Willie) with him: poor Willie however couldnt keep up with his walk....I think he was just keen to check everything out.

Having now seen him on video (thanks Saarin) I am even more determined to learn how to ride this horse. He looks far less green than he feels, but he has such big movement and tremendous spring in the trot, that I find myself thrown all over the show. And when he gets anxious (or silly) the trot gets shorter, higher and pingier still.

I can see from the video that I do need to take my stirrups up at least another hole though which should help (hopefully).
And inbetween his lovely trot work, out of nowhere came some interesting moments during which I was almost catapaulted (didnt have the chance to think 'hands down' ! - oops)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dressage? or not!

Took the big guy to his first dressage outing - a practice evening at the WEC. This should be a nice low key (low excitement) outing for him.
Considering I've not ridden him in company AT ALL, nor has he been on the grass arena, and he's really had very little work since he raced, I really had no idea how he would react.

Mum came down to help with the mounting, and although still anxious he is starting to relax a little more.

However, there was a lot more going on than I had bargained for with pony club show jumping trials on the sand arena, as well as those warming up for the dressage. I was very pleased with how relaxed he was walking through the car park, inbetween trucks etc, as well as there being floats still arriving. He was also very good walking across the road, and although his eyes were on stalks walking past the dressage arenas, people etc etc, he never once hesitated or shied.

However, there really was just too much going on for him to cope with at this stage, and rather than getting more relaxed as I worked him, he simply got more and more wound up, and became very strong - and the trot got quite 'interesting'. Unfortunately, I did hang on to him a bit which I am sure he resented (he did start throwing his head up towards the end, but by then I think he just wanted out of there anyway). They were also about to start show jumping!

I decided I would get off at that point, as I didnt fancy trying to steer him through the narrow aisle between the dressage arenas and the edge when there were also people and ponies around. (I think we would have had the leapy cantering sideways thing going on had I tried - it was 'fun' enough trying to lead him). And I really dont think anything was to be gained in taking him in an arena for the first time in that frame of mind.

He did relax again very quickly which was pleasing, as well as the fact that he didnt actual "do" anything - just felt like it was a distinct possibility!

Will just continue to get him out as much as possible so that he (and I) become less anxious about it all.