Monday, 30 December 2013

Meeting new friends

Brrrrrrr it was cold when I woke up yesterday morning. It was real icy so we got turned out with some yummy hay - but I prefer to nibble the grass! Just before lunch Mum packed me up in the box on wheels to go visit a new friend.

To be honest I do worry about my Mum and her sanity, especially when we are driving along narrow icy lanes, you do have to question whether the trip was really necessary or whether there were better roads we could have gone on. She was sensible enough to creep along very slowly and kept good control when we skied down a big hill, didn't know cars could do that!

Slightly shaken we did arrive safely. OMG how big was this horse I was going out with, he was huge! I could have walked under his tummy (well nearly), he's at least 16.3hh he could be bigger. Now you would think a big horse would be a brave horse, but in Benno's case this is not quite true. He's a very clever horse mind and pretends to be scared out on hacks. Now this is just a cunning plan to ensure his safety at all times.  So I had to go in front on the whole ride, which meant Benno's had his own personal ice checker to help ensure he didn't slip, told you he was clever. 

 Me waiting to meet Benno.

Now being in the lead meant I had to walk fast, I did such a good job Benno's struggled to keep up with me. We managed to dodge all the ice and we both kept upright.  I was taking my job of keeping Benno safe very seriously and towards the end of the ride the road crossed a stream. I have heard so many tales of trolls living under these types of bridges that I wasn't prepared to fail in my duty and risk Benno being attacked by a troll so I wouldn't carry on.

As a car was behind us and it was icy Mum decided she had better get off and lead me, that way she could check for trolls - luckily there were none this time, phew! Catherine was impressed with how easily Mum got back on, the advantage of having a short pony, rather than one on stilts!

It was a lovely ride and Mum was so proud of me, I had grown several inches taller with all the praise - see I'm nearly as tall as Benno in the picture! Thank you Benno for not biting me, Mum and I really enjoyed the ride, hope I can come back soon and do more escort duties. (I haven't told him I'm only 4, as I thought this might upset him & he might not trust such a young pony to be in the lead - I don't think it would matter now).

Today is horrible rain and wind, I having been typing my blog waiting for Mum to arrive for breakfast - still no sign! Bet she is still asleep, tucked up warm in bed, listening to the horrible weather. Can't blame her I'm still tucked up in bed doing the same!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Festive fun

I am having the best Christmas ever! To start with I am spending quality time with my Mum, Benji and Zippy. I have done loads of things.  I've been out on my own and battled sheep.

Mum was not impressed when we came across these sheep on the track, yes a proper Bridleway and yet again farmers are abusing their privileges.  Well this time Mr Farmer you were foiled, brave pony that I am, Mum and I squeezed past these silly sheep down the right hand side. It was brambliy and I did stop to kiss a sheep on the way past - she was a cute sheep and the only one brave enough to come say hello to me! 10 yards further on temporary sheep fencing blocked our way, Mum leaped off and made space for us to past, wow the air was blue!  We had great fun and I turned mud colour from cantering through muddy puddles, heehehee. There were some great views...

Spooky a horse and rider that looks just like Mum and me!

I've been out in biting icicles and rode through a field of charging cows, Benji was with me to help protect Mum, I've had more practice of going out on my own recently so I am getting much braver being out on my own, not that I haven't been brave.

Yesterday I met a new friend Cinders, she's owned by Lynda, they were a little taken aback by my arrival. I was leaping up and down in the trailer all excited and anxious because when I arrived one of the horses was very upset because his field companion had gone and he was galloping up and down his field.  I was trying to join in, but Mum had other ideas.  Lynda thought I was a bit wild, however once Mum got on I settled down and we had a lovely hack around Notton.

Today I took Zippy for a ride around Woodshaw, she has had lots of Christmas presents....a new bucket so she doesn't have to reach the floor for her food and a hay feeder for the same reason.  This is because she's getting old and her arthritis hurts her shoulders when she eats grass.  Finally the vet has given her a never ending supply of bute to keep her comfortable and happy - seemed to be working.  However I might not have got any presents but I have the best present of all, my Mum, we have so much fun together, I am a very lucky pony and having a family including Mum, Benji and Zippy makes me one very lucky pony :0).  Happy Christmas pony friends, hope you got lots of buckets of carrots and treats xxxx

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Happy hacking

Thought it would be nice to take my field companion Zippy out for a gentle hack. Mum allowed us to go in the box on wheels and have a ride to the Cotswold Water Park.  Benji was allowed to come too, so it was a real family outing.  

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining though it doesn't really look like it in the photos.   it's a lovely hack around lots of lakes.  It all looked very different to last time, the trees have now lost all their leaves.

It's a good ride for Zippy as we can only really walk and trot. There is so much to look at, in particular lots of wild birds, and machinery - Mum read a sign which says they are repairing the pony paths, which is nice, though they are very good anyway, especially compared to some of the boggy paths we ride at home.

I've been testing Mums loading skills and making sure she can load me up with a lunge line behind my bum too.  She's very good at that, so she gets her loading her pony certificate.

Lovely day, Zippy enjoyed her trip out, bouncing along sometimes, though she doesn't like the hard road work, I think the hard surface hurts her shoulders she's got a lot of arthritis in her shoulders, she does love the change of scene though.  Hope we can go out again soon xxx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Still tired, from 'holiday' capers

Mum took me out yesterday with Zippy and Georgie we had a nice ride around Cotmarsh and with lots of the gates being left open because the cows are now tucked up in their barns for the winter it was great, it meant Mum only had to get off once.

I wasn't my normal bouncy self, I think I'm still tired from my 'holiday'.  Well firstly I think Mum needs to look up the definition of holiday because as Dales it means eating lots of yummy grass and resting those hooves. Mums definition ride up Welsh mountains everyday for 7 days and NO grass.  Ok so I did get fed some very yummy haylage but that is not a holiday, even if I did get to visit my family and pony mates.

Ok we did have some fantastic rides with some great views.

Mum thought this would make a great house, just needs a little work!!! I think her definition of house is bad as her definition of holiday!

Glad I got to have today off, especially as we have just been moved into our winter field, which means lots of new yummy grass, so today has been a very good day, I practically had to roll home my tummy was that full of grass. Happy pony x

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Boring day today

Mum turned up promptly at 6am and she unceremoniously turfed Zippy and I out into the back garden in our outdoor pyjamas with only hay and water. Errrr Mum where's our breakfast? I hung around making huge hints but Mum obviously had other things on her mind and was deaf to my pleas.  Not long after she disappeared off in her car not to be seen for 14 hours! 

We had Benji keeping us company during the day, one of the disadvantages of being chucked out in the back garden, plus not much room to run around in, well not as much as our 4 acre field!

All credit to her she came straight down to see us when she finally did get home and she even took the time to muck us out put extra snugly straw in our bedrooms, changed our water, replenished our hay and thank goodness remembered to give us tea. Was hoping for double portions to make up for missing breakfast but no such luck!

Still we have nice cosy bedrooms, night Mum, see you in the morning xxx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

1/2 a training session

Well this morning I was up early to help Mum practice her balance and to teach her how to ride bareback.  It was a training sessions of 1/2's.  Only 1/2 the floodlights were working in the back garden so it meant we could only use 1/2 the school and Mum only put on 1/2 my tack - just my bridle no saddle.  The session lasted 1/2 hour.

I suppose I could tell you only 1/2 the story too!  We spent the morning in walk, I thought it best to break Mum in slowly she normally only rides me bareback for 5 minutes down the road and back each morning and evening so 1/2 an hour was going to be a big ask.

We concentrated on bending and once we had adjusted to using just 1/2 the school we started with 20 m circles before finally ending up walking 10m circles making sure Mum turned her shoulders in the direction we were heading and concentrated hard on keeping an steady pace and not falling in or out of my shoulders (my favourite trick to see if Mum is paying attention).

Then to end the session we tried to work on free walk on the long rein.  This is something Sarah was teaching my at our last lesson.  It's quite hard as I like to snatch the bit away from Mum but we came to an understanding and we did a reasonable job.  By then it had started to drizzle, so as we had done 1/2 hour, Mum popped my rug on and rode me down to the field leading Zippy and Benji.

Now out in the field tucking into some yummy grass, munch, munch!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

May have to change my blog name!

Hmmmm, I haven't been doing very well at keeping my blog up to date recently.  I could give a whole long list of excuses but on current performance I think I should change the name of my blog from Daily Dales Diary to Monthly Dales Diary!

I got told off by my dales friends Dave and Vince, because they rely on reading my blog to keep up to date with my exploits.  Sorry boys will try harder to keep you updated.  So what have I been up to the last couple of months?  Well since the dentist (last blog) I have moved into my bedroom for sleeps, however you can see how special I am to my Mum, as I am obviously her pot of gold under the rainbow!

As you can see from below I have also been attacked by the dreaded clippers and now have even bigger go faster stripes.  To be honest I don't mind at all, its quite relaxing and certainly keeps me cooler, I was getting very hot and sweaty - yuck!  Fur is growing back very quickly though, not sure Mum is so impressed with this!

I've been to visit Katy at her home in Cookham.  This meant me travelling on my own for 1.5hrs, which in my spacious trailer is great fun and I am very happy travelling on my own now.  Katy was given matching go faster stripes by Mum while we visited, she was just as good as me and she had never been clipped before either.  She then took us around her farm and we had a good canter/gallop which was good fun.  Katy hadn't taken Sarah that fast before, so we all enjoyed speeding around the farm.  Katy is doing very well but like me has a bad habit of rubbing her mane (opps) unlike me she now has nothing at all - bad Katy, but I am working hard to catch up - we like the short cropped look, much to the horror of our Mum's.

I have also been a diva, having attended a major photo shoot - still waiting to see the photographs Mr camera man - Mum is not impressed, so no doubt won't be spending much money with him when he does finally decide to show us my handsome pictures.  Mum knew I was upset about this as I was looking forward to posting my pictures all over the internet so made me a lovely present and drew a picture of me.  I had to pose for hours (well in a photo) i think it is quite a good likeness of me.

Well that's a very brief synopsis of what I have been doing recently - other than my recent holiday which I will blog about separately.  I'm off to read all my friends blogs now and catch up with what Zoe and the Mules have been up to.  Promise to blog again very very soon x

Friday, 11 October 2013

Go arrrrrrrrrrrrgh

Well I can't believe nearly a year has passed since I arrived.  On such an anniversary it was felt that this should be celebrated by a visit from the dentist - really is this how humans celebrate??????

Fortunately I have a lovely dentist, Stuart Philpott  As usual he turned up with his very cool three legged dog, who loves Benji, so they disappeared off chasing each other around the paddock - bye guys happy running!

I was not going to be able to enjoy such pleasures, I had to go into my stable and have the metal bridle put on, so I could go arghhhhh when Stuart wanted me to!

It was hard to focus on posing well for Mum while I has being rasped, pummelled and goodness knows what to keep my beautiful teeth in dapper condition, hence the crazy look, I was trying to look at Mum while Stuart wanted me to concentrate on keeping still!

Evidently square is good!  Because us Dales ponies have wonderful solid square heads we are much less prone to ulcers then those fancy pointed headed Welsh and Arabs - yet another benefit most pony owners don't consider, in fact I'm hard to find a downside to owning one of our fantastic breed.

Stuart reported I still have teeth to come through but all was in order.  I made him work for his money and made sure he had a quick dance around the stable with me - well I do get ants in my pants and moving my feet is how I think.

Zippy was much more obedient and Stuart had a glamorous assistant Victoria, who lovingly filed Zippy's old pair of knashers into order.  They were very impressed with her teeth considering she is 27 years old.  We reckon that's because Stuart takes great care of them and does just enough to keep them smooth and comfortable.

Well that's it for now, must remind Mum to book me in for another dental check up in 9 months as I'm growing quickly and need regular check up's.  Smile and say cheese!

Go away sheep

Now I don't personally have anything against sheep, but having not been able to get up on the hill for most of the spring because of the sheep fencing, I was not best pleased when we planned a lovely autumn afternoon hack last Sunday to see...... Yes you guessed it more sheep fencing.

Really how is a pony supposed to safely traverse the fencing? I know sheep are thick but really I thought better of humans but maybe this human is as thick as the sheep.  Doesn't he know (it's bound to be a man!) that it is illegal to block a Bridleway. Look at the photo Mr Sheep Man, yes it is a Bridleway gate you have blocked.

I can't publish the planned actions beyond complaining to the council but I can promise you Mum is not going to stand for her Autumn hill hacking to be ruined like her Spring hacking was, action will be taken!

All suggestions very welcomed to create a quick resolution to this problem....just message me x

Practicing for Halloween

I think I may be out of sync with the seasons.  Mum has brought me an early Halloween present because I have spent the last two weeks scratching my mane and tail on whatever I can find that makes a good rubbing post.  From what I can understand most of the ponies have been wearing these most of the summer. So I am not too sure whether I'm late to follow this trend or just early for Haloween.

I totally freaked Zippy out, my ghostly outfit certainly worked on her, she kept spooking at me (get it spooking, lol) I'm not sure she liked my new look.  I'm not sure I do too as my mane and tail got covered in gunk before I got my ghost rug out on.

Well Happy Halloween followers, have a safe Halloween and make sure you are wearing your ghostly rugs to keep the spooks at bay.

Left hand canter lead........what???????

Where does the time go, I have been very busy trying to achieve left leg canter lead (I still have no idea what Mum is on about - but I'm doing my best to understand!)

So in an effort to get Mum to be a little clearer about what she wants I persuaded her to take me for a lesson with Sarah, see her website, she's a great trainer

Now this meant being loaded up into the spy can on wheels and having a half hour journey on my own, easy peasy! Mum was most impressed that when she opened up the can at Sarah's I was standing there all cool and relaxed and not the steaming pony I had been last time.  In fact I kept trying to jump back on the front door so I could be as tall as all the posh dressage horses that hang out at the yard.

Off we went for our lesson, I was hoping Sarah could explain to Mum how to ask me clearly for this 'left leg canter lead' it's all very confusing.  I'm happy to canter but I'm not too sure why Mum wants to worry about which leg I'm on, surely as long as I don't fall over that's ok?  We started out ok and I managed a couple of times to do what was required but it was still all a bit confusing and both Mum and I got out of breath so we changed to free walk on a long rein - hey listen to me knowing all these fancy dressage terms.

Now I started to get this, I've got to walk holding the bit nicely in my mouth and not poking my head forward or tucking it into my chest.  If I tuck it into my chest Mum puts her hands together and this is a signal to lift my head up a bit - ok got that!

Then she wants me to take drop my head down to the floor, marching forward but not snatching at the bit.  This was a bit more tricky, I get a bit impatient, but we did some work in a circle and Sarah explained to Mum what to do, so I would put my head down more slowly taking the bit with me, rather than snatching out of her hands.  I think if Mum keeps practising this we will get better marks in our next test.

Hmmmm then Sarah had another go at getting Mum to work on my canter. Listen ladies, I'm only young and only 4yrs old and there is only so much information a pony can teach her one legged Mum in a lesson.  Personally I think Mum having a weak left leg and ankle from her operation has much more to do with the problem then me!

Several tactics were tried; from creating good left hand bend (well that's a matter of opinion on the quality of the bend), then they changed their mind and decided to go for right hand bend to make me fall on my left leg - ladies please make up your mind, you are confusing me!

When this failed the old faithful pole was brought out, enough is enough, I'm now tired and grumpy, which meant I'd had enough. It's hard to tell humans this, so I had to resort to bucking and cow kicks - they got the message and we compromised, I managed a step of whatever this left hand canter lead is and we agreed to call it a day - hurrah.  By now I am one hot sweaty pony!

But at least it was time to go home.  Thank you Sarah, I think I'll give Mum a chance to practice and then hopefully when we come back she will be a bit better and you can help her refine her technique - well here's hoping!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Please queue in an orderly fashion for autographs...

It's official I am now a diva model.  Due to being fabulous at the Brinkworth show earlier in the year and winning the In Hand Mountain and Moorland Class (at least they recognise great talent) I won a fashion and equine photo shoot as part of my first prize.  Mum said I had to be generous and share my prize with Zippy - humph!  Very reluctantly I agreed, well she is old and she will never win her own photo shoot.

As you can see I was all brushed and ready for action, alert for anything, which actually meant having a HUGE flash light flashing at me a lot, but being a diva and doing my best to represent our lovely breed I took it all in my stride.

AS you can see Zippy was not quite so excited about the prospect of being centre of attention and having her photo taken, I think at 27 she thinks she's been there and seen it all.

Ohhh maybe a little more interest.

I have never has such fun, we did lots of cuddling posing shots to start with all over the farm, walking down the road, along the tow path, it was great fun, obviously I demanded a lot of grass snacks - one has to keep their energy levels up darling - this work is exhausting!

I was having sooo much fun I was not happy when they let Zippy have a turn, I demanded attention jumping around the yard, didn't they realise I was the star, I was only being nice agreeing to let Zippy have a go, she wasn't supposed to take me up on my offer!  Well off she went posing in the big field, she even had Mum on her back in a skirt and high heels, bareback - I mean really if she can do that, then I wanted to too.

Well I got my chance, Mum put me in my show bridle - up until then I had been in my very posh travel halter.  Then Mum jumped aboard too in her skirt and high heels, bareback and rode me into the big green field that stretches for miles.  Now obviously there was the option to have some 'fun' here, but as a serious model one knows when one has to behave darling, so I was brillant, tossed my mane a little to look a little more stallion like and let Mum do silly poses on top of me, while I stood still.  Not bad for a little four year old.

Now the pictures will not be published for about a month as my lovely photographer Alec has to check every single one, I have given him a detailed list of what needs airbrushing, so I appear at my very best.  Once they are available I will obviously let all my fans know and for a small charge I can send signed copies on request.

If you want to have a sneak preview of the kind of work Alec does have a look at his website, obviously I'll have to charge him when he uses my pictures up there.  It was a great day, Alec was lovely and ensured Mum had a great time too, looking forward to seeing the pictures, he is a very talented man!

PS. Mum took these pictures, she has no idea at all how amazing us ponies can look when we are in front of the lens of a professional!!!!!!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

007 goes solo

Well pony friends my day has been amazing.

I got a chance to check out the spy cam up close & personal today - on my own!  Mum packed me up in the can on wheels. I've decided I like the spy cam, Benji says it means Mum can keep a watchful eye on me, which when I am in the can on my own, I quite like the idea of.

I've been in several small trips on my own but today I went to a show all on my own. Zippy was left in the back garden. I decided I had better try and be all grown up. It was quite stressful, I got quite hot travelling to the show but we had plenty of time so I got a chance to cool down in the breeze.

It was very exciting and I couldn't help prancing around a bit, after my success last weekend I was keen to do well again but the wind and atmosphere meant I was quite uptight.  A lovely lady told Mum where to go while we did the circles, she said it was hard to concentrate on controlling me & remembering where to go. I started to get it half way round and started to relax & listen to Mum. There were some very impressive horses around, mum says it was tough competition.  I did two tests and came 7th & 9th.  Evidently I got two 8's in my second test which Mum was thrilled with, I don't think I have had an 8 so far, so to get two was brilliant.

I happily went back in the can and was pleased to see Zippy but still unloaded like a seasoned veteran. Loads of brownie points in the bag, can't wait to find out where I am going next.

Zippy enjoyed her day off and was pleased she didn't have to escort me, but was equally pleased to see me when I got back.

What a great day x

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Clip, clip, clippers

Well I just don't know what came over Mum this morning she dragged Zippy & I out of the field and up to the house stables.  Then for no obvious reason at all she started rubbing me down with a noisey machine.  I didn't mind it felt quite relaxing.  Then I started to loose my hair.  My hair must be really allergic to the machine it just kept falling out, Mum seemed please with this, heavens knows why.  I just stood there bemused while she and Georgie happily took chunks out of my winter coat.

Humans aren't very bright are they? I mean any sensible pony will tell you it's starting to get cold at night, so we go into super growing hair mode to keep us toasty warm through the winter and then the silly human chops it all off!  

Ok maybe not all of it, just under my tummy and a streamlined stripe up my neck - well it's the first time I have ever had to go faster stripes, can't wait to test them out.  I have never been clipped before Mum was super impressed with my behaviour I stood very still and let her lift my front legs up and they even clipped my tickly bit under my belly.  Mum says I have passed my clipping exams with flying colours she could never have believed I could have been so good for my first ever clip.  More brownie points!

Being black the clip doesn't show very well, but I think they did quite a tidy job.

Then to top it me all off my mane and tail got a shampoo, I mean really!  Though the herbal shampoo smelt nice and I think mum is hoping it will help stop me itching.  My not amused soggy pony look, I wonder what it is all in aid of?

After that I had to practice circles in the back paddock before going for a relaxing stretch and walk with Zippy down the road.

It was all worth it, we have been put into the back garden paddock, there is a lot of yummy grass to eat, so I had best go and get on with munching, yummy.

P.s. My tummy is a bit cold!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dressage Pony in the Making

Ohhhh I've been out celebrating this week and working hard too, which his why my blog is soooo far behind.  Why have I been celebrating?

Well after my walk of shame at the SWPA championships I've been determined to make up for my misdemeanours.  Last Saturday I got my chance. After a very quick spit and polish Zippy & I were loaded up into our spy can on wheels and taken to Foxham Horse Show. We kept driving around in circles, I can't be sure but I'm fairly certain Mum got lost!

Anyway we arrived and as quick as a flash I was all tacked up and Mum hopped aboard and we headed off to ring 8 which had big rectangles of white boards in.  I was a bit jumpy warming up with lots of horses going by, but I had little chance to concentrate on all of that with Mum asking me to stop then go, then stop again. I was getting dizzy turning right and then turning left, but it did mean I started to relax.

Soon it was my turn, this was it, I had to be good, really good.  So I tried really hard listening to Mum as we went around the ring performing the pony club D walk and trot dressage test.  I had to stop 3 times each time I stood square and didn't move till Mum told me to, which for a pony who gets ants in his pants was very impressive I thought.  No sooner had we started then the test was over, Mum seemed very pleased and Aunty Georgie thought I had done very well.

However I wasn't allowed back to the trailer instead we spent ages and ages wandering around the rings watching ponies dashing over jumps, running around in circles and I was even made to watch the crazy Shetland ponies charging around the ring thinking they were racehorses even I know that's silly!   I watched bemused, rested my leg and generally chilled out carrying Mum around the show-ground, I have no idea why she couldn't walk herself.  Still it seemed to please her that I just stood still and took all the sights in without leaping around like a looney (me! No you must be mistaken I never leap around like a stallion!)

Finally I was allowed to hang out with Zippy at the back of the can on wheels while Mum kept dashing back and forwards to the secretary's tent.  Then Georgie dashed off with her and Zippy, Benji & I were left on our own.  Charming I thought but Zippy said it was the ultimate in compliments that the humans thought we would behave good enough to leave us - though I did keep seeing Georgie's head poke through the hedge!!!!

Then all of a sudden I was being patted to death, hugged and had my photo taken!

I had come first in my section & 2nd overall in a class of 17 ponies and horses. I had redeemed myself yipheeee!

The downside to this is I have been in training all week............I'm getting dizzy with all the circles, where will it end, sending me round the bend I think!

Top secret 007 pony action to report in next blog - not all good news!!!!!!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Web Trickery

We went out for a lovely bouncy ride this morning. Zippy was feeling a lot happier about life, probably something to do with us going out on a fresh new paddock of grass yesterday (yummy) and us having the wind up our tails!

Plus she is on new medication & Mum can't decide if it is or isn't working, or is working so well Zippy has been charging around the field doing herself a mischief! We are not telling & letting Mum do all the guess work!

After a fun ride Mum and Tony were seen playing with the car & trailer. It all looked very suspicious so we sent Benji dog over to take a look.

Benji says they have installed a spy camera in the box on wheels and Mum can now spy on Zippy & I while we are moving. I think this is Zippy's fault every time I turn to talk to her she squeals, I think Mum thinks I'm beating her up, I'm not honest!

Will need to check this out in more detail when we are next in there.... will report back in due course pony friends, so I can warn you of any potential dangers, should one arrive in you box on wheels!

Spy pony, spying on spy camera, signing off, over and out x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

My Big day of.........shame!

Well as promised Mum was up early to bath me and wrapped me up in a fleecy blanket to dry.  So that was all good.  Zippy & loaded up fine and travelled into Wales no problem.

Mum checked out the layout of the place and got our number and found our arena, ready for later.

The classes were going quiet quickly so Mum decided we better have a final brush and then head up to the warm up arena.  Well those Welsh ponies took their time, we were hanging around for ages.  

Finally it was our turn to go in, I was ready, bouncing on my toes, and looking handsome.  There were eleven in the class and Mum had already noted that everyone was getting a rosette.  As my mission was to bring home a rosette, surely it was job done.

I marched around the big arena, spooked at a couple of things but was doing good. I stood quietly in line waiting for our trot up around the arena.  Finally my turn off we went looking very smart but I had a couple of huge leaps around the arena, between these I did do some very smart trot work.

Back to the queue and then walking around us heavy dales and fells seemed to fall to the bottom of the line. The last few of us were brought in, in any order, so Mum strategically put me on the end.

It was all getting too much, I couldn't stand still and the horses in the next arena kept charging me, which scared me so I had to leap around bigger and bigger.

Ummmm, then the steward came over to us and asked us to leave, opps! My guaranteed rosette was no more, I had to take the walk of shame out of the arena.

Still upset by being charged from behind I was plunging around, when Mum shouted at me to stop behaving like a stallion - the lady next to us said 'Oh I thought he was a stallion'.  What more can I say!

In my defence I'm only four and I haven't done that many shows and it is REALLY scary when horses you can't see canter behind you.  

I think I might have blown my chances as a show pony, Mum is muttering about dressage, she says there is a lot less hanging around and it's more fun.  Ok Mum I'll try anything.

p.s. sorry I didn't bring home a championship rosette Mum, but I do still love you xxx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

It's my big day tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, Mum has been busy working but while she was travelling to and from Wales to collect a scanner, she still managed to find time to clean my lucky bridle and even polish the buckles - this was Mum half way through with her before & after shot, wow I'm going to sparkle tomorrow!

It must be important as Zippy & I have been brought up to the house this evening in the dark. We don't mind it means we can feast on the yummy back garden grass.  I haven't had my usual shampoo & set yet, I hope Mum hasn't forgotten my bath while she has been busy polishing & buffing my tack and her boots etc.

So where am I going? I'm off to the South West Pony Association Championships at the David Broome centre in Gwent - amazing hey considering its my first year showing.  I've qualified for the In-Hand Mountain & Moorland championships. I'm going up against other Dales ponies, Fell ponies and Highlands too.  They will all be four years plus so I will be one of the youngest in my class.  I'm not too sure how many other ponies will be at the competition because we haven't seen any of those breeds at any of our qualifying shows (I managed to qualify twice for the same class!!!!!!) well other then me of course!

Well I had better get my head down eat some more grass and then rest, no doubt Mum will be up early to make sure I'm on top form.  I hope I can bring a rosette home to make Mum proud.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A bucking good time

Zippy and I had another great adventure today, this time without Benji. Mum decided he was best left at home just in case our ride involved a sheep field, as it turned out it didn't & he could have come with us.

Today we went for a 7 mile ride around Barbury Castle, that's a long way.  It was good fun. Zippy picked her way along the stones tracks - she doesn't have back shoes on like me.  I spent a lot of time going for a wee, I had soooo many stops Mum lost count!

The best bit by far was going home along this huge big field (race track). Zippy might be 26 years old but I can tell
you she still has a turn of speed my little legs can't keep up with!

Mum said if I spent less time being excited & bucking I would go forwards faster, she was a bit perturbed when I managed bucking, head down & galloping at the same time - ok it might not if been galloping but it was really fast!

Gosh I'm so lucky to have so many great adventures. Zippy & I were starving by the time we got in the box on wheels and tucked into our hay, so much so we didn't want to come out when we got home!!!!!

Still the rattle of the tea buckets persuaded us, need some rest now x

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Fab ride around Rockley

Life is good. Zippy & I were loaded up into the box on wheels again this morning for another adventure.

It turned out we went on one of Mum's favourite rides around Rockley.  We parked up on the hill and Benji was allowed to come with us because the ride is all tracks.

It was a beautiful day and Zippy and I really enjoyed the ride, especially the grass tracks where we had some fun canters.

On the last canter Zippy was ahead of me but as we went around the corner I went into racehorse mode and used the bend to accelerate past her and won the race!

Benji was really really good as we had to stop to let a car go past, and while we standing in the grass he spotted a chicken cluck clucking around, he thought about chasing it but Mum said no, so he said ok and came and sat by us while we waited for the car to go past.  He got LOTS of brownie points!

He was also quite tired by the end, think he will sleep well tonight!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Eating the field extension

I've had a lovely relaxing day off today. Mum walked Benji around the farm this morning and then popped in to give Zippy & I breakfast.  

After breakfast we went out to investigate the extra field, it's a big bank. Being King of the Castle I climbed to the top for the best bits while Zippy grazed the bottom section.

It's very yummy, what a lovely day 😃

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Learning to be at home in my box on wheels

Busy day today. Mum & Benji walked around the farm before picking me & Zippy up & walking us down to the house for the day. Why? I hear you ask, well it turns out the lovely gentleman of the Wiltshire Canal Trust were giving us a field extension and Mum thought they wouldn't want my help - charming!

So we arrived at the house, and before I knew it I was in the freshly mowed dressage paddock practicing cantering circles and jumping, fortunately not for too long, Mum had to go to work!

This afternoon it was decided I needed another trip in my box on wheels, I kept checking behind, as we went further than normal and I was chauffeured through Wootton Bassett town centre before heading back home.

This is me after my trip. Please note how quiet I'm standing, Mum's getting very excited about the prospect of being able to take me out on my own.  I'm getting excited about all the new adventures I will be able to go on.

As if this wasn't enough we then went for a quick hack around the farm fields, Zippy and I were pleased to get back to the field.  After some yummy (and well deserved I feel) tea we have gone off to explore our field extension as there must be new yumminess to eat.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Solo box on wheels travelling

No sign of Mum yet today, but I have started to take my solo box on wheels exams.  I didn't do very well with the partitions in, I kept kicking the rubber matting and breaking the back panels and that was before Mum had even thought of moving the box.

So Mum decided we ought to change the test.  So Saturday she turned up with a big empty trailer with absolutely nothing in it, except some hay, no partitions to kick, no Zippy either.  That's fine I was happy to walk in and out.  I get tied to either side but I can still move my feet LOTS which is good, I feel much happier with that.  I have a mirror so I have a very handsome pony travelling next to me all the time too.

It's so exciting I jump up and down a lot, demanding to get going.  On Saturday as Mum had her friend Sarah with her she decided it was time for us to actually to see if I could travel on my own.  So they loaded me up and off we went, I was all on my own and moving in the box on wheels!

We went down the lane round the roundabout and back home, it was ok.  When we arrived back I stood very quietly, which Mum was surprised about, she thought I would leap out as soon as she opened the side door.  I was given some yummy snacks and had a chat with Mum before unloading and getting some yummy tea (extra big rations).  

Tony and Mum turned up on Sunday and took me out again in the box on wheels, again on my own.  It was just another short trip, but they are really pleased with me.  I'm not sure I have passed my exam yet, but I think I am making good progress.

Another show day...

I was somewhat surprised to find Mum turning up this morning to give me a shampoo and set.  Shortly after we (Zippy & I) were loaded up into the trailer and set off to Cricklade Show.  This is a BIG show, with lots and lots going on, Georgie says it is a County Level Show, but I don't know.

After we arrived I was given another groom before we headed off across the huge show ground until we found Ring 7, as they were calling our class.  It turned out it was divided into sections so we had to hang around for a while, so we had a photo shoot instead.

This was my favourite picture of me and Mum.

It was quite disappointing because I was all geared up and ready to trash the competition.  When we entered the ring for the In-hand Large Breed Mountain &Moorland class it turned out we were the only entry.  So we came first and last all at the same time, which I think is quite clever.

We only had to wait a short while for the next class, which was Home Produced Large Mountain & Moorland, we had twice as many entries but I was up against a big stallion, he looked very smart.  I was a bit tired so didn't do my best walk and trot, I was too busy trying to eat the leather coupling under my chin!  I got a lovely 2nd rosette and came last again too, getting two places each time is quite clever.

My performance in these classes meant I was allowed into the In-Hand Championship and I was up against a lovely grey mare who had already won two classes, two beautiful stallions and another bay mare.  I did my best to look like a stallion and leaped around especially when the horses in the other arena starting charging around in the opposite direction, didn't get my the championship though!  The beautiful grey mare won and the stallion came in reserve.

They are very smart rosettes, I'm modelling them below.

It did get a bit too much after the championship were we heading back across the big field a horse got loose charged past and scared me, so I starting leaping, rearing, bucking and making myself as huge as possible.  This made it difficult for Mum to manoeuvre me back to the trailer, as I was fairly exuberant, and sent people and other horses flying in all directions, but we did make it back in one piece.

Phew safely back at the trailer I calmed down and happily snacked on my hay next to my best friend and travel companion Zippy.

Benji came too and guarded the trailer and kept Zippy company, he looks so cute in his picture.

We are all now safely back home, resting in the field.  My first place, meant I also got a little plate trophy too, Mum is going to get it engraved for me.  I have also qualified AGAIN for the SWPA Championship and had I been a NPS member I would have qualified for their championship too, cool hey!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Do we have to?

I really wonder about humans sometimes, its 28 degrees and humid with it, when my Mum turns up thinking its a great idea to go on an adventure.

But no not any adventure, lets make it as difficult as possible and go for a ride up the hill (read mountain)!

I was not in favour of this action and took every moment on the ride to tell Mum so, this included a really big stop not before the cow farm (I've given up trying there) but my new tactic was just after and embarrass Mum as much as possible in front of a lovely showing yard, with lots of beautiful champion natives while I throw a paddy and simply refuse to go on.

Much to Mum's embarrassment (hee hee hee) a lovely lady came out and gave me a lead up the road, she was very nice and we had a nice chat but eventually I had to go on on my own because she had to wash her ponies for the New Forest Show tomorrow - good luck ponies of Royal Wootton Bassett.

I very slowly made progress up the lane and then up the hill, making it as difficult for Mum as possible, but she is very persistent and wouldn't be put off.  Having got hot and sweaty climbing up the hill, before I had much chance to catch my breath she wanted me to canter around the field - really human!

I did the most uncomfortable sideways wonky canter I could manage - that soon put pay to the idea and I was asked to trot instead - ponies rule!

At least I was allowed to head home after that, doing my usual charge down the steep hill, I know I could canter down if only Mum would let me try, having insisted on cantering around the field, I now offer her canter down the hill and she doesn't want it - there is no pleasing some people.

We finally got home, had a much needed shower and some yummy tea.

Chased by a Wolf

Wow yesterday was scary, its taken me until now to pull myself together enough to be able to relive the experience while I write this.

Our hack started as normal, Mum had decided I needed to exercise Benji so that meant we were going for a ride around the farm. As usual when I leave Zippy I had to double check Mum was sure she wanted us to go out on our own - you know the usual few sideways and backwards steps.  Mum was sure so then we set off at a good walk.

Just over the canal we met a couple of ladies walking a dog which was on a lead, Benji went to say hello and Mum decided we would head in the opposite direction, so she called Benji and off we went for a trot round the field.  We eventually came back to the beginning and the women were on the canal bridge so we headed up to the really big field, this is away from home again, so I did have to double check Mum was sure, but she was.

We went through the gap and turned right into the field and then I just had to run for my life, I shot forward at a hundred miles an hour, Mum hanging on for grim death wondering what the hell was happening - honestly humans are soooo slow sometimes, she didn't even know we were being chased by a wolf!  Finally she thought to look behind us to see why I was running at such a wild speed, then it dawned on her we were being chased by a wolf.

Initially the agreed action was to keep running but Mum thought that this wasn't a good long term strategy so started to slow me down and turn me to face the wolf.  Benji came to my rescue and stood guard protecting us.

Mum was cursing like a tropper, it turned out the wolf belonged to the two old ladies, we could hear them calling him from over two fields away.  We were a bit stuck, because we knew if we ran again he would chase, there was nothing to do but wait it out.  Mum kept me facing the wolf and every so often encouraged me to take a few steps forward, which meant the wolf backed off a bit, and even Benji realised I was scared and told the wolf to go away, Mum was very impressed with this.

Mum says some people shouldn't be allowed animals and when the lady eventually arrived told her if she couldn't keep her wolf under control it should stay on the lead.  Now you would like to think that was the end of it, but oh no - the wolf had other ideas and just ran around and around me in circles while the lady chased him, he didn't want to go back to her.  The lady was very silly and didn't listen to Mum that she should really keep her distance from me because I was young and scared and might move at any moment.  Well clearly she must have been deaf because she just kept walking around and around in circles so close to me I could have knocked her over if I moved.  So to counteract the lady's stupidity I stood stock still as Mum asked.  Benji even came and sat down in front of me to try and stop the wolf running around.

Well to cut a very long story short she did finally get her wolf under control only after Benji and I had driven it slowly back to her other friend and they finally managed to work a pincher movement on the wolf.

Needless to say I was very wound up and sure there were a hundred other wolves in the hedges around the big field.  Mum made me walk around it twice just to show me and check there were no more wolves.  Well I have to say I did come home a very sweaty mess and I was soooo pleased to see Zippy.

Benji and I got huge hugs for being a super brave pony and doggy and behaving impeccably under very trying circumstances.  I got a lovely cold shower and a big tea so it all ended well, phew.  I was very glad to be home and have a rest.  No sign of Mum yet today, wonder what we will be doing?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Solo main road riding

I'm getting to go on some good adventures at the moment. I was supposed to be going out with a new mare friend but she didn't turn up, so Mum decided to take me out on my own.

We went on an explore ride to see if we could still get all along the Bridleway to the main road. It's quite narrow in places but with some encouragement we managed to miss the horrible barbed wire fence and go through all the gates to the road, without Mum having to get off at all.

It's not too busy but it's quite a fast road. I've been in it once before with Zippy and I haven't done much real main road work at all.  Mum didn't fancy going back down the narrow barbed wire track so we decided to brave the main road.

The cars were fine but I wasn't at all sure about all the driveways on my left, it required quite a bit if spooking to start with - well I've heard monsters and trolls live down these places.  However by the time we had got a little way along I had settled to just stopping and peeking down the driveways and by the time I had to turn off left I was getting quite a pro.

From there it's grass fields nearly all the way home. Now Mum has lectured me on not becoming a see grass will go pony, but she should really take some of her own advice as we cantered across most of the fields! Her excuse being we needed the cantering practice, I didn't mind, it was fun.

I bounced down the track home towards Zippy.

I had got quite hot and sweaty so after a shower and some tea it was time to go and relax in the field, time to dry off and have grass for desert, yummy.

Monday, 19 August 2013

A day off (just)

Yes no exercise today but I did have to model my new head collar, which Aunty Sarah (Katy's current Mum) gave to Mum for her 40th birthday - yes she is that young, incredible really!  I think I look very smart.

The downside is Mum wanted to test it.  She had brought the box on wheels down again, but this time there was nothing inside, and I mean nothing, no partitions, no medical box, emergency water supply etc.  I went in and out and got tied up, I was sort of ok about it, I like the fact that there is a lot more room so I can move my feet about a lot more.  We didn't go anywhere, but I was allowed to snack after.

 - does that count as a day off?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Trying to kick the sky

Yes another busy day for me and Zippy.  Yet again we loaded up into the box on wheels, that's three days in a row!  Where this time, it's turn out we were off to Tanglin Farm for me to have a riding lesson with the riding club while Zippy gets to sunbathe tied to the back if the trailer - ok for some!

There were four of us in the indoor lesson.  Today we did a lot of wiggly lines, which is much more fun than straight lines.  Starting in walk we were making two loops down the long side of the arena.  First in walk and then in trot. Then I got to really show off as we were asked to go sideways back to the edge of the arena at the middle of each loop, easy peasy -  I do sideways and back lots, so being asked to go sideways was fun.

Now to date canter has been a bit tricky and I haven't been that keen, but today I was up for it, don't ask me why.  So when I was asked to pick up canter at the bottom going away from where Zippy was parked in the car park, I was off!  Charging down the long side, with the odd buck for added interest.  I even managed to strike off on the correct leg, evidently!

Then we turned round and went on the left rein, which meant we were cantering along the long side with the mirror....

Round the bottom of the arena into canter, then ohh my god a pony appeared speeding right next to me, scared me to death, there was only one thing to do, give the pony a mighty huge cow kick, sooo big my hoof nearly kicked the sky.  There were a lot of squeals from Mum, laughter from our instructor and general comments of well sat!  It was good fun.  

Mum was very pleased with me because I was really charging around in canter and even managed to canter a half circle at the top of the arena, it was all good fun.  So with good cantering and some impressive lateral work I earned a very big tea, yummy, yummy.

Hopefully a day off tomorrow please Mum????

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Weekend's are for meeting family

Zippy and I were off again in the box on wheels, this time it turned out we were on a family visit to check out how Katy is doing in her new home.

It's a very busy yard with lots going on. As soon as we arrived a pony came rushing towards us, nothing on, obviously keen to make friends.  Mum found a spare rope and put it round his neck and took him back to some people who looked like they had lost a pony! Wow what a welcome.

Kay arrived and she seemed pleased to see me, I'm not so sure that Zippy was too chuffed at seeing her again!  Well we were all tacked up and headed out.  Katy seems to be doing very well, she has been doing a lot of hacking out on her own, so we hope she enjoyed our company for a change.

She took us down to the River Thames for a swim (well paddle).  Katy and Zippy jumped straight in, wading around and splashing! Me, errr oh no have you seen how big the puddle was.  It was so big there were cars without wheels running along it. I was NOT going in, way too scary!  I didn't want to follow even after Zippy and Katy were having so much fun, eventually I put a toe in the water, only after a lot of reversing up and down the bank.  Hmmmmm think it is going to take a bit more time to get as confident as Zippy and Katy were.

Tony was riding Zippy and did a good job of keeping her under control.  After the attempted swim we went for a hack around the fields - much more my scene!  We had a great time.  Afterwards to say thank you Katy and I had a good groom.

Mum says its Katy's love of grooming that means she now only has half a mane!  I still love her just as she is, after all she is my big half sister.  I hope we can come back and visit soon.  Thank you Katy and Sarah for a lovely ride, see you again soon xxx

Friday, 16 August 2013

Friday afternoon skive

Mum surprised Zippy and I by turning up just after lunch with the trailer. On a Friday this is not a normal occurrence!

We had a quick groom and were loaded up and off we set. We had no idea where we were going.  When we arrived even Zippy didn't know where we were.  Now that is exciting! I love going to new places and if Zippy hasn't been before either it is a serious adventure.  

It was so exciting I couldn't stand still, super itchy feet, meant I kept swinging around and around, making it a little difficult for Mum to get my tack on. I did get told off a few times but it was SO exciting going somewhere new!  Finally Mum managed to jump on board, then Auntie Georgie gave us Benji, this was going to be a BIG adventure.

With Georgie on Zippy off we went.  We had some tricky steps to negotiate so Mum had to let go of Benji so we could safely traverse the steps, into a big field, whopheee! Poor Benji had to drag his lead rope with him because Mum had let it go, he managed very well.  We got to the road and somehow Mum managed to lean down, grab Benji and then his lead without getting off, very impressive! We then set off down a very quiet lane. Mum had to keep Benji under control when cyclists past, but he was very good.  After a while we turned onto a track and Mum jumped off to let Benji off his lead properly.

There are some lovely tracks to ride along.  We were out for just under 2 hours and covered just over 6 miles. Below is Zippy following behind me, I might be 4 yrs old but I love being out in front.

The only thing that was REALLY scary was the water.  I had never seen so much in one place. I mean LOADS. I like to jump in puddles but these were REALLY BIG puddles, they were too spooky to go past.

Once I had spotted the water, Zippy had to go first, I was too scared to go past, I mean it might have drowned me, or jumped up and bitten me.  It turned out there were a lot of these very big puddles, so by the time we had got to the end of the ride I realised they weren't so scary.

Benji loved the ride.

Benji loved the big puddles and kept diving in and out of them all.  He was very well behaved saying hello to other dogs but always coming with us when we had gone past.  He smells a bit now though, soggy dog, not the best cologne in the world!

But what a great ride, it turned out Zippy had done most of it (humph) but the weather was brilliant and we had such good fun.  I love being a pony, it's great to go on so many adventures, but extra special to go out on a Friday, wonder what we will be doing this weekend?