Bella – June 2020

Mon 1st June

Been really hot scorching days up here so haven’t done anything with the horses for a few days but today was hot but with a lovely breeze down in the field so we decided to reconnect to them with a wee bit of bareback riding 😉















Wed 3rd June

Very windy up here today but at least it’s dry. We decide to go out for a walk/ride in the fields next to ours and I think about riding around the lower field BUT there has recently been put into a nearby field a booming bird scarer to scare off deer in local silage fields. We never know when it’s going to go off or where exactly it is as they move it regularly…I hate it and today, with the wind, wasn’t a day for me to be overly brave or stoopid SO we walked a bit, I got on from a gate then off again and walked more and then got on at the gate again to ride up the hill to home and then do more riding in our Agility area. All went well and no unnecessary accidents as with the wind both horses had some wind in their tails. I really enjoy walked my beauty Bella out and it’s good for my ankle to get more exercise so that helps my post surgery too 😉


































Sun 7th June

The weather, again, has made it a few days since i’ve been able to have a play or ride session with Bella. Today it is still a bit windy but dry and not too cold SO out to reconnect with my beautiful Bella.


< Back up through narrow gap

Draw trot >



< Trot poles

Circling with obstacles >




Walk, Trot and Canter circles in both direction with obstacles to watch out for 🙂










< Halt in a box

My gorgeous Bella >



< Is Bella posing at the camera? lol

Canter circles >




< Draw to me after circling

Nice walk fig 8’s >




< Nice trot fig 8’s.

Slowly getting the hang of ridden trot curves and circles >



< Clover leaf with bits of trot

Riding the Rail >




< Corners game still good

Riding the Rail >





Mon 8th June

Lovely to have some consistency with Bella’s play/riding today. It was easier and quicker to connect and she was relaxed and very light off the cues 🙂
































And they had a lovely race to the top of the hill at dinner time too…














Tues 9th June

And today was another FAB consistent day of play/riding for us. Easy connection, light cues, quick play then ride with Mark and Stormy again 😉 🙂


< New game: Half circles on the move went really well today >




< Another new game today: Rolling Rock…backup, move forehand….





< Sidepass a few steps >





< DHQ and then repeat on other side 😉



< After fun ride with Mark we tried some sidepass again, going to the right not bad but to the left is still a struggle but getting there…



Last trot before getting off…I asked for a bit more energy and she did really well 🙂 🙂




LOVE this girl so much, this trot was fabulous <3





Video of Mark & Storm, Me and Bella riding together 😉 …


Thurs 11th June

Another fun day playing with Bella. Am adding more games and patterns so that they become more fluid together and adding some canter work now too. I have also started using the 2 x lighter, thinner lines instead of the heavy 22′ with the big brass snap as I feel she is light enough for me to be light with her now and also using the 2 thin lines allows me to put in more familiarisation with tossing one rope over her head for long reining and also to COD outwith the circle her direction.



Half circles on the move





Canter fun




Tossing rope over head, COD and long reining




Then we rode with Mark and Stormy again which was a lot of fun, after we did that I asked Bella to work just a little longer than Stormy so that we don’t make a habit of stopping together.






























And before dismounting I try out some left and right sidepass again. She has been ‘getting’ going to the right pretty well as this is her naturally bent way of going (her body arc’d around my left leg and head to the left so movement goes to the right) but she has been quite sticky trying to figure out going to the left (her head and body bent to the right) as this is her naturally unbent/flexible side. SO, I’ve been trying it out gently and making sure she is relaxed enough to physically and mentally bend to the right so that we can then move to the left. She does it fabulously well on the ground but she did have quite a hard time figuring it out at the onset so it’s the same being ridden. Today though she has had time to figure it out and I’ve had time to figure out how to help her more. It’s not about pressure, it’s about energy movement by her shoulder which she has learned to move away from (ie. in our ground work) so I took my orange savvy string and gently swivelled it by her shoulder and she ‘got it’ 🙂


Sidepass to the right






Sidepass to the left..yeehaa 😉




Fri 12th June

Today we had a lovely session and a wee bit of Liberty and some long reining but then she got a shock from touching one electric fence that I forgot to turn off, remembered the other 3, and I think now I’m going to have to take the time out to reconnect with her as she is tossing her head up again….at least now I know it’s the electric fencing that has caused this and not something else…SO, we’ve turned all the electric fencing off so that she starts to become more confident about being near it and near it with me and Mark. Accidents happen but am really annoyed it’s put our progress back a bit BUT it is never a bad thing to redo stuff from earlier lessons SO I just have to help her get over her worry and I’m sure it’ll be fine again soon.

Some pics from today…


< Trot draw and a lovely connect >




< Liberty S2M trot


Liberty backup >



< Rewards


Connecting nicely >




< Long rein canter

Long reining around the arena >




Sat 13th June

Today I knew I needed to try to re-connect back to where we were a couple of days ago. She followed us on the quad bike to the agility arena and not too bad haltering so we played for a bit on a new Agility course I’d build last night. I then set her free to rest and graze with Stormy so that I could test whether she would halter up again as only playing once a day makes a habit of only being haltered once a day. She didn’t want to be caught the 2nd time for more play but seemed to be playing with me so we played a bit and then she caught me when I decided to play and treat Stormy. Once re-haltered I played with her and Stormy joined in at liberty and left things on a good note 😉


Agility 1. Straddle a log

Agility 2. Sidepass




Agility 3. Walk/halt in box

Agility 4. Jump




Agility 5. Weave

Agility 6. Fig 8’s in trot




Agility 7. Trot poles

Agility 8. Scary corner




Agility 9. Trot over tarp

Agility 10. 2 feet on ped and turn on forehand



Mid session YEEHAAA….





Two horse S2M

Bella online

Stormy at Liberty













Bella scary corner…looking for more relaxation through this today, 2nd time was much better.




Over tarp

Over trot poles





Single foot on pedestal





Sun 14th June

Wanting to get my Connection back with Bella I decided go back to where we started 11 months ago with some liberty roundpen work. She can move away if she wants, she can come to me if she wants and I will follow or draw depending on what her body language is telling me is okay to do. With this ‘dance’ we can start off our communication again and she’ll soon realise we can get back to where we were last week and the ‘accident’ that spooked her will be in the past. Sometimes you just have to go back and repeat a lesson as often as the horse needs it and then gradually get back to where you were so that it all fits into place stronger and thereby the connection is stronger. Here’s some pics from our roundpen dance…









































Mark then ponied Bella from Stormy around the field too and she was very good 😉





Mon 15th June

Today I decided to just go and ‘hang out’ in the field with Bella, do some mirroring, following her footsteps and seeing if she is okay with me being close, touching her etc. She was pretty good, I stayed with her for about an hour, moving with her, moving away to give her a break and coming back. Towards the end I also gently threw a savvy string over her neck to ‘catch’ her and she was fine, also stood in front of her and lowered her head with the string to ask her to let me take it off with relaxation and I did that over 10 times in the last 15 mins which was fab. She was very good, only moved away twice but didn’t go far and stood waiting for me after the turn too so much better than yesterday. Her spookiness is lessening and I want her to not be ‘worried’ if I want to catch/halter her more than once a day SO this was a good start and I will keep repeating haltering/leaving/haltering when I it feels right to so that multiple catching during a day isn’t thought of as bad 🙂














Tues 16th June

A very hot, muggy day today so definitely no riding for us but another Agility session for us which was a lot of fun and felt much more connected through it all 😉







































Mark and Stormy had fun too….




















Weds 17th June

Played and rode Bella for a bit, she is still a wee bit sensitive to touch but worked on a lot of familiarisation of patting her shoulders, back, chest and neck afterwards to help her. She is getting easier to catch again which is nice and following the quad bike again too 😉 Here’s some pics from today…didn’t do a lot but it’s been 6 days since I rode her and 5 since the accidental touch of the electric fencing (which has now been totally turned off) 🙂


< Doing a forehand towards then away for a COD >





< Last bit of COD

Swinging the rope for Familiarisation on the move >




< More familiarisation >






< Loose rein riding, she was quite good at turning from my focus/energy/weight/leg cues >





< She was forward but not fast today






< Nice halt over pole and then I take the reins up and do some nice serpentines 🙂



Lovely trot at the end

She had sticky feet at the end so Mark jumped on Stormy and we followed him around for some more confidence 😉


Thurs 18th June

Went and had a quick play and ride with Bella just before dinner time. I wanted to try a regular saddle pad with a small front memory foam riser as I got the feeling the saddle set up I have at the moment isn’t as good for her as I want it SO tried it, played with new set up and then rode in it and it felt SO much deeper and better with some rise at the front which is exactly what I wanted. Will try it again next time to confirm if she’s happier in it and can move better 😉


Saddle seems to sit better, thinner, lighter pad and front riser in place. I also did it up on the first and third girth straps (Wintec Wide’s have 4 and was using first and forth but changed that today).











Fri 19th June

Today, like yesterday, it has been pretty wet, drizzle to full on heavy rain SO only manage to get out just before the horses dinner time. Not the best time to try to play/ride, try new saddle arrangement again BUT needs must 😉 She was okay, saddle defo feels better and off her shoulders, deeper for me to sit to and am happy to keep using this arrangement for her.


Sat 20th June

Today we decided to get out onto the main part of the field for some riding with Mark and Stormy. They don’t get to graze this part until late Autumn and Winter so it has some lovely long grass. They did well, not snatching for grass and some nice ‘leap frog’ and ‘walk/trot side by side’ 😉
































Sun 21st June

Another day for a change…Mark and I, Stormy and Bella, go out for a walk/ride along the Cateran Trail. Nice weather and they did brilliantly, they went further than they’ve done before and Bella went over the wooden bridge on her own without worrying…she is SO cool. I walked most of the way but before the big hill at the end I mounted and rode her home. She was so good sidling up to the stone wall for me to get on her 😉 Love it when all the play and training works when you need it to 😉
















































































Tues 23rd June

Today the farrier is due at around 10am so we decide to go down to the field and ride them home, get their feet done and then ride them back to the field 😉 Great idea, bit drizzly so we got a bit wet and with the drizzle and muggy weather we had a few midges at home BUT they were fab. Snatched at some grass and trees along the way but fab to sidle to gate and also big stone for mounting so again the training is working brilliantly and I got to ride her twice today which is not only the longest I’ve probably ridden her but also the earliest I’ve ridden her 😉 Really enjoyed it 😉



























Was just lovely to hack out with Mark and Stormy today. She was perfect in every way and with nice feet now too 🙂






Weds 24th June

Today was very hot and both Mark and I were tired SO we decided to just go down and ‘be’ with the horses today as expected they were too hot too….yup, they were…




























Fri 26th June

So hot and humid today, too hot to do much with the horses apart from groom and put more fly spray on but I manage a very short bareback ride on Bella for fun.

















Sat 27th June

Managed to get out with the horses just before it started to pour with rain. The horse flies were quite bad and she was quite distracted so had a few stops and not wanting to go forward but when she did go she was lovely and she started getting that lovely big trot that covers the ground really quickly 😉












































Mon 29th June

Today we managed to get out between rain showers here and I wanted to test my new Prolite front riser gel pad which goes the length of the saddle with extra padding at the front over the withers.  Last time (previous post) she was reluctant to move forward much and I wasn’t sure if it was the weather, being away from Stormy or just stubbornness SO today would be a test. First we did some ground games and then I had the first ride with the new pad and then I had a ride with the old system of just a normal pad and a pad just at the front of the saddle…


< Canter circles





New Prolite saddle pad….reluctance to go forward with flow



Old pad just at the front and she was eager to move nicely 😉 Just goes to show that changing things about is necessary to find what’s right but listening closely to the horses feedback is the key 😉



Tues 30th June

Well the last day of June already…where has the first half of the year gone? and another muggy day with a LOT of horseflies (we call them clegs up here) so it was very hard for Bella to concentrate on what I was asking but we had a wee play anyway and despite the darned flies we had a good session. Here’s some pics…


< pole circles

Sidepass over cone and pole >



< Trot through narrow gap with relaxation

Out of gap and DHQ for halt >



< 2 feet on ped

Sidle over log >





< Back up off log

Trotting up with just neck rope >



< 2 horse draw and then connect to walk forward together >




< Treats

Bestest horsey hug >




< Good hug from Bella too

My babies >




  • Shelley – HorseSavvy