Bella – October 2020

Fri 2nd Oct

Today is a nice dry day between rainy ones so time to get out with Bella and Stormy. Firstly Mark and I put neater edges to the horses hooves after the farrier yesterday. Their hooves needed tidying up in shape, take away the flare and put mustang rolls on. Also re-plugged a couple of holes Bella has at the moment to stop WLD. With all that done we groom them and I tack up Bella. I wasn’t intending to do too much as she’s just come off a ‘season’ so with that in mind we plodded about for a wee bit then did some nice patterns.

We started off with walk/trot transitions and put in some lovely walk/back/walk/back transitions through a narrow pole/jump wing lane (part of her Stage 2 assessment). We then got a bit more energy and put in a couple of low jumps (Stage 2 assessment task). Then I went out into big field and did a fabulous trot clover leaf L&R, she didn’t change gait once and stayed on the pattern really well, impressed with her trot energy and focus on the task with little adjustments from me we rode in harmony nicely.

I then went to try out some canter and we did our FIRST trot/canter/trot/canter transitions (did about 6 of them..yeehaa) ๐Ÿ™‚ Really REALLY pleased with these, was counting 4-6 canter strides and she came back down really nicely. She then did her best, so far, sidepassing L&R….she really struggled to do a sidepass to the left but she has got the good body/voice cues well now and it felt much more fluid ๐Ÿ˜‰



Tues 6th Oct

Between showers today we had a lovely hack out. Both Bella and Stormy had a wee worry about going up one part of the new track (close to very noisy full river from all the rain recently) so I got off and led Bella with Mark riding Stormy behind up the ‘narrow track lane’. They both did well and at the top I re-mounted from a gateway which Bella sidled up to beautifully. The hack was good and it was good for me to decide to just get off and do the track bit rather than turn around and not do it because the horses were a bit worried….helps all our confidences to DO the thing that worries us but to do it in a way that was MY decision helped even more…I’m so glad that natural horsemanship has taught me that it’s okay to do that, win-win situation ๐Ÿ™‚



Thu 8th Oct

Nice, fun, agility day today. Bella had some really nice FIRSTS:
1) Back through narrow gap with raised pole
2) Sidepass over raised pole
3) Continuous trot circles over tarp
4) Trot through the archway ๐Ÿ™‚
5) Circle and halt in pole square ๐Ÿ˜‰

She also did a fabulous Ridden Agility lesson with some new FIRSTS too…riding under the archway being one of them ๐Ÿ™‚






Here’s the video of it all too…



Sun 11th Oct

Just a nice pooter about the field with Mark and Stormy today. Bella did some lovely trot ‘leap frog’ pattern and in the pics below we did some really nice 4 stride trot/canter transitions….didn’t always make the 4 strides but improved from last time ๐Ÿ˜‰


Tues 13th Oct

Well it is very windy here today and yesterday it rained all day so thinking of just doing a small play with the horses. We also need to do an Equi-Sal test which is a saliva test for tapeworms. The horses can’t eat or drink for half an hour before doing the test so a small play session was just perfect to fill that time up as they don’t graze when we play with them ๐Ÿ˜‰










































Weds 14th Oct

Wasn’t feeling up for too much today so we started with some Agility and we again tried it at Liberty. The connection was nice today and Bella did really well ๐Ÿ˜‰

We then had a short ride in the main field…trying out some leg yields off a circle and off a straight line, then some nice trot/canter/trot transitions and also some really nice loose rein walk/turns/backups ๐Ÿ˜‰ Bella didn’t feel like she wanted to do too much either so it was good to stop on a good note with our first attempt at a turn on the forehand ๐Ÿ˜‰



Loose rein riding





Loose rein walk/trot and then backup






leg yields






Nice canter but not much ‘oompff’ today





Love my big girlie…nice first attempt at turn on the forehand (means we turn her hindquarters a full 360* with her front legs staying on the spot)




Turn on forehand ๐Ÿ˜‰






Thurs 15th Oct

Today I was a bit tired and didn’t think I’d ride but went down to see Bella, groom and make sure her feet were in good order. She had a couple of ‘holes’ in her white line so I’ve been regularly treating it and plugging the holes to make sure they stay clean…they just need time now to grow out as her hoof wall grows. I did decide that I would take her out into the big part of the field, the winter part to have a wee graze but ended up having a really nice play with her……here are some pics….


Getting ready for some play….nice walk and trot circles first with some COD’s




Then she offers some canter so off we go ๐Ÿ™‚

Next we look at the gateway again doing a nice walk through it first….




…and then she backed through it without going forwards through it first….fabUlous Bella <3

Next we did some sidepassing over some tyres which she did both ways very well




and then we did some fig 8’s which she wanted to go fast through but didn’t get her brain switched on enough to do the turn from left circle/COD to right side SO…..


after some cantering around allowing her to move her feet a bit….





…and a few yeehaa’s just for fun….






…we went back to trying it in walk to remember the pattern and she eventually did it really nicely in walk and then in trot too ๐Ÿ™‚

Sidepass towards was well remembered too



Then some rope tossing from the shoulder AND in front of her, she did so well, not moving her feet at all…..tossed rope and did some lovely flexible rope-around-turns ๐Ÿ™‚



Then she wanted to move her feet again so we did that and put in some trot half circles on the move too




Then back to the ‘track’ with some really nice leg yieldsย  :{)





Sat 17th Oct

Decided to go for a short hack out on the ‘haugh’ by the river today. Both horses calm but there was a ‘vibe’ in the field. Recent cattle from here had been moved off and their babies taken away so not sure if this was the ‘vibe’ we were feeling? BUT Stormy decided that something at the ‘gateway’ by the river was worrying so he spooked which made Bella spook. Stormy went through the gateway okay then relaxed but Bella really didn’t want to follow SO I got off and walked her through it a few times, she was on her toes but we managed to move on. The field doesn’t have any mounting blocks (that I could think of at the time) so I walked her through the 2nd field on the haugh, up a small hill and through a gate to a sheep field…I got on at the gateway and rode her through the sheep field, through another gate and onto the Trail where I walked her home up the big trail hill ๐Ÿ™‚

Back in the field I did a wee bit of riding as we hadn’t really done much today ๐Ÿ™‚


























Sun 18th Oct

After the trouble with the gateway in the haugh field yesterday I decided to try it again…even if it is just walking through it SO, for a FIRST Bella and I go out ON OUR OWN with Mark and Stormy in the field. Stormy let out onto the big grass area he was okay, whinneyed a couple of times but he could still see us so not a problem. Bella was pretty much okay going out on her own, we have a nice connection so she looks to me for safety.

We go through the field hill field next to their field in-hand, I get on at the gateway on the small bridge and we then go down the field a bit doing circles, COD’s, serpentines and the all important DHQ to LF. All going well, nice and relaxed (both of us) and happy to walk near the river but we get to the ‘scary gateway’ and she baulked a bit, I applied approach and retreat by backing up and moving on and then turning away bringing back but she was a bit of a scaredy-cat SO again I get off and take her through it…she was actually very calm going through it today. Decided to walk in the field a bit, down the fence line and decided to try my best to find something to remount her from…..and I found a sticky out stone in the stone wall…hey presto…mounting block and dear Bella did a FABULOUS job sidling up to it for me…what a brilliant girlie she is.

Back on we went for a short ride up and down the fence line again doing some w/t circles in a very calm, happy manner ๐Ÿ˜‰ Going back to the ‘gateway’ she stopped high headed and worried SO got off again and walked her through calmly and found another stone in the stone fence to remount and head for home where she stayed happily doing walk/trot transitions, walk up the big hill then a really nice canter to the field gateway….super ๐Ÿ˜‰


19th – 22nd Oct

Rain, rain, rain, rain……










Thu 22nd Oct

Yeehaa…..a break in the rain and Mark and I go out to just ‘be’ with the horses…yeehaa ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚
We started off just giving them both good grooms although Stormy could only been done on his top half because his lower half was still wet.


Then I sorted out a quick agility course in a new area with Bella following me online, cones, jump wings and poles all moved into place.




Then Bella and I had a lovely calm play….


Backing up between poles

Sideways onto water tray




Sideways over the water tray and continue along the fence line, so easy today





Circling today was very good…we did walk x 1 lap each direction with very smooth COD’s, 2ย  trot laps with two really good COD’s and then she wanted to canter so we did 1 lap of canter and dhq to halt.



Hung out with her for a while letting her know how fab her play was today ๐Ÿ™‚





Next was some sideways over a jump wing which was easy peasy then into some fig 8’s in walk then trot ๐Ÿ˜‰




Using a pole we did sideways two ways, away and towards ๐Ÿ˜‰





Then she did some really nice trot over 4 poles on a circle going to the L&R and then some treat time where Stormy came over to join in ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL




<3ย  I get some nice huggle time with both of them tooย  <3




Then it was an impulsive thought to just sit on Stormy for a while, I’ve not ridden him for quite some time as I’ve been concentrating on Bella and Mark has been riding him but today I just wanted to connect with him ridden so literally just popped on his back ๐Ÿ™‚ He is such a lovely boy and I had a lovely wee ride about on him ๐Ÿ™‚


Stepping carefully up the jump wing and managing to pop onto his back





Up and connected with some weave around the cones using mainly body language




He sidepassed over the jump wing so well, impressed with his lightness.

Then a lovely trot around the area which felt great



Superb sidepass onto the water tray and a lovely trot back to Mark….fabulous, LOVE riding Big Stormy, he’s a real gentleman <3





Fri 23rd Oct

Today it was a bit drier so decided to step up some ‘scary gateway’ play with Bella. Again we went out on our own leaving Mark and Stormy in the field but Stormy roaming around the big grass area so he was kinda happy, he only whinneyed three times and wasn’t running about so that was good.

Bella came out with me calm, happy and listening nicely. The gateway was muddy with a big puddle near it so there was a ‘squeeze’ going on between the gate and the river fence and the puddle but she listened very well and we played some nice games to help her find relaxation going through the gate…here’s some pics…


Walking calmly together, we played some fig 8’s around thistles here, me watching to see if she was listening to my requests which she was really well. We also went over the wooden bridge well as it was covered in mud and pretty slippery.



Walking together across the ‘haugh’ (field by a river) we were very connected and had a lovely walk out.




Stormy watching us from the big field ๐Ÿ˜‰

Playing ‘half circles’ (squeeze game) through the gateway. She had to walk in mud and then through the puddle on the right side but she did really well once she understood the game and also found relaxation doing it ๐Ÿ˜‰




Then after the squeeze games we walked calmly through it together, backed her through it and then walked through it and along the river bank, stopped and turned to face it and find relaxation.



Was a really nice walk out and calm gaming with the gateway, we walked back with her grabbing some grazing munches as she strolled behind me ๐Ÿ˜‰




Tues 27th Oct


There’s been not much let up on chilly rain and drizzle here so not able to do anything with the horses at the moment apart from feed them, keep the field clean and make sure they’re comfortable.


We did give them more grazing too and they’re loving the old thistles ๐Ÿ™‚





It was lovely to spend some quiet time just hanging out with them this morning and hopefully the weather dries up soon so that we can have some quality afternoons with them too ๐Ÿ˜‰






Weds 28th Oct

Managed to get a lovely plod of a ride on Bella today, so lovely to ride and allow her movement to move my body, it’s a fabulous whole body massage.ย  We really didn’t do much apart from connect in a lovely way ๐Ÿ˜‰



Lovely trot up to the shelter where I normally take them for grooming and tacking up ๐Ÿ™‚





One foot on the smaller pedestal, enthusiastically done, and then 4 feet on bigger pedestal done quickly and without too much fussing about ๐Ÿ˜‰







Did some lovely ‘knuckle’ riding around the cones in a weave…this involves my knuckles being placed either side of withers, weight back in saddle and me turning my body helps her turn her body…nice turns without much use of reins so a better ‘loose rein’ connection today. We also tackled a water obstacle nicely ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚



Did some obstacles in the agility area: water tray, hulahoops, cone weave with some nice dhq’s around poles and nice relaxing LF





and she did this ‘extended’ labyrinth really well, so proud of her. Such a lovely plod around the field with my big beauty. Stormy casually followed us about at liberty too which was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚







Storm and Bella this morning, after their breakfast they like to snooze for a bit, usually in the same place. Caught this pic (on right) as she was licking but it looks like she’s sticking her tongue out at Stormy…lol ๐Ÿ˜‰


Just love this pic of them together ๐Ÿ˜‰

So that’s October over, it’s gone SO quickly and so much rain has put off play or riding a bit recently but that’s just the way it is. More fun next month ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Shelley – HorseSavvy