Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A new trimmer......

So today I met our new hoof trimmer, a lady called Vikki Fear, found via a trusty Google search as no one else around here seems to be barefoot so I couldn't go on recommendations. And she seems very good, she asked lots of questions about them, took lots of photos of their feet, pre and post trim, and I even got a score sheet for each of them!

Here's Tari's:

There's a score out of 10 for frogs, soles, heels, bars etc for each hoof and Tari's average was 7.5 which Vikki says is ridiculously good for a not-yet-two-year old, must be that Mérens blood! According to the scale at the bottom of the sheet, a score of 7 means the horse can do "barefoot racing, amateur horse trails, 1 day events or polo"!!
Gandalf and Sky both got 7.3, so look out Skyfaxa, Ali's always saying she wants to do some eventing!!!
One of Sky's feet was doing something a bit strange and growing unevenly on the outside:
This is the longest they've ever been without a trim due to the move, nearly 3 months. Not sure if that's due to the lameness after her getting kicked last month and waking unevenly for a while? After the trim it looked like this:
Vikki said she hadn't taken off too much and we'd see what it grows like for next time. Maybe she needs it to be that shape because of the way she walks.....
She was a bit of a brat though. New person, got to test them to see if they really mean they want me to stand still and lift my foot......!!
Torrential rain (again) today, managed to lose a welly in the mud getting them in so my foot was soaking and freezing cold all morning and Vikki's nice clean coat got filthy from my muddy wet horses and she was due to go to Hartpury next, oops!
Still, at least we had somewhere dry for them to stand, although there was much fidgeting from the girls who seemed to want to be nearer the enormous bale of haylage at the far end of the barn. Sky managed to wrap her leadrope round Tari's neck now and again in her attempts to get over there and needed untangling, but I couldn't leave them in the yard with the cows as the QH stallion was out in the field next door and even though there are two gates between them it's all a bit too much for him. And Sky is totally shameless.....

Sunday, 19 January 2014

White Horse Two......Kilburn

I have always been fascinated by the white chalk horse figures on UK hillsides, and I keep sying I must go and visit them all. We have managed to see a few of them including the very unusual Uffington White Horse a few years ago, but it's not so easy when you don't live in the country.

But now we do, and the Wiltshire ones aren't far away at all, so we really must get on with it. However, as we were up in Yorkshire this weekend visiting friends we decided to go and check out the only White Horse in the north of England, at Kilburn, near Thirsk.

The Kilburn White Horse was cut in 1857, apparently by a local schoolteacher and his pupils and on a clear day can be seen from as far away as Leeds. Unfortunately for us, as it is often grim ooop north, we got wind and rain and fog - definitely not a clear day :-/

So, pictures on the web show me that the horse looks like this when viewed from the village:

When we got there, we could barely make out the side of the hill.

We  followed the signs to the car park below the horse, from where again the good old internet shows me you can see most of it:

I, however, only managed to get this less than edifying picture:

Ah well, at least we found it. Maybe we'll go back sometime when the weather is better! In the meantime, here is an aerial view of the horse by those brilliant photographers at Last Refuge

.....taken on a sunny day!

For more about the white chalk horses in the UK, I can recommend this site.

Friday, 10 January 2014

A tad damp here.....

So as you've no doubt seen on the news, we've had a bit of weather in SW England recently. Luckily we live on the side of a hill so no flooding here, although the horses' field is pretty soggy......but nothing as bad as these poor horses in Dorset, so mustn't complain.....
Despite the weather we've kept the troops ticking over, the girls have been out in hand, and the water is a handy training exercise for them!
Even got the old boy to trot through this lot the other morning - good job they put a sign up, eh? ;-)
I am a happy bunny as now I have a nice new phone with a very clever camera, I can do shots like these.....

Going to have fun with it taking pics of Ali jumping, she's got a first lesson booked at the local stables next week, watch this space.....