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Bella – November 2021

Tues 2nd

 

Love it…Bella ‘parked’.
She does ‘ground tying’ so well now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

I’d just put up the agility in a new area, where I can shut off gateways and keep it up without the horses moving or breaking bits SO…today was a good day to test our first Autumnal course πŸ˜‰

 

 

Stormy did all the tasks very well, sometimes not according to plan BUT definitely according to his plan and that’s okay.

 

 

 

Okay jump for him, and great under the archway

 

 

 

 

Didn’t bother much with the flapping flags and did the first part of the labyrinth well…he just sidepassed off the 2nd half….his party piece πŸ˜‰ lol

 

 

 

Hulahoops….not bad, could do better πŸ˜‰ LOL and excellet with the flag

 

 

 

 

Next it was Bella’s turn. We did it online this time, probably again next time too BUT will be trying this more and more at liberty as we go into Autumn.

 

Fig 8’s fab and we did the best weave in trot so far, calm, connected and shoulder to shoulder the whole way…I really focused on visualising us together.

 

 

 

Sidepass over the drainpipe both ways which was great.

 

 

 

 

Nice jump and straight to trotting under the arch.

 

 

 

 

Trusting me and following through very close flags was great and bending through the labyrinth.

 

 

 

Almost managed to get all her feet into the two hulahoops, she really tried hard πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

AND she did exceptionally well with the flapping noisy flag…I gave her treats for relaxing when it was noisy behind her hip area, this is where she worried before.

 

 

Weds 3rd

 

The horses today are allowed intotheir big Winter paddock, they will graze here until the weather changes and they come to the house for the snowy weather πŸ˜‰

 

 

Thurs 4th

After doing a great job of online agility on Tues, today we decided to ride it. Bella was fab first time so didn’t repeat it πŸ˜‰

 

  1. trot over tarp
  2. trot fig 8’s

 

 

 

3. trot weave

4. sidepass over pipe L&R

 

 

 

5. jump

6. under arch

 

 

 

7. trot to flag square and halt

8. labyrinth

 

 

 

9. feet in 2 hulahoops

 

 

 

 

10. noisy flag flapping πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

After the agility we went around the round pens with one task….to try to ride them in walk with my hand position as if holding reins but trying not to touch the reins πŸ˜‰

 

Bella was pretty good and to end we had a lovely big trot πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Fri 5th

Today’s challenge…..to try the agility at Liberty with Bella! πŸ™‚ got some of the bits done, in the order she wanted to do them but saw that at a distance our connection isn’t as good as I’d like it BUT it does give us a fun thing to work towards. As with our Summer Liberty attempt in the round pen I will go back to doing the course online a couple of times and then work on doing it with just a neck rope so that it’s ‘almost’ Liberty πŸ˜‰

For today I just took everything she offered πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we had a wee ride in the big field πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 7th

 

Just a little catch up and connect with the big two today….lovely that they followed me to where we could groom out of the wind

 

and then we had a small play session with the pedestal…4 feet on the ped, 3 of Bella’s, 1 of Storm’s πŸ™‚ lol

 

 

 

Then Bella put all 4 feet on it and afterwards Stormy showed off doing the same too πŸ™‚

 

 

Love these two to bits <3

 

Ended with Stormy’s front feet on the ped and I go under his tummy then under Bella’s tummy too πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 9th

 

Been a while and I got cramp in my thighs getting on Bella…ouch! lol

 

I didn’t do too much today, really wanted just to get our riding connection together for a bit.

 

Mark came along riding Stormy so we did a bit of ‘follow the leader’ and ‘leap frog’ which went okay but needs more work again as it’s been a while.

 

I went around the round pens in walk and then slow trot looking for relaxation which we eventually got a bit of.

 

 

 

Was just really lovely being with the horses and Mark in the big field for a while πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Thurs 11th

Today I put into plan some more consistency with Bella’s riding SO rode her early in the morning. We did some very nice RtR in walk and trot, getting some nice slow and medium walk and trot now and often loose rein P2P’s to the corner cones πŸ˜‰

We finished by going down the small hillock and was intending to just walk back up the other side but Bella had a bit of a yeehaa and cantered fast to the waiting P2P cone where she stopped nicely. It was a bit of a big yeehaa and we lost our connection for a few seconds but it was nice to feel it return quite quickly πŸ˜‰

 

Sat 13th

I managed to get a really nice P2P ride on Bella again early this morning.Β Then in the afternoon we go out for a short-ish hack with Mark and Stormy πŸ™‚ We didn’t go too far, to the little wooden bridge along the track but we turned for home as soon as they started feeling a bit sweaty. The sweat came from (1) thick wintery coats making them hot up quickly (2) a bit of emotion as not been out this way for quite a while and (3) being slightly unfit as not ridden out for a while also can make them sweat a bit. Not too bad when we get home and we put 100g rugs on them to help wick away the sweat and keep them from getting chilled before the evening comes πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 15th

Get out for a wee ‘collection’ ride on Bella this afternoon. Practise what we tried last week which is sidepass, bullseye to leg yields on a circle, partial dhq’s and leg yields in a straight line. I did it all in-hand on the ground first. All went well and she is starting to move more in the leg yields, it takes time to build it up to where it’s smoother. We are starting to get more ‘collection’ through her body and it will be a slow process to help her get that balance between lightness and engagement nicely. I’ll continue doing bits of this before Winter sets in and then pick it up again next Spring when we’ve all had a nice break πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a few short video’s of our session today >>>>

Online sidepass

and taking that to Ridden sidepass:

Online leg yields:

to Ridden bullseye into leg yields:

Online partial dhq:

to Ridden partial dhq:

 

 

Weds 17th

 

Love that they both ground tie so well πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Storm trot poles

Through then back under arch

 

 

 

Sweet big boy

Draw under arch πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Good jump today

Sidepass distanced

 

 

Trot weave

Through then back, gap

 

 

 

Then Bella’s turn…

Trot thru gap

Trot poles

 

 

 

Arch backup

Arch forward trot

 

 

Jump

Sidepass with distance

 

 

 

Fabulous trot weave

 

 

 

 

Backup thru gap close to

 

Backup thru gap distance

 

 

Thu 18th

 

Lovely ride on Bella today, nice and easy, rhythmic trot and relaxation πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Fri 19th

 

Another lovely ride today

Walk and trot around RtR using a large fig 8 pattern around field and between roundpens.

 

 

Lovely light and not too cold

 

 

 

Lovely big striding trot today and a wee bit of canter πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sun 21stΒ 

Just a quick play at dinner time today πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tue 23rd

Had a lovely short ride on Bella today. Still doing the RtR Fig 8’s which really consists of two large squares SO I moved on from just doing one lap walk, one lap trot to where we’re doing one side of a square in walk, the next in trot, next in walk etc SO it breaks it up more, stops her sweating and is a lot of fun to do πŸ˜‰

 

Lovely and calm, rhythmic trot that I could sit to…I breathed out a lot and asked her to slow which worked well.

 

 

Each trot section was just the width of the field so enough time to enjoy it but not enough time to get faster πŸ˜‰

 

 

Love this big girlie.

At dinner time they BOTH wanted to stand on the pedestal….we need a 2nd pedestal πŸ™‚ <3 xx

 

 

Wed 25th

Another FABuLOUS ride on Bella today. Same fig 8 pattern in walk and trot with breathing up/down transitions and even some minute adjustments for more finesse in our transitions. Really enjoyable, calm and fun ride πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely day today πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

Bella – October 2021

Fri 1st

 

Well the start of October is a wet, wet, wet one. Both horses keeping dry in their shelter and today probably a no-go for play/riding but that’s okay. Connecting when feeding and fussing is a good session as far as I’m concerned πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

Sun 3rd

 

It’s been raining for a few days here so it was lovely to get out with Bella today. I decided to just groom and connect through ground play and not ride, the ground is still a bit wet and squishy SO…started off with some backing and sidepassing over a pole.

 

Lovely head down with some kisses and then went into some sidepass into a hq move.

 

 

 

And we did this on both sides πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

After some treats, hugs and kisses we did some lovely calm walk circles with a calm, smooth COD between left and right circles.

 

 

 

Then we did some trot circles, she had a bit of energy so just let her blow that off which she did really quickly which was lovely. She’s finding relaxation more and more now.

 

 

πŸ™‚

 

 

 

A break, some treats and kisses again then onto some rope around spins. She was so calm with the familiarisation toss of the rope over her head, the best she’s ever done it and she remembered exactly how to turn her hq’s towards with the rope pressure lightly on her quarters πŸ™‚

 

 

Did this on both sides and she was fab on both sides πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Then we did some really lovely ‘stand still’ where I went under her belly

And to finish off we did some S2M teaching her our new thing of ‘backups straight into trot’ which she did brilliantly…will see how this goes with riding soon πŸ˜‰

 

Sun 10th

At last….a nice day to be out and about with the horses. We’ve had a LOT of rain recently but today has an Autumnal crispness to it and nice ‘riding’ weather.

 

We had lovely sitting trot which says she’s able to relax and go slower in her trot, hold her frame and same for me too.

 

 

 

I set her up and then get out of her way so that she can trot the cloverleaf pattern.

My elbow to ‘mouth’ line and also seat to ear lines are much better today.

 

 

Even when I ask for a bit more energy in the trot we can still do sitting trot to it πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Mark and Stormy having fun together, think the horses have missed us.

 

 

 

 

Big hugs for a big hearted horse πŸ˜‰

 

Lovey soft, light end to our fun riding πŸ˜‰

 

 

Mon 11th

 

A nice crisp Autumnal day today and having put up a small agility course this morning we decided to try it out…first of all online πŸ˜‰

 

Did really well with the water tray and the pole labyrinth and a great trot under the archway and some controlled trotting weave too.

 

 

Then onto some fig 8’s which went very well

 

 

 

 

Then onto sidepass over a pole with a sidepass towards afterwards πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Onto some flag familiarisation, with some good flag sounds due to the wind blowing and then 4 feet onto the pedestal. Bella was light, calm and fun.

 

Bella and I take a rest and watch Mark and Stormy do the course at liberty. Bella watches and hopefully this helps cement how liberty work works πŸ˜‰

Stormy did fab with the water tray and managed a wee jump too.

 

He did the labyrinth his own way which included some really nice sidepassing over some poles and then a fab trot through the arch way.

 

 

Putting feet into/onto hulahoops wasn’t bad and trotting the weave was great.

 

 

 

Connecting with Mark with the weave. Continuing with fig 8’s went very well, not the easiest for him but his draw and drive are great.

 

 

 

His favourite, ‘sidepass’, over the big log.

 

 

 

and no problems at all with the flapping flag…..popping up on the pedestal with all 4 feet easily for a reward treat πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Finally Bella and I tried some liberty too. She follows quite well if I walk backwards, here with the water tray and from the hulahoops to the arch πŸ˜‰

 

When we go from drawing to connecting side-to-side then her energy goes up and she often wants to move faster than me and play.

 

 

So I just wait, still connected to her, until she comes back to me πŸ˜‰

When she settles back to our close connection I sort of follow her for a bit with some S2M w/t around tyres

 

And then onto the pedestal with the flag.

 

She wants to have a bit of a yeehaa so off she goes kicking up her heels

 

and enjoying herself.

 

 

 

 

Lovely that she comes back to me and because I want to end on a note where we have a closer connection I put her back online for the last bit today πŸ˜‰

 

And we end on some nice sidepassing over the drainage pipe….some draw/drive with fig 8’s…

 

 

 

She has a bit of a jump over a tyre but settles into the fig 8’s quickly and a nice note to end the session on.

 

 

Nice hug session to end on and then both Storm and Bella hand out with me a bit while I tidy up from the session πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Fri 15th

Today we just did a bit of arena training.

 

 

 

A few RtR in walk then trot and then onto some circles and fig 8’s in trot.

Always looking for relaxation and a nice curve in the body which went pretty well today.

 

Ended with some lovely agility tasks, sidepass over things, weave, leg yields,Β  onto pedestal and most importantly to take me back to the mounting block to dismount πŸ˜‰

 

 

Sat 16th

 

A chilly start to the day but some sunshine and blue skies SO …… short hack out with Bella, Mark & Stormy πŸ˜‰

And we’re off….

 

 

Along the track first with Stormy leading then Bella leading πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Nice to be able to ride side-by-side with Mark and Stormy on parts of the track.

 

 

 

Allowing Stormy to get ahead gave us the chance to catch up with some trot.

Lovely views for us to enjoy πŸ˜‰

 

 

Mark & Stormy.

Near the middle of the hack…

 

 

 

 

Bella doing really well, this is the big hill behind our house and she did a lovely big trot up the last half of it.

 

 

 

Loving this wee hack, it’s a lovely track and the weather stayed with us all the way.

 

 

 

 

Mark & Stormy with Bella and me taking a rest and the turning point for home on the hack.

 

 

 

Bella was a very cheeky girlie…she saw Mark giving Stormy a treat so she shuffled up next to him and almost put her nose into his pocket to get one too!! LOL

We then got off and walked

them in-hand for a bit to give them a bit of a rest from being ridden.

Always lovely to find a big stone to remount from πŸ™‚

And then we were back to their field πŸ˜‰

 

 

Thurs 21st

Well I’ve been busy out and about teaching Natural Horsemanship, Agility and Bitless riding but it was just lovely to be back home with Bella today. I think she has missed me as much as I missed her and today was super light, soft and connected to me, connected to each other πŸ˜‰

Easy feet into hulahoop

Nice long walk stride

 

 

 

Over pole and then nice soft DHQ

 

 

 

Sidepass to the left easy and soft

Leg yields through weave pattern light

 

 

One handed weave was really nice…listening to my seat weight and neck rein

Sidepass to the right wonderful

 

 

Tried sidepass over a pole long ways for the first time, this will later become a sidle over log πŸ˜‰

One rein weave

 

One foot on small ped and then 4 feet on big ped πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 23rd

 

Just a nice day to have a bit of a play with Bella today.

Nice leading game to start with, she is willing and happy to play πŸ˜‰

 

Nice circles with a couple of jumps. She is much calmer and attentive today, she is growing in confidence with her training now.

 

 

Lovely sidepass over a low jump, this is a FIRST for her and she’s more confident with bigger things under her.

 

 

We then went on to walk and TROT calmly through a

narrow gateway…very nice to see her so calm. Then backup through gateway, another FIRST for us πŸ˜‰

 

Continued to half circle by fence into sidepass along the fence….super flexible, soft and calm.

 

 

.

Fig 8’s around tyres in walk and trot went well and then she wanted to have a bit of a canter yeehaa which I just watched her do calmly πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

She had her canter then came back to me and relaxed really nicely πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Then we just hung out together, she had a bit of grazing too

 

 

 

 

Love this big girlie so much, she is a fab lady <3

 

 

 

Thurs 28th

I trimmed Bella’s front feet and just had a quick impromptu bareback ride, she was super soft, light and flexible today πŸ˜‰ lovely πŸ˜‰

 

Sat 30th

 

Trimmed Bella’s hooves today so all good foot wise πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Then I had an short bareback ride on Bella. Lovely to be bareback again for a bit, really feel her back moving nicely.

 

 

 

We worked a bit on asking for more engagement with her hq’s, asking for some partial disengagement to get her back inside leg working hard and under her πŸ˜‰

 

She did really well with this and we went and played with the pedestals which is one of her favourite things.

 

 

 

She is so clever, balancing herself on the big pedestal with 4 feet and then I asked her to put one front foot over a big log, the start of sidling a log πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

Been an on/off month really, lots of rainy weather but some realy nice riding πŸ˜‰

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

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˜‰
Weds 29th
Really nice to get out today, quite chilly but sunny. I started by grooming both of them and then riding Stormy first.
Just a wee plod about the grassy area with a few nice treats and some snatches of long grass as a reward.
He is such a good boy and super at going to the mounting block to help me mount AND dismount.
Then I tack Bella up and go out onto the long grass with her.
We work on RtR in walk both ways with a loose rein first, she does very well and needs very few reminders to stay on the track SO I up the game and try loose rein in trot RtR.
Well I was very pleased with how it went, again just a few reminders but otherwise she went brilliantly AND in a nice calm trot that I sat to πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
Thurs 30th
Today has been a very grey and rainy one so there was no horse play today BUT when I feed them, morning and/or evening, I try to do something with them to keep the connection going. Today we did some of this….
* Shelley – HorseSavvy