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Bella & Stormy – February 2024

Thurs 1st

 

Well, February is here and like last year we’ve got some dry weather (so far anyway). Taking advantage of this mildness I pop on Bella and have a cheeky wee ride. This time in the ‘arena’ where the tyres are in corners and centre. She was a bit ‘fresh’ but by keeping it to curves/circling around the tyres when she was ‘up’ and doing the straight lines when she was calm worked very nicely πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 3rd

Managed a lovely play session with Bella, Storm and Mark. Just went through some challenges (where I do a task then challenge Mark/Storm to copy or improve what I did) πŸ™‚ It was a lot of fun and it was fabulous to see both Storm and Bella happy to play, calm and motivated πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 7th

Really really cold again here. S&B had rugs on overnight but take them off during the day as the sun is shining beautifully for us πŸ˜‰ Yesterday Mark and I trimmed S&B’s front feet, we could not do the backs as both horses spooked and we didn’t want to risk being under them doing feet if they spooked again. Could not see what they spooked at but it was very very windy and that always affects them SO…I trimmed Bella’s back feet this morning after poo picking the field and Mark did Stormy this afternoon while I groomed and rode Bella πŸ˜‰

 

Did some nice ONE HANDED RIDING: in and back out of narrow gap

Again one handed riding: sidepassing around the jump πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

One Handed Riding: Weave

Back to regular riding where we did some lovely leg yield weaving πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Just a very short trot as ground hard…..trot poles on a curve, encouraging more stretching of the outside legs πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sun 11th

 

Mild weather andΒ some sunshine today so great chance to give both S&B good grooming sessions (Stormy is moulting big time already) and get some time in the saddle too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

First off I rode Stormy. From his session I was aiming for some motivation and straight lines SO I used P2Ps (Point 2 Points) and as soon as he realised he got to stop, and get a treat often, when we got to our destination he started to go faster each time…fab πŸ˜‰ He did a lot of trot and a few bits of canter which I didn’t ask for, but his motivation was easy to get when I use the right game πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEN….Bella’s turn for a ride. Today I was looking to help her find her curve on a bend so we did part of circles and circles…around obstacles to help her get more balanced in the bends πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 12th

Again we have mild, sunny weather so time for some more saddle time. Bella only today and working on those curves, bends and circles for that all important body flex around my inside leg πŸ˜‰ These shapes will help us become straighter and is important after not doing much during Winter πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Had a nice little play session first and Bella knew just how clever she was when she sidled over the log πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice walking around the field, getting there on the shapes of the circles and a wee bit of trot too. Don’t want to do too much or she’ll become sweaty (thick coat at the moment) so it’s a balance of getting some movement without overdoing it πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Stormy did a great job of following us about a bit today…he knew I had treats in my pockets πŸ˜‰

Fri 16th

 

Today we have really nice weather so Mark and I get out with Storm and Bella for a nice fun ridden play session.
We started off with ‘follow the leader’ with Bella leading and Storm following. We did weave/circles, sidepass, backup on/over tarp, feet in hulahoop etc….basically a nice ridden agility play.

 

Doing some fig 8’s around the round pens we start off with her stretching out and down a bit and me stroking her from the withers up her mane crest which helps her relax into the stretch.

Then we go into some trotting around the pens.

 

 

Getting some nice bends in our circling

 

We then went and did some trot fig 8’s in the field with the narrow gap making up the centre….it required focus and accuracy but was a lot of fun and our circle ‘arc’ got much nicer.

 

 

 

 

Popped a wee jump just for fun…Bella is getting really good at her canter departs from the jump πŸ™‚
Thurs 22nd
I always use Consistency & Variety in my training. Consistency helps horses learn as it gives them a solid understanding of a task while variety helps to keep things progressive and stops them becoming bored.
Today we played with S&B with the same agility obstacles in the area I’d already set them up BUT I changed where the obstacles were to keep it interesting. The jump, narrow gap and hulahoop moved. The cones went into a weave on a circle (instead of a straight line), the tarp had the poles holding it down moved about and the trot poles went from a curve shape to being made into a square πŸ˜‰ It wasn’t a major move but it definitely kept the course fresh πŸ˜‰

 

Through high narrow gap (she did walk/halt/walk/halt through it)
Then sidepassed towards me πŸ˜‰

 

Weaving around cones on a circle
Having a yeehaa moment

Tarp and then poles

Bella was a star, she jumped first with pole at a low height, then with pole at medium height and lastly with the pole at the top of the jump wing, this is about 30″ (76com) high…not bad for a heavy horse πŸ˜‰Β  I wouldn’t want her to jump higher but it’s lovely to see she can handle a height that might be a log when out on a hack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark and Storm worked at Liberty as they always do…he was making up his own games with the black tube πŸ˜‰ lol

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 23rd

 

 

Sunshine and blue skies today…although pretty chilly it’s still a good day to be out and about with S&B.

Didn’t want to do too much or work too fast as ground still a bit hard-ish.

Stormy did a great job working with straight lines and some curves and he decided trotting would be fun so I took his idea and just went with it πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sunshine and Shadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella was a bit distracted after my ride with Stormy due to a telephone engineer van sitting on the road with a flashing light for a while.

But as soon as it went I saddled up and had a lovely ride. Just walk but trying to concentrate on curves, leg yields into bigger curves then changing the curve πŸ˜‰

She did really well, then the van came back, her head went up and it was a good time to stop, take her tack off and praise her for being such a good girl for me πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Mon 26th

 

 

It’s gone very chilly up here again although a beautiful blue sky with sunshine always gets us out with S&B πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Mark/Stormy enjoying some riding time.

We started off with some ‘leap frog’ where we walk in line and the back horse/rider then trots past the front horse/rider, gets back in line and transitions back to walk. Then the back horse does the same and so on…it’s a great game for holding each horse in walk whilst the other one trots past and for each horse to listen to it’s rider more.

 

 

 

We then did some individual agility bits which was fun.

Bella sidepassing over big tube and then watching Stormy doing cone weaving.

 

 

 

 

Storm doing transitions on the tarp and then walking over the ‘trot poles’…..he didn’t want to trot over them πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

A moment where Bella/Me sidled up to Storm/Mark πŸ˜‰

Then a few bits of Bella on her own while Mark took pics of us….

 

 

 

 

Bella in the pole square: first a turn on the forehand to the right and then to the left
(Turn on the forehand = holding the front legs still while the back legs move to the right and/or left making a circle with the back legs). You can also do a turn on the hindquarters which involves keeping back legs still and moving front legs in to right and left….this will be a move we do more of later in the year as it’s harder to do.

 

 

 

Here Bella is circling around the weave cones in trot, she was ok going to the left but when we went to the right she just didn’t ‘feel right’ so we stopped the session as if she’s just a bit sore I don’t want to make anything worse.

Once unsaddled etc I checked her feet, shoulders and leg stretches where she was a bit more reluctant to stretch her front left leg. I’ll give her a few days off and see how she goes after a rest up.

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

 

Bella & Stormy – January 2024

HAPPY 2024 EVERYONE

 

Thurs 4th

 

 

Today the weeks forecast looks calm, dry and mild SO…..walking S&B back to their big field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

They were both calm but looking around regularly, they saw a herd of fallow deer and then

they saw the view, down the glen, the same view they get from their big field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Checking out everything as they walk…..the long 22′ ropes got a bit tangled as I walked and they changed sides SO I stopped and sorted them out while they checked out the view πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Uphill a bit here and they both stayed calm for me on this bit, they like to trot/canter this part when ridden.

I decided not to ride Storm and lead Bella as it was quite slippery with wet mud on the track.

 

 

 

 

Nearly home……then Stormy has a good look at ‘his’ field from the top of the hill….excited πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Free at the top of the field they both trot/canter down the big hill

Both had a nice big roll (Stormy is filthy now) and then got down to grazing πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sun 8th

Today was a sunny cold day but without rain it’s perfect for trimming Bella’s hooves.

She is such a good girl standing still for me while I do the work. I put this ‘knee sock’ over her feathers to keep them out of the way…works really well too πŸ˜‰

 

 

Unfortunately there was a lot of other folk doing stuff nearby today too….a farmer working in the field opposite, his trailer banging and shaking while he went up and down the field. Also opposite us was a digger machine making quite a noise, moving logs and rubbish and putting them on a big fire. The fire was creating quite a lot of smoke and also whatever he was putting on it was making a loud noise…spitting and popping.

 

Dear Bella was a little perplexed and put out, her head going high up so she could use the lower part of her eye to see in the distance. I couldn’t get her attention to pick her feet up and knew that if I did get her foot up it wouldn’t be safe as she wasn’t paying attention to me SO I took her to play with the agility obstacles. Doing some small ‘brain games’ really helps to get a horses attention, to re-connect to the handler so this is what we did. Just in walk with some sidepass and backups too but it consisted of moving in walk, watching where she was going, stopping and praising regularly to help her realise I was calm and looking after her πŸ˜‰ It worked really well and soon I took her back to continue trimming her hooves πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the agility course I set up for S&B. I draw these regularly to give me a clear view of how to set up some obstacles. This course involves 4 trotting poles, 5 cones for a weave and fig 8’s, a hulahoop,Β  a high narrow gap made up of 4 jump wings with poles on the top to make a lane, a jump and a tarp held down with parallel wooden poles.

I put the obstacles close-ish together, it makes it easier for me to work online with S&B and can be enlarged later on when we start out fitness program for the year.

 

 

 

 

Mon 9th

The last few days have been very very cold and the nights are way below zero. S&B did the first 2 nights on their own okay but yesterday they seemed quite tired. They don’t have to try so hard to stay warm and to make the feed and hay we give them work easier for them we have been rugging them at night (off during the day to enjoy the sunshine). They can survive well but we feel they don’t have to try so hard if we can help them along a bit πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Thurs 11th

 

Sun was out today…yeehaa. But underfoot the ground is rock hard SO took it easy.

First I played with Bella and Stormy (Bella’s video at below) to get their legs moving slowly and their brains connected.

 

 

 

 

 

While playing with Stormy Bella wanted to join in too, at liberty πŸ˜‰ She’s so funny

Storm did fabulously with drive and draw between the narrow gap poles and also putting his feet straight into the hulahoop πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

BAREBACK RIDING….well, sitting on and having fun plodding about. We did fig 8 in walk around the big round pens, nothing more, just a lovely connection to his feet while listening to the 1-2-3-4 of his hooves on the groundΒ  πŸ˜‰

Shadow Storm kept us company.

 

 

 

 

Always brings a big smile to my face….Stormy waiting patiently for his treat after that sort plod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then exactly the same with Bella….yup BAREBACK too, which we’ve not done a lot of but it felt right and it was lovely to really feel her back swinging with her big walk stride πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Both S&B waiting patiently for their treats after my ride on Bella πŸ˜‰ they’re so adorable, love them to bits <3

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 12th

 

Sunshine today but -8*Β this morning!!! v.v.cold.

 

 

 

 

 

S&B have still been having their big rugs on over night and will continue to do so until it starts to warm up a bit. Before doing their yearly worming syringe for encysted worms we had a short play session. I worked with Bella in her halter but the rope was around her neck, Mark played with Stormy at liberty and then I had another BAREBACK short walk fig 8 ride on Bella around the round pens πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Brain work for the horses…..draw towards, backing up, sidepass, weave, fig 8’s and over poles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella didn’t bat an eyelid at my ‘unicorn’ hat πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm looks HUGE in this pic, his head went up when he noticed a LandRover on the track above their field…I didn’t even hear it but the horses notice EVERYTHING πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Lovely to plod around again πŸ˜‰ Enjoying some bareback work too…once we start working for fitness I’ll have the saddle back on πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 15th

Today and the last couple of days have been slightly less cold than last week BUT we’ve had weather warnings for high winds, snow, ice and really low temperatures (-10* +) and the track back to home from the big field is already a bit icy.
We decide it’s better to move S&B to the home paddocks this morning where we can get to them a bit easier and they don’ t have to walk a worsening icy track. Thankfully all the horse agility we’ve been doing really helped as they had ‘slippery footing, boulders to get around, over logs, under branches and along a gap with the deer fencing’ πŸ˜‰ phew

 

 

 

Home at last, a couple of slips of back legs (horses not us) but safe now and waiting patiently for their dinner.
They don’t have a shelter apart from natural tree shelter but they do have a wonderful stream so we don’t have to provide water here which we were doing in the big field as the trough is frozen up and the shelter only has rain water (no rain for ages….all probably going to change in a weeks time though) πŸ˜‰
Wed 17th
Mark putting Bella’s neck piece on, it attaches to the main rug at the withers and we put them on overnight (needed a lot at the moment) as it was way below zero last night. Bella was worried by the noise of the velcro which is how it’s attached, when we first got her 4 1/2 yrs ago, but consistent, calm familiarisation has worked well and she now tolerates it well. We can do this process with her at liberty too now πŸ˜‰
This morning it was -10*….brugghh. We’ve left rugs and neck pieces on for now until the sun decides to show it’s face later on. The rugs are warm but they’re also a bit stiff where they have laid down to sleep so we might take them off and put their other medium weight rugs on (blue) so we can thaw out the red ones for another day πŸ˜‰ Luckily the neck pieces attach to both sets of rugs πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Thurs 18th

Not a lot going on with S&B at the moment but we did manage to get their rugs off today and give them a really thorough groom. They loved it and they have spent the day ‘naked’ with rugs going back on tonight πŸ˜‰

 

Wed 24th
Well S&B have been up in the house paddocks for 10 days now. Rugs regularly on then off then on again through 2 storms of high winds and rain and sleet. Today the sun is shining and the temperature is mild SO…..walked them back to their big field. Tomorrow is going to have more rain but less wind and they were SO happy to be back in the big field…able to stretch their legs, kick up their heels and have a good roll out of their rugs πŸ˜‰
Really lovely to see them stretching their legs, look at how floaty Bella is trotting πŸ˜‰
Thurs 25th
Walking the dog down the track today I noticed more the horse tracks from when we walked them home to their big field.
I love looking at them (mud or snow is good) as they tell so much about their hooves. THey show a lovely big frog (triangular bit in the middle) which is deep and strong, it helps the blood pump back up the legs when it makes contact with the ground.
It also shows the lovely concavity (shows as convex in prints) which shows the hooves are working well and everything inside (bones etc) is in it’s right place and not flattening out and splaying the hoof πŸ˜‰

 

The prints also showed both S&B were ‘tracking up’. This is when the hind hoof goes into, or near, the print from the front foot and shows they’re moving well and using their backs to move.
A horse’s hooves, in walk, move like this: back left, front left, back right, front right…always working from their hind legs first so tracking up tells me their backs and withers are raised so that their back legs can stretch up to the front hoof prints πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚
Fri 26th

Managed to get out today and set up 2 agility courses. One, where I placed it before xmas, and one in a round pen for some liberty play.

 

But as it’s been a while since any play and S&B both wanted to play at liberty with the main obstacles so I obliged πŸ˜‰ Mostly with Bella but then Stormy figured it’s where the treats were being given out. lol

Bella did some liberty weave, front feet in hulahoop, on/off tarp, in and back up through narrow gap and the jump.

 

 

I then did a quick walk ride with Stormy around the round pens. There was no real ‘goal’ as such, just me getting into sync with his footfalls and rhythm. It’s the best way to get rid of any sacral illiac stiffness in me and brings back my smile in a second πŸ˜‰ Great wee play/ride and stopped me getting a bit stir crazy being inside so much πŸ˜‰

Sat 27th
Calm weather today, not sunny but good for a bit of a play session with S&B and Mark πŸ˜‰
First I went with Bella online over, through and between the wee agility course I reset up yesterday.

 

 

 

She did very well but had to have a yeehaa to blow off some winter steam in the middle (see above pic of her jumping the invisible jump). This is the reason I play with horses before I even think about riding them….I need to see, feel and believe they are connected to me, willing and able to be calm and listen to directions from subtle cues. If she needs to blow off steam then I she can and I will re-assess how we’re connecting. Today I decided not to ride her, she needed to just play and be a horsey and that’s not a problem πŸ˜‰
Meanwhile Mark had a liberty play with Stormy. Their first session this year. They went slowly and methodically and Stormy seemed to really enjoy regaining his connection with Mark and the obstacles and did some lovely work πŸ˜‰

 

I then took Bella into one of the round pens where I’ve set up some different obstacles and I keep them in here at the moment so that they don’t tread on them, break them and so that I can take things down so the wind doesn’t break them.
I realised last year that Bella has always had the halter off and it’s freedom time (in her previous homes) so doing Liberty play with her halter on gives me the advantage of her being at liberty but her thinking she’s still online πŸ˜‰ She did amazingly well and even did fig 8’sΒ  going under the curtain and onto theΒ  archway πŸ˜‰

 

 

And then Mark and Stormy had a liberty session in the round pen too πŸ˜‰

 

 

We all had fun today, tired now though as been a while playing with S&B but hopefully if next few days are calm, dry and mild then I’ll do some more and hopefully get a ride in too πŸ˜‰
Mon 29th

Grooming brushes at the ready…..Storm loves to get muddy so it’s more for him but a good routine of brushing is essential to keep a horses hair and skin in good order. I don’t like to ‘wash’ horses much as ours are outside 24/7 so need their natural oils to be waterproof but brushing keeps the dust and debris from their skin and makes sure nothing rubs underneath the bridle or saddle when working πŸ˜‰

 

Stormy was up first. We worked with a nice purpose in walk with a bit of trot in my ‘arena. I placed tyres near the corners and one in the middle so we could practise some nice straight lines and also some nice turns, curves and later on hopefully circles πŸ˜‰
Stormy did very well and enjoyed trotting to the centre of the arena once he realised this is the sweet spot to stop at πŸ˜‰

Bella was next and we worked first one-handed in the ‘agility’ area where I’ve placed a 4 post ‘box’ in the centre and posts near each corner. Again this will help to do straight lines and curves, circles but it also improves picking up feet with the poles.
Bella was very good and it was a nice bit of fun getting into some ‘work’ πŸ˜‰
* Shelley – HorseSavvy

Bella & Stormy – December 2023

Sat 2nd

 

Very VERY cold today, think it was well below -10* last night and it was -3* when I went out to see S&B. Too cold to do much and the ground is very hard so don’t want to do too much anyway. But it’s really lovely to have my calm Bella today, she was uber relaxed and attentive to what I asked. Just walk all the way but some lovely leg yields, hq yields, good circles and weave πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely lateral flexion to the right and then left too πŸ˜‰ shows willingness, flexibility and relaxation πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

AND…our one handed weave showing that the cue connection is getting so subtle now…hopefully aiming to do a ‘no handed’ weave before too long. Last bit from the purple obstacle I asked her to leg yield through the weave and although she stopped for a second she got it and did some nice leg yielding πŸ˜‰

 

 

Wed 6th

We’ve had icy weather for a few days, the track to the horses is slowly getting more iced over SO today we decided to bring them home in case it gets worse and we can’t walk them home!!

 

 

Slowly walk them up the big field hill…both S&B were kind to me and stayed nicely slow and steady so I didn’t get puffed out…it’s a steep hill!

The track was icy still so it’s great they’ve learned to walk in ‘tandem’ for me…Stormy lead first

 

 

 

Had a nice bit side by side πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Stormy looks ENORMOUS when his head went up looking at the highland cows in this field

 

Mark gritted the iced water across the gateway here….they slowly went over it…no slipping πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Mark took over some of the walking, allowing them to graze the last of the heather and long soft rushes they love.

 

 

 

 

 

I did the last bit again, here Bella took over the tandem lead…she’s a clever girl.

Then Stormy took over the last big of tandem walking πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Safely in the ‘home paddocks’ at last.

 

 

 

 

Thu/Fri 6-7th

Rain, Rain, Rain at the moment.

S&B were rugged on Thurs (pic below) as it was quite cold but Fri saw mostly drizzle with dry spells and they were naked and seem fine πŸ˜‰ The roads and fields are a bit flooded at the moment but they may get back to the big field before xmas and then back up to the house at xmas to give us a rest from going down the road to see them πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 13th

The weather is milder now after their week at the house so it’s time for S&B to return to their big field for a while. Great excuse for a wee ride which is always a bonus πŸ˜‰

 

 

Mark with S&B and then me with S&B

All tacked up and ready to ride πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Not bad weather at all, looks grey but it was mild and calm

 

S&B really enjoyed the ride back, just a bit fresh but happy to be going back. I didn’t have our normal tack so Bella was in Storm’s old Transcend bitless bridle and Storm was wearing the big red halter that I adapted with ‘D’ rings for reins from the ones I use for work πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Just above their big field and then tack free running down the big hill in their field, happy to be home πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 16th

Nice short ride on Bella today…I decided to try out an ‘XMAS TREE’ pattern for fun and as my Equilab App (which monitors my rides) has a fab mapping facility I thought it would be fun to see how accurate we could be. I’d been mapping it in my head for 24hrs and today we just did it…….

 

….SO amazed that we pulled it off. Mostly walk with some trot and a lot of turning her hindquarters to create the pointy bits πŸ™‚ <3 What fun that was πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

BellaΒ  and Stormy with me <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 17th

 

Decided to ride Stormy first today but as I set off Bella wouldn’t move from the spot behind the shelter and Stormy likes to see her when we ride around SO I thought maybe we’d just gently move her around a bit by putting some energy behind her. This worked okay but she did circle around the shelter a few times to get back to the same spot SO….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…..got off Stormy, put Bella’s halter on and did some nice ride/lead practise instead.
I’m glad this happened as it was a really nice training session. We did fig 8’s so that Bella was on the outside and inside of circles, she was FABULOUS with me turning Stormy’s fh into her so she turned her fh away, without her squishing forward or back πŸ™‚ AND we did it all on the left and right.

I love that we took the opportunity to have this practise session, it was a lot of fun….you don’t always get what you want but you ALWAYS get what you NEED ❀ Thank you S&BΒ 

 

 

After that lovely ride with S&B together I had a nice short ride on Bella. She was a little fresh but we had a nice ride around the big field ending on a nice calm note πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 19th

Was going to ride today but it’s on/off drizzle and looks like some ‘shooting’ going to happen across the glen so decided to miss today and maybe try again tomorrow. Here’s some nice pics of S&B from today, heads up as shepherd doing some sheep moving and then gamekeeper across the glen. S&B are very aware of everything that goes on around them πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stormy knows how to get my attention…..’you put your right hoof on, you take your right hoof off, you do the hokey-kokey and you turn around…..’ LOL

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 23rd

Well we’ve had wind, drizzle and today a ton of rain ;( Not very good weather for anything horsey unfortunately but did spend some ‘undemanding time’ with S&B this morning as I really needed some pony time and it’s always lovely just hanging out and listening to the slow munching of hay πŸ˜‰

 

 

Sun 24th

 

Well…after some rain showers I got myself out for a wee 20 min ride on Bella today πŸ˜‰

Nice bits of flexibility around the round pens doing some leg yields

Then working around circular cone/tyres with some really nice weaving πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Love a big horse shadow πŸ˜‰

Stormy being his usual cheeky self….knocking over and moving the cones πŸ˜‰ He loves to participate and hates being left out, he has a very sharp brain and loves using it πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

After my ride S&B cantered behind the quad bike, kicking up their heels in joy and having fun

 

Love it when they do this, they’ve both had some exercise now then πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Riding into the rainbow πŸ˜‰

And then as soon as it started they both stopped, rested and watched as I headed back home

 

 

 

 

Bella and Stormy wish you all a wonderful
Happy Xmas
hope you all have a good day tomorrow πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 25th – Xmas Day

Well we’ve had weather warnings of rain/snow and ice SO a good day to bring S&B hoe again so we can miss walking them back on slippery ground….also it should be peaceful on the estate today!!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All started well, walked them up the field hill and mounted off the track gate πŸ˜‰

 

BUT…..the gamekeeper was in the next field, S&B saw the 4×4 before we did and Stormy had quite a strong reaction to it….he spun and wanted to go back to the safety of his field!!!

This is something I didn’t expect….a ‘Negative Association Reaction’. He, and Bella, know the gamekeeper shoot and kill deer etc and they always use this 4×4 so they now think that every time they see it there is going to be shooting etc! πŸ™

 

 

 

Wasn’t quite expecting to see the gamekeeper on Xmas day BUT think he drew the estate short straw to check the sheep and cattle on the farm so he wasn’t actually out shooting (S&B didn’t know that).

Mark and I both got off our horses and walked them along the track, allowing them to see the gamekeeper leaving the field they had to walk through and thereby allowing them to realise they could calm down πŸ˜‰

 

I got back on Bella and rode to home, Mark decided to walk Stormy home (we need to make some safe big mounting blocks so we can get on easier along the track!)

We got home safe and sound with calm, listening horses πŸ˜‰

 

 

At home I took the opportunity to help Bella walk the ‘newish’ bridge again. Making sure it wasn’t slippery for her first πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 26th – Boxing Day

 

Boxing day, for me, has been

traditionally a day to have a nice walk out. SO, today Mark and I took Storm and Bella for a walk up the hill behind our house and back πŸ˜‰ nice to stretch their legs (and mine…Mark rode πŸ˜‰ )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella looking at the scenery πŸ˜‰

Love walking her out and about, really lovely way to bond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella had some of her favourite heather while up the top of the hill…it was rather windy up there so we didn’t stay too long πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking down, as normal, was quicker then going up! lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managed to jump on Bella’s back when back in the field…..always a pleasure to be in the position to sit on Bella <3 Love her to bits <3

I often sit and think about when I was a kid, wanting so much to have a pony of my own.
To be able to love it, groom it, have fun riding it and sitting talking to it while it munched on hay.
I try never to forget those feelings and how privileged to actually have my own ‘pony’ now ❀ I am the luckiest girl in the world ❀

 

 

 

Sun 31st

Just wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hoping you all have enormous fun with your horses throughout the year πŸ™‚Β 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy