Week 14 of the ‘Fit to Write and Fit to Ride’. Continue reading
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
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂
OR The One That Got Away….
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…
“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
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.
Not now going next door…
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.
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 …:)
OK it was 30 min with a Carrot Stick and rope – what is not to like?
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…
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?
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 🙂
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.
Replaces Bright And Cold as blog tile for this week – if it changes AGAIN before Friday’s publication I am stuffed 🙂
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…
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.
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…
‘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…:)
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.
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!!) :))
I Get Into A Bit of Trouble…
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.
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.
Repeat today and aim to try him on a hard surface tomorrow.