Bella – November 2020

Weds 4th Nov

At last we have a dry pretty mild day….out with horses for some fun but not too much as don’t want to get them sweaty as not a lot of daylight at the moment and I don’t want them getting cold going into a cold night.


Lovely to get on Bella after so many rainy days.

We did some nice one hand riding around the cones in fig 8 and weave patterns.





She was lovely through the trot poles in a tight serpentine using forward, dhq, forward ๐Ÿ˜‰






And a lovely sideways over a pole one way then back again….she really understands this move now ๐Ÿ˜‰





Stormy being his normal fabulousness ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bella and I using the obstacles in the circle weave for fig 8’s….






We don’t do two obstacles next to each other and we change the cone we go around to make the fig 8’s more interesting and spontaneous ๐Ÿ˜‰




Treat for such a good girl.

Last task is to check out some familiarisation with the new gateway. We’ve done it online with our ground work so she knows how it moves and sounds so big test now is to see how it goes ridden….



…this task really makes me see how well our connection and communication are now. We needed forward, back, sideways left and right and all with small steps one after the other. She did really well as had to push the gate open far to start with, put my feet/legs up on her shoulders to get through the gateway to start with.


We did a quick trot around the inside of the round pen for a rest and then back to the gate where she sidled up to to our right to put the string back on it, this helps open/close a gate with such a big horse as I can’t get to hold it open/close from the saddle easily. Then out of the gateway nice and calmly ready to close it.



Forward to shut the gate then backup quickly to latch it up again. She was a star, more practise needed but a really really great first try ๐Ÿ˜‰





Fri 6th Nov

Quite sunny today but knew it wasn’t going to be there for long where we live amongst the hills SO out for a wee plod again and try not to make Bella or Stormy sweaty as their thick winter coats are coming in well now. SO, for the time coming over Winter I think we will try to do small, slow things WELL and today we started on some of them.

Walk and trot over random poles, almost like checking out a jump course but trying to be particular with our gait, focus and preciseness.

Did a very nice sideways along a raised pole.



Stormy watching Bella.

Once Bella understood the ‘game’ with the poles she went very well over them.


Focus, focus, focus ๐Ÿ™‚





Nice pedestal game before riding ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then we went to Loose Rein riding with P2P’s. She went a bit crooked for a while and I did small, quick corrections then back to loose reins…



…and she started to get the game well and I hardly had to touch the reins. These small focus games are fun and very connecting ๐Ÿ™‚




She did very well and I will continue to do more stuff in walk so as to not sweat her up.





Watching Stormy and Mark having a yeehaa…loving the horsey shadows ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bella watching Mark and Storm while having a rest ๐Ÿ˜‰




Sat 7th Nov

A really beautifully sunny day today, blue skies, not warm but nice enough to take my fleece off ๐Ÿ˜‰ yeehaa…out with Bella again for DAY 2 of the pole/p2p workouts. First with the poles we tried our FIRST attempt with CORDEO which actually really well, backups were fab and turns were working much more on my focus/energy/weight cues/outside leg ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then we did some lovely P2P’s around the whole field and she put in some really lovely trot P2P’s too ๐Ÿ˜‰


Start with some connecting S2M ground work with the poles. A nice treat before getting on to ride .




FIRST attempt with the CORDEO (neck rein) and she did so well. Backups were great and started really ‘feeling’ our turns working well.




Out into the main field for some loose rein P2P’s. I put lots of cones around the field to focus our focus on ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  She did really well once she realised the cones were there.




Bella put in some fabulous trot and felt really freeing to not pick up the reins and to just focus on our destination.



Lovely connection by the end of the session ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚






Sun 8th Nov

Today I saw the forecast from 12 noon onwards was rain, rain, rain SO decided to do the morning horse breakfast/poo picking session and to chance trying a ride in the morning…a FIRST for us and yes this is what I did. Bella didn’t worry about the time of day and we had a lovely 3rd consistent session of pole and P2P work ๐Ÿ˜‰



Great P2P’s today, lovely consistent loose rein we felt in harmony and focusing together more.








Put a light weight rug on her afterwards, not really sweaty today but felt she was quite warm and the day was quite chilly so didn’t want her getting cold. The rug came off an hour later and she was fine with that too ๐Ÿ™‚



End of yesterday’s P2P session:

and end of today’s P2P session….didn’t use the reins once on this point:


Thurs 12th Nov

At last, some dry weather after 4 days of fog and then torrential rain SO…out with Bella for some gentle bareback connecting….


Sideways around me then some circles in walk and trot with smooth cod’s





oop….that trot looks like a canter! LOL

some rope around spins on both sides




again she was smooth and knew exactly what to do even though we’ve not done this for ages ๐Ÿ™‚





Some really lovely sideways together to the right….




and to the left





Then some really lovely connected Bareback riding….firstly some Passenger lesson where I control the gait (walk) but she can go anywhere she wants and I just sit and follow ๐Ÿ˜‰




Then some lovely RtR in walk, some light sideways left and right…




and some RtR in trot ๐Ÿ˜‰ Big hugs for such a good girl looking after me.


Big Stormy caught up with us once we’d finished to check for treats <3


Fri 13th Nov

More drizzly rain today and they look a wee bit tired from the weather over night as it rained heavily again (not forecast!)..SO, no play today but spent some nice time with them this morning when poo picking which was nice ๐Ÿ˜‰


Nice and calm for breakfast


Bella doing some water familiarisation




Stormy following Bella with the water familiarisation


Stormy tired after breakfast, probably a bit of a restless night




Thurs 19th Nov

Been a horrible week of wind, rain and cold but managed to get out today for some ‘undemanding time’ with B&S.



They really enjoyed their first hay of the year in their shelter ๐Ÿ˜‰





It was really lovely to just to sit and hang out with the neddies, I put one of my triangle jump wings in the corner of the shelter and sat down on it. Much warmer sitting in the shelter and I love listening to the sound of them munching hay….joyous and meditational ๐Ÿ˜‰







Managed to snatch two lovely selfies with Stormy and Bella ๐Ÿ™‚








Sat 21st Nov

Yeehaa…another DRY day so out to have a bit of fun in the afternoon….


Decided to ride Stormy bareback and to lead Bella from him so they both got a bit of fun riding today ๐Ÿ™‚





They did so well, keeping a nice walking pace together, she stayed mostly at my foot and I worked her from the right and left sides ๐Ÿ˜‰




THEN we did a FIRST for them…..I got them sidled up together beautifully and went from sitting on Stormy to sitting on Bella without getting off ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeehaa




Such Good horsesย 



Thurs 26th Nov

Started off today with riding Stormy bareback and leading Bella. They were both really good, calm, attentive and listening to my requests. She lead on the left and right and did some nice turns with us going in circles where she moved slowly on the inside and faster on the outside. We also did some turns towards so both horses turned towards each other and changed sides ๐Ÿ˜‰

















Then I decided to try my ‘move from one horse to another’ move again ๐Ÿ™‚


Sidled Bella up to Stormy well

Got my position ready…both legs on Storm’s right



Got my right leg up on Bella’s back, she didn’t move an inch

And then pushed myself off from Storm’s back onto Bella’s back…this was the point that I could have fallen off if they’d moved away from each other



Up on Bella’s back and we try a bit of leading Stormy from her, she wasn’t sure about that so something we can work on ๐Ÿ˜‰




And then I rode Bella with a saddle on ๐Ÿ˜‰


Loose rein focus over poles, turns to the left and right nicely done without hardly using the reins today



Lovely focus and connection

Also really light sideways over a pole



She really gets sidepassing now ๐Ÿ™‚

And to finish we did a nice gate open/close task



Gate open….through gate

This task uses a lot of manoeuvres: forward/back/left/right/sideways left and right ๐Ÿ˜‰




She still moves slightly quickly through the gate but I have to keep my feet tight as it’s not very wide so this could be causing her to shoot through…managed to close the gate nicely too.



Fri 27th Nov

A bit damp so decided to do some ‘lasso’ familiarisation. She’s done this with a long long rope but the lasso has a different feel and a slight noise to it because it has a metal ‘hondo’ at the end of it. She did marvellously well, so proud of her.


Me and Bella ๐Ÿ˜‰

Worked on familiarisation over her body with the whole rope, also used the lasso coils to move her hq’s with some feel game



Then I started on throwing the coils and recoiling them back up in front and to the side of her




and also made sure I did it on both sides with both of my hands ๐Ÿ˜‰





Then I got up on a ‘mounting block’ (jump wing) and did the same from there




Both sides and moved her around without getting off the mounting block, we’ve got such a good partnership, love working with her <3




Stormy wanted in on the act so I did some coiling and familiarisation with him too






Such a good boy




I did actually manage to lasso the jump wing on just the 2nd try…so pleased with myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL



I then did a short bareback session again working on the things we did yesterday….lightness on the reins, pole focus and sideways ๐Ÿ˜‰


Halt and backup beautifully light and our loose rein riding focus over poles is really coming along so well





<<< Sideways over pole, light and focused with both over a pole short and long ways >>>





Such lightness off my seat weight/leg/focus cues

Familiarisation with my body on her back, rump, withers and neck ๐Ÿ™‚


Love this beautiful girl



Sat 28th Nov

And today we tried to lasso from the saddle (not actually riding, just in standstill) those cowgirls and cowboys make this look easy…it’s not!!


Practising normal things with the lasso on the saddle ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another ground practise of throwing and coiling the lasso next to her



Actually in the saddle and throwing/recoiling the lasso ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚




NOW….to make the lasso loop and try to throw it. This is an extreme familiarisation for Bella, hearing/seeing the lasso flailing around in the air above her back…she was fab and stood still for me



AND…a lasso throw…actually got pretty close quite a few times but no actual lasso’ing of the jump wing today ;*(





Did manage to stand near it, drop the lasso loop over the jump wing and drag it a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰ SO, that’s the end section done, now I just need to learn to lasso from the saddle and allow Bella to get used to the whole idea more ๐Ÿ˜‰


Sun 29th Nov

2nd try at some lasso work…great on the ground but she moved a bit when trying it ridden from a distance and I realised when I played the video back that I was very very slightly touching her rump when doing it so no wonder she was moving. More familiarisation for her and more lasso practise for me…next year now though ๐Ÿ˜‰

Video from today when we did a nice drop ‘lasso’ again and drag….


And some familiarisation afterwards…looking for relaxation ๐Ÿ˜‰


Mon 30th Nov

Tomorrow we have the farrier coming early SO as the grass has stopped growing and it’s almost winter we decide to have a nice ride/hack to the house so that they can be there nice and early to get their feet trimmed ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a lovely walk/ride with Bella, Mark and Stormy. I got off a couple of times because (1) there were places that were really muddy/slippery and (2) because we had to go through a field that had Highland cows in. Luckily Highland cows are pretty sceptical so they moved away but I wanted to make sure Bella was okay going through the field…which she was ๐Ÿ˜‰










































  • Shelley – HorseSavvy


Spirit – March 2019

Tues 5th

The weather has been good/bad and on/off for a few days, we never seem to know what itโ€™s going to do so are relying on the forecasts from The Met Office and The BBC. Beginning of March supposidly coming in like a Lion so decided on the 5th to bring the herd back to the house in case of snow. If too much snow falls we have trouble getting the mile down the track to feed and tend them so safety first, get the horses back to the house and see what happens.

Sweet Spirit has also had a wee bit of a snotty nose so we brought in our vet and heโ€™s taking 5 days of antibiotics (also took bloods and snot swabs to rule out anything nasty). Being at the house we can keep an eye on him and make sure heโ€™s cosy and warm.

Because Tara is old now and she really walks slowly we decided that Mark would ride Stormy (bareback) and pony/lead Spirit from him, they have a similar pace and they have bonded really well. Tara and I walked companionably together at her pace (slow) and just enjoyed the walk rather than her having to try to keep up with the boys. It worked out really well and I was so proud of Stormy for stepping up and doing a great ponying job, heโ€™s only done it once before in the field, and for Spirit for being a good boy being lead when heโ€™s probably never done it before.


Thurs 7th

Well the weather really isn’t being as bad as any of the forecasts are saying, the house paddocks are getting rather muddy and so we decided today to take them back to the big field. There is more old ‘grazing’ for them, more space, flat space for old Tara and no mud SO Mark takes Storm and Spirit back by riding/leading and Tara and I mosey on back in our own time behind them. Spirit’s ‘cold’ seems to be clearing nicely with the antibioticsย  ๐Ÿ™‚



Really nice bit of leading and riding from Mark


Tara with me, taking our time on our walk together

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ย 


Back to feed the herd in the late afternoon and found that Spirit’s been working on some of his own extreme Familiarisation…flapping broken rug, energy, motion and noise…no problem ๐Ÿ˜‰ lol


I changedย Spirit’s rug to his best one as I want to keep him cosy until the bad weather has passed, give him a chance to get rid of his ‘cold’ fully and because it was so windy we had to put their hay in their ‘hay bags’ tonight… pleased Spirit wasn’t fazed by having to eat out of the flapping heavy duty plastic bag…Familiarisation comes in many forms ๐Ÿ˜‰

The herd from the top track..Spirit, Stormy and Tara…all with their individual hay sacks, happy, warm, contented and well fed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thurs 14th

We’ve hadย  awful weather this week so no play apart from small bits of draw and drive for a treat at feeding time, moving hq’s over to turn, Stick 2 Me walking together to the hay etc. There is always something small we can work on which all helps with our connection.

BUT there was a lull in the bad weather and I took advantage of it by filming Spirit’s update on his Lesson 2, you can see it on his video category, “Spirit – Training Video’s”, scroll down or up aย  bit to find the Categories section in the right panel of this blogย  ย >>>>>>>>>>>>

(here is the page if you can’t find the Categories section:ย

Mon 18th

A lovely day day weather wise so out to play with Spirit and we managed to film our Lesson 3, it is in the blog category “Spirit – Training Videos” where there is the collection of all our training sessions.

Spirit is learning veryย well and I’m enjoying being around him and teaching him. We now have seven practise days to do from Lesson 3 but I’m also thinking of doing Lesson 4 as it will be the beginning of his Bitless riding journey which is very exciting… Watch this space ๐Ÿ™‚

Weds 20th

Another nice day and a good training session. I filmed a Training Tip and also Spirit’s Lesson 4 which is the start of his Bitless Riding Journey. Again it is on the right side of this blog, Category are ‘Spirit – Training Videos’ & ‘Training Tip Videos’

Thurs 28th

Today I went out to saddle and ride Spirit to get more of the basic ridden stuff going but instead I ended up putting some agility obstacles out (for Mark to play with the horses whilst I’m away training next week) and low and behold all 3 horses came into the open area to see what I was doing…Stormy also made it quite clear that he wanted to PLAY and play now…here’ s some pics from the afternoon of fun we had ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see Spirit was quite happy to go and look at things, sniff them but found it harder to do stuff with them SO that’s why at the end I put his halter/rope on to help him find that confidence to go onto the pedestal (his 2nd time…see Lesson 5 video), he’s not being bad but almost respecting that he doesn’t do something he thinks he shouldn’t (unlike Stormy who pushes, pulls, rubs on and bites everything going. lol). Giving him the confidence to play online will help with playing at liberty and also his basic bravery when I ask him to do something with/for me which will create a stronger bond of trust between us.ย 

The end of the month: We have been practising our lessons regularly and things are really starting to come together. He learns well and is curious and happy to learn but I have to give him a lot of time before it settles into his every day routine and taking that time is well worth it so that he gains techniques, confidence with them and in himself and also it deepens our connection.

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy