Through the tree and the password is ‘Silver Snaffles’ or ‘Happy Hacking 2018…

Through the tree and the password is ‘Silver Snaffles’…

First exploration of my exit path down through the woods  stopped after the first field!

The large willow tree that has stood by the gate got tired of waiting for some one to trim it and when gravity took over – its roots loosened by the heavy rain and high gusty wind –  it upended right across the middle field gate way… It has missed the gate and the posts which is good… Continue reading

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A Walk With Tash and Dragon Thinking About Things…

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

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

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Riding Weeks …:)

Rufus made it into the Bluebells 2017 🙂

Riding out…

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

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

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

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

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

Buddy and M-C

Flax goes back to school 🙂

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

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Riding Month…

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

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

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

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

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The One Where I lose The Post…

The One Where I lose The Post…

OR The One That Got Away….

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

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

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Socks

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

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

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

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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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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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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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Typing On…

Dreams

Dreams

I got on with some typing up of the YA series – it was a bit awkward in 27 as I prefer to stand and type and generally it is easier in here if everyone sits still but I managed 2000 and my time management tool Rescue Time told me I had hit my 2 hour goal in my 8 hour day – which I was pleased with as I don’t type fast and deciphering my long hand scrawl is a pain – typing up huge gaffs like ‘head hopping’ also need spotting at this stage and either a note left to self to rewrite or re write it then and there…though I try not to do that and I also only do a cursory spell check etc before it is added to Scrivener and then printed off – that is the bit I most like -seeing a manuscript start to appear – reading it on paper is when the major bloops really stand out and also when I stop feeling embarrassed about the thing as if it is now an entity in it’s own right – no pun intended – and I can rip it apart and revise it without feeling a ‘failure’ or that it is ‘a waste of time.’ !!
BT say they are due here on Friday morning – an actual person !!!!! – and that the phone and BB WILL be fixed – we can’t have our old number – by midnight Fri – I have to get our electrician to swap the lines over as Mum’s line comes into our sockets and my IT engineer may also have to come if the BB extender has been compromised that shunts the BB out to 27 – I am not letting self think that it will plug and play on Friday as then I won’t be disappointed – it has cost 100’s of £ to sort this out and doing stuff like VAT which is all on line now has been made impossible – it has been a real eye opener of an experience all around!
I was sooo lucky Gordon was able to get me this Iphone to at least give us some connection this last 4 weeks – I had no idea they would run a laptop BB as well as them selves – so that is a big HUG for him dragging me to the phone shop that morning as soon as we discovered what had happened.

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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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‘Mommie’s Ho – ome…’

I have no doubt that this will be so!

I suspect my Writing Week will consist of little more than endless rewrites of To Do lists and To Do To lists which obviously may involve wax and pins if we haven’t managed to get The House out of Recovery and it isn’t breathing on it’s own – or She Who Is Returning doesn’t have floor boards in her room still.

I am taking the cowards way out and writing this a head of time  – despite my dislike of all things automated – because then I will be looking forward to the next week and getting back to work.

I am always optimistic – and I have seen a bean bag chair that will ‘just go’ in my new writing cell and may by the time this posts I will have recovered from the white paint ‘snow blindness’ I suspect I am about to be inflicted with.

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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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