Bella – August 2020

Sat 1st August

Well what a fab way to welcome in the new month with a hack to the house and back. First time hack in 6 weeks and Bella did it like she has done it every day….so proud of her. Our FIRST today was to walk up the big main hill in their field πŸ˜‰ Yeehaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 2nd Aug

YEEHAA….what a GOOD day today was. Didn’t go out for long and didn’t intend to ride as been a busy morning at home BUT got on Bella and just wanted to go around some of the obstacles near the shelter for some fun….she had some nice energy and trotted nicely over the poles and tarp but then these two things came together…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

She stood with her front feet on the pedestal for a while, I could feel her shifting her weight, putting her front feet further forward and then without me asking she just put her back feet up…you can see by my face that I wasn’t expecting it…so proud of her, she’s so clever. ThenΒ  we did the small jump a few times with her doing her very big trot over it nicely and then I decided to go the other way, towards her stopping point for motivation, and put my legs on gently just before the jump and she did her first ridden jump for me πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚Β  SO proud of her, she’s amazing and she’s really thinking about what we’re doing together more <3

 

Thurs 6th Aug

SOOOOO very very hot today SO just did grooming, fly spray and then seeing if Bella could put all 4 feet on the pedestal online….well, yes she did….we now have a solid ‘up’ cue word for going on the pedestal πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ yeehaa πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

<Bella on pedestal first with Stormy watching and then Stormy on it at liberty with Bella watching > πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Fri 7th Aug

Another hot day today but with a small breeze and a chance for a short ride with Bella. She did a lovely canter up the hill again and a raised jump which she flew over πŸ˜‰

 

Love that they love their shelter.

 

Lovely springy trot today

 

 

 

Lovely strong canter up the hill and a big bold jump afterwards πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 9th Aug

Today, although warm, has a fabulous breeze which makes it a nice day for a ride. Mark/Stormy and me/Bella rode the perimeter of the field fence very nicely. We started off with a lovely loose rein walk then a nice energetic trot around the large fig 8 and finished off with a huge striding canter up the hillock. Last, but by no means least, I asked her to step onto the pedestal and again she amazed me by putting all 4 feet up on it πŸ™‚ WOW πŸ™‚

 

 

Tue 11th Aug

 

Very hot here at the moment so short sweet play sessions…revisited the curtain today, she was sceptical of it last time we played with it but over time I’ve been working on our connection and partnership and this time around she trusted me and didn’t baulk at it at all..so proud of her and how far she’s come in just over a year πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

She backed up through it nicely and very straight AND also went through it, hard side first, on her own πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we played with some fig 8’s in the meadow area and she decided that trying it at canter would be fun πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Very attentive and happy to play…LOVE this pic of us two >

 

 

Sidepassing over the tyres and then fig 8’s with two obstacles really close together.

 

 

It was a fun filled session but really not that long so it didn’t sweat her up or tire her out πŸ˜‰

 

Stormy showing how it’s done at Liberty πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 13th Aug

 

 

 

Another stonkingly HOT day today….went out to just be with the horses and to connect. Took Bella into the round pen for some grazing and she LOVED all the long grass in there so it became a game of S2M and then she’d walk off, graze and then Draw back to me πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some really lovely draw moments

 

 

 

 

And some lovely wait with me moments too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She also decided it was time for PLAY…which was lovely to see <3

 

 

 

And her draw back was still great, energetic but great πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Then we did a wee bit of ‘pedestal’ play to end a lovely short session and she put all 4 feet up again on it

 

 

 

waited on it while I walked around her too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Fri 14th Aug

Not quite so sunny/hot today but it started to get ‘clammy’ so we got out into the meadow and did some fabulous RtR and Cloverleaf patterns on both reins and mostly in trot before it got unbearable. So proud of her, she has become fitter and lost a bit of weight in the process (bit like me) and she gave a lovely energetic trot for most of the ride. She also did some fab warm up play with this great jump where she decided going into canter before it was the best option πŸ˜‰ clever girlie πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Shelley-

 

She’s lost weight and is much fitter πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

trot

 

trot

 

trot

 

trot

 

trot

 

waiting patiently for her reward

 

reward time πŸ˜‰ <3 πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Sat 15th Aug

“Practise makes Progress”…..today Bella and I practised our RtR w/Cloverleaf patterns in trot in the big meadow. It’s the 1st repeat from yesterday and we are practising it with progress for the next few days we ride together. This will give us the Consistency of Learning so that the pattern comes easier and easier as we do it and Bella gets more confident with the pattern, my cues and our connection.Β  I will then change the pattern slightly (probably RtR with Fig 8’s) so that we have variety and we start to find more of the partnership I’m looking for when riding…where I can think something, my body adjusts and she adjusts beneath me. To get there this practise creates a solid foundation to work from for later exercises πŸ™‚

 

Riding the Rail in trot is good, her trot is becoming much more consistent

 

 

 

 

Cloverleaf pattern is a series of 4 circles one after the other joined by 4 straight lines through the centre of the pattern. Her trot on circles is really solid now

 

 

 

Clover leaf around my two big round pens and then my two made up circles of 8 batches of tyres and 8 cones πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

CL

 

 

 

RtR trot

Resting after quite a quick set of patterns >

 

 

<3 Me and the kids <3

 

 

 

Tues 18th Aug

Today was fab…great for riding with a nice breeze and Bella and I cantered up the hillock very well and then cantered for the first time on the flat….boy has she some powerful energy but she listened well to my calm vibe πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 20th Aug

Today was another early morning hack to the house for the farrier visit and then a lovely hack back to the field. Bella was FABuLOUS…lovely soft walk all the way there and back, sometimes following Stormy, sometimes leading but always calm and happy. I really love this big girlie a huge amount, she is just perfect and I’m LOVING being with her, playing with her, grooming her, hanging out with her, riding her and training her but most of all having FUN with HER <3

 

Ridden quiet and calmly up the fields big hill and then walking with me to our mounting block (gateway)

 

 

 

 

Following Stormy nicely and Storm taking a water break

 

 

 

 

Such a lovely morning for a hack out πŸ˜‰

Waiting patiently for the farrier

 

 

 

 

Happy to wait calmly for Mark to mount Stormy πŸ™‚

Lovely to see Bella’s confidence growing when she takes the lead a few times on the way home today πŸ™‚

 

 

Waiting for Stormy to catch up and then taking the lead again

 

 

 

 

In the lead and then fine with Stormy re-taking the lead

 

 

 

 

Almost side by side on the narrow track above their field and then she took the lead again when Stormy decided it might be his last chance to snatch at some long grass πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Last leg and nearly there

 

Lovely view from the track

 

 

 

Field gate in sight and she figured out how to sidle to the gate for me to get off easily…what a great girlie she is <3

 

 

 

Mark and Stormy

 

 

Fri 21st Aug

Raining today but we’ve been asking the horses to come up the big hill in their field for breakfast and dinner SO they’ve been getting regular exercise up and down this. It’s great to have this as it not only keeps them fit, their stream is up here too, but it gives them some fab familiarisation so that it’s easier to ride it, as I did yesterday. Here’s pics from today’s breakfast, calling them up the hill for food and them following me down as I go to poo pick πŸ˜‰

 

Bella first up for her breakfast today….with Stormy a very close second

 

 

 

 

Breakfast with a fab view…took my own breakfast down and ate it too so it was a lovely picnic with the herd this morning πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Following me down the hill so some really good exercise this morning πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 22nd Aug

Decided today was a day I thought would be good to start putting more effort in to Bella and my Liberty play. She did very well for the first bit of the session which was lovely. She got a bit confused, or bored, after this so we ended on a good note with 4 feet on the pedestal with the aid of a savvy string over her neck πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Great job with the pedestal today

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 23rd Aug

Went down to the horses around 1pm but they were both snoozing in the shelter, neither Mark or I had the heart to ask them to play/ride today. Instead we gently groomed them to make them feel good, hung out for a bit and then left them to it.

 

Sleepy horses today

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 24th Aug

Out today hoping to have some play and maybe a ride around the field BUT we got there and groomed them and it was starting to drizzle…then heavy drizzle…then rain πŸ™ πŸ™ SO, when it slackened off a bit we played with them in the drizzle a bit but no riding today. Mark and Stormy played beautifully at Liberty and Bella and I played in and around the shelter online first and then around the agility arena with just a neck-rope. She did marvellously well, the rope 99% of the time very loose and our connection soft and tangible πŸ˜‰

 

 

After our play, Bella and I watched Mark and Stormy at Liberty. Horses can learn a lot by watching others so it’s always good to hang together to see what Mark and Storm get up to.

 

 

 

 

Storm was definitely on form today πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drizzle outside…fun playing in and around their shelter…

 

…AND…going back to basic’s working towards better, longer, liberty sessions….going from online play to neck-rope play…

 

 

Sat 29th Aug

Well it’s been 9 days since I last rode Bella although we managed a couple of small play sessions. Today the weather is good riding weather so out to play and ride and what a good play and ride it was πŸ˜‰ Pics….

PLAY…Spirit with control. Attention with fun. Try with heart…

Sidepass over obstacle

Cantering with balance and relaxation

 

 

 

4 feet on pedestal

Attentive sidepass

 

 

 

Trot and canter through narrow gaps

Knows where her feet and obstacles are

 

 

 

Cantering to a jump, her own idea πŸ˜‰

Relaxing quicker after energetic exercises now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

RIDING….Balanced energy. Controlled power. Relaxed games

 

Weaving through the flag poles

 

 

 

 

 

Bella wasn’t fazed by the flapping flags at all

 

 

 

 

 

Trot fig 8’s around the large round pens

 

 

 

 

 

Trotted the whole way around today without stopping πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

She’s got a lovely trot now, free and powerful and her left and right bends are much softer now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

AND CANTER…..yeehaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a wonderfully balanced, powerful canter we had today and we did it up the hillock and then further onto the flat….enormous fun πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 31st Aug

Last day of August already and we’ve already noticed a very Autumnal air for about a week or so up here but out we go to catch up on some play and riding with the horses while it’s not too cold or raining. Lovely catch up on some lovely play with Bella and then a really nice, easy ride around the track system with obstacles along the way.

 

Lovely soft sidepass today, her diagonal legs working beautifully together.

 

 

 

 

Leg yields coming along very nicely too, it’s time to start trying these ridden I think.

 

 

 

 

Great circle transitions with the start of drawing at canter now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Fig 8’s with walk, trot and a bit of canter in them….we tried fig 8’s in a few ‘different’ ways, always up for variety on a theme as it shows the connection and communication between us.

Lovely togetherness

 

And some nice riding today too…we went around the whole of the track where all many agility obstacles are laid out now…up and down hillocks, weave around cones, scary narrow gaps with bunting on and some low and high trotting poles.

 

 

Nicely over raised trot poles and between narrow gaps now, she is learning about spaces and how much effort is needed now.

 

 

 

Raised trot poles or small ‘jumps’, she knows the distances and how to tackle them without worry or over excursion πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Getting better with sidepassing but much better going to the right than left still

 

 

 

 

 

Focused on the pole box and trotted over it cleanly no problems. Then we managed to turn in the pole box whilst turning around.

 

 

 

Very clever girl moving so tightly. Then to get a nice canter we went out into the main field and did a fabulous trot fig 8 around the large round pens and a canter back to the track πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

…AND CANTER….

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy