Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Hand

Hmmm; well there was an in hand competition locally which I thought would be a good outing for the wee boy - you know, boring enough for him to fall asleep. But I guess if it's that boring what else can a young lad do, but make it fun.

However, I am not sure that the judge was particularly looking for airs above the ground.

I'm afraid even the line up for turn out was a bit too exciting!

First class, we had to leave the arena after half a circuit (which included, passage -with tail stuck straight up in the air accompanied by snorts, half pass, and a pirouette or two)

However, he did get progressively better, with first managing almost one circuit before losing the plot and having to leave the arena. There were the odd rears and interesting movements throughout the day.

For the last three classes, although we did have some skedaddles, we managed to contain ourselves enough to remain till the end of the class. And funny enough, when we were all asked to trot he was much better than when walking.

I do rather suspect however, that by the last couple of classes, it was not that he was particularly worried or upset, but that he was being naughty. I basically just carried on, pretty much dealing with whatever he did, then carrying on like nothing had happened.

So, although an 'interesting' outing, I think it was good for both of us, and probably the sort of thing he needs more of. Much as I am a bit sore in the arms and shoulders today, I am quite pleased that I didnt allow him to intimidate me and I just dealt with whatever he threw at, funny as it might sound, was a learning curve and good for my confidence.

I did get a couple of "he's stunning" type comments - although that was BEFORE we entered the ring!

Tamara did kindly take a photo of him in the last class.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sick of the Wet

Well, we had been making (I thought) great progress, and I had even started jumping the wee boy again. Only small jumps as we did experience a few skedaddles while jumping, although *touching wood* they had become considerably less - almost non existant- at other times. Perhaps it was simply that I was riding more confidently.

(He has also taken to jumping the wooden gate into the back paddock - probably because he can)

However, along came the rains again.

As Willie is my priority in terms of consistant work given that he is the one out competing, Sampson has for the past two weeks taken somewhat of a back seat. The difficulty is in actually finding somewhere I can happily ride him. All paddocks bar one are simply too wet to ride in.

The paddock that is ok to ride in, is inhabited by a randy little mare who I am sure would play havoc with my trying to ride Sampson in with her. (Wilson just acts like he wants to kill her and she keeps her distance). ... I am guessing that the wee boy though would become quite enamoured of the attention, and may pay me very little!

There is also the fact that the arena was supposed to have been started (if not for the rains) which would put my riding paddock out of action for a few weeks.

However, this past week, I have missed riding him so much that i have again clambered on; if only to walk up and down the drive by the sheds.

Roll on Summer.

Roll on Arena.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back Jumping

Well, he is anyway.

Given his psycho brain when eating too much grass, I have been attempting to restrict his intake of the green stuff. And 'trying' is the operative word.

Simple electric tape is not enough: no, he can walk up to that and pop over.

Two lines of electric tape a meter apart, with flappy (supposed to be scary) plastic bags tied all over them is not enough; although he does muster a canter to pop over that.

Onto the tall standards...measured at between 1.20 and 1.30 high. That ought to stop him! Nope: all he needs is two canter strides off the turn and he is over.

Oh well: he's getting plenty of practice...although he did stay 'in' yesterday for some unknown reason.

Riding wise, I am slowly slowly gaining confidence and learning to keep my butt relaxed in the saddle even if I think he might do something.

His right canter lead has turned to custard however, with him anticipating a strike off every time I start to prepare him for canter...but off he toddles on the left lead, then that raking unco trot they do...rebalance....anticipate, left lead and here we go again....

I did manage to get it in the end yesterday, and I guess it is just green horses, one thing comes right and another goes out the back door.

I have however started to pop him over a few jumps again, which pleases him no end....first day the brakes left a lot to be desired, and we get some very 'boundy' canter strides immediately after the jump. Yesterday though, we managed to quietly trot over a related distance with just a couple of canter strides immediately after each jump, so that is all good.

I am sure that he laughs at my tiny jumps though. But, I know he can jump (he's shown me enough times) so it is the control and obedience that we need to establish before raising the height of the jumps. Nice too, that he doesnt even seem to notice filler.

Nearly three weeks since his last skedaddle, and on that occasion I can hardly blame him with Jackson galloping through the slopping splatty mud on the other side of the trees, while I am sedately wandering along on the that was fun - NOT.

Let us hope things will keep improving.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Decision Time ?

Have now had to work through some new ideas the pony had...i.e, if I lean down to cough, I can then put my head down and buck, which then means I am no longer working in that frame (which is such hard work) and I can skedaddle where I like :)

I 'think' we are now back to our plain old skedaddles which tend to remain somewhat constant to a greater or lesser extent - probably depending upon how confident (or not) I am feeling at the time.

Oh, and restricting his grass intake has absolutely definitely meant a saner horse (still naughty, but not demented). Difficulty is, that it is getting harder to restrict him. From trotting up to electric tape and popping over, he will now walk up to it, pop over, and within one stride have his head down eating.

Right you bugger, I thought, I'll stop that nonsense.

Up with a second electric tape, a good meter away from the first.
Raided the house for every plastic bag I could muster, and went about tying them all around the outside tape....yep; that'll be far too scary to jump.

Well, that lasted....oh, at a random guess....about ten minutes maximum. Although he does feel the need to pop into a canter to jump that. every morning when the boys go out, I put Willie in behind the scary plastic bag double tape (he was also rather feeling the effects of the grass), then in goes Sampson...then out comes Sampson....grrrr....I am just going to have to hope that the evening on hay and off the grass is enough to keep him sane; meantime he gets to practice jumping a couple of times each day.

Anywho: was really looking forward to the final Kaurilands day as he had been going great at home.

Arrived, having even washed and prettied up his tail (he has a lovely tail)...wearing his new (pink) headcollar and leadrope - which of course everyone dissed me about.

He was lovely and relaxed, went to warm up and initially he was relaxed, the whammo, game on. First was a head in the air and away we go....ha ha mum you cant stop me, then it was simply skedaddle after skedaddle with a mouth like rock and totally blocking with his shoulder. Not a pleasant feeling as there simply isnt much control. I am afraid I got off him, then felt awful for doing that, and got back on again for a repeat performance (three times!)...when we almost entered an arena at E, I thought maybe it was time to call it quits for the day....yet still feeling like the blighter had won....I know he was not upset, nervous, or worried; he was simply taking the mickey out of me...grrrr

Indeed, he was extremely relaxed standing in the middle of the warm up with horses milling all around.

However, during the week following I did continue to ride him, albeit with the odd moment of anxiety, and dealt with the skedaddles; not that he really did any. Back to the centre for a lesson, and the whole lesson was simply about me relaxing (and of course believing in myself that I can deal with it), so all back in the positive frame of mind again...yay.

However, I have had mum (and Dave) trying to tell me I should sell him, he's too much for me, I'm getting older etc etc....which really doesnt help the psyche when you are trying to build your belief in yourself.

Instructor put it in perspective which was JUST what I needed. Yes, you are capable of dealing with it, he's basically a sensible horse, but how about setting yourself a time frame: say, a year, and then decide.

Take him through Summer and see where you are at.
Obviously if one gets to the point where they are terrified to ride the horse, and dont enjoy it when they do, it is time.....but I actually LOVE riding him, he feels wonderful a lot of the do however have to stay awake; but then, that's young horses for you.

So, that is now decisions yet....give it time, and dont pressure yourself into 'having' to compete just yet.

Onwards and upwards

Saturday, July 18, 2009


My goodness it has been a time of ups and downs. No sooner do I feel that I am making progess, when we seem to take a few steps backwards.

I scratched him from the last Kaurilands, as he was just too demented to even get his cover off the preceding day, let alone ride him (incidentally Willie had been totally jelly brained the previous day also).

For about a week, he was just beside himself.
I had restricted his grass, but given later developments, obviously not enough. Although one really likes to see their horses round and glossy in Winter, I guess rideability must come first.

He has, along with his two paddock mates, for the past week been brought in at night off the grass, and during the day he has his own smallish mud area with very little grass for daytime turnout. His hard feed also consists of predominantly meadow chaff, and I have now added back in a rice based feed.

The last four days, he has been fine. Although too wet and slippery in the paddock to do anything but trot, he basically hasnt put a foot wrong....funnily enough he has spooked less than Willie (although Willie does have the run of the big paddock during the day, and gets proper dinners).

Today, I even cantered him right around the paddock feeling that the wind had dried it out enough to be ok.....he again was absolutely fine, no spooks, no skedaddles, no naps, nothing. He did one (normal horse) type of baby skedaddle on the right rein; I halted him, then trotted on as if nothing had happened and he resumed good behaviour.

Now the scary thing, is that having committed our recent progress (and return of sanity), to black and white, does that mean I have now jinxed it?

Let us hope not!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dementia in one so Young

Yes, not only is Willie feeling the effects of the grass, but Sampson was literally unrideable on Saturday (well unrideable for a nanna that is; no doubt those younger and braver would have been fine).

Put his gear on, and led him around so he could watch others jumping and riding. He was interested, but not too worried it seemed.

Then out of the blue, and for no reason I could determine, he became Mr Leapy Passagie Pony!

Would snort, leap, tail up in the air and start grunting and passaging and leaping. Some ground work to get his attention back on me, then away he would go again. This carried on for some time, and then I (stupidly) thought I would get on him.

Clambered on at the mounting block, took a few walk steps and away he went again. I firmly attached myself with the 'oh shit' strap and pulled him round. But rather than stopping him quickly he continued to circle. Finally he stopped, and we tried again....several walk steps later we were again reeling round in ever decreasing circles (he must be amazingly well balanced).

I am afraid that all I achieved was that I got so dizzy I was wobbly and whoozy. Time to get off.

However, after being dosed up on Saturday night, I rode him in the carpark at WEC on the sunday, among floats and trucks, and apart from one (normal) little spook, he was absolutely fine, and doing a lovely trot also.

Hmmmm; obviously Winter grass can also have an evil effect.
It will be interesting to see if continued supplementation will result in him continuing to be rideable.
Time will no doubt tell!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kaurilands Dressage: 07.06.09 Day two

Beautiful beautiful weather!

Sun shining and not a cloud in the sky.

He was very relaxed, and apart from a little bit of tension warmed up happily, although we did keep him away from the main melee of warmer uppers. I also did predominantly walk work, with a little bit of trot.

He was a very good boy in both tests, although very hard work at the canter given that he is not at all light off my inside leg, and does find canter work a little difficult at this stage. But apart from one wee skedaddle (then back to good behaviour) in his second test, I was very pleased with him.

I feel that I need to start really riding him in his tests now, rather than sitting tentatively. However, definite progress, and he was my no means last in either test.

Prelim 1.4

6 x 5 nice steady trot, swung quarters at A, could show more imp,

9 x 6 a little off line after X but tracked up, fair into trot, fair loop, a little overbent

4 x 7 trot loop, both canters (‘smooth trans’)and trans to med walk

145 = 58% (but lost 6 marks for course errors!)

Prelim 1.6 ( low marks across whole class)

5 x 4 shld be long rein (walk) neck still restricted, ½ O too big (skedaddle from dog)

9 x 5 much better trot (lengthn)

1 x 6 L canter

94 = 47% (which isn’t bad for that judge!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Skedaddle time!

This week's lesson, he started off much more 'heightened', and very soon showed the instructor his skedaddle mode. I did cope with the first one, then the second wasnt toooo bad, but the leap in the air and skedaddle was the one that got me!

Time to get off and see how it should be dealt with.

Nice to see however, that the skedaddles arent actually a reaction to anything I am doing, but just where he is at in that moment.

Was very good for me to see how they are dealt with, and then you just keep riding. He was actually very naughty.

Nice to see that with a skilled rider, capable of riding through the 'moments', he can look quite impressive at times. It's always great to see a good rider on one's horse!

After some work by the instructor getting his attention on her, and working through, it was my turn again, so I could feel what I should be aiming at. Then some work on serpentines, and shoulder ins, concentrating on keeping a VERY light contact with him supple and flexible, and working through from inside leg to outside rein.

Rode him again today (lesson yesterday) and yes we had a couple of skedaddle moments but I was very pleased to simply ride through them and just carry on with whatever I had been doing beforehand.

There is hope for me yet!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lesson, 28.05.09

Having turned into a jellified nanna (as opposed to the normal nanna state), the instructor got on him first. He looked like a totally 'normal' horse (first time I have really seen him ridden), and trotted forward round the carpark with nary a look at anything.
then across the road and into the sand arena...

Apart from a wee spook at the big puddle, he was absolutely fine; ditto the grass arena with not even a spook. Oh boy, did I feel dumb! Goes to show how much they feed off of us.

He did have a wee tanty when asked to flex each way, and stiffened totally, however she soon got through that.

He really looked quite nice ridden. He moves straight and seems to have a nice rhythm, and at the canter there looks to be a wee moment of suspension, so plenty to work with. He did one moment of shortening and starting to passage when some horses were moved up the hill behind him; I was told to ENJOY it when that happens, and just go with it.

So, onto my turn....
Just need to keep the nerves in check, and resist the temptation to shorten the reins.
He was absolutely fine, and even when a horse TOTALLY crashed a jump behind him, just leapt forward a bit, then back to rhythmic trotting...(Willie would have reacted more to be honest).

He needs me to reassure him when he is feeling insecure; rather than me grabbing on tight, and supporting his notion that things might just be a bit too scary!
Oh well, just keep working at it I guess. (Rode him the following day, and all was great!)

And here he is sporting his new hair cut. He was absolutely GREAT to clip, apart from the difficulties clipping when they are trying to smooch.

Monday, May 25, 2009

17.05.09 - Kaurilands

Well for his first competition outing, the weather started off really lovely.

Took Willie and did two novice tests on him (in the sun)...not particularly good tests, but couldnt really expect too much given he is only in occasional work, and flatwork is something I tend not to do.

Then tried to take Sampson for a walk around, and he started off not too bad. Did some groundwork to try and get his attention on me, which I think kind of worked. However when I tried to take him back to his yard, he got VERY strong despite being in his bridle.

I decided not to ride him in the first test, as it was up by the clubrooms where he has never been, and there was a lot going on - even Willie was very spooky in that arena.

However, ten minutes before I was due to get on him, the heavens opened up and it was absolutely torrential rain. I decided that I wouldnt ride him in his first ever test in that then eased off to simply become heavy rain, so off I went.

Carried my mounting block down to the sand arena (very necessary piece of equipment) and got on, only to have the dressage judge tell me I was due in ... NOW. So I walked him around the arena, did a short trot, and in we went.

He actually didnt do anything wrong; even the car and windscreen wipers didnt seem to worry him. It did help I think, that the arena was right where he had been ridden there previously. He did everything he was asked, trotted cantered did circles, the free walk was pretty strange...ha ha...wiggled woggled all the way across the arena, but he seemed relaxed enough. He was nice and straight up the centre line and halted when asked. so pretty pleased really.

Scored 50%, and actually got a couple of 6's. Lots to work on obviously, but we survived our first test. YAY

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ouch; first fall

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later (I would have preferred later).

Now sitting here trying not to move, as every little movement causes pain (dosed up on nurofen as soon as I walked in the door though) but I can feel it getting worse.

The pony was absolutely awful today.
Having had an awesome lesson wednesday being his first time in an arena. Although there were a few 'moments' overall he went well, and did some absolutely STUNNING trot work. I did find out however, that he is simply not capable at this stage of cantering straight down the long side, but that is something to work on.
He was also great yesterday, just did some trots and canters around the front paddock (which is where he was -for me anyway- unrideable one day last week).

Today....ok, let's work on straight. Jump paddock, right round perimeter concentrating on straightness....three or four times on the left...all good....then onto the right rein....first time, ok...then each time around he got progressively worse....kind of timing his skedaddles with them escalating in how bad they were.

I was so proud of myself, I simply rode him through them and carried on trotting around, concentrating on using my legs to direct him, and prevent repeats....then we had a big one that caught me then onto canter work.

Twice he anticipated and went onto wrong lead....then was just preparing him, and I dont know what happened but there was a huge head flick, he spun one way, then leapt the other (and that was one stirrup gone), then another leap forward and sideways and OFF we went....I was hanging out the side, and I am afraid I decided to simply bail out.

Not sure if it was the right thing to do or not, but I can now say, that despite trying to do it so that I was in charge of how I fell it didnt quite go to plan. Wasnt as easy to just get my foot out of the stirrup, and there was a definite delay before I hit the ground (it is a long way down). Well the new back protector now has mud all over it, as does my helmet as my head kind of banged back onto the ground also.

I can also say, that I really dont think my new back protector gives the same level of impact protection as my old stiff cardboard box one did...I definitely felt the impact of this fall !

Worst thing was having to get back on again. Which I am proud to say, I did. Yes, I was incrediblly tense, but I did ride through it and trotted and even did some canter work. Thankfully he pulled no more stunts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Do I, Don't I ??

He has been going so well, and I have been feeling so confident, that I put in an entry for Kaurilands.

No sooner done, than it all turns to custard: again that Mr Murphy and his blimmen law!

I had been happily riding him in whatever paddock, trotting and cantering around the perimeter (not just 'safe' little circles) and apart from the odd spook (ie ducks flying out of pond) or wee skedaddles, he was going very well, and I was able to laugh at the odd 'moment' and just carry on.

Then for some unknown reason, he was absolutely awful....I could barely trot a circle and he was off skeedaddling with butt under him, head in the air, and generally very tense (and scary). Having trotted one circle I dismounted and did a whole lot of ground work - hmmm he was very relaxed, head down, and obedient.

Next ride, back on good behaviour again.

Oh well, I will take him next weekend, and simply take it a step at a time. If all we achieve is some ground work in amongst the excitement, so be least he will have been out and about. If we progress to some ridden work, even better.
And if by some extremely slim chance, we end up actually in an arena, there will be great cause for celebration.

Now, where did I put my brave pills?

Thursday, April 30, 2009


This week I have found two random stitches that somehow were missed in my stitch removal session.

Just cut the top off the first as it simply would not pull out -- ouch!

I will need tweezers to get hold of the one I found today, but likewise, I dont think it is going to want to go anywhere without a fight.

Oh, and we went back to the WEC, for a lesson this time.
He did not put a foot wrong, although some ground work was needed initially to get his attention where it should be.
Did some really lovely work...light rhythmic cadenced trot....and when he got tense, I was very proud of myself, as I didnt scrunch up my reins and tip forward, I just kept riding him forward. So some definite progress for both him and me.

Just have to make it habit to keep riding him, and not react to something that hasnt if he does do something, THEN I fix it, and carry on.

So all good :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Now to get some hair to grow!

And to put the size of the wound into perspective....

Well, as can be seen the wound is continuing to heal, although it seems at the moment, that the hair regrowth is not keeping up. Crossing fingers we wont end up with either a bald patch, or a patch of white hair.

After the other weekend's fiasco at the WEC, I was thrilled to have another very heartening lesson. He did have one 'moment', but it was dealt with, and he produced what I thought, was some really lovely work. I am again excited about this horse, and really do hope that I can learn to ride him.

The advice I was given with regards to his behaviour at WEC last weekend, was that I should have been brave (eeek) and basically insisted that he listen to me, and be obedient to me no matter what else is going on.
This also applies when ridden: if he starts googling and using something as an excuse to be naughty, he should be asked to 'do' something, and be expected to do so obediently and so take his mind off of whatever was irking him. Basically I need to apply the 'go' button, rather than tilt forward, gather up the reins and clutch at him. Have been practicing this week, and so far, I have found if he gets distracted by something, a wee tap to get his attention and send him forward has averted any actual naughty moments.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Time to take him to WEC again, this time with no real plans on riding or otherwise, but more just to get him out, and hopefully start him getting used to strange places (again).

No 'friends' with him this time, and he spent quite a while in the yard calling out and suchlike, and was not exactly relaxed. Then got all his gear on at which time he seemed ok.

Decided to start off by leading him round the car park paddock, and initially he was very good: relaxed and calm. Don't know what he saw, (or didnt see) or what set him off, but he became VERY worried tense and leaping about...we had the whole leap around, tail up passage thing, then bunch up and leap around again. I was having great difficulty holding him, and keeping out of his way! Eventually I got him back to the yard, and just let him chill again for a while.

Then I did get on him, but he was incredibly tense....felt just like a coiled spring. So I just walked him around close to the truck for a short while before getting off. Then I lead him over to the sand arena and around there before going back to the truck.

Even loading him something kept spooking him and he would go all tense and leap not sure where his brains were today. I did feel however, that he was not being naughty, but was simply feeling very insecure and spooky!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

14.04.09 - Awesome lesson

Had a great lesson today with the big lad basically not putting a foot wrong.

But my goodness I am going to have to learn to cope with the feel of him going forward properly (and not grab the reins 'just in case').

Basically we taught him to move forward off my leg and not curl up behind the contact.
He was also introduced to what the dressage whip actually means - something I had not really thought of previously given that he was lighter when I rode with the dressage whip, so simply took it for granted that he knew it's purpose.

I was told to halt, and sit there, NOT using my legs AT ALL. Then to tap with the dressage whip gradually increasing speed and intensity until he moved forward.....I could not believe how long he stood with no reaction! My arm was aching and it was really hard to keep going. At one stage he turned his head and looked at the whip as if to say "WTF?". Finally he took a tentative step. Next attempt took half the time, and then the next time he understood completely.

What a difference though! Each time he fell behind my leg, a squeeze with the legs, if no reaction a tap with the whip and off he went. I could also feel him starting to swing from behind. I also had to make myself ride with longer reins and allow him to seek the contact (and somehow trust that he wouldnt skidaddle)

Very pleased with our progress.....lots to work on too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Norty Norty Pony!

As the wee lad had been coming on pretty well at home, and barely a hoof wrong for about ten days, I thought it was time to re-introduce him to the big wide world. So off we toddled to the WEC with a four legged friend for company.

However, he did become quite insecure, and used it as an excuse to be very naughty. Miranda kindly offered to hop on him, and he soon found out that small people are often less intimidated by his size than big people. There were quite a few skedaddles, but she coped really well, and there were some nice soft moments interspersed with naughty skidaddles.

He also decided that he had forgotten all of his mounting block lessons, so I did some more, whilst Miranda worked her own horse. Then I couldnt resist but to get back on him myself, planning on riding in a 'safer' zone, close to the gate. There were of course some skidaddles, but I think I managed to thwart most of his naughty thoughts, apart from one strange leap in the air, where we collided heads...ouch. However I am very proud of myself for firstly getting back on and secondly dealing with it - without doing too much of the old nanna clip clop tilt!
Thanks to Miranda for the lovely photos

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


As the injury is healing, I seem to be taking the photos closer, so in comparison the wound itself does not look much smaller. However, you can clearly see the way the wound itself is contracting inwards.

As can be seen, the injury is now smaller than the palm of my hand. He still finds it itchy, but I guess that is to be expected.

Thankfully, he seems to have recouped any lost weight pretty quickly, and indeed the girth is considerably tighter. He certainly doesnt look like a big horse just standing there ... until you get a bit closer that is!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Week

Nanna is gradually gaining confidence, and there have been no naughty moments over the past week. He has had the odd 'thinking' moment, but I have simply flexed him around my inside leg and all has been good. Back to being hard work it may be time to bring out the dressage whip again, and hone his forward button.

Today, having had yesterday off, I got on and walked on a long rein right up the drive to the front paddock and around the whole paddock on each rein....NO problems whatsoever (indeed he didnt even shy where Willie had!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

getting braver?

Friday before I left for puhinui, I had a short ride on Sampson....just got on, walked, trotted and cantered, both reins, then some more trots and a halt. All good!

Today (sunday) had another short ride when I got back from Puhinui....again, walk trot canter both reins....then got off before he even so much as thought about mischief.

If I can stay brave and simply 'ride' him, and trust that I can deal with whatever he does, I think we will progress. Still frustrating though, given how he had been going....oh well; that's horses I guess.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Had a few skedaddles at trot today, and then a frustration buck as I basically had him so it was difficult to skedaddle!

Getting really frustrated, as it seems I will never be back to where I was with him, and able to just trot (or canter) normally. It is like I have to have him in a head lock, mincing along to be in a position to prevent him 'doing' anything. He is just so strong (and very quick for a big horse), that as soon as I give him an inch, he is gone, and we are skedaddling and leaping.

I seem to recall a time when we could trot normally with no drama (and the biggest problem was keeping him going forward!)... right now, I think I would be thankful if our only problem was that he was hard work!

Oh well, we will keep plugging away at it.

The injury must be pretty itchy now, as he has wrecked the gamgee most days now, and has made the wound bleed despite which it still shows improvement every day. He also tries to bite at it sometimes while riding. However, very pleased with the healing.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Today we learned how to disengage.
We also worked on simply standing.
And moving our shoulders over when asked.
All at the walk, and even so, every now and then he packed a wee sad....into disengagement stance, standing still, relax, and then we behave ourselves.

I will be working on that for the next week, so that he becomes weaker in his resistance, and I become stronger. The disengagement also gives me a tool for when I get into that 'what if' mode, rather than clutching at the reins, leaning forward and tensing.

There will be moments where I have to simply be brave, and we will get through this current phase. As I have said before, he is too nice a horse not to learn how to ride him.

I am now feeling a lot more positive that the current phase can indeed be overcome.
Perhaps we can even think about aiming at Kaurilands again?

The injury continues to heal nicely, however I wonder if it is becoming very itchy, as his dressing although still attached, was munted, and he has also made the injury bleed each day some energetic rolling and itching going on I think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I hate being a Nanna!

Sampson seems to have come back into work really feeling his oats. He is a lot more forward - before his injury he could be hard work, and now a little squeeze and he goes up into trot...good really I guess....if I werent so worried about being carted off into the distance.

However, he has also become quite herd bound, and spends most of his time thinking about getting back to his friends (he was kept with Kit prior to his accident, who was bottom of the pecking order, but now he is in with the herd leader).

There have been several leapy boundy moments, and he is also very spooky (although I am picking that that is simply an excuse to get the better of me).

The problem with being an old nanna, in addition to being a 'what if' person, is that, quite frankly, I am becoming quite scared to ride him. Of course, he is revelling in my timidity!

Very frustrating, as just before his injury, I was on top of his little nappy moments, and happy to ride him in whatever paddock, including cantering etc.

Yesterday there was just one nappy moment which I dealt with. I didnt much like the trotting ... one fart, two farts, tense up, and woohoooo....I think I did just about manage a semi normal trot at one stage.

Today, we had a spin round take off in leapy boundy 'things' (twice). Although I did get past whatever monster he was imagining. However, my attempt at trotting was aborted several times....he would grunt, tense up, go sideways, and eeeeek - poor nanna was terrified. I finished the ride having managed to get two circles of trot.

Common sense tells me that I am not going to fall off, I can actually deal with whatever he does (I just need to be brave), and that he is simply trying me out - rather than him being a psycho pony. ... but.... its an awfully long way up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

SJ look-see

Took the pony to the local mini circuit with Willie, just to have a look around (hadn't planned on riding him).

He would alternate between being pretty relaxed while wandering around, to being a real handfull - leaping about, and I think he reared at one stage also. Basically he is a bit full of himself, and was also, I think, being nappy....just wanted to go back to his friend and tried to use his size to argy bargy me. Funny how when he was walking in one direction, poles falling and jumps crashing had no effect, yet in the other direction it was cause for leaping about, and at one stage passaging!

However, I guess at least I took him out.

Took his vest and everything off and let him run naked (wound and all) this afternoon. When I rode this afternoon I remembered why I prefer to have him covered....with a cover the bite marks show. Without a cover, there is blood drawn!

Had my first (tentative) trot since his injury today. I was very nervous, and he felt like he could do a bit of anything. He was definitely thinking about getting back to his mates, and it didnt help that Willie was trotting round like a demented flea while a bot fly chased him.

However, no disasters and we both survived.

Monday, March 9, 2009

One month on...

And I am back on him again.
Chickened out yesterday as it was very windy and he was extremely unsettled. However, I did put all his gear on him and do some work from the ground....yes, we DO leave your friends, and yes, we do STOP when asked...etc....a few moments of leaping about, but I guess he has been through a lot recently.

Got on him today and he was absolutely fine: just did some work at the walk - halting, standing and moving off when asked.

And here is the difference in his wound from 11.02.09 to today 10.03.09 (basically one month)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Well he didnt bleed to death, thank goodness, although there had obviously been a lot of bleeding during the night judging by the sodden packing and dried blood everywhere. It was not however still bleeding this morning. I simply changed his covers and left it for inspection later this evening at which time I gave it a saline syringe, squirted more honey into it and changed the dressing.

Photos show the wound tonight, and you can see the thickness of the flap. He will obviously be left with a big lumpy step on his shoulder once fully healed.

I am pleased with the look of it in general though, and can see still further healing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

03.03.09 - blood fest again

The vet came back this afternoon to cut off the flaps.
(I won't say what happened to the flaps - which were the size and thickness of a good steak and a smaller scotch fillet- and blood)

They were a good inch thick, which has now left a 'door step' down to the wound area. It is hard to envisage it ever getting flatter. I think it eventually will even up a little, but he will definitely be left with an area with a bit of a step down.

I didnt take photos as we were more concerned with trying to stem the flow of blood: LOTS of little bleeders, all spurting!

Unfortunately at 6.30 pm (over four hours later) it was still bleeding, and so there were lovely big chunks of red jelly hanging from his leg as the blood congealed....NICE!

Not sure if I should be worried or not, but I guess he shouldnt bleed to death overnight??

If it is not still spurting in the morning, I will leave the dressings as they are until evening, at which stage I will then change them and take photos.

I did ask the vet if it would be ok to ride him (obviously only at walk to start), and she thought it would be a good idea, and to also leave it open while I ride to allow the air to get at it. Not sure how I feel about riding him with a large wound in sight, although I may not be able to see it clearly from on top anyway - although I am sure I will see the door step!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Vet is due to come back tomorrow to cut off the remaining 'flaps'.
They have started to kind of draw back, particularly the larger lower one, as can be seen in the photos.
I think it is also quite clear just how far back the flaps will need to be removed. This is going to leave a huge area which will need to heal by second intention, and I guess gradually grow skin over it from the outer edges of the wound.

In general I think the wound is looking nice and pink, and the discharge is a fraction of what it was. However, I would image that one the flaps are removed, the discharge will return with renewed vigour in an attempt to flush the new wound area.

I can clearly see where the new flesh is forming to fill in the 'hole'.

The vest seems to be sitting pretty well and preventing any movement from the cover directly against the wound. In fact, he must have had a really good roll today judging by the mud plastered on him. How he got it under his cover and over the vest is beyond me; however, the vest stayed put!

This morning I was welcomed with hunks of 'meat' on his cover (which the flies were enjoying)...took me a while to realise that he had simply had a snooze on top of some slugs!

I do think though, that the thickness of the flaps, especially where they are kind of curling under, will be compromising the healing of that area. (Especially when he lies down, or rolls)
This angle gives a bit clearer indication of the thickness of the meat of the 'flaps' which will need can also see how they are starting to dry off and curl under.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

25.02.09 - 3 days on

OK, so it is only three days since the last pics, but I wanted an intermediary progress picture before the vet cuts off the remaining flaps, possibly Friday.

I can already see healing since Sunday, particularly along the left hand edge. Also the two flaps have pulled back a little and on one picture you can clearly see where the flap will have to be removed. It is going to leave a very large open wound.

The bib idea seems to be working, and prevents the cover from rubbing on the wound. However, I think at some stage I am just going to have to be brave and leave him with it open. Obviously it will get dirty and he will no doubt roll etc, but I think the sun and air will assist with the healing (hopefully).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Progress? - I thought wounds were supposed to IMPROVE?

A further lot of stitches broke down today, leaving yet another (even larger) flap, and adding to the existing canyon.

I can see where the previous open area has started to granulate and fill a little, and I think the skin edge was becoming itchy which is probably what prompted him rolling and tearing the next piece open as well. I was met with blood sodden gamgee and a horse who will still not simply stand and eat; he is so restless. Needless to say he really does now look like a greyhound, and all his muscle is quickly wasting also.

I am very tempted to simply put him in with Willie (herd leader) on long grass and put the other two (fatties) on short stuff. He is aching to be with Willie, and it might even be that the few snarls etc from Willie will elicit less moving about than his current restlessness? Don't know what to do for the best.
Am also going to try and rig up some kind of bib to hold a dressing on the wound.