Friday, 5 November 2010
I've also started Gem again this last 2 weeks. We're only lunging at the moment because of the whole cold backed issue i need to get sorted, although the more i speak to my vet the more i'm convinced it's behavioural rather than physical. She definitley knows her job though. She's quite happy to walk, trot and canter from voice aids alone and knows exactly what i'm asking for. If anyone's read my 1st posts about them you'll know that i have no idea of what she's done in the past, i'm finding everything out as we go along so i'm very optimistic. We've also done a few sessions loose jumping and have so far cleared 1.20m with a 1.15m spread, and still have room to spare. After seeing the enthusiasm she has for jumping, and the scope she shows i'm highly doubtful there's a physical problem and it just makes me want to get on and ride even more.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Well, we practiced lots during the week and went on our 1st hack out (on the lead rein, after freaking out at horses galloping around the next field and attempting a mini rear by bottle flew out of the window and i insisted the lead rein went back on. Big wimp i know!) and she improved no end. No more rooting to the spot and trot work is coming along a treat. It's almost like the first time i ask her to do something she does it, then has to think about it, then comes back a few days later and goes 'it's ok, i know what to do now' and just does it from then on. She amazes me more and more every day :-D
Second lesson was much, much better! Bev (my wonderful instructor) was very impressed with how much she'd come on in a week and even let us attempt our first trotting poles. I've jumped her on the lunge so didnt expect many problems, and i was correct. She had a quick look the first time we walked over but went over perfectly 2nd time, and then in trot too. We shall be working on that in coming weeks and hopefully introducing crosspoles too. ( Pics to follow!)
After another week of schooling we are now trotting school figures, changes of rein etc... and her walk is improving no end. She's really beginning to take a contact now, and starting to work through her back properly. Transitions are much better too, sharp and (almost) precise. Lots of work long and low is paying off and she's becoming a really nice ride already. We're doing our first InterDressage test this month and hoping to get out to our first proper show in november. It's only a walk & trot test but it will be her first time at a show too so i'm hoping the party atmosphere doesn't go straight to her head!
Friday, 24 September 2010
And finally we're on the verge of another weekend (a much needed one at that!) Have been meaning to update for a while now but various things have cropped up and time has seemed to be at a premium during the past few weeks. Anywayyy...
Saddler was due out on the 10th Sept to fit Lola with her first saddle but ended up having to cancel after problems with his supplier. He's now booked to come out tomorrow (yeyyy!!) so with any luck i can finally start riding properly! As it turns out, i'm quite glad he cancelled the first appointment as she was kicked out in the field the following day and i wouldn't have been able to ride anyway. With Lo being the big drama queen she is it turned out to be far worse than 'just a kick'. One of her (no longer) fieldmates cornered her as i was trying to get her out of the field and double-barrelled her in the stomach, then kicked out again and caught the top of her hind leg :-( She was wearing a rug so i didnt think the first one made much of an impact. Took her back to her stable, trotted her up and she seemed fine, so i jumped on bareback & took her in the school. We did about 10 minutes then she started being silly so jumped off and was going to do some in hand work. It wasn't until i got off that i noticed a big, nasty looking lump had appeared where the first kick had landed. It would have been about 5 inches back from where my leg would have been and must have been really sore, so it was no wonder she was playing up really.
I called my vet out to have a look and turned out to be a haematoma, about 4 inches in diameter. Had painkillers & anti-inflamatories & vet went off on his way. He warned me that there could be further issues but didn't think it was too likely, and to call him if she seemed at all unwell/unusual. Left her that evening quite happily munching on her haynets and looking right as rain. Found her the next morning, bed all over the place, pawing the ground and rolling a lot. Vet came straight back out on sunday morning and diagnosed impacted colic. She colicked all day sunday and was still not right on monday, so vet came out again to scan her & see if there was any internal damage. Thankfully all organs were intact and last rib looked fine (no break or anything, which he was concerned about) She was still quite all day monday but improved in leaps and bounds when i turned her out for a few hours on tuesday and has been fine ever since (touch wood!) Two weeks on, most of the swelling has gone and she's back out in the big field with Gem.
On top of sick horses i finally have a new job :-D Have managed to get out of that God-awful kitchen and i'm now working with horses again. Conveniently, it happens to be on the same livery yard i keep the girls at so life has suddenly got much easier. I'd forgotten how it feels to wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work. It's fantastic!
Last weekend also saw the Marriage of 2 of my best friends (and me in a dress!) As hard as i tried to get her to allow me to wear a suit she said there was no way her Maid of Honour was wearing a suit so i relented and wore a dress. Anyone who knows me would know how unusual this is, especially as said dress was also pink (my least favourite colour ever) There is photographic evidence in existance but that's being kept under very close wraps until i can examine the photos for myself!
Hopefully the next few weeks won't be as eventful as the past few have been but we shall see. I'm just excited to be able to ride the baby pony soon!!
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Monday, 30 August 2010
I first met Lola in October 2009 as a 3 1/2 year old. She had lived on the same yard she was bred up until June 2009, then brought by a dealer and moved to his yard until i brought her on New Years Day 2010. She was practically unhandled, would have a headcollar on but that's about it. I began doing groundwork with her late October time and gradually started to build things up, starting from scratch with most things you would take for granted with a 3 year old such as picking up feet, having a rug on, leading in hand etc... Lola is a particularly fast learner though and it wasn't long before most things weren't a problem. Our only major issue has been loading.
Having never travelled before, and then going from breeders yard to dealers yard untied in a metal cattle trailer she was understandably scared. The dealer had already previously admitted to hitting her with a blue pipe until she loaded as she wasn't sure about going up the ramp! During the summer we began to practice loading. After trying all of the more 'traditional' ways of loading (feed, placing feet on ramp, putting another horse in first, lunge lines etc...) nothing was working so one day, while we were alone at the yard, i spend almost 3 1/2 hours standing with her at the bottom of the ramp on a lunge line. If she tried to turn away i was backing her up and presenting her at the ramp again. I stood half way up the ramp and just waited. After about 2 hours she's plucked up the courage to put her front feet on the ramp so i gave her a scratch (she loves being scratched- even better than a food reward!) and waited again. She backed down the ramp a few times but as she was on a lunge line i didn't move and waited for her to come to me again. It was a very long afternoon but eventually she just walked right up the ramp to me and that was that. We practiced tying up and shutting the partition for the next few days and i'm very happy to say she's not been a problem since. Sometimes i think you just need to give them the time to make the decision to enter the box of their own accord rather than under force or bribery.
After a few months playing with the other babies at my friends yard she was moved to her current yard to be back with Gem. She loaded perfectly to be moved (hurrah!) and arrived very chilled and happily munching away on her hay, looking completely unfazed by the journey. I turned her out with Gem that day, they said hello & had a squeal then walked off together to graze and have been inseperable again ever since.
The first few days were all very new and quite scary as there are lots of monsters on this new yard that Lola had never encountered before. They're building a new house on there at the moment so there are lots of big lorries, cement mixers, flappy plastic bags and lots of noise going on! She also met her first tractor and quad bike within a few days of being there and apart from the odd spook & shooting forward she was remarkably well behaved, especially for a 4 year old that's seen very little of the world.
She had been there about 8 weeks now and is very chilled & settled. She's working well on the lunge, and has been for lots of 'experience walks' around our hacking routes with Beauty (my friends mare) She's also been backed now which was a major step forward, i'm just waiting for my new saddle to arrive now & then the work really well begin!
So, that's Lola's story so far. Not bad for a horse that had only been handled a few times up until October last year huh?
Sunday, 29 August 2010
So, thats the story of how i aquired my girls. I shall post more about their individual stories in the next few days as there's so much more to tell.