Bella & Stormy – June 2024

Sat 1st June

SO…it’s been a while since I have had time to spend with S&B as I’ve been doing some private teaching and also agility clinic last weekend in Moray so it was lovely to be able to spend time with them today. Unfortunately it was without any play or riding as we needed to do a couple of maintenance tasks today. Mark cleared the old hay and wet patches from in front of the shelter and allowing the fabulous sunshine to dry the area out and I had to help Bella. She has got a few scabby bits on her legs, in the feathery bits. It can be just general scurfyness getting itchy which she’s rubbed or it could be mites again SO…my job was to make it easier to see what’s going on so we can treat it and get the vet in if necessary. I don’t have horse clippers (and Bella may not be clipper trained) and she needed it done today SO I used my very sharp, but safe, dog scissors and cut them all off.

It took quite a while to get it all clear, she has a LOT of leg feather, and I washed her lower legs with warm water and head & shoulders shampoo. She was such a good girl, standing pretty much stock still the whole time. She now looks more like a ‘heavy hunter’ type than a ‘draft horse’ πŸ˜‰


< Before, all hair and not able to see how many scabs she has or how bad they are.

This is all the hair in a bucket after I cut them off >





< Feathers gone and washed clean. Dried with a towel and the sunshine did the rest.

Bella looks pretty nice without her hairy legs πŸ˜‰ >





Sun 2nd


It’s been well over a week since riding Bella and early this morning, after their breakfast, I wanted to see how she was feeling today and to check any ‘unsoundness’ that may be still there….




Well…..all went beautifully. She was happy to move forward in walk and to extend that walk so it was faster and then after about 15 mins I asked if she wanted to trot and TROT she did….sound, happy and beautifully rhythmic πŸ˜‰ YEEHAA πŸ˜‰ Am hoping that’ll be the last of her unsoundness and we can have some nice, fun, rides together.







Tues 4th

Stormy hadn’t been ridden for over 2 weeks due to me working and the weather so it was really lovely to ride him this afternoon. No he wasn’t perfect, yes he had opinions but we discussed options, worked on motivation and ended the session with us both happy with what we’d done together.
I used P2P’s and the Grazing game to help find our common ground…he got stops and grazing, I got straight lines, curves and motivation ❀
At the end of the session I lead Storm from the quad bike to get back to the shelter area πŸ˜‰ He’s such a clever boy and it was lovely to







Thurs 6th

Today was Bella’s turn for some ridden exercise. Not much to talk about, just getting both of us fitter as we go πŸ˜‰










Sun 9th


Another lovely day for riding so Mark and I get out with Bella and Stormy. Mark and Stormy did a wee bit with us but then Bella and I carried on as we needed more time to find our relaxation, curves and soft transitions.

You can see from the ride map that we did a LOT of going back and forward, circles and testing our canter for relaxation, which took time as she was a bit ‘fresh’ on the long grass BUT we got there in the end πŸ˜‰







Bella and me working on our connection through transitions.





The last couple of short canters were really lovely, calm, collected and connected πŸ™‚






Wed 12th

Well today I had a local lady visit to see what I do, how I train, my horses. I cannot tell you how proud I am of Bella (online) and Stormy (at liberty) and how fantastically well they went around the new agility course I put together yesterday for this event. I don’t have any pictures but I have a whole lotta love in my heart for my two beauties. I think the lady was impressed, if not just for the moves they did, the tasks and the smooth gait changes they both did BUT because we were working on longish grass and the didn’t once run off or grab for it πŸ˜‰

The obstacles we did were:

  1. Trot onto tarp, halt then familiarise with flag
  2. Jump
  3. Walk between parallel poles with scrunched plastic bottles in
  4. Go through bunting corner
  5. Place 2 front feet in hulahoop
  6. Weave in trot
  7. Trot to single pole, halt with pole underneath belly, ask for backup off pole
  8. Underneath curtain, halt then back up
  9. Fig 8’s around and between 4 flags together
  10. Trot under archway
  11. Sidepass over drainage pipe
  12. Place one front foot on a wooden block


Thurs 13th


Well today I started off doing some play with Bella, saddled and ready to ride but made sure we had our connection and checking out her gait transitions. I used the coloured jump wings (like I do when riding) for some online P2P’s. She did some lovely walk, trot and canter transition P2P’s and so I got on her for a nice ride.


As you can see from the ‘ride map’ we did a good half hour session with much more canter in it than usual and her canter today was smooth, rhythmic and so sittable-to πŸ˜‰ I made sure she did some nice walk warming up (around the round pens) and then same for cooling down after our session.




She was a start today πŸ˜‰ Really lovely P2P’s, lovely to smooth transitions and happy rider and pony today <3








Fri 14th

It’s always good to remember to mix thing sup with horses. I try to mix up training, undemanding time and fun things like agility or in-hand grazing. Today S&B came out with me in-hand for some grazing on the track above their field. There is a lot of wonderful wild flowers and herbs such as cow parsley, all in it’s prime at the moment….they LOVED it πŸ˜‰

















Tue 18th

Got out today with Bella and managed to progress our canter work. Firstly I allowed Bella and Stormy to graze in their own round pens, this allows Bella to get what she wants, more grass, while I sorted out the field and got the saddle etc ready. Once she’s had grazing I can start to ride her with less P2P stops/graze πŸ˜‰ Secondly I have a plan for a short but faster session πŸ™‚ This hopefully will motivate her to canter more as she will learn that it’s more about effort, speed now and not learning accuracy πŸ˜‰


Grazing ponies πŸ™‚





You can see from the riding maps that we walked/trotted around the round pens first to warm up

Then we trotted as much as possible the serpentine pattern at the top where the field has no obstacles apart from jump wings to show me where to go to and where to turn.

Then the aim was canter the straight bits across the field with trotting around the turns. I think we did pretty well, she had one wee YEEHAA in the middle but came down to trot/walk easily and we redid that section and continued on nicely.

For a first attempt I’m very pleased and proud of the progress in canter work.



Bella looking at the open space to serpentine in.

Having a wee photo moment with S&B after my ride πŸ˜‰







Fri 21st


Went out with Mark to see horses early this morning as I wanted to trim down Bella’s leg hair so we can continue working on mending her sore heels/pastern area where she has some sores. We’ve got the vet coming hopefully next week to give her an injection to sort out leg mites, which is what we think she has again…vet will confirm when they come but waiting for injection which they’ve run out of SO we need to keep managing her legs to keep her comfortable until vet can come πŸ˜‰

After doing Bella’s legs, getting her comfortable and putting a ton of fly spray on her, I decide to groom and ride Stormy. Always up for taking the opportunity when it arises and it was a lot of fun. He was light, started stretching those long legs and seemed to be enjoying our ride as much as I was…he also got a bit of grazing as a thank you which he LOVED πŸ™‚














Sun 23rd

Morning cool means time for a wee ride πŸ˜‰


  1. Start with a nice bit of grazing for S&B
  2. Saddle and fly spray Bella
  3. Play with circles in walk, trot and canter to make sure all ready to ride
  4. Mount and ride some walm up exercises (walk circle, walk circle with leg yields, back to track and trot, repeat on other side)
  5. Then I ask for full circles of trot
  6. Finally ask for full circles of canter (which she did going to the left but needed a slightly longer time going to the right to depart in canter)



Not a long ride, the sun was just starting to be hot by the time we ended BUT it was a progressive ride.

A good, solid warm up, great trot round pens and then great canter, can be better but I’m very happy with her canter circles today πŸ˜‰





Bella resting up in the shelter after her graze/ride (Storm got to just graze, lucky boy) πŸ™‚




Thurs 27th


Bring horses home today, I walk then ride Stormy and lead Bella off him πŸ˜‰ She is a fab lead horse πŸ˜‰










Then after they have some time in the home paddock we bring them home, this time Mark rides his Stormy and I lead Bella.

I lead her as she had a vet inject a solution to rid her of mites on her legs πŸ˜‰ She was SO good with the vet, no fuss and stood still to be checked over πŸ˜‰ Love this girl, she does me proud πŸ˜‰

















Sun 30th


Today I went out early-ish to do S&B’s breakfast.

I then put them in their round pens, got my riding boots and hat on, got Bella out of the pen and saddled her.

I then asked her to do some simple exercises to warm up then I mount and we have a great ride.

Bella’s canter work is really coming along now, much smoother with her transitions, rhythmic and balanced which has been helped with Mark’s trimming of her hooves over the last few months πŸ˜‰

Love this big girl, she is the most genuine, beautiful soul and I love riding her.



  • Shelley – HorseSavvy




Bella & Stormy – March 2024

Sun 3rd

So, this morning there was an incident in our field…a young fallow deer was injured, probably got stuck on a wire fence jumping it and hurt it’s back leg getting off it. It’s really sad when this sort of thing happens to wildlife and it was hard to see it struggling in the field, it lay exhausted while I saw to S&B. We do have good gamekeepers on the estate here so I contacted one of them and they said they’d look and see what needed to be done. I sort of knew it was suffering and needed to be put out of its misery but it didn’t make it any easier. On that note I told them that I’d take S&B out of the field and bring them back to the house paddock so that they weren’t in the way nor upset by anything they had to do and that’s what I did…..


Bella and Stormy doing a great job walking past the Highland cows today.

I walked them back rather than riding as they’d just had their breakfast.





Stormy following behind Bella, they like to follow each other but also it puts them on the nice bit of grass verge they like to walk on πŸ˜‰


S&B in home paddock πŸ˜‰






Tues 5th


SO it’s been a few days since the horses came home and I asked the estate gamekeeper to help the injured fallow deer. They went to sort it immediately and I’ve known the field is okay to go back to but I wanted to do a ‘smudging’ before the horses went back.

Smudging is where you burn sage (or other things) to help cleanse an area of negative energy and I’ve done it before in the field when one of our horse hasΒ  passed.

I took some time and walked the field where I’d seen the deer and played some lovely Native American music too. It felt good to take the time to do this ceremony and if nothing else I feel better going back into the field after the memory of the young deer in such sad circumstances.



Thurs 7th


A day later than planned but today we took S&B back to their big field this afternoon.

Called S&B with my ‘horsey whistle’ and they both came over to get haltered for me.

















I decided to walk them home rather than ride as I LOVE getting back our relaxed connection through walking step to step together.

Both S&B were so calm and happy to be walking back home. Once back in the field they had a lovely yeehaa run about and Stormy did his usual rolling to get a his normal muddy self πŸ™‚ lol





Muddy boy πŸ˜‰ lol






Sat 9th

The weather has been wet and windy today with pretty low temperatures ;( But I needed my horsey fix today so went out and had a lovely short fun session πŸ˜‰

First we did some distance pedestal work. Bella stood on big ped with 2 feet and then all 4 feet while Stormy showed off doing 4 feet at liberty.

Then she did some lovely sidepassing around the pole square, both left and right.

3rd task was some weave on a circle left and right then going straight into doing some fig 8’s using different cones with each turn πŸ˜‰

The last task on-line was some trot through the narrow gap which was really good.





































THEN…I took Bella’s halter off and we did a really lovely session at liberty.

We’ve been practising our liberty at breakfast time since last year and it’s paying off now as she used to move off after her halter came off.

First liberty bit was sidepass over the drainpipe (L&R)

Then she did a great job with fig 8’s around cones…..going through the narrow gap and also a fab jump πŸ˜‰














Tues 12th

I did S&B’s breakfast and field clearing today and as usual I put in some time to do some Liberty play with Bella…Stormy joined in too which was fun and helped Bella πŸ˜‰



Asking S&B to draw towards me and then backup together

Then asked them to follow me and place themselves either side of the big pipe






Bella took a rest and watched Stormy come into the narrow gap, halt for 5 seconds and then draw towards me


Bella got close for a good look







Storm then came and played with the tarp, stood on it with a lovely halt and then I asked him to sidepass off the pole he was standing over


Bella then decided she wanted to go for the hulahoop challenge and walked to it from a distance…..




….she’s so clever and loves to put her feet into/onto something πŸ˜‰


I went down a hillock to empty the wheelbarrow while S&B walked along the ridge….






…then sweet Bella came away from Stormy to be with me <3 what a sweetheart she is <3

Finished the morning with Bella showing off her bestest task…standing on the pedestal πŸ™‚





Sat 16th


Bella trying to catch my attention to play and get treats this morning after I gave her and Storm their breakfast and was cleaning the field πŸ˜‰


She’s just too smart πŸ˜‰




Went out with Mark in afternoon, weather nice enough to try a wee ride….

It’s been 17 days since last ride, always seems too long when the weather has been so bad.

I moved all the agility obstacles, put them around the round pens to make it more interesting…




….kept it mostly to walk to just stretch their legs and minds and then Bella and I did some trot work over random poles in my ‘arena’ to help get her mind more focused and pick her feet up a bit better.






Tues 19th

Another nice Spring like day today. Mark and I go to ride S&B and slowly work on our fitness together πŸ˜‰ I start off by working on checking my body position when riding walk/trot circles/arcs. I sometimes don’t put my inside shoulder back in this move so I work one handed leaving my inside hand loose which helps me really notice what my shoulder is doing.














We also popped a couple of jumps as it’s fun πŸ˜‰






Then Bella & I stood while Stormy and Mark had a yeehaa canter along a field track. It’s a good test as over Winter S&B get a very close and it’s hard for them to not just follow each other in direction and gait. I held her from cantering off too and she quieted as soon as I asked πŸ˜‰











All clean before riding…..rolled in mud after riding πŸ™‚ LOL

To be fair they were both a tiny bit sweaty so knew they would roll to dry themselves out.

Am SO glad I have a brown horse, the dirt needs cleaning but doesn’t look so bad when she does it πŸ˜‰ lol




Sat 23rd

So I’ve not managed to get out and do much with S&B recently due to the awful on/off rain, wind and cold temps we’ve been having BUT I did manage to video a couple of things when out recently to poo pick the field and Bella came over to play…here is one of the vid’s for you now πŸ˜‰

Sun 24th

Managed to get S&B’s hooves trimmed today, not much energy for anything else so here’s the 2nd video of Bella doing something fab.U.lous last week πŸ˜‰ Enjoy

Taught her to sidle to anything for mounting when I want to ride, we practise this at liberty in the morning’s when I go to give them their breakfast and clean the field πŸ˜‰ She’s pretty good at it now πŸ˜‰


Tue 26th

At last we have a window of decent weather between all the wind, rain and snow we’ve had recently. So I manage to take full advantage of it and go and ride S&B.





First I rode Stormy in a big fig 8 around the field. He was very happy to move his feet and I asked him to stretch his legs by asking for trot on the short sections. He finished by giving me a lovely canter to the finish. We 2 laps which was 12 mins long πŸ˜‰




I then asked Bella to do the same big fig 8’s, mostly on a loose rein to allow me to correct her when she went off the pattern. This way she learns rather than me micro-managing her.

She did very well and we did 3 laps….about 17 mins of nice exercise πŸ˜‰






Sat 30th


Today we have our Equine Body worker therapist visiting S&B. She does a nice body work and massage to release any ‘tight’ spots in their bodies after last year and the winter off. It helps them and also gives us a good place to start riding them more during the year.

Bella was more stiff in her lower back and sacral illiac and Stormy was stiffer with his front legs so it was great to be able to get that for them. We usually do it once a year for them and if they needed more we’d do it



While waiting for our therapist it started raining so we practised playing putting them in our garage in case we needed to do that. Stormy was a star, backing in to it nicely. Bella went in twice but was a bit more sceptical about staying in.

Thank goodness the rain stopped and we had blue skies for the therapy sessions πŸ˜‰





Sun 31st

The end of March already but I’m glad as the signs of Spring are just coming through and April is the beginning of my work year too so exciting times coming up πŸ˜‰

After S&B’s body work therapy sessions yesterday we didn’t want to ride them back to the field today, good to give them 24hrs to rest up. We decided, instead, to take them for a short walk with grazing benefits near the house. I also did some fun play with Bella too πŸ™‚

























  • Shelley – HorseSavvy


Bella & Stormy – December 2023

Sat 2nd


Very VERY cold today, think it was well below -10* last night and it was -3* when I went out to see S&B. Too cold to do much and the ground is very hard so don’t want to do too much anyway. But it’s really lovely to have my calm Bella today, she was uber relaxed and attentive to what I asked. Just walk all the way but some lovely leg yields, hq yields, good circles and weave πŸ˜‰















Lovely lateral flexion to the right and then left too πŸ˜‰ shows willingness, flexibility and relaxation πŸ™‚






AND…our one handed weave showing that the cue connection is getting so subtle now…hopefully aiming to do a ‘no handed’ weave before too long. Last bit from the purple obstacle I asked her to leg yield through the weave and although she stopped for a second she got it and did some nice leg yielding πŸ˜‰



Wed 6th

We’ve had icy weather for a few days, the track to the horses is slowly getting more iced over SO today we decided to bring them home in case it gets worse and we can’t walk them home!!



Slowly walk them up the big field hill…both S&B were kind to me and stayed nicely slow and steady so I didn’t get puffed out…it’s a steep hill!

The track was icy still so it’s great they’ve learned to walk in ‘tandem’ for me…Stormy lead first




Had a nice bit side by side πŸ˜‰






Stormy looks ENORMOUS when his head went up looking at the highland cows in this field


Mark gritted the iced water across the gateway here….they slowly went over it…no slipping πŸ˜‰




Mark took over some of the walking, allowing them to graze the last of the heather and long soft rushes they love.






I did the last bit again, here Bella took over the tandem lead…she’s a clever girl.

Then Stormy took over the last big of tandem walking πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚






Safely in the ‘home paddocks’ at last.





Thu/Fri 6-7th

Rain, Rain, Rain at the moment.

S&B were rugged on Thurs (pic below) as it was quite cold but Fri saw mostly drizzle with dry spells and they were naked and seem fine πŸ˜‰ The roads and fields are a bit flooded at the moment but they may get back to the big field before xmas and then back up to the house at xmas to give us a rest from going down the road to see them πŸ™‚














Weds 13th

The weather is milder now after their week at the house so it’s time for S&B to return to their big field for a while. Great excuse for a wee ride which is always a bonus πŸ˜‰



Mark with S&B and then me with S&B

All tacked up and ready to ride πŸ˜‰






Not bad weather at all, looks grey but it was mild and calm


S&B really enjoyed the ride back, just a bit fresh but happy to be going back. I didn’t have our normal tack so Bella was in Storm’s old Transcend bitless bridle and Storm was wearing the big red halter that I adapted with ‘D’ rings for reins from the ones I use for work πŸ˜‰





Just above their big field and then tack free running down the big hill in their field, happy to be home πŸ˜‰ <3








Sat 16th

Nice short ride on Bella today…I decided to try out an ‘XMAS TREE’ pattern for fun and as my Equilab App (which monitors my rides) has a fab mapping facility I thought it would be fun to see how accurate we could be. I’d been mapping it in my head for 24hrs and today we just did it…….


….SO amazed that we pulled it off. Mostly walk with some trot and a lot of turning her hindquarters to create the pointy bits πŸ™‚ <3 What fun that was πŸ˜‰ <3




BellaΒ  and Stormy with me <3








Sun 17th


Decided to ride Stormy first today but as I set off Bella wouldn’t move from the spot behind the shelter and Stormy likes to see her when we ride around SO I thought maybe we’d just gently move her around a bit by putting some energy behind her. This worked okay but she did circle around the shelter a few times to get back to the same spot SO….









… off Stormy, put Bella’s halter on and did some nice ride/lead practise instead.
I’m glad this happened as it was a really nice training session. We did fig 8’s so that Bella was on the outside and inside of circles, she was FABULOUS with me turning Stormy’s fh into her so she turned her fh away, without her squishing forward or back πŸ™‚ AND we did it all on the left and right.

I love that we took the opportunity to have this practise session, it was a lot of fun….you don’t always get what you want but you ALWAYS get what you NEED ❀ Thank you S&BΒ 



After that lovely ride with S&B together I had a nice short ride on Bella. She was a little fresh but we had a nice ride around the big field ending on a nice calm note πŸ˜‰






Tues 19th

Was going to ride today but it’s on/off drizzle and looks like some ‘shooting’ going to happen across the glen so decided to miss today and maybe try again tomorrow. Here’s some nice pics of S&B from today, heads up as shepherd doing some sheep moving and then gamekeeper across the glen. S&B are very aware of everything that goes on around them πŸ˜‰











Stormy knows how to get my attention…..’you put your right hoof on, you take your right hoof off, you do the hokey-kokey and you turn around…..’ LOL






Sat 23rd

Well we’ve had wind, drizzle and today a ton of rain ;( Not very good weather for anything horsey unfortunately but did spend some ‘undemanding time’ with S&B this morning as I really needed some pony time and it’s always lovely just hanging out and listening to the slow munching of hay πŸ˜‰



Sun 24th


Well…after some rain showers I got myself out for a wee 20 min ride on Bella today πŸ˜‰

Nice bits of flexibility around the round pens doing some leg yields

Then working around circular cone/tyres with some really nice weaving πŸ˜‰




Love a big horse shadow πŸ˜‰

Stormy being his usual cheeky self….knocking over and moving the cones πŸ˜‰ He loves to participate and hates being left out, he has a very sharp brain and loves using it πŸ˜‰





After my ride S&B cantered behind the quad bike, kicking up their heels in joy and having fun


Love it when they do this, they’ve both had some exercise now then πŸ˜‰




Riding into the rainbow πŸ˜‰

And then as soon as it started they both stopped, rested and watched as I headed back home





Bella and Stormy wish you all a wonderful
Happy Xmas
hope you all have a good day tomorrow πŸ˜‰







Mon 25th – Xmas Day

Well we’ve had weather warnings of rain/snow and ice SO a good day to bring S&B hoe again so we can miss walking them back on slippery ground….also it should be peaceful on the estate today!!!”









All started well, walked them up the field hill and mounted off the track gate πŸ˜‰


BUT…..the gamekeeper was in the next field, S&B saw the 4×4 before we did and Stormy had quite a strong reaction to it….he spun and wanted to go back to the safety of his field!!!

This is something I didn’t expect….a ‘Negative Association Reaction’. He, and Bella, know the gamekeeper shoot and kill deer etc and they always use this 4×4 so they now think that every time they see it there is going to be shooting etc! πŸ™




Wasn’t quite expecting to see the gamekeeper on Xmas day BUT think he drew the estate short straw to check the sheep and cattle on the farm so he wasn’t actually out shooting (S&B didn’t know that).

Mark and I both got off our horses and walked them along the track, allowing them to see the gamekeeper leaving the field they had to walk through and thereby allowing them to realise they could calm down πŸ˜‰


I got back on Bella and rode to home, Mark decided to walk Stormy home (we need to make some safe big mounting blocks so we can get on easier along the track!)

We got home safe and sound with calm, listening horses πŸ˜‰



At home I took the opportunity to help Bella walk the ‘newish’ bridge again. Making sure it wasn’t slippery for her first πŸ˜‰






Tues 26th – Boxing Day


Boxing day, for me, has been

traditionally a day to have a nice walk out. SO, today Mark and I took Storm and Bella for a walk up the hill behind our house and back πŸ˜‰ nice to stretch their legs (and mine…Mark rode πŸ˜‰ )












Bella looking at the scenery πŸ˜‰

Love walking her out and about, really lovely way to bond











Bella had some of her favourite heather while up the top of the hill…it was rather windy up there so we didn’t stay too long πŸ˜‰














Walking down, as normal, was quicker then going up! lol







Managed to jump on Bella’s back when back in the field…..always a pleasure to be in the position to sit on Bella <3 Love her to bits <3

I often sit and think about when I was a kid, wanting so much to have a pony of my own.
To be able to love it, groom it, have fun riding it and sitting talking to it while it munched on hay.
I try never to forget those feelings and how privileged to actually have my own ‘pony’ now ❀ I am the luckiest girl in the world ❀




Sun 31st

Just wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hoping you all have enormous fun with your horses throughout the year πŸ™‚Β 


  • Shelley – HorseSavvy