Bella – August 2021

Sun 1st August

Not being able to ride or play with the horses every day is hard for me as I get a bit of ‘cabin fever’ sitting around in the house. I just LOVE being out and about walking the dog or being with the horses so every now and then I just have to plonk my bottom on a horse and mosey about to get my horse-fix πŸ˜‰

Today was one of those days, the clegs (horseflies) are bad still and it was warm enough for Bella to want to eat her dinner then stay inside the shelter waiting for the cool of the night SO I asked Stormy if he would mind me sitting on him and just ride around the track a bit. He did a great job of taking care of me as I just jumped up on his back and had his rope halter/rope on him. He helped me find my smile again and he got more treats for his reward πŸ™‚ <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 2nd

Well, we have cool weather, no flies and a dullish day here…HOORAY….nice fun ride around the new field agility that I set up yesterday. There are some things Bella hasn’t done yet that she did with confidence today and I’m so proud of her πŸ˜‰

 

 

< First off we did ‘touch it’ with her nose to the rope and tyre

and then to the flapping tarp >

 

 

 

 

 

 

< Then we did a lovely one handed weave through the flapping flags

 

and didn’t bat an eyelid going through/under the arch >

 

 

 

 

< We then plodded through the flapping bunting lane

 

and then walked/stopped/walked over the water tray >

 

 

 

 

 

< Next she did a fab sidepass left/halt/sidepass off right over this drainage tube

and a FIRST of going through/under the curtain…TWICE πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

< We then rode through the narrow gateway

and then did our one handed fig 8’s around the tall polyposts >

 

We also started a new thing of trot, try a few strides of canter IN the roundpen. I’m starting this so that she gets used to cantering a circle and inside the round pen she can’t wander off and go back to a straight line off the outside rail πŸ™‚

 

 

 

< Then we sidled up to the fence and I grabbed the rope

while we did some nice circles dragging the tyre nicely

 

She did a fab job doing fig 8’s around the round pens whilst I held the flapping flag (on her shoulder, down by my foot, up on my shoulder and also over her rump ;>

 

 

 

< Next she sidled up to the tarp on the fence and we rode about with it sitting on her withers…another FIRST today

and then rode around a bit with it flapping down her sides, on her shoulders and also over her rump >

 

 

 

 

< Last but by no means least we popped a wee jump and had a lovely canter back to the mounting block πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Tues 3rd

 

First time ponying Stormy from Bella…all went fabulously well

 

 

 

 

Then onto riding Bella round the agility course which is a lot of fun and using our games for a purpose now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pony’d Stormy in walk and trot then gave Bella some time grazing as a reward πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 4th

 

 

 

Another ponying start to today’s morning ride out and Bella doing really well with it πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then onto the field agility stuff but today we had another purpose as it’s supposed to be windy and raining on weekend so time to gather the obstacles up and put them safely on the side of the track. This was fun as we cantered over to the flag and took that back, then cantered to the tarp and brought that back too

and finally we cantered over to the tyre and walked that carefully back. Having the purpose is a great way of using all we’ve learned and we used a lot of stuff today including: sidling up to gateways and ropes on the fence, over tarps, under archways and through flapping curtains and flags, leg yielding when dragging the tyre

and also lovely transitions between backup, walk, trot and canter πŸ˜‰

It’s really showing how good our foundation of ground work is and letting me know if we need more work in certain area’s. To be honest Bella is doing so well, her flexibility is fab, her transition and turning seat cues are great, her sideways and lateral moves are pretty solid now and we have a great partnership πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

What a beautiful girl she is and It’s lovely that she and Stormy get on so well πŸ˜‰ Love these two big beasties <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 5th

 

Another early morning ride with Bella….starting off with ponying Stormy to the long grass for a bit of a graze πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Put his leadrope on the fence and let Bella have a few mouthfulls of grass before we do some training πŸ˜‰

 

All the agility obstacles are gone for a bit but we still have the big roundpens to play with SO I start with a fig 8 in walk around them, then trot with outside circles added for a bit of variety and Bella is getting so much more flexible now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Then we do some canter around the pens but I only ask for half a circle each way as it’s only the start of cantering on an arch/circle. She did really well both ways.

 

 

And then I go and get Stormy back, pony him towards the track, jump off Bella, undo her saddle a couple of notches and allow her some grazing as a reward. Loving this big girl, she is so a cool cucumber and everything is coming together so nicely πŸ˜‰

 

<3

 

 

 

 

Sat 7th

on/off rain last couple of days and more to come so just manage to pop down to Bella today and trimmed her hooves. I’ve been doing a bit of trimming every two weeks and it’s not only easier for me but it’s quicker for her and also keeping her feet balanced.

 

Mon 9th

Rain, rain and more rain….

 

This part of the track gets flooded a bit but it drains well down the hillock to a stream so that’s good. The horses had their dinner with me then made their way back to the shelter to keep dry. The rain didn’t last all night and they went back out onto the track to graze during the night πŸ˜‰

 

 

Sat 14thΒ 

Well I sprained my back on Wednesday so not a lot going on for me apart from resting, resting, resting until it’s better. Feeling sorry for myself but managed to get out to see the horses today which cheered me up no end. Watched as Mark exercised Stormy then asked him to lead Bella around for some exercise too which went very well…here’s some pics from their fun afternoon πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella and me hanging out together πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and what a fabulous jump Ms Bella did…first time jumping while being led and a first for Mark doing it too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Happy bunnies <3 πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 16thΒ 

Today Mark did another great job riding Stormy and leading Bella on a wee hack to the house and back. My back is still a bit too tender to attempt riding at the moment but Mark did a great job ponying Bella so that he could get Stormy to the house to be trimmed by the farrier πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farrier trimming Storm’s hooves πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 18th

Well it’s been 12 days since riding Bella and today she was not only as good as I left her all that time ago but she helped me enormously with being a good girl while I rode her and she was great therapy for my back and it feels less sore now from her lovely swaying back movement πŸ˜‰
Back still not perfect but improving daily πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 19th

 

GivingΒ treats at dinnertime the horses usually do some small bits of training…today they decided that trying to stand on the pedestal together was a good one πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tue 24th

Been a while since riding but my back is feeling much better now and actually sitting on a moving horse in walk is quite theraputic as it moves my muscles without me tensing them. Some pics from today….

 

Ride Bella…lead Stormy for a bit….then I take Stormy’s lead off and we leave him grazing whilst we do a bit of transition work around the field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Lovely look along the glen…LOVE those ears πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Catch Stormy again and lead him a bit more before going back onto the track πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 25th

Making up for lost time I manage to get out early again to ride first Stormy and then Bella πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Stormy I just plodded about, giving him a big of a stretch and flexing to both sides. We did a couple of agility bits which I put up again yesterday and then I took him back to the track to get Bella set up. Bella today did some lovely walk/trot transitions with some great halts and nice backups. We then did some nice cone leg yield weaves and not a bad left and right turn on the forehand πŸ˜‰

We then did all the agility bits which included trotting over the tarp and through narrow bunting gap and onto the water tray with all 4 feet. Through the curtain which has 6 strands hanging down now…she walked first then trotted through so will practise this for relaxation throughout. We then played ‘touch it’ with her nose to the hanging tarp and the rope that is attached to the tyre (didn’t drag it today) and she did a really lovely trot weave through the tall flags. Next we did the jump, she had a bit of wind under her toes and she did a wee jumpity jump (not quite a buck) SO I used the round pens to trot around to get her calm and reconnected, did another jump nicely and then came back to the round pens and just trotted around them in a fig 8 on a loose rein until she relaxed again as she was power trotting a bit. It didn’t take her long and once she was reconnected I took her down the wee hill and cantered her up again with lovely relaxation, walked a bit and then let her relax grazing when I jumped off πŸ˜‰

 

Thurs 27th

A lovely cool morning this morning so out to ride Bella again πŸ™‚

 

Pony’d Storm for a bit first, then onto some fun play work. Sidepass along the fence was fab, light and easy peasy.

 

 

 

 

 

Using a rope on a tyre is great for (1) dragging and (2) using for circles. Bella’s first try in walk and then a bit of trot went well. I was using two hands but hope to start using one handed cues soon πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Fri 27thΒ 

A really lovely ride again today, made it out in the afternoon and not too hot but didn’t do too much. Firstly pony’d Stormy off Bella again, did some walk and trot then left him to graze for a bit on his own πŸ˜‰

 

 

Lovely trot around the field and then onto some fun agility…..under the arch…

 

 

 

 

….trot through the bunting lane and then onto the water tray (you can’t see it but she is squarely on it) ;)…

 

 

 

….then a fab relaxed walk through the curtain and then back up half way through it πŸ˜‰ …

 

 

 

…then sidepass along the drainage tube and onto a nice wee jump….

 

 

 

 

…then we did 3/4 of a canter to the right around one of the round pens, down the hillock and canter left up the other side…

 

 

 

….lovely canter and onto riding with the flag in walk and then trot too πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

…just love this big girlie…..pony’d Stormy back to the track afterwards too πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 30th

My pics first then the ones Mark took πŸ™‚

 

SO today we took Bella and Stormy out for a short hack out in the fields by the river. It’s been empty of farm animals for a while now so it was a lovely opportunity to ride in some big grassy fields πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Bella and Storm really enjoyed themselves, Bella worked on walk and trot, circling around Stormy while he grazed. She did the ‘gateway’ no problem today, had problems last year with it.

 

 

 

 

She wasn’t phased when Stormy went in front or dragged behind, it was just lovely to be together riding somewhere different πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Took them both down the field to the water trough to get water after their ride out as they were thirsty.

Following Stormy on Bella

 

 

 

Stormy enjoyed being somewhere different, all horses can get a bit bored of doing the same things or just being in the same place so this was a lovely change for us all πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Riding out together cheers us all up and these fields were fab…nice and flat with grazing destinations along the way πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

We walked up the last hill..Stormy and Mark cantered up it big time…fab to see them having fun πŸ˜‰

They drank together when back home in the field…so cute xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Tue 31st

The last day of August and another cooler day for a ride out. We decided to do the same wee hack out into the fields below where our horses are along the river πŸ˜‰

 

Mark and I walked the horses down the first big hill and then mounted from a gate

 

 

 

Really lovely to get the horses moving in the big fields. We did lots of transitions of h/bkup/w/t and canter

 

 

 

Lots of destinations with grazing for rewards

 

 

 

 

Super fun and a lovely canter back up the hill to our field…first Stormy

 

 

 

 

and then Bella and me πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly we did another FIRST today….leading Bella from the quad bike πŸ˜‰

Then took them down to the water trough after the ride to let them drink…..

 

 

LOVE that they drink together…they’re a fabulous pair of beauties <3

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy