What a difference a couple of months makes!

My lovely friend Buster was a bit poorly this winter/spring and looked very much unloved (though was actually very spoilt).

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See? So tired and old-looking. Now after a few months of decent grass, continued bucket feeds and more exercise he has been transformed into this:

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I hope that you will agree that there is really quite a big difference, not just in his coat. You’d never guess the second pic was if a 26year old would you? I’m so glad he bounced back from his winter tummy woes so he can make the most of his retirement, frolicking in the  field and being a noisy beast.

Now I get to see this gorgeous face all the time

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Where are my mints?

And this cheeky face

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He doesn’t need mints, where are MY mints?

I love those silly horses.

“I’m always drawn to the dark horse~heather nova, paper cup

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A good start to the week (yeah of course it’s about equines)

This week has started well. Sunday I went and rode Melly while my friend walked alongside. I was still a bit nervous of Mel (being on her back) after that unstoppable canter episode, so i asked my friend to take a leadrope and if at any point she thought I wasn’t in control, just to grab the reins! Of course Mel was a little angel ( after perfunctory dancing around while tacking up). I took her a few circles in the field before we headed out (as she was totally not listening to me to start with!) I wasn’t going through the gate until we walked and trotted when I asked, not just when madam felt like it!
We had a lovely hack, trotting here and there and we have found a new place to canter around the edge of a large field…so, instead of my usual giving proper commands for canter, I just gave her the reins and said ‘go on then’ and off we went, four sides if the field cantered (naturally she trotted the corners cos, yknow, it’s hard work cantering on a bend….and had to stop to sort out a stirrup issue ( new boots, not quite used to them) but that pony definitely enjoyed tearing around that field. The day before she had been ridden to the same place but wasn’t keen to canter. She must have been storing it up for me.:-)
Friend said we both looked so beautiful together she wanted to take a photo, but we were too quick, and she too slow. ( had I known I’d have taken Mel on another blast because for once I was apparently not leaning forward (or adopting a two point seat) and actually rode like a dressage test. I’ve not seen myself ride for very many years (school used to have a walk of mirrors) so I’m more than curious to see what horrible mistakes etc I am making! No pictures this week. I am really glad for my friend that Mel is taking the loss of Casper well. She looked for him in his stable for a few days but doesn’t seem too sad or nervous, but as soon as possible a new companion will be found so that she doesn’t get territorial or lonely. In fact, I think this week we will go and meet buster (one of Caspers old friends from the school he came from) who is up for semi retirement loan. Fingers crossed he’s a good natured beastie with many months if not years of health left in his tank.

Pony control issues :/

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How fun was Sunday? Im not sure…I mean, my friend asked me to exercise her pony for her which should have been fine, but madam was in a bit of a frisky mood and doesn’t trust me on the best of days! As my friend couldn’t ride due to headache / lack of balance that meant that Casper, who I usually ride, had to stay on his oan back at the field. Neither of them were happy about this. Melly was calling for him for half a mile! Only stopping when I distracted her with some serpentines! She’s very well schooled and only needs very light aids. We meandered along in the bitter cold trotting here and there and fitting in a bit of rudimentary schooling in a nice flat grassy expanse. On the way back, however, two horses appeared up ahead of us. Much excitement, let me tell you! Now Mel being an alpha mare decided it was unacceptable for her to be behind those horses and she NEEDED to catch up…ok this wasn’t such a problem until they started trotting…we were on a narrow gravel track flanked by ditches and madam rather thought it would be fun to stick her head up so I couldn’t stop her and just canter along the gravel…now thats not a smart move…so I tried my best to pull her up but in response to shake off my contact she shook her head and stepped onto the edge of the ditch…
Oh my.
My biggest fear of hacking is landing up in a ditch with a horse on top of me…thankfully we centred the path again and in desperation I called to the riders ahead asking if they could walk please…they stopped, blockaded the path and I presently hopped off mellys back much preferring the safety of ground underneath me! After my friend caught up we waited for those horses to be swallowed by the hedges then I hopped back on board and road the little tinker home! Im kind of proud I got back on and although a better plan might have been to turn her around and trot the other way, my instinct said ‘you aren’t in control here’ so I took my window of opportunity and Mel was immediately subdued and presently munched on grass! Little terror! I literally got back on the horse, how about that!

So it was kind of fun and educational ish but I got cold and a bit scared! Another plus was that Mel’s saddles slips sideways very easily, what with being, erm, rotund, so I was quite surprised to find myself perfectly balanced after all that excitement! Yay balance! And my friend watching us charge off, wondering why I didn’t just turn her around…I was so embarassed!

Casper was glad to see us come back and I fed them quartered apples which they thought were delicious.

And we all lived to tell the tale!

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something broken…the story of how I was unexpectedly ejected from the saddle

hello little wordpress world! I have such a story to tell you.

so this is the thing: last weekend this little darling –

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decided he didn’t want to go out for a ride with my friend, so he spooked at a little ‘ting’ noise when his bride was being put on and bolted around the garden, trashing his bridle.

My friend went and bought the necessary bridle pieces, fashioned a new bridle  and then set to tacking him up again, no sooner were the  rein over his neck than he shot off again and the ride was written off as too dangerous.

So this weekend I went over, gave him a good groom, went to put on his bridle and – vrooom, off he went to eat some grass – bridle trailing behind him. of course I’m not having that, so my friend and I between us wrangled him into his bridle, only to find it needed adjusting (ohhhh how he enjoyed that) then I kitted myself up with my safety gear and jumped on board. While my friend got on her pony, Monty was really restless, pawing the ground and such (obviously I  told him off for that) . We decided to take them to the end of the road to assess safety so off we  went trotting to burn off some of their fizziness..the end of the road came and went and all of us felt safe and calm so we carried on. We had the most lively and lovely of rides and when we went for a canter for the first time ever Monty and I won the race!!! we continued on with everyone happy until we got to the final muddy bridlepath about a mile from home, picking our feet carefully through the squelchy patches and winding down when something scared the bejesus out of him and he bolted. I was totally not expecting this so had long reigns just taking in the scenery when his adrenalin surged, thrmpthrmpthrmp (reins shortened and pulled, tried to turn,but his legs were floundering – oh shit, tree and pony in front – feck, feck – SPLAT!, straight in the mud. Smug looking pony eating grass – me on the floor with a broken wrist, a sore head and a very soggy bum.

The trip to A & E I think I was a bit in shock – i made it out to be like a joke for a few hours after the incident – i got a cast and a sling (after 5 xrays) and now I am so annoyed with myself. Im annoyed that I did the one thing you shouldn’t (break fall with hand), Im annoyed that I didnt keep my seat and I’m annoyed that I didn’t deem Monty too dangerous to take out 😦

I know it can happen to any rider on any horse but it kind of makes me feel like a beginner again – like I should have known I should have handled it better, but I did what I did – I took a risk and this time I lost the gamble (and my left hand for a couple of months :(. at least it was my left!!

SO thinks Im mental that my biggest annoyance is that I cannot ride for weeks! He thinks  should never ride again…I think if you love something you keep on doing it, but I will be a little bit less bolshy from now on!!2013-03-16 18.17.52