Friday, 21 June 2013

Email to me

Katy is alive, she's found the communal pony laptop under a tree that has no leaves - just wires! I have just got this message....

Hi Cyril (& grumpy mare Zippy)
How are you both doing? I have sooooooooooo landed on my hooves here. Sarah is my new human and she's really nice. She is coming down early in the morning and on the evenings to say hello, cuddle me and take me for walks.

As soon as I see her I run across the field to say hello. But it's even better than that, she has a whole family of brother, Dad and Mum who all love me too - I'm getting so spoilt & so much attention lavished on me, I just can't believe one pony can have so much fuss made over her! 

Now I understand why you love your Mum so much.

Miss you my little brother and our chats and grooming, I'm keeping my favourite picture of us together very safe.

That was a good day.  I can't say I miss grumpy Zippy like most other mares she is difficult to get on with, however hard I tried to be nice to her.  I'm now trying to befriend 5 mares, its hard work, but I quite like the look of another grey mare who currently lives on the edge of the herd.  Maybe in time she'll become my best friend after Sarah. I know Zippy loves her food so please show her the picture of me in my new home....

Have you EVER seen sooo much grass!!!!!! Unfortunately it's not my home paddock, I call it the snack field as I have to walk through it to get to my grooming area.

Hope all is well with you, lots of mutual grooming kisses, you big sis Katy xxx

I wonder whether Mum will let me move?  Katy can't possibly eat all that grass on her own? Mum we need to talk....

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Katy's disappeared?

Mum arrived all in a rush on Wednesday evening and put Katy into the metal tin on wheels. She was all on her own and I'm fairly sure she has never been in the tin on her own, which worries me.

Well they set off down the road, Katy seemed quite happy, and we haven't seen her since, no word, text or email!


Zippy has brightened up no end, especially as her rider Georgie turned up Thursday to take her out on a special ride, just the two of them.  

Ladies what about me?

Still it gave me some peace and quiet (at last) to settle down to some serious eating. It's been very stressful trying to keep all the girls happy. Zippy might be boring but she's easy to please if no one else is around - wonder if Katy will ever come back?

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

You have to keep on running

As there are so many new born foals about, and I don't want to feel left out, I thought it would be good to take a trip down memory lane and tell you all a little more about me.  I was born in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex on 6th June 2009 (hey Mum you forgot my birthday!!!!) at the Akehurst stud www.akehurst-dales -ahhhh don't I look cute! You have to excuse this photo I was still a bit wobbly on my legs.  It was all a bit daunting to start with but I soon mastered my co-ordination skills and as soon as I was allowed out I started running - some say I haven't stopped since!

Growing up and still running!

Still running, I love playing with my field mates, I do miss the boys. Zippy is OK, Katy is lots of fun we play race up and down the fence line as she isn't allowed in the same field as grumpy Zippy - will they ever be friends?

More the snow

And even more running ........

I'm tired now so off for a quick snooze before, yes you guessed it more running!  I knew all that running practice would come in useful...

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Cyril the Squirrel!

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis, I have always been brought up to believe I am a Dales pony. I'm fairly sure I am a pony, I mean Zippy is a horse but that's because she is bigger than me, I'm hoping to become a horse one day, but never a squirrel??

However Mum must have had a knock on the head because she now calls me Cyril the Squirrel - a lot! I really don't understand why, Zippy says its because I'm always squirrelling in her pockets for food, but I thought that was what all nosey ponies do?

Mind you Zippy does get called 'Zippy Dippy', so what does she know?

To double check all of this I have been doing some serious googling. Now we are both part of the Animalia kingdom, and both Mammalia's, so ok we might have something in common. Now I have referred to the might of Wikipedia and I have discovered we both have bushy tails and large eyes, with soft and silky fur. Their feet have soft pads on the undersides and they are herbivores too. Ok so maybe I am a squirrel, I do like nuts as well!

Katy may have her own new person

There are rumours circulating that Katy might have a new rider, well that is what she is saying anyway!

To be fair there is some evidence to back this up.  Zippy says when she went to collect Katy from Wales a girl called Sarah went with her.  Zippy loves Sarah, and she knows her really, really well because Sarah used to ride Zippy and took her to pony club camp and did lots of fun things with her when she was younger.  Zippy says she was her last proper rider and has know her for over 12 years and Sarah rode her for at least 4 or 5 years and was her main human carer as Mum had other silly thoroughbred horses at the time.

Well Sarah rode Katy in Wales, we've found the evidence - see below....

And then it was Sarah who came to help at the show and successfully led Katy to a second in hand in the handy pony!

She's also been to visit and played the circle game with Katy in the field, more evidence....

Katy's getting very excited that she thinks she might have her own new person and she really likes Sarah.  We are keeping our hooves crossed and looking forward to seeing Sarah on a regular basis, especially as even grumpy old Zippy loves Sarah - so she must be very special.

Will report more news as we find out.

Show Day (Final Part)

This is the final part to my blogging about our adventure last weekend.  To be honest by now we had a satisfactory haul of rosettes and I was ready to go home.  But no Mum had other ideas, I had been entered into Traditional Ridden, because it was a class where I didn't need to canter.

What Mum didn't understand was I was tired and just wanted to go home, it had been a long day and Zippy must have been getting worried because I had been away a long time.  Still we went into the ring there were five of us in the class. I managed to walk around Ok and trot following the others putting my best foot forward.  We then had to line up - boring- I want to go home, with ants in my pants, I fidgeted this way and that, I was trying to tell Mum I had had enough and it was TIME TO GO HOME!

Sometimes humans can be very deaf to our needs.  So I fidgeted so much in the line up the steward came to talk to me to persuade me to stand still, she held my bridle, but I fidgeted some more thinking I might get it through to her it was home time - but alas no.  I had to go and talk to the man in the centre or the ring, yes hello,  we've met already, you know I am handsome so can we just get on with it, I didn't do standing very well - well probably not at all - so he let me go have a trot around, I put in a little buck to see if that would help my cause - sadly no!

Mum spent the time calmly talking to me saying we could go home soon, I was still fidgeting, finally we went around again and I was pulled in last - evidently fidgeting isn't good in the show ring!  So we carried away another 5th rosette!

I think I looked particularly handsome in hand, if a bit of a handful! The pics aren't brilliant but they give you a sense of my handsomeness!  The judge adjusted my halter after these pictures were taken, tactfully  suggested I may be under more control in a bridle next time - the cheek!

Trust Katy to pose and look calm personified.  Note she is in a bridle!

Well it is great to reflect on the day and I have to say Mum and I are agreed that dressage is much more fun.  She tells me jumping and cross country are even better and has promised to educate me on these fun things too as I grow up.  I might even get to start jumping on the lunge soon, though my canter needs some more practising first.

Highlights, the trotting race and handy pony, because that's what I want to be - a handy pony for my Mum.  Thank you for taking me, it was nice to spend some time bonding with my sister, but I was very pleased to be home too!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Show Day (Part three)

I have to say I like this show thing, with so much lovely grass to eat, it's really not a chore at all.

Errr maybe I have neighed too soon.  After a serious morning we sensed a degree of relaxation from our humans which  I thought would be good, until I found I had be entered into a trotting race.  Now to be fair to Mum she thought it meant I had to trot as fast as I could in a straight line - she had even been sneaky enough to have planned to strategically position Katy at the finish line.

Her best plans had been foiled we were going circuit racing!  I was expected to do a big loop de loop as fast as I could in trot, I don't have the worlds biggest trot.  Another pony, who I think was called Pearl went first so at least I could watch.  Then it was my turn.  I made a good stonking trot to start and even managed to go past the scary windmill flowers but whoa the tree line hedged just looked like perfect hedge monster territory, way tooooo spooky!  Mum did finally squeeze me past through the cones, so I ran as fast as I could away from the scary hedge monsters, opps evidently too fast, so with effort Mum slowed me down enough to turn a circle (our penalty for going too fast) before I set off again at a pretty impressive trot, round the corner and through the finish.

I'm not sure if that was fun or really scary.  Mum let me have another (unofficial) go and I did much better the second time - what do you expect I'm a fast learner!  I got a 5th rosette but there was only 5 in the class - ohhh, I thought I had done quite well.  I'm sticking to coming 5th, it's much better than saying I came last.

Now if I thought the trotting race was scary, I had no idea what was coming next - handy pony!!!!  I sent my big sister in first, figuring if she survived I'd be ok.  Katy went in hand with her new handler Sarah, they really seem to like each other and Katy certainly seems to trust Sarah.  Wearing hiviz, they carried an egg and spoon while weaving around the windmill flowers. Then through the gate, to pick up a fish from the pond, which once they had dropped it off at the cone, meant that they could ring the bell.  They then had to carry a big flapping flag from A to B before walking the tarpaulin!  Katy listened to Sarah who promised her no monsters were hiding underneath so Katy took a big leap landing on the tarpaulin before leaping off - very impressive!  She finished with some parallel parking before walking over the finishing pole.

Gulp it was then my turn!  After a false start - come on timing lady, keep up, I was off. Mum was riding me carrying the egg and spoon, I did an impressive job of weaving around the windmill flowers.  Next the gate, opps Mum let go of the rope, but she stayed on picked it up and with some clever pony foot manoeuvring we reattached the rope gate.  The off to the fish pond and onto the bell, which Mum gave a long hard ring on - hey Mum pony ears are sensitive, take it easy,but I didn't move.  Onto the flag, which Mum carried so it didn't flap too much - thanks Mum, then onto the tarpaulin monsters.  Even though I know I had seen Katy leap it I wasn't convinced and felt it was much safer to go around it rather than go over it - Mum was cool with this, but has promised to replicate it at home, so I can check it out in my own time and be doubly sure no monsters live under it, before I walk over it.  We finished with some lateral reversing work, oh you want forwards, I can do that too and over the pole to finish.

I did a very credible 4th and smarty pants Katy came 2nd!  So we now had a haul of five rosettes in lots of pretty colours.  Surely this meant it must have been time to go home!

To be continued......yes there is more!

Show Day (Part Two)

6am Mum turned up Sunday morning with Uncle Tony & Aunty Georgie, 6am hello! We were just having breakfast because it was such a nice day - for once Mum didn't catch me napping at that time in the morning.

Rug was still on and intact, so I got brownie points for that.  We were all brought onto the yard and given extra big breakfast rations (very suspicious) while we were attacked once more with brushes and combs and finally the humans declared us ready.  Ready for what?

Well we were ready for the tin can on wheels, Katy went in first but she took my side of the can, which was very confusing because there was not enough room to fit in her behind her, so I was persuaded to go on Zippy's side - this made me a bit nervous because I didn't want to upset Zippy, who I couldn't see.  Then while Mum was tying us up and organising everything Zippy appeared around the corner in the field.  I got a bit panicky at this point and demanded out before she found me on her side.  At this point the humans finally got the message, quickly shut up the doors so Zippy couldn't see I had stolen her side of the tin can and we set off, leaving Zippy behind!

Katy makes a good travel companion and we chatted and ate hay.  We stopped briefly at one point, it turned out to collect Sarah, so I started to demand to be let out, but no sooner had I started to stamp my feet we were off again, so obviously not our stop.  We were in the tin can a long time, at least half a haynet munching time, about 1.5 hours in human time.

We finally arrived at a big field with trees in and a very scary flapping tent thing.  We were let out of the tin can and after a good long check for monsters we realised we were standing on some very yummy grass, so like all good Dales ponies there was only one thing to do, that was settle down and eat!!!!!!

Slowly more ponies and people arrived.  Yet again we were attacked with brushes and combs, humans a pony can only shine so much, if they polished me anymore I swear I was going to start turning bald!  Pretty ribbons were put into our tails - made me look like a wuss, but evidently it is very traditional and has been handed down from grand pony to grand pony, in which case I am happy to uphold the traditions of my ancestors.

By this time the other Dales ponies had explained we were at a show, to be honest I'm still not too sure what that actually means, but hey it looked like it was going to be fun, playing around with other Dales ponies and having a laugh.

It turned out I was going to be first into the ring with all the other boys who were my age or older, we just had to walk around for a bit.  Mum had put me in a sparkling white halter and there was only one other boy in the ring.  To start with we just walked around and around - easy peasey.  Then we had to go say hello to the man standing in the middle, I'm sociable so that was fine, I stood and let him pick up my feet and lift my tail. He starred at me a lot which is quite unnerving but Mum was there so that was ok.  We then had to walk away, phew and then Mum asked me to trot back.  Well I had to show the other gelding, my Mum and everyone watching how big and clever I was, so I made some flying leaps, jumping around and nearly pulling Mum off her feet (evidently not good - opps) Mum calmed me down and then persuaded me all that was needed was a little trot, oh ok so we managed a few steps, but evidently not enough for the man to see me properly.

I thought I did very well, because I got a blue ribbon for coming second, but Mum said the achievement was slightly tainted by only having two ponies in the ring, she calmly explained that had there been lots more we wouldn't have got a ribbon. Human I bring you back a beautiful blue ribbon and still you are not happy. I thought showing off my prowess was a good calculated risk I had to come first or second!

The man suggested that next time I might be better in a bridle, I have no idea what he means I thought I looked desperately handsome in the halter, something about giving Mum more control - personally I thought I had the situation fully under control, though I am not sure Mum felt the same about it!  I'll post some more pictures when I can find the camera - Mums hidden it!

Then it was Katy's turn to show off, she was put in my bridle (hey its brand new and I haven't even worn it yet) and she had a lot more competition, there were seven ponies in her class and rosettes only went to 6th so the pressure was on!

She is my older sister, which makes her clever, like me, but less experienced at people carriage but maybe a little more boring - from experience the older the ponies get the more boring they are.  She was a lot more obedient than me and did everything she was asked, Mum had to run really fast to keep up with her because Katy has a cracking trot on her.  Mum and Aunty Georgie both agreed she should have come 3rd but was actually placed 5th.  Mum was muttering with Aunty Georgie about the politics of showing but both agreed they didn't really know the finer details of the perfect Dales pony confirmation, so they weren't in the best position to judge.  Still Katy left the ring with tonnes of brownie points and got lots of hugs.

After the pressure of our first classes we were given a break, so time for more snacking.  Little did we know what else the humans had in store for us.

To be continued........

Show Day (Part One)

Well Katy and I got to go to our first Dales Show on Sunday, it left me soooo exhausted I haven't been able to put hoof to keyboard until now!

To be fair our show adventure technically started on Saturday afternoon with the arrival of Mum, Uncle Tony, Benji and the water snake.  All three of us got tied up on the yard and Katy was the first to be attacked by the water snake, she got soaking wet and then started to foam and bubble a lot.  She was not too keen on the snake getting near her head but she was very brave and stood quite still (well for Katy anyway, she can be a bit of a diva on the yard - but then again she was getting all the attention, which she loves).

Then we were swapped around and it was my turn to be drowned by the wet snake. I was much braver about getting my head wet, but I did wonder if they were trying to make me go dapple like Katy!

The snake is not so bad in fact it was such a hot day I even had a drink from it! I did honestly its just Mum was too slow to capture the moment on film!

Then Katy decided to copy me...

Aunty Georgie turned up to help polish feet, brush out tails and manes etc and she gave Zippy a brush too, so she didn't feel left out.  Katy got her tail put into a plait while I had my handsome red cotton sheet on to stop me becoming dusty!

Katy thought the best way to dry was to become a galloping spin drier, so she charged up and down the field kicking and bucking, I only joined in for a bit - well it's quite hot having a rug on in this sunshine.  We were given tea and put out to bed.

At this point we knew something was going on, but had no idea what, so we just tucked into the grass and enjoyed the evening sunshine, little did we know what was going to happen the next day.

To be continued.......

Friday, 7 June 2013

All in a tizz

Sometimes life just gets too much, even for me!

Yesterday we had all had a relaxing day in the sunshine, I am still trying to persuade the girls that they should like each other - but it's hard work.

Mum turned up in the evening and wanted to load Zippy and I into the hot tin can on wheels. I didn't fancy it, so Mum had to load Zippy instead and then I very reluctantly followed. I had no idea where we were heading - it turned out to be another riding lesson but somewhere completely new. It's called Rabson Manor and has massive fields for dressage, other big fields for show jumping and even more fields for cross country - it's massive, you could easily get lost. We arrived and Zippy was left in the trailer to eat hay, I wish sometimes I could be left and Zippy could do all the work.

I'm not too sure why I had got so sweaty in the trailer, I think I was anxious about leaving Katy on her own (though I don't know why whenever we go or come back she looks very relaxed eating grass and behaves like she didn't miss me!). So I was already sweaty when Mum tacked me up, she then got on and feeling a little overwhelmed by the scale of the place and needing to show I was up for it, I put in quite a good rear, which shocked everyone.

We then set off for a field miles away from where we had left Zippy in the trailer. I was accompanied by two gorgeous (huge) mares so that was ok. But we went further and further from Zippy and I was very worried about leaving her in the tin can on her own - even though she was well ventilated and seemed very happy munching on some particularly nice hay.

Finally we arrived at our schooling field, and we started to have a potter around, it was too much for me I just had to do a mini explosion of bucking, rearing, bolting and then napping, by which time Mum was super alert on me and the sky was turning even bluer than it was in the lovely sunshine. I then got freaked by one of the horses cantering around and had another go at a bolt back to Zippy but we were all roped off, so I couldn't reach her - I think I gave Mum a bit of a heart attacked as we were racing towards the rope barrier, fairly out of control but I did pull up in time.

So after a calm talking to and Mum explaining we were safe and it was all ok, there were no monsters and Zippy would still be in the trailer when we got back, I did settle to some work in walk and trot following the big horses around. I did get super sweaty and eventually had to give up because I was just so exhausted, but Mum says I had done some good work and it was good to come to a new place and experience everything.

Finally I led the charge back to the trailer park, I out walked the big horses and neighed to Zippy, and once my tack was off I was allowed some grass, while I had a big wash down to cool me down a bit more. It was very very yummy grass so I decided actually I quite liked the place and didn't want to go home, even though Zippy was already in the trailer waiting for me.

By now Mum was not impressed and was calmly (which I thought was quite impressive considering I thought I might have frayed her nerves somewhat by now and her patience!) talked to me to persuade me into the trailer. I made my point quite clearly by pulling back and giving Mum some impressive rope burns. I was then outwitted as one of the other riders, Nicola, came to give Mum a hand and they cheated me by wrapping the lunge line behind my bum so I had nowhere to go but forwards - humph I had no choice but to load up next to Zippy.

I had cooled off a lot by the time we got home and we were all given our tea, I don't think I got extra rations though!

Morning exercise

Mum was up early again 6.15am she arrived to take me out for a ride. This time we went down the road to the back garden. Except I didn't really want to go down the road, I'm sure the girls had been whispering about me while I had been out yesterday and I don't want them ganging up on me.

Mum is trying to teach me to stand still while mounting, she has a lot of patience! I do fidget a lot, well I'm sooo excited to get going, all this standing around is so boring. But it's even more boring being made to keep going back to the start and stand still, every time I moved my feet Mum put me back in the start position. The game soon got boring so I stood still for her to get on, it was much easier than jiggling around.

Mum had to work hard this morning to persuade me I did want to go down the road, then a motorbike appeared from behind me. Cool something to follow/chase, I shot down the road in the right direction after the bike at a good trot until he disappeared over the railway bridge and out of sight. Ohhh, back to slow walking then.

At our riding lesson last week we practised walking taking small steps along the short side and longer strides along the long side, so Mum decided we needed to practise his more. It's quite difficult when our long side is not 30m and not the standard 40m. Mum was really pleased with the walk and I'm even starting to go on the bit - whatever that means. Trot was a bit harder and I started to play up and not want to go down the long side, ouch my bum hurts! It's so much easier to just do what Mum wants but you have to keep testing them out and making sure they are paying attention.

We had a little go at canter down each side but its all quite small to practise in, but I managed a few strides in each direction. Finally I was allowed to go home for breakfast, yummy. And it's another sunny day, so I can have a big relax in the field and enjoy the sunshine.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Exercise time for everyone!

Sarah turned up with Mum this evening to help exercise Katy.  She was made to do the circle exercise and went around and around.
However she did get a bit over excited and strong on the left rein canter and took off down the field - it was very funny to watch but Sarah caught her eventually and she was made to go around again!

I don't know why I was laughing, Zippy and I were soon dragged out the field, tacked up and asked to go around the farm. Zippy has a bit of a poorly paw and was a bit wonky so it meant we were supposed to be going slowly, Zippy had other ideas and after a good trot we somehow ended up in canter, oh well no one seemed to mind.

Never mind here I am back in the field waiting for my tea, hope I get lots of rations, as I've been working hard for the last four days in a row!!!!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Summer eating

Loving the sunshine. Mum turned up this evening to take me out for a hack around the farm. I was a bit worried about leaving the girls on their own together they are still in separate fields but I can never be too sure whether Zippy is going to nice to Katy or not. She does seem to be defrosting towards Katy a little.

So I set out a little hesitantly, just trying to make sure Mum was certain about going out - she was! So off we went, I offered Mum a little canter which was fun so we had a little run around the edges. Then we settled into explore mode walking and trotting around the fields, enjoying the lovely sunshine.

We were just going around the last field, when WHAM out of nowhere Benji arrives, scared me to death so I shot off at a hundred miles an hour, with Mum hanging onto my long locks whilst cursing Benji. She convinced me to calm and slow down, so we trotted after Benji and finally found lodger Dave who had been walking him around the farm. We all headed home, Benji with Dave, phew; and Mum & I back to the yard.

As a reward I was allowed to do some gardening and worked on trimming the grass around the edge of the yard while Mum gave me a wash off and made my tea - double yummy. Hope I can do some more gardening tomorrow!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Saddles all round

Yesterday was a busy day.  Mum and Uncle Tony arrived at the field in the morning and we were all brought onto the field yard for breakfast.  I escaped but just found more new grass to eat - yummy.  So I got tied back up.  I now park between Zippy and Katy - helps keep the peace!

Once we had all had a quick groom we were walked down to the house yard and tied up there.  Everyone got haynets, yummy and then the lovely Sharon from SC Saddlery turned up to check and fit all our saddles. Katy got to go first as she doesn't have a saddle.  She's only been here four days and she is already getting a saddle fitted.  She tried on Zippy's saddle and was asked to go around in circles in the back paddock, being new here it was all a bit scary and Katy swore she saw monsters in the ditch and really didn't want to go anywhere near it.  Personally I think she still has a sore bottom from where the electric fencing bit her!

Mum calmed her down and just walked her around the paddock for a while.  After in depth discussions Katy tried on another saddle, which pleased Zippy because she has got rather attached to her lightweight synthetic and wasn't looking forward to having to carry around the very nice but quite heavy leather saddle instead.

After some swapping and changing it was decreed that Katy has a lovely brown synthetic saddle that fits!  By now I had major ants in my pants, jumping up and down and spinning around impatiently.  Hurrah at last my turn.  My saddle was fitted and I had my bridle put on and off we went for a jolly around the back garden.  This required some leaping around as I was mindful of what Katy had said about monsters.  I had never seen any in the paddock before but you just never know.  I got a sore bottom for my antics and decided better of leaping around and settled down a little.

My saddle needed a sheep in it, so the lovely Sharon who had stolen some wool from a sheep tucked it into the saddle to make it more comfortable for me and then I had another test run and both Mum and I agreed it felt very nice.  Back on the yard I was still spinning around, Sharon knew  needed a pee but Mum made me wait until I was back in the field.  Phew I felt better after that.

I was hoping we would get a ride it was such nice weather and I now have a super fitting saddle, but no, maybe tomorrow the weather is sooo lovely.