Bella – December 2022

Fri 2nd

 

Really lovely having the horses follow me about when poo picking the field.

 

This was them standing on a small hill, me at the bottom calling them down….

 

 

…it used to be quite a ‘spooky’ hill to come down but they came down when they knew I had some herbal treats for them. When coming back up they used to just canter up fast but today they managed a slow trot into a slow walk so they’re getting used to not having to feel they need to run back to the top which is good ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sat 3rd

Trimmed all 4 Bella’s hooves today, they’ve started to slow down in their growth which really shows Winter is coming ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Thur 8th

Finally managed to get a lovely soft calm ploddy ride on Bella today. The ground is hard but not too bad and we only did walk so as not to heat her up but it was just SO lovely to plod around the field again on her. Also had a short bareback ride on Stormy after Mark had trimmed his feet so I was a very happy girl today <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 11th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow up on the hills this morning but not too bad here with the horses ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 14th

Not much doing at the moment apart from feeding, poo picking field and generally hugging and doing small bits of play while we can at this time of year. SO….pics of the Snow Horses for today….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 24th (Xmas Eve)

Well it was good that we took the horses back to the big field the other day as yesterday was the estate’s ‘Game Keepers Day’. This day means that the estate game keeper and others go around shooting some of the ‘wildlife’. It also means there were a few ‘beaters’ with sticks/plastic that beat the pheasants up into the air and in a certain direction for others to shoot, bangs from the many guns and it went on in different places all day. The horses were anxious and a bit high headed to say the least ;(

Today though, we brought them back to the house as it gives us a bit of a rest going up and down to their main field on the quad bike, we can visit them through the quiet days to come this week and it’s just generally nice for us to have them outside the house for a while.

We’d decided to bring them home on the lower estate track as it was less icy and through fields so more room for them to move next to me rather than one in front and one behind in places BUT because of yesterday’s energy, noise and commotion in the area we wanted to walk dear Bella was just too anxious to go that route and was getting uncontrollable SO I head back to the field and go the regular route which she appreciated….

 

This was the first route….not successful….

 

 

 

 

SO…walk up the field hill regaining our connection.

Nearly at the top and calm and attentive now ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

The track is a bit icy so we step carefully together.

 

Negotiated through the trees.

 

 

Bella noticing that estate ‘woodman’ has taken down some broken trees…she’s very aware of everything.

Icy bit of track again taken slowly.

 

The gateway behind us here is a solid piece of ice which recently smashed in the middle SO they had to step on ice, into water, back onto ice and quickly onto the grassy bit. Finally manage to sidle Storm to a high edge and jump on him for a lovely ride back home…phew ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Off the track onto some grass is very much needed and the horses relax more.

 

 

 

Really connected and happily heading back to the track….

 

 

 

Up a steep bit, which Stormy negotiated beautifully, back onto the track and heading for home.

 

 

 

Home paddock on the left of pic so safely home and me very grateful for Stormy letting me ride him as I was getting tired <3

Wee video of last part of the ride home….

 

HAPPY XMAS EVERYONE

Have a great day xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 26 – Boxing Day

 

Not a bad couple of days so far over xmas, weather is getting colder and we’re expecting some more snow soon.

 

 

 

Can’t believe Stormy found the muddiest patch to roll in! LOL

 

They follow me around for hugs and treats when poo picking ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Tues 27th

 

Been snowing since early this morning. Horses rugged since last night as below zero. They’re warm and just had breakfast, now waiting for their dinner and a long dark night ahead.

 

 

 

 

Fri 30th

 

5″ of snow fall last night and without the forest anymore behind the horses it’s a very white/grey/blue day out there

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

Bella – November 2022

Fri 4th

Wow, it’s November already….where did the year go? Anyway, it’s been a couple of weeks since riding Bella and only managed to play with her the other day SO today with the sun shining was a great opportunity to get back in the saddle ๐Ÿ™‚ I started off by leading Bella online and Stormy caught up with us at Liberty so we did some ‘Stick 2 Me’ game with walk/halt transitions and also weaving around some obstacles…they were both fabulous ๐Ÿ˜‰

I then decided to ride Stormy first and then Bella…again both were very good. Stormy started to stretch out and his walk, trot and canter were lovely and rhythmic. I did some quick walk/trot transitions with Bella to pre-empt her attempt to go into canter as I just wanted to get the walk and trot good today ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a really lovely day and both horses were F.A.B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 10th

A dry day means….PLAYTIME WITH BELLA <3 ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Just a slow start with some ‘placing a foot on something’ game

 

 

 

 

Build up the energy with some fig 8’s in trot

Stormy doing his own thing at liberty ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Stormy LOVES being a part of the play sessions

Throwing a rope over Bella’s head, from the belly but also from the tail went well…worked it into a nice rope around spin game ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

More fun with some w/t and canter circling

Sidepassing over some obstacles, here with a cone ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Then some canter to jump

S2M mirroring to connect while we move about the field

 

 

Canter..into another nice jump

 

 

 

 

Mon 21st

Well, it’s been a weather filled week or so up here, and everywhere I think. We’ve had rain, wind and flooding all around and the horses have been patiently waiting it out with rugs on then rugs off. Today, finally, we have a minus degree temperature and frosty ground so although cold it was quite pleasant to be out in and the horses are grateful to have dry coats at long last ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did do a wee bit of play with B&S yesterday just before their dinner time and an impromptu Liberty play with Bella as she mirrored me on the quad bike which was a lot of fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today we gave them their first winter hay which I think they loved as it’s full of nutrients and dry to eat which will make a huge change from eating wet grass ๐Ÿ˜‰ SO, just a few pics to show off their loveliness <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weds 23rd

Actually managed to have a wee online play session with Bella this morning, it’s been a while and not really possible with all the recent wind and rain going on BUT today the morning is calm and dry ๐Ÿ˜‰

The main things I’m thinking with play today are:

  1. Are we connected
  2. Is she relaxed and attentive and once we start playing its more
  3. How light can I offer the cues
  4. How engaged is she mentally and then physically
  5. Is there flexibility on her left and right sides
  6. Can I ask for some transitions by the slightest of cues AND
  7. Are her higher gaits on a circle calm and flexed around me ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a lovely play session and she was very happy to play. We found relaxation through the games and played the following:

Backup/draw. Sidepass. Leg yields. Circling in walk and trot including COD’s and fig 8’s. S2M halt/walk/backup/trot ๐Ÿ˜‰

Really really nice to reconnect to Bella with some nice play. If possible I want to try to do this every day now so that soon when it’s dry we can have a wee ride.

 

Thurs 24th

Another lovely morning and S&B really calm today. They’d eaten most of their hay in the shelter so I gave them half a bag full with their breakfast which they loved ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

This was S&B a bit on their toes when the wind/rain was constant the other day….today they’re calm, happy and almost dry ๐Ÿ˜‰ <3

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 25th

YEEHAA……managed to get a very small bareback potter on both Stormy & Bella this morning. So worth getting a wet bum doing it too as they were still a bit damp from last nights rain. Just jumped on each and rode using rope halter and 12′ rope for reins and it was fab. Have so missed being high up looking at the great scenery…mostly those gorgeous furry ears ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wed 30th

Well it’s the last day of November and at last, after 3 and a half weeks of rain and bad weather I finally got to properly RIDE Bella (last time was really just a quick sit on her). It was FAB.U.LOUS. Lovely slow walk work with poles and some obstacles and we did:

  1. Walk over poles
  2. Halt and back up over poles with front feet and then all 4 feet
  3. Sidepass over poles and sidepass around U bend of poles
  4. Small trot jump
  5. Turns with the hq’s and fh

and we did it mostly with a loose rein, one handed through breathing, energy, focus, body dynamics and weight and then leg but lastly the rein ๐Ÿ™‚ Really great fun and after so long dear Bella was a super STAR <3

 

Mark and sweet Stormy

Bella doing forward & back through poles

 

 

 

 

Over poles then backup

Focused walking

 

 

 

Into the box (nearly all feet! LOL)

Sidepass around poles

 

 

 

 

Stop between poles then DHQ to turn to go over pole

Using trot poles to go through, DHQ and zigzag between poles

 

 

Then sidepass over last pole

AND a trot/jump to finish on ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

Bella – October 2022

Sun 2nd

 

My back is feeling ok, the sun is shining and there are fabulous clouds in the sky SO time for a wee ride on Bella ๐Ÿ™‚

Started with some passenger lesson

 

 

Went into some lovely trotting work and when she offered to canter I took the opportunity every time ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Ended the session with a lovely wee jump and canter <3

 

 

 

 

Fri 7th

 

What a really lovely ride out today with Bella, Mark and Stormy.

Went out from the field from the back gate for a change today, taking advantage of fields without any stock in them at the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

On/off at gateways which is great practise.

 

 

 

 

 

Slightly different tracks just for a change ๐Ÿ˜‰

Both horses did so well with the changes.

 

 

 

Enjoying riding on grass where we all got a few canters ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Some really nice changes in scenery

 

Stormy suddenly realises where he is ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

Lunch of thistles ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kept off track as much as we could and went over a lot of varied terrains

 

 

 

This stop was after a HUGE canter, almost a gallop, from both horses…really exhilarating and just let her go and find her own pace.

Rested both horses at the top of the field, to get their breathing back

 

 

Great views while we rested and then down the hill and back on track towards home

 

 

 

 

Last part of the track, our field is to the right and below this high track ๐Ÿ˜‰

Great ride, new tracks, more canter and great company <3

 

 

 

 

Sat 8th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a fab ride…..slightly different from yesterday but all elements of the hack have been done before. Bella was confident going in front or behind and they were less sweaty then yesterday but no big cantering about so probably a bit tired from yesterday.

 

Thurs 13th

A pheasant was killed in our horses field this morning, not sure by what but think it might have been another male pheasant as they’re fighting a lot at the moment all over the estate ;( Anyway, we think the horses must have seen/heard what went on as they were a bit spooked around that area and another male pheasant was making quite a noise in the pasture behind their field. This noise was making dear Bella quite upset and it took a while to settle her to put her saddle on (I was thinking about riding her today).

 

But I took her out into the big part of the field on a 22′ line and we did some play….she decided that her play was to canter around in a yeehaa….

 

 

The yeehaa was quite big and she got quite fast as I just hung on until she got it out of her system.

She had a bit of calm and then I put that energy to something a bit more focussed….

 

 

Jumping a few jumps with some COD (Changes of Direction) intertwined. She was still not truly connected to me so I just waited….

 

 

 

Then she regulated herself and was quieter physically and emotionally ๐Ÿ˜‰

To help us connect I put this calm to some brain games…mostly sidepassing but put that into leg yielding at a distance once I could feel the connection coming back ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

She did well we ended up on a nice, quiet, calm note, her energy used and mentally back to me.

 

 

 

No…I didn’t ride today but then sometimes you just have to play with the horse that shows up and help them find relaxation and the connection again ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Fri 14th

So, out today for a really lovely, calm play with Bella. So different from yesterday. We did some play around some agility obstacles: backing up, jump, sidepass and leg yields ๐Ÿ˜‰

I thought about riding but was there to do a double dose of Strongid-P wormer for pinworms so did the worming and left. She did the wormer (two syringes worth) brilliantly…SO proud of her ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Weds 19th

 

Extreme Familiarisation with tractor as we get friend in to dig the stream bed in next field deeper, to stop it flooding through our field, which has been getting worse over the years ๐Ÿ™‚

The finished job > ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

Bella the next day helping Storm to be brave and to come to the ditch to take a look….

 

 

 

 

 

She comes back to give him some encouragement and then he tries to be brave ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

I love watching how they help each other and to allow them to figure things out in the field on their own when we can as it helps them being at liberty, to be able to naturally approach and retreat from things as they want to and to become familiarised to things in their own time, in their own way ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Fri 21st

Day before going off to teach a Horse Agility clinic and competition in Aberdeenshire SO a quick chance to have a wee ride on Ms Bella <3

 

Nothing too stressful, just a nice gentle ride of some walk then trot working just on asking for straight lines and nice arc’ing circles and curves ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

Because I’ve hurt my ring finger on my left hand I worked mostly one handed which was a nice challenge today too ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

Tried Bella’s new fleece sweat rug, got all the buckles and straps in place ready to use for when she gets sweaty after a ride this Autumn/Winter ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Sat 29th

A week since riding Bella and 5 days since I saw them after coming back from my teaching trip. I wasn’t feeling too good (still not totally better) after having 2 back teeth removed under sedation but slowly getting there and it was fab to see B&S today after sleeping off the sedation effects for so long. Both S&B did some nice liberty connection work with me today and it felt really good to be outside with them while the rain held off for us ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy