All Change…

Not now going next door…2016-05-06 10.59.47.jpg

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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Work V Ride – Truce, Defeat or Victory?

Well Who Cares What You Call It?

Dreams

Dreams

Work Life Balance is the trendy phrase.

OK – Well at least I was on the same see saw as my life even if I was neither on my horses nor on my game at work.

In consequence the horses and I did rather more relationship building than I figured I would be able to make time for – or as they probably look at it – they came in for their feed and hoof picking out  rather than having it in the field.

Buddy lost an off fore shoe but I walked mindfully around the 10 acre field following Whoooopeee skid marks till I found it. It came off clean  and the nails were still in it – Bud no more lame than before and no tractors will be limping off during silage making next year either..

The store lambs in my exit field are gone so end of next week I may venture out for some lead rope walks to see if the village is still there with which ever horse or pony volunteers – it also means there is no more excuse to be made – I must start running again – 6- 8 weeks to light evenings and I am a poorly muscled up writer and a low stamina walker so if I want to ride I had better get up and get out there and get on with it. 🙁 While I still can.:)

All in all my plan of keeping them out but bringing in in the day time worked very well – I got hands on the horses and minimal mucking out – they got due care and attention and a chance to roll in the bedding.

All mine!

All mine!

And I got my work done around them…

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Horses? What Horses?

Dreams

Dreams

New Field Of Dreams…

Moved them to in day time and out at night – well that was the idea – disappeared into the view and haven’t bothered coming back much!

Happy horses – happy MC! Great dog walks wandering around farm looking for the mustangs – usually asleep in the sunshine and out of the wind. Left their beds up and ready in case they  get a wet or freezing blast but otherwise I guess it is see you in the spring then?

Meanwhile I rejoined Shipton Riding Club and renewed my British Driving Society membership, caught up with  my Parelli blogging – which I do most days – and Intelligent Horsemanship (Still excited about Monty Demo at Kingston Maurwood soon!)

Plenty To Dream About then this week…

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My Riding Week

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Flax and Buddy

‘I didn’t’ is the easy comment here.

 

I was rediscovering the joys of stable duties and evening checks, real hay nets and shavings and rubber mats and wheel barrows and their relative stability – and mine – in various qualities and quantities of mud.

 

The horses have been slightly bemused to find themselves ‘in’ out of the weather – I would like to say they are pleased – but they are horses – and as far as they are concerned being trapped in a confined space in storms probably doesn’t constitute safety or tranquillity.

 

They were getting swamped with mud  and the driving rain so they have all been able to dry out at least between drenchings. I have set them up in another field ‘off the top’ of the farm and today I took these photo’s of them – it was so hot they were rugless – last week’s driving rain seems a memory yet an hour later it was back!

 

Bud’s legs seem OK again despite some galloping in the heavy ground – the other field is better draining so hopefully that will stabilize him – it is either that or wheels…

 

Not sure that the hours spent have helped my writing week – but on the other hand no horses no writing…:)

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My 2015 Equine Year… 2016?

2015…

Buddy had a tooth problem needing specialist treatment to remove and replant it  – that was quite hard for me to get through the organisational waiting necessary when fitting in with busy travelling specialists – Buddy  was absolutely fine, in excellent hands at Milton Equine – in their care for the Equine Dentist to do the job on their premises as it all coincided with the major house rebuild we had going on here.

The house rebuild meant we moved into  the mobile home ’27’ in the orchard next to the horse field – this made for ‘horse TV’ all day and all night and a night time sound track of galloping hooves…

I didn’t get any riding done this summer –  I completely underestimated the demands for me to be here to let folk in etc to fit in with them – but for the huge building project to progress as fast as possible I realised it was necessary.

By Autumn I was trying ground work with Buddy and then I failed to heed my high stress level one morning and took him somewhere we weren’t ready for – result I got off, got myself knocked over and he ran off… I found him with help of bystanders and a local friends – he was a bit battered and bruised and we were able to walk home.

He recovered from that and promptly got a skid injury and infection around Bonfire night and Boxing day he was ‘giving it large’ and skidding about (Again!) and has  mildly strained the tendons at the back of his knee…!

My equine year has been one with little riding but great moments with all three of them – Rufus usually comical and Flax playful.

The Stars of the show and me.

The Stars of the show and me.

2016?

Re join Shipton Riding Club and try to re build my confidence to join in – even if that is watching or helping…

Keep up with my Parelli friends and Intelligent Horsemanship chums.

Keep blogging on Haynet

Have tickets to see Monty Roberts at our old college Kingston Maurwood Dorset (Where husband and I met and he is coming too)

Buddy, Flax and Rufe  to be as well looked after as I can, kept active and as entertained as they can be – and if I get to ride out off the farm too I shall be thrilled – it is going to take a while and some daily work – and some luck that no one gets a silly injury(Bud!) (MC!!) :))

Dreams

Dreams

 

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Goals…

Dreams

Dreams

Been playing with the the goal setting department on Parrelli Connect again – keeping it low key – system goal to be safe etc (!) and a custom goal to get Bud off the farm twice a week and extended the time on the working through the level 1 on line stuff. Everything here has ground to a halt the last month especially as we tried and failed to get at least my mum back in the house by the 2nd week of Oct. The fact is now at SOME point in the next four weeks that house will be liveable but I still have to paint the entire place from bare plaster up and do soft furniture and furniture etc – haven’t been setting my writing goals and daily word counts on my typing due to having to clear the table for meals now Mum is in 27 with me – I am doing web based promo and blogging and attending learning experiences when the BB allows but my whole ‘goal centric life’ has crashed.
I cannot set goals for the house because they are not mine to control and even with the horse goal I have just set I have to prioritise the needs of the workmen on the house and facilitate them getting in when they need to and despite them being very good I still need to be here at – there has been no stage in this whole project where I could be away from it actually which has been very tiring and hasn’t even guaranteed that jobs haven’t sometimes still had to be done again!
I had a second A4 note book to type Aug – Now which hasn’t been done for one of the Q series  books – I have already moved the deadline on that – I would like to get it typed by new year but it needs undisturbed space to leave it out and me turning up to do it for several hours a day and head space to stay ‘with it’ when I am interrupted as bumping in and out of ‘story mode’ is actually painful. I have to be ready to stop everything and suddenly do something to get us back in the house – what ever it is and when ever an opportunity arises – that has to be priority but the horse goals and writing goals are not going to sit with that very well – horse goals will be weather bound as well – though that frees me to write.

IT may end up being house – write OR ride depending on weather. But from Bud’s POV that isn’t what he needs to be safe out and about…. hard one this am to think through. 🙂 

It IS a bit lighter in the mornings which means working on my fitness by going for a run early when doing hay IS possible without be tripping over  in the dark and that would help everything else  – it just doesn’t appeal! I know once I get back into it  I will get a buzz from it which will make motivation but right now the ‘taking action’ bit is evading me…

Obviously I am a Work In Progress on all fronts today! :0

 

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From The Horse’s Mouth – Buddy.

From The Horse’s Mouth – Buddy.

 I Get Into A Bit of Trouble…

There is a distinct chill in  the air now at night and she has had me rugged in what she calls ‘the light weight’. Rufus and Flax have thicker coats than me and they get to roll in mud and she doesn’t mind.
I don’t miss my friends at Greenacres quite so much these days, Rufus still doesn’t like me but he is lazey and sometimes I steal Flax and we have a good gallop about in the early mornings when he is still asleep.
I have discovered I can press my face to that big caravan window and see MC asleep, sometimes she looks up and touches my nose where I press it on the glass and then rolls over and goes back to sleep.
I am looking beautiful, everybody says so, and I feel so well… and that is where my trouble started last week – Carol at the vets had said ‘He looks just like a real race horse.’ to MC.
‘I am a real race horse!’ I said but they couldn’t hear me of course.
I was born to race and in truth I have done little else between race and box rest and field rest in my 8 years before I came here to Alexander – next door to where I was born at Greenacres. I’ve had another year largely at rest – I had a tooth out and re- implanted this time…
We have been out and about recently – MC is a bit stressy –  and over careful of me – so we walked and trotted – but we didn’t canter – she did let me run up that stony track after that horrible village last week – which felt good but then she hadn’t ridden me for a few days and my routine was all over the place – I even had to stay with the ponies all one day and just got hay…
So as I was saying – this is where my trouble started – come Tuesday morning I am eating my hay in the little private bit I get – so Rufus can’t steal my food – and she comes muttering by and disappears in the van with the dogs. I spent some time stealing some apples and rubbing on a post and then she comes back and I think ‘Good! Off to my day field.’ I WAS wrong to walk away and wait by the gate – but really? It’s what I do everyday! Anyway – she put on my head collar and we walked back up the field.
She groomed me – she has a thing about grooming me – I wish she wouldn’t – I prefer a bath. Any way she tacked me up – she is better at that and I only threaten her a little sometimes if she seems to be in a hurry.
Just for a joke when she turned to get her hat I walked off to wait by the bottom gate again – we would be going out that way anyway – I didn’t mean for her to leave her gloves and coat behind…
She got on me OK off the gate – she is quite tiny – I hardly know she is there – but she seemed  very tense  – I wish she wouldn’t sing that song about Banana Splits – it makes me think of the time I hurt my pelvis in a race – you see I was a real race horse…
We got out on to the estate and had to trot on the gravel as sheep were on the grass. She seemed more relaxed which was just as well because just past Smokeham in the middle of the road was a lump of rock – a HUGE lump of rock – now she didn’t seem to think much of it – but I mean where did it come from? Why was it there – in all my 8 years on the earth there has never been a rock there – it was a rock  – she made me sniff it – I knew it was a rock  before I sniffed it – question was – how did it get there? If it can’t move – how did it get there? And if it CAN move it – might do it again? And I am not getting squashed by a rock!
She got off.
Some tractors came past and a few lorries – it is a stupid place to put a rock. Eventually I had to concede that the rock wasn’t moving any time soon and I realised she would have to stand on it to get back on anyway… so I stood and let her.
We trotted up that nice quiet lane at the back of the covert – well except for those strings that hang in gate ways – the ones with the weird disk in the middle – like what is that all about? – I am ‘An Idiot’ for not knowing apparently – I have been told before … But when we got to the turn home there was a terrible roaring noise and she jumped off – it was this bloke in the  middle of no where with a saw mill – as she said later it was a nice day for a walk. It wasn’t my fault there wasn’t anything for her to get back on from or that he had ear muffs on and didn’t see us… I eventually stood in a drain we came to –  till I was low enough for her to remount.
I thought she was going back up the drive way track but she took me into THAT field – the one that was nearly as good as my old gallops which lie ahead – so I can dream – but  either way I was sure  we were going to fly…
Well we would have if it hadn’t been for my old boss’s lambs who were dawdling along in a strung out bunch. I waited. I waited and I waited and then I bucked and jumped about a bit – I knew she wouldn’t fall off – I was surprised and annoyed when she got off and looked cross – as if it was my fault! I tried to pull her in to a run – she couldn’t be serious? And well – I couldn’t help myself – I reared – and lifted her right off the ground and she fell face down – splat!
I was in trouble now – thought I had killed her and I ran away.
I ran all the way acrosss the field and the gate was shut and hurt my legs when I crashed into it – I jumped over – and I could hear men shouting and see the road and Greenacres – the home of my birth – and Alexander my home now – but where was MC? I turned back – I didn’t have to jump the gate again – I could go up the track and round again –  I galloped off but the way through was blocked and I galloped on alone down a path that didn’t lead me home – I was lost and on my own.
I called for her. I looked around. I could see home on the hill and home in the valley where I was born but I was too tired and my leg hurt and no one came.
I called again. There was no one to see me at all. The landscape was empty beyond silage bale plastic flapping in the breeze, I backed my self into a stout hedge and called again.
And then there she was! Trudging towards me talking softly talking to that phone thing and then Sarah was there – where did she come from? All kind and brisk, checking me over and untangling my tack. Talking to MC – who looked shaky and battered.
They made me ready, MC’s hands were bleeding – no gloves – and MC led me home – it was a long way and we went slow – my legs were like jelly. She hosed me down and turned me out with the ponies. I just wanted to stand in a corner  – but they wouldn’t leave me alone – Rufus and Flax were shocked.
‘What came over you?’ Rufus said. ‘ I would never do such a thing!’
‘I don’t like that field much – I always wanted to run about it – and she wasn’t that keen then.’ Flax said.
As always he was the kinder of the two.
‘You used to run about at the wrong times! At least you never left her on the floor.’ Rufus snapped.
‘Why are you limping? Your leg is a bit floppy.’ Flax asked.
‘I banged my leg on the gate when I jumped it.’
‘You jumped a gate? Out into traffic? What were you thinking?’ Rufus said.
‘I jumped the gate – I can you know – I am a racehorse!’
‘Not a very good one from what I have heard.’ Rufus snapped. ‘When we were little MC had a proper racehorse to ride – he was called Lackendara and he had won at Cheltnham. – and Dune told Fig that was a Big Deal – and that Dune – he would know! He was a race horse too once – but  he did dressage then – and Fig said that was very much more sought after than just being an old racehorse. HE said all old race horses wanted to be good at dressage – or be so pretty they got prizes or be able to jump in show jumping – you can’t do any of those things can you? And you aren’t even old.’
‘Leave me alone.’ My leg hurt.
‘Leave him alone Rufus.’
‘Fine – I will. You don’t want to leave here you know – not if you can’t do dressage – can you?’
He was braying at me – right in my face and I wanted to knock him over – but he could be so quick…’No I can’t do dressage – I tried to go back to her – but I got confused…’
Rufus harrumphed and bit my neck. It didn’t hurt as much as my legs did so I shrugged him off with a mean look and he wandered off.
‘Do you want me to stay?’ Flax said.
‘No.’ When I was a racehorse I had my own stable every night I didn’t have to share a field with ponies…
The vet came the next day and I limped because my leg still hurt, MC was limping a bit too I could see and had bandaged hands. I got pain killers and a week off, she just looked worried.
Yesterday she started taking me out on the rope again to the other field and this afternoon she led me down by those nosey calves and asked me to trot in circles – I tried to do everything I knew that even sounded like ‘dressage’ – I even tried to show her I COULD canter in a silly little circle – I didn’t mean to make her clutch at the rope – I think she knew that – as next time I went around she was all relaxed and smiley – she never mentioned dressage or that I have to be pretty to win ribbons or jump jumps to win prizes – Rufus is wrong – I think I have to learn to be something very special  – I am to be a Good Hack and I think the prize I most  want is that goofy lop sided grin she gives me when she is happy.
Flax told me later when Rufus was asleep that when she started riding Rufus a pheasant went up under his legs and MC fell off – but it was OK –  because he waited for her and didn’t run away. But  he added that was before Rufus got the Sweet Itch and got so grumpy everyone felt sorry for him and didn’t ride him.
I asked him why MC didn’t ride him either?
‘No reason – I could come out with  you sometimes – I just don’t like it when I am on my own – like you ran off? Well that could have been me. I was always getting it wrong and there was so much stuff to factor in – without Rufus there it was just too much to try to keep us safe from…He is my eyes in my backside.’
‘He is something in the backside all right…’
‘He is all right – he has always looked after me.’
‘I remember Fig – he was at Greenacres when I was born.’
‘How did you get on this afternoon?’ Flax looked sad and changed the subject.
‘Fine – she says I am going to be a Great Hack.’
‘Don’t leave her behind too often then!’ Flax said.
‘No I will have to try not to.’ I snuggle into my down filled light weight again, we are standing in the lee of a big Ash tree and the ground is scrunchy with fallen leaves, I can still taste my tea if I lick my whiskers, Flax is snoozing already. Rufus is scratching on the trough obsessively as usual.
I shall have to try and forget I was a race horse – I didn’t like it much any way and I always got hurt somehow.
She said that tomorrow is bin day  -so we can go out around the village on Friday – if we practise circling a bit more OK tomorrow…
‘With cantering I asked?’ But she couldn’t hear me…I thought.
‘Yes with cantering…’ She replied laughing and rubbing my forehead. ‘I hear you in my heart Buddy.’
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Good Start…

Good Start…

Good weather helps get us started – Bud came in mid afternoon and had a groom. I then took him out on one of the old Libbies 16ft driving reins and used that to do some ground work. Those reins are lighter and have better grip than either lunge reins or the Parrelli stuff I have and when wet from the grass are not heavy and stretchy like the other two.

He looks sound to me and found little difficulty in offering walk-trot- canter transitions and down again. All very level headed. The calves lined up along the fence to watch.

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Rufus

After I popped him back out for half an hour while I got

Flax

Flax

him some tea and then later after he had a snooze he went back out with Rufe and Flax.

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And The Crowd Went Wild…

Repeat today and aim to try him on a hard surface tomorrow.

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Let Them Eat Cake…

Once you are in the mixture you are someone else’s cake…

I have decided to withdraw from one of my blogging outposts as my BB is failing to cope with it’s many moving parts and the site is undergoing so much development my membership has become meaningless to me – other than as a moan fest  – as it has moved away from hard copy for it’s members to all digital . My up dates are not thrilling or interesting reading for anyone as I point out that those of us without BB and top end data packages are unable to keep up. So I want to shift my riding blog over to here – which I always planned to do anyway I just never got around to it!

At the moment then the scene is thus set –

MC and Buddy came apart in a field and got back together again – he has been taking anti inflammatory meds  and MC has being wearing sack cloth and ashes and beating herself up for putting us in a situation were failure was likely.

Q. ‘When is the first time you get off your horse?’

A. When the thought pops into your head the first time.

Q. ‘Does this horse look ridable?’

A. Not if you have thought that.

Today is Wed. ( I think ) Sun is out after blustery few days and I am heading out to get Buds rug off – I don’t want him forgetting he is a horse. I will also put him through into the other field. Aim is to get him out on a rope this afternoon on grass to see how he is moving – given new bin day tomorrow I will pencil Fri in for a walk out around the village on tarmac if it isn’t windy etc – not rushing with this or being GungHo – that is what dropped us in this situation in the first place. 🙁

Rufus and Flax look like Hippos after a wallow. Good for them. Not planning on riding either so they can adorn themselves however they choose!

Happy Days.

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Try Sticking To The Plan…

Try Sticking To The Plan…

‘Great ride today following on from yesterday. We had our first canter in ages – been building up to it – and I had a suitable long uphill track in mind up from The Marquis Of Lorne at Nettlecombe and then stopping half way and slithering down to Powerstock I wanted it to be quiet and empty of folk and it was  – if I can get a couple more variations in there then we can get out into the more open grass and be fairly sure I can stay with him – more running required to strengthen my legs – but prefer it not to be after the horse has left me behind.’ Said my diary.

Jokes aside the next ride out ended up with me on the floor and when I sat up Bud had gone…

And What Happened Next...

And What Happened Next…

He got over excited because I thought it was a nice day for a longer ride to get away from the stress at home, I decided not to duck up a non bridle path track and avoid a good galloping field as Bud was quite happy., it was a nice day, we had done a photo shoot – and Why Not?

Some store lambs were drifting across us and suddenly I realised there was only one way he was going – up. He wouldn’t step forward and was completely bunched. I knew he was sideways on to Hell..

I got off – I always carry a long rope anyway – and I was fine – might have been better if I hadn’t been so stressed I forgot my gloves – he jinxed hard twice and I ended up facing him – he reared and I was lifted up and swung in under – he bolted in fright  andI realised if I didn’t let go I would be under his hinds – and with out my gloves my skin came off my hands and I was dropped on my face and when I looked up… he had gone. Silence.

Never happened to me before and the field was large and beyond that the lanes leading to a Dual Carriageway. I couldn’t see him against the hedges in the field but I felt that the field was empty – I could see some people ‘s heads bobbing about by the 5 bar galvanised and high hung gate to the lane. All kinds of things run through your mind – who are they? Has he hurt them? Is he already under a car?

No – they hadn’t seen him – they were thatching a cottage – but they heard him take on the gate…

No – they were sure he wasn’t on the road.

I had a hard job taking that in – Bud was born in the village and I live just the other side – of course he would go straight back to his birth farm!

No – they really didn’t think he had passed them…

One of them thought he had heard a whinny back toward Lodderland – a long track and open fields behind us – I set off with them promising to guard the gate less track…

BT got a new phone line order wrong and we have no phone – I had to get an Iphone 6 to power up my BB – it downloaded all my email contacts and no phone numbers – I had only had it 24 hrs. It was on my To Do List…

The only number I could remember – and I didn’t know whose it was – I rang and amazingly it was the folk who live in the farm I was heading too.

No – their dogs were quiet and their horse grazing – he wasn’t there.

I kept on walking and they stayed on the phone. (Bless them)

I heard a whinny.

No – it wasn’t their horse – he was  not whinnying he was just eating.

I rounded another bend in the track and heard it again and there, back to a fence, tack around his knees was a sorry looking Buddy.

Sarah came out and calmly helped me straighten him up – bar marks from the gate on all four and the near hind below the hock looking the worst – no cuts much at that point I realised my hands were bleeding  and I felt shaky. Sarah offered to stable Bud while I got a trailer – I don’t have one – and looking at him I figured the walk home would be better for him and me too  so we secured the stirrups and I took his martingale off just in case…

It took and hour to walk him back slowly – I was able to give the thatchers a big wave and a ‘Thank You’ as I went past.  I am so grateful they had come to see what had happened to me. I was passed in the lane by a group of adult Ramblers – and not one spoke or stopped talking to take in the dishevelled and bleeding horse and rider – that is the second time I have been in trouble and an organised group of Ramblers has walked on by. I said ‘Good Morning’ three times and no one as much as glanced at me.

All things considered Bud is looking better than he could have – no swellings much and the vet thinks no joint damage but we think he skidded into the gate so hit the fronts and fetlocks and then went over trailing one or both hinds  – so it will take a week or so at best with anti inflammatory med’ and turn out with the ponies.

I am fine. Annoyed with myself. Horses aren’t stress relief – if you are stressed clean the stable, poo pick, clean tack, wash the lorry, iron the numnahs – ok not that one – but don’t get on your horse! 🙁

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Back in the saddle ( Again ) at last…

The horses and I have been stealing time from the on going ‘open house surgery’ and from the writing to get the now sheep-less barn  horse friendly – new rubber mats and shavings, winter stores – and it is all able to stay in place without the prospect of hoiking it all elsewhere  at lambing times.

Buddy has been on his new regime of going into the top pasture  – Lisle’s Hill – alone now for over a month and he comes in for a good groom each evening on his way back to Kites Close to join the ponies for the night. He is starting to enjoy his grooming sessions and is significantly more relaxed in the barn alone now than he was last year.

I have now introduced another part to our routine in that he stands in the big pen while I skip out and then has his groom and tack up there and I ride back to the other field – this involves three gates to open and close and a set of barrels to play with and then in the mornings after field feed I saddle him and we do  the same on the way back through to Lisle’s Hill.

I am not fit after a summer writing in 27 and being ‘on hand’ for the house stuff – he on the other hand looks blooming so this very slow intro is helping me get more bendy and encouraging us both to be relaxed and confident.

Roger is booked next Wed for a teeth check on all three – if there is any issue with Buds ‘implant’ I would rather know now before I really start to enjoy actually going for whole rides…

Rufus and Flax are also well and going through their ground work and games – Rufe is still too itchy with sweet itch to ride  may be when it gets cooler and after we have moved back into the house…

It feels so good to be doing things with them again. HUGE grin on face.

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Little Bit Of Heaven.

Amidst the craziness of living next to a building site – my once and future home – while now living and working in a mobile home – is the fact that the situation is pure Heaven – perched in my orchard next to the horses’ summer field and yesterday I took my desk out side and worked with the horses all day- me writing and them getting on with being horses.

The sky was intensely blue and the’ greens’ this side of the farm still intensely green – the bleached out tips of long grass on the old fort on the horizon cannot be seen from here, neither can the ripening wheat and the start of harvest. Here it is green and blue.

Husband prepared Ghost for the show this weekend – washing and polishing and all the usual pre show stuff – only advantage of showing trucks is no plaiting! Hoof oil is replaced by ‘Tyre Black’ – really:) But they still park in lines and sit next to them and then go for a trot up before the judge in the main ring. It is all huge fun and I kinda wish I was going – but I don’t like ‘visiting’ – go for whole weekend and join in is one thing but to ‘drop in’ feels naff…

They left and the stock, horses, dogs and I settled down to what I HOPE will be a peaceful weekend to write – and between you guys and I – I might get Buddy in tomorrow and ride. I will get the tack out for a check over today and if it doesn’t get too hot  give his mane and tail a brush and get him out on a rope to play- then see what tomorrow brings…

It is probably Buddy’s and mine anniversary weekend come to think of it, I must have had him a year exactly – having said I wouldn’t get another one – and he and I are the most unlikely pairing of the small writer and the tall racehorse who hack alone for miles – we get on very well – well we did till he had to have a tooth out and refitted and then I hit lambing and the house project kicked off in April – so I think we have had three rides since New Year…. But he is right there – here – now head and lips resting on the mobile home window giving me that  ‘Get up and let’s go somewhere!’ look or it could be ‘Where’s my hay?’

I hope Husband and lorry have a great time polishing at the show but I think on balance I have my prizes here and I very much hope this weekend I can chill out a bit and enjoy them.

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Easter ride.

Bliss. Took Buddy out around the Marquis of Lorne and Powerstock then back via North Eggardon and Spyway and back the long way past Folly Cottage. Very quiet but for the bell ringers who seemed to be clanging away all around. Doubt anyone got much of a lie in today in this corner of West Dorset.

Not having much luck with cropping photos – they reduce and look fine in the thumbnail but not on the post.

Cropped version - with head!

Cropped version – with head!

Yea! How did I do that?

The other two Stars in my sky - Rufus and Flax

The other two stars in my sky – Rufus and Flax.

Okay! Seem to have got over loosing my head so we can get back to riding.

 

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And we are off!

And we are off!

Phew. Back in the saddle for a normal Saturday ride around the valley. Buddy has been off work due to tooth problems – the cheek tooth was removed, root canalled and replaced two weeks ago Monday – and all seems to have been successful.

Smashing ride, bright and sunny, primroses and violets everywhere and birds busy singing. Looking forward to tomorrow already.

Probably should re title this ‘The Headless Horsewoman Rides Again’ obviously this site IS still a Work In Progress.

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