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?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hill training continues

I thought now I was back from holiday I wouldn't have any more hills to climb, how wrong can one small pony be!

Mum turned up this morning and we left Zippy in the field while we went to explore up the road.  Our single track lane is about 1.5 miles long and rumour has it that the horrible big chained gates have been replaced with Bridleway gates, so we just had to go and investigate.

And yes the rumours were true, no longer does Mum have to get off battle with huge big gates with chains around them, next to these gates we now have easy to open Bridleway gates - yippee.

The down side to this is it is now very easy to get up on the hill, so my hill training has recommenced.  Mind the views are lovely when you get to the top.

This is me at the bottom, I was very game to have a go. Mum says she used to canter all the way up to the top with her old horse Charlie, yeah right, can't believe that's true, I struggled to walk up, it's actually very steep!

Made it to the top phew!  Wow a few minutes ago I was at the bottom of that valley!

The views are great from up here, at least Mum let me stand still and admire the view while I stood and got my breathe back, then blow me down we took the main track back home.  

Back at home I got a well deserved breakfast yummy, some magic potion rubbed on my mane, Mum thinks my hair is starting to grow back, I'm not so sure, I'm trying hard not to itch it but sometimes you just have to, don't you.  Spending the rest of the day resting and eating in the field, heaven.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Show day

Had a shampoo and set yesterday, so I started to get suspicious that something may be up!

Plus Mum has been making me run around the field with her, I can't understand why, she normally rides me but I know she said she's trying to eat more healthily so may be the exercise is good for her too?

Mum woke me up this morning, I was still asleep in the field curled up snoring with Zippy keeping watch.

We had a lovely breakfast before being loaded up to go to Brinkworth Show. Zippy was my travel companion as always at least she doesn't have to have a wash too!

This is me at the show we had good weather it wasn't too hot as we had cooling wind. Delia had given me a beautiful in hand bridle so I was very pleased to look so smart, it's now called my lucky in hand bridle, why?

Look at the colour of the rosette! Yes I was sooo clever and well enough behaved to charm the lovely lady judge into giving me first in the large In Hand Mountain & Moorland class - we have qualified for the South West Pony Show in September! Cool hey!

I also did the Ridden class but that's a bit more complicated as cantering is quite exciting (read lots if bucks). I did do my very best and Mum asked the judge if she didn't mind us just walking & trotting our individual show, but I had ants in my pants and just couldn't manage to stand still while everyone else did their show, so we ended up 4th out if 4. 

I was quite tired but Mum still asked me to do my walk trot dressage, a big gust of wind shot up my bottom just as we set off from A, so opps not quite the start we would have liked. Ended up with 63.9% Mum was pleased even though we didn't get placed.

Had a fun day, home for lots if rest zzzzzzz's and lots of grass too - of course!

Thank you Delia for our lucky bridle!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Exciting adventures

I don't think my last blog has published yet, we don't have a great signal here to upload my blog especially when it has a lot of photos, so hopefully I can upload it when I get home.

I had to wait ALL DAY to have a ride. It's rained all day, I'd say can you believe it, but then again I am in Wales!!!!

Mum decided at 4pm we were going out whatever, before I kicked the stable door down.  Fortunately her timing was such that we didn't get wet, but I was asked to go out on my own.  I know Susie and June have been showing me around but it's different going out on your own.  

My first challenge was the three gates to get us onto the mountain - I managed all of them with Mum on my back, she didn't have to get off once, she was very impressed with my efforts.

We had great fun riding around the mountain.  We stopped to explore Traxis the crane and tommy the trailer.  Traxis has metal feet I tried to eat them but they are not very edible, he wasn't very scary.  The suicide sheep was a bit more scary but we ran him off the edge of the track!  We had a good canter, pretending to be Red Rum racing up the track, that was fun.  

I hope we can go out again tomorrow, hopefully Mum will take her camera with her so I can post some more pictures when I get home.  Enjoying my holiday, loving going out solo on new adventures.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Rain stops play

Me in my holiday home
The weather man was right and it has rained most of the day so I have taken some photos of my friends and family at the my holiday home.

The most handsome of all of the family is my Dad, Rambo, just have a look at his mane it actually reaches his knees, no wonder Mum has been cross with me for rubbing my mane - maybe if I stop scratching my mane will get as long as his. Rambo is the oldest member of the stud, he's 25 years old and is Dad to lots and lots of wonderful Dales ponies.

Laddie is the other stallion, he is currently on top of the hill looking over the farm and making sure everyone is OK, he is like a guardian angel and king over all he can see.

Our stable companions are June and Susie, they are the real work horses of the yard, taking Delia and other visitors all over the mountains.  They have been taken turns showing me the different rides around the area.  We are all staying in and having a party tonight because its too wet for everyone to go out - hurrah!
Susie above and June below
They have fly collars I've asked Mum for one as they seem to really work.

My old field companions Dave and Vince are growing up really fast and their new field friend Brian is getting big too.  When we came home yesterday along the Bridleway they were very excited to see me and I got very excited too, which meant much jumping and leaping by everyone.  Below is a picture of the boys, don't they look great.

The stud has a new member 'Mad Mel' but she's not actually mad at all, she's very brave and curious and fearless about adventuring away from her Mum to come and say hello to us, even though we haven't met before.  Mum Rosie and Auntie Lizzie are a bit more camera shy, hopefully they are both eating for two again!

Actually there are even more new members, baby bantams, aren't they cute! Mum chicken was getting broody so she has become a surrogate Mum.

Benji's best friend is Norman, he's a curly coated retriever, but I still think he looks like a black sheep.  Benji always gets him into loads of trouble because they run around playing and Benji has a Teflon coat while Norman comes out of the hay like looking like he has become a hay bale - this is not a popular move with his Mum!

Zippy is staying in Katy's room, she is enjoying it, thank you Katy.  I'm in my old stable kicking the door a lot, which evidently is not a good a move.  Mum got so fed up with the noise so I was dragged out into the dressage arena to let off some excessive energy and practise some jumping.

Hoping we can go out tomorrow for another proper adbenture though.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

I'm on holiday

Life has been soooo busy for Mum she has decided to take a break (yeah) and even better she has taken Zippy, Benji and I on her holiday with her - whopheee!

Yes it can get even better, Mum packed us up in the trailer on Thursday evening and we arrived in Wales at my old home hurrah.  We arrived quite late so everyone else was out in the field.  Zippy got Katy's old bedroom (sorry Katy) and I got my old stable.  Time to put my head down and have a snooze.

Friday morning the girls came in from the field (Susie and June) so we had a chat.  Mum got up quite late so Delia gave us breakfast.  Mum did finally appear and we went on a lovely hack up on the hills with June.  There were lots of nasty flies, it wasn't fair June didn't have any flies on her she has a special anti fly collar and got sprayed with really good anti fly stuff, I had loads!  Mum we need to discuss this I don't want to have lots of flies on me!

I'm not sure if in response to my pleas I deserved to have a shower and shampoo - Mum says its because I have been rubbing my mane, not because of the flies.  She hasn't been best pleased with me itching my mane, but then she doesn't have to stand out all day being eaten by horse flies etc.   After my shower, which was very cooling, I have had some very special Supreme Mane and Tail Builder rubbed into my name and tail so hopefully I will look as handsome as always in no time at all.

The main reason for us coming away is to relax and chill out as you can see even hyper Benji has taken note!

Today I went out with sister Susie up on the mountains, we had some great views and we only got caught in the tiniest rain shower which considering the forecast was quite bad and some of the views were of heavy rain we were very lucky.

When we got back Zippy and I were allowed out into the girls field for some grass.  Zippy loved it, she enjoyed having a run around and stretching her legs.  We have been very lucky as the heavy rain has been mostly in the evenings and overnight.  Not too sure what is planned for tomorrow but with heavy rain forecast I might get a day off to relax too!!!!!!!!