Bella – May 2020

Fri 1st May

What a great start to the month. Today we had quite a few FIRSTS….
1) First ride in different area
2) First proper ride with Mark and Stormy
3) First ride in main field with Mark and Stormy
4) First ride around big round pens and all the way back to the agility arena with Mark and Stormy
5) First time putting 2 feet onto pedestal while ridden

I was SO happy to ride in a different area and with Mark and Stormy. Using all the patterns we’ve built up over the weeks we managed to use transitions (backup/halt/walk/trot), P2P’s to many obstacles including jump wings, barrels, tyres and cones, Circles, straight lines, LF & DHQ. I really enjoyed riding with Mark and Stormy and we need to build that up more and more over the next few weeks so that it doesn’t concern us and we can start using some new games to play with them. Here’s some pics from today…







































First time ridden pedestal










Sat 2nd May

And what a fabulous 2nd day to May we had today. Weather a bit cooler but a great day for a LONG walk out with the horses. Mark rode Stormy and we followed in a huge semi-circle of field around their field. Went along two tracks, 4 huge fields, along the river, had some grazing, played with a fence post on the ground and generally had a lovely time. Storm and Mark had a good ride out with plenty of walk, trot and canter and Bella and I got really connected and had a really nice time out and about exploring. Bella was so calm, attentive and happy to walk out carrying our ‘stuff’ in the bags on her back.






















































Sun 3rd May

Today I had some FIRSTS with bella. First try at a Liberty session. First doing Liberty Agility. First Ridden Agility and First full Cloverleaf pattern ridden around my 2 big roundpens and tyre/cone circles πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ That’s 4 FIRSTS and I’m smiling from ear to ear. She coped with the agility without a problem and with the help of treats she stayed with me the whole way around the agility course and did a fab job with all the obstacles….so proud of her and really showed me how far we’ve come in the 10 months she’s been with us πŸ™‚ Here are some pics of the Liberty agility, ridden agility and then riding the cloverleaf in the big field area….


< Weave

Feet in hulahoops>




< Under the Curtain

Jump >




< Trot over the tarp

Trot poles >




< Raised Labyrinth

Trying the curtain again >




< Ridden weave

Halt on the jump pole >




< Back off jump pole

Walk/halt/backup/walk off tarp >




< Walk over poles

Through the labyrinth >




< Over the water tray

Stand in water tray>




< Circling round pen walk

Circling with some trot >





< Nice curve coming on her right side

Focused on the centre of the cloverleaf >




< Relaxed and understanding the pattern more and more as we do the 4 circles >





Weds 6th May

Today Mark brought the horses back to the house for an early farrier visit tomorrow…































A lovely ride back for Mark and horses calm, happy and knowing their destination πŸ˜‰


Thurs 7th May

Today the farrier came early to trim Storm & Bella’s hooves. They did it so quickly and really helped us out as neither of us do the job fast or easily anymore.Β  Pic of them eyeing up the Highland cows opposite their field.



Storm and Bella being trimmed πŸ˜‰







And after all that I got to ride Stormy and lead Bella back home today. This was my first ‘hack out’ for a long long time and it felt good. Storm was a calm, safe boy and Bella moseyed along beside and behind him perfectly. I know soon this route to the house and back will be Bella and my first ‘hack out’ together and I’m really looking forward to it πŸ™‚



Fri 8th May

Went down to have some play with Bella and Stormy today. Didn’t do too much as quite tired today and ankle/achilles is sore but we did some nice bits and connected well.



Circling and a sweet moment with Bella




Halt with feet over pole and then putting that to a sidepass to the jump wing





Labyrinth used as trot poles where she looked where she was going and kept a lovely trot






Sidepass over a jump wing both ways




and then 2 feet on pedestal




Then Stormy showed Bella how to do 4 feet on the ped again





Sidling to the mounting block to the right and left πŸ˜‰





Sat 9th May


Didn’t do anything today as very tired myself but went and fed them their dinner and hung out with them for a little while. Always lovely just being with them doing nothing, it’s when you often see the sweetest things πŸ™‚






Sun 10th May

Had a rest day yesterday so today we went out and I was going to play then ride Bella BUT when we got down to the field it was blowing a really cold wind from the north and it was hard to think. Looking up the weather forecast we could see the weather deteriorate from the north with predicted -3 tonight SO as there are trees before and after our house we bought the horses home for some respite from the constant wind.














Bella and Stormy did a good job again coming back to the house







We’re SO glad we brought them home as we put their medium winter rugs on around 8pm as it was freezing out there…bruggghhh






Mon 11th May


This morning after breakfast time and I’d poo picked the paddocks I saw them sleeping in the sunshine together. This is what we miss when they’re down in their main field down the road and I LOVE seeing it when they’re here…..just lovely to see them happy and relaxed together πŸ™‚




Around mid afternoon we decided that just because they’re here at home we can still do something with them for fun. Normally they are only here in Winter so everywhere is covered in snow but as it’s Springtime we have a whole area to explore now….the moor behind our house. So today this was our challenge…for Mark to ride Storm and me walk Bella in-hand up on the moor for as far as we can walk. We did a lovely trip with two hills climbed and I think the horses enjoyed themselves as much as Mark and I did πŸ˜‰



Going up the first hill from horse paddock and home. Both horses calm and Storm leads the way well. He’s been up this bit before.



Bella is connected to me while still watching where Storm goes but she’s not worried when he goes further away.



Lovely on the flat bit of moor, Bella and I stroll companionably along




Storm ahead and we’re okay with that. Start going up the 2nd hill that winds it’s way through the heather




Mark and Storm wait for us to catch up on top of the hill and then I get to take a pic of them both with Mark before we turn and head back for home.



Well…after a few snatches of heather as both horses can’t resist it πŸ™‚

Bella watching Storm head for home still lovely and calm and probably wondering what the walk was all about.






Bella taking in the view, orienting herself and making notes for our next walk out. Storm and Mark going over one water ‘obstacle’ well.



Love these gorse bushes all in bloom at the moment and where we do the other water ‘feature’ which both horses take in their stride πŸ˜‰



Gorgeous Bella did the walk out beautifully and I feel us getting closer and closer to when I’ll ride her out on these wee hacks.



Tue 12th May



A bit of a windy, cold day so we all took a rest day but we did get out and give Bella and Stormy a touch of grazing while we gave them a good groom.





Wed 13th May

Today I decide that it’s a good opportunity to ride here from home…maybe the start of ‘hacking’ out if she’s okay to ride here.

< I first walk her up and down the place we’re going to ride to get her used to it and to help me know that she’s okay with it all.

I then mount her at the end of the paddock where there’s a big stone we use as a mounting block and ride her back down to where Mark and Stormy are and stop at the paddock gate.

She was absolutely fine, we walked along the grass verge as it’s more comfortable for her barefoot feet.

I then took her back up with a bit of trot and back down again twice more before going a little bit further past Stormy, back to the mounting block to dismount and then walked her back home nice and calmly.

It was a lovely introduction to hacking out which we will hopefully do more of soon πŸ™‚






Thurs 14th May

Today I decide to ride Bella again, this time a wee bit further and with Mark and Storm accompanying us which makes it a lovely FIRST HACK OUT for us all πŸ™‚

I really enjoyed it, past fears of worry from Solly my previous horse, are fading and it’s so lovely to be able to ride out again.


Great mounting and walking slowly up the hill





Following Stormy is great





I walk back down the hill to rest her and make sure she’s okay



Back down the hill I remount at the stone and ride the short distance home πŸ˜‰




Fri 15th May

Today we did further and longer on our 2nd hack out with Mark and Storm..yeehaa. We went onto the moor beyond the hill gateway, we went a wee bit without Stormy and we had a few more trotting sessions πŸ˜‰ Really enjoyed it and I love that we can do this from home, little and often and build Bella’s world confidence and re-build my confidence hacking out too πŸ™‚
































Sat 16th May

3rd Hack today when we took the Bella & Stormy back to their big field a mile down the road. They have done this route quite a few times now with Mark or Me riding Storm and leading Bella from him…so I knew she was happy about the route. Riding from the field to home and back again may be this years main ride as with Covid-19 about we don’t want to ride into the village this year.

Here’s some pics from the ride πŸ˜‰































I used a slightly different halter/bridle set up today. Rope halter same as normally use but it has rings on the sides. I have added a chin strap that also has rings on the ends which loop through the halter loops. This way I can use it as a regular rope halter on the bottom loops, a sidecue from the regular halter rings but also I could put the clip on reins onto the chin strap loops which when used will very slightly tighten the chin strap but won’t over tighten due to the material and width of where you hold the reins πŸ˜‰

I am going to be using this for a while and also her lovely Transcend Sidecue leather bridle to get more softness on her face and more refinement in our riding.




Tues 19th May

Today we went to play with the horses but I’ve not done anything with them for over 2 days now so decided to play with Bella to re-connect to her and then play/ride Stormy to get me back in the saddle and working my stiff muscles. Pics from the day….


Jumping fig 8’s

Sidepassing between cones




Trotting over poles and a tarp




Placing feet and then playing with Stormy while Bella watched




I did a lot of ridden P2P Corners game and then some X box games with Stormy all loose rein, tomorrow hopefully do it all on Bella πŸ˜‰




Wed 20th May

Lovely day for horse play and I had a new ‘toy’ to play with….a Unicorn SpaceHopper that friend Kat bought for me. It was a lot of fun and Bella didn’t mind it at all…thought I was a bit crazy when I sat and bounced on it though! LOL

















< Long reining with Transcend bitless sidecue bridle on. I want to ride in this but needed to know if we had riding cues on board first….left and right ok but halt and backup a bit sticky.

< Tried out a rope combo bridle too which can be used as a sidecue or with an active chinstrap…sidecue was good SO decided to ride in this too as it takes us from riding with reins under the chin to reins on the sides which is the progression I want.

< I rode with both reins, keeping the under chin ones loose and using the new side ones most of the time. She responded nicely to it and now my task is to ride this way all the time working towards loose rein riding too so plenty to keep us occupied πŸ™‚






Thurs 21st May

Today after morning rain showers it turned out to be a nice day so out again to ride Ms Bella. We played and walked the field tacked up and I mounted her in the far large area with the jump wings for corner P2Ps which we did very nice with loose reins and the we did some X box which we did with slight contact to help her figure out the circle pattern.

I didn’t want to bore her so just got the basic games down and then rode with Mark and Stormy to the round pens where we did a bit of following them around a bit which was nice. On the way back to the mounting block in the agility arena to get off we did left and right sidepass along the fence line, it wasn’t perfect but it was our FIRST time trying ridden sidepass so was well pleased with her try for me πŸ™‚



< P2Ps with loose rein for her to learn straightness without me on her face >



< P2Ps in trot too….picked up a bit of rein to help with accuracy as she lost the pattern a bit in trot >



< X box…the two ‘obstacles’ is were X is and X means change….halt, transition, change circle size, change direction. Using partial contact so that she didn’t get lost on the pattern I hope to be doing this loose rein soon once she understands what my focus, seat weight and leg cues mean πŸ™‚ >



< X Box >




< Doing some circles and fig 8’s around the big round pens with Stormy and Mark watching >



< our FIRST RIDDEN SIDEPASS πŸ˜‰ Not bad going to the right and a bit sticky going to the left, which is what I expected πŸ˜‰ >



Sun 24th May

We’ve had two days of rain and windy weather but today it’s started toΒ  brighten up so off out to see the horses for an hour or two. Today I wanted to experiment with using a ‘normal’ headcollar for play and Bella’s Transcend Bitless Sidecue bridle as she has been developing a ‘head tossing tick’ which I think is to do with learning stress and the rope halters I use (I’ve dismissed allergies as it only happens when I think about training her and the rope halter goes on).

It all actually went quite well, we have some good comunication cues going on for both ground work and riding SO it wasn’t perfect but definitely workable and I will continue to test the halter and bridle out over the next week or so in the safety of the field.

We did have TWO FIRSTS today….(1) trotting over trot poles & (2) trotting a corner πŸ˜‰






























Mon 25th May

Another lovely day here today so keeping up the consistency of testing Bella working in halter and riding in bitless sidecue. Today I really didn’t even think about what was on her head, our connection and communication is really good and we had a lovely play session working on draw/drive, moving circles, moving fig 8’s, on the pedestal and jumps and then I saddled her up, put her Transcend Sidecue bitless bridle on and off we went. I do think that teaching the techniques has been really helped by using the rope halter but we don’t necessarily need to keep it on all the time, or ever, now πŸ˜‰

We did much more than yesterday with this too working on turns in trot, riding the length of the field, riding some P2Ps and X-box in the top arena area in walk and trot and some lovely work following Stormy and Mark and also some ridden ‘leap frog’ game in trot with them first in the arena and then all the way coming back to the agility area πŸ˜‰ Lovely day, she went well in the bridle and also was easy to DHQ-LF when she and Stormy scooted forward when a ‘bird scarer’ went off πŸ˜‰ So happy with her progress….going really well πŸ™‚

Here’s some pics from today…Ground work first


< Backing up

Sidepass together >




< Sidepass together

Sidepass towards >




< Sidepass towards

Moving circles and fig 8’s >




<Moving fig 8’s >





< touch it – feet

Distance stand on ped >




< and nice jump >






















Tues 26th May

A day off from riding today for me and Bella. I wanted to take her for a walk, have a change in training and exercise our legs along the main track past our field. It was a beautiful day for it and we had fun with Mark and Stormy along with us.

Pics I took….


Mark leading Bella up the field hill while I walked slowly.

Down track hill.


Along lovely long straight stretch where Mark and Stormy did a lovely trot and we plodded along quietly behind.

Lovely broom out along the track today.



Mark trotted and cantered in front of us and Bella was calmy connected to me which was fab.

Mark and Stormy waiting for us to catch up.



Pics Mark took…


Bella found a nice tree to munch on.

We did some nice walk/trot/walk transitions down the track here.

Up the last hill for home.

Took her straight to the water when we got back into the field….leadership bonding πŸ˜‰




Weds 27th May

Did a nice bit of play again today and then saddled up and rode. We videoed our Lesson 8 which was about starting some patterns. Corners game, X-Box and Clover Leaf. So pleased with her progress, she is riding so nicely and her trot is coming along very well.



Nice circles with obstacles






Light back ups and sidepassing over a pole length wise





Lovely riding for our Lesson 8 video (on the Lesson video page >>>>)

Love that she’s happy to walk with me after I take her tack off πŸ˜‰



Thurs 28th May

Something different today again so out for a small walk down on the field next to ours and Mark and Stormy walked around the perimeter while Bella and I walked across the field and back but then I got on her at the gateway and rode up the hill back to the field. This is our first time with me getting on at a gate and riding in a big field πŸ˜‰




































  • Shelley – HorseSavvy



Bella – April 2020

Thu 2nd April

Bit windy to do any much today but we practised for our 2nd obstacle challenge which we have a week to practise, this week the obstacle is one POLE πŸ™‚

For a bit of fun after practising pole work I took Bella to the pedestal. She has a very solid front feet up on it now and today I asked her back right up with a rope and when she left that there for a while I went over the other side, she shifted her weight forward and picked up her last hoof up onto the ped…I was over the moon….AND she kept it there while I rewarded her big time for this effort πŸ˜‰

Here’s the video of her doing her FIRST 4 feet on pedestal….


Sat 4th April

Today we had another FIRST for Bella today….a short ‘walk out’ with Stormy. Hopefully this will help her familiarise to things outside her field and get her ready for hacking out later on. For our first walk out we went out of the lower gate, down a small hillock, over the wooden bridge and into the big field called ‘the haugh’. The field is quite big so we just walked straight across it to the edge of the river….we all rested a bit, Mark found a stone wall to climb onto to mount Stormy and we walk back to the bridge. Then I give Bella’s lead rope to Mark and he ponied her back to the field while I took my time walking.

Me and our beauties



< getting Storm’s bareback pad and bridle on..all ready to go


Bella led for the first half, Stormy wanted to graze, Bella doesn’t know that’s allowed πŸ˜‰ >






< B watching S go across the wooden bridge


Me and B crossing the bridge nice and calmly >






< all the way to the river πŸ˜‰


On the way back we walk calmly and Mark walks Stormy in circles around us >






< Bella really connected to me even though Stormy circling us

Stormy showing that a piece of silage plastic is nothing to be worried about, Bella says ‘I’m not worried but I don’t want to touch a piece of old plastic thank you’ >






< Big hill coming up, I can walk it slowly and Mark can lead Bella off Storm πŸ˜‰

Easy over the bridge together >




< Storm like to canter up this hill…Bella keeps up with her huge trot

waiting for me to catch up..both calm and happy >





< last trot to the gate for home >




This is the route we took, there and back πŸ™‚



Sun 5th April

Today we went out and I played with Bella already saddled up and then rode her for a bit. It was a bit windy and she was good but had sticky feet a bit to start with but then got going ok. I’m thinking of making a rectangular or square arena to ride in, it might be a bit more interesting for her….we’ll see πŸ˜‰


We are working on more movement in the games now so half circles and circles I don’t stay static in one place but walk about a bit so she gets different obstacles or space to walk or trot in.


Her leg yields on a circle with ‘feel’ game (hadn on her side to represent my heel when riding) are coming along nicely and we even had some leg yields with ‘focus’ game too (this is where I use my ‘focus and intent’ to move her over at a distance)








Circles on the move where we came up to the scattered poles…she was fab over them, really looking and knowing where her feet and energy was πŸ™‚









Getting ready to ride and a bit treat after her play session.




I then had a nice ride in the round pen with a FIRST of getting on her from the right side πŸ˜‰ She didn’t bat an eyelid about it and that’s one thing about her, she has no previous training so doesn’t have any hangups about doing things that the rest of the horsey world find strange πŸ˜‰ It was a nice ride, some sticky feet to start with but let her have her stops, her rests and time to think then asked again and continued for a bit longer today. Her Lateral Flexion to left and right are really nice and getting light and soft, she needs some more work on her DHQ’s left and right as she thinks about bracing every time I ask SO I have to find a way to ask even nicer for her so she doesn’t think about that and does some nice hindquarter moves. All going in the right direction.





Tues 7th April

Started off with a really nice play session online with the start of ‘touch it’ with her nose to a cone, circles, fig 8’s and rope around spins.

We also did a first by putting the half circle by a fence together with sidepass which she did really really well, was blown away by her flexibility and ease doing these two together πŸ™‚



< Touch itΒ 

Circles, fig 8’s >



< Rope around spins

Half circle….>




< …to sidepass >





I then play walk/trot circles with saddle on and my noisy, flappy, tassled half chaps. Not wanting to wear them without testing in case the noise upsets her but she took it all in her stride πŸ˜‰




Today I decided to try to ride in the larger agility area with Stormy to help bring some movement, confidence and maybe a stride or two of trot. What I found out was (1) she likes consistency so changing arena was strange for her (2) she listened to me more than wanting to be with Stormy so that tells me we’re well connected (3) think she needs a PURPOSE to why she goes forward (4) think straight lines are better than curves/corners especially if wanting forward…SO….with that in mind I will change the set up for next time we ride and see if P2P’s (Point 2 Points) work for her like it did for my Tara in the past. I gave her a rest after this and watched Mark riding Storm about the field and then I re-mounted and rode her in the round pen which was better with forward motion but I pressed her for more and eventually got it.



Riding around the cones and Stormy who stood still for a while in the centre




Seeing if Bella wanted to follow Stormy but she wasn’t overly keen




So asked Mark to stand still again and we circled then fig 8 around him and the cones.




Thurs 9th April

Today we went out for another lovely walk with Me & Bella, Mark & Stormy. Down to the field below our one and along the river for a bit. Bella was calm, attentive, didn’t worry about where Stormy was and decided that taking aΒ  bit of grazing was okay which says she was relaxed πŸ˜‰
















I then rode Bella in the agility arena. I was looking for more forward motion, less stops and after last few rides I realised she needed the 3 main things that horses need when being ridden and they are…’A DIRECTION, A SPEED and A DESTINATION’. Working in a round pen helps get momentum sometimes but for some horses it’s going nowhere SO to help Bella I placed a few ‘obstacles’ around the arena and started working on P2P’s (Point 2 Points) which will give her exactly those 3 pointers mentioned earlier. I think she needs to know what/where/why….this is helping πŸ˜‰




Fri 10th April

Another dry day outside so Mark and I go for another walk out with Bella and Stormy. This is our 3rd walk out and each time it’s slightly different. Today we went down into the field by the river but walked along the back edge and then out, up a track to a gateway and then up another muddy track back to the field right next to the horses one, so a lovely circular walk. Bella was calm and connected to me, she didn’t worry about where Stormy was (she knew where he was) and whether he was in front, behind or trotted past us πŸ˜‰ She stayed connected to me and it was a lovely pleasant walk together.
































Just a lovely walk, not too far but expanding our horizons each time we venture out πŸ˜‰




After the walk I rode Bella with our 2nd attempt at P2P’s…now that she’s got her direction, speed and destination she seems quite happy to go where I ask her, I’m trying to give her a loose rein as much as possible without her feeling lost so that we start to get our riding cues of focus, energy, seat weight and leg aid better. Here’s today’s short video of how it went πŸ˜‰


She is also coming along nicely with her head down for bridling…








Sat 11h April

Our 4th walk out….going so well and enjoying it enormously. Today Mark and I shared riding Stormy and leading Bella which meant I didn’t have to walk the whole ‘walk out’.



After this lovely walk I saddled and played with Bella before riding…


< Working on P2P’s from the ground

Point 2 Points using S2M >




AND then I went to ridden P2P’s. These are really working well, she loves having a purpose and giving her a ‘DIRECTION, SPEED & DESTINATION’ makes sense πŸ™‚

< Much better forward walk with P2P’s


AND…we had a few strides of TROT today >





Sun 12th April

Today I managed to film a lot of the new HS FB GROUP CHALLENGE – 4 CONES πŸ™‚ It’s really stretched my imagination and also Bella’s learning while enjoying it a lot. After playing I saddle Bella up and mount on the right again, she has no problem with me mounting on either side which is great and the P2P’s go very well, we even went over poles and through the bunting narrow lane which I’ve used for agility. So proud of this lovely girl πŸ™‚



Tues 14th April

After a lazy day yesterday I went out with two things in mind to do….another cone challenge video for later and to see if I can teach her to sidle to the mounting block. She learned the cone challenge well, got that filmed, just two more to do AND she was a total star with sidling to the block…’ s a video of it…


I then wondered if she’d stand on the pedestal…she has been putting 2 feet on easily so I wanted to see her do this at liberty after our session. She was so good with 2 feet I helped her with her backs…what a star…blow away with her understanding, patience and willingness, here’s the video of it…


Wed 15th April

And today I had some play/riding fun first with Stormy and then with Bella and our FIRST today was Bella offered some lovely, soft, slow TROT STEPS…our proper first ones and it was lovely. Here is the P2P vid from today where she did fabulously well with her walk and then trot at the end.



Sat 18th April

Lovely sunny weather today after two days of really cold windy weather SO out to the horses at lunchtime and what a nice time I had. I rode both Stormy and Bella again and both did very well. Really enjoyed it and think they did too.

Lovely ride with Stormy today, up and down hillocks, nice trot and canter and suppled me up ready to ride Bella.


We had some noise when I was just about to get on Bella. The estate owner and friends came up to check on the land behind and to the side of our horses field to check their new trees, they were talking loudly and kids giggling etc and although Bella was slightly distracted she did really well to listen to me as well as keep an eye on what was going on nearby.


I changed our routine today because she had slightly sticky feet so we did P2P’s which started and ended at the mounting block and then weaving and serpentines inbetween and that turned out very nicely and helped us get into doing more turns instead of just straight lines πŸ™‚











Sun 19th April

Today I decided to try playing in a different area. I wasn’t sure what would happen but knew that a new environment would be a challenge for her. I have a big arena area that I put 6 jump wings into so we could hopefully ride P2P’s in but I always like to check out the ground work connection before doing something like that just to make sure it’s okay and even though this is an area she grazes in it doesn’t mean she’s ready to play there. So I groom her and halter her up with a 22′ line on and went to play.

Consistent things were: Circles, touch it with her nose, changes of direction, walk, trot, halt on breath out.
New things were: Area and moving circles.

What happened: Well, at first she was sceptical, then she got quite emotional and had bursts of canter but as I played very consistently and keeping my energy down, my focus on each part of the games that she already knows and treating for relaxation at a halt/touch it with her nose to the jump wings she started to ‘get’ what the game was. She started thinking and before I knew it she was doing moving circles in trot or walk, whichever I asked for, and spotting the jump wing we were going to and doing LEG YIELDS to get to the destination. I was SO proud of her and it was lovely to see her relax and become confident in the game.


































Tues 21st April

Well it’s really sunny with blue skies here but with a wind whistling down the glen like a banshee ;( But out for some horse play as it’s always lovely to be out with them especially in sunshine. I played with Bella exactly as before with the jump wings doing w/t/c moving circle P2P touch it’s and she totally just GOT IT big time. Her gaits were calm, she searched for the jump wing to stop at and did it brilliantly. Here’s a video of her doing it…

AND then I got to ride her for a wee bit. I am still doing P2P’s but added 4 jump wings in the centre for a place called X. With these obstacles I can now try to give her another new pattern which is X box. This is where X in the centre of the 4 jump wings becomes the ‘place of change’. At first I do a circle and always stop at X, then I can ask for more and each time we come back to X that is where something can change…so it gives us a more unpredictable pattern. The changes at X can be, change of gait, change of size circle, change of how many circles so we could do small, medium or large circles on way only, then get the other way, make fig 8’s and then onto a clover leaf pattern so we can have many consistencies and many changes all in that one X pattern. Here is some pics from our first try…



Lots of turns

Lots of straight lines




More forward motion

More fluid arcs




Great focus

Great through scary corridors



Pattern slowly making sense

X becoming a place to halt




P2P’s becomingΒ  better

Barrels a place for treating πŸ™‚





Thurs 23rd April

Lovely sunny day again and the wind has died down a wee bit making it even nicer to be out with the horses.


When I was getting ready it was fun to see Bella go through the bunting lane and stand by the barrel warming up for her P2P’s completely on her own πŸ™‚ lol




We started off with some basic moves including sidepass which she does fabulously well…so supple.




We then did some P2P’s together online showing her what we’ll be doing today.




She did really well in walk and trot, stopping each time at the obstacle with my breath out.





I then introduced the big ball…..I wasn’t sure how she would take to it but apart from wondering what it was she wasn’t really phased.



She was okay with me picking it up and putting it near her, she wasn’t sure she wanted to touch it but we worked on that until she wasn’t thinking about it so much.




Me moving it away and her following it really helped bring out her curiosity and at one point Stormy came over and helped her become more confident with it which was super cool of him πŸ˜‰



Didn’t bother when I pushed it underneath her belly or put it on her back.




And also she wasn’t really bothered with it being bounced near her. We have a Ball Challenge coming up at the beginning of May so this will be something we can work on well I think πŸ˜‰

After our play session I got on and rode some P2Ps. She was great heading to each obstacle in turn, moving forward with a nice walk and stopping on my breath out.


She went over the poles well, very focused on her goal




AND because I put some treats on the two barrels which have a fab long straight line between them she decided that that was a good motivation for giving me some TROT today. She managed 4 wee bits of trot and on the 4th one I dismounted and gave her a huge treat and finished the session πŸ™‚








Fri 24th April

Another stunningly beautiful day and no wind so out with horses again today. I’m loving the consistency I can get when the weather is good πŸ™‚

Today we filmed most of our ‘Ball Challenge’ footage, she was really good with it all and the video will be up on here on May 4th which is the closing day of the challenge on my FB group.

Other than that practise we did some lovely leg yields online and then I rode her. Today we did more trot steps AND we went out of the agility arena onto the grass which has my two round pens and two circles made up of cones and tyres. I use this area a lot to train as it has straight lines and circles, we can do any gait, change direction, do fig 8’s, weave, clover leaf, X box and many other fascinating things SO today was out first day doing P2P’s to the tyres and on to my other nicely placed barrel which I put treat on πŸ™‚ All went according to plan and it felt good to be riding her in a different place. Here’s a short video of some of it….



Sat 25th April

Day off today, for me and the horses. I like to let Bella process lessons thoroughly so at least once a week or more we have a day off. If the weather is bad I stay in but if the weather is good then I can still go and hang out with them, groom, take them for a leisurely grazing walk and this is what we did today…a lovely leisurely grazing walk with Mark and Stormy. I still get to teach some ‘grazing game’ and ‘leading game’ so that she doesn’t learn to pull me or grab for grass and it isΒ  lovely bonding time for us as a herd πŸ™‚

I also trimmed her jawline of the long thick hair. It’s the only hair I trim usually as I hate it getting caught in the halter/bridle and pulling. It makes her look so pretty, what a lovely face she has. Stormy looses his winter jaw hair now but I used to do his too πŸ˜‰













Sun 26th April

Not a bad day weather wise so out and about with horses again. Today I decided that by riding Storm and leading Bella it would be a good way to get her familiar with being ridden in different area’s SO today’s area’s were the round pens and my tyre and cones circles πŸ˜‰







I then tacked Bella up and rode her in the area’s we’d already been over with Stormy…it worked very well πŸ˜‰



Started off in the agility, going around the outside of the agility and over some obstacles.





Then we went out and about in the field going to tyre towers, cones and the barrel out there working on the P2P principles still.




And we had quite a few longer TROTTING sessions today too πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚





And in the end we had a lovely wee Liberty session where she put feet up on the pedestal and did S2M backups/walk/halt AND trot πŸ˜‰





Tues 28th April

Had a grey rainy day yesterday so a day off for us all but today is grey but not rainy so got out to continue me and Bella’s journey. Firstly we did more leading off Stormy to get thatΒ  better and to make sure she has tried to go off both sides which she hasn’t done before…

















Vid of Storm & Bella trotting together…



I saddled Bella and had a quick play and then again mounted from the right today and then rode her in the agility area and outside in the main field. She is getting the hang of her transitions of halt/backup/walk/trot and we had more trot today than last time AND we pushed the amount of treat times further apart so we got some nice circling around the cone and tyre obstacles before being treated today which was a huge bit of progress πŸ˜‰























Short video of Bella trotting…



Thurs 39th April

Last day of April, it’s been on/off rainy and cold here but managed to get out for a little bit before rain started again. We also managed TWO FIRSTS….’

1) Sidepass ‘together’. She got this pretty quickly
2) Sidle to the mounting block on the RIGHT. This was hard but she got there and when I went to get on her to ride she offered her right side πŸ™‚












And then I rode a bit with Mark and Stormy and then on our own to get out and work in the big field slowly getting more confident about riding further and putting in more ‘patterns’, today we did some circles, weave and fig 8’s. A lovely end to April, bring on May πŸ™‚



















  • Shelley – HorseSavvy