A Walk With Tash and Dragon Thinking About Things…

It’s Marie-Claire 9.15 on Friday 28/07/2017

Going to do a Dog Day Chronicle walk with Tash and Dragon – for this is  post because I would like to ‘talk’ about what has happened the last week or so since I found that I could fly Dragon without crashing so this is a rather new experience for me in that I’m dictating as I’m going round doing house work getting ready and heading out – And some of this is not going to make it into the blog or ‘social’ – three subjects – Horses, The Holding and Writing – the Writing bit is getting a ‘normal’ written update to see how they compare and I will post that separately. ( need to compare this dictated and transcribed post with the written version in Writing LOL) Continue reading

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Riding Weeks …:)

Rufus made it into the Bluebells 2017 🙂

Riding out…

Has been fun – sometimes that has only been apparent when I am telling the tale after I get home 🙂 But mostly it has been FUN 🙂

I am SO over caring what people think if I want to get off and walk or to stand and look at the view. I just know that if I turn up every day and do something with the boys then – after the 2 – Buddy and  3 years – Rufus and Flax – that we will all get out there again.

I am aware we have edges that life has given us in that time and I try to stay close to the edge but not take us over for too long.

AS EVER, the view between the horse’s ears is best when it contains equal sky and ground – variants on the proportions viewable can mean that you are about to kiss your  – or it’s – backside goodbye.

Still, it is good to have a Riding Week update at last 🙂

Buddy and M-C

Flax goes back to school 🙂

The view between a good pony’s ears – Rufus 2017

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Riding month 2 and nearly 3.

Geese still confined to the barn but I moved them to the old pig area and got the horses moved back up the top 1/3/17 they have been only coming in for hay and Bud to have some feed except last night they came in overnight as the weather was foul.

The Vet came up to re-check Bud’s teeth and found large mouth ulcers, so Rufe had shoes refitted and Bud remains unshod and will do until I am sure the wounds are healed.

I have yet to do any ground work with Rufe and Flax and Buddy is working at the moment on getting used to standing in a position that facilitates me moving his rug around ie next to a half barrel.

 

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Riding Month…

Farrier put shoes back on Rufus in case I manage to get out and about – on foot – with him. Flax and Bud are still barefoot.

The weather and ground conditions supported plenty of moving and handling skill practice, and when the weather changed I practised with the latest iteration of the Parelli site and found some old iterations of Level 1 and Level 2 that I have immersed myself in, to great affect.

The horses are still in the middle field but come up each day – they can’t all come in the shed easily now as – due to anti-Bird Flu strategy- our geese are in the shed for large amounts of time as that is where their food and water is, and I cannot take down the anti-fox barricades easily.

Pleased with the non-riding riding month, though 🙂 Learnt lots and laughed lots – what’s not to like?

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Gone Writin’

I wish 🙂

Back to work this week, horses quite happy turned out. Started feeding a little hay.

Parelli launched the beginning of their website update which will take a while to implement – now there are three sites to play with. I really hope they continue the blogging area, as since they dropped the paper mag’ and the actual DVDs for members, I only really use the blog to record my horses and to catch up with other folk’ there. Hell of a lot of work is going in, but the bottom line for me is I paid my sub a year in advance – and it isn’t due till July – by then I will know if it is worth me rejoining again – unlike last time when I rejoined, and then they changed it. 🙂

Scheduled edit this week – may overrun into next – but after that, I am looking at what I want to do with the horses this year and taking a hard look at my fitness – to see if the two ideas are remotely on the same page 🙂

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Start :) Stop:(…

Plans Changed…

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Having had some great walks and rides with both Rufus and Buddy last week, I woke up Saturday morning to the sad realisation that one of my dogs – ‘the palomino lurker’ Brin had had a Stroke over night which was a huge shock – as even though nearly 15 yo he has been very fit –  for several days after this episode it looked like we were facing the ‘long goodbye’ and I cancelled my rides I had planned with my friend and stayed at my editing desk, with Brin near by instead – however he is adapting to his new reality and rarely topples over and his appetite is increasing a bit too 🙂

Yesterday afternoon I had thought to take Rufe out for a walk but  instead when I walked down the field I discovered Buddy had two swollen hind legs

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– vet was duly called out and we decided it was some kind of allergic reaction from something in the newest patch of grass they are grazing – a bit out of the wind right by the shed – no ie except there are a few fierce little stinging nettles there… Anyway today I moved Bud back up nearer the road – the swelling has gone down to mostly just around the fetlocks – but is still there – so we will see how he goes – and assuming that Brin stays the same and or improves I  hope to be out for some rides next week:)

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September Sun To October Mornin’…

Inspiration

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Last blooms of the Queen Elizabeth rose.

Inspiration came about the story I am taking through Holly Lisle’s revision course on the 23rd of Sept – it gave me enough to write the thread I was struggling with right through the end of the series -but the next few days I felt bereft – I jumped in the van, I went to the beach, the harbour, coffee shops, the old fort – I walked the dogs and I couldn’t find ‘it’ again – then I realised I didn’t need to find it – it HAD given me all I needed to go on with for the next two books after this one – I had dictated it into Dragon and Dragon had transcribed the excited ‘ramblings’ and the notes had been stored in Scrivener – revelation and slight embarrassment and then delight as I felt free enough from the constant nagging ‘thinking’ about the books, to really enjoy being with the horses and head out with a friend for a ride, I took Rufus for that long planned walk and even found I was in the ‘right place’ to deal with Flax reminding me be likes to bite me!

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Flax and Rufus grazing under the willow tree I grew from a cutting when we came here – reminds me of home in The Purbecks 🙂

 

So sunny September – with it’s blissful days – has given me fantastic progress on all fronts, fiction story edit, non fiction project and most importantly – getting out and about 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 October mornin’s have now arrived – and it’s all  ‘glow n go’ 🙂

Glow n Go :)

Glow n Go 🙂

And yes – that IS a picture of me riding Flax :)- may be one day I will again! Who knows? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The One Where I lose The Post…

The One Where I lose The Post…

OR The One That Got Away….

First time Evernote has not saved something for some reason I was working on – this weeks Blog post. Ah well. That means I get to blather on about something else ‘off piste’ – Um Er… you can rearrange those words but not include ‘half’ – because it is breakfast time and I am not. 🙂
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I has been a blissfully hot dry week here in Dorset – today is thick fog but it smells wonderfully fresh so I don’t mind 🙂
I have been ‘on holiday’ from the fiction writing  and reconnecting the horses in my soul with the real ones in my field.
Yesterday I rode Buddy out to Powerstock Station and around by Smokeham and back – he was great and we had a good look around – bits of new path here and there – old gates leaning more one way than the other- a branch dropped – the ‘railway’ apples coated in the thick dust of the old RWL, the Africa Wood is taller and thicker than it was in May.
It was good to be out – I have got to the age were some of the people of the landscape are no longer with us and as I rode around, I found my self remembering them out with their dogs, working their fields or chugging on the quad bike with spaniels draped about – I didn’t feel sad I felt glad to be alive and still seeing this and able to remember them where they were happy too.
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I have been in the company of my two New Forrest ponies Rufus and Flax a great deal this week – they are not ridden any more  – and that happened more by accumulated facts of life than design – but it struck me earlier this year when I was reading  Linda Kohanov’s books Tao Of Equs and Riding Between The Worlds that – the esoteric aside these two lads need to be free – being left in a single field – or part there of as it tends to be with smaller portly ponies is not what these two were born into – they were born wild. Now I am not about to turn them lose and I live a fair way away from the NF anyway but I realised that being out of that paddock and around me – going for a walk etc or what ever WAS being free.
It has taken me a while to start to put this into practice as the three of us are short on the leg and the grass grew way too high for me to walk with them and not fall over or be dragged over by them – horses get just as agraphobic/herd/yard/stable/field bound as we do and as herd animals with the same reasons – safety – the less they do the more they feel unsure and unsafe ‘out there’ and I had started to notice that being here on the farm was causing anxiety even between fields or a trip to the shed or for the farrier – or being separated briefly – none of these things were issues for the little guys in the past as they arrived -with another – at 5 months old and as there was three of them and one of me they quickly got used to ‘one goes out and everyone else stays’ – not so much now and change in routine however small is an anxious time – as much for those left behind as those who go.

Rufus has some pretty uncomfortable health issues and Flax derives most of what confidence he has from his brother’s leadership and though Flax gets on very well with Buddy – neither are the leader that Rufus is – the boss mare’s son was born to rule – and he does with hooves tipped with iron and teeth sharp to snap order into the field life – it is obvious to me that should Rufus become distressed beyond our ability to care for him  then a decision will have to be made about his future – and the future of the others will be much more painful for them and confusing if they do not have their muscle memories of doing things without him – or each other – that it is OK to come with me for a while to see the sights etc. Now Rufus is not so uncomfortable right now that any of this is more than a sound idea to start putting into practice – he also may benefit from some exposure time without his rugs as I do often wonder if being so wrapped up makes some of his skin issues worse and him more intolerant and sensitive…

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Socks

With the house project on the back straight now and the book I took through the revision/editing course in my mind – I am starting to re group the life I had before the Open House Surgery – the sheep have obviously gone resulting in ‘grass from Hell’ issues this year – which I will need to plan better for next year – or once again be marooned in a sea of the stuff. I have basic websites and good contacts for learning the things I will need to know to take the books from Scrivener to sales platforms. I am giving myself till the ‘dark evenings’ to make a business plan and strategy to take me to the following time in 2017 that I can work on WITH the horses in my soul in my life. They will in turn exercise me and ‘fill the buckets’ – as those Guru types say – as an Ex Agricultural Student type and What Not – there are only two kinds of buckets – water buckets and those full of s..t. Handy that I am also looking to get the Veggie garden re fenced and in production – that always needs water and buckets of s..t – I think that is what the trendies used to bang on about ‘holistic’ living – as another Ag Student Type once said – when asked about the Food Conversion Rate for pigs – ‘Two buckets of food in = two buckets of s…t out!’ In my case I am looking for a return more in terms of Word Conversion Rates for my time spent filling buckets away from my desk. 🙂

“I’ve written half this book watching Rasa, Merlin, and Spirit perfect the lost art of doing nothing. Chinese Taoists call it wu wei, “not doing,” and horses are particularly good at it.” from “Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential through the Way of the Horse” by Linda Kohanov

I knew I would find this quote if I looked as I look at mine doing precisely that beyond this window as I type or may be they have as Primrose Cummins in Silver Snaffles would say ‘have gone through the dark corner’ with out me – however in view of their need to be free – as I see it – Rufe and Flax have started inhand work with me in my own fields – while the fields are still cattle free – as the cattle arrive in ours I will move the horses play ground to the neighbour’s fields I run and think about expeditions off the place 🙂
Apparently a trip down to the Vets  and back is the equivalent of climbing 21 flights of stairs – so says my iPhone thing – and it also thinks that me riding is ‘steps’ – hugely impressed that I get awarded steps for riding – my average has been struggling to get above 12k/day – I had apparently done 14k before 10am today!!!! Anyway both Flax and Rufe enjoyed their relative freedom to come with me and do something as Buddy takes a day off looking at the view and stuffing himself with grass.
Flax as ever is waiting for me to get up there and do what I do
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Flax waiting to go somewhere with me…

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Five Pubs Challenge And Truck Fest Weekend Extra…

Which means I get a weekend almost alone – Gordon dashed home through he holiday traffic on Friday night and he and his friend Chris washed and polished Ghost and off they went in convoy – Chris this year in our car rather than a truck and clutching a new tent – as it was nearly dark when they left I imagine all sorts of fun and laughter putting that up in the lines of show trucks.
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‘Ghost’

Neither I nor the horses are fit enough to go on the Five Pub Ride – but it might be something I can aim to do next year as it is on the doorstep, requires not travel and lots of folk do it on foot/bike or horse + may be the road will be repaired at Uplodders by then – as it remains shut following the road collapse in the spring and the villages remain segregated. I will peddle my 20 km on the exercise bike instead though and watch out of the window. 🙂
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I took a quick trip to the Coop this morning before the A35 started filling with holiday makers going or coming back from their trips – I have a thing for flat breads at the moment and I wanted some Massa Farina but that would have meant a trip to the market – something that wouldn’t be quick- however gorgeous it might have been to hunt around my favourite home town’s sumptuous market and wend my way through the packs of locals hitting the place early while the pavements have air spaces and before the amazing bands and entertainments stop the movement the closer to the Bucky Doo you get and the closer to lunch time – the combo of which will have you inside any one of the amazing eateries -then you won’t leave till sundown and the night scene fizzes away till dawn – Coop it was then but I did spot some interesting Dove Farm gluten free flour that had a high proportion of the Massa Farina I wanted in  so I headed home and made pancakes with a mix of that and Dal flour with yogurt and turmeric  – yum. 🙂 Nearly time to have some for lunch as a salady wrap. 🙂
Mum got her plants watered around her little studio, her pots have been very pretty this year, and her wild strawberries brought with her from the Purbecks have been fruiting in the crevices of paving and pots they have invaded all summer. When the garden gets sorted out I intend to set some runners in the wall etc – I remember her making wild strawberry jam as the plants loved the quarries and hazel wood land we were surrounded by. Yum. 🙂
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I got Rufus and Flax in to the stable and I peeled off Rufus’s gear that he wears to keep insects off him and I Vaselined his head and combed his mane before putting the the eared fly mask back on and re-covering him. I rubbed baby oil and tea tree into his under carriage as he has made it raw and I took off his socks and treated his afflicted heals and re socked him – he had a good go at the salt lick while I did all this and then he had the most important part – The Special Pony Pills – of which he gets two – for being such a Good Boy – Flax gets one because Flaxes only need one – he isn’t poorly. (Other wise described as ‘mints with holes’)
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The dogs have been taking it very easy this am supervising – and as the sun has gone in and a cooler sea mist is lightly circling us I think an after lunch  stroll is in order – and as I ate two pancakes stuffed with veggies and salad and have only achieved a min of 3326 steps today according to my phone I think if I am not careful I will be Zzzz-ing too 🙂 Where are the leads?
Sea mist blew in and around us keeping us cool on our walk, I recorded a Dog Day Chronicle episode en route and my boots got quite wet – the mist blew away leaving it fresher and brighter.
As the dogs returned to their slumbers I went and caught Buddy with a couple of those Special Pony Pills and gave him a nice groom and we played for a while – he was still tense and sometimes skippy but not too bothered – I saddled him and we went to the bigger grass area and continued with the rope games – bigger space, better footing and he trotted and cantered on with more confidence and less stiffness.
Back at the shed I asked my self ‘Does this horse look ridable?’ and the answer I got back was ‘yes’ so I hopped on and off a few times and then did a passenger ride around and about and looking at the view for half and hour or so ending up with some weaving in and out of the barrel maze without me touching the reins. Cool. Turned him back out.
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Another session of that order and we can head out somewhere 🙂
Beautiful evening here now – Eggardon, having appeared from the wraiths of mist, now has sun dapple flanks and cloud shadow puppet films playing on the steep bits.
Another dog walk I think after their tea and then a few km on the exercise bike for me – bath and read – BLISS :)Sunday Morning.Getting darker in the early mornings already the yard lights came on as I walked past. Sunday very early is one of our few quiet days here – traffic noise – but there are a few ‘flappers’ abroad this morning ( plastic wrapped suitcases and trailers full of holiday gear ) I wonder if there are little kids asleep on the back seats or if like I used to they are noses pressed against the window counting off the familiar landmarks till they are there…
The day of The Five Pub Challenge – looks hot an dry but yesterday
afternoon the sea mist blew in and cooled us a little – I rode Bud last night for the first time since May around the higher fields here which was nice, sat in the grass and took pictures of the sunset on third dog walk of day and then inflicted 20KM on the exercise bike on self !
 SO much easier now it has been oiled!!!! Not sure the same can be said of me 🙂 But it isn’t hurting my joints like running was and it is slow so suits the need for me to take it steady. AS far as it can be measured -given it is 40 years old and basic – I seem to manage between 30 and 40 km /hour ‘speed’ and since oiling has now worked, it is about a turn and a half off the easiest setting – last night it took me the length of a Podcast to cycle the 20 – I reckon that was 50 min -when I first bought this I was in early teens and used to do 10 KM in 20 min everyday before school and the speed this was at 12 Oclock on the dial so at 52 after an inactive year for me I am not entirely surprised it is taking me over twice as long at half the speed – but as joints aren’t aching and I am still raising my heart rate and ‘perspiring’ I will stick with it rather than the running for now.
The yoga DVDs didn’t really get into the day – the floor in the house is now good to lie on even with a cut off chunk of carpet and with no curtains and being on the side of a large busy road me trying to hold my big toe in the air or get up off the floor from my ‘on my back dog pose’ could be a danger to traffic.
Did a fair amount of time on the non fiction and on my calendar/work process/ post HTRN thoughts re potential publication for fiction – thoughts and plans are beginning to form and come together – REVIEWING  given what I know now, compared to what I knew this time last year, when I set out my longer term work structure against what I has happened in real life and what I have achieved.
I know for sure
 
I still want to get my fiction stories into shape for the Indie market.
I want to write new material an revise some other projects in my portfolio.
I want to build my Blogs.
I still want to ride my horses – as opposed to keeping them as pets unridden.
I want to get fit enough to do both.
I want to get the house straight.
I want to get the garden fenced this Autumn so it can be got ready for veggie growing again next season.
I need to be fit enough for digging the garden over or controlling the hired rotavator ( !)
I enjoy contributing to the forums I am a member of – or as I said to my sound recording last night ‘The Floorums’ which is a blooper I think will stick in my head – so I want to continue to do that.
This last month I have taken steps literally to instigate the fitness improvements and with the mad grass cut down I have moved the horses cente stage and started them being more active alongside me.
BLUE SKY THINKING TIME 🙂
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Spent Sunday morning doing a session with Buddy on the long rope  and then I rode him around the barrel track I laid out – just walking and steering without my reins ‘focus riding’ and then I brought Flax in and we played dressing up in tack – it has been a while – 2 years + since I made any attempt to hack out on him but he is always first to say hello and the last to give up on the hope he might get to go somewhere with me … Anyway he is still too chubby for his saddle – even though he has lost 50kg since May weigh in – he needs to shift the same again to stay in good health.  We had a session on the ropes and around the barrels which he adores and is beginning to be so focused that he can be unclipped to go freestyle.
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Not making any plans to hack out on Flax but I see no reason why we can’t take advantage of the slightly quieter road below – due to the closure – to do a little bit of walking about and sight seeing again as though there is still traffic it is not ‘through’ traffic which might give us a chance to regain our nerve and traffic skills on foot.
I sit on Buddy this afternoon again – he is happy to be caught for two Magic Pony Pills but still a little bothered by the idea of wandering around the barrels so we just sit and then we go to a corner and practice what he needs to do when I place my leg on his side – I am tiny so it is far from his girth. Standing with his face in the right angle I simply apply my right heel on his side and look behind to the right – his bum moves away I take my foot away and look forward – I repeat this with my left leg – nothing happens this time and he frets – I repeat the nudge and he moves over we just stop a while and then we do that again – the right leg gets a prompt response but the left leg gets little but a head toss, I kick my feet out of the stirrups and push my finger in behind my knee on the left side – he moves over smartly looking surprised – I wonder if the square saddle cloth is numbing the sensation as well as the fact my legs are so short.
We go over to the far side and look at the view – he frets I look out for 5 Pub Challengers – he snoozes – we move and stop and look and snooze a few times then walk back to the barrels and do figure eights all around and in and out all the ways we can – I boost the energy up little and we swing along – a little trot – he anticipates a turn and jogs on but I hear that tension sheath sucking noise so drop it back to a walk – we stand and gaze again and walk around again and then I look at my watch and i have been on board an hour and my legs feel like it even though we have not gone out of walk nor left the safety on the field  – I rub him down and take off the tack, pack it all in the van and turn him out early with Flax and Rufus – after a good refreshing drink he goes to sleep with them in the sun and I bring the van back up the field  – Gordon and Chris will be home soon full of tales from the ‘Fest’ and I want to be showered and ready to hear all about it.:)
Happy weekend all at Alexander. 🙂2016-08-13 19.58.18.jpg
Brin aged fourteen and a half 🙂
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Flies Flies Flies….

THAT time of year has arrived!

This weeks excuses for not riding are – long grass every where, horse flies as big as Rhino – honestly – they are 🙂 – and rain. Buddy threw a shoe and as yet it remains at large as a ‘tractor trap’ – Dan the farrier has been and re shod Rufe, and Bud and decided Flax hadn’t grown enough foot to trim and given the assault of flies we all endured  I could only feel MORE guilty that I have been working on the books 24/7 and not ‘used’ the new shoes. 🙁 Not sure this month will be any different either.

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Dreams

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Rambling On…

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My favourite hedge row flower ‘The Rambling Rose’

Brings back memories of Sunday mornings spent at Tabbits Hill Riding Stables in Purbeck   which were spent – with any luck – riding my favourite little New Forrest type mare Rambler – she of the permanent ‘hound jog’  when she didn’t have the wind up her tail and we were belting up ‘the sheep track’ or chasing through the twisty path, under the low branches of ‘the under hill’ and of course when I cycled home Dad would have Jim Reeves on the record player … I can imagine she is another one of ‘mine’ in Horsey Heaven fidgeting in the back row and lighting smokes from the flames ‘next door’.

My current squeezes  are fine – Flax and Rufus have been exercising more and watching what they eat and Buddy has also had to stop his free range activity as the grass in his patch was knee high – his not mine.

The paddocks were topped but have grown again! The loss of the sheep flock really shows in the Grass Dept.

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All Change…

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Unpacked and staying!

Dan re shod him. Bud and I have been doing ground work and pre-ride routines and I have been re discovering the joys of ‘Passenger’ rides  – in the ‘safe environment’ of the field – letting self drift with him and in the process finding my childhood somehow again – after I got over feeling like a Nelly and wondering what the folk on the bus thought – it became a  mindful – meditative – process – as  pony poo picking up is to Yoga – and  was cathartic, both he and I were very restful – I suppose I should say at this point he was tacked up, and I did have my hat on, and I did hold the neck strap, and make sure he didn’t step in his reins 🙂 – so it wasn’t quite like going back to my childhood of hopping on the nearest moorland pony and disappearing for the day!

I have been reading the Tao Of Equus Linda Kohanov- which is not an easy read – but IS well worth the effort- and the combo of that, and the unease I have been feeling about taking Bud to the yard – leaving my two ponies at home – suddenly erupted beyond me being shy and became a definite ‘No he is staying here and we will all stay together!’ Equally, I suddenly decided to ask Dan my Farrier to repad and shoe Rufus – both ponies came through the winter extraordinarily fat – both are usually lean fellows – I am not looking to ride Flax but if I did he rides barefoot anyway – Rufe does not.

I found myself once again cleaning kit and washing soft horse furnishings and literally getting the cobwebs and birds nests out of the corner of the barn where such things hang.

It is obviously MY FAULT that the heavens have opened and most horse related activity in the land has ceased 🙁

What ever comes next I do not know…

But I take advice from many folks that if you  always get what you have always got- by doing X – then do something else.

So I tossed my to do list, and my time table, and my aims and goals, and thought about why I want to ride – and what I want for them – I ride to feel free – but I have stumbled with them at times, and the upshot has been Rufe and Flax are now ‘Evergreen’ and field bound  – OK – it is one of several fields, and they have a view , and they are a long way from forgotten dopes on a rope under a bridge – but really? May be my riding activity is as much about them being free as me – where as before I tended to think

‘ Well it is me that wants to go for the ride…’

I am not sure that was ever all there was to it  – they never once refused to go, and they are always keen to move fields, always queued up to see what is happening  – I know plenty of folk do have the problem of horses being herd bound/barn sour or nappy – mine never were – but even so they become more confident together than apart  – if it isn’t part of their day – and it hasn’t been.

My ponies were  forest born wild, and born free…

Rather like Linda in her book I have had this feeling that ‘something is wrong’ but have dismissed it thinking that it is largely me – feeling guilty for not being able to carry on their ‘training’ to a higher level,  or because they are chubby or  because Rufus gets sweet itch and Flax needs me to be a better leader than I am – but actually I think that what is wrong, is that they feel trapped, and left out, and I can feel that – and after reading ALL of Linda’s book  -I am prepared to give it more credence as a possibility than I was doing before.

I was very interested in her comments on emotional congruency and how important it is- and I realised that this doesn’t just apply to Buddy and I – ie me putting on a Happy Face which he knows is false and then wondering why he is jumpy! This was also an issue with Flax –  where as Rufe is stallion like in his ability to ignore my forcefield, and is confident enough in himself not to worry – if I am there physically that is enough for him – but the other two ask for the whole me and the real me – mad, bad or happy – as long as I am not pretending.

I had a brief session with a friend’s horse back in the spring and she commented that I was looking beyond the horse and out of the arena  all the time – and she was right – in an attempt to take pressure off the horse I looked to the horizon – in that case outside the school – and then thought about my problems  or what a nice day it was – the disconnect  from her old mare on my rope was immediate. With Buddy I noticed last week that when he is trying to canter on line if I look to the horizon he bends to the outside and finds it hard to strike off – if my focus is ahead of him but on the line of the circle he has little trouble maintaining bend and gait and strikes off comfortably enough, for him.

When riding – I am thinking I may also do this a legacy from riding  the older horses that I have had for years – OK with Bud – until there is a sudden lack of confidence ,caused by lack of regular riding, failing to top up his innate common sense – but if there is  -then there is a ‘turn around and run’ potential – till I snap out of it enough to give him a lead either in the saddle or on foot – until of course last Autumn when I got exasperated while standing by him waiting for some sheep to pass-  and he turned around and ran from ME – leaving me face down on the ground… and him lucky to be found ‘uninjured’ – our relationship has taken time to rebuild and is still doing so…

IN Flax’s case it used to be that he would try and get behind me or on top of me which was only noticeable when I rode out alone – it is my guess now it was the same thing – I was thinking over the horizon ‘not looking at the spook’ but over doing it to the point where he felt my absence dangerously, I was then getting scared, and looking away even more  -and getting cross with my self , and frustrated with myself at not being able to make him understand me – silly now I think about it of course – he doesn’t have to understand me he just has to trust me and for that I have to be genuine and present – congruent in what I am asking and what I am doing and feeling.

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Flax May 2014 day before The Long Ride Home In Tears…

So  There Is Much To Think About…

AS for Rufus? The little wise one  is beginning to resemble the Laughing Budda statue and it will be good to wander where we will again …:)

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Long Ride To Be Free….

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Hot Riding Date To Rekindle Flames OF Passion …

OK it was 30 min with a Carrot Stick and rope – what is not to like?

Team Allington and 'Super Horse' Buddy On The Road Trip Of The Summer :)

Team Allington and ‘Super Horse’ Buddy On The Road Trip Of The Summer 🙂

We Are Heading Out…

Looks as if Bud is transplanting back to Green Acres – next door farm – for a few weeks while he and I get going again. He was born there, and what with road closures around us and loads of stuff still going on here it seems more sense for him to go back to see his friends – and then we both get some company  as we get out and about for a few weeks.

This week we are doing our ground work and checking the saddle fits and having a little sit on for me – hum and a Yoga DVD session every day  building up to some running – also me –  though he probably thinks the same – and next week Dan is putting Bud’s shoes back on and then I will walk Bud down to the farm after that – hopefully after he has settled back in with new field mates safely we can get out around the village till we are both fitter and better connected. 🙂 And may be Jodhpurs waistband will do up…

 

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If Wishes Were Horses…

Half A Pot Of Gold?


Half A Pot Of Gold?

Either Way It Meant Rain.

Gave me a chance to look at the journal I keep – A4 spiral back 160 side – current one is purple – last page today.

I do keep a bit of a blog line going on Parelli Connect and I do sometimes post on Haynet – I keep a record of them – kind of – on here  – but for the last 15 years I have kept a daily free form long hand record of the horses in my life and our adventures and misadventures – I periodically keep a file open on One Note too – but I always come back as well to the paper…

Today I started a new one – the last was started 12/Aug/13 – always makes me wonder were I will be and how they will be when I finish a new one – the pile of note books covers a multitude of achievements and disasters and is full of friends and memories – 4 and 2 legged – some happy and some gut wrenchingly sad.

Where will this one take me and my 4 legged friends?

Dreams

Dreams

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Riding Week…

Must Change That… My Horsey Week?Water horse 4

Any way – we went and saw Monty Roberts and gang from Intelligent Horsemanship at Kingston Maurwood – brilliant and very glad we went – busy and packed evening.

Spent rest of week utilising the dry ground to work/play with all three horses – brilliant fun – Flax starting to do liberty work with me now which is an intense feeling between self and horse like invisible sparks that only he and I can see. It doesn’t – in our case- mean we can go out and about together though.

Both Rufe and Flax are extremely fat after this winter which is unusual so I am having to be careful with what they are eating  – I don’t want them standing in doing nothing and the field won’t take a smaller plot without damage – so they get plenty of hay to try and keep the sugar levels steady but I am aware that they are at risk of Laminitis.

Buddy on the other hand is about right weight wise and is getting extra grass in the day times. iT is 5 weeks till Dan can re shoe him and by then I hope our daily ground work and walking will mean we can get out and about once again.

I cleaned the tack. Washed my kit.

And Generally Had A Horsey Week 🙂

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Heroes And Legends

I am off to see my heroes from Intelligent Horsemanship – Kelly Marks and gang with guest Martin Clunes at my old Agricultural College – Kingston Maurwood in Dorchester Dorset – this Saturday night –  which is all exciting enough – but ‘living legend’ Monty Roberts is going to be the there too – and I just can’t wait! I hope Kelly brings her fabulous horse Pie along  as seeing him is always inspirational.

I have been kind and not volunteered my boys for the Demo – they are ‘back in town’ now out side the window of 27 asleep in the sun as I type.

The Boys Are Back In Town...

The Boys Are Back In Town…

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Wet N Windy…

Replaces Bright And Cold as blog tile for this week – if it changes AGAIN before Friday’s publication I am stuffed 🙂

And What Happened Next...

And Spring Will Come…

Winter is as winter does I guess and the base line here at least is that the equines are running wild and free and only stop occasionally to see if I have any carrots. Though Rufe DID call out this morning when the lights went on which seemed to mean ‘grass is getting low and hay is required’ but when I provided hay he wandered off – and it was nice hay. 🙂

Must check when Dan is due to tidy around Bud’s bare feet – cannot see any point in re shoeing until it is Mild Balmy And Spring Like – and has been a while… I must be getting feeble!

So more a writing week than a riding one but spring will come and that will change…

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A Friend In Need Is…

Grateful!

As it turned out to be me this time.

Dreams

Dreams

– My HUGE thanks to Julie and her brownies and coffee and  her patience for listening to my overstuffed life induced anxiety suddenly pouring out on a visit to see how SHE was getting on. Blush.

Don’t bottle it up

Dreams or no dreams  sometimes the best thing to do is admit there is something you can’t deal with – before the horse has to deal with it and you.

Then look around – what is the next thing you CAN do to get to where you want or need to be?

In my case stepping away from my horses and my muddy handling area just to see Julie’s three  – and you know what? Just standing next to hers in the field hand feeding them really helped as the pressure went – they weren’t mine or my responsibility – I was just saying ‘Hello’ – Aroma Therapy or Scratch and Sniff? Not sure. BUT –

Serendipity struck me –

I was in the right place at the right time – we always are, we just don’t recognise it – now IS the time to take that action.

‘Student is ready teacher appears’ as they say.

So

Farrier due tomorrow and he is removing Bud’s remaining three shoes – which means I won’t worry that while they are in the silage grounds they will leave UXB’s for the tractor tyres – and also it will be a pressure off me – the weather is too rotten to do anything other than general day care and handling and this way I won’t be putting pressure on my self to rush out and ride before I feel he and I have some kind of connection.

By reaching out I found some peace and reassurance that stepping back was the right thing to do in order to move forward – and I enjoyed some great brownies too.

 

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I Had A Dream…

That…

Dreams

Dreams

Buddy and I went hunting – we jumped some recognisable and awkward handmade gates  apparently on our local estate – even a couple on top of big long grass slopes which bore some resemblance to the real place.

The hunt was all around us – I let Buddy go and trusted him to stay upright – and we did – I wasn’t bothered and I was laughing – and then the hunt were in a deep river and that is when I knew I was in a dream and I woke up – laughing.

Why?

I ‘had a go’ at drowning once as a teen – many years ago – and was saved by a teenage friend – never liked water after that and if there was ever going to be a night mare – there was water in it!

So back to Buddy…

Our relationship took a hammering when he ran off back in the Autumn – but I was more annoyed with myself than fearful- and then due to him having trouble staying upright he has had various minor leg injuries which have meant lots of vet visits and other handling that has been uncomfortable for him and tricky for me and I have become aware of that nervous sensation around my edges making me jumpy when I would be relaxed…

So I get this dream

– Buddy upright and jumping tricky things, out in company and me laughing and loving it – well ‘That’s nice!’

BUT

If ever there IS a river involved I am SO out of there! Nasty, wet, cold – no place for a horse – OR ME – even in a perfectly inspiring dream! 🙂

Of COURSE I am NOT superstitious. Am I?

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