Monday, 31 December 2012

Review of 2012

2012 has been a year of highs and lows.

  • Me developing arthritis in my hock - although She is more dismayed than I am that my dressage career is over already
  • Posy's saddle fitting problems - She regrets leaving it so long that Posy got sore, when all that was needed was a crupper
  • Tilly leaving us and going to Celestial Pastures
  • Rain, rain and more rain
  • My outstanding cross country performance - She says it is the first time that I have shown any enthusiasm for exercise
  • Posy's great progress in her bravery training - from not daring to venture past the end of the drive, to hacking up to Duchy College on her own
  • Hanuman turning out to be exceptionally trainable - She is thrilled at his prospects
  • The Olympics

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Social Ride

I was chosen to go out on a 'social ride' with the local riding club.  Three quarters of the way round we had a rest stop which turned out to be an excuse for them all to drink mulled wine and eat snacks.  Here She is pictured quaffing wine and doing a dance on a bank.
It was embarrassing, I had to take Her home after that.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

It is still raining here, but She insists that I must keep fit on the basis that, eventually, it will stop long enough for me to go charging across country.  So, it was on with the mac and out we went.
This car was parked

I am surprised to see all the water

I investigate a deep bit

I take advantage of the water to wash my legs thoroughly

One motorist stopped to tell her that the River Inny had burst it banks, and another stopped to congratulate Her on Her choice of transport, since my engine was unlikely to cut out in the water.  Just as well because we had to hurry back so that She could watch Olympia on TV.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Posy practises a dressage test

She still harbours dressage ambitions, so was wondering whether to enter Posy for her first dressage competition next month.  She decided to try a run through of Introductory A.  This is a walk and trot test, only no-one told Posy who cantered briskly through it, finishing in record time.  She has had to take Posy to one side and explain that dressage is not against the clock.
She is now puffing her cheeks and having second thoughts about Her dressage plans for January.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hanuman tackles the fly curtain

Hanuman's agility training hasn't got very far due to incessant rain, but She has managed to borrow a fly curtain to try.  On the first day, She let him investigate it by himself, in the next two days She persuaded him to walk through it.  Alas, it all went wrong when She then tried to get him to go through at liberty.  Hanuman tackled the obstacle as any yearling would - tugging at the plastic strips until the whole thing collapsed. 

I hope Her friend wasn't too attached to the fly curtain obstacle.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Photo shock - jumps were very small

She has just seen the photos from Sunday's show and is aghast to see how small the jumps looked.  She couldn't understand how a professional photographer could take the first fence, which is always small, and then not lie on the ground to take the photos, which always makes the fences look more impressive, as any fule kno. 

She was pleased at my close-up though, as She thought I looked suitably enthusiastic and spirited. 
In spite of my handsomeness and fine style, She is too mean to actually buy any of the photos.
The bad news is that thanks to the foregoing, She has decided that I need to jump bigger jumps and is planning to sneak them up bit by bit.

I am regretting my bravado in the warm up arena and am praying that the height of the jumps will be quickly limited by Her fear of falling off.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

My new career

Today I trekked to a jumping competition.  There was a lot of space in the warm up arena so I filled it by galloping about, plunging up and down and making huge leaps over the warm up fences, leaving Her clinging on for dear life and the other competitors scattered into the four corners - tee hee! 
My bravado did rather desert me when it was my turn to go into the indoor school, where there was not much space and lots of jumps crammed into it.  I thought it best to creep cautiously up to each one and then pop over.  I left them all standing, so had to do the jump off when I managed to go faster and came third out of six clears.  I have been here before, so I lined up very neatly for my rosette and tried to look more spirited than last time.  Someone said "I love Braveheart, he is such a dude", I think they were impressed.  Anyway, She was very pleased indeed and I got peppermints as well as a carrot.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Posy wins Bravery Award

Posy has just earned a large carrot as a reward for her bravery in hacking all the way to Duchy College by herself, through Stoke Climsland village, past the Post Office, Christmas lights and landslide and, then, courageously wandering around the small indoor school.

A year ago, I remember watching with amusement as Posy was led out, with Freddie the cob in front, only to return two minutes later.  She would only go a few hundred yards down the road before she was trembling with fear and had to be led back home again.  It has been slow, but Posy has gradually grown in confidence, and this video shows the culmination of a year's worth of bravery training. 

She is delighted with Posy's progress, and I have to admit that I was not so brave at indoor schools, in fact, I distinctly remember trying to escape from them on several occasions.  In this video our chum Ariel is looking pretty unenthusiastic; I don't think he is buying into the rope waggling business.

Nowadays I am quite brave of course, and, not to be left out, I was taken to a Christmas show jumping event the following day.  The jumps seemed slightly bigger than I remembered and the last fence looked particularly dangerous, so I ballooned it and threw Her up in the air (tee hee).  Happily, She landed back in the saddle and not on the floor, so I got a carrot and She got a ribbon, and is very happy with the weekend's work.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wet, wet, wet

I peer anxiously over HorseBridge at the Tamar rushing below
Since the stiffness in my hock has blown any chances of a career in dressage, I have been promised exciting outings charging about tackling cross country obstacles.  However, no such outings have materialised because it has done nothing but rain since then.  We have been splashing about in our field and we are at the top of a hill.  I've noticed lately that the roads have waterfalls gushing at the side of them.

Today it has stopped raining, so we went out to admire the Tamar in full spate.  She wisely decided to use the bridge and not try to get me to wade along the crossing further down.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Posy's Big Adventure

Today it was Posy who was coaxed into the motorised cabin with promises of carrots.  After a short journey, Posy found herself in a strange place where there were other horses about and lots of buildings.  Initally she thought to call out and let everyone know she had arrived, but then found her haynet more interesting.  Next she was led into a very large building with mirrors in which she could see a beautiful horse gazing back at her.  After wandering around by herself, another horse came and then our chum Ariel appeared.  Ariel looked a bit fed up and wasn't really interested in twirling about on the end of a rope.  Posy thought this was odd since she could find lots of interesting things to look at.  She wasn't afraid and was praised for her bravery.  The photo below is to prove how brave she had been.
Posy allowed herself to be coaxed back into the motorised cabin afterwards and was driven back home.  We were all pleased to see her back safely, and She was gushing with praise for how well Posy had coped with this new experience.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Grass Thief

We have been shut out of one field which has long grass in it and have been told that we are not allowed in until December, not even to trim it a bit, because we are Too Fat Already.  So, what is wrong with this photo?
Posy and Hanuman are pictured barely scraping a subsistence ration from the meagre grassland they are allowed in, whilst an interloper gorges on the long grass in the field behind. 

Closer inspection showed that the interloper was a deer, and very fat it looks too.  We have had to tighten our belts while Bambi guzzles our winter rations.  It isn't fair!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wet weather XC clinic

I had been promised another exciting day charging round a cross country course, but since it has been raining for weeks on end, the course was deemed too wet.  Instead of having some well deserved holiday, I had to jump over things in the arena instead.  The lesson was enlivened by the presence of Ruby, who is an ex show jumper who likes to stop in front of jumps and inspect them carefully.  Ruby is very pretty and I was keen to impress. 

It was quite fun actually and I gave a master class in jumping skinnies in a curved line and when She got the line wrong for a corner I made up for it with a massive leap to make sure I got to the other side.  The instructor said that I was very athletic considering my build.  Not sure what she meant by that but I know that I was a Good Boy.  Unlike my chum Ariel in the class before who casually threw off his rider at the beginning, thereby guaranteeing that he didn't have to jump anything at all.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween Party

As no party would be complete without my presence, I was invited to the Halloween Gymkhana.  Alas, I wasn't to compete, but to be seen and to help Her judge the Fancy Dress contest.  I sported some fetching red devil horns but didn't win a prize, probably because they had gone a bit droopy by the time I got there.  I did manage to seize an apple from an admirer though.
She duly selected the winning combination, grabbed a couple of sherbert lollies and then ran away before any of the parents could have a word about Her choices.
Be Afraid!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Vet comes back again

After my heroism at the cross country clinic, my hock has been a bit stiff again.   She got the vet round once more and he gave her some powders.  She tried to sneak these into my breakfast but I knew straight away that these would be bad for me and refused to eat it.  She then hit upon the idea of mixing the powders with apple juice and squirting them down my throat.  I took a dim view of that but She was undeterred.  Well, I knew no good would come of it and today my face was all swollen.  She was mortified and called the vet again.  He arrived bristling with needles and syringes and I was very brave.  She swore that She will never try to force feed me with drugs ever again, but this is no consolation when you look like you have the mumps.
To make Her feel bad I wore my most sad and pathetic expression, which also elicted a lot of sympathy from Posy.
Meanwhile, She has gone indoors, crying, but it may also have something to do with the vet's bills.
Fortunately, Hanuman is very healthy since he has coated himself in a protective layer of mud.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Our winter straw arrives

Because of our collective corpulence and my allergies, She has decided that this year, instead of snuggling down on beds of shavings and munching on ad lib hay and haylage, we are to have limited haylage and straw doubling as both bedding and low calorie forage.  Unluckily for Her, the wettest summer ever has meant that good straw is hard to find and expensive.  After much searching, She was delighted to find some good barley straw at a local farm, although disappointed to find that the farmer also had a very firm grip on economic realities and the laws of supply and demand.

Today it all arrived on a trailer and Posy and I helped to unload it by tugging at the bales we could reach.  We disturbed some small furry animals with long tails which had been hiding in the straw.  They ran off and the farmers gave spirited chase and went into a well-rehearsed rat-stomping routine, nonetheless She was dismayed to see that two of the rodents managed to run away towards the house. 

Finally, the barn was full and money changed hands.  She was happy that at least She had actually got some good straw, and the farmers were happy to find that their surplus barley straw had turned into gold.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

My first cross country clinic

I had to walk into uncharted territory today, through a town and out the other side, and was quite brave considering.  When we got to our final destination I saw some jumps and an inviting green space.  I was seized by the urge to rush madly about and as soon as I was allowed to face the first log I was off, charging along feeling the wind rushing past my ears, leaving the other participants until they turned into specks in the distance.  Then, I leapt over small rustic obstacles, bravely tacked some water, jumped up some steps and then hurtled down again, failing to stop and scattering the spectators.  I heard Her muttering about brakes being lacking and the onlookers said She looked pale.
My heroic deeds of derring do would have been captured on Her helmet cam if only She had remembered to switch it on.  She only turned it on at the very last fence, so to prove that I did go, it is here.

You can just about hear how impressed the onlookers were with my outstanding performance.  I felt it deserved rather more than the peppermint I received at the end.  I had to carry Her back home as well, but at least I got some apples on my return.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

R.I.P. Tilly

Today the vet came again and I had to trot about once more and was pronounced sound, if not a natural athlete (the cheek of it!), Hanuman was stabbed with a pointy needle and Posy had the lump on her back looked at.  Finally, we got to go out in the rested field at the bottom and had lots of fun prancing around in the long grass.  It took a long time before we realised that Tilly was missing.  She said that Tilly has gone to canter round celestial pastures, flirting with boys, and won't be coming back. 

Posy is now strutting about as the undisputed Queen of all she surveys.  Hanuman is quite puzzled by Tilly's absence, so I am being strong for him.

R.I.P. Tilly, mother of Braveheart and Hanuman and thoroughly nice person

Monday, 10 September 2012

Lassoing Demonstration

I went for a very pleasant woodland ride with my chum Ariel yesterday.  I haven't seen much of him lately because he has been away a lot learning how to wear ropes. 

As far as we can tell, the purpose of these ropes is to be unravelled into a long length so that Ariel can stand on the pavement while his rider goes into the local store to buy newspapers and chocolate.

Ariel arrived resplendent in a new western saddle with extra ropes attached.  He had been away on a Western weekend learning how you might rope calves, etc.  We were just moseying along in the woods when Ariel's rider decided to give us a lassoing demonstration.  We stood with bated breath anticipating the zing as the rope cuts the air and flies to capture some remote object.  Actually, it fluttered for a few seconds and then flopped to the ground in front of us.  As Ariel moved forward for the retry, the noose caught fast on a tree stump and tightened up so much that it took a lot of manoeuvring to release it. 
She enjoyed this demonstration hugely.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Travelling Lite

She decided that it would be a good idea to give Posy her first taste of travel and we went for a practice trip to Lidwell in the lorry.  I was meant to be babysitting, but there was no real need.  Posy thought the travelling part wasn't too bad but felt it was very difficult to walk in the stiff leg boots.  I could learn from Posy as she proved very adept at extracting the maximum number of carrots for each loading attempt.

When we got back, Hanuman was lured into the lorry with some peppermints.  He was a bit puzzled by it all but went in and then didn't want to come out again.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Hanuman curries favour

Today She decided to see what Hanuman would do in the arena when let loose.  He just followed Her everywhere and She was thrilled and forgave him all the chewings and destruction wreaked before this day.  She thinks he may have a precocious talent for horse agility.

Hanuman said that he was just following the alluring aroma of peppermint coming from her pocket and was very pleased that this had been so well received.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Bed rest for me!

She does seem fond of her vet because She keeps inviting him round.  Today they took X-Rays of my legs and while I was dozing put an injection in one of my hocks.  I was pleased to hear that I am to rest but it is bed rest in the stable which is boring, especially if you are left hunting for scraps.
After they had finished fussing with Posy, who has a snotty nose, I finally got something to eat.  Thus occupied, I could gaze out and watch them shaking their heads over Tilly who was gamely trotting up the yard on three legs.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Posy's first clear round

Posy came back to the stable full of herself because she had jumped a Clear Round, and proud that she had finally worked out that you weren't meant just to tackle whatever jump you were looking at, but were to jump them in the right order. 
I wasn't too impressed since the jumps were very tiny, her leapings rather erratic and it was at home and she hadn't had to face the terrors of an unknown venue.  She also had to trot around the corners.  If my hock hadn't been feeling a bit stiff, I would have demonstrated how to canter nicely round a course of big jumps.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Enlightened Equitation Clinic

An Enlightened Equitation Instructor (Level 1) came today to teach Her and a number of others how to ride more effectively.  She dreams of riding like Helen Langehanenberg was keen to improve.  She was a bit disappointed to be told that there wasn't a lot wrong with Her position. 

Next She took Her spurs off and I did a very good demonstration of what happens when your rider isn't wearing spurs - nothing. 
I plodded round slower and slower despite all Her efforts (ha, ha!). 

In the end, They decided that Her leg aids were too feeble and, unlike Helen Langehanenberg, Her legs too short to be able to wrap them round effectively. I had a very relaxing time and am looking forward to snoozing through the next session.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Legacy of The Games

After my dressage experience She thought it would be fun for me to venture across the main road and explore the other side.  I bravely coped with the field of donkeys and the malevolent park bench but froze in terror at the sight of a huge flock of cyclists heading my way.  I stayed rooted to the spot with my knees trembling as they swooshed past.  At least the front of the herd swooshed.  More and more went past and at long last the line thinned and comprised those who looked like they had been strangers to exercise since the last Olympics. 
She said that this cycling mania was a Legacy of The Games and would last approximately three weeks and I shouldn't be concerned.  Much against my better judgement I was persuaded to advance gingerly but there were cyclists hiding round every corner.  I was jolly glad to get home I can tell you.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

I am not Valegro

Inspired by the Gold medal winning dressage She has seen on TV, She dragged me off in the motorised cabin to Tall Trees arena to perform a freestyle to music.  I had expected to be indoors with gentle music being piped in the background, but no.  I found myself being piloted to a large outdoor arena strewn with long pieces of white plastic, some of which had been weighted down with concrete blocks to stop them blowing away in the strong winds.

I dutifully positioned myself at K while She imperiously waved her arm to start.  Then, horrors!  a terrible loud noise erupted from all around.  I didn't see how I could be expected to halt with all this cacophony going on, and then I trotted round with my head twirling around trying to see where all this awful noise was coming from.  It took about three minutes before I realised that the loud noise was coming out of each of the four corners, and later I realised that I was meant to be doing my dance and volunteered to do the stretchy trot thing just before the final halt.  Phew!  What a trauma.

Fortunately, She thought it was funny and I got carrots afterwards anyway.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Obstacle Course

She decided that it would be good for me to tackle an obstacle course.  She thinks that I will then become fearless in the face of flower tubs at dressage shows.
Here I am braving all manner of flags and flapping plastic strips

Then I had to push my way through some foam rollers

She has been watching the Olympics and decided that I should practice for a podium finish.

I didn't like to tell Her that the harmless bits of fluttering plastic at Carla's arena bear no relationship to the terrifying objects that can be found strewn around the arena at a show...

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Our breakfasts were late today because She stayed up late watching the Olympics Opening ceremony and insisted on telling us about it. 

Apparently one of my relatives had a starring role at the beginning, pretending to plough a field in a 'Rural England' tableau.  Two more of my relatives were seen pulling a cart in a most spirited fashion whilst being chased by a number of men.  They were taken off to their stables after that, for a well earned rest no doubt.  Then all the pyrotechnics started.  She said it was all jolly good, if a bit eccentric.  Her favourite bit was the performance by the Arctic Monkeys, although the accompanying cyclists with wings weren't easy to explain.

There was a parade of athletes wearing exotic costumes, some from countries none of us have heard of.  Good luck then to Aruba, Kiribati, Nauru and Palau!
The Team GB costumes were covered in gold, which She felt was tempting fate.

The grand finale was the cauldron being lit from lots of little flames and that heart stopping pause while She wondered whether it would either fail to ignite, or explode.  It did neither and everyone was very excited that it had all been a Great Success.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Tilly tubbing

Tilly has developed a foot abscess and is pictured wearing that special 'extra pathos' look reserved for members of the veterinary profession, although I don't know why since she is already having some time off to rest her ligament. 

She says it is because the ground is so wet and Tilly's shoes were taken off while she rests.  I have a touch of mud fever because of the wet, but it wasn't deemed bad enough for me to get a sick note from the vet.  All I get are sprays and ointment.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Now I am six

Today I am six years old.  She promised me a birthday cake with carrot candles, but all I got was this.

It seemed a lame excuse for a cake and the carrots were very small, but She said that there is a recession on.  Sadly, my party was a bit of a washout too, since the heavy rain put a bit of a damper on things.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dressage Lesson

She has decided that now I am nearly six, it is time that my remonte phase ended and I am to start doing dressage proper.  She enlisted the aid of Mandy who I have met before.  I was hoping that they would spend all the time yakking so that I could have a well earned snooze, but alas I had to run around in circles.  She seemed to be taking a firmer hold on the outside rein than usual and I found that I had to put my back into my work.  She is very pleased and wants more lessons.  I fear that my life has taken a turn for the worse.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


I have been working hard lately - ever since She read that a horse who likes to conserve his energy, like me, needs more work than other horses.

On Saturday I went to the dressage and performed a respectable, if undistinguished, test.  Apparently I am not meant to stop halfway through the test to watch the start of the Freestyles in a neighbouring arena.  I had to stand and watch them outside in the rain instead.  She said that She took comfort from the fact that the ploddy horses seemed to do a better performance to music than the prancey, dancey horses who were so busy spooking and shying at the flower baskets that it was hard to tell what they were doing.

On Sunday it was a hash harriers ride which I had been looking forward to.  Alas, heavy rain  had washed away the flour trail and She had to run round with a bag of flour relaying parts of it.  Worse, due to an administrative mix up, there were no treats laid out for me to find.  I was reduced to licking up the flour trail.  What a poor show. 

There was no respite on Monday as I was sent off to test whether the jumping field for the riding club's combined training competition was OK to ride.  I found it rather slippery, but knew straight away that I was meant to be jumping jumps and charged about soaring over the obstacles, although She made me walk in between in case I hurt myself.  Since the rain is forecast to continue indefinitely, it looks as though the competition will be cancelled, and I shall have a reprieve.

By Tuesday you'd think that I should be having a day off, but no, bizarrely, She decided that there was nothing for it but to go for a long hack because it was raining again.
I have been given a new raincoat and it's just as well.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Not my freestyle debut

No sooner had I recovered my strength after my illness, than I am bundled into the motorised cabin and driven off to Tall Trees Arena.  There I was meant to perform elegant leapings to music of Her devising.  We entered the arena - to, er, a prolonged silence.  Her CD would not play on their music device, so She had to leave the arena without performing Her freestyle.  
On the way out it became apparent that no peppermint was forthcoming.  I took a dim view of this and dug my toes in, refusing to leave the indoor school until I got the mint I deserved.  After all, I had played my part, making friends with spectators and looking on anxiously during Her 'discussions' with the arena management.

She wasn't too upset as I had already done a warm up class and won a ribbon.  She said that I had made a jolly good effort in my first Novice class, even if it wasn't as good as at home due to the various distractions, etc.  For the record, here is a video of it.  She says it is not great dressage, but it is here for the record since one day we will look back on it and laugh at our humble beginnings.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Going backwards

Having spent the last two years trying to get me to go forwards, She has decided that She wants me to go backwards now.  It's very confusing for a chap.  Not only do I have to go backwards, but I have to do it in time to the music as well.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Poorly me

I was feeling a bit peaky myself this morning, in fact, I didn't even fancy my cornflakes which are normally very delicious.  She said that my temperature was 40.7 C and summoned a vet.  When he arrived, I conjured my most doleful expression so that he would prescribe a lot of time off for me.  I may have overdone it because next thing I was having needles stuck into me.  Not only a couple of injections, but also lots of small needles so that I looked like a porcupine.

She said that these needles Were Doing Me Good and then they took lots of photos.  I am to feature in a magazine illustrating the use of acupuncture in horses.  She said it was because I could be relied upon to stand still during the photo shoot, but I know that I was chosen for my rugged good looks and strong physique.  Being a model is a hard job with lots of standing about in various poses, trying to look ill, yet brave at the same time.  It seemed to take ages.  Then, finally, finally, the vet took the needles away and I was given a week off.  Hurrah!

Friday, 25 May 2012

My first flying change

Since Posy is out of action, She has been devising gymnastic exercises for me to do.  I managed my very first flying change - an excellent effort though I say so myself.

Sadly, I had difficulty repeating this feat since my legs seem to get in a knot.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Poorly Ponies

When both Posy and Hanuman stand in their stables with their heads down, ignoring all the food around them then there is clearly something wrong.  She flapped about taking their temperatures and I heard her say that Hanuman had a temperature of 40.3 C as she sped past to summon the vet.

The vet duly arrived.  Posy, finding herself with a captive audience, really hammed it up and was the most poorly and pathetic creature you have ever seen.  Posy was much lauded for braving all the injections like a real heroine.
Hanuman was less obliging.  He regards vets as the messengers of Satan who stick pointy needles into you, and he wasn't disappointed.  He takes each needle stab as an assault on his person and was outraged and tried to kick the vet.  I think this was a mistake because he should get the vet on his side in case he needs a sick note one day.  He skulked in the corner of his stable for a few minutes, and then inexplicably started feeling better.

They have a virus that tends to attack young horses which gives them a high fever for a day or two but then they should get better with rest and the help of their medicine.  I hung around fixing the vet with the pathetic look that Posy had used to such great effect, but I was ignored, so no time off for me.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hanuman's very first training session

Poor little Hanuman is only one year old, but She thought it would be fun to see what he made of some walking poles. 

I'm not sure that his efforts deserved two pieces of carrot; and it's not fair because I have to charge about for hours before I get any.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Cornish Hedges

Spring is here which means that the hedgebanks are in full bloom.

While She is going along saying "hello clouds, hello sky, hello beautiful flowers", I have been partaking of Nature's bounty.  I have perfected the technique of going along with my mouth open and closing my teeth on the vegetation as I pass without missing a beat.

I like cow parsley, sorrel and field maple best, but the pink flowers are tasty too.  She says I will get even fatter, but She knows nothing.  These wayside plants are full of vitamins and make ideal nutritional supplements to the diet of a finely honed athlete like myself.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Chewy hay

She has negotiated the purchase of some Canadian Orchard grass hay, which the seller assured her contained no timothy, was very cheap and, being two years old, had little food value - an essential part of her plan to make us all slimmer.

She nearly had heart failure when it arrrived as there was so little of it.  She calculated that weight for weight, the expensive rye grass haylage was actually cheaper.  Don't know why She was surprised given that it had come all the way from Canada.

The verdict round the yard is that it is very tasty, if rather chewy.  Then She discovered that 'orchard grass' is cocksfoot, which is one of the grasses which is not so good for me.  I am back on the expensive rye grass haylage, but it does mean that I finish mine long before the others have finished chewing on the Canadian stuff.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Posy has an exciting morning

I knew something was afoot when I was turned out without so much as a trot round the arena, and She spent an hour playing with Posy's mane and making little bobbles with her hair.  Then they went out and returned about three hours later.  Posy had a ribbon dangling from her bridle but said she had no idea how it got there.

Posy did say, though, that she had been to Lidwell where there were lots of horses in a yard, lots of horses in fields, more horses hanging around and then one horse at a time in a sand school.  It was so exciting that she was seized by the urge to rush madly about in random directions.  At one point she found herself in the sand school so rushed about in random directions in there as well.  Posy said she was vaguely aware of her rider  trying to steer her round the school but it really was too exciting to take much notice.

Posy did complain that having discovered an unattended tub of Horselyx outside a stable, she had not been allowed to eat it, which wasn't fair because They were all stuffing their faces with cake. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Poor me again

This morning I was meant to be competing in a dressage competition, but first thing I could barely walk and came limping in for my breakfast, holding up my left foreleg with maximum pathos.  I got lots of sympathy and was promised a visit from the nice vet that gave me time off before.  When the vet came, I marched manfully round the yard, trying to look sound.  As She insisted that I really had been lame, he took my shoe off and poked my foot where it really hurt so I bit him on the bottom. 

Apparently I had a nail hole in the sensitive part of my foot.  It may be that the new farrier is responsible, and the old farrier is definitely responsible for the extensive bruising round my toe.  While She raged and frothed at the mouth, the vet pronounced that I must have a few days off and a footbath and poultice.  He is a nice man.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

New Farrier

She has decided that her old farrier Will Have to Go.  She is worried about Posy, whose toes seem to be getting longer and longer and is panicking in case her heels collapse.

Come to that, my shoes have not been as comfy as they should be either.  Perhaps inspired by Her complaints about Posy, the old farrier set my shoes back too far and left a lot of toe.  This meant that my toe was hitting the tarmac before the shoe and it made me foot sore.  The lateral extensions on the hind feet were in the wrong place so that I couldn't walk straight either.  The things I put up with!
A new farrier has arrived and after a thorough inspection has now given me shiny new shoes which are just like the ones put on by the World Class Performance guys.  She says that I will now be expected to perform dainty prancing.  Fat chance.

A vet was summoned to deal with Posy's feet and take X-Rays.  Posy is such a diva and couldn't be happier to be fussed over by several people.

It was decided that there was nothing wrong with her feet as such, just toes too long, and now Posy has sparkly new shoes and is very proud of them (and being the centre of attention).

Meanwhile, She has gone off to make phone calls to see if She can get hold of any rye grass hay or haylage that is cheaper than the branded variety and that will not make us all incredibly fat.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Allergy Test Results

She decided to investigate why I keep coming out in lumps on my skin. Remember how I was so poorly with one batch of haylage? Well, since then I have sporadically come out in lumps when I eat some kinds of hay. 
The vet, who had hitherto been my friend, siphoned off some of my blood when I was being distracted by a carrot. A lab needed this I'm told, and now the results are back.

The highlights are:

Carrots are Very Good for me, although I could have told her that.  

Linseed is Extremely Bad for me - I knew it! This is the foul tasting stuff which I rejected when She tried to give it to me. At least She won't be trying that again.

Timothy Grass is Very Bad for me. This must be the stuff that was giving me lumps in some hay and haylage. She says that I must now have the very expensive rye grass haylage that comes in branded packaging. It is very delicious, so I agree with that.

Maize is meant to be Very Good for me, better than oats, so I am now getting cornflakes for breakfast which are very tasty.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Posy tries to copy me

I see that Posy is learning to jump, although as far as I can tell she is making slow progress.  She cantered over some poles, then thought that the cross pole was firstly bigger, then smaller, than it actually was, but finally got it more or less right.  In the video below, I show how it should be done at the end.

 She has a long way to go before she is good enough to enter the 2' Novice show jumping class like me.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

First Show Jumping Contest

I had to carry her to a show jumping contest over the weekend.  I went into the arena and was quite disconcerted to hear my name being announced.  I quickly assessed the situation and realised that I was meant to leap over some obstacles.  I was very cautious at first, but gradually found my stride and by the 'Jump Off' phase I had worked up quite a head of steam.  I came a creditable third out of six clears.  We had to line up to collect our rosettes and then do a 'lap of honour' round the school.  I was quite emotionally drained by then and plodded round with my head on the ground.  I gather that I was meant to have had my head in the air, looking spirited. 

Whilst She seemed content with a ribbon, I noticed that there were bags of horse food displayed as prizes.  I saw an opportunity to use my great bulk to break through the barrier and seize a bag of food as my reward.  As I did so a number of people started screaming and pushing me back again.  Apparently the food bags were raffle prizes and She had failed to buy the winning ticket.  What a disappointment.  I was taken home after that.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Posy's first flying change

She says that Posy is already showing talent for dressage by volunteering her first flying change today, even if it was late behind.  I say that Posy might have showed more talent if she had been on the right lead to start with.

All credit to Posy though since whenever I've attempted a flying change my legs get all out of sync and I have to trot before I can get my legs organised again.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Busy weekend

On Saturday I had to trudge 2½ miles to a dressage competition.  Once there I had to trot round in the warm up 'going forward'  I was going forward so much that by the time my turn came I was hot and puffing.  Once in the arena, I plodded round, exhausted.  When the horn sounded to start I rallied what little strength I had left, dug deep and managed to get through the test without passing out.  She was very pleased with me for trying so hard and cursing herself for warming up too long and using up my limited energy reserves, and quite right too.  I came second but She said not to be too excited since there were only three contestants.  I had to trudge back as well which I did very slowly.

Unbelievably, I had to do the same again on Sunday, only I had my chum Ariel for company.  When we got there it became apparent that this time I was meant to spring over show jumps.  I went very cautiously and made sure I gave all the obstacles plenty of air.  Then I had to go round a second time, only this time it was easier and the jumps seemed much smaller.  I got another ribbon and some carrots for trying so hard.  My chum Ariel didn't have to do anything as his rider had just come for the coffee and bacon butties.  Lucky fellow.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Posy's first ever jump

Posy was very proud of herself today because she did her first jumps over planks which she claimed were very scary.  Posy did admit that her legs weren't quite as well co-ordinated as they might have been.  Luckily for Posy She doesn't plan to make her a show jumper.

She said that Posy was Very Brave.  I say that Posy was very inept.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Poor Hanuman

The vet has been back and pronounced himself pleased with my progress, but said that I must have another week off.  I like him even better.

He spent a lot of time in the stable with Hanuman.  She said that Hanuman was having an operation which would stop him biting me and climbing on Tilly.  Poor chap seemed very groggy afterwards. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Eating money

The farrier came and replaced my hind shoes but then had to come back and do it again because She still wasn't happy.  I noticed that She brought Her purse down but that it remained firmly shut.
This may explain why She then forgot about it.  Meanwhile, Hanuman found the purse and had fun playing with the contents.  She returned to find money fluttering around the yard including a number of wet, chewed £10 notes.  She ran round picking it all up and took the soggy currency indoors to dry out.  She is hoping than when She's ironed the notes out they will pass for legal tender once more.

Hanuman tried to look winsome but it didn't seem to be cutting any ice.
Hanuman offers to help clear up

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Poor me

Here I am with an ice pack inexpertly bandaged to my leg.  The vet says that I have thrown a splint and must rest (what a nice man).

The last set of shoes I had put on were like skiis and I found it quite difficult to organise my legs, especially when one shoe starting flapping.  For some reason, instead of making the shoes the same as the World Class people said, Her farrier took it upon himself to make the extensions wider and the trailers longer.  This made it difficult to walk, and She is apoplectic with rage and has summoned the farrier to explain himself and rectify the situation.  I wouldn't like to be in his shoes (even though I am ha ha).

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Competing again

I went to another competition today, and following my epiphany at Tall Trees, I now know what to do.  To improve my chances of placing well, I hit upon the strategy of pulling hideous faces at the other competitors in the warm up.  My laid back ears and great bulk sent several weedy thoroughbreds scuttling away.

When it was my turn to go in I did my very best for a while, although I admit to being distracted by a commotion in the lorry park behind the arena and took the opportunity during the 'free walk' part to put my head up and have a good look.  I recovered my poise in time to impress the judge by putting in a very prompt final halt, even if it surprised Her.

I don't know if my tactics of intimidating the other competitors worked or not, because She decided not to hang around for the results.  She was very pleased with me though.

(PS I have now found out that I came a very respectable second (out of 24) with 68%)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions

She has proposed that we all resolve to lose weight in 2012, but there wasn't much buy in around the field. She gave us each a different coloured grooming set for Christmas, so perhaps She is hoping that we will also groom ourselves this year. There's no chance of that either.