Bella & Stormy – July 2024

Wed 3rd

Great way to spend this morning….riding both Storm then Bella 😉 The weather is perfect for it, damp, cool, grey, breezy…no flies…fabulous 😉

 

 

 

 

First ride is Storm. Just use the field to move him about, stretch his long legs so we didn’t need to go fast, just work on getting a good walk going. He offered some trot which was lovely and then a couple of small canters 😉 He got to graze in the round pen for a reward after our ride. I then rode Bella 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Bella we start off stretching her legs with a good solid walk out. Then to get her fitness up we work on sustaining her trot and we got a lovely big fig 8 of trot with very few stops and when she did it was quickly back into trot again. The ride wasn’t as long as some other rides but it was a great start on getting longer periods of trot which later on will bring more canter once we’ve got fitness under our belts 😉

 

Fri 7th

Today I had some fun doing some agility tasks with Bella (then Stormy afterwards) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feet in hula hoop. Flag familiarisation. Sidepass over drainage tube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forward then back through arch. Touch flag with nose. Trot towards me through curtain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidle over a pole. Trot onto tarp then halt. Jump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into parallel poles, halt then back up. Back up through scary corner with bunting. Fig 8 in trot.

 

 

Bella ended with some nice sidling to a mounting block and then stepping on the flag which was flapping about on the ground 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm did the same round….feet in hoop. Flag familiarisation. Halt on tarp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trot towards me under arch. Backup through curtain. Sidle over pole.

 

 

 

Backed up through the scary corner and both had the reward of some grazing on long grass in the agility arena 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 7th

 

I knew today was going to be hot but also knew that the next few days I would be doing other things SO early this morning was perfect for a short ride.

Why a short ride? WELL…..It was already starting to get hot at 8am this morning and I knew if I set a good, quick goal that was achievable, then it would be a perfect ride. SO, what was the goal?

The goal was to warm up with the roundpens in walk and then in trot. The big goal was to then just canter around the roundpens, with a short trot section in the middle between circles. This is called a SLC (Simple lead change) and guess what…..Bella was a super star and just did it for me.

After she did it I jumped off, gave her a big hug and leg her graze as her reward for being such a super-douper, balanced partner 😉

Could not love her more, she has come so far over the 5yrs of having her in our lives. She is the perfect partner to me and to Big Stormy too <3

 

 

Mon 8th

So, today I had one of my student/friends over to visit S&B. I do this now and then on an ‘special invite’ only basis. It’s usually students I classify as good friends but also those that have enough knowledge, kindness and willingness to learn that I invite and Belinda is one of those 😉 🙂

She took on the challenge to play and sit on Stormy and took that challenge with both hands to the point where she was happy to ride Storm in walk and trot with me giving her some instruction through the play into the riding 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm was quite grass orientated.                                      Stormy looks ENORMOUS and as Belinda said, ‘he IS enormous’ 😉 lol.      Having fun with some agility obstacles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manged to get on Storm well.                                        Belinda looks like a wee kid on a pony 😉 lol.        And laughing through the big trot Storm delivers 😉

 

 

Thu 11th

 

Bella needed her 2nd dectomax injection today, the follow up for mites in her leg feathers.
SO, opportunity to ride Stormy and lead Bella back to the house 😉

 

 

 

Stormy rode very well and Bella followed beautifully.

I love that she is so happy to just follow Stormy, keeping her feet off the stony track and on the grass verge 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Got to the house in plenty of time for them to have a graze in the home paddock before the vet came at around midday.

 

 

 

After vet had been we saddled Stormy back up and Mark rode him back to the big field while I walked Bella 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of really long grass along the route home, S&B have learned the art of swiping for the grass heads while still walking 😉 lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella and I opened the gates for Storm and Mark 😉 Look at that fabulously thick, long tail 😉 Great fly swisher
(I hate when draft horse owners cut their horses tails for silly shows, they need them for flies so we let them grow as long as they can) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark and Storm had a nice canter and some trot along the route. Really enjoy being out with the the boys and my beautiful girl Bella <3

 

 

 

 

 

And back in the big paddocks 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 12th

 

Today I washed Bella’s feet. Firstly to help clean them from all the oil and sudocrem we’ve been putting on them to heal the cuts and get ride of the mites.

Bella was a super star and showed how well our connection training has come along over the years….she put her foot in the tall bucket with water and allowed me to wash her feet individually with much gusto. She has never put her foot in a bucket this tall nor with water in it SO I’m a very proud momma with her trusting me. I think she knew this was all for her good and probably the warm water was soothing.

I then towel dried them and put a mix of hibiscrub on them to help with any mites that may be left there (not that I think there are any there now) 🙂

Mark later on put some sudocrem on the wee crack she has on her front left and crusty scabby bit on her hind left 😉

 

 

Sun 14th

 

Very early ride this morning with Ms Bella. She was fab. Just kept it to walk and mostly trot, marking out the next pattern we’ll be doing later on in canter….the long side of the field (we’ve already done the short side) so this will be about holding canter for longer and we’ll try it out when the weather is cooler/breezier and when the flies are so nasty.

 

Before and after the ride Bella got some grazing, Stormy on the other hand grazed the whole time in the round pen 😉

 

 

 

 

Tues 17th

 

GREAT NEWS….TODAY MY NEW BOOK IS BEING PUBLISHED ON AMAZON 🙂

I’m so proud of finally getting my book into print. It has my Horsemanship training techniques, my articles, quotes and fun agility bits.

The hardback is a good deal and lovely quality, the paperback needs to be put under a heavy book for a while as the cover can curl at the start.

Just go to Amazon and look up Shelley Newton-Carter or click on the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=shelley+newton-carter&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

Bella & Stormy – May 2024

Wed 1st May

Well, have given Bella quite some time off to see if her ‘lameness’ has gone. She trotted up to me this morning for her apple slices so decided to see how she goes with a short ride this afternoon.

 

She is ok walking in a straight line, has a bit of bother turning right, short stepping her left front foot and a bit of a shuffle around. She is also not good in trot shown with a small bob of her head when her right front foot is on the ground. It’s almost unnoticeable but it ‘feels off-ish’ ;(

Another few days off (as I’m off working in Dumfries & Galloway for the weekend) and when I return the vet will be called. It’s a bit of a worry but don’t think it’s anything too bad as it’s so mild, she’s putting weight on all 4 feet/legs and not holding one up or wincing in pain….just got to get an expert in to see if they can figure out what’s going on ;(

 

Thurs 2nd

 

Today I rode Bella again 😉 Started off with some ‘passenger’ riding which involves me sitting and not really doing any direction. It’s to allow the horse to move where they want, when they want and for the rider to learn to not micromanage and to get into harmony with the horses movements 😉

 

 

 

Bella went well. Allowing her to choose where to go and in which gait allowed her to show me she was happier than yesterday to trot and also canter and I managed to just sit to it and go with her direction.

 

 

 

 

Afterwards we did some loose rein riding where I gave light cues with my weight, legs and reins. She did some nice turns (still a bit stiffer to the right though), backup, leg yields and sidepass 😉

I’m a happier bunny than yesterday….hoping this mild exercise continues to keep her muscles supple.

 

 

Fri 3rd

 

After Bella’s stiffness over the last couple of weeks I have decided to start using my old ‘Equipedic’ saddle pad under her saddle. I used this for Holly and Solly in the past and glad I kept it just in case as it’s one expensive piece of kit. Tried it out yesterday and today used it when Mark and I hacked S&B back to the house. The pad is very good quality memory foam and quite dense so doesn’t just squidge in the middle. I will continue to use this as long as she is comfortable in it….it will really save her back from any undue pressure she may have had with a regular pad 😉

 

 

 

 

All tacked up and ready to hack back to the house.

Mark can look after them easier while I’m away teaching in D&G over the weekend.

 

 

 

 

Lovely ride, hot sun with warm breeze helped us along the way.

S&B very happy to be out and about.

 

 

 

 

Stormy in fine fettle after a long winter 😉

Mark happy still using the saddle after years using my bareback pad, it’s handy having stirrups at times, helps keep our balance 😉

 

 

 

 

Following Stormy, Bella’s a happy hacker.

Gateway #2, using the narrow bit this time 😉

 

And once home they both checked out their new neighbours (a few Highland coo’s) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 7th

 

I’ve been away for the weekend teaching some Agility to students in Dumfries & Galloway and today, after a much needed lie in, I took a much needed walk with S&B….taking them back to their big field 😉

 

 

 

 

Lovely to get my feet back on ground that was familiar…always good to get grounded back at home.

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly half way there and S&B are so connected to me, even after some time away.

They were so listening while I regulated my breathing so they stayed calm and in walk for me.

 

 

 

 

Nearly home and they are still so ‘with me’ and my pace.

 

 

 

 

 

The last stretch and we all have a nice rhythmic trot together 🙂 Really lovely that they did this with me today…I feel so blessed to have built, and keep, this connection with S&B.

The last bit we did was to walk the ‘track’ fence line as it’s now closed off for the Summer (apart from riding sessions) and they are on just over half of the grazing. This will be slowly closed off to create their ‘track’ around the perimeter. This creates more walking for them and less grass which could make them ill 😉

 

 

Wed 8th

Today I went and set up a new agility course, the same course I set up for my recent agility clinic in D&G. Once put together Bella and I  had a short practise session in walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The course obstacles are: 1- Over plastic bottle bank. 2-Under curtain and then back through it. 3-Weave around cones on a circle, change direction and do other way too. 4-Onto large tarp and halt, put smaller tarp over horse. 5-Go into bunting/flag lane, halt over pole in middle, walk on. 6-Jump then halt afterwards. 7-Into ‘T’ shape, turn right and put foot on wood block and then back up out of it. 8-Walk over 4 hulahoops. 9-Go between parallel poles, push ball out, halt and then sidle over one pole so that pole goes between right and left feet. 10-Ground tie horse (basic standstill) then lift feet individually and place into bucket until all 4 feet are in buckets 😉

 

Tues 14th

Finally got some time with Bella today, between her being a bit ‘offish’ lame and me having a bad back it’s been a while since taking some time with her.

We started with a nice groom and then went around the agility course again online together. THEN I saddled her up and we gently rode it too 🙂

 

Ready to ride

 

 

 

  1. Bottle bank. Walk onto it, halt, walk off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Trot under curtain

3. Weave cones on a circle L&R

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Trot onto tarp, halt, trot off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Trot into bunting/flag lane, halt, trot off

6. Jump (no pic of this one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Walk into ‘T’ shaped lane of poles, turn right then place one front foot on the wood block. Back all the way out of the ‘T’ shape 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Walk through 4 hulahoops

 

9. Push ball through parallel poles

10. Sidle over one pole (place both left feet over pole)

 

 

 

Great start to more riding hopefully 😉

 

Weds 15th

 

 

Nice ride with Stormy this afternoon. He was a bit slow to start with but once he realised we were playing Point 2 Points with 3 mouthful’s of grass at each point he zoomed about the field 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Riding  started slowly but went well, Bella had some time grazing in a round pen while we rode about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asked Stormy to herd a wee lambi-kins back to the adjoining field to get back to his momma…..he’s a good shepherd is Stormy 🙂

 

Doing this regularly at moment as young lambs find it fun to squish through the fence to our field, we don’t mind so much and Bella loves any young animal 😉

 

 

 

So, back to having some fun. Storm was a bit slow to start with but realised after shepherd work that he needed a purpose so we went around the field doing P2P’s (Point 2 Points) where we go to a specific spot, he backed up 2 steps then I give him a cue to put his head down and grab 3-4 mouthfuls of grass…he LOVES this game and soon he went from walking slowly to trotting everywhere…even put in a couple of canters too 😉 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 16th

No pics today but because of my bad back Mark very kindly trimmed Bella’s hooves this morning and I had another practise on the Agility course I set Dumfries & Galloway students when I was there. I promised to film me and Bella doing it so they could see how we did and hopefully tomorrow we can actually film it…yeehaa 😉 lol

 

 

Fri 17th

 

Managed to get up pretty early this morning and out to feed S&B. Then I cleaned the field (poo picked) and before the sun got hot managed to get a ride in on Bella.

 

 

 

I started off with a little leading Storm off Bella around the round pens 😉 It went really well and so proud of Bella 😉

 

Then I had a nice 34 min ride on Bella with some lovely walk and managing some nice trot too 😉

Once finished we went up to Stormy, who was happily grazing, got his head up, reattached his lead rope and lead him back to the track while still riding Bella 🙂

 

 

 

 

S&B Having a nice graze together  😉

 

 

 

 

 

LATER TODAY….

Mark and I went out to play with S&B and the Agility course 😉 Here is Mark and Stormy having fun at Liberty….

 

 

 

 

 

 

1] walk through bottle bank.      2] walk under curtain then back up through it.     3] weave on a circle L&R

 

 

 

 

 

 

4] walk onto tarp then 2nd tarp over horse.     5] walk into bunting lane, halt over pole then walk on.     6] jump (Storm just walked over it. lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

7] walk into ‘T’ lane, turn right, foot on wood block then back out of ‘T’ lane.     8] walk through 4 hulahoops (Storm managed his left feet).     9] push ball out of parallel poles, sidepass over pole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10] and finally put all 4 feet into buckets (I did this as Mark’s back was sore today) 🙂

AND….here is Bella and my attempt at the same course…

 

Mon 20th

This afternoon was good for a ride of two as it was cooler with a nice breeze SO…..off to ride a horse or two 😉

First was Mr Stormy. Asking for a nice walk with a good step under him to start with and then he offered some really nice trot and then a nice bouncy canter 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then for Bella. I was a bit concerned that this was going to be ‘off’ as it has been the last 2 weeks and that giving her rest time wasn’t working BUT….

I’m a very happy bunny as she offered to trot, trot, trot and then canter too. I just let her do what she wanted gait wise and knew before when ‘off’ she was reluctant to go faster than walk so this was great news.

I felt no ‘offishness’ nor saw any lameness and ‘touch wood’ she is now happy and rideable more again. Whatever it was that caused it hopefully has gone away now, I think maybe it was a bruised sole or heel on her right front foot, maybe from stones near the stream or from when riding to the house. I’m SO pleased she’s happy to offer trot and canter again…….yeehaa 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

Bella & Stormy – April 2024

Mon 1st April

 

 

After a few days up at the house for S&B today we rode them back to their big field

 

Nice breezy weather but not chilly so made for a lovely ride

 

 

 

 

S&B both happy to be going back to the big field, they love it there with lots of space to roam

 

Went through the field with Highland cows and their calves, luckily none on the track

 

 

 

Bella did an outstanding job going next to gates to allow me off to open them and then to get back on too 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Gate open to the field so we were able to just ride in and down the big hill to the shelter

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 4th

 

 

Lovely day for some exercise. First worked Stormy, mostly walk, just getting his legs to move faster than when he spends all day grazing 😉

 

He did very well and thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

I then did similar patterns but more trot work with Ms Bella. She slowly got into it and understood the patterns of small circls off big circles but looking at the ‘map’ I can see that we need to work on the word ‘circle’, hahaha.

 

Enjoyed just being out and riding my beautiful girlie. She brings a huge smile on my face, they both do 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching before being ridden….2 feet on the pedestal and then 4 feet on the pedestal 😉

 

Bella ‘parked’ at the mounting block waiting patiently for me to jump on board 😉

 

 

 

Mon 8th

Yeehaa…between the days of rain and wind we have some blue skies and puffy clouds today. Not wanting to miss an opportunity I scoot out and ride Storm then Bella 🙂

 

Stormy:

Mostly walk with a bit of trot and a short canter at the end this was mainly to help Stormy stretch his legs. He’s 21yrs young now so I try not to tax him with anything fast or intricate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bella:

Started big fig 8’s around the field in walk, 2nd set was in trot and after a wee rest we did a 3rd set in trot with nice amounts of canter 😉

So pleased we have started to do some canter AND I am pretty pleased that from the ‘map’ I can see we kept to the same path most of the time 😉

 

 

 

 

Thurs 11th

Early morning ride to the house today with Storm, Bella and Mark 😉 What a glorious day it is too, lovely to see our shadow as we ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managed to clamber onto a dyke wall today to remount Bella…she is such a supa-star and sidled to it like we’d done it a thousand times 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy at home for the day now  😉

 

 

 

Sun 14th 

S&B stayed at the house for a couple of days but went home to their big field today. It’s not often we ride when it’s raining but it’s just been one of those months. The track is getting very muddy, not mostly from the rain but from the Highland cattle that have been in the field since December through all the bad weather. S&B did very well not slipping. There is one gateway that is always open and recently I have tied the ‘horsey’ sprung gateway back SO today we went through that gap which is mud free compared to the main gateway. S&B did very well going through it and took care not to bang our feet on the gate posts 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 16th

 

Today Mark and I had a few things to do about the field (renew palettes under sheds which hold some bits of agility in and then clearing old hay from their shelter). I noticed Bella laying down near Stormy, who was lovingly watching over her, so I didn’t have the heart to get her up for a ride SO, I took the opportunity to put together our first 2024 agility course 😉

 

 

 

Agility course 2024/1

(the flags and curtain only get put into place when we are playing in the area as it’s still open to S&B and with Stormy being overly curious he is liable to break them or hurt himself on them)

This is the course:

  1. 2 front feet in hula hoop  2. weave in walk/trot  3. walk/trot/backup through bunting lane  4. trotting poles  5. flag fig 8’s  6. jump  7. walk/trot/halt/backup tarp  8. curtain  9. stand in box  10. flag familiarisation.

I hope to start working on this online tomorrow, then try some bits at liberty and then riding it 😉

 

Fri 19th

After spending some time out and about teaching agility to students it was about time I tried my own agility course today. It was pretty windy and we had absolutely no practise around the course but it just felt good to give it a go….here are Bella and Storm’s first Agility play for 2024 😉

Bella…Score 87%

 

Stormy…..91%

 

Sat 20th

Lovely day for a ride today so went and had a nice time with Bella. It feels like we’ve started our riding year again as she has lost muscle since Feb (when we did quite a bit of riding) but the grass has started coming up so hoping this continues to build our fitness up again.

 

We did more walk than trot, hopefully that will change soon to more trot. She was such a good girl and we started riding with the flag again. Walk with the flag fully out and moving around her and then in trot with the flag half open so we can build up familiarisation with the noise of it in the wind 😉

 

 

 

 

 

I also trimmed her extensively long jaw line hair as it was getting caught in her bridle (not the whiskers which are very necessary when grazing etc), She looks super sleek now <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 23rd

Managed to get S&B’s worm count done this morning, took the samples to the postbox then came back to ride S&B.

I rode Stormy first, he was a bit stiff in his legs to start with but with a gentle start in walk and then moved into a faster walk he started to loosen up a bit. He did some nice trot after that and he sprung into canter to finish off 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then tacked Bella up and started her off the same as Storm, some nice gentle walk moving into a faster walk. I then asked her for some trot but she was quite reluctant, this is not like Bella at all, so we went back into walk and I asked a couple of times more for trot. She was reluctant, stiff and felt very ‘off-ish’, she even tried to offer canter as an alternative but I could feel she wasn’t ‘right’ so dismounted and untacked her.

 

When leaving I asked S&B to follow e and the quad bike for some treats…Bella walked and again very reluctant to go up into trot and when she managed a couple of steps she seemed lame on her front right foot/leg.

I’m going to give her a week off and then try again, if she is still ‘off’ and feeling lame then I’ll get the vet in to have a look at her ;(

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy