Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Bitless hack.....

Well we hacked her out in the bitless bridle today, and for the most part she was fine. First canter though, she put in a couple of bucks, I suspect because Ali wanted me to go first just in case the brakes failed and Missy is used to going first and didn't want to be behind Chester!

She is definitely harder to stop with no bit, and when she pulled too much, the bosal tightened so Ali had to loosen it off, she is just as argumentative without a bit, but I suspect that will never change.....

Here's some video:
We practised Ches going off ahead and her walking and vice versa, after that first canter she soon settled down.

Got some nice pics.....

Went through a field of felled trees to give them a bit of footwork practise, Fina picked her way delicately through, Ches just yomped over everything
On the way back we went through the middle of the village and were talking to someone by the main road, several huge lorries went thundering past and she was a bit worried but seemed to take her cue from Ches, who didn't turn a hair.....
and he was very interested in the Percheron girls again....!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

More bitless.....

Chester's turn today:

Dare I say he's actually getting a bit bendy? Bareback you can really feel him lifting his back for turning. He didn't even knock too many poles!

I found this video of the first time I rode him, about this time last year, I think he's put on a bit of muscle since then......

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Interdressage again

Filmed a couple of classes yesterday, had to use Fina as the others are disgustingly filthy and there are marks for turnout. The Nordic Princess manages to stay very clean, she's obviously not a mud monster like Sky and Chester.

Here's Ali doing Manners, Ability and Performance:

And both of us doing the shared horse showing class, this was about take 4:
.......because as usual with Seraphina, there were a few outtakes!!

We put her in Ches's Myler bit this time, she argues less than with her usual one, but tends to overbend more.
Once we'd finished the Interdressage, we went back to the garden and Ali did a bit of practise with the bitless bridle. We reckon she's happier in that than the Myler for sure......

Friday, 25 November 2011

Better bitless?

I have decided to start Skyfaxa bitless, and ordered a type of bosal bridle for her. Yesterday I thought I'd try it on Seraphina, as she does seem to have issues with her bit, she pulls, chews it, and tries to evade by lifting her head and opening her mouth......

So this is what happened:

She was really listening and you could see her thinking about it.......will have to try that some more. She was originally started bitless, maybe it will suit her better to go back to it.......

Barefoot, bitless, I am a qualified tree hugger these days ;-)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Barefoot trimmer

The trimmer came today to check out the troops, he says none of them really have any serious issues, they've all been tidied up, most of them were well behaved (apart from Sky). Took lots of pics.....

Sky, showing some flare (you shouldn't be able to see daylight between the rasp and the hoof!)

One trimmed, one not:
Gandalf, bit of flare....

...but generally pretty good for a horse that's been shod til 3 months ago

Here are some pics of Tanya's pony Polo, showing some serious flare:

He said Kinna has beautiful feet. She was interested in the anatomy lesson too.....
So which one is the good hoof and which one the bad?

Oh, and the best thing for their feet is a gravelled area in the paddock so it looks like I am going to have to dig out all the mud in front of the stable and replace it with gravel......that'll keep me busy!!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

When she was good she was very, very good......

....and when she was bad, she was horrid!!

Seraphina,of course. Took her out for a little amble round the village yesterday with Sky in tow on the lead rein. Well, Missy Hissy didn't think this was a good idea, so she ran through her repetoire of Stuff To Do So I Can Get My Own Way, Maverick must have given here some coaching....

Spooking, check. At some bin bags on the side of the road. We've done bin bags, she's walked on them, worn them, had them thrown at her, eaten carrots out of them no problem......

Planting, check. Because a dog barked. Well, we've done dogs......everybody and his, erm, dog has a dog round here! She even tried to be jumpy about Choccy running up behind her, which happens on pretty much every hack we do, usually with no reaction whatsoever. The little old lady owner of the barking dog watched avidly as I did a complete lower body workout to get the little horror going forward. Note to self: bring a stick next time. Luckily all this activity (on my part at least) distracted said owner from the fact that Choccy had sneaked into her garden and was helping herself to the noisy dog's food!

Napping, check. Didn't like the look of some white paint on a speed bump, and yes, you've guessed it, we've been over that same lump of concrete many times.

Just for good measure, she threw in a kick aimed at poor Sky (who behaved brilliantly throughout all these tantrums) and bit her a few times too.

Sadly for her, all these shenanigans just mean that I will be taking her out a lot more often on her own (don't see why poor Sky should have to put up with her, she can do ride & lead with Chezza instead) until she gives up her "cinéma". Stubborn as she is, I am even more so and want her to be a safe hack out on her own like the others are so she'll just have to get used to it.

So there.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Took Sky out on her own for a little walk yesterday. Another sunny afternoon, blue skies, nice for November!

We met a pony that galloped around like a loony, Sky got a bit agitated but didn't try to tank off

we found a wooden bridge, she didn't even hesitate
and Choccy found a new friend to play with!
the only thing that bothered her really was a goose making a noise.....good girl.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Fast ride

As the weather is still ridiculously good, I have managed to go riding every day for a week, which is a bit of a first for me!!

Today Gandalf and I went out with Gary  and Soso. We had a bit of a hooley, lots of nice places to canter in the vines, Gandalf at one point was flat out galloping to stop Soso overtaking him, Soso just cruised past at a canter.......poor G just can't do the speed!!

He did jump a ditch that Soso refused to go over though

When we got back we couldn't resist going over the log that's still there from the trec course either.....

Here's the map & pics thingy:

and this is how sweaty he got trying to keep up!!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lake ride

Well today Chester and Seraphina have been  total stars. As it was a sunny bank holiday, Ali & I went out for the day, we rode all the way from here to the lake, which is 14kms each way. We have been cantering all over the place, Ches has pretty much got the hang of going straight into canter from a walk, not even a hint of a buck (presumably because it's too much like hard work with me on board), not too much pulling, the only annoying thing is his constant quest to eat so as I'm encouraging him to stretch forward and down he always tries to get a sneaky mouthful of grass...

Only one spook,at a dog that sneaked up on us behind a hedge, but the others spooked at it too.....

We collected Jane & Ocarina on the way and spent the rest of the time failing to keep up with her, when she walks, ours have to trot and when she trots, we canter!!

Ches was fascinated by the donkeys near the lake, he wanted to go and investigate them but the ran away from him!

Mike met us with a picnic, and we went for a play in the water with the horses...

Can't believe the weather, it's nearly 20 degrees in November!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

All change.......

All change here, have swapped Gandalf for Chester who needs some boot camp. Today, Ali & I rode to Tanya's with Kinna on the lead rein. Gandalf is going to stay with Tanya so she can ride him out with Hollie on Polo and Kinna will be staying to keep Soso company as he can't really cope with being alone. For some reason, Gandalf was in a hurry and trotted most of the way there. At one point he got on the grass verge and decided he wanted to canter so I let him thinking Kinns would follow, but she stopped dead and started eating so I let go of the rope and G carried on cantering til the end of the verge. So we pulled up and looked back and Kinna was........still eating grass!!! As was Fina.......

Anyway, we carried on and eventually we got to the vines and did a proper canter with Kinna joining us, but she's like a baby giraffe and easily outruns G, I kept having to haul her back....she is going to be a fantastic horse one day.

So we got to Tanya's, put Kinna and G in the field, Ali couldn't resist a little jump..... Chester out and I rode him home. He was SOOOO naughty, spooking at stuff he really isn't scared of, refusing to stand still, wanting to rush off after Fina when Ali cantered away, just generally testing to see what he can get away with......not a lot, as it happens!

So there we are, ponies 'r' us!! And Sky is taller than the pair of them.......

Ali tried something new when we got back, Fina didn't seem to mind!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A new toy!

A friend of mine spotted a second hand jump for sale on Total France the other day (thanks, Jo!) so I snapped it up (as new they are a ridiculous price over here, as are so many equestrian related items). Went to fetch it today from a nice ex pat couple about an hour away, not far from where I got Kinna from. The poles were 12' long, far too big to fit in the Kangaroo, so the chap very kindly sawed them on half for me.

Needless to say, Ali was made up and had to try it out straight away.....

...and even Choccy got put through her paces!

Very pleased with that......

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Soggy day!

Too Ali up to Beaumont yesterday for the day, one of the great things about Isabelle is that she doesn't cancel if it's wet unlike many of the stables we've been to, the French seem to generally hold the belief that they'll dissolve in the rain.......

So she did some jumping practise, with a ready made water jump!

She rode one of the smaller horses, Mikado, who was a bit opinionated to begin with.....

....but he soon settled and they did some nice jumping
....although he did get a  bit carried away!
She loved her day, we aim to go back once a fortnight, it's about an hour's drive away but worth it as they are great up there, here's their site. We're going to do a Christmas TREC there next month, really looking forward to it.....

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Riding somewhere different....

We went to Derbyshire for our annual holiday this half term and I booked the usual hack out with friends. I got to ride the usual draft cross, this one was called Prince and was 17hh but was lovely and forward going......

We rode through some stunning scenery, but it was a bit chilly up on the hillside. Got to go for a little canter, Prince's legs were so long it was like cantering in slow motion after Gandalf!

When we got back, the kids had a little lead rein ride, my mate John rode the big horse I'd been on, here he is next to his son on a Shetland!
Éowyn rode a pony called Star and kept asking if they could trot (which they couldn't). Bit tame for her I suppose.......