Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Vet again

The vet came again and spent some time sawing at Hanuman's teeth and poking his stifle joint.  Then it was my turn and She said that I was going to have an injection that would stop my feet hurting, and before I know it, I'll be cantering around Celestial Pastures.  Hello, what's this?  mmmmm... carrots! yum

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hanuman comes of age

Hanuman went out for a hack on his own for the first time today, and returned with his rider still on board.  He was a bit tense but very courageous.  The proof is in the video snippet below, where he bravely moves over for a car and does manage to halt before climbing the hedgebank.

She is delighted with his progress. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015


Much to our irritation Hanuman and I have been shut out of the yard.  We were very frustrated that we couldn't go in for our customary nap, although Posy was there.  Later we realised that Posy wasn't there alone.  There was a new arrival!

This made Hanuman very excited and he ran round and round neighing from the frustration of not being allowed to play with the new wobbly thing.  She claimed that this was making Posy anxious, and we were banished to the bottom field to keep us out of the way.  This enraged Hanuman so much that he jumped back out of the field again.  I am not the athlete I once was and I didn't join him, so She was able to recapture him and put him back in the bottom field once more.  Now we are trying to reconcile ourselves to a life of exile while Posy gets some relaxation.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Working Equitation again

The riding club held a working equitation party at our place.  Hanuman and Posy were onlookers but I was invited to take part.  

I set off with a stylish trot circle round some barrels
There was one mystery manoeuvre involving a pole which had me flummoxed.  She said it was a side pass that we had successfully practised for a couple of days beforehand, but I have no recollection of any such thing.  My efforts to untie with rope gate with my teeth didn't prove as helpful as I'd hoped, but otherwise, everyone was agreed that I did very well indeed.
I keep a safe distance from the 'bull' but She still manages to spear the ring on top

 Nimbly trotting round cones
The second section was the timed Speed section, so I hurtled round and did a canter weave round the cones of such brilliance that I got a round of applause, which encouraged me to go faster and I did a gigantic leap over the jump.  The only thing that held me up was the mystery manoeuvre, the likes of which I have never done before.
Then there was a prize giving and I had to line up for a ribbon (third) and look responsible and set a good example to Boss, the ex-steeplechaser, who was piaffing at the end of the line.  I got some carrots and She got a chocolate Easter bunny, so everyone was happy.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Richard III

Today, the remains of Richard III have been taken to Leicester cathedral for reburial - a victory for the city of Leicester after a challenge from rival city York; resolved in the High Court fortunately, and not on the battlefield.  As ever, moments of historical significance require horses - and my relations were in evidence throughout.
waiting for the coffin to arrive
Police horses escort the cortege

Richly caparisoned chargers wow the crowds
The procession on its way to the Cathedral
The chargers stood guard outside the cathedral...

These are clearly my relatives, notice how steady they are and have absorbed the gravity of the whole situation.  Posy's relatives would have shied at people throwing white roses and would have been prancing and standing on their hind legs and making a spectacle of themselves outside the cathedral.
The marvel of this whole thing is that the discovery of his remains were due to a woman with a romantic obsession with Richard III who had a goose bump moment and had convinced herself that his remains lay in a car park under the letter 'R' in 'PARKING'.  Whilst clearly barking mad, she persuaded Leicester University to excavate there and to worldwide incredulity - she was right!  You couldn't make it up.
In a bizarre twist to the whole affair, Richard III is sending tweets from inside his coffin...

Friday, 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse

We were told that an event of cosmic importance was happening this morning - a solar eclipse would occur at breakfast time.  We were warned not to look directly at the sun since She had failed to buy us special glasses.  As it happened, we couldn't even see the sun.
View from the yard this morning
Solar eclipse at maximum
Apparently, birds were meant to have stopped singing during the eclipse, but we heard a number of rebel tweets.  The only thing we noticed was that it had turned a bit cold, but otherwise there was nothing remarkable to interrupt our breakfasts for.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Disco Disappointment

The motorised cabin arrived today, but before we set off, Hanuman was loaded next to me.  He was making a fuss and trying to destroy his cubicle - until we started moving and then he had to have all his feet on the ground - he he!
When we arrived it became apparent that it was a riding club musical event.  She had hoped that I would do my dance, but my feet were giving me gyp and I was reluctant to trot much and even more reluctant to canter.  She was disappointed because She had given me more medication than was good for me in the hope that I would be alright.  It was a shame because I didn't feel able to trot about with my new friend Binx either.
Hanuman was there for the experience and didn't do much other than stand on his hindlegs a few times, but was generally thought to be quite well behaved considering.
At the end She had organised a little Horse Disco.  She had compiled a CD of suitable trot/walk/canter music for people to try out.  The others did not appear to share Her vision of a horse disco and completely failed to be in the right pace most of the time.  One of them was trying to do reining patterns to the music and others were chatting in the car park.  This made Her very grumpy.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Winter Break

We have been having a lot of weather in the last month or two.  It has been freezing cold, or very windy or hailing, sleeting or any combination of these.  The cold weather makes my feet hurt especially going down hills, and there are a lot of hills around here, so I have been taking it easy of late. 
Young Hanuman hasn't done much either as She says that She needs calm weather to be able to get any sense out of him as he is such an excitable fellow.  She did try an Introduction to Trotting Poles session with him, he thought it was so much fun that She felt the need to keep a firm grip on him.

We gather that She is waiting for the wind speed to drop before She continues his trot lessons.
Meanwhile, Posy just ambles about getting fatter and fatter, and, inexplicably, is being given more food, not less.
We have eaten all the grass there is and are praying that spring will come soon.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Another day, another contest

Yesterday, I knew something was up when She called us in for breakfast when it was still dark and then shampooed my legs.  No motorised cabin arrived though, I had to carry Her up to Duchy College for, what turned out to be a Trec competition.
I quickly assess the situation; obstacle 2 looks ripe for demolition
First of all I was confronted by an array of pallets and since I was not confident that these would bear my weight, I skilfully manoeuvred around them for 'null points'.  The other obstacles I tackled with gusto - bending round poles at canter (mostly), prancing though the 'squeeze', standing patiently with my feet in a hula hoop for 8 of the required 10 seconds.  I cantered down a 'corridor' in exemplary fashion and then soared over a jump and slammed on the brakes as next I was confronted by a rustic filler the like of which I have never seen before (another 'null points').  A small amount of destruction occurred in the S bend but otherwise it was agreed that I had acquitted myself well and earned my carrot.
I attracted a number of new fans, but was very nearly upstaged by the arrival of a Clydesdale in full feather but with a sporty body clip.  He spends his summers carrying tourists around Dartmoor and his winters on loan doing all sorts, including dressage ("he has points" they said in awed tones).  Furthermore, he goes racing - he came second in this race and can be seen on the nearside...

She was very impressed at his versatility, but, to my quiet satisfaction, the final scores showed that I am better at Trec contests than he is. Hah!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Hanuman is brave

Hanuman's progress has been slow and gentle.  Although he goes round very nicely for a while, he regularly reacts to noises on the road.  His very powerful hindquarters enable him to go from 0-60 mph in very short order and without warning, which She has found a bit disconcerting.
She was very pleased with him yesterday when he coped really well with traffic noise and only stopped to watch the rattling trailer, instead of charging off.  She is hoping that he has now learned that none of these things are going to burst into the arena and eat him.

We think he may be allowed to trot soon.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

We could start with a review of 2014, which turned out to be pretty uneventful.  She can't think of any lasting lowlights, although highlights included:

  • My hock joint fusing and giving me a new lease of life
  • My Achievement in qualifying for the Regionals
  • Her subscription to clipmyhorse, which I gather has given her many happy hours of entertainment in lieu of television

It seems that I am not to have any targets this year, other than setting a good example to the others.  (I have been excused because of my arthritis.)

Hanuman's target for 2015 is to get to a level of proficiency such that he could perform a Preliminary test if needed.

Posy's target for 2015 is to qualify for the Regionals.  She says that if I can do it then Posy can.  Looking at Posy's ever-expanding waistline I think that this may be over ambitious.