Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Review of 2013

We hoped that She had forgotten that She set us performance targets for 2013, but no, she hasn't, and we have all had Performance Reviews.

I have been let off my performance targets because of having arthritis in my forefeet as well as my hock, but I was graded 'Very Good', both for my expert baby sitting and for stepping into the breach when Posy was indisposed and prancing round a dressage test in her place and Doing Very Well.

Posy has been graded 'Could Do Better'.  Although she has made it to a fair number of shows, her tendency to run round neighing and not pay attention means that she has performed well below her ability.  Only Posy's show jumping successes have saved her from an outright 'Fail'.

This leaves Hanuman, who has been given 'Horse of the Year' Award.  Not only has he managed to avoid permanently maiming himself, but he also waltzed through his Horse Agility tests and then exceeded expectations by putting in a sparkling performance at his very first show.

We are waiting with some trepidation while She works out next year's performance targets for us all.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Seasons greetings to everyone.  We are all having a nice rest and She gave us each a lick for Christmas, which went down very well with Posy and I.

Hanuman spent his time playing with the lid, but then he is only a baby.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Posy acquires red pom-pom

Yes, I had to babysit for Posy once more when she was taken to a show.  There is a pattern developing whereby I have to travel in the lorry, then twiddle my toes in a stable for hours while Posy charges madly round and round, and then back in the lorry again to listen to Her wailing on the way home about how disappointed She is at Posy's performance.  Posy won the red pom-pom because there were only two competitors in the Freestyle class and the other competitor was even worse than Posy.  I have been asked to gloss over Posy's performance in the first class ('dire' She said), even though three were worse than Posy, and the organisers had charitably given her a 'Placed' rosette as it was Christmas.

Posy says she found the whole competition shebang overwhelming and felt compelled to charge madly about with her nose stuck out.  That wasn't really dressage in the view of the judge.  However, She was greatly cheered because the judge liked Her 'lovely' music, so She is putting the CD away to bring it out again when Posy can do dressage.

Posy is having a rest now to get over the mental exhaustion she suffered from yesterday, whereas I have been busy delivering Christmas gifts and collecting eggs.  Then I had to trot round the arena in front of the video camera as She is now plotting some kind of music performance for me...

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The ride that wasn't and Hanuman has ear trouble

My services were required a couple of days ago to babysit for Posy on a lorry journey.  I was then abandoned in a stable while Posy went off to practice her prancing, so I made sure everyone heard about my displeasure, before consoling myself with the contents of the haynet. 
I was then promised a fun ride to make up for having to do babysitting duties, only to find that She decided, after a very short period, that I would be unable to keep up and would have to go home.  Actually, I am sure that She was less concerned about my welfare, and more concerned about scrambling about on an exposed granite outcrop in gale force winds. 
Kit Hill, Callington, Cornwall c Martin Bodman

We noted that She still managed to drink the mulled wine and eat snacks by the simple expedient of inviting the ride round to ours to have their refreshment break.  We can be seen in the background of this cctv snip, checking anxiously to make sure that we didn't miss out on any horse treats.  And no, they had selfishly bought themselves food and drink and got nothing for their mounts.  Shame on them.

Poor Hanuman had a fright today because he was unable to work one of his ears properly.  His left ear could move normally, but the right one had very limited movement.  She had to rescue him and remove the headcollar causing the problem.  Hanuman had no idea how it got stuck on his ear like that.

Posy denies making mischief

Monday, 2 December 2013

Posy does more jumping

She has decided that Posy needs to go to more show jumping contests so that she will become more sanguine about the hanging around waiting for her turn.  Posy says that she can tolerate half an hour, but after that gets increasingly desperate to do something and has to whizz round and round the warm up arena to let off steam.
Posy did redeem herself with a sparkling second place in one contest.  The other wasn't quite so successful.  Perhaps, in part, due to her rider becoming frazzled after an incident in the collecting ring when, just after jumping the practice fence, someone cantered across their path.  Posy reacted quickly to avoid a collision, but She was too surprised to react at all and fell off.  Posy was left wondering whether she should get a more reliable rider, one who didn't keep falling on the ground.
There are pictures from this show that She is too mean to buy, again.  She thought that She looked quite composed for someone who had come to grief in the collecting ring two minutes earlier.

Posy's charm, good looks and enthusiasm for jumping has earned her a couple of fans among the equine students.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Posy behaving badly

She took Posy to a show jumping contest today, which proved to be very well supported.  It was so popular that there was a long wait before Posy got her turn.  Posy was very good for the first half hour.  After 45 minutes of waiting, she became irritated at the lack of action and was pawing the ground and stamping her feet.  After an hour of waiting, Posy went into full blown tantrum mode and pranced about on her hind legs. 
Her 'hi-ho Silver' impersonations did serve to scatter the onlookers and clear a path towards the show jumping ring.  Finally, finally it was Posy's turn, and she duly jumped a clear round.  Fortunately, it wasn't too long before the jump off.  Nobody told Posy that the jumps had gone up, so she was caught out by the first one and knocked it down, then she just as she was releasing all that pent up energy over jump three and working herself up into warp speed towards the fourth, she found herself turning and having to jump number six instead.  It was all very confusing, but she cleared the rest and earned a carrot.  Posy also got a lecture on being patient at show jumping contests and not standing on her hind legs when she gets bored.

Furthermore, earlier this week Posy demonstrated that she isn't as bold as all that.  Witness her reaction to the new viaduct wall filler.

She won't be buying Posy one of those show jumping ear hats just yet...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Strictly Come Prancing

She has been watching a popular dance show on TV and was so taken with one of the pieces of music that She wondered if it would make a good tune for a freestyle to music.  She had to try it out on muggins here, of course.  She thought the tempo might be a bit quick.  A bit quick indeed!!  My legs were twirling so fast that they are a blur on the video.
She agreed later that it was a bit too up-tempo for me, or any horse for that matter, and confessed that the couple that inspired this initiative were dancing the quickstep.    The word 'quickstep' should have given Her a clue.  D'uh!

No, the video hasn't been speeded up, my legs really were going that fast.  I had to have a lie down afterwards.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hanuman gets a brand new coat

Poor Hanuman has spent all his young life looking like a poor orphan boy, wearing Posy's cast off clothing.  Now he is actually bigger than Posy and so She has bought him his very own coat.

Hanuman is delighted to have clothing that doesn't smell of Posy and is very proud.  He feels it must be a reward for his sparkling performance at his first show, and has, so far, taken great care of it.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

I go to a Halloween Party

I got my annual haircut the other day, so I no longer look like a woolly bear, but have been clipped and turned into a sleek, sophisticated horse-about-town.  Little wonder, then, that the party invitations have started rolling in.

My attendance was required at the Halloween gymkhana and She was invited to come along too and judge the best costume.  When I arrived I found that Poppy and I had both been kitted out in the same devil horns.  There were also two children both wearing Dracula capes purchased from the same local supermarket.  We all agreed to pretend that we hadn't noticed.

A potentially awkward social situation with duplicate outfits
When the races commenced, we could only stand to one side and marvel at the competitiveness of the parents. 

She became a bit nervous about whether there would be repercussions over Her choice of Best Outfit, especially as a goodie bag of chocolate was at stake.  In the end, She opted for the older Dracula child on the grounds that he had gone to the trouble of having his face painted, and that the smaller Dracula child would, in any event, be unable to see what was going on.

She helped herself to a handful of chocolate spiders and I swiftly carried Her home, before there could be any discussions with the parents of the girls in skeleton costumes.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Wrong Trousers

She arranged to take Hanuman to his very first show, an in-hand class.  She had been thinking about what to wear, and after watching the Dutch and German youngstock shows, She decided that white trousers are de rigeur and that since She had to wear a jacket, a navy one would look smart.  Even Hanuman could have pointed out that we do not live on the continent but on a small island which has a fondness for tweed jackets paired with dark trousers.

I was tasked to supervise Hanuman and provide reassurance both for the lorry journey and at the show venue.  I escorted Hanuman and one of his two-year-old friends round the warm up arena until they had all settled down.  Then I waited at a discreet distance, giving off calming vibes, while he was in the ring.  Actually, he was super brave and strode confidently round and trotted out perfectly.  Below is a bit of video of his show ring performance, although the trotting parts are missing.  There are five horses being led round by ladies in tweed and Hanuman being led round by an off duty show jumper.

Hanuman was placed second, although he felt that had his handler not worn the wrong trousers, or turned him round incorrectly, he might have been placed first.  She was oblivious to Her own sartorial and procedural failures and was just bursting with pride at Hanuman's performance. 
Personally, I felt that my reassuring presence was responsible for his good behaviour and I did get apples and peppermints in recognition of my contribution to the day's success.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

We are left home alone

We were abandoned to fend for ourselves while She went off out for the day.  Her riding clubs chums left their cars here, but Hanuman was frustrated to find that they had parked too far away from the fence and he was unable to gnaw at the wing mirrors or prise off the hood ornaments, as is his wont.

We gather that the purpose of the day was to visit Heather Moffett and sit on vibrating machines practising hip motion.  Here She is, looking silly.

Apparently, She is very flexible, and so She should be for the amount of time She spends in the evenings lying on Her back waving Her legs in the air.  Although She claims She didn't learn a lot, She thoroughly enjoyed Her day out with Her chums.  Heather Moffett was also very entertaining, particularly on the subject of other dressage gurus.  She thought that SL bounced about in the saddle, MW had her legs too far back and had lost the plot with all her imagery, JR takes breathing to an extreme (and, by the way, she bought her horse already trained).  She didn't think much of EF who is very hard on his horses, and Parelli is OK if you want to turn your horse into a zombie (so true!).

At lunch time, they ate their sandwiches in the indoor school, while Heather Moffett entertained them riding a horse.  She rides in the Iberian style, where you use the bit to place the head, thus avoiding all the difficulty associated with trying to ride the horse onto the bit.  Although the bit was quite severe, there was little contact so the horse seemed quite happy.  Here is a brief snippet of the horse in training.

She was very taken with the horse.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Posy goes show jumping

Posy went off to Duchy College to take part in a show jumping contest.  It was very busy with horses and ponies running about everywhere, not all of them behaving well.  As she went into the warm up, another competitor was coming out saying "I'm getting out of here before I get killed".  Posy showed what six generations of Royal Dutch breeding can do and stuck her nose in the air and refused to take any notice of the common types darting all around her, choosing instead to spook at a distant hedge.

Unfazed by all the mayhem, when it was her turn, Posy delivered a convincing clear round, earning a well deserved carrot.  Then there was a lot of hanging around, then she had to go in again.  Posy was a bit nonplussed to find that She missed out a couple of jumps and slowed down to see if She wanted to go back and jump the jumps She'd missed, but She didn't, so Posy carried on and cleared all the rest, earning herself another carrot.  There was more hanging around, then it was announced that Posy had placed fifth, so she proudly lined up for the prize giving.  Posy rifled through the presentation basket but there were no horse treats in there, just bits of ribbon, which was very disappointing.  She had to have a consolation peppermint afterwards. 

Sadly, there was no video of Posy's efforts at the show, but there is some of her practising at home. 

Her jumping does seem to be coming on rather better than her dressage.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Posy pics

She has found some photos from Posy's dressage, although, as usual, She is too mean to actually buy any.

Posy bravely sets off...

 to a rather wobbly start...
but then gets into the swing of it...

and is very pleased with herself at the end... 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Posy fails to spook in corners

Posy trotted off to a dressage competition at Duchy College, her second.  (She scored a very unimpressive 54% in her earlier effort).  This time Posy was uncharacteristically brave during the test and completely failed to spook in the corners, or neigh loudly throughout.  She was quite grown up and confined herself to peering out of the school every time she went past the open doors. 

Her greatly improved behaviour earned her two carrots and then Posy was left with a volunteer while She went to fetch the result.  She was away a long time as She had spotted a mistake in the scoring.  Posy was happy though as during the long wait she attracted a small crowd of admirers.   Finally, She emerged from the office triumphantly clutching a purple rosette.  Posy got 67% and came 6th out of a surprisingly strong field of 13.

While Posy has been strutting around, I have had to trot round and round the arena at home on the grounds that I am a Very Fat Boy and must have exercise.   This strikes me as gross hypocrisy on Her part. 
She plans to enter Hanuman in a show in a couple of weeks and started training for it today.  It has to be said that Hanuman trots up very nicely in hand, unlike his handler who cannot run and is left puffing along behind.  It is She that needs to do the training.   

Hanuman is hoping that he will get a better handler who can run so that he can win a rosette at the show.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Posy braves a new venue

Once more I was press ganged into baby sitting for Posy while she went to Tall Trees Arena - a new venue for her.  It was boring standing by the lorry while Posy was persuaded to go into the indoor school, leaving me no alternative but to munch my way through her unattended haynet.
Posy found the whole thing rather alarming and came last in both her classes, but, curiously, still managed to come away with some glitzy ribbon.

This seemed to mollify her somewhat when she got back to find that her haynet was empty.

There was a video of Posy's performance, but it took Her 24 hours before She could bear to watch it.  I gather that the overall impression was one of a just backed four year old being coaxed round its first competition.  This had Her sighing, but She cheered herself up by looking at Posy's neck development.  Below are pictures of her neck as an unbroken two year old and as at now. 

She is convinced that a convex arch is developing and thinks that Udo Burger would be pleased, so maybe it's not as bad as all that.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Posy has a lesson and I go on a mission

Yesterday, Posy went out with our chum Ariel to go show jumping at Duchy College.  Seeing all the jumps Posy was keen to demonstrate her athleticism and race round, leaping the obstacles and cutting corners.  Posy thought the instructor would be impressed to see how fast she can go.  She was a bit disappointed to find that the point of lessons was to slow down and go right into the corners and that wasn't so much fun.  The fillers added a bit of excitement though, especially the arrowhead.  Last time Posy saw one of those her rider suddenly ejected, so she stopped at it, fearful the same thing might happen again.  As it turned out, her rider remained firmly in place, so Posy leapt over it the second time and nothing bad happened.
The video shows Posy trying to go slowly over some very small jumps, then waiting while Ariel has a go and then a bit more jumping only someone had put fillers in front of the fences.  Posy thought she had acquitted herself well and deserved the apple at the end.

Today, I was having a quiet nap in the field, when She advanced towards me with Her arms flapping like windmills.  There was some kind of riding club emergency, and it was clear that only I could save the situation.  I had to rush to a meeting place to organise people for a ride.  I met a few chums, then had to wait an hour for some people who never turned up, forcing me to spend a lot of time trimming the grass around Luckett car park.  On the way back one of her riding club friends stopped by us and fed me carrots from her car.  Funny old day.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Reviewing Posy's Progress

She has been shaking Her head over Posy's slow progress.  Although Posy seems to have developed muscles in all the right places and continually improves, albeit slowly, she doesn't show the desired head carriage very often.   She has been agonising over whether She has correctly interpreted Udo Burger's training instructions.  So, She decided to try and compare Posy with other 5 year old horses.  Rather than look at other amateurs who are probably as bad as She is, She started by looking to see what the top 5 year olds were doing.  Where better to start than looking at this year's Pavo Cup winner?

The horse's natural paces seem to have been 'enhanced' by the rider urging the horse forward whilst simultaneously leaning back and pulling its head in.  The result wouldn't look out of place in a Big Lick class.  Whilst this is doubtless temporary showing off, She did wonder what effect this would have in the longer term, so had a look at last year's winner, now in the 6 year old class.

Hmmm. She thinks Udo Burger would have said "told you so!".

Away from the mayhem of the show ring she found a video of another 5 year old in training.

This was in Denmark where it seems the Scales of Training don't apply. 

The end result of this review was that She thinks that Posy should look livelier, but at least Posy shows good rhythm and looseness, even if the contact part isn't so established.  Posy has promised to try and work through more - fearful that she, too, might have her jaws clamped shut with a tight noseband and her head hauled in to make her forelegs kick higher.

Me, I keep my head down and hope that She doesn't start comparing me with this year's Derby winner...

Monday, 19 August 2013

Posy has another outing

Yesterday, it was back into the motorised cabin for another dressage show to give Posy More Experience.  I wasn't entered because I disgraced myself last time, so I busied myself munching through our haylage supplies while Posy was in the indoor school.  I could hear her in there, wailing.  So, every now and again, I stopped eating long enough to call reassuringly.

There was a video and She has edited out all the neighing which leaves only a couple of minutes' worth of the two tests. 

Posy found the whole experience emotionally draining and was relieved to be going home.  Meanwhile, She is trying to convince herself that there has been a marginal improvement in Posy's deportment since the last outing and has planned another.  Poor Posy, I don't think her nerves can stand it.

Monday, 12 August 2013

I come to the rescue once more

For the fifth time, Posy was indisposed when she was supposed to be entering a competition.  Of course, I had to step in at the last minute to save the day.  It was a local event at Lidwell so I had to walk.  When I got there, I was amazed to see a horse wearing bizarre eye goggles like this.
It turned out that these are equine sun glasses and the horse had an eye condition which made her sensitive to UV light.  I watched her test and she made it round without bumping into the fence, so they must work.  When it was my turn, I did my best in spite of the warm weather. 
I was kept busy in the interval between classes - greeting my many fans, trimming the grass verges and baby-sitting for 'Bill' while his friend was competing.  I don't know what his friend said when he came back to find his haynet empty because I was busy supervising the jumping by then.
At the end I won the prelim class with 70.5% and got 66% in the Novice, although I was the only one that did it.  I got a 9 for my stretchy trot.  Clever me!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Hanuman ventures out

Our chum Freddie arrived this morning, but not for me, he had to escort Hanuman on his Very First Outing beyond The Gate and into the Wide World.  Hanuman wasn't sure at first but made it down the road to Freddie's house where he stopped, ate a carrot and had his photo taken.
Hanuman began to relax but then was taken back up the road again.  He thought it was all terrific fun and was very brave on the way home.  Now he keeps trying to sneak out of the gate and go adventuring.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Our chum Ariel comes to visit

We couldn't believe our eyes today when Ariel turned up resplendent in jingling harness and set off down our field to drag up a couple of logs! 
He has been on a logging course and came round for some practice.
She said that I should be doing this sort of thing, but She is too mean to pay for a training course.  Or buy the harness.
Ariel has a very busy lifestyle.  Next week he is taking part in a British Eventing competition - his first ever event.  After that he is going on a cow wrangling course.  We salute him.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Posy and I disgrace ourselves

In spite of all the heat and biting flies, Posy and I were dragged off to a dressage contest in the motorised cabin.  I was meant to be setting a good example, but I thought it would be more fun to neigh and stamp about and wind up Posy.  In her first test Posy was so wound up that she charged round neighing and refusing to go anywhere near the corners.  Heh, heh. 

When it was my turn, I ambled into the school and went over to charm the judge when I spotted a couple of mugs of coffee.  On investigation these turned out to be very unstable and spilled all over the test sheets.  This seemed to cause a bit of a fuss, but eventually I got to do my test.  I was trotting across the diagonal when I suddenly noticed a sparkly bit on the floor and stopped and put my head down to investigate.  Afterwards I was told that I had disgraced myself.

Meanwhile, Posy had been neighing and running back and forth on the end of a rope while I was in the indoor school.  This was for quite a long time due to the delay while they found some paper towels and mopped the coffee from the test sheets.  That didn't improve Posy's mental state, so when she went in to do the second test, Posy was still agitated and neighing. 

She pointed out that all the other horses were standing quietly and we were the only ones neighing and acting up.  Furthermore, our execrable performances had made Her look like the world's most ineffective rider and we are now both In Disgrace.  

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Seven Years Old Today

It seems only yesterday that I was a baby and frisking about without a care in the world.  Now I have Responsibilities.  You'd think that this would be recognised on my special day, but no.  I was expecting a birthday breakfast with at least seven big juicy carrots, but all I got was a couple of skinny carrots pretending to be seven.

I am told that She is economising due to the large vets' bills for Posy, but I think it is a poor show.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Heather Moffett Demo

We were abandoned to stew in the heat in our fly costumes while She went off to see a Heather Moffett demo and help serve the drinks at the barbecue afterwards. 
When She came back later, She admitted that the demo wasn't as exciting as She'd hoped.  The horse borrowed for the occasion had developed a hollow way of going over many years so the miracle of a new saddle and a different rider really didn't make that much difference; indeed, why should it?  The recalcitrant horse was marched off to have a Pelham bit inserted, and the change of bit did eventually bring the horse's nose in, but didn't make her relaxed through the back; indeed, why would it?
She thinks that Heather Moffett has a lot to offer teaching about rider position, and we hear that there are plans afoot to organise lessons via the riding club.  Posy certainly thinks She could ride better! 
Nonetheless, She is not a great fan of the over-bitted Iberian style which makes the horses seem very stuffy.  Posy, too, would much rather charge round her arena in gay abandon, than shuffle about awkwardly wearing a lot of ironmongery. 
We hear that the barbecue was a great success, although Her plans to be in the cool dispensing drinks to the hot and thirsty went a bit wrong as the barbecue was set up next to Her, and She had to swelter along with everyone else.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Posy is well behaved and eats fruit cake

Poor Posy had to go to the local riding club's dressage contest in the boiling heat of yesterday.  The heat may explain why Posy was relatively subdued in her performance and failed to run about neighing at the top of her voice.

Although, this time, Posy hadn't actually incapacitated herself in time for the dressage contest, one side of her mouth was a bit swollen, so She decided to ride Posy in a hackamore.  Under the circumstances, She was well pleased with Posy's efforts and rewarded her with fruit cake and carrots. 
Later, as they were waiting for their second go, the judge rushed up to Her and Posy and gushed to the effect that Posy had paces to die for and that if she, the judge, could just have Posy for six weeks then Posy would be out there in affiliated competitions, winning everything.  Apparently oblivious to the offence these remarks were causing, she continued "you must ride her rounder".  When She asked how this might be achieved, the judge suggested draw reins or a bungee.  At this point Her lower lip stopped wobbling and Her jaw stiffened and Her lips pressed tightly together.  Luckily, the arrival of the next competitor saved the situation.
In the second test Posy was rather tense, worrying about what the judge would say about her neck position.

But she got through it and earned some applause and carrots at the end, plus a couple of blue ribbons.  Overall, She seemed well pleased with Posy, not because it was great dressage but because, in spite of the dangerous corner, Posy was calm throughout and tried to do the right thing.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

I set a Good Example once more

She has decided that Posy needs more trips to dressage contests, to further her education.  I was enlisted as Travel Companion and Good Example.  Once I am in the lorry, Posy goes in straight away, although she did complain loudly a number of times on the way to our destination.  Once there, I showed her how to make the best of the situation by munching your way through as much haylage as possible.
I advised Posy how to handle judges at dressage contests.  I find it best to amble up to the judge and look sweet and friendly.  With the judge's heart thus melted, one can collect a string of '7's without exerting oneself too much and get comments like "What a lovely horse, he appears so gentle and willing", and this secures you a ribbon and carrots.

Sadly, Posy did not take my advice and ran about neighing.  Her comments read "Posy appeared rather distracted and tense at times." 
The video 'highlights' below show Her attempting a 20m circle in canter whilst Posy spotted that something was going on in the canteen (She muttered darkly afterwards that they were preparing horse burgers), the part where Posy trots briskly towards 'B' was meant to be a free walk on a long rein.  At regular intervals, Posy neighs loudly to make sure everyone knew what a horrible time she was having.

Rather surprisingly, Posy didn't come last and got some ribbons too, although She has no idea how that could have happened.  The loading problems experienced at Posy's last outing didn't materialise, since as soon as I went into the lorry, Posy tried to climb in beside me.  Overall, She decided that Posy was slightly better than last time, but I, of course, was the hero of the day.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Morning Exercise

We spend most of our time in the field but are free to wander in and out of the stables as we please.  Except that in the mornings She likes to shut us in our stables and Her idea is that we all stand to attention, ready to spring into action and do the exercises She has dreamt up for us.

What She doesn't realise is that, now it is summer, the grass is growing faster than we can eat it. We have been up all night working hard trying to keep the fields trim and by the morning we are all exhausted.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hero award

The results of my heroic efforts last weekend have only just arrived.  It turns out that the envelope She had left behind was too small.

Apparently I scored 65.4% and it was good enough for sixth place (out of fourteen) - commendable given that my only preparation was a haircut.  She thinks this is better than Posy would have done and so I am a hero all over again.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Zero to Hero

Just lately, She has been putting powdered Polo mints into my breakfast.  There is a faint taste of something else as well, but it's mostly mint flavour, yum.

Me, this morning, traces of delicious minty breakfast are still visible
Posy was due to go to another dressage contest yesterday, so imagine Her horror when Posy came in with a slightly swollen hock and Not Looking Right at All.  Next thing, I am being dragged out of the field, given a swift bath and haircut, and taken up to Duchy College.  She said that, if I felt up to it, the judge might as well watch me plod round as watch an empty space.  I was very excited to be going to a party again and my feet have been feeling much more comfy of late. 
With no warm up and no idea of what the test was, I went into the arena and gave it my best shot and tried very hard to impress the judge.  We got 64% which She thought was very creditable under the circumstances and given some 'dire' turns.  She was thrilled with my efforts and I got lots of carrots for trying very hard.  I met a number of my admirers and I was very reluctant to leave.

Thanks to Posy's being inattentive and accident prone, I have regained my 'Most Favoured Horse' status.  Ha! 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Posy goes to the pub

She decided that Posy's education would be furthered by taking her out on her first social ride.  Instead of having just one companion, Posy had half a dozen, and it took her a while to find her place.  Several times Posy surged to the front to lead the pack, only to worry about whether that might be dangerous.
She tried going at the back with Daisy the cob.
Posy follows Daisy over the, potentially dangerous, Horse Bridge
Posy quickly got tired of Daisy's slow pace and decided to liven things up by giving her a good kicking.  This did not go down well and she got a lecture on the need to develop better social skills.  Posy finally decided that her place was just behind the leaders, striding along with the big horses, just pausing periodically to glower at the hapless Daisy, who was cowering at the back of the ride.

Activity with shovels outside the pub
Apart from the run-in with Daisy and some Diva-esque behaviour outside the pub, Posy generally acquitted herself well, and was particularly praised for ignoring Ruby One's repeated prancings and remaining calm throughout.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Hanuman is two years old today

Yes, today is the little fellow's birthday.  Just two years old and already designated a Young Achiever, having exceeded his performance targets for 2013.  Furthermore, as the only one who has not caused the vet to be summoned, Hanuman has also received the Horse of the Month accolade.

He was brought into the yard for a photo shoot, so that there would be a photographic record of how he is progressing.  Whatever his other achievements, Hanuman has failed to understand the importance of looking photogenic.

Hanuman advances on the photographer
Hanuman tries to look like a rescue case

Just taking the mickey now

Finally the boredom of it all sends him to sleep
 In Her efforts to make him look more grown up, She has chopped off much of his long, flowing locks, leaving him with a hairstyle that She describes as 'Edgy' but he describes as 'Embarrassing'.
Before - Hanuman as Fabio

After - it's a shame

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Posy avoids another dressage competition

With a dressage competition looming on Saturday, what better time to make yourself ill?  Posy presented yesterday with a pathetic expression and just stood in her stable, not eating or drinking, apparently unable to chew and/or swallow.  After hours and hours of not eating or drinking, Posy was feeling weak and wobbly.  Next thing, the vet had arrived and jabbed her with needles and stuck a tube up her nose, which wasn't very nice.  There was more jabbing with needles and X-Rays.  Eventually, the vet left and then Posy felt better and was able to force down some food.
Posy being very brave
The vet came back again today to stab Posy with needles again.  Apparently, the X-Rays are going to a consultant - news which made Her go pale at the thought of the cost.

With Posy out of action, Her eyes turned to me and I was saddled up and joined Freddie for a ride.  It was great to be in the woods again and it made me feel quite sprightly, so I have been promised more woodland outings.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Hanuman is a girlie swot

She was a little surprised to find that Hanuman had scored a generous 89% in his liberty class and had been placed 6th.  She actually received a pink 5th rosette which left Hanuman wishing he'd had the actual 6th rosette which might have been a more manly colour.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Posy injures herself

We haven't seen the vet for weeks, but Posy came in with an enormous lump on her jaw, so the vet came to visit us again.   
Posy loves the attention, but was less impressed when she was stabbed with needles and given medicine to eat. 
She had hired a lorry for a dressage outing the next day, something that was clearly not going to happen, so decided to use that for more loading practice instead.  I had to set a good example again, although was obliged to bang sharply on the partition when they forgot to give me my carrot.  Posy was keen to go into the lorry alongside me and we went for a drive round.  Posy thought it was less fearful with me in there and only neighed a few times.

She had been worried that little Hanuman would be nervous about being left at home on his own, and had visions of him charging up and down neighing and injuring himself.  When we arrived back we saw that, far from anxiously hanging round at the fence waiting for us, little Hanuman was in the far corner of the field munching grass.  He cantered up to greet us, still chewing.

He had a go in the lorry as well, and didn't even notice the noise when the engine was started because he and I were having a race to see who could finish their haylage first.  He is clearly made of sterner stuff than the sensitive Posy. 

It has become apparent that 'Travelling Companion' has been added to my job description.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hanuman gets mixed reviews

She thought that since Hanuman had mastered all the obstacles, She would enter him in the Horse Agility video contest for April.  She invited a friend round to video him performing the whole routine At Liberty.  Given the limited attention span of the average two year old, Posy and I were pretty sure it would go wrong and we weren't disappointed.  We snickered from the stables while Hanuman pretended he had never seen such obstacles before.

He did get a carrot for his efforts, but it was the small wrinkled one.
She claimed that it was a windy day and the presence of an extra person must have caused him to lose focus, so her very patient friend turned up again the following day to try again.  At the second attempt, he seemed more interested in scratching himself than doing the course, but in the end it was decided that he did pretty well for a two year old considering and he got a large juicy carrot at the end.

She has grave doubts about whether he will achieve the 60% needed to complete his performance targets.  Meanwhile, Hanuman is looking forward to showing off his prancing skills in the next video competition.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I set a Good Example

She has been getting anxious about Posy not wanting to travel, so She hired the lorry and decided that today we would have loading practice.

Of course, I had to Set a Good Example and go in first, which I did immediately and got my carrot reward.  Then Hanuman came in next to me straight away because he felt brave with me there.

Hanuman feels brave

Hanuman checks out his haynet...

...and then decides that mine must be more delicious
We disembarked from the lorry and then it was Posy's turn.  She took some persuasion but then went in and out a number of times.  Because Posy looked very anxious she was fed a vast quantity of treats and carrots to soothe her furrowed brow.  
Hanuman and I were Very Well Behaved but only got one carrot each, it's not fair.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Posy makes slow progress

With me taking a bit of a rest, Posy has had to step into my shoes, which are a bit too big for her to fill.  Posy finds that her time in the arena is spent dealing with the thousands of thoughts constantly coming into her brain, whilst also looking around her for anything which might be of more interest than what She is trying to get her to do.  The result has Her sighing and complaining that Posy is Not Paying Attention.  She has resorted to getting help from Mandy, although I suspect that this is as much to cheer Her up as anything.  Meanwhile, Posy has discovered that if she puts her neck down every now and again people are pleased and she buys more time for day dreaming.  The video below shows how things are going (i.e. slowly).

Last weekend, Posy was taken to another dressage contest because it would be Good Experience.  Posy thought it was a bit worrying, but not as terrifying as her last outing.
Posy is surprised to see a man with a camera hiding in the corner

She congratulates Posy on getting through the whole test without neighing once

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Unhappy Feet

Recently, I have been struggling to keep up with Freddie, who goes at the speed of a snail.  Normally, it is my wont to rush up behind him and bite him on the bottom to make him go faster, but my feet have been giving me gyp.  She decided that I need total rest and took my shoes off.  I promptly got abscesses, so She called the vet out to make holes in my foot.  Then I have to have a poultice on, and my foot in wrapped in nappies and covered in duct tape.
Winnie the Pooh nappies, the humiliation of it
This seems to have gone on for ages and she got the vet back to take X-Rays.  They discovered that I have sprouted side bones (presumably these go with your front bones and back bones and help to keep your foot in place).  Furthermore I have calcification of a ligament thingy and arthritis in my pedal bone and coffin joint.  This means that I am confined to the field for the duration.  To make up for not getting the cross country outings I was promised, I have been promoted and given the extra responsibility of patrolling the field looking out for stray ballistic missiles marked 'DPRK'.
Meanwhile, She has gone indoors crying.  The vet seems to have that effect on Her.