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.