Bella & Stormy – June 2024

Sat 1st June

SO…it’s been a while since I have had time to spend with S&B as I’ve been doing some private teaching and also agility clinic last weekend in Moray so it was lovely to be able to spend time with them today. Unfortunately it was without any play or riding as we needed to do a couple of maintenance tasks today. Mark cleared the old hay and wet patches from in front of the shelter and allowing the fabulous sunshine to dry the area out and I had to help Bella. She has got a few scabby bits on her legs, in the feathery bits. It can be just general scurfyness getting itchy which she’s rubbed or it could be mites again SO…my job was to make it easier to see what’s going on so we can treat it and get the vet in if necessary. I don’t have horse clippers (and Bella may not be clipper trained) and she needed it done today SO I used my very sharp, but safe, dog scissors and cut them all off.

It took quite a while to get it all clear, she has a LOT of leg feather, and I washed her lower legs with warm water and head & shoulders shampoo. She was such a good girl, standing pretty much stock still the whole time. She now looks more like a ‘heavy hunter’ type than a ‘draft horse’ 😉


< Before, all hair and not able to see how many scabs she has or how bad they are.

This is all the hair in a bucket after I cut them off >





< Feathers gone and washed clean. Dried with a towel and the sunshine did the rest.

Bella looks pretty nice without her hairy legs 😉 >





Sun 2nd


It’s been well over a week since riding Bella and early this morning, after their breakfast, I wanted to see how she was feeling today and to check any ‘unsoundness’ that may be still there….




Well…..all went beautifully. She was happy to move forward in walk and to extend that walk so it was faster and then after about 15 mins I asked if she wanted to trot and TROT she did….sound, happy and beautifully rhythmic 😉 YEEHAA 😉 Am hoping that’ll be the last of her unsoundness and we can have some nice, fun, rides together.







Tues 4th

Stormy hadn’t been ridden for over 2 weeks due to me working and the weather so it was really lovely to ride him this afternoon. No he wasn’t perfect, yes he had opinions but we discussed options, worked on motivation and ended the session with us both happy with what we’d done together.
I used P2P’s and the Grazing game to help find our common ground…he got stops and grazing, I got straight lines, curves and motivation ❤
At the end of the session I lead Storm from the quad bike to get back to the shelter area 😉 He’s such a clever boy and it was lovely to







Thurs 6th

Today was Bella’s turn for some ridden exercise. Not much to talk about, just getting both of us fitter as we go 😉










Sun 9th


Another lovely day for riding so Mark and I get out with Bella and Stormy. Mark and Stormy did a wee bit with us but then Bella and I carried on as we needed more time to find our relaxation, curves and soft transitions.

You can see from the ride map that we did a LOT of going back and forward, circles and testing our canter for relaxation, which took time as she was a bit ‘fresh’ on the long grass BUT we got there in the end 😉







Bella and me working on our connection through transitions.





The last couple of short canters were really lovely, calm, collected and connected 🙂






Wed 12th

Well today I had a local lady visit to see what I do, how I train, my horses. I cannot tell you how proud I am of Bella (online) and Stormy (at liberty) and how fantastically well they went around the new agility course I put together yesterday for this event. I don’t have any pictures but I have a whole lotta love in my heart for my two beauties. I think the lady was impressed, if not just for the moves they did, the tasks and the smooth gait changes they both did BUT because we were working on longish grass and the didn’t once run off or grab for it 😉

The obstacles we did were:

  1. Trot onto tarp, halt then familiarise with flag
  2. Jump
  3. Walk between parallel poles with scrunched plastic bottles in
  4. Go through bunting corner
  5. Place 2 front feet in hulahoop
  6. Weave in trot
  7. Trot to single pole, halt with pole underneath belly, ask for backup off pole
  8. Underneath curtain, halt then back up
  9. Fig 8’s around and between 4 flags together
  10. Trot under archway
  11. Sidepass over drainage pipe
  12. Place one front foot on a wooden block


Thurs 13th


Well today I started off doing some play with Bella, saddled and ready to ride but made sure we had our connection and checking out her gait transitions. I used the coloured jump wings (like I do when riding) for some online P2P’s. She did some lovely walk, trot and canter transition P2P’s and so I got on her for a nice ride.


As you can see from the ‘ride map’ we did a good half hour session with much more canter in it than usual and her canter today was smooth, rhythmic and so sittable-to 😉 I made sure she did some nice walk warming up (around the round pens) and then same for cooling down after our session.




She was a start today 😉 Really lovely P2P’s, lovely to smooth transitions and happy rider and pony today <3








Fri 14th

It’s always good to remember to mix thing sup with horses. I try to mix up training, undemanding time and fun things like agility or in-hand grazing. Today S&B came out with me in-hand for some grazing on the track above their field. There is a lot of wonderful wild flowers and herbs such as cow parsley, all in it’s prime at the moment….they LOVED it 😉

















Tue 18th

Got out today with Bella and managed to progress our canter work. Firstly I allowed Bella and Stormy to graze in their own round pens, this allows Bella to get what she wants, more grass, while I sorted out the field and got the saddle etc ready. Once she’s had grazing I can start to ride her with less P2P stops/graze 😉 Secondly I have a plan for a short but faster session 🙂 This hopefully will motivate her to canter more as she will learn that it’s more about effort, speed now and not learning accuracy 😉


Grazing ponies 🙂





You can see from the riding maps that we walked/trotted around the round pens first to warm up

Then we trotted as much as possible the serpentine pattern at the top where the field has no obstacles apart from jump wings to show me where to go to and where to turn.

Then the aim was canter the straight bits across the field with trotting around the turns. I think we did pretty well, she had one wee YEEHAA in the middle but came down to trot/walk easily and we redid that section and continued on nicely.

For a first attempt I’m very pleased and proud of the progress in canter work.



Bella looking at the open space to serpentine in.

Having a wee photo moment with S&B after my ride 😉







Fri 21st


Went out with Mark to see horses early this morning as I wanted to trim down Bella’s leg hair so we can continue working on mending her sore heels/pastern area where she has some sores. We’ve got the vet coming hopefully next week to give her an injection to sort out leg mites, which is what we think she has again…vet will confirm when they come but waiting for injection which they’ve run out of SO we need to keep managing her legs to keep her comfortable until vet can come 😉

After doing Bella’s legs, getting her comfortable and putting a ton of fly spray on her, I decide to groom and ride Stormy. Always up for taking the opportunity when it arises and it was a lot of fun. He was light, started stretching those long legs and seemed to be enjoying our ride as much as I was…he also got a bit of grazing as a thank you which he LOVED 🙂














Sun 23rd

Morning cool means time for a wee ride 😉


  1. Start with a nice bit of grazing for S&B
  2. Saddle and fly spray Bella
  3. Play with circles in walk, trot and canter to make sure all ready to ride
  4. Mount and ride some walm up exercises (walk circle, walk circle with leg yields, back to track and trot, repeat on other side)
  5. Then I ask for full circles of trot
  6. Finally ask for full circles of canter (which she did going to the left but needed a slightly longer time going to the right to depart in canter)



Not a long ride, the sun was just starting to be hot by the time we ended BUT it was a progressive ride.

A good, solid warm up, great trot round pens and then great canter, can be better but I’m very happy with her canter circles today 😉





Bella resting up in the shelter after her graze/ride (Storm got to just graze, lucky boy) 🙂




Thurs 27th


Bring horses home today, I walk then ride Stormy and lead Bella off him 😉 She is a fab lead horse 😉










Then after they have some time in the home paddock we bring them home, this time Mark rides his Stormy and I lead Bella.

I lead her as she had a vet inject a solution to rid her of mites on her legs 😉 She was SO good with the vet, no fuss and stood still to be checked over 😉 Love this girl, she does me proud 😉

















Sun 30th


Today I went out early-ish to do S&B’s breakfast.

I then put them in their round pens, got my riding boots and hat on, got Bella out of the pen and saddled her.

I then asked her to do some simple exercises to warm up then I mount and we have a great ride.

Bella’s canter work is really coming along now, much smoother with her transitions, rhythmic and balanced which has been helped with Mark’s trimming of her hooves over the last few months 😉

Love this big girl, she is the most genuine, beautiful soul and I love riding her.



  • Shelley – HorseSavvy