Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I win Horse of the Year accolade!

Yes, She has awarded me the Horse of the Year accolade!  I have exceeded my 2014 targets and have ridden Achievements this year, in spite of my physical disabilities.
I look forward to receiving a handsome reward
It has to be said that the opposition for the Horse of the Year title has fallen by the wayside.  Hanuman has proved rather erratic in the arena as yet, so She has decided to take things slowly and wait until he can walk quietly round for more than two minutes before progressing to trot and canter work.

Posy hasn't done anything lately at all and is just ambling about getting fatter and fatter.
So I am the clear winner, and a most deserving one!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Season's Greetings

Thank you for your Christmas greetings.  We have celebrated here with extra carrots for breakfast.  Sadly, when I opened my Christmas gift and discovered a bumper bag of minty treats, the bag was taken away again with only the assurance that I would see them again on 'special occasions'.
Yum, minty treats
Still, it was better than being dressed up in tinsel and made to go out in public, like poor Freddie.
Freddie prepares for his annual public humiliation
Anyway, Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year to everyone!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Social

I was invited to a Christmas party but alas, I had nothing to wear.  My little friend Luna was sporting red tinsel, jingle bells on her noseband and some fetching antlers, leaving me feeling somewhat under-dressed for the occasion.  

Luna seems proud of her Xmas get up
 She said that dressing up was for girls, and just look at Laddie who was not at all happy about being made to wear antlers on top of his head.
Laddie is less than impressed by his comedy antlers
She was imbibing mulled wine and scoffing snacks but didn't offer me any, although I note that Luna was being given mulled wine.

I spy mince pies
I wasn't even allowed to eat any mince pies and it was only at the very end that I managed to extract an apple from the organisers.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Poorly me

I felt pretty good yesterday morning but by the afternoon I was dripping with sweat and had come out in hives.  I didn't know where to put myself I was so uncomfortable.  I went up to the yard and when I saw Her I neighed loudly to draw attention to my plight.  The vet speedily followed and was suitably impressed as my mouth had swollen and various other lumps and swellings had appeared.  There was a lot of fussing and the inevitable injections followed.  I am very brave with injections as I do find that they help.  Then I was confined to barracks, feeling sorry for myself, although I did manage to force down some haylage.  Touchingly, Posy kept a vigil by my stable.  The photo below shows that some swelling remained even the following day.
There was nothing actually wrong with my eye
I felt much better after drinking several large buckets of water and eating quite a lot of haylage.  Nonetheless, She had started to panic by the next afternoon because a lot was going in but nothing was coming out.  I was taken on several forced marches and threatened with more injections until finally my digestive system started getting back to normal - averting a second vet visit in the nick of time.  I have to face another night in tonight, but am hoping that I will be allowed back into the field tomorrow.
She has been wracking her brains trying to figure out what happened, and Her favourite theory is that I must have disturbed a bee that was trying to hibernate and it stung me.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Party Invite

She has decided that I am not to compete in affiliated competitions any more because She says I now need to have the magic powder in my food and it is not allowed.  Nonetheless, She was jolly pleased to received this - 
I thought perhaps I could go just for the drinks and nibbles, but She says it wouldn't be that much fun and has promised me extra carrots at local competitions instead.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Reality check

I was carted off in the motorised cabin to prance to music again.  I gather we were a bit late leaving and when we arrived it turned out that they were running 20 minutes ahead of time.  I was quickly bundled into the warm up where I puffed round for a bit, and the next thing I know, I was in the big arena and being expected to dance to 'Happy' music.  Her friend said I looked befuddled, and She wanted to know why I didn't want to go forward and why I kept feeling the urge to stick my nose in the air.  Well, life just isn't that simple.

Edited highlights are below - 

To her dismay, the music didn't play back as it should and there were a number of unexpected pauses.

To make matters worse, She had made an emergency purchase of carrots from the corner store and they were a) not organic and b) very bendy.  I had to insist on having the mint flavoured treats instead.

Anyway, we survived but I think She has decided that we won't be going to the Regional Championship after all.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

"He will grow into it"

Her verdict on Hanuman's new coat.

Hanuman complains that his ears are getting quite hot under the hood.  Poor chap.  
I also have a new winter coat, purchased from the 'Big Horse Company' which specialises in making outerwear for the horse with the fuller figure.  I have to say that it is very comfy and doesn't strangle me when I graze, like the previous ones.
Posy has been praised for looking after her coats, which means that she has missed out on the new rug bonanza.  Posy is quite miffed that she has to wear last season's styles, and says it isn't fair.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hanuman's first ridden outing

I was surprised to see my chum Freddie arrive yesterday morning when we had no play date scheduled.  It turned out he was to escort young Hanuman on his first ridden outing.
Posy and I waited anxiously in our stables for more than half an hour, and when Hanuman returned we both neighed loudly to show our relief that no harm had befallen the little fellow.  
Initially, Hanuman had been a bit surprised to find that She was behind him, on his back, and not in front of him holding a rope, but he quickly got used to the idea.  Then he was a bit confused because part of him wanted to run madly about with excitement, whilst part of him was a bit nervous and wanted to be very cautious.  In the end, he walked mostly and jigged a bit whilst ensuring that he didn't get too far from Freddie.  This turned out to be a winning strategy that won him much praise and a large carrot on his return.

Freddie keeps a watchful eye on his young charge
Hanuman is praised for his bravery and good behaviour

Hanuman celebrated afterwards by prancing round the field and flinging off one of his new shoes.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

I finally get to strut my stuff

My much anticipated affiliated debut in the novice freestyle to music class was today.  Well, just call me Sir 'Twinkletoes' Braveheart!  I danced my way to 73% and many treats.
It has to be said that there were a few glitches.  She was a bit alarmed when I started in reverse gear (heh, heh!) and the canter music itself seemed to have a few hiccoughs and I thought perhaps the canter could have ended a lot sooner than it did, but none of those things detracted from my being declared a hero and a Very Good Boy Indeed.
My efforts can be seen below:

Apparently I have managed to qualify for the regional championship as a result of today.  Clever me!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Working Equitation

We all had to have a go at the riding club's 'Working Equitation' event at the weekend.  It seems that She and Her chums are great admirers of the Portuguese rider Pedro Torres and dream of emulating him.

Posy rapidly assessed the situation and realised that it was just horse agility all over again, only with more circles, a 'ring-a-bell' exercise and a 'bull' where the rider had a lance and was meant to pick up a ring (see Pedro Torres above!).  
We were all very suspicious of the 'bull' and I snorted at it, but it didn't snort back and I soon realised that it was just a show jump with a calfskin draped over it and a roll of masking tape balanced on top.
To make it all seem authentic they played Spanish music (presumably on the grounds that Spain was near Portugal) and some of them wore Spanish costumes.  Maddy was one of the participants, but she didn't squeal at all, presumably out of embarrassment for her rider's tenuous grip of geography.
Maddy's flamenco costume 
Anyway, a good time was had by all, even if none of them performed anything like Pedro Torres.

How quickly the excitement wore off though, as we came to terms with the tragic news that deer had been in the orchard and eaten all the remaining apples, thus decimating our treat supply.  I don't know how we are going to manage.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Happy Sunday

I have been a little down since I have an eye infection which She says is because I keep throwing off my fly mask and then losing it.  Today I suffered the indignity of having the fly mask strapped to my head with duct tape.  I just hope She has a plan for getting it off again.
A trailer came into the yard and I was greatly cheered to find that I was to accompany a four year old to the riding club's western trail clinic.  I pranced my way there and I'm sure she was very impressed. 
I am keen to impress my new young friend
Less impressed was Maddy, a roan mare who squealed at me every time I so much as looked at her.
I bravely tested the home-made 'bridge' obstacle and it was agreed that since it had withstood my weight, it would be safe for the others.  Then I demonstrated some nimble footwork turning in a tiny pole square (Maddy squealed her approval).  In the end I gave a master class on how to tackle the 'pattern' - no-one else could match my turns at canter.  By this stage Maddy was squealing at me when I didn't look at her, so I think she had been trying to attract my attention all along.

Then I had to escort my young friend back and bid her farewell as she was loaded to go home.  I have to say that she was very brave standing in the trailer for some considerable time while her owner did multi-point turns in the yard.

Now it's back to the serious business of keeping the grass in the field tidy and under control...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Hanuman goes back to school

Following the long summer holidays, young Hanuman is now going round the yard learning the three Ss - Starting, Stopping and Steering. 
Posy and I have been sniggering from our stables as the little fellow has lessons.  Initially he sprinted about in random directions, but that didn't earn him any peppermints.  Then he tried going backwards but that didn't get rewarded either.  Now he has figured out that he is supposed to wander about, allowing himself to be directed and then stopping to receive peppermints at intervals.
This video just shows him ambling about, but we were impressed at the way he strolled up to the mounting block on his own and waited patiently for Her to get on.

Nonetheless, Posy and I were pretty put out at how easily he was earning peppermints.  We have to go sideways for ours these days.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

I am the Main Man

Posy had been entered in a dressage contest but the weather was so wet and windy She decided that I would have to go  instead.  Considering that I was dripping wet on arrival I thought I put in a very creditable performance (2nd & 3rd).
I look through the doors to see if it is still raining (it was)
Now it seems that Posy is considered too delicate to go to any more dressage contests, so all the responsibility rests on my ample shoulders.

This weekend I went to an affiliated competition at Tall Trees Arena.  I am now collecting a fan club there as well and stand around looking handsome while people hug me.  I had to leave my admirers to perform some dressage for which I was awarded 65% in the Prelim.  She says this is a respectable score for a horse of my configuration, and She now feels confident to tackle a Novice level music class.  It has become clear that I am now the Main Man and must be the front runner for the Horse of the Month Award.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

We are left Home Alone

Yes, we were left to fend for ourselves while She went out with Her chums to watch a Dressage to Music Demo.  We were a bit anxious about what it would mean for us if She came back with some wild ideas.  As it turned out, She was a bit underwhelmed and admitted that She shouldn't have watched the World Championship immediately before going to the local demo.

She says that She learned several important things -

  1. Make sure that your music is clearly audible
  2. If you use a radio mic make sure that it doesn't crackle and drown out any music that is playing
  3. A hyperactive rider does not give a good impression
  4. Freestyles are best done indoors where it doesn't rain
A fun pas de deux by local riders
She got to try sitting on a side saddle (and we are relieved the hear that She didn't feel as secure as all that and has decided not to make us all wear one).  She forgot all about Her damp knees though when She won first prize in the obligatory raffle and came back clutching a bottle of expensive champagne.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Posy goes backwards

She found a video of a talk given by Dr Andrew McLean on You Tube, during which he suggested that the way to reduce a horse's flight response was to slow it down, or better still, go backwards.  She thought She would try this on Posy at the riding club bash today. 
It was windy and there was some jumping going on next door, largely hidden by a Leylandii hedge.  All of this was guaranteed to upset a horse of Posy's sensibilities.  Remembering the words on the video, She only let Posy walk slowly and kept reining back as they went round the arena.  Posy said there were probably some scary things going on, but that it was hard to tell when she had to keep going backwards.

She said the whole experiment was very promising and Posy managed a decent test at the end. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

She has Rider Analysis Clinic

She has been looking forward to this for weeks - the nice man that did the computer analysis on my feet returned to analyse Her.  In Her wisdom She decided to do it on Posy since a) Posy was the right size for Her and b) Posy is the more difficult and more in need of help.

It was a windy day and a number of Her chums turned up to watch.  This guaranteed that Posy became thoroughly upset by the whole shebang and completely lost the plot.  Posy would barely venture to the end of the arena and was all over the place and, if truth be told, not completely in control.  She was mortified.  Eventually, enough trotting and cantering had been done to enable Posy to trot up the centre line for the camera.

The white dots show that the saddle is slipping to the right, the pink stripe across her shoulders show that She is dropping her right shoulder.  Otherwise Her position was regarded as generally good, but ineffective since Posy was prancing around with her head in the air.  The rest of the lesson was spent trying to convince Posy that her head should be in a nice outline and not stuck out gawping at everything around her.  

She had always hoped to obtain an outline by riding forward into a passive hand, since it works for me (but then I am super talented and pay attention and try to do the right thing).  She was forced to admit that this method doesn't work well for Posy who spends most of the time thinking of other things.  Russell's method was to hold the hands wide and vibrate the rein until she flexes at the poll and then release and repeat.  Posy wasn't really helping, but this did work better than doing nothing which is what She had been doing before.

She does feel uneasy about using the rein so much but something has to be done, and it was a lot better than draw reins, bungees or unrelenting bit pressure which She refuses to countenance.
Posy tries to charm Russell of Centaur Biomechanics
At the end of it, She felt that She'd got a lot out of it, but was really depressed that She had been unable to show any basic dressage at all on the day.

PS  She tried the vibrating reins idea the next day when Posy was calmer and was horrified to find that Posy just dropped the contact altogether.  This may explain why all the literature tells you not to try fiddling with the reins to place the head.  She quickly decided that calming Posy would be a better strategy than wiggling the reins.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Panic Stations

On Saturday we were all lined up ready to go out in the motorised cabin for a music party.  We waited, and we waited and waited and then we heard her making a panicky phone call during which She discovered that She had booked the lorry for Sunday by mistake.  She ran round and round in circles and then decided that, as it wasn't far away, She would ride up there.  I could not go because She said it would take me so long to get there that the party would be over by the time we arrived.  So, Posy was quickly tacked up and raced to Duchy College in record time, speeded on her way by the village Flower Festival marquees flapping in the breeze. 

Anyway, Posy ended up doing my 'Cowboy' themed dance.  Posy is the second one up in the video highlights of the party.  She was completely upstaged though by the 7 year old on her pony doing 'James Bond' who comes first.

On Sunday, since we unexpectedly had transport, I was carted off to do another dressage contest as it would be Good Experience for me.  I gather I did better and was braver at approaching the judge's end than last time.  I'm sorry I missed the musical party though as it sounded like fun.

Friday, 1 August 2014

I achieve a record score

For those of you who are wondering how I got on at my Big Day, She has now got the results and the scores weren't too bad but not enough to qualify for the whatever it was She hoped to qualify for.  She thought that my reluctance to approach the judge's end was partly to blame.  I blame it all on being fobbed off with herbal biscuits instead of carrots on the day.

She felt that I had got a bit ring rusty and needed some more outings.  Thus, when Posy had a slight cough on Wednesday, She decided that I should go and compete in Posy's place.  When I arrived I was alarmed to find that I had to go into an outdoor arena with white boards, a flower pot and a large wooden shed with reflective panels, when I have become used to the comfort and safety of the indoor school.  Who could be surprised that I was reluctant to approach the judge's shed?  Then I caught sight of something suspicious and tried to flee the scene.  This earned me a '2' and 'Disobedient' from the judge.  Apparently a score of 2 is a record, but She didn't seem very pleased with it.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Industrious young swallow

We share our facilities with swallows who come to raise a family each year.  We have got quite used to their incessant twittering and aerial acrobatics as they speed past our heads with microns to spare.  The youngsters have fledged and have been practising their flying skills round the yard.  We noticed that one of them was bouncing about on the ground in wet patches and picking up bits of hay in its beak and flying off with it.  Intrigued, we had a look in the barn at the rafters, where the nest is.  It seems that the young fellow has been practising his nest building skills.  
We think the little chap has a bit of work to do on the design concept.

House built by Mum and Dad

House built by Junior

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Posy's first gymkhana

It seems that Posy is well on her way to becoming a proper grown up horse since she was taken to her first gymkhana.  This is the sort of thing that can send horses of delicate sensibilities into a spin, but Posy showed how her training has progressed by behaving impeccably.  She paired up with a young spotty pony for gentle manoeuvres (leaving the actual racing to rag taggle ponies and the children with ambitious dads).  She did all the tasks beautifully and proved very brave when moving balloons from one post to another.
Posy is slightly bemused by gymkhana goings on
Posy's main complaint was that there was a lot of waiting about in between games, so she was taken home before the end for fear she get too restive and upset the tinies.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I am eight years old!  My, how time flies.  I was fully expecting eight carrots this morning, but was disappointed.  There was a bag of carrots, but I was told that these were being saved for my Big Day on Saturday.  This sounds ominously like I shall have to puff my way through some dressage to earn them.

Last weekend I had to go to a riding club dressage contest 'to get back into the swing of things'.  It was nice to meet and greet a number of my fans.  At one point I thought that the yard owner had heard that my birthday was coming up soon and was going to present me with a cake.

I should have known that only the riders got cake and we poor horses had to content ourselves with whatever morsels of grass we could find round the edge of the car park.  Then we had to carry our cake-laden riders back home again.  Life as a horse is pretty tough.

Monday, 30 June 2014

I am put through my paces

After a couple of weeks without my minty breakfasts, coach Mandy was summoned to see if I was fully sound.  Actually, I've been feeling pretty good and dutifully pranced for the camera.

Sadly, they decided that I no longer need minty breakfast.  More worryingly, She is talking of competitions and has gone indoors to make music for me to dance to.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Joy unconfined

I have to say that I have been feeling quite sprightly of late, and my hock feels so much better.  She is delighted and says that my hock joint may have fused.  She sought a second opinion from Coach Mandy who said that it brought a tear to her eye to see me plodding prancing round with such gay abandon.

Next thing I know I have been taken to a couple of dressage contests.  At the first the judge leaned out of her car and remarked on how much better I looked.  At the second the judge's writer fell in love with me and wanted to take me home.  This is all well and good, but now She plans to dust off her music and take me to more important contests, which means that I can no longer have my minty breakfasts.  Now I am to be fobbed off with a handful of chaff.  This is a poor reward for my getting hot and sweaty and puffing my way through dressage tests.  

She made me model my booty from the weekend's work
There may not have been many other competitors in the weekend's classes, but She would like to point out that I came away with three Firsts, which is three more than the England football team.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Yeeee Haaaa!

One of Her riding club friends is keen on Western Riding and ran a clinic on Saturday which I was invited to.  I went with some trepidation, fearing that it may involve high speed cattle chasing or similar.  My fears were only compounded when my chum Ariel arrived resplendent in a Western saddle and festooned with ropes.  Happily, it turned out to be a version of Handy Pony, only with Country music playing in the background.
I watch Ariel perform in full Western regalia with added ropes

You had to to various exercises such as screeching to a halt inside a small box, then doing a 270 degree turn without touching the sides, then lolloping loping a circle, doing a simple change and then lolloping loping in the other direction.  This was following by opening a rope gate, weaving in and out of cones backwards and then crossing a 'bridge'.  I gave a dazzling display of bravura, even though I didn't have the right costume on.  She said that I put Ariel to shame and was very pleased.  I fully deserved the extra carrots when I got home.

On Sunday, Posy went to a dressage contest and I gather wasn't too bad, which is a great improvement on previous efforts.  It was also Hanuman's birthday but he got a carrot just for being three years old, whereas Posy and I had to excel for ours.

Today the farrier came and put shoes on me.  She has given up with the barefoot experiment and says that it hasn't improved my hooves at all, and now I can go out on the roads with my mate Freddie more often.  Hurrah!

Sunday, 4 May 2014


Posy has fallen in love with me.  Last week she kept following me around and making goo-goo eyes, it was embarrassing.  To Her credit, She has tried to distract Posy by showing her photos of a handsome stallion rejoicing in the name of Cyden Cadans M.

Posy thought he was, indeed, very handsome, but that the pictures did not taste as delicious as she'd hoped.  Next thing we know, the vet has arrived and given Posy injections which make her very sleepy.

She says that She is planning to have a new addition to our herd.  We have all kept our eyes open but so far we haven't seen anyone new arrive.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Not-so-Good Friday

Today being a Bank Holiday, She thought it would be the ideal time to introduce Hanuman to walking quietly round the arena with a rider on his back.  The arena is next to a road, so She figured that a Bank Holiday would be ideal as there would be only light traffic and nothing to scare him.  As is usual with these things, the plan didn't match reality.  Hanuman was being very good until a clanking vehicle gave him a fright and he bolted.  
Her valiant efforts to steer him to the safety of the yard failed and She impaled Herself on the gatepost.  At first She seemed to be just crumpled on the floor, groaning, but then lay motionless for several minutes.  We became quite worried about who was going to let us out of the stables and give us food in future.

Finally, She came to, just as an anxious passer-by enquired about Her welfare.  We think She is concussed because She got back on Hanuman and rode him into the arena again (although we did note that She didn't stray too far down this time).  Hanuman had forgotten about the whole incident, although, judging by the limping, we don't think She will forget it quite so soon.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Easter Ride

On Sunday I was chosen to go on the riding club Easter Ride and I had great fun.  I quickly slotted in behind my new best friend, Max, and set a good example to the rest behind me.  In the woods I showed them all how to make majestic leaps over tree trunks.
I size up the jump ahead
At one point we set off for a canter but Max was very fast and the only way I could keep up was to charge along at a gallop.  Max's rider seemed to have a poor grip of the laws of physics, which state:
           Mass   x   Velocity   =   Unstoppable Momentum
Max's rider slowed without considering the stopping distance required by a horse of my mass, so, as there were no warning brake lights or hand signals given, suddenly I found myself crashing into the back of Max.
Anyway, order was quickly restored and soon afterwards my finely honed detection skills alerted me to the presence of a pile of treats and I managed to stuff quite a few carrots into my mouth before the others arrived to demand a share.  The riders were happy filling their faces with chocolate, except for one small girl who was chewing a carrot.  That should not be allowed.
Anyway, we carried them and the extra calories back safely, only to find that the riders could claim yet more chocolate.

I had a well deserved day off yesterday, but today, I was woken from my nap in the stable and had to have a dressage lesson because Posy had a sore foot.  I puffed my way through all the exercises and won much praise for my simple changes and counter canter produced at such short notice.  I need to have a lie down now.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Hanuman's first riding lesson

Following an enjoyable evening watching the film 'Buck' with her chums, She has been inspired to do Her own colt starting.  She has decided that there is no need to chase Hanuman round a pen nor flap ropes or flags or any such thing.  Instead, She thought She'd manage with lead ropes attached to a headcollar and a couple of peppermints, since this worked for Posy and I.   Hanuman was a bit perplexed at first because She stayed in the same place whether he went forward, back or sideways, but a peppermint or two allayed his fears.
She put the video camera on the gate to record events in case of an accident, since the ambulance crew might find it helpful to see what happened.  So we do have a video of Hanuman's first riding lesson, albeit with apologies for the poor quality.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Things are looking up

We have emerged blinking out of the mizzle and into - sunlight!  Yes the rain has stopped falling for several days and the sun has come out.  I am feeling particularly happy after recovering from my third foot abscess in six weeks.  I have come to enjoy the attentions of the vet and everyone saying how brave I am.

She has just finished a marathon stint hosting the riding club's horse agility event. Of course, I had to test it first, and feeling full of the joys of spring I leapt over the little jump, pranced up and down on the tarpaulin and then did a full celebration with bucking, prancing and standing on my hind legs waving my forelegs up and down.  She was very impressed, or at least I think that's what She was saying.  Later on, I had to go back into the ring to Set a Good Example for a timid Arab, but wasn't allowed to prance, which was boring.

One of the horse agility contestants.  
Note the unfamiliar ball of yellow light on the right.
The others have been deemed to be making progress as well.  Hanuman has got used to Her sitting on his back in the stable and Posy made a decent stab at a dressage test, coming third out of eleven.  It wasn't brilliant but it was Posy's best effort so far and she managed to resist the temptation to gawp at her surroundings.  Meanwhile I have a play date with my chum Freddie to look forward to, so things are looking up.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Music Extravaganza

Yesterday morning I had my legs shampooed and I knew straight away that I would be going to some kind of party.  Hanuman, by contrast, felt that he had been subjected to unjust water torture and wasn't going to take that lying down.  To add insult to injury, once enough mud had been hosed off, his legs were wrapped in stiff boots so that he couldn't walk.
Then, the motorised cabin arrived and I set a good example by going straight in, followed by Hanuman.  Then we had a contest to see who could make the most noise banging on the partition.  I won.

It was a short journey and once we'd arrived, I provided reassurance and showed Hanuman how to behave at parties.  Naturally, I was the star of the show and enthusiastically performed my musical riches-to-rags story to great applause.  Tragically, She gave the video camera to another and failed to tell the novice operator how to work it.  All there is to show for my sparkling performance is a grainy still and a glitzy burgundy and silver rosette.  

She subsequently explained to the video operator which button operated the video, so Hanuman's effort is captured in full.  She bravely attempted to do his first public performance at liberty.  This was brave because the weather has been awful for months, so he has had little training.  The first half of the performance involved Hanuman wandering off to greet the onlookers and then getting quite excited at the thought of trotting round.  Then he did settle down and the second half was much better.

Everyone agreed that he had done very well considering his youth. 

There were some other people there too, and here is a video of some highlights of this informal music party.  It's not much of a video, of course, since my performance is missing.  Our chum Ariel's performance is also missing because he disgraced himself.  We'll say no more on the subject.
I have been asked to point out that the last horse has a bitless bridle, is blind in one eye and the rider has Special Needs, so they did really well.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

New Show Jumps

She is very pleased because She has acquired some new asymmetrical fillers.

As soon as it stopped raining and the wind speed reduced enough for them to stay upright, Posy had to go out and jump them.  Posy said they were pretty easy and this time she didn't feel the need to fling Her over first.

Next, I had to trot round the arena, but the vet said that I wasn't supposed to jump.  Pah!  The vet knows nothing, and fortified by my minty breakfast, I wanted to have a go.  She thought that perhaps a little jump wouldn't hurt me, so to show my enthusiasm I charged about, made a magnificent leap and did a plunging celebration afterwards.  This seemed to take Her by surprise and next thing I know She is sitting on my head.  Instead of tipping Her off onto the ground, I gallantly put my head up and tipped Her back into the plate.

Saved by me!

She says I cannot jump again unless I promise to behave myself.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stormy Sunday

It has all been rather quiet here due to weather.  It has been wet and windy forever it seems, and everyone is going round saying 'is it ever going to end?'.  The answer is never, apparently.
As a result of sloshing about in water for weeks on end, Hanuman and I both got foot abscesses.  His was easily dealt with, but mine evaded detection, even after She got the vet to do X-Rays.  In the end it burst out on the coronary band, and She says it is my fault for pretending to be sound whenever the vet comes.  Fat thanks I get for being brave.  The bad news is that my arthritis is getting worse, so I shall be leading a more relaxed life style.

Posy was hoping to go show jumping today, but after reviewing the weather, She and Posy decided it would not be fun.
The view from the stables
Meanwhile, we are hanging round the stables, hoping that She will bring us food so that we don't have to venture back out into the wind and rain.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Saddler comes to visit

The saddler came today and Posy had the flocking in her saddle adjusted.  We were then surprised to see that saddles were being tried on Hanuman. 
Hanuman advises the saddler on the best fit
He was quite unperturbed by the experience and happily trotted up and down the yard with a saddle attached to his back.  Then he had to try on Posy's bridle and be measured for a new bridle of his own.  That part involved a peppermint, so he was keen for the next steps, but was disappointed when the saddler went away again.  It looks like he will have to wait to find out what happens next.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Performance Targets 2014

Whilst we have been braving the driving rain and gale force winds, She has been huddled indoors devising performance targets for us.  They are as follows:

Posy - to become relaxed at well behaved at shows.

Me   - to continue to Set a Good Example and be a good baby-sitter

Hanuman  - to be able to walk, trot and canter with Her on his back and demonstrate basic brakes and steering by the end of the year.

Poor Hanuman has already started on his targets as She tried a bridle on him today.  He found it very difficult to chew with a bit in his mouth and kept dropping his peppermints.