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Bella – July 2021

Thurs 1st

 

Early afternoon Mark and I go down to the horses to shampoo their tails as Stormy’s was pretty yukki. Also did Bella’s mane and her undercarriage so all nice and clean now πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella’s new leather headcollar arrived and this afternoon I put D rings on the noseband to make her new bitless bridle. I ride Bella in her new headcollar bridle this afternoon before giving them their dinner πŸ˜‰

Headcollar looks good on Bella and Stormy πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New bridle fixed with it’s new D rings and ready to ride πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 2ndΒ 

Up early and give breakfast, poo pick track and then ride Stormy then Bella πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ Love having our morning rides, really working out well, the day is cooler and the horses fresher πŸ˜‰

 

Bella talking to the calves in the next field πŸ˜‰

First ride with Stormy today

He did very well, nice slow walk around, bit of trot and a long canter to end with πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Bella was happy to do a lot of trotting today, she chose the gait today like yesterday. Nice bit of walk but great trotting with very few stops at the cones today and a lovely long canter from the lower bit of hillock to a cone with a wee jump to finish on πŸ™‚

 

 

 

I LOVE that her mane is parting more down the centre now…to me that says her spine from ears to tail is becoming more flexible and she is more symmetrical πŸ˜‰

Ended with both horses having a bit of a graze on the pasture before going back on their track πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sat 3rd

Out quickly after breakfast today so nice and early again. Bella did 2 wonderful RtR’s again, one in each direction and included walk, a lot of trot and some great longer canters with also 3 jumps, down and up the dip/hill twice, a sidepass over a drainage tube and some really lovely small fig 8’s using very little rein πŸ˜‰ She is so much fitter now and doesn’t sweat, which helps in not attracting so many horse flies, and we managed to do it so much quicker today so had a nice bit of grazing after I dismounted before going back to Storm on the track πŸ˜‰

After 5pm it started to drizzle and it is now raining which is fab as it’s been SO HOT here. I know the horses will be loving the cooler temperatures. No pics though as just got on with the exercise today.

 

Tues 6th

 

Had rain last two days but today although the grass is wet the weather is pretty mild SO rode both Bella & Stormy this morning nice and early πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 7th

At last…a day that is cooler and with a slight breeze that meant Mark, I and the horses can get out for a happy hack down the track to the village πŸ˜‰ It was a really lovely hack out, the horses nibbling on herbage along the way (knapweed, cow parsley, ash tree leaves, raspberry leaves and much more)…another great bonus to bitless bridle riding πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hacked all the way into the village and back today…SO pleased with both horses, they did it so well, despite being plagued with horseflies! Really enjoyable hack out with the horses and Mark πŸ™‚

 

Fri 16th

It’s been so dripingly hot here at the moment and with plagues of horseflies (clegs) which are really nasty biters. Both Bella and I get bitten a lot so nothing has been going on with training at the moment, we just have to wait for cooler, breezy weather. BUT yesterday afternoon Bella’s new big horseΒ  Flyrug from Ruggles arrived and today she has her first day of calm without having to swish, bite and stamp to get the darned things off her. It’s also kept her cooler so hopefully she will be more rested and feeling more comfortable πŸ˜‰

 

Bella comfortable in new flyrug…..off to her ‘boudoir’ for her mornings rest after breakfast

 

 

 

 

Another really hot day so best to stay in the shelter, no flies were biting her so she’s much calmer. Dear Stormy and Bella slept for quite a while in the shelter together. They are out in the cool weather grazing all night so this is their sleep time πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Bella & Stormy….such beautiful horses, love them to bits πŸ˜‰

 

First day of ragworting today, not much around the track or hill sections. Will check out the main field tomorrow and then check each week until September. This one bag is so much less than when we first started ragworting 11yrs ago…we’ve managed to get on top of the huge amount that used to be in this field..our hard work is paying off πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sun 18thΒ 

Well we actually had a bit of cooler weather SO Bella and I had a wee play…think she enjoyed it as much as I did…yeehaa πŸ˜‰

 

Sidepass over drum then trot over it

 

 

 

 

Lovely connected trot weave

Very nice trot over the tarp….

 

 

 

….then a nice canter over tarp πŸ˜‰

 

Lovely connection today

 

 

2 feet on small pedestal…first time EVER a horse has even tried this πŸ™‚ She’s SO clever πŸ˜‰

4 feet on big ped from a distance

 

 

 

Trot through the narrow bunting lane twice then a lovely canter through it twice too πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

4 feet in water tray and then familiarisation of me going under her belly πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Jump…then….BIG JUMP πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

2 feet in hulahoop and then one foot on wooden block with me πŸ˜‰ She learns so quickly if I give the right cues and time to think πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Tues 20th

Too hot to do anything again but we went down and cleaned/refilled the water butts by the shelter and the trough on the track. I then put the old water into the water tray obstacle and we had a small impromptu play with S&B πŸ™‚

 

Bella with her flyrug on and only a neck rope, she just takes a drink to start with…..

 

 

 

 

….and then just walk on and gets all 4 feet cool in the water.

 

Stormy, at liberty, looks…..

 

 

 

…tests and then walks straight on too…must be lovely to have cool feet in such hot weather πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 22nd

It was lovely and cool this morning and I took the horses some nice herbage to munch on after their breakfast. Was thinking of having a wee ride on one or both of them after poo picking the track BUT they both went and laid down for a rest so decided I could not disturb them if they were tired…they’ve been up most nights moving about and grazing so resting in the morning is what they need….I will ride another day πŸ˜‰

 

Herbage laid out then in my basket ready to take to the horses

 

 

 

 

< Cleavers &Β Meadowsweet >

 

 

 

 

 

 

< Cow Parsley & Knapweed >

 

 

 

 

 

 

< Rosebay Willowherb

 

 

 

 

 

< Lovely to see them out on the track this morning.

Stormy enjoys his herbage >

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After breakfast the horses take a nap together

 

 

 

 

 

Then after a roll Bella decides to go back into the shelter, she prefers it there…where the flies can’t get to her πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 23rdΒ 

Well….today…we had a BREEZE and it was so much COOLER…..YEEHAAA, am hoping this lasts as it was so pleasant.

 

Lovely to see the horses moseying around the track rather than hiding from the sun in their shelter.

 

 

 

They were calm, happy to be out and after their dinner they followed me down to the ‘play area’ for some fun and treats πŸ˜‰

Just played about with a small tarp as it was so nice being with them and not being bitten by horseflies myself today πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 24th

So nice and COOL this morning when feeding the horses their breakfast. I poo picked the track and then took the opportunity to ride Ms Bella. It has been 17 days since last riding her but she didn’t put a foot wrong going around the long grass paddock. She did lovely transitions with walk, trot and canter, did a lovely large fig 8 in trot around the found pens and a calm, happy jump into canter to finish with πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a fabulous girl, she is my shining light, my heart and my soul. She makes me smile and brings huge amounts of joy into my life <3 <3 <3

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

Bella – June 2021

Tues 1st June

Very hot day today but we got a lovely breeze around 4pm so went out and did some ‘pole’ work with Bella before the horses dinner time.
I’ve placed the poles and use them as if they were a jump course. We can go over them in walk or trot or we can also circle around some, fig 8 around some or weave around them. Bella is very good with patterns, she loves knowing what’s coming and appreciates consistency. The poles can give her this but also it gives us the opportunity to delve into using variety and for her to trust in my focus to change direction or pattern and for her to follow,. This is hard for her but it’s a lesson we need to push into every now and then until variety is something she can happily work with.
Next time we work with the poles I willΒ  try just working one way first (ie. just to the left…left turns, circles etc) that will give her the consistency she likes with a bit the variety of moving to different poles. Once she has that down well we can then work to the right and once that is good, maybe another day, we’ll work on both together again πŸ˜‰
Thurs 3rd June
Very hot day again but it got cooler after 4pm so Mark and I took Bella and Stormy out for a short, fun hack out πŸ˜‰
Fri 4th June
Still very hot at the moment so not much going on…managed a nice grooming session and then a short bareback plod around with Bella.
Sun 6th June
Still very hot up here in Scotland so just a lovely groom, put some fly spray on and have a wee online then liberty play session πŸ˜‰
Distance play…2, then 4 feet on the pedestal.
Then at Liberty….one foot on the small pedestal.
A small yeehaa but draw back to me nicely…then 4 feet on the pedestal at liberty πŸ˜‰
S2M walk then trot and finished with a lovely big HUG πŸ™‚
Mon 7th June
A day of milder, cooler weather with a lovely breeze. Trimmed her front feet then had a short ride around the poles again. This time we just did either turns only one way between stopping for a treat at the cone, this way she had more understanding of what we were doing and it stopped her being confused. She did very well and between the pole turn/circles we had a lovely bright canter up the hillock and then finished with some really lovely small full turns, on a loose rein, to both left and right with me hardly touching the reins πŸ˜‰
Tues 8th June
SO today I trimmed Bella’s back feet and Mark did Stormy too so they’re all up to date with that now πŸ˜‰ I then had a short, sweet ride on Bella in the big field area. It was a lovely ride and we got quite harmonious on our turns and energy transitions and a fab way to the start of some time off for her as I’m off down South to visit my brother and family tomorrow πŸ˜‰
Sat 26th June
Back home a few days ago but this is my first day back in the saddle. We started off with a wee play then saddle up and mosey around the track with Mark and Stormy πŸ˜‰ Really lovely to be back with my big girl AND we use her headcollar which I have now fixed up with nice D rings to make it into a neat Bitless bridle πŸ˜‰
Feet on ped
online jumping
Pole fun….sidepass along it, sidepass/sidle over it…
Sidepass along it and then some nice energy over trot poles
Through/halt/backup through the narrow gap
Walk down a wee hill and then canter/trot back up the other side πŸ˜‰
Lovely energetic trot then work on one handed sidepassing along the pole
Big trot
4 feet on ped and nice transitions
Work on a wee jump and trot poles along the fenceline
She does a fab jump and lovely canter depart afterwards which was a fab way to end the session πŸ™‚
Headcollar made into Bitless Bridle with me sewing on some ‘D’ rings..much better and neater than using bit leathers πŸ˜‰
Lovely ride with the big girl and enjoyed having Mark and Stormy with us πŸ˜‰
Sun 27th June
Too hot to do ANYTHING with the neddies today SO exercised them to run up the field hill for their dinner πŸ˜‰
Mon 28th June
It’s been so hot during the day and not comfortable for Bella or me to ride out in SO today I went out early and got a ride in. There were a few horse flies around but we managed to do RtR, P2P’s, walk, trot, canter, fig 8’s, sidepass and a jump πŸ˜‰ Feels great to have ridden today, beaten the hot afternoon sun and the rest of the day to chill out πŸ˜‰
Tues 29th June

Another early morning ride with Bella and then she goes back to snoozing in the shelter with Stormy πŸ˜‰
* Shelley – HorseSavvy

Bella – May 2021

Tues 4th May

Very unpredictable weather we’re having at the moment. It’s been very windy, rainy and cold and the horses this morning were tired. Bella has a therapy session tomorrow so it felt great to bring them home as at home the weather is milder and there’s a bit more shelter from the incessant north wind.

 

 

Tired babies

Mark rides Storm, leads Bella home

 

 

 

So good together

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily the Highland cows were off the track when we passed by πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

and a nice trot/canter up the last hill home…all settled in to the home paddocks again πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Weds 5th May

I’m studying an online college ‘Equine Behavioural Science’ course at the moment, a month until final date and am writing my final paper…it’s brain fuzzing hard work and today I’d just had enough SO Mark grabbed me and the horses and we went for a fabulous ride out to get rid of the cobwebs and find the joy again πŸ™‚ IT WORKED so well, felt SO much better after the ride and I took the rest of the day off from studying. Also Bella had a therapy session…massage and body manipulation πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella’s fab therapy session. Asked Emily Cuthill out to see her, I felt she was more sensitive and maybe in discomfort when she was in ‘season’. She had sore area’s above her ‘tubes’ and kidneys…she’s had 5 foals….her right side stiffer than left side which I’ve been working on since getting her. She really loved the session showing signs by licking, chewing, dozing, pushing into the therapists hands and standing totally still without being held. She had some issues on her right kidney side but I could sense she was enjoying the relief of whatever was bothering her. She seems so much more relaxed now. Will give her a few days off and get therapist out again if/when we need her. Therapist, Emily, also recommended some Agnus Castus herbal supplement if her ‘seasons’ keep giving her discomfort πŸ˜‰

 

 

Thurs 5th May

Well who ordered snow this morning…..on/off sleet falling through day too so light weight rugs staying on for now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 7th May

 

Went for a nice walk today, no riding for a while after therapy so taking advantage of ok weather to be with Bella. She did some lovely up/downs into a grassed over wall/walkway…

 

 

Did some grooming with a grooming mit which got out some winter coat….

 

 

 

Did a fab jump over the buried stream and then she did a her first time into/out of the stream…

 

 

 

asked Stormy to do it a couple of times first, gave her the confidence to do it…

 

 

 

so proud of her for this, much easier to just jump it but we waited and she managed it with confidence πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Mon 10th May

At last the horses go back to the big field, the rain is still around but the temperature has gone up a lot and the N-NW winds have gone πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 13th May

Been quite rainy over the last few days so no play or riding but it was good to get them back to the big field and give them a few days off. The big part of the field has now been closed off and they are on the track system with middle bits on the hill (for now) as the grass is now growing.

Today was a nice day, slight breeze but sunny and warm at lunchtime SO Mark and I went out and had a bit of a mosey around the field with the dynamic duo πŸ™‚

 

A nice walk/trot around field with Stormy to start off some follow the leader and then some leap frog.

 

 

 

Had a couple of P2P canters and then did two really nice jumps…first one from trot…

 

 

 

 

…P2P to the distant cone, rest and reward and then did it the other way..much more energy πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

yeehaa..nice jump AND…

 

 

 

 

 

fab canter depart to another Β P2P obstacle πŸ˜‰Β 

 

 

 

 

 

Thu 13th May

Trimmed Bella’s hooves today then had a nice wee ride. Decided that we needed to go back to the basic’s and get lighter and more refined SO…lots of basic walk/trot/halt transitions whilst riding the rail first, then we did circling into fig 8’s testing our flexibility and the arc in our bodies. Enjoyable wee ride πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 15th May

Today Mark trimmed Stormy’s hooves and I finished off Bella’s (ergots etc) and then had another wee ride πŸ˜‰

 

At the moment she has a strange head behaviour….have had her checked out and given therapy but think it’s from me slowly taking away her treat rewards…she bends her head to the left and makes it hard to do right circles SO am trying some tactics to see if it IS the treats that is causing her to ‘ask’ for more while I try to reduce them…first way is to give less and reward with strokes and scratches. Today she did the left head tilt and was harder to ride than normal. Next time I’ll treat when she does what I ask every time again to see the difference in her left head tilt!!!
Today, albeit with strangeness, was okay though πŸ™‚

 

 

Sat 16th May

 

Another day of straightness work through flexibility.

 

 

 

 

Nice back elevation and stepping under, her trot is strong and confident.

 

 

 

Tried this weave at trot…..she did so well πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 19th May

 

We’ve had rain, rain and more rain for the last few days. Really annoying when I want to do some training or go for a hack BUT it gave me the opportunity to spend some undemanding time with them in the shelter whilst it pished down before their dinner time! LOL πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Was so worth the time to see this fabulous rainbow with them <3

 

 

 

 

Fri 21st May

 

Today I decided to test Bella’s ‘head tilt’ by using her normal headcollar for play AND riding.

Firstly I make sure she is flexible and there’s no stiffness on either side.

I also do some circling, trot poles and COD’s…all goes well πŸ˜‰

 

Riding in the headcollar is the same as her bitless bridle minus the browband AND because of how it’s made it goes nowhere near her eyes when I use one rein!

 

 

 

She rides really well in it and not one ‘head tilt’ πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 25th May

This was our 2nd trial of the ‘halter bridle’. No ‘head tilt’ today either so for now this bridle is working. I am going to check her other bridle again to see if it causes the head tilt again….thinking it could be a tight browband or that the bridle sides get too close to her eyes when I use the reins to turn SO checking with it again will let me know if it was the bridle or it was just a strange ‘moment’ in training. For now, today went well πŸ˜‰

 

Straight

Turning with more ‘body dynamics’

 

 

Nice and straight and a nice wee jump too πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Trot and canter ok

 

 

 

hi-energy buck…think she thought there was another jump there! LOL.

But another nice canter afterwards πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Weds 26th May

A nice break in the rain we’ve been having so out to ride first Stormy and then Bella πŸ˜‰

He was a good boy, some nice transitions and flexibility with a fun jump.

Bella in the meantime had been snoozing in the shelter but then noticed Storm was out without her so she did her BIG trot to catch him up at the far fence πŸ˜‰

 

I then rode Bella in the arena area, we tried out her bitless bridle again to see if there was any ‘head tilting’ going on again and yes, there was SO back to the headcollar next time.

It was lovely to plod about with them today before I gave them their dinner <3

 

 

 

Thurs 27th May

Another nice day so out with the horses and Mark for another plod about…getting us and them fit again before we go out for some hacking…if the weather stays nice that is πŸ˜‰

 

Headcollar working well still and she managed some nice big circles without too much trouble.

 

 

 

Stormy joined us and we played some ‘side by side’, follow-the-leader and leap frog.

We then went around some of the ‘track system’ taking in the lower hill.

 

And also taking in the big upper hill too πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 29th May

Lovely day again today (2nd in a row) so no hack out as too hot but nice to have a bit of training in the field with Bella πŸ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s definitely getting fitter and I’m slowly getting used to her BIG ENERGETIC trot πŸ˜‰

A short video with us putting a couple of things together that we’ve been working on…not slick yet but we find our focus as we go πŸ˜‰

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy