Blog

Bella – April 2021

Thurs 1st April

Well today turned out to be a really beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine that had some heat behind it πŸ˜‰

Out today to trim Bella’s hooves which weren’t too bad but needed backing up and a mustang roll put back on them and then I groomed (a lot of Springtime moulting going on) and rode both horses πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ A very good day πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 2nd April

A nice cool day today which is perfect for riding. Mark rides Stormy and the last 3 days of me practising Relaxation, Willingness, Impulsion and Flexibility with B&S paid off too. Stormy had some oomph and showed off his canter, Bella had lovely calmness and showed me her slow trot which I could actually sit to πŸ™‚ fab.

 

Bella sidles to mounting block either side with relaxation.

Following Stormy is fun

 

 

Side-by-side work in walk with some trot is working out well.

Stormy trots/canters up the hills and Bella stays with me in walk πŸ˜‰

 

 

Bella all 4 feet on pedestal….she really had to think but did it well.

A cue for dismounting πŸ˜‰ LOL

 

 

 

 

Sat 3rd April

Managed a lovely training session with Bella today. We did walk and trot RtR with a lovely loose rein and a fab canter at the end. Love it when all the preparation and training starts to really pay off πŸ˜‰

 

Connection

Lovely jump with canter between while we warm up

 

 

Canter and jump

 

 

 

 

Lovely loose rein walk around round pens and then onto RtR loose rein trotting πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Love this pic, she is so balanced, I sit back a bit as we were going slightly downhill and her trot is BIG πŸ™‚

 

 

Bringing some canter work into our sessions Will be working more with this w/relaxation.

Lovely sidepass over the log…

 

…and end of session connection still there πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Sun 4th April

Well we’ve had weather warnings of high winds from the N-NW and SNOW so best option is to bring the horses home as more sheltered here from North wind and we can rug them quickly later on. Best of all is that we get to hack them home together. It was a lovely ride, loose rein, some trotting, past cattle (thankfully not close) and a wee canter up the first hill πŸ™‚

 

Stormy cantering up hill, we just moseyed up.

 

On the track to home

 

 

 

Horses seen the cattle but not a problem…Bella does keep an eye on them πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Last piece and nearly home

 

 

 

 

 

Home……all settled in and ready for the night ahead πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 5th April

Well…glad horses home BUT a complete non-event so far. Woke up to 1mm dusting of snow, no winds and sunshine/blue skies!! lol It was about -6 last night so glad horses had rugs on. Rugs off now and enjoying the grassy paddocks πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 7th April

We have on/off snow/sun so not able to do much but managed a very small bareback ride which was a lovely way of getting out of the house and connecting with my big girlie <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 9th April

Undemanding time with B&S today as the ‘hounds & guns’ out today on the estate. Nothing untoward went on and horses on their toes but not spooked or running around. Was really nice that they kept coming up to me for reassurance and a treat now and then for being such good horses πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All went quiet in the afternoon so we took them out for a mini-hack up the big hill behind our house and onto a the moor. We didn’t go out for long as it was very windy and freezing cold blowing up on the moor but managed to get a few snippets of video of it :

 

 

Sun 11th April

Mark trimmed Stormy’s feet today so I did a bit of filming for some more Mini Challenges with Bella πŸ˜‰

 

Mon 12th April

Lovely blue skies and sunshine after a -6 night and we go out for a nice wee hack again. Up the bill hill to the moor (didn’t go onto them today as some heather burning going on) but back down, along the track to the cattle and back then into the field opposite our house where they did small jump over the stream and some grazing with a nice trot and canter back to the house and field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 13th April

A nice day today (although -9 last night) so had some chill out time, grazing and some fun play for Bella with some natural obstacles.

 

Fig 8’s around stones

 

 

 

 

 

Sidle to stone then put a foot on small stone

 

 

 

Jump the stream and then go up a steep bank

 

 

 

Back down the steam bank and jump the stream at the bottom

 

 

 

Up and over a big stone then put a foot on a small stone

 

 

 

Through narrow gap of two trees…then turn and draw …..

and back up through the gap.

Sidle to gate on the right

 

 

 

 

then dhq to sidle to left

 

 

 

 

what a good girl πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Having a ‘moment’ together and then a big huggle πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 15th April

Great weather today so another fab hack out onto the moor with Bella, Storm and Mark πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 16th April

Managed a short bareback ride on Bella this afternoon πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 17th April

At last the weather has broken from being around -4 to -9 at night with high winds to mild so after 2 weeks at home they can go back to the big field and enjoy the space and bit of grazing coming in now πŸ˜‰ Always LOVE them being at the house as we can pop out to see them, jump on bareback, keep an eye on them and put rugs on when freezing BUT love the big field as it gives them more room to move and more opportunity to play, ride and train πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 18th April

Went down to see the horses in the afternoon and set up some new obstacle spaces as want to film Bella’s 12th lesson soon. I also put the Liberty Agility Roundpen set up back up to play with that again…so ready to play and ride when next I go down πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 21st April

Spent the afternoon filming some new Mini Challenges which was fun. Bella did so well and we ended up with the last one riding with a big flag πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ SO KOOL πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

<3 What a clever girlie <3

 

Thurs 22nd April

Spend time grooming Bella with Mark doing Stormy. It is quite hot today so no big play/ride but a nice wee bareback potter about πŸ˜‰

 

Started off some Cordeo riding, using the neck rope along with normal reins so she can learn signals by association.

 

 

Really nice start and some sidepassing too. Went onto riding in the field with reins looking for some flexibility.

 

 

Lovely afternoon ride and some really nice moments of connection πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Fri 23rd April

Very hot today so just did had some Liberty fun with Bella and then Mark rode Stormy about the field πŸ˜‰

 

Start off going around the course with headcollar on for confidence πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used ‘normal’ headcollars today as yesterday there was just too much static electricity between me and Bella and I ‘zapped’ her by mistake a few times.

 

 

 

I then quickly took her halter off and she was so good, confident, calm, playful and fun πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even liberty sidepass over the long pipe πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Confident under things so much more now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

What a clever girl πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 24th April

 

Did some more trot around the field getting more consistent with the gait and transitions πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 25th April

 

 

 

Nice P2P trot to start with, Bella is starting to lengthen her trot stride and really covering the ground now.

 

 

 

 

 

Also added a few strides of canter which went well

 

 

 

After a short break we did some bullseye – leg yielding pattern to help with her flexibility as she is still a bit ‘braced’ on her right side

 

 

 

Then another short break which is always good between difficult patterns

 

 

Really lovely flexibility through the trot weave today and finished on a wee jump

 

 

 

Weds 28th April

 

Quick play/ride with Bella in between studying my college course and rain. Lovely ride with Bella picking up our two newest habits…
1. Canter P2P’s
2. Jump with canter depart

She is getting the hang of this training malarky πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 29th April

Rainy on/off today, went down to play/ride with Mark but it started hailing then rain/drizzle SO took wee opportunity to do some ‘mirroring’ with Bella when there was a gap in the weather, connected nicely with her, then went home before we got drenched again πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Fri 30th April

Another day where I get out between studying and today’s wetness falling from the sky…today’s being HAIL!!! Another nice wee ride on Bella putting some time on canter P2Ps and the jump with a canter depart thereby putting canter into our routine more regularly now πŸ˜‰ Really nice BUT also had a lovely saunter ride with big Stormy too…always a pleasure riding him <3

 

Ready to rock’n’roll

 

 

 

A FAB way to end APRIL…onto MAY tomorrow….

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

 

HorseSavvy Criteria

SO…when working online, at liberty or riding any horse I use my HorseSavvy Criteria theory.
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1) First of all we have to have, find or re-find RELAXATION. With Bella this is a work in progress as we go up the gaits and this is because all horses are flight animals and getting faster, in nature for them, means they’re in danger SO getting a good, calm trot or canter is something we have to work on for them so that the gait becomes confident and we can see/feel that through the rhythm. If their gait is choppy and unrhythmic then they’re not relaxed.
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2) Next I look for CO-OPERATION This is not obedience but it’s more about the give/take of the connected partnership of willingness. That they are listening (so am I) and we can work out this dance we can have together.
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3) Thirdly I look for IMPULSION. This is not impulsiveness as again that wouldn’t have the rhythmic relaxation component to it BUT it’s the balance of go and whoa where both can be as light as a breath in or out or the lightest touch to the reins after the release of core energy. Impulsion shows through great balance and composed, regulated energy.
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4) Lastly there is the element of FLEXIBILITY which shows in our work through STRAIGHTNESS.
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I work on these Critera every time I work/play with the horses (mine or students ones) and not necessarily in that order but in the order the horse needs apart from RELAXATION which is first and foremost and what I start and end on at all times πŸ˜‰
* Shelley – HorseSavvy