Tuesday, 27 May 2014

It's time for new shoes

Actually I was well overdue for new shoes, Mum has been very lax in paying attention to my feet and the calendar.  I'm embarrassed to say its been 9 1/2 weeks since my lovely farrier came out to see me, can you believe it, Mum that's NEGLECT!

Though only a super clever Dales pony like me can keep rotten old shoes on for that long without loosing one - even in the super sticky mud Mum has been making me wade through this weekend.  I've hacked into her computer and made sure she has six weeks marked in her diary for next time.

Last time was the first time in a few months I had been shod because I was wintering out, so I was a little bit fidgety.  This time however I stood like a rock as even though it was such a long time ago (9 1/2 weeks Mum!!!!), I remembered that Shane likes me to stand still, even when my feet are smoking!

Needless to say in that time I had grown a lot of hoof, I've been focusing on my back feet in particular and they had an impressive amount of growth on them, but Shane did a lovely job of trimming my feet up - now they look like well cared for beautiful hooves, rather than the over long neglected hooves they were before he arrived, thank goodness for having such a lovely farrier.

Zippy finds it quiet hard to pick her feet up but Shane understands that she is old and is very patient with her as she slowly managed to lift her leg sort of into the right position, well just about high enough for Shane to give them a quick trim.  Fortunately these days her hooves don't grow as quickly as mine.

See you in six weeks Shane - otherwise I'm calling animal rescue for a new home!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Family outing

When Mum arrived this afternoon Zippy and I were snoozing in the field shelter a million miles away dreaming of grass. Mum caught Zippy but let me through the gate too, I went from sleepy waddle to galloping bronco in all of two seconds, which woke Zippy up who decided to canter after me. She might be 28 but when she puts her mind to it Mum still can't hold her, the lead rope went flying as did our hooves and Mum just looked on in astonishment.  Several minutes later Zippy finally ran out of puff and let Mum catch her I continued for a few more minutes before galloping onto the yard, and scaring Benji as I came to a screeching halt. 

Mum decided Zippy needed a treat so after a good groom, which meant all Zippy's white fluff had blown all over me, all four of us set out up the road. Yes all four! Mum riding me and leading Benji & Zippy. Mum did her usual trick of threading Zippy's lead rope through Benji's lead. So Benji pulled Zippy along and Mum didn't get stretched in two. 

It was a slow pace but we skilfully manoeuvred into a single file everytime a car went past, which was only a couple of times, thank goodness for quiet roads. Zippy doesn't like to do a lot of road work and it took us 25 minutes to do a mile round trip, basically up to the dairy farm and back. Boring!

Mum must of sensed my boredom, and I don't think Benji was overly impressed so we dropped Zippy off home and went for a good canter around the farm fields, yipheeee, much more fun. Benji found a deer and decided to chase it so Mum and I used that as an excuse for an extra canter as we chased after him.  Benji & I managed 3 miles in less time than it took us to do one with Zippy!

It wasn't long before we were back home for some more yummy tea. Mum had repaired my favourite ghost rug, so she put that on me and led Zippy and I back out to the field at a much more sedate pace than we came in with!  Head down for some serious eating to replace all those calories we burnt off, yummy!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

My first jumping lesson

Wow nobody told me how much fun jumping would be!

Mum turned up this morning and I was loaded up into the can on wheels and taken to a new place called Charlton Park. Nice place, a horse trotted over in the field next to the arena to say hello and some sheep with curly horns drifted over too. 

It was hard work to start with, Mums instructor was a lovely lady called Polly Williamson, she's very experienced and has played Badminton with her horses in the past, but now she teaches lots of people, from fluffy pony owners (I don't need lessons!) to humans of huge stupid goofy thoroughbreds - sorry guys but you do come with a reputation!

So to start Polly had to teach Mum to bend me in the direction I'm going and from trot pop me over a corner pole into canter. I know this is an important lesson so everytime Mum didn't bend me properly I cantered on the wrong leg to help reinforce Pollys teaching - I think Mum was getting it towards the end of our canter session. 

Then it got more exciting and we started with poles before working up to a small jump. There was a discussion on whether we should teach Mum from trot or canter, my vote was for canter but Polly thought trot was better. I was loving this, let me at those poles. Mum says it's the first time she has ever had to approach poles and jumps in trot and being told to think walk!!!!!  Hey ponies this was fun but Mum thinking walk made me slow down to a sensible trot but hey I loved cantering after the jump and even got to join up two jumps together - so cool. 

Polly hasn't met me before so doesn't know how brave I am and how a good a team Mum and I make. So she decided to test me by putting what she thought was scary white blocks in front of the jump - was she impressed when I didn't even bat an eyelid we just popped over the jump like they weren't there. Need to try harder next time Polly!

I so loved my lesson I love jumping, it's so much fun.  I hope I can do some more soon. Also need to say a big thank you to Polly, she totally gets me and knows how to teach my Mum to do things properly so we get it right first time. I'll keep testing her Polly don't you worry but I bet we are doing wicked canter transitions by the time you see us next.

Loaded up and home for some of my yummy new tea. Mum has decided I'm growing again and not putting enough weight on, so she is giving me this very yummy build up mix. Thinks it's working I have much more energy, and Mums pleased because I'm not silly on it either - honestly Mum don't you know me yet, us Dales ponies are the ultimate in sensible breeding. 

Sorry no photos this time fans, rain stopped technical camera play, hopefully next time, by which time I will have perfected my parabolic curve - hey listen to me knowing all the lingo - watch out Hickstead here I come!

Monday, 19 May 2014

My first ever fun ride

Well Mum was up early this morning (well Sunday - I had a few technical problems uploading this blog) bringing with her the box on wheels. Zippy & I got our breakfast like usual but Zippy headed straight back out to the field as soon as she finished. I however couldn't follow as Mum had tied me up, I didn't mind it was a sunny morning and I was feeling chilled.

I got a lovely brush and had my ghost rug removed. Then we headed to the box on wheels. I took a little persuading to go in. But once in I settled and off we went to meet a new pony friend called Wilf.  He's an ex Welsh Section D stallion (took early retirement a about 5 years old and became a gelding!) but looks a bit girlie as he is a palomino with long blonde hair.

It turned out our Mum's had entered us for the Wiltshire Bridleways Pleasure Ride around Savernake Forest. I got on well with Wilf, he's a good chap, and we both enjoyed carrying our Mums around the lovely forest. We saw big deer, bluebells and I even managed a crafty snack or two on the low hanging branches!!!!

Mum got lost a couple of times so the short 7 mile ride turned into a slightly longer 8.12 miles, Mum had her clever machine tracking our progress, and helped her get unlost as well - phew, we could have been walking forever otherwise!

We couldn't have asked for better weather or better company. I hope I can go out with Wilf again soon. We both got a lovely rosette, Mum took mine home to look after, the first rosette of the year.

Wonder what Mum had planned for next weekend???? 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Holiday snaps

I was riffling through the new iPad (mum broke the last one!) and found some holiday snaps from our recent trip to Wales.  You may not be interested as they don't involve pictures of me but Katy has begged me to put some of the pictures of her on my blog. So finally I have submitted. 

This is Suzie, June and Katy.  The humans are Delia (boss lady), Nondus (very helpful lady) and Mum (traitor for riding Katy). This was Katy's first ride in the company of both June and Suzie, I had warned her about June (see nasty face pulling), but Katy was trying her cute, innocent look on June, not sure if it worked or not.  Katy has quiet a portfolio of cute looks, gets the humans every time!

This was the day all three went for a ride around the forest and mountain, it's a great ride with amazing views, but I find it quiet boring. Because I am so much more advanced than Katy I get to go on exciting exploring rides up small tracks, but Katy is still working on learning the mountain basics. 

As you can see there are some amazing views. Below is Suzie's ears waiting to Katy and June to catch up. Suzie is chief photographer, she doesn't always get it right, she has a tendency to move her head just as Delia (boss lady) is taking the photo, doesn't go down well!

Because Katy was doing so well, Mum (the traitor) and Nondus swapped rides half way around.  June did not like this, you can see she is pulling faces again!  Mum likes her horses to go nicely and be all on the bit - it's in our mouths how can we not be on the bit!  This means June can't slope along with her head on the ground and she is made to work into an outline, it's hard work, but she does look great when she does walk like this.

June and Katy stopping for a quick chat while the humans admire the view and pose for photos.

I think everyone enjoyed the ride, it was certainly good weather and hopefully this blog will stop Katy nagging me - you have had a whole blog to yourself, stop moaning!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Stood up for horses that play badminton?

I am now really concerned about Mum. After several days of saying she is feeling too poorly to ride (I feel this could be true as she looked like our famous cousin Rudolf) she now has the audacity to say she was too busy watching horses play badminton!

I had to look this up in my 'whicker'piedia, but from what I can tell its a sport humans play with a fat carrot and a bat with lots of holes in it. I can't work out how horses could play it??? So I am starting to think Mum might not be telling me the truth. Why she would want to watch other horses, especially in the gale force winds and rain we have had when she could be riding me instead is most peculiar. 

Zippy and I are most mystified. 

Yes - got to go out today

Mum says I'm not helping myself, as I continually come in looking like the field!  So I like a roll, I mean I'm loosing my winter coat its itchy.  Mum took some pictures of the evidence - opps on review OK it does look like quiet a bit of work to get me ready for a ride.

So when Mum had finally made me look respectable enough to be taken out with Benji, we went for a lovely ride out to Cotmarsh through the farm fields.  It's a mixed ride, I get to canter a lot through the farm fields which is fun, but Mum gets a bit grumpy with the farmers because their gates are not easy to open and she has to keep getting off.  Plus it was all very wet, Mum was impressed I kept my shoes on, her old horse Charlie would have lost one at least in all the old mud!

Back home I got given a big yummy tea.

I have not been given a choice to rethink my rolling strategy, I have been placed into my ghost rug with the intention that Mum will be able to ride more rather than spend all her time cleaning me.  Plus Mum says I might stay black this year as the rug will stop me fading from black to brown like I did last year.  My new spring black coat is coming through lovely now.  Hope I get to go out and ride again tomorrow.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mum we don't need hay

Mum turned up at lunchtime today to say hello. She thinks we were looking a little tucked up so gave us each a section of hay to tuck into while she made up our breakfast/lunch/tea!!!!

I launched at the hay and did my usual munching while tossing it in the air, impatient for my proper food.  After much banging and crashing Mum appeared with our two bowls of food - yummy, Zippy and I dived into munching real food.  

Mum feeling guilty took Benji for the shortest walk ever up to the canal and back. By the time she had returned we had eaten our lunch and wandered back out into the field, leaving the hay pretty much untouched. I could hear Mum muttering about what a waste as she picked the hay up and put it back in the barn. Mum the grass is growing we don't need that stuff any more. Honestly she should know better by now!

What I want to know is when am I going to go for a ride?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Hello I'm bored and hungry

Honestly sometimes I think I am just a ply thing that Mum picks up when she fancies and then leaves me alone for ages until the fancy takes her again!

I haven't even seen her today yet, does she not realise we haven't had our meal and Zippy needs her medicine.  If Zippy doesnt get her medicine she gets grumpy and won't play chase around the field - which she doesn't like doing much these days anyway.

I miss Dave, at least he would play with me and we had fun munching the hay together.  Now I don't even get any hay to chuck about.

Mum please get better soon, I'm bored!

Ahhh her she comes, no tack though, but some yummy feed will have to do instead!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

It's all too much we need a rest

Well I haven't yet shared with you all my exploits in Wales while I was on holiday, but I can assure you, it was certainly no holiday for me.  Yes it was great to catch up with all my old friends and relatives, but it was a lot of hard work.

Benji and I were heading off with Mum on lots of adventures around the forest and local lanes, normally out for at least two hours at a time - that's a lot of hill work over 10 days!  So needless to say we both were tired.  Below is Benji asleep on the sofa (I'm sure he wasn't supposed to be on there!)

Even Dave was tired and all he had to do was travel in the trailer back to Wales.  Still I'm sure he has had some fun running around with his old field mates and catching up on all the news.

This was me when we got back home, well one day after.  I spent the first day gorging myself on what was long grass in the back garden paddock, no one had eaten on it since Christmas, very yummy.  So once I had a full tummy and the grass looked a lot shorter I decided I needed a well deserved break.

Finally another picture of Benji enjoying the Welsh sunshine.  Yes we did have sun, Mum rode everyday except one when we were really rained off most of the day with heavy rain.

No doubt this time of rest will be brought abruptly to a halt - though it has been extended as Mum now has a cold, so I making the lost of the rest and putting my hooves up!