Wow, well we’re into the New Year. It’s bright but cold here and with it being dry it’s good to take the horses out for a walk on the grass opposite their field 😉
Sun 3rd Jan
Another lovely, albeit cold, day here. An opportunity to have a very wee ride/sit on Bella before the weather, and the tracks, become icy, as they do this time of year.
Weds 6th Jan
Today is ‘worming’ day. Throughout the year we do worm counts and only worm when necessary, then the worm counts say that there are worms or tapeworms present. At this time of year though we need to worm for encysted red worms, those that are hiding and small, that don’t get detected in worm counts SO, today is worming day…..
I give Bella a syringe or two of apple sauce before worming, then the wormer and then repeat some apple sauce.
I do exactly the same with Stormy, he LOVES his apple sauce syringes.
I am going to do the apple sauce syringes a couple of time during the year too so that they get the treat without any wormer so it’s not ‘about’ the worming 😉
Sun 10th Jan
The temperature has come up a bit (it was -10 two nights ago) and although the tracks are icy the main grassland across from our house is free from snow SO time to take horses out again for some much needed change of scenery and some grass munching time 😉
Lovely to see her grazing on our walkabouts now 😉
They enjoy the long grass.
Bella did a great job sidling up to anything I stood on, ready to mount if wanted 😉
Managed to find a big enough stone to actually mount her from. No riding, but just a mounting exercise. Nice to just walk about together in harmony.
First time tossing the rope over her head from her hip…and a lovely rope around spin too
Nice to be able to hang out at her hip without her turning to face me….relaxed undemanding time.
Through the narrow trees was good today…
she also backed up through them which is not easy feat 😉
Sidling up to anything I stand on was great, here I stood on a wall and she remembered to swing her hips over to me with a gentle tap of the rope on her off side 😉
Fab sidle to mount and so relaxed and still for me to mount for a couple of seconds then off again 😉
(I won’t ride unless with a hard hat)
She got up on the hill and was really calm going down it too…quite steep
She followed me around the paddock and over the stream too….I asked her to try a wider stretch and she managed a nice, controlled jump over it 😉
Mark and Stormy….great jumping over the stream in two different places today 😉
Mon 11th Jan
Mild-ish day today so out for a walk/graze/play session. No riding as the ground is hard and still a bit icy/slippery.
Bella and me and Stormy
Bella enjoyed munching on heather and the roots
Mark and Stormy enjoying time together
Bella also enjoyed some ‘soft rushes’, lovely to offer some different bits to graze on at this time of year
Looking at the beautiful scenery 🙂
Tue 12th Jan
Sunshine and blue skies today, albeit pretty darn cold still. What better way to spend a couple of hours than with your buddies out in some stunning scenery 😉
Lovely ride up the hill behind our house…bit windy up the top 😉
Cold but really enjoyable
Got off going downhill as didn’t want to Bella to slip on the track
Use a stone to remount Bella on lower ground and enjoyed a potter about the pasture
< Lovely to have the horses outside the door this morning 😉
Waiting for the farrier >
< Feet all trimmed up today. Farrier does a standard ‘pasture trim’ and we put a barefoot mustang roll on the next day or so, it saves our backs a bit with the general trimming.
Back in their field while we have our breakfast >
Later on we rode them back to the big field which was another lovely hack for us 😉
Nice to have some side-by-side riding 😉
What have they seen??? oh yes, it’s the cattle so we give them time to watch and assess them before going through the field. Again, I walk Bella 😉
Sidling up to the gate for me to get back on after the cattle field 🙂 Such a good girlie 😉
Mark and Stormy waiting for me to remount…then back to following for me and Bella
The last part of the ride…..I can see the field gate from here 😉
Dismounted ready to open the gate
Mark and Stormy ride through the gate
carefully…a bit muddy/slippery there
In the field, riding the track to the shelter
Stormy deciding that he needed to roll BIG TIME……going to be fun cleaning that tomorrow 😉 lol
Thurs 3rd Dec
WELL…OOPS…this is what we woke up to today…not much snow but with a forecast of more we decided to bring them home again
It’s a mile walk to the horses and I decided it was easier to get Mark there on the quad and he could ride/lead them home, which he did beautifully as always
Bella did keep looking back at me which was really sweet
It was a lovely ride back for Storm, Bella and Mark
< a Highland cow in the trees on the right here….they were fine with it and it moved away to be with it’s herd. It was nice to be able to open all the gates for them
Highland watching us pass by 😉
Last leg for home
Mark enjoying his ride back home 😉
And safely back home
and what they were looking for…breakfast and hay 😉
Nom, Nom, Nom 😉
Fri 4th Dec
Supposedly snow today although we actually only had rain and wind so rugs on last night (we had thunder/lightning here), rugs off for breakfast but an hour later we put them back on, minus the neck pieces, for the whole day and then neck bits back on for the cold, cold night again 😉
Sat 5th Dec
Weather settled so horses back to the big field…and I got to take them back riding Stormy bareback and leading Bella 😉
Walking together to the mounting block
Mounted and off we go
Nice to be back on big Stormy for a ride
Both doing very well, just walked through the field of Highland cows…no problem 😉
off the track onto some nice grass
Last leg and the field gate is in sight 😉
Just a really nice ride this faternoon
Stormy doing what he likes best and Bella doing her thing too…both happy to be back in the big field where they can stretch their legs 😉
After their run and roll they settled down to happy grazing 😉 🙂
Thu 10th Dec
Been drizzling and raining for days but got out to have some pony hugs and try out the horses new Mane Charms and Feather that I made for them 🙂
Stormy’s lovely blue Mane charm really suits him….he tested Bella’s red ones too 😉
Bella with her red/orange/purple charm and fab feather
Sat 12th Dec
Well it’s really been a wet, wet, wet beginning to the month and today it’s still drizzling BUT so desperate to be with the horses, connect and hug them SO out we go for a bit of a play 😉
Started off connecting with a neck rope and in the large round pen. All the basic moves were there and we connected quickly and easily.
I think she’s missed me as much as I’ve missed her.
Beautiful sideways both ways
Lovely circles with some soft fig 8’s and basic COD’s….then I asked for a bit more ‘bend’ in her ribs to make the arc more balanced
Then we went to Liberty…basic moves done really well and some nice draw too
S2M always good on both sides, w/t
Turns towards and away good
Following and draw good
Her big halt/draw was fab 😉
Then did some nice play at liberty with Storm.
Lovely sideways towards
Some nice bend on a circle and some fab familiarisation 😉
How to stay dry when it’s drizzling????
Get under a big horse 😉 🙂
Thu 17th Dec
Well…it’s been 16 days since riding Bella and since then it’s been wet, wet, wet. Today thankfully it’s dry at last and I couldn’t wait to get out and be with my big girlie 🙂 Here’s some pics of our fun togetherness today…
Mane Feather Charms in her hair today
Stormy watching me putting her bridle on
Focus whilst doing no reins P2Ps
Light loose rein with longer P2Ps
Lovely to put bum in saddle today
Sidepass over cone both ways, so light
Working on slow, gentle arc in ribs on circles
Just enjoying the ride today
Walked nicely down the hillock and then canter back up
Nice connection after 3 weeks off
Going back down the hillock and then 2 feet on pedestal 😉
Earlier in the day they decided to put one foot each on the medium pedestal 😉
Lovely morning light with sun coming up, horses enjoying the shelter with hay in it
🙂 😉 Stormy and Bella in the shelter this morning 😉 🙂
Called the horses from half way across the paddock today…they both came beautifully
Bella’s draw was a fabulous fast canter…she had to swoop to her right to avoid stopping on me 😉 lol
Weds 23rd Dec
Well we’ve had a day of dry weather and the ground is hard and easy to walk on today SO I brought the horses home for Xmas. Love having them at home, to be able to pop in and out to see them, maybe a wee ride and back to the big field later on if the weather holds. So, here I am riding Stormy bareback and leading Bella home today. Stormy was a bit reluctant at one point, think he thought he was missing out on breakfast in the big field, but realised once we were half way that breakfast was in the home paddock and he started to walk forward more 😉 Bella, as always, was a dream, she lead without any hitches, kept to her space by Storm’s hip and kept up with us all the way, even when Mr Stormy went into a small trot and canter 😉
Thurs 24th Dec
Trimmed Ms Bella’s hooves today 🙂
Her feet are getting better since I’ve gone back to trimming her myself…they’re smaller with a tighter white line, no flare and splits are going 🙂
Fri 25th Dec
Horses are rugged at night and without them during the day at the moment enjoying their hay and wait patiently for Spring 😉
Tues 29th Dec
Not a bad day weather today…cold but dry and a good day to take the horses out for a wee walk and play 😉
So lovely to be out and about for a while with Bella. Did some fun bits like going between tree trunks…
,,,up on a small hillock and she managed a nice, calm decent from it too…
…also managed a nice foot on the pedestal and then she decided it was easier to just get up on the whole rock 😉
…Lovely job of walking calmly across the small stream and whenever I stood on a rock she sidled over readying for me to mount if I wanted to 😉
Love her new ‘mane feathers’. I made them myself with our favourite colours which are burgundy, orange, silver and some purple 😉
SO…that’s the end of 2020. It’s been a hard year with the Covid-19 pandemic all around. I’ve not been able to work at all and I’ve missed my fabulous students and horses BUT I have managed to have a fabulous time really putting on a great foundation on Bella with almost daily ground work, agility bits and riding and it’s all paying off beautifully now 😉
Happy New Year and may 2021 be a better one for us all 😉
At last we have a dry pretty mild day….out with horses for some fun but not too much as don’t want to get them sweaty as not a lot of daylight at the moment and I don’t want them getting cold going into a cold night.
Lovely to get on Bella after so many rainy days.
We did some nice one hand riding around the cones in fig 8 and weave patterns.
She was lovely through the trot poles in a tight serpentine using forward, dhq, forward 😉
And a lovely sideways over a pole one way then back again….she really understands this move now 😉
Stormy being his normal fabulousness 😉
Bella and I using the obstacles in the circle weave for fig 8’s….
We don’t do two obstacles next to each other and we change the cone we go around to make the fig 8’s more interesting and spontaneous 😉
Treat for such a good girl.
Last task is to check out some familiarisation with the new gateway. We’ve done it online with our ground work so she knows how it moves and sounds so big test now is to see how it goes ridden….
…this task really makes me see how well our connection and communication are now. We needed forward, back, sideways left and right and all with small steps one after the other. She did really well as had to push the gate open far to start with, put my feet/legs up on her shoulders to get through the gateway to start with.
We did a quick trot around the inside of the round pen for a rest and then back to the gate where she sidled up to to our right to put the string back on it, this helps open/close a gate with such a big horse as I can’t get to hold it open/close from the saddle easily. Then out of the gateway nice and calmly ready to close it.
Forward to shut the gate then backup quickly to latch it up again. She was a star, more practise needed but a really really great first try 😉
Fri 6th Nov
Quite sunny today but knew it wasn’t going to be there for long where we live amongst the hills SO out for a wee plod again and try not to make Bella or Stormy sweaty as their thick winter coats are coming in well now. SO, for the time coming over Winter I think we will try to do small, slow things WELL and today we started on some of them.
Walk and trot over random poles, almost like checking out a jump course but trying to be particular with our gait, focus and preciseness.
Did a very nice sideways along a raised pole.
Stormy watching Bella.
Once Bella understood the ‘game’ with the poles she went very well over them.
Focus, focus, focus 🙂
Nice pedestal game before riding 😉
Then we went to Loose Rein riding with P2P’s. She went a bit crooked for a while and I did small, quick corrections then back to loose reins…
…and she started to get the game well and I hardly had to touch the reins. These small focus games are fun and very connecting 🙂
She did very well and I will continue to do more stuff in walk so as to not sweat her up.
Watching Stormy and Mark having a yeehaa…loving the horsey shadows 😉
Bella watching Mark and Storm while having a rest 😉
Sat 7th Nov
A really beautifully sunny day today, blue skies, not warm but nice enough to take my fleece off 😉 yeehaa…out with Bella again for DAY 2 of the pole/p2p workouts. First with the poles we tried our FIRST attempt with CORDEO which actually really well, backups were fab and turns were working much more on my focus/energy/weight cues/outside leg 😉
Then we did some lovely P2P’s around the whole field and she put in some really lovely trot P2P’s too 😉
Start with some connecting S2M ground work with the poles. A nice treat before getting on to ride .
FIRST attempt with the CORDEO (neck rein) and she did so well. Backups were great and started really ‘feeling’ our turns working well.
Out into the main field for some loose rein P2P’s. I put lots of cones around the field to focus our focus on 😉 She did really well once she realised the cones were there.
Bella put in some fabulous trot and felt really freeing to not pick up the reins and to just focus on our destination.
Lovely connection by the end of the session 🙂 🙂
Sun 8th Nov
Today I saw the forecast from 12 noon onwards was rain, rain, rain SO decided to do the morning horse breakfast/poo picking session and to chance trying a ride in the morning…a FIRST for us and yes this is what I did. Bella didn’t worry about the time of day and we had a lovely 3rd consistent session of pole and P2P work 😉
Great P2P’s today, lovely consistent loose rein we felt in harmony and focusing together more.
Put a light weight rug on her afterwards, not really sweaty today but felt she was quite warm and the day was quite chilly so didn’t want her getting cold. The rug came off an hour later and she was fine with that too 🙂
End of yesterday’s P2P session:
and end of today’s P2P session….didn’t use the reins once on this point:
Thurs 12th Nov
At last, some dry weather after 4 days of fog and then torrential rain SO…out with Bella for some gentle bareback connecting….
Sideways around me then some circles in walk and trot with smooth cod’s
oop….that trot looks like a canter! LOL
some rope around spins on both sides
again she was smooth and knew exactly what to do even though we’ve not done this for ages 🙂
Some really lovely sideways together to the right….
and to the left
Then some really lovely connected Bareback riding….firstly some Passenger lesson where I control the gait (walk) but she can go anywhere she wants and I just sit and follow 😉
Then some lovely RtR in walk, some light sideways left and right…
and some RtR in trot 😉 Big hugs for such a good girl looking after me.
Big Stormy caught up with us once we’d finished to check for treats <3
Fri 13th Nov
More drizzly rain today and they look a wee bit tired from the weather over night as it rained heavily again (not forecast!)..SO, no play today but spent some nice time with them this morning when poo picking which was nice 😉
Nice and calm for breakfast
Bella doing some water familiarisation
Stormy following Bella with the water familiarisation
Stormy tired after breakfast, probably a bit of a restless night
Thurs 19th Nov
Been a horrible week of wind, rain and cold but managed to get out today for some ‘undemanding time’ with B&S.
They really enjoyed their first hay of the year in their shelter 😉
It was really lovely to just to sit and hang out with the neddies, I put one of my triangle jump wings in the corner of the shelter and sat down on it. Much warmer sitting in the shelter and I love listening to the sound of them munching hay….joyous and meditational 😉
Managed to snatch two lovely selfies with Stormy and Bella 🙂
Sat 21st Nov
Yeehaa…another DRY day so out to have a bit of fun in the afternoon….
Decided to ride Stormy bareback and to lead Bella from him so they both got a bit of fun riding today 🙂
They did so well, keeping a nice walking pace together, she stayed mostly at my foot and I worked her from the right and left sides 😉
THEN we did a FIRST for them…..I got them sidled up together beautifully and went from sitting on Stormy to sitting on Bella without getting off 🙂 🙂 Yeehaa
Such Good horses
Thurs 26th Nov
Started off today with riding Stormy bareback and leading Bella. They were both really good, calm, attentive and listening to my requests. She lead on the left and right and did some nice turns with us going in circles where she moved slowly on the inside and faster on the outside. We also did some turns towards so both horses turned towards each other and changed sides 😉
Then I decided to try my ‘move from one horse to another’ move again 🙂
Sidled Bella up to Stormy well
Got my position ready…both legs on Storm’s right
Got my right leg up on Bella’s back, she didn’t move an inch
And then pushed myself off from Storm’s back onto Bella’s back…this was the point that I could have fallen off if they’d moved away from each other
Up on Bella’s back and we try a bit of leading Stormy from her, she wasn’t sure about that so something we can work on 😉
And then I rode Bella with a saddle on 😉
Loose rein focus over poles, turns to the left and right nicely done without hardly using the reins today
Lovely focus and connection
Also really light sideways over a pole
She really gets sidepassing now 🙂
And to finish we did a nice gate open/close task
Gate open….through gate
This task uses a lot of manoeuvres: forward/back/left/right/sideways left and right 😉
She still moves slightly quickly through the gate but I have to keep my feet tight as it’s not very wide so this could be causing her to shoot through…managed to close the gate nicely too.
Fri 27th Nov
A bit damp so decided to do some ‘lasso’ familiarisation. She’s done this with a long long rope but the lasso has a different feel and a slight noise to it because it has a metal ‘hondo’ at the end of it. She did marvellously well, so proud of her.
Me and Bella 😉
Worked on familiarisation over her body with the whole rope, also used the lasso coils to move her hq’s with some feel game
Then I started on throwing the coils and recoiling them back up in front and to the side of her
and also made sure I did it on both sides with both of my hands 😉
Then I got up on a ‘mounting block’ (jump wing) and did the same from there
Both sides and moved her around without getting off the mounting block, we’ve got such a good partnership, love working with her <3
Stormy wanted in on the act so I did some coiling and familiarisation with him too
Such a good boy
I did actually manage to lasso the jump wing on just the 2nd try…so pleased with myself 😉 LOL
I then did a short bareback session again working on the things we did yesterday….lightness on the reins, pole focus and sideways 😉
Halt and backup beautifully light and our loose rein riding focus over poles is really coming along so well
<<< Sideways over pole, light and focused with both over a pole short and long ways >>>
Such lightness off my seat weight/leg/focus cues
Familiarisation with my body on her back, rump, withers and neck 🙂
Love this beautiful girl
Sat 28th Nov
And today we tried to lasso from the saddle (not actually riding, just in standstill) those cowgirls and cowboys make this look easy…it’s not!!
Practising normal things with the lasso on the saddle 😉
Another ground practise of throwing and coiling the lasso next to her
Actually in the saddle and throwing/recoiling the lasso 😉 🙂
NOW….to make the lasso loop and try to throw it. This is an extreme familiarisation for Bella, hearing/seeing the lasso flailing around in the air above her back…she was fab and stood still for me
AND…a lasso throw…actually got pretty close quite a few times but no actual lasso’ing of the jump wing today ;*(
Did manage to stand near it, drop the lasso loop over the jump wing and drag it a bit 😉 SO, that’s the end section done, now I just need to learn to lasso from the saddle and allow Bella to get used to the whole idea more 😉
Sun 29th Nov
2nd try at some lasso work…great on the ground but she moved a bit when trying it ridden from a distance and I realised when I played the video back that I was very very slightly touching her rump when doing it so no wonder she was moving. More familiarisation for her and more lasso practise for me…next year now though 😉
Video from today when we did a nice drop ‘lasso’ again and drag….
And some familiarisation afterwards…looking for relaxation 😉
Mon 30th Nov
Tomorrow we have the farrier coming early SO as the grass has stopped growing and it’s almost winter we decide to have a nice ride/hack to the house so that they can be there nice and early to get their feet trimmed 🙂
It was a lovely walk/ride with Bella, Mark and Stormy. I got off a couple of times because (1) there were places that were really muddy/slippery and (2) because we had to go through a field that had Highland cows in. Luckily Highland cows are pretty sceptical so they moved away but I wanted to make sure Bella was okay going through the field…which she was 😉