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


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


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.



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 🙂

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…



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

Flax waiting to go somewhere with me…


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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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.
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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 🙂

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.




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.


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 …:)


Long Ride To Be Free….


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…



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?




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 🙂


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…


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…


A Friend In Need Is…


As it turned out to be me this time.



– 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.


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.



Horses? What Horses?



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…


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…:)


My 2015 Equine Year… 2016?


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.


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!!) :))




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



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.