Bella – September 2021

Sat 4th

 

A lovely day for a ride. Pony Stormy first off Bella then get to some play/work with Bella πŸ˜‰

 

 

Drag the tyre for a bit and position it for us to do the ‘circling game’. This went really well, familiarisation and moving the rope around was good

 

Circles in walk and trot both ways went very well, must work on us getting the circles consistently circular though.

 

 

We did some really nice turns away and towards the rope and also some full 360’s with the rope around her rump and over her ears πŸ˜‰

 

 

A lovely fun workout, really nice to feel some progress too

 

 

 

Loose rein for a bit and also some nice canter transitions

 

 

 

Big trotting and canter departs around the roundpens πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Love cantering through the long grass…this will be their standing hay for winter

 

 

A bit of a sloppy jump…..thinking it needs to be raised as she can trot over it easily now.

Then lead Stormy back to the track to end πŸ˜‰

 

 

Sun 5th

 

Just a lovely day today as best friend Kat came to visit as not seen her since the beginning of lockdown 2020 and she took up the ‘sit on Stormy’ challenge too πŸ˜‰

 

 

Kat is a good rider and is used to riding small and big horses so Stormy wasn’t such a big effort for her and Stormy was on his best behaviour.

 

We had a nice ride on the track first, playing with some obstacles and then went out into the grassy part of the field and played with some more obstacles and had fun with transitions

 

 

I think Kat enjoyed her Storm ride and it was lovely to ride with her.

 

 

 

Cantering on Stormy and Kat just laughed which was so funny πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

End of the ride and just lovely to see that big smile. Bella and I really enjoyed riding with Kat on Stormy…have to do it again sometime soon πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Mon 13th

 

A lovely day for a wee hack out today. Down in field near the river Bella stretches her legs

 

 

Enjoying the big field space, Bella wasn’t worried about where Stormy was but then he went up the narrow hill track and disappeared a bit with the red cattle feeder behind her Bella wasn’t sure of things…SO…I got off and walked her up the narrow track.

 

Once up the top I got back on and we had a nice walk and trot up this big field hill πŸ˜‰

We got a nice view of the track back to the house

 

 

Mark and Stormy view their kingdom πŸ˜‰

Then back on the usual track back to their field.

 

 

 

Nearly back to the field and then back on the track of the field. It was a nice shortish circular hack from the bottom of their field around to the top of their field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Weds 15th

 

Today I took Storm and Bella out to do the same ride as last time but just me riding Stormy and leading Bella.

We started off in the ‘haugh’ field, Bella leading really well.

Stormy was still a bit worried by the end of the field with the cattle feeder but he got really close to it on his own by just going around it and ignoring it.

He didn’t want to ride up the narrow track up the hill, I think because his feet were a bit sore and it’s a very stony track SO I got off and walked them both up it and they were both calm and listening nicely.

At the top I used a tree stump to get back on Stormy and we carried on riding up the big hill together.

Stormy decided trotting and a bit of canter would be fun and it was fab to have Bella trot and canter with us without any tension on the lead rope πŸ˜‰

Once at the top we just plodded along the top track back to the top of their field.

I washed them both down as it was a bit hot and Stormy got a bit stressed so was a bit sweaty, they enjoyed it and then Stormy rolled too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Thurs 16th

 

Hoof trimming day today and after I did Bella we went for a short ride around the big field.

We’ve not done this for a while and she was a bit sensitive….I think that she gets like this when in season.

But the ride was okay, nice walk and trot and she started listening to the rhythm and slowing her trot down to the point I could do some sitting trot πŸ˜‰

Her flexibility was good and listening to my breathing in/out for transitions was very good.

Nice ride but need to do itΒ  more again to make it ‘normal’ again πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 18th

Nice day for a wee hack and 3rd time this month we go out onto the flat ‘haugh’ field and try to actually ride up the scary narrow track. This track is a stony track so not the easiest, it also has a steep stony bank up on the right and a steep bank down on the left which has a thick farm electric fence on the left….even I don’t like it BUT it’s great to get this under our belt….

 

Walked down first hill, mounted off the bridge gate and then went around the big field. There were some sheep in the field so we kept away from them so they didn’t spook up the narrow gap with us πŸ˜‰

 

The narrow gap πŸ˜‰ YEAH…we both rode up it, no walking our horses today. SO proud of them both going up there and definitely helped with the consistent practise we’ve been putting in πŸ˜‰

 

Letting Storm and Mark go ahead enough for us to trot to catch up πŸ™‚

Stormy posing >>>

 

 

 

<<< more posing from Stormy πŸ™‚

 

Bella watching Stormy come off the hill

 

 

Think Stormy bombed this pic! LOL

 

Treat for a good boy πŸ˜‰

 

 

Going through the lovely sun dappled track back to the top of their field

 

 

 

Home is just around the corner….Mark managed to open the field gate whilst sitting on Stormy and we both rode down the track together πŸ˜‰

What a fab wee hack out xxx

 

 

 

Tues 21st

 

Before riding with Storm and Mark (leap frog and side-by-side games) Bella and I did some ‘arena work’

 

 

We’re working on straightness and straightness on curves so we can start to get more consistency with our shapes in the arena.

 

 

Also working on getting more consistent trot so that we stay in the same rhythm for longer. Working on a slow trot I can sit to and also a faster trot I rise to πŸ™‚

 

Nice wee jump to end on too.

 

 

 

 

Weds 22nd

SO…out early this morning for the 2nd practise with Bella on circles, fig 8’s in the arena looking for relaxed, consistent curves and rhythmic consistent trot. She did a great test in walk and then did a great slow trot fig 8 I could sit to and then a more energetic rising trot fig 8.

What was different today that it worked so well?

1) I was 100% focused on the circle shape, looking just 10m in front of Bella’s ears at all times.

2) I realised I need to put my inside leg on a bit firmer and put my body/seat weight slightly more towards the outside of the saddle.

3) Hold the reins with feel of ‘pushing a trolley’, keep them a consistent distance apart, push with my outside rein rather than turn with my inside rein.

AND

4) Relax and have fun doing it and stop when we’ve achieved it and don’t do that ‘one more perfect one’…just stop, get off and praise a LOT πŸ™‚

 

YAY πŸ™‚ ❀ it was a lovely session and Bella seemed quite surprised for it to be over so quickly but then everything went so well so stopping on a good note is essential for more good work tomorrow and the next day πŸ˜‰Β 
Fri 24th
Managed another practise day today. Slowly, slowly getting better rhythmic trotting and we now have two trots, slow which I can sit to and a bigger trot that I rise to πŸ™‚
Sat 25th
Nice relaxing walk to start today. Then into a slow, soft trot which I could sit to nicely πŸ˜‰
With stops between we go to a brisker trot which I rise to. Her curves are slowly getting better and more consistent.
The trot work is getting more and more relaxed so I try again for some canter and she manages two really nice tries for me πŸ˜‰
SO forward to our next session I will hopefully be continuing to find relaxation in our trot work and gradually bring in more canter work in the small arena area πŸ˜‰
* Shelley – HorseSavvy