Bella & Stormy – May 2024

Wed 1st May

Well, have given Bella quite some time off to see if her ‘lameness’ has gone. She trotted up to me this morning for her apple slices so decided to see how she goes with a short ride this afternoon.


She is ok walking in a straight line, has a bit of bother turning right, short stepping her left front foot and a bit of a shuffle around. She is also not good in trot shown with a small bob of her head when her right front foot is on the ground. It’s almost unnoticeable but it ‘feels off-ish’ ;(

Another few days off (as I’m off working in Dumfries & Galloway for the weekend) and when I return the vet will be called. It’s a bit of a worry but don’t think it’s anything too bad as it’s so mild, she’s putting weight on all 4 feet/legs and not holding one up or wincing in pain….just got to get an expert in to see if they can figure out what’s going on ;(


Thurs 2nd


Today I rode Bella again 😉 Started off with some ‘passenger’ riding which involves me sitting and not really doing any direction. It’s to allow the horse to move where they want, when they want and for the rider to learn to not micromanage and to get into harmony with the horses movements 😉




Bella went well. Allowing her to choose where to go and in which gait allowed her to show me she was happier than yesterday to trot and also canter and I managed to just sit to it and go with her direction.





Afterwards we did some loose rein riding where I gave light cues with my weight, legs and reins. She did some nice turns (still a bit stiffer to the right though), backup, leg yields and sidepass 😉

I’m a happier bunny than yesterday….hoping this mild exercise continues to keep her muscles supple.



Fri 3rd


After Bella’s stiffness over the last couple of weeks I have decided to start using my old ‘Equipedic’ saddle pad under her saddle. I used this for Holly and Solly in the past and glad I kept it just in case as it’s one expensive piece of kit. Tried it out yesterday and today used it when Mark and I hacked S&B back to the house. The pad is very good quality memory foam and quite dense so doesn’t just squidge in the middle. I will continue to use this as long as she is comfortable in it….it will really save her back from any undue pressure she may have had with a regular pad 😉





All tacked up and ready to hack back to the house.

Mark can look after them easier while I’m away teaching in D&G over the weekend.





Lovely ride, hot sun with warm breeze helped us along the way.

S&B very happy to be out and about.





Stormy in fine fettle after a long winter 😉

Mark happy still using the saddle after years using my bareback pad, it’s handy having stirrups at times, helps keep our balance 😉





Following Stormy, Bella’s a happy hacker.

Gateway #2, using the narrow bit this time 😉


And once home they both checked out their new neighbours (a few Highland coo’s) 🙂










Tues 7th


I’ve been away for the weekend teaching some Agility to students in Dumfries & Galloway and today, after a much needed lie in, I took a much needed walk with S&B….taking them back to their big field 😉





Lovely to get my feet back on ground that was familiar…always good to get grounded back at home.






Nearly half way there and S&B are so connected to me, even after some time away.

They were so listening while I regulated my breathing so they stayed calm and in walk for me.





Nearly home and they are still so ‘with me’ and my pace.






The last stretch and we all have a nice rhythmic trot together 🙂 Really lovely that they did this with me today…I feel so blessed to have built, and keep, this connection with S&B.

The last bit we did was to walk the ‘track’ fence line as it’s now closed off for the Summer (apart from riding sessions) and they are on just over half of the grazing. This will be slowly closed off to create their ‘track’ around the perimeter. This creates more walking for them and less grass which could make them ill 😉



Wed 8th

Today I went and set up a new agility course, the same course I set up for my recent agility clinic in D&G. Once put together Bella and I  had a short practise session in walk.









The course obstacles are: 1- Over plastic bottle bank. 2-Under curtain and then back through it. 3-Weave around cones on a circle, change direction and do other way too. 4-Onto large tarp and halt, put smaller tarp over horse. 5-Go into bunting/flag lane, halt over pole in middle, walk on. 6-Jump then halt afterwards. 7-Into ‘T’ shape, turn right and put foot on wood block and then back up out of it. 8-Walk over 4 hulahoops. 9-Go between parallel poles, push ball out, halt and then sidle over one pole so that pole goes between right and left feet. 10-Ground tie horse (basic standstill) then lift feet individually and place into bucket until all 4 feet are in buckets 😉


Tues 14th

Finally got some time with Bella today, between her being a bit ‘offish’ lame and me having a bad back it’s been a while since taking some time with her.

We started with a nice groom and then went around the agility course again online together. THEN I saddled her up and we gently rode it too 🙂


Ready to ride




  1. Bottle bank. Walk onto it, halt, walk off








2. Trot under curtain

3. Weave cones on a circle L&R







4. Trot onto tarp, halt, trot off








5. Trot into bunting/flag lane, halt, trot off

6. Jump (no pic of this one)








7. Walk into ‘T’ shaped lane of poles, turn right then place one front foot on the wood block. Back all the way out of the ‘T’ shape 😉







8. Walk through 4 hulahoops


9. Push ball through parallel poles

10. Sidle over one pole (place both left feet over pole)




Great start to more riding hopefully 😉


Weds 15th



Nice ride with Stormy this afternoon. He was a bit slow to start with but once he realised we were playing Point 2 Points with 3 mouthful’s of grass at each point he zoomed about the field 😉






Riding  started slowly but went well, Bella had some time grazing in a round pen while we rode about.









Asked Stormy to herd a wee lambi-kins back to the adjoining field to get back to his momma…..he’s a good shepherd is Stormy 🙂


Doing this regularly at moment as young lambs find it fun to squish through the fence to our field, we don’t mind so much and Bella loves any young animal 😉




So, back to having some fun. Storm was a bit slow to start with but realised after shepherd work that he needed a purpose so we went around the field doing P2P’s (Point 2 Points) where we go to a specific spot, he backed up 2 steps then I give him a cue to put his head down and grab 3-4 mouthfuls of grass…he LOVES this game and soon he went from walking slowly to trotting everywhere…even put in a couple of canters too 😉 🙂







Thurs 16th

No pics today but because of my bad back Mark very kindly trimmed Bella’s hooves this morning and I had another practise on the Agility course I set Dumfries & Galloway students when I was there. I promised to film me and Bella doing it so they could see how we did and hopefully tomorrow we can actually film it…yeehaa 😉 lol



Fri 17th


Managed to get up pretty early this morning and out to feed S&B. Then I cleaned the field (poo picked) and before the sun got hot managed to get a ride in on Bella.




I started off with a little leading Storm off Bella around the round pens 😉 It went really well and so proud of Bella 😉


Then I had a nice 34 min ride on Bella with some lovely walk and managing some nice trot too 😉

Once finished we went up to Stormy, who was happily grazing, got his head up, reattached his lead rope and lead him back to the track while still riding Bella 🙂





S&B Having a nice graze together  😉







Mark and I went out to play with S&B and the Agility course 😉 Here is Mark and Stormy having fun at Liberty….







1] walk through bottle bank.      2] walk under curtain then back up through it.     3] weave on a circle L&R







4] walk onto tarp then 2nd tarp over horse.     5] walk into bunting lane, halt over pole then walk on.     6] jump (Storm just walked over it. lol







7] walk into ‘T’ lane, turn right, foot on wood block then back out of ‘T’ lane.     8] walk through 4 hulahoops (Storm managed his left feet).     9] push ball out of parallel poles, sidepass over pole.








10] and finally put all 4 feet into buckets (I did this as Mark’s back was sore today) 🙂

AND….here is Bella and my attempt at the same course…


Mon 20th

This afternoon was good for a ride of two as it was cooler with a nice breeze SO… to ride a horse or two 😉

First was Mr Stormy. Asking for a nice walk with a good step under him to start with and then he offered some really nice trot and then a nice bouncy canter 😉













And then for Bella. I was a bit concerned that this was going to be ‘off’ as it has been the last 2 weeks and that giving her rest time wasn’t working BUT….

I’m a very happy bunny as she offered to trot, trot, trot and then canter too. I just let her do what she wanted gait wise and knew before when ‘off’ she was reluctant to go faster than walk so this was great news.

I felt no ‘offishness’ nor saw any lameness and ‘touch wood’ she is now happy and rideable more again. Whatever it was that caused it hopefully has gone away now, I think maybe it was a bruised sole or heel on her right front foot, maybe from stones near the stream or from when riding to the house. I’m SO pleased she’s happy to offer trot and canter again…….yeehaa 😉













  • Shelley – HorseSavvy