Monday, 28 June 2010

Saw a cracking pony today......

Drove up to Niort today with my friend Tanya to look at a pony for her, she wants a nice sensible hack that she can share with her daughter. So we went to meet Jack, a 12 year old Fjord pony, and what a little star he was! Ali came with us to see how easy he was for a child to handle and her expression says it all really......

She even jumped him but he jumped with a lot more enthusiasm than Gandalf so took her by surprise!
 Really hope Tanya buys him.......sadly we can't afford to. Excellent little chap.......sort of a smaller, yellow version of Gandalf really!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Equine Infectious Anaemia

This is a disease I'd never even heard of until recently. It's pretty tightly regulated in Western Europe, but not in the east, which is where infected horses tend to come from. Some horses with is get sick, some are symptomless carriers, it's spread by biting insects and if a horse tests positive for it, then that horse has to be destroyed. So I was somewhat worried to learn that there had been a case confirmed at the so called animal sanctuary in our village. A couple more cases were found at a nearby village where the infected horse came from, so we got an official visit from an official government vet with official papers telling us the horses are in quarantine and cannot be moved until further notice and must have blood tests to check they're not infected.

 Which is why my two baby girls have had to stay in a field with no grass in it for the last couple of months. And I've had to buy a lot of hay, even though the 3 hectares we have in another village where the big boys live is full of lovely grass which keeps on growing as it keeps on raining!

Then we had the trouble of actually getting 4 tubes of blood out of Kinna who has been terrified of needles ever since she was microchipped, this involved sedation (another needle!) and two vets to hold her down (because if they couldn't get blood to test, she'd have had to be PTS)...luckily Sky didn't even flinch, she's half cob though and very sensible, unlike Kinna who's obviously very sensitive!

So I was mightily relieved to get a visit from the (very cute) government vet this morning to tell me that the blood tests (and they've tested every horse, pony and donkey within a two kilometre radius of the original case) have all come back negative to the quarantine will be lifted.

Nice to get good news occasionally.......

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

More Interdressage

Today it was Ali's turn to do her thing. She decided to enter a showing class, so it will be judged on turnout of both rider and horse. That meant a lot of preparation! I showed her how to plait his mane, which is a fiddly and time consuming job, and I don't think it looks as cool as the running plait we did for Sky the other week, but the people judging these things are obviously old school British judges, so proper plaits it is!
Good job Gandalf is a very patient boy......
Then we did his tail.
 Ali got her posh stuff on, white jodhpurs, how impractical is that? I wonder who thought that'd be a good idea for showing........probably a man.
Anyway, here's the video. Had to have a musical soundtrack because the original soundtrack featured a lot of Éowyn screaming after being told she couldn't be in the video, have the camera, ride the horsie or play in the road........

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Another puppy.......

Got a phonecall Friday morning (at 8.15, it's always trouble if someone calls before nine.....) and it was our friends saying 3 more puppies had been dumped outside their house, the same place as Poppy (who is now in her new home and rechristened Daisy May). So off I went and took one look at them to know that they must be from the same litter.............what is wrong with people, doing things like that?

Anyway, one of the pups looked at me, she was sitting on her own away from the other two and she was very cute......and she is now at home, Aliénor has fallen in love with her and is taking her out for walks all the time, she has been christened Chocolate, although due to Éowyn's current obsession with Dora the Explorer and the fact that our vet is Spanish, it's pronounced Shokolatay........
Her two brothers have gone to Phoenix Animal Rescue (their site is here) so hopefully will be found new homes, the number of abandoned puppies they have to rehome is unbelievable. There are some things about this country I really don't like......

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cantering circles

 Aliénor wanted to ride Gandalf today so I asked her to warm him up, then see if she could get him to canter circles as he's great in a straight line but doesn't have a great turning circle.......
The other problem is that all he wants to do is get back to the gate to be near Maverick so she had to work on anticipation his slowing down. It didn't always work, as you can see here

Still, all good for his weight loss programme!

Then I got on and had a go at this month's Interdressage test, here's the video

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A little visitor.......

We saw something moving on the lawn earlier and went to investigate - it was a little baby hedgehog that shouldn't have been out and about during the day.
I warned Éowyn not to touch it, needless to say, she ignored me........
it had a bit of a close call with Sky who was mowing the lawn at the time so I thought I'd better pick it up and put it somewhere safe.
Éowyn didn't touch it this time!

Saturday, 5 June 2010


Today we decided to have a crack at this month's Interdressage in hand class. Sadly we hadn't managed to ditch the Small Naughty One, but she was sent to stand in the corner when we did the video and I will take the soundtrack off so you can't hear the crying.......

Skyfaxa hadn't quite managed to get all the dirt back on that we washed off the other day but still needed water strategically applying, I really shouldn't have so many white horses.........She was very good about it, and then was also extremely good whilst I attempted to wrestle her copious amounts of mane and tail into some semblance of a plait.

Not sure if you're supposrd to do running plaits, but I can't be bothered to mess about with those little individual plait thingies and she's got far too much mane for those really. She didn't care, all she wanted to do was eat!
And no, she isn't as white as this any more.......

Friday, 4 June 2010

Poor Kinna........

Well the DDSV vet and my vet both came this morning to take blood from the girls. Sky as usual was no trouble at all, she didn't even flinch. I had taken the precaution of getting Kinna another sedative from the vet so I gave her that half an hour before they arrived - she reared as soon as she felt the needle but I'm getting good at doing it in one quick move......

She appeared totally zonked when we went in, but again as soon as she felt the needle she put up a helluva fight, in the end I had the twitch on her and the DDSV guy was holding her leg up and we'd backed her into a corner so my vet could get her 4 tubes of blood.

She's still out of it now, she looks so sad:

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Bath time!

As the sun has finally put in a reappearance, we decided to try bathing Skyfaxa this afternoon. Here's what she looked like before:
Ali and her friend Kepler (who was actually daft enough to volunteer for cleaning duties!) got the shampoo out and got busy:
Her spots are a lot bigger when she's wet!
She wasn't so keen on the being rinsed off with the hose bit, but let us get on with it, and didn't mind having her tail dunked in a bucket either.

So here is the end result, tail and hocks still a bit yellowish, must try some of that whitening shampoo: