Monday, 31 December 2012

Bye bye 2012

Well I'm hoping that as we eat our hay this evening and say bye bye to 2012 we might be saying bye bye to all the rain too. Here's hoping anyway!

Lynette and her Dad came down this evening to feed us and check we are all ok. I fear Lynette might be scheming a way to clean our legs of mud. The green snake is coming out each day but only to fill up our water buckets. I keep a beady eye on him but he seems to behaving and curls back up in his nest each evening.

Well it's been a big year for me this year, I've moved to my new home and started my qualifications to become a fully grown up riding pony. It's so exciting. I have a new best friend, Zippy, though I do miss my pals Dave & Vince. I wonder what 2013 will hold for me?

First priority is to help Lynette get better, then we will be able to resume our adventures together. I'd like to learn to jump, especially as Baby Brian seems to be doing so well at that. I'd also like go to out and discover what lies over every hill, Zippy has told me about places like the Cotswold water park and something called fun rides, so I hope 2013 will allow me to experience all of these things and more.

I'm one lucky pony, going to sleep tonight dreaming of my new adventures - in sunshine! Wishing all my pony friends and their humans a safe and happy new year xxx

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hay, hay, hay

Our bedrooms have held up well and Zippy and I have been trying to keep them clean for Lynette. Lynette's Dad came down this morning to give us more hay and water - yummy. We have decided to hang out on the yard, that's where all the hay is and to be honest there is only so much mud a pony can do and yesterday the muddy back garden did actually turn back into a Lake.

Lynette came down with two friends this afternoon, Max and Louise, they helped give us our tea and more hay and water. Benji was looking tired, it turned out Lynette and Benji had met 17 human friends and one dog friend for a walk around Lydiard Park - it's rolling chair friendly so they both had a great time. Think we will all sleep well tonight!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

So many visitors, what a great day!

Well from one extreme to another - today we saw Lynette lots. She came down in the morning with Uncle Matt to hang up our Christmas presents - yummy! While Uncle Matt worked on the exact hanging position and dimensions, I had a test taste while all the Likit's were still in Lynette's lap, they are definitely very very yummy. Mine got hung up first and I have a boredom ball and a Likit now hanging from my bedroom ceiling, they are not so easy to lick now they are hanging up!

Zippy then had her Likit installed so because of our new open doors policy I thought it only polite to go in and taste test hers too - yummy cherry flavour. Zippy had her rug changed by Lynette while I was distracted playing with our new toys. We then got a late breakfast and tonnes of hay - it's a hard life!

To top off this wonderful day Lynette returned with Aunty Cathe later and overhauled our bedrooms. Lynette even helped sitting in her rolling chair in the middle of my room, with a poop scoop managing to clean it quite well. I'm really not sure she has read her loan agreement with the Red Cross (which is where she has hired hire wheels from) as I'm sure there must be a clause about restricted use. But as Aunty Cathe says - she doubts they would have thought of putting in a clause that states 'not for use in mucking out of stables'. Still we don't mind as we now have a lovely deep layer of clean straw to out our hooves up on!

Just can't decide on my favourite flavour, I can lick banana, apple or mint!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Dark days

I now understand why Lynette left our doors open, she didn't turn up til 5pm yesterday and was leaking all over us. I think not being able to do anything is really getting to her, I tried to tell her it was ok. But I'm not sure she was really listening. She just kept sobbing and apologising about the fact she couldn't muck us out and that we had horrible dirty stables and a horrible muddy field and we were filthy dirty.

She seems to forget that mud packs are highly beneficial for our skin so we don't mind being dirty at all. And to be honest we can forgive her everything else as we are getting lots of food and hay and water. Plus I am managing to sneak into the tack room when backs are turned to eat extra rations of carrots!

Didn't see Lynette at all today, that makes me sad, but her Dad has just come down and made sure we have everything we needed. So our tummies are full, hopefully we will see her tomorrow. Maybe our yummy Likit's Christmas presents will arrive too, keeping our hooves crossed.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Errr shutting the stable door please

Happy Christmas everyone, we got a great Christmas present each - Boredom breaker Likit's but because Lynette is still in the rolling chair we are having to wait for Uncle Matt to arrive before we can play with them as they need attaching to the ceiling of our bedrooms.

Lynette loves our Christmas Present, she was very excited and wanted to play with her camcorder straight away - it was to replace her broken one (by the way we didn't break it!) but Zippy and I forgot to order the SD card it needs to actually work (opps) so she now has to wait for the postman to bring her a card. Looking forward to being able to feature in more videos once the camera is up and running.

Bit confused this evening, the open doors policy that has been introduced recently to allow Zippy and I to come and go as we please from our rooms during the day - seems to have been extended to tonight as well??? Really not sure why we quite like being tucked up all warm and safe each night - now I have a breeze blowing through my room and no rug either - do you know how wet I got today. Though Lynette was quite impressed with how dry my tummy and neck were, she also reminded me the reason I didn't have a rug was because I broke it, oh and I've since broken my lightweight pyjamas too - let's hope it's stays mild for the rest of the winter, but preferably with less rain.

Lynette, please shut our doors tomorrow night it's chilly in here, mind you I can sneak into Zippy's stable and we could curl up together I guess - and I can eat all her hay too, ok so maybe this isn't such a bad idea!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Lynette's Christmas Present has arrived

It's sooo exciting. Lynette's Christmas Present has arrived today, we have wrapped it up and put it under the tree. All of us animals have contributed.

Zippy put the most in - she raided her piggy bank which was full of all her competition winnings from the old days. I donated the money Lynette has saved having me a fluffy Dales instead of Charlie huge, hungry and expensive to shoe competition horse. I've also promised to replenish the piggy bank with my winnings (err no pressure then!) when I'm old enough to compete - otherwise Zippy won't have enough to retire on and live out her old age in comfort.

Benji has been doing all the running around (like usual). The cats have saved money up by not eating as much and going out and catching the wildlife instead - though we did have to stop them when they caught and killed a robin - explaining that that was not in the spirit of Christmas!!!

I did have a sneak peek under the Christmas tree and I'm fairly sure Santa has arrived early and brought us pressies! Hurry up Christmas Day!!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Photos of the family

Another boring day of mud and hay, but I was greatly cheered to receive an email from my pals back in Wales who seem to be having much more fun.

I should introduce them properly Dave & Vince are my old field pals - well to be honest they are not old, they are a year younger than me, but we all hung out together as bestest mates - obviously I was top pony and was afforded hero status when they moved in with me. I think they were awestruck by my handsome good looks and knowledge of all things Dales.

I've trained them well and they now have the dubious pleasure of sharing their accommodation with Baby Brian who has recently left his Mum to move in with them, and so the circle of life continues and they are now training Brian in all things Dales.

This is not altogether successful as Brian thinks he's a show jumper obviously there is some miscommunication going on - but hey if Brian has jumping aspirations then I'm sure he'll make it to Olympia one day!

However training in eating and playing with everything seems to be making much better progress.

Brian has also discovered there is a forfeit if he doesn't do as he's told, the old cover the you in hay trick, it's a classic, makes me laugh every time! I think you'll agree that Dave and Vince have mastered the 'it wasn't us' look pretty much down to perfection.

Well time to turn in, thanks for the email boys brightened my day no end xxx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Open doors

High risk of flooding today meant we have been allowed to hang out on the yard and sleep in if we wanted to. Lynette brought Aunty Cathe down to help her this morning - well 10.30am, is that still morning? My tummy was rumbling by then. They mucked us out but left the bedroom doors open so we could go back to bed if we wanted to or wander into the very muddy flood plain that is the back garden...

Sadly I have been de-robed of my lightweight rug partly due to the mild weather mostly because I have managed to put a massive rip in it - it wasn't my fault, honest! I was playing twister last night and got all in a tangle. Legs and straps all got a bit twisted up and in my efforts to stay in my twister position and upright meant the rug stretched (err ok ripped) a bit! Still I won the game but it might have come at a high price as its raining AGAIN! Also in my defence the rug was a bit big and Lewis dressed me - though I'm sure that's not really relevant!

Not a lot else happening today so hay munching has been the key activity, wonder who will be helping Lynette tomorrow?

Friday, 21 December 2012

No longer in the Big field

Opps I think it might be my fault Zippy and I have been banned to the back garden - well with a little help from Lewis! Lynette decided Lewis could take us to and from the field one at a time. Monday and Tuesday evening Lynette came down to oversea the manoeuvres, with Zippy going home first and me having to wait for Lewis to come back and collect me.

I ran Lewis home quickly Monday evening, so Lynette never got to see my 'good' behaviour. However Tuesday evening she was quicker to lock up the field gate and witnessed me running circles around Lewis. Evidently this behaviour is not safe on the roads (even quiet single track lanes) especially when Lewis threw my lead rope around my neck so I could run down the drive to meet Zippy all on my own.

So we have found ourselves back in the back garden, in need of wellies.....

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Hurrah finally back in the BIG field

The back garden is cool but we do have a serious lack of grass now. So I was very pleased when Lewis took me yesterday on my own down to the big field, well if the truth be told I probably took him! He thought he could keep up with me when I started running across the field to get to our field, opps he tripped, splat into the water logged grass - oh dear, just not as sure footed as us Dales, better luck next time Lewis.

What a wonderful day Zippy & I spent eating lots of real grass - not a drop of dry stuff in site. The team arrived en mass to collect us from the field. They all turned up in Lynette's Dad's car, which was parked up right next to the field gate so Lynette could take charge. This was after her Dad had cleverly extracted the broken key from the gate lock. This was disappointing because Zippy & I had been plotting the breaking of the key for months, as it means we have to walk through a really big field with more grass than one Dales pony and one Cob could ever dream of eating, and with Lewis leading us this means A LOT of quality snacking on the way to and from our field.

So with our plans in tatters Lewis led Zippy out of the gate and down the road back to our bedrooms, but leaving me behind. I was not happy, what about me? I didn't want to stay out on my own all night, tooooo scarey. After lots of running around and neighing and a bemused Lynette standing with her Dad watching me, Lewis arrived and walked me back home to Zippy.

Spending our evening plotting the demise of the next gate key, my vote is to eat it, but Zippy says that might involve a visit to a V.E.T. and in her experience that is never good! But we haven't thought of a better idea, yet......

Sunday, 16 December 2012

All beautified

It's been a busy few days. Friday I had a pedicure and met Lynette's farrier, Shane. I wasn't too sure how qualified he was, so I did test him out a little by rearing while he trimmed my front feet. Disappointingly he didn't seem phased at all and just stood there with my front leg between his knees - so he quite clearly knows what he is doing, so I settled down and let him get on with his work. I now have a nicely trimmed set of hooves - and so does Zippy.

Saturday, Lynette's friend Sarah turned up to help muck us out. There was much discussion about whether Lynette would actually be able to mount Zippy so we could all go for a ride but discussions petered out and instead we were treated to a pampering session instead. Manes groomed, backs scratched and pig oil applied to our legs.

So with posh toes and shining coat Zippy and I headed into the back garden for a good roll and have some hay, I think the mud pack finished off the beautician weekend just perfectly!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Brrrrr again

Much to the dismay and disappoint of Uncle Keith and Aunty Mary, Lynette insisted on me going out in my winter coat, they say Dales have thick fluffy coats for a reason - which obviously all us Dales know. However Lynette is working on the theory that if she keeps me warm I can use that energy to grow instead and as I appear to be growing at the moment she may be right!

Guess we will never know!

Zippy has been very frisky today, she has been fawning over me all day, I'm not too sure why, maybe I look extra handsome in my winter coat? The attention got a little nauseating after a while but I tried to humour her as much as possible.

Didn't get to see Lynette today she has come down with a stinking cold on top of her poorly fetlock, so straight after work she got tucked up on he sofa, while we got tucked up in bed. Hope she's feeling better tomorrow.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Crispy Morning

Brrrrrrr I'm glad I had my thick pyjamas on last night super chilly. Woke up to a white morning, Lewis was down again this morning to change our rugs and I got a gold star (for a change). He decided to adopt a new strategy of changing our rugs before we are let out to breakfast.

Zippy was very naughty and decided to pin herself to one side of her stable and refused to move. It was an impressive display of stubbornness, but eventually Lewis won the day. Me, well I was pony perfection moving as requested, checking straps were done up properly - it's not Lewis's strong point but he is improving - with my help.

Lynette came down to chivvy Lewis up, he is very laid back and likes to take his time but he had an important meeting escorting 12 opera ladies on a narrow boat. Rumour has it I might be allowed to pull the narrow boat when I grow up. Especially at this time of year as they do lots of Santa trips and I might even get to dress up as a reindeer - watch out a rudolf!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Lynette goes solo

It was very, very late before we had breakfast this morning, but I think this was because Lynette was flying solo, and everything seems to take a lot longer in her rolling chair.

Zippy and I were really impressed Lynette was on her own, so behaved really well. Breakfast was served, Zippy had been put to bed in her outdoor pyjamas so didn't need them changing this morning; though I did need my night time pyjamas taking off as the forecast was dry and not too cold for the day. Lynette's getting very good at manoeuvring her wheels and managed to get my rug off and she also chucked hay out into our field over the yard fence.

She has a clever system of gates and ropes that means we can wander out to the back garden in our own time once we finish eating our breakfast.

The good thing about the back garden is its MUDDY so I can get a really good all over mud wrap without having to book in at the beauticians! I think it's a great look too, though I'm not too sure Lynette is so impressed but hey no tack needed for the next few weeks, so I'm making the most of the down time, bring it on mud glorious mud! Ohh I should add that song onto the music list!

Hmmmm not so impressed to find my bedroom hasn't been cleaned tonight, but as the rolling chair doesn't roll over my bed I guess I might forgive Lynette as I do poop right at the back of my room - hope it doesn't become a habit though!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Fun morning with Lynette

Had a lovely morning with Lynette. She turned up in her rolling chair with her friend Cathe. We were served breakfast and Cathe rubbed pig oil into our legs while Lynette gave me a nice groom.

We were turned out into the back garden while Lynette covered herself and her rolling chair in hay and straw trying to help Cathe tidy our bedrooms. She looked very happy to be down the yard.

This evening Lynette wheeled down and served us dinner in our rooms while her Dad helped put my pyjamas on. All tucked up now, what a lovely peaceful day xxx

Friday, 7 December 2012

Lewis arrived with reinforcements today!

Lewis arrived at his usual 8am start yesterday and gave Zippy and I our breakfast. By 8.30am Lynette had turned up in her rolling chair with her other employee Emily. Lynette soon had us and the yard organised as she wanted it, explaining to Lewis the complicated leg straps that are on my outdoor coat (it was due to be cold and wet), so she ensured we were ship shape and ready to go to our field.

While we were waiting for Zippy to get dressed Lynette and I had a lovely chat and she let me have a close examination of the rolling chair - June I think we may need more then one if we are going to convert it to horse use! (June is my Dales friend back in Wales - she has been making enquiries about using the rolling chair in the field so she just had to eat rather than walk and eat).

I also took a nibble on the hoof of her bad fetlock to check her reactions - well I have seen the farrier do that to our feet if they are poorly so I thought I should do the same - the reactions did indicate a poorly foot!

Lewis was asked to lead me to the field on my own - no Zippy - but I've done this before and Lynette was looking so I was on best behaviour, Lynette and Emily stayed with Zippy. I was left in the field while Lewis went to fetch Zippy and I didn't run around. So when Zippy arrived we settled to a lovely day of eating.

3.30pm Lynette surprised us both by turning up at the field in her rolling chair, with Emily, Benji dog and Lewis. Lewis was left in charge of me after I tried to pull Lynette out of her chair so I could get some grass - Lynette was not impressed and I figure I'm in for one hell of a hiding once she is back on her feet - but hey that's still weeks away!

So Lewis and I led the way home, with Emily pushing the rolling chair, Lynette leading Zippy and Benji attached to the chair and trying to pull them all along! It was nice to come home altogether and I went to bed smiling, wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The professionals arrived today!

I must have been bad yesterday because Uncle Keith and Aunty Mary turned up this morning to take us out. So we had little choice but to be on our best behaviour. Keith was struggling with our lead ropes though, mostly because Zippy & I had dragged them and Lewis through the wet and mud, what with the overnight freezing temperatures they were more like rods of iron then flexible bendy ropes, so it was entertaining to watch him try and tie us up.

Boy it was cold, I wonder if I can sack Lewis, he had only put my cotton sheet on brrrr and he didn't do it up properly so with a little bit of wiggling and rolling it had fallen off and I had trampled it into my bed (again). I think I should have been allowed my duvet last night so I'm going to file a complaint.

Zippy says I probably don't stand much chance of being successful in light of my recent behaviour and Lewis probably did it on accident to reek his revenge. Hmmmmm will spend this evening contemplating tomorrow's strategies.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Stressful day but happy ending

It was icy this morning so we didn't go out first thing. After my skating antics yesterday Lewis decided to take us out later and one at a time. But he didn't tell me that, all I saw was him disappearing off with Zippy. He had left me tied up so I panicked and broke free and was running around screaming for Zippy, she has never left me. My screams got some people's attention and then Uncle Keith arrived to calm me down, I had got in a right pickle.

Lewis returned and walked me down to be reunited with Zippy, it turned out Lynette had already been chauffeured off to Birmingham for a meeting so wasn't around to rescue the situation.

Lewis decided to try and bring Zippy and I up together this evening because of the mayhem of the morning but we both wanted to eat the grass verge so he really struggled because as soon as he got one of us walking the other dived for the grass. Eventually we were dragged up and put to bed.

However I had a lovely surprise this evening as Lynette turned up on the yard in a very special rolling chair. Dave the lodger had to push her down, as she hasn't passed her driving test yet. She gave me lots of strokes as well as a big lecture on behaving - opps. Zippy was very ashamed of herself and after a quick stroke on the nose hid in her stable all apologetic. I wasn't very ashamed of my behaviour but I was very subdued and butter wouldn't melt in my mouth while Lynette was there. I enjoyed having my chin rubbed and it was sooo lovely to see Lynette, going to sleep with a smile on my face tonight x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

To teach or to test?

Zippy and I have conferred on our best strategy to train Lewis, our TEMPORARY handler. Zippy thinks we should be constructive and helpful, I'm much more for testing the young chap out and seeing what we can get away with!

In the end after much bickering we have agreed to adopt our own strategies. So Zippy is being miss goody two hooves, standing still for her rugs to be changed and quietly walking up and down the lane - though it was determined that it was too icy to go down today (I pretended to do lots of ice skating and that put Lewis off taking us down the lane - it really wasn't that icy teehee). Zippy even tilts her head to remind Lewis where to undo her halter, I mean, really!

Now beyond my pretend icy skating, I've been perfecting the throw your head around and look wild act, which has included head butting Lewis - but that was by accident, honest, I just got a bit carried away.

I'm also training him that I won't go in the stable unless he has treats with him. The lad learns quickly and I can now guarantee he will have at least a carrot in his hand to 'persuade' me into my room at night - so that trick is working nicely!

I've also managed to snake out of my rug at night time, due to poor fastening of the front strap and trampled it into the floor - I think that back fired as I now have to wear the same filthy, straw covered rug tonight!

Hmmm off to devise more entertaining strategies for tomorrow, now what can I plan.......

Monday, 3 December 2012

No Lynette today

Hope Lynette is Ok, Benji dog ran down to our rooms this evening to report Lynette was back but now has four legs! Though she is very lame and can't put her poorly fetlock down at all. Hoping to see her soon and give her Cyril cuddles as Zoe has suggested.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Oh no, don't know what to do

What a fantastic day, Zippy and I got turned out into the back garden which is always fun. There is plenty to watch, orange railway men, Benji dog and Chloe cat are always trespassing, other horses going by, Lynette and her Dad and friend Matt putting the roof on the shed.

Very pleased when I was brought in and tacked up so excited I just couldn't keep my feet still, major fidgets so I was put on the lunge and continued not to concentrate I just want to go for a real hack. I finally worked out that showing how keen I was with acrobatics was not working so I went into sensible pony mode - hey presto, led out onto the lane on our own!

Lynette mounted from the stone wall, still being a bit fidgety I couldn't help it I was so excited to be going out on my very own adventure. Off I trotted Lynette didn't seem to mind, I stopped to say a quick goodbye to Zippy and then happily pottered off down the road to explore. We only went out to the canal and back about a mile in total and we met several cars, an old lady who was hiding behind a hedge, a cyclist, and two horses going in the other direction, I didn't put a hoof wrong I just kept going happy to be about and exploring all on our own.

Lynette gave me huge cuddles and I have passed my solo hacking exam to boot - soooo easy!

Once Lynette had tucked us up for the night in our pyjamas she came into my stable for cuddles. She started crying, I didn't know what to do, I looked across to Zippy for help (I thought I had been brilliant on the ride so was a bit confused) and she told me to just stand still and give her lots of cuddles.

In between the sobs I managed to discover that she has to go to the vets tomorrow for a big operation on her fetlock. Originally she had been told she would just need to take it easy for a couple of weeks but a horrible MRI scanner diagnosed much bigger problems and now she is going to be in plaster cast for 4-6 weeks and Lynette's not going to be allowed to put any weight on it - so how is she going to look after us?

She's terribly upset, we are too, no one knows how much we are going to see each other, especially the first few days. Lynette said its ok, Lewis, the young lad who came down to meet us on Friday is going to make sure we can get to our field during the week, in the right clothes and he will keep our rooms clean and feed us. But I will really miss not seeing Lynette, feeling very sad now :0(

Crispy morning

What a beautiful morning, I hadn't been ridden all week so I was pleased when Lynette got all my riding clothes out and decided to have a ride.

Because she thought I might be a bit 'fresh' what with no exercise this week and a frosty morning, I was put on the lunge - so I obliged with a good bucking display when asked for canter but I think I might have overdone it because I forgot Lynette would want a ride too. So by the time Lynette got on I was quite tired.

I stood brilliantly still not only while she got on but also while she tightened my belt. Lynette was all set to go but today I wasn't so keen, even though she had shut Benji in the house I was a but reluctant to walk - I had already done my exercise, well so I thought!

Eventually we got on the same page and did a little walking and trotting but I was too tired for anything else. So I was finally allowed to quit and we were turned out to relax - pictures of us below.

Zippy gets daytime pyjamas but I am not allowed - but now it's sooo cold at night I am getting proper pyjamas, though they are Zippy's hand me downs but I don't mind keeps me toasty warm, sweet dreams xxx

A new human

Lynette turned up very late yesterday morning with a young lad in tow. His name is Lewis, evidently he works for Lynette as a Sales Apprentice - I'm just not sure Zippy and I are going to be any good at telesales!!!!

I have been given a new halter it's all posh with nubuck on the inside, it's so it is easier for Lewis to put it in - my usual rope halter is a bit more complicated.

He lead us out to the field while Lynette walked Benji. It was another cold morning but the grass still tastes good. I was surprised when he helped Lynette bring us in too, he seems like a push over I managed to get quite a bit of verge eaten to and from the field!

I also tested him out by trying not to go into my room but Lynette stood behind me & I know not to mess with her so I went in and settled down to my evening feed and munch on my hay. A lovely relaxing day, sweet pony dreams friends xxx

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Missing 'Lynette'

I woke up yesterday morning to Uncle Keith turning our lights on. Lynette was no where to be seen, which was a bit worrying because she always gets us up. Anyway we had breakfast and were taken out to our field, so settled down to grass eating.

On high alert by the afternoon and very concerned when Uncle Keith turned up at our field to bring us in and feed us tea and tuck us in for the night.

Because of the low temperatures even I got some pyjamas to wear. But still no sign of Lynette - gosh I hope Zippy and I haven't done anything to upset her!

Phew 11pm the automatic light turned on and there she was, evidently she had got up while we were still sleeping at 4am and caught a flying bird to Glasgow for boring work stuff - though she did seem very happy to see us even though she had been up loads of hours, but not as happy as I was to see her, I can promise you.

She checked I wasn't too warm because it was my first night in pyjamas and also checked Zippy was toasty too, we got big hugs, I gave her a big cuddle too, happy to have seen her, Zippy and I slept well.

Normal service was resumed this morning, so all is well in our world again, happy ponies x

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Evidently I'm a fast learner

Reports are coming back to me that evidently I am a fast learner!  After the trauma of yesterday and being left in the field ON MY OWN!  Zippy and I were somewhat perplexed when she was asked to wear her pelham bridle with her rug still on?????

It turns out I was asked to walk down to the field again without Zippy.  I behaved a bit better then yesterday but was still keen to find out where we were going so did a lot of trotting in my excitement. It was to my horror that I was turned out in the field again on my own.  So I stood and neighed for Zippy (very loudly - she can be a bit deaf) so she knew where I was but to honest I didn't find any other ponies yesterday so didn't bother with all the running around and just stood there.

Zippy finally arrived carrying Lynette, with Benji dog in tow too - evidently this was because of her bad behaviour yesterday and bolting to come to my rescue, her punishment was the pelham bridle and being made to carry Lynette to the field without a saddle just on her rug!  Which I think is a little unfair and did slow her down.

Now what I didn't realise until today was this was all another exam - Staying in the field alone.  Somehow I passed level 1 yesterday which was to stay in the field, not jump out and not hurt myself.  I also passed level 2 today which was the above but without running around like a looney.  So now I just have to pass level 3 which is to chill out and eat grass while awaiting Zippy's arrival or return from her own personal adventures.

Lynette was very impressed I reached Level 2 on just my second try, as she had expected it to take quite a bit longer - but hey us Dales were born with brains!

Sleep well pony friends, really hoping for some dry weather soon!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Time to test the rider

Well as I have been doing so well and passing all my exams with flying colours, I only thought it fair this morning to test Lynette's skills out - after all it is all about team work!

Tacked up the drizzle I found myself in the back garden. It was good to see that Lynette has already learnt to double check and then triple check my belt is tight enough. So off we walked around the paddock to explore its finer nuances.

Now Lynette knows Benji annoys me, so why she left him running around I really don't know. But eventually his running around in front of me and teasing got too much and I had to tell Lynette in the only way I knew how with a short display of rearing, bucking, lungeing all at the same time.

I was impressed not only did she stay balanced on top of me but she stayed very calm and just told me to go forward - so I did! I tried the trick again a bit later just to make sure it wasn't a one off fluke, but she just did the same again and I was even allowed a little trot forward from that one. So rider has passed her first test too.

I think this could be turning into a bit of a competition on who can devise the most difficult test - because ponies ears up and listen, what happened next was very mean.....

Now as most of my regulars readers will know, I came to live with Zippy after being at a stud with loads of great Dales ponies of all ages, so I have never been short of company. Well today the world ended as I knew it; I was left ALONE! Yes all alone not a pony in sight.

Lynette decided to lead me to the field first just the two of us - now this is not our normal routine and I couldn't decide if I was excited or to be really honest just a bit scared, but Lynette was with me so that was ok. We stopped to chat to Mary & Keith and then walked down to the field, I had to put in a couple of rears and some trotting just to release my adrenaline and to let Lynette know what I was feeling.

Well she quite clearly wasn't listening as she turned me out into our field on my own and then LEFT ME! I couldn't believe it, I knew she must have left another pony in here somewhere so I went charging off round and round to find them, neighing so they would find me - but no one was there.

Just when I was starting to get REALLY scared Zippy came cantering down the road to my rescue. Lynette had been leading her but she was going too slowly and Zippy was concerned because she couldn't find me but could hear me, so she escaped and came as quickly as she could - phew!

Both Lynette and I were quite hot and sweaty by then but with Zippy and I reunited in the field all was well and we could both go back to eating. So I am going to spend the rest of the day eating and devising my next rider test!!!!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Serious bragging rights

Zippy and I were somewhat surprised to be brought in early by a stranger this afternoon. It turned out Sarah was here to ride Zippy - evidently Sarah and Zippy used to go on amazing adventures together.

Anyway Lynette finally turned up too and we were both tacked up and Lynette jumped on board, which is always when I breathe out, so Sarah had to do my belt up quite a few notches, otherwise we would have been trying side saddle again !

It turns out we were going for a hack. Sarah waited to mount Zippy until we were out the gate and Benji dog was safely left behind. Zippy had other ideas and decided to run away when she wasn't looking; so I got a bit confused about which direction we were supposed to be going. Lynette had me pointing one direction and Zippy was going the other way. Sarah was not impressed and told Zippy she was supposed to be setting me an example, but it was ok I didn't mind.

Finally with Sarah on Zippy facing the right direction we headed off down the lane. Not 20 yards down the road just before the railway bridge a cyclist popped out of nowhere with a dog, gave me a bit of a fright so I turned to head home, well Zippy thought that was an excellent idea as that was the direction she wanted to go in anyway and bolted after and past me!

Lynette asked me to stop and turn around so I did and we started to go investigate the cyclist, she was a lovely lady with a very well behaved dog and they stopped to let us past. Sarah had by now persuaded Zippy to turn around but she wasn't keen at all. Then on top of the bridge a huge cargo train went underneath us - that was ok because we quite often to stop on the bridge to watch the trains - I think Lynette's a secret train spotter.

I didn't realise hacking could be so exciting so off I marched to see what else we could find with Zippy trailing after us. She finally caught us up when we had to stop to let a car and van go past, then because another car was waiting Lynette asked me to trot up the hill, so I took the lead and trotted to the top past the waiting car.

Then we went past Uncle Eric's yard and carried on up the lane. I think Zippy must have been very full of grass and all this rain makes her joints ache so she was on a bit of a go slow and was somewhat taken by surprise when Lynette suggested another trot. Such fun. I was loving it trotting ahead on my first hacking adventure, no sooner had we really got going then Lynette decided we had to head home.

Gutted I was not impressed and walked very slowly to show my disapproval, I wanted to carry on on our great adventure. Ok so Lynette might have been right because I was getting quite tired by the time we got home. Benji was there to welcome us and said we really hadn't been gone that long, only half an hour or so.

Wow what a day can't wait to go out again and I have passed my hacking exam too. Just cantering and solo hacking to go, bring it on!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Stable, sweet stable

Exercise plan as been abandoned due to continual wind and rain. Our back paddock keeps flooding. I have to say Zippy and I were very pleased when Lynette turned up this evening to rescue us from the nasty elements. Even better was seeing the stable lights on as we came over the railway bridge lighting our way home.

I have to say its very nice to be tucked up in my deep straw bed, hay and water to hoof. Looking forward to the sun coming out tomorrow - hopefully!

Monday, 19 November 2012

A well deserved day off

Man did I sleep well last night! After three days full on exercise I was out for the count. Woke up with straw all in my mane and tail. There was a rumour we were going to long rein down the road but I was soooo sleepy and tired Lynette felt sorry for me and I just had breakfast instead - yummy.

Zippy and I were turned out in the big field for a relaxing day of eating before being brought in for tea and zzzzz.

Neight, neight xxx

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Can I change my human?

Well I've had a fun day.  Zippy led me out on a hack around the big green grass farm fields - I've never seen so much grass!  Lynette rode Zippy, who was really happy to be out and about.  Now I know I had my tack checked before we left and Zippy had her girth tightened up when we got onto the farm - but I think I should have had mine checked again too.  We had gone around a couple of the fields doing walk and trot.  I jumped some of the bigger furrows, just to show off - plus I didn't want to get my newly pig oiled feet wet and dirty.

Eventually I had to put my foot down and stop, Lynette turned around to see why I had stopped - I mean I really couldn't go on, I had already lost both saddle pads around the top end of the field and I was now wearing a side saddle!  I didn't see the point of getting hysterical, so I just stood there while Lynette unattached my side reins so I could grab a bit of grass while she went and rescued the saddle pads, undid the saddle and repositioned everything correctly - honestly, you just can't get the staff!!!!!!

Lynette jumped back on Zippy and we continued safely home, with all me tack in one piece and in the right place!!!  It was a fab ride.  Because I did so well we were allowed to be turned out into the big field - yummy soooo much grass.  Zippy & I have had a feast today.  

Back at the house this evening, I was allowed to be a riding pony again.  Lynette put the floodlight on in the back garden and we went into the paddock on our own - no one else was around.  We thought we would test out our new solo skills - so Lynette jumped on from the mounting block, I moved a couple of steps before remembering I am supposed to stand still while she gets on.  Then we went for a little walk around the paddock, before Lynette jumped off.  Then she changed her mind again and jumped back on, this time I remembered not to move any feet, so I got lots of pats.  We then walked around in the other direction.  

As we had had a hacking adventure this morning we only did a short ten minute solo session - to be honest I am exhausted, I had a lovely mane groom while eating my tea and I'm now tucked up in bed, wonder what tomorrow will hold?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Solo walk and trot exams passed with flying colours

I think, no I am sure, I have made Lynette very proud today.  

Like yesterday we were turned out to run off our excess energy, Zippy was having so much fun she didn't want to be caught.  I am always keen to find out what we were doing and today we were back in the trailer, off to Sarah's.  All her horses were out and one of them was galloping around enjoying being outside.  Zippy & I were very well behaved and stood watching everything going on while snacking on our hay.

Lynette got me all tacked up and we were back in the lungeing pen, this time Sarah lunged me - I did lots of trotting and really showed off my Dales trot while she asked me for canter, but I gave in eventually and did canter for her.  No bucking today.

We had quite a fan club, Lynette's Dad was watching, he comes to escort Lynette, in case she has any problems and acted as chief photographer.  Then Lynne, Lynette's friend turned up to watch too, plus several horses watching from various fields.  I decided I had better put my best hoof forward and show them what us Dales can do.

Quickly Lynette was back on board, but this time she didn't spend the session getting on and off, today she definitely wanted to ride. We started on the lunge walking and trotting.  It was all very straight forward, everyone seemed very pleased with me, but I really wasn't doing anything special, just being a proper riding pony.

Sarah was soooo impressed we were allowed off the lunge and we went solo - hurrah, my time to prove I was ready for this exam.  We did walking with a change of rein, I even managed to be on the bit at times - I'm a natural what can I say!

Then to finish off we did trotting all on our own, its sooo exciting to be a riding pony, I didn't put a hoof wrong.  Sarah was impressed enough that if Lynette can find someone to ride Zippy she thinks I'm good to go on a hack, hopefully I'll get to sit that exam soon too! Loving travelling in the trailer too, so I have now passed my walk and trot solo exams, just cantering and hacking and I will have completed all my basic exams.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Happy days, I'm a riding pony

What a fabulous day. Zippy & I were let out into the back garden paddock this morning so we could have a good run around - wow Zippy might be old but she has a wicked turn of speed on her when she puts her mind to it.

Then we were loaded up into the trailer for another adventure. We found ourselves back at Sarah's yard for another riding lesson. Yippee what fun a good canter and trot around the lunge pen before settling down to some serious work. I have to say I am a bit worried Lynette seemed very undecided as we spent half an hour of her getting on, walking round the pen and then getting off again, then back on again and then round and off again. But she seemed to be ok and she was very pleased with me.

The funniest bit was when I went to stretch my back, (Lynette is quite heavy - but don't tell her that) and I was just having a wriggle, Sarah commanded Lynette to hop off, I had a real chuckle at Lynette's face as she wasn't at all sure what was happening. I was only arching/hollowing my back for a stretch - very funny.

We ended the session with me on the lunge walking Lynette around then pen and having a change of rein while Sarah stood in the middle. I thought it was best to keep to walk and keep Lynette safe, everyone was very pleased with me and Lynette is doing OK so far.

Back home we were allowed back out into the field paddock for a really really good muddy roll - fab, what a great day. Sweet dreams all my pony pals xxx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Time for the dentist Mr Wolf

Scary day today I met Stuart the dentist for the first time. It had to be a special occasion because I was allowed in Zippy's stable - while she had to stand outside. I was a bit worried because I know Zippy would not be impressed if I messed her stable up.

I have to say I am a bit confused, I was always brought up by my elders to be scared of monsters and wolves that hang out and about in the wild trying to attack us. Now I know I'm only 3 so maybe it's not surprising I haven't seen a wolf yet but I still don't understand how one got in my mouth - thank goodness the dentist did come because he found it in time and whipped it out before it could do any damage.

He was quite an enthusiastic dentist and seemed to like taking things out of my mouth so I now also have one tooth less too! Lynette has quite a collection now, the wolf disappeared but she still has three of my teeth - I wonder whether she is keeping them to make dentures for Zippy?????

What time do you call this?

9.30pm last night we were collected from the field! Zippy & I had given up hope & hunkered down beneath the hedge waiting for morning, mind you we have so much grass I can't say we would have missed our tea.

Turns out Lynette was working late in London & the only reason we were collected at all was because Zippy had a lightweight rug on and whole the weather forecast was supposed to be a sultry 10c it was actually 3c and too cold for Zippy.

The upside is we had a vehicular escort all the way down the road. Mr Morrison came down in his car and drove us all home safely so any other cars would see his lights - I mean who would expect to see horses on the road at that time of night, especially when we don't expect to be there!

Evidently this is a picture of me, you see Dales camouflage does work if it wasn't for those dam flashing lights!!!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

It's all about the blocks

Last night was an interesting evening, Lynette decided to go block mad. So once tacked up & the back paddock was floodlit we went on a block adventure.

The first bit was easy a new huge grey block had arrived which I checked out all seemed ok. Lynette was obviously short on exercise & decided it was time for step aerobics while I just stood & watched. When she got tired she would lean on me for a rest while standing on the block. I didn't mind, anything to help.

We both got bored of that so we decided to go on a new adventure down to the ditch to rescue a red block that had floated away & was now stuck in the ditch. It's quite dark down at the ditch so you do have to be very wary about monsters, oh and red blocks that suddenly appear out of nowhere making sloshing sounds because they are half filled with water - this is scary.

I wasn't so keen on the red block every time I put my nose on it to check it out it rolled over, so I reversed up to the end of my rope. It took me a little while to realise it was a game and them it became quite fun, rolling the sloshing block around the paddock.

For our last adventure we played the squeeze game & Lynette set up two scary red blocks for me to go through, but I had to go through on my own without Lynette leading me. That was easy even when the gap got really small (I was wearing tack & had a very full tummy if grass!) I happily went back & forward - by now I was getting quite tired so was very pleased when I was taken back to the yard to put my hooves up for the night, tucked up in bed with hay & water, I was ready for sleep. Neight neight x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rider qualified

So excited I'm now qualified to have a person sit on me, I passed my exams a week early! It all happened a bit by accident. Zippy & I headed off on a new adventure today in the horse trailer. We ended up at Sarah Stewart's yard she is Lynette's riding instructor.

Lynette had packed all my gear into the back of the car and she told me we were going to check that our ground work was well enough established that we could start planning for my riding exams. So I knew it was an important day. The journey took about 30 minutes and I got very excited so I was quite sweaty by the time we got to the other end. Zippy was her usual cool self, we travel really well together now - our first journey did see us bickering a bit, but no more!

So tied to the trailer eating hay and watching horses and cars go by I had all my tack put on and then went into a sand pit, but I wasn't going to be allowed to build sandcastles! I had to work - hard! Lungeing first, Lynette got told off for being too easy on me, so we both stepped up a gear and I put my best hoof forward and showed Sarah how Dales can trot. I was loving it whizzing around on such a great surface I had to put in a few bucks to test out the surface, it was fab. Lynette & I both agreed I couldn't work at this pace in our usual back paddock exercise area, it's very wet grass and I would slip. So she has promised to ask a lady down the road to see if I can use their arena and if not we will go on more trailer adventures to other new places.

I was then tested on my canter as I can't practice this back at home, again I was so excited I added some of my own details with bucking etc, which meant I was asked to move forward even more - phew I was quite glad when I was asked to stop. Sarah was very impressed with my square halts, I do this naturally as I'm not in dressage test mode - I'll have to stop the square halts for dressage!!!

Well tired & having behaved so well I was expecting to go home, but oh no Sarah had other ideas, a green mounting block arrived & Lynette stood on that - which was fine, I've seen her standing on steps to groom me, never understood why she was doing that because really I'm not that tall!

Then Lynette & Sarah went a bit loopy slapping & hitting the saddle, I just stood there quite bemused by the going on's. Once when they finished hitting the saddle Lynette decided to lean over me, she looked very funny upside down & I'm sure that's not how she rode Zippy yesterday. Well after several attempts of trying to get on properly they finally worked out how to do it and yippee I am rider qualified as Lynette sat on me with feet in stirrups.

Tired we did a quick check of Lynette's long reining skills & we did a good team effort, working a nice figure of eight in the round pen, so I was allowed to go home. Everyone admired me and I got tonnes of praise & even some treats. What a wonderful weekend I wonder what next week will hold?

Saturday, 10 November 2012

My first test hack!

Exciting day today, woke up & had breakfast as usual. Zippy was then all tacked up, which made me grumpy & fidgety as I thought she might be going out without me - but no, I got tacked up too. My bridle even had a nose band on it.

It was soooo exciting. I got to go on my first hack, ok I'm not qualified to carry a person yet but I have never been out without someone on foot, it's actually quite unnerving! Lynette was riding Zippy & I tagged along as her side kick, it was great. Did have to stop & check out a couple of milestones I hadn't noticed before, we'll they could have been monsters in disguise?

All went well and I behaved well enough to be allowed to stop into my Uncle Eric's yard on the way home for a rest and a carrot stop - yummy.

Even better Zippy & I were allowed into field manna - soooo much grass & not enough time to eat it all. Came back looking like a roley poley. To be honest I had eaten quite a lot and felt a bit sick, so I didn't mind standing still while Lynette brushed all of my tail out - now that is a big job. Tired now, need to put my hooves up, rumor has it I have another big day tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dales pony wins modelling contract

Dales pony wins modelling contract - or maybe not! There was great excitement in the field when Lynette brought down a PROFESSIONAL photographer to take our pictures today. He certainly looked the part and I made sure I had a close inspection of the camera and the photographer and Lynette. However I really don't think he was a professional photographer - well not one that is going to win my any contracts in The native pony magazine.

You can see a picture of his handiwork below - I'm going to be a laughing stock! I fired him on the spot as soon as I saw the prints - turns out he was a professional wedding & aviation photographer - no wonder he didn't take a flattering photo of me!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Rain stopped play

 We had great plans for this weekend, I had my first ever saddle fitted on Saturday & impressed Sharon the Saddle Fitter by lunging perfectly to test out two different saddles. So we were planning lunging with saddle and possibly more long reining on Sunday, however I awoke to this:
This is/was our dressage field, the jump blocks later floated away! Well it's one way to get out of work, as an after thought I could have showed off my prowess as a cross country pony and galloped through the water, but by the time I came back in from the field it was dark and the water had gone.

It does however explain why Lynette was making me into a duck this weekend. Dead serious, I had my legs coated in pig oil & sulphur on Saturday that has made them super waterproof! Then I was turned out in my brand new and very fetching green waterproof coat (well it was snowing), so water was running off of me just like a duck.  I was obviously looking the part as two ducks were swimming down the furrows of our ridge & furrow field - ok so it was more like ridge & stream, but I didn't mind sharing with the ducks, quack, quack!

Back to work tomorrow so putting my hooves up and enjoying a toasty warm stable and some tasty hay, sweet pony dreams everyone xxx

Friday, 2 November 2012

It is all in the breeding

As any good Dales will know our parentage is very important to us and I'm lucky enough to have two great parents.

My Mum is Akehurst Heather's Rose, you can see a lovely picture of her below.  She is being brave and leading out, she's told me this took a little while to learn but that humans like this. So I have taken her at her word and love heading out on different and new adventures. I like to go ahead too, but sometimes it does get a bit scary and then I defer to my field companion Zippy, who just gives me a condescending look and tells me to get on with it - so I do!

My Dad is Lowhouses Jet, otherwise known as Rambo, he's amazing, so handsome, I like to think my  good looks come from him.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dales does Capriole!

Well I had fun this weekend showing off to my owner some of my more sophiscated moves.  Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hooves.  I had had a very interesting morning lunging with scary red & white poles & blocks but by the end of the session I had got the hang of those.  So I only thought it fair as Lynette had made the morning session sooo interesting I could return the favour in the afternoon.

It was quite clear she was expecting another lunging session - boring!  So I thought to spice it up with some of the moves I've been studying online.  The Internet is a great source of inspiration so I tried out some of the more advanced moves normally seen by the Spanish Riding school, I think by the end of the session I had pretty much perfected my Capriole - much to the amusement & surprise of Lynette.

Unfortunately as Lynette was hanging onto the end of the lunge line at the time she was 
unable to capture my finest moves on camera. For those not in the know check out this link 

Just remember I'm a 14.1hh Dales pony so it looked far more impressive as I probably 
doubled my height.  Hindsight is a great thing but I'm hoping Lynette is getting any fancy 
ideas about my jumping ability, hmmmm better start planning my next moves. 

Signing off happy hacking xxx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dales are black for a reason....

I just dont't know where to start, Dales ponies have been bred for generations and we are so proud to be black - it's practical in so many ways, especially in the evening, it's a great camouflage, I become invisible.  This is good as predators, speeding cars and humans can't see me, so know one knows I am there.  So you can imagine my horror when I suddenly found myself sporting bright yellow stockings which are not only luminous but reflective!  I mean how can I stay invisible with all this gear on - oh by the way that includes an insulting yellow reflective tail band.

Well Dales read on....... I am developing an efficient method of removal.  It works like this, bare teeth grab a loose end of the leg wrap and pull, you'll find it comes off quite easily.  But don't stop there, I suggest dropping it in the muddiest patch you can find and trample on it, that way when your human puts it back on at least it is a lot less yellow.  This works well for the front legs, I'm still developing a technique for the back legs and tail bandage, when I have refined that process I'll let you know!

While I am on my ranting, in Wales we usually got up about 8.30-9am, very civilised, now I'm getting woken up at 6am, I mean what time is that! I am so bleary eyed, breakfast helps wake me up a bit, and it's great to go out to the field.  But it's this ridiculous hour in the morning that is why I am having to wear all this yellow gear!  Not only do I have to get up in the middle of the night and walk down the road in the dark but I have to come home home in the dark too!

Now if you are thinking what I thought that early starts and dark nights has the advantage on no exercise - forget it, Lynette has a floodlight back paddock! So at 7pm I find myself lunging or helping her practice with the pressure release halter, I ask you, it's hard work here, you have to earn your keep!  Got a night off tonight though, phew, rumour has it I'll get tomorrow off too, as Lynette is travelling around the country for work, need to find out how to order more work so I get more rest!  

Time to put my hooves up, will update you on luminous yellow leg removed soon!

Cyril xxxx

Monday, 22 October 2012

Hello world

Wow, my first blog! I should introduce myself, I am a 3 year old Dales pony who has just moved to Royal Wootton Bassett from Wales! It's been quite daunting leaving my foal fan club (hi Dave & Vince) but I have swapped them for a lovely new friend, Zippy, who has decided I should be her new toy boy! I haven't had the heart to tell her I'm a gelding.  She is a 25 year old coloured cob, I think it's the onset of dementia, but I'm happy to humour her.

I have lots to learn about blogging and hope to be able to post some photo's soon. I have to blog in secret because my new Mum, Lynette, won't let me use her iPad, I have to pinch Zippy's laptop which she keeps hidden under her straw bed so Lynette doesn't find it.

Opps best go yard lights have just come on, need to hide laptop before I get found out, type again soon xxx