Thursday, 16 July 2015

How to give your human a heart attack.....

Woody here, now pony friends, you all know I want to run away and become a circus pony.  Well today I added the best trick yet to my repertoire.  You just have to try this....

This morning Cyril and I were laying asleep in the field with Zippy standing guard duty.  Mum arrives, no one stirs - I was actually fast asleep dreaming of being a showjumper.  Mum and Benji start walking across the field with a wheel barrow full of yummy feed bowls.  Cyril decides to get up as it is clearly breakfast arriving.

Zippy and Cyril wander across to the gate to greet the food barrow.  I lay dead still, haven't moved a muscle.  Mum looks slightly concerned but lets Cyril through the gate so he can have his food.  Mum then comes through the gate to say hello to Zippy.  I still haven't moved a muscle.  Perplexed Mum calls my name - now the trick pony friends is to still keep really still, even if your tummy is rumbling and your human is calling you.

Mum starts panicking and calling my name and running towards me, I still don't move, then just as she is out of breath and has reached for phone to call vet, lift you head up and go, oh its you, is breakfast here, yummy.  At which point your human cries with relief and after you get up gives you loads and loads of massive hugs.

Promise you it will works every time - give it a go pony friends, its hilarious.

Monday, 6 July 2015

My first affiliated dressage competition

Sunday was a VERY big day.  I could tell straight away, because Mum woke me up early and gave me a yummy breakfast.  While I ate I had her washing and cleaning and scrubbing and shampooing my little white socks - it was going to be an important day.

Once scrubbed and plaited I was loaded up onto the box on wheels - it was going to be a VERY, VERY big day - I had haylage in the box.  I NEVER get haylage.  The last time was when Woody arrived and I got to eat his leftovers.  Hmmm I'm liking this.

We arrived at Hunters Equestrian Centre, which we have been to before so Mum and I were quite relaxed until she found out she was running late.  Honestly you'd think for such a big day she would have at least got her information correct, we were due to compete 10.20am not 10.33am like Mum thought.

It's quiet intimidating warming up at an affiliated competition.  We were surrounded by loads of big warmblood and thoroughbred dressage horses and then there was little me.  To be fair there was an even smaller pony with a very small human on, I hope they did well.  This was us in the warm up arena.

So after a quicker than planned warm up we were asked to enter the indoor arena.  We have competed indoors before so Mum and I were quite relaxed - to be honest I think Mum was so concentrating on relaxing, she forgot to ride me and left me to get on with the test.  I did my best, listening carefully to Aunty Alison who was reading the test for me.  You can see the results at  Even doing the test on my own I still managed to come 3rd with 63.75% and gained my first 2 BD points - soooo exciting.  The judge was really nice but said I needed more energy and Mum must keep quiet and stop clicking her way around the test!!!!!

We didn't have long before our second test and after some sage advice from Aunty Trish (who was also part of our cheer leading team and videographer) who told Mum to keep quiet (quite agree) and instead of clicking use her whip (not so sure about that advice).  Mum decided she had better ride me this time rather than be a passenger and the results were much more pleasing. Aunty Trish recorded it all for us and Mum has uploaded it for me at so you can see for yourselves what you think.  But the judge liked it lots more and gave us 68.95% which meant I came 2nd.

I got prize money for coming 2nd.  Mum how many carrots does £12 buy me?  If I keep this performance up I might be able to keep Woody, Zippy and I in an unlimited supply of carrots - yummy.  Now I know why I like doing dressage! Mum when can we go shopping for carrots, I need to spend my winnings?

Saturday, 4 July 2015

June has been full of fun, fun, fun

Mum has been letting me have lots of fun last month going on some very enjoyable fun rides.  Its hard to know which has been the bestest fun.  My friend Lara, the posh dressage horse has been allowed to come out and play with me on each of our rides.

We started at Pickwick Fun Ride.  This was a beautiful ride, the humans loved the scenery and we had to keep stopping so photographs could be taken of the view - to be fair to the humans it was really lovely countryside and very varied.  One minute we were hacking through some beautiful woods with a lovely lake in the dell and then we were roaming across fabulous valleys that allowed me to start teaching Lara racing.  Now for a 14.2hh pony its quiet hard to keep ahead of my nearly 17hh friend - but I can promise you fellow Dales ponies, you would have been impressed with my turn of speed.  I was hot on her heels.

We did quiet a bit of galloping but by the time we met the photographer, David Betteridge we were starting to chill out.  I know humans say that their owners look like their dogs but from the picture below I would say our humans are well suited to their steeds too!  Tall and elegant and short and dumpy (Mum please read compact and powerful - I love you just the way you are, but if you do want to loose some weight, you won't hear me complaining)!

The funniest thing on this ride though was Lara jumping an invisible 3ft log.  We had been cantering along a field and the humans kept thinking we might jump the smallest little dips in the ground, which we didn't and then just as they started to relax I cantered up a little hollow, it was a very shallow dip, nothing there at all - however Lara thought otherwise and just took the most massive leap over the whole dip.  We then nearly lost both our riders because they were laughing so much they lost their balance and nearly came off.  After that we managed one more super fast galloping race before we came to the end of a lovely ride.  Thank you Avon Vale Hunt, we will be back next year.

Our next trip out was to Oaksey and we started out as a gang of five ponies and their humans.  My friend Lara again with Aunty Trish.  Caroline on Phoenix (who I have been on a fun ride with before). Aunty Lynda was riding Cinders (my black cob friend who I like lots) and then Fiona on her speedy mount, who was so fast it was hard to catch her name but I think it was Nina.  Nina led the way and we were all soon speeding along the tracks, this was going to be hard work, as it was a hot day.  Cinders and I decided to keep to the back of the field but Mum made me jump while Cinders ins't allowed, she has poorly legs and needs to take care as jumping can hurt them.

So I made sure my litttle legs did their best to keep up with the racehorse who was jumping everything, so I did my best to jump everything too - well the jumps Mum liked the look of anyway.  She made sure I jumped the wall next to the photographer - nice picture, thank you Mr Photographer.

After that Cinders and I thought better of trying to keep up with the hunting pace being set and decided to chill and let the others gallop on while our humans chatted and admired the views.  We returned with fresh legs and smiles on our faces and met up with the rest of the gang at the boxes on wheels car park where we got treats and cake!  Thank you Vale of the White Horse Hunt for organising such a good ride.

As if two fun rides were not enough this month, last weekend Lara and I went to mix with the animal stars of CountryFile on the fun ride Adam Henson has at his Cotswold Farm Park.  Of course being a rare breed I felt right at home.  This was a special outing and Mum took me over to Lara's house as I was allowed to travel in her huge lorry.  It meant climbing up a very steep ramp but I managed that and loved travelling with my friend Lara - I just ignored her grumpy faces, it was too exciting being up high in a lorry.

This was a great fun ride, Mum had been before as had Lara and Aunty Trish but it was all new to me.  We got to paddle in the river, which was great fun.  

They had lots of lovely jumps of all shapes and sizes and we jumped quite a few.  Yes I know Mum is riding me in a dressage saddle but we have the saddle on trial at the moment and I really like it.  It's much more comfortable, its a Heather Moffatt saddle and I surprised Mum as I started to drag her into some of the jumps, which I haven't done in a while, so she is hoping that I will go back to enjoying jumping now I have a saddle I like.  Benji dog came with us and while he would have loved to come with us he had to stay and guard the lorry with Aunty Alison who had been kind enough to drive us all the way to the ride.  He looks a bit bored here!

We had a great day and got some lovely rosettes at the end of our ride so we posed to show them off.

A special thank you to Lara and Aunty Trish for keeping us company on our rides and I hope we can do some more soon.  This wish extends to all my pony friends, I love exploring new countryside.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

All grown up

Hello, Woody here. I didn't run away to the circus, mostly because I have started going out on my own adventures. For the past couple of weeks Mum has been walking me up and down the road and I even got to go out with my big brother for a ride up to Chaddington Farm. I'm not allowed to carry Mum, Cyril says that's his job, but I'm hoping if I'm really well behaved she will let me carry her soon. 

I'm way more advanced than Cyril. Mum says I have now got my box on wheels certificate, which Cyril only got when he was three, I'm only one.  My first trip ever was when I came home to my new Mum and then I was allowed to travel loose but had all the doors shut, so there was nothing else to do but eat. Now I'm all grown up, I get to travel properly.  So Mum cross ties me in the box on wheels, just like my big brother. 

My first proper outing did look a little dodgey. Mum loaded me up. I love the box on wheels I was allowed to play in it for two whole weeks while we ate grass at the house. It's fun and has stuff you can eat, plus buckets that you can throw around, so I always walk straight in, well you never know what new toys might be in there. Anyway back to my first trip I was all loaded up and left Cyril neighing asking where I was going - errr I'm not psychic how do I know - like he knows where he is going when he gets loaded up. So I left Zippy and Cyril behind and it turned out we were just going to the roundabout and back, so not a long trip. I did scare Mum though because even though I was cross tied I still managed to turn around (my reserve ambition is to be a circus pony, if I don't make it as a showjumper) so I thought this was a useful trick to add to my repertoire. Mum had other ideas and pulled into the lay by to check what I was doing - I forgot she has a spy camera in the car and can see my every move. When she opened the jockey door I thought she wanted me to come out so I started reserving to come out and she slammed the door on my bottom - really!

I turned round to see why she had done that and she was gone and we were moving again - after due consideration I decided maybe she doesn't like me travelling backwards, even though I got a good view over the top doors, which I supposed I could have jumped if I wasn't tied up. So I finished the journey facing forwards. I was a bit hot and sweaty, Mum says it was emotional sweat, I just think she should try standing in a tin can in hot weather and try standing upright AND not sweat - go on Mum I dare you. 

Anyway my second trip was much longer and Mum got Jo to accompany her. Cyril has told me about his dressage and fun ride friend Lara, he was dead jealous when he found out I got to meet her and all her field friends. The box on wheels took me straight to Breach Lane Equestrian centre where she lives, and I got to meet Aunty Trish and Aunty Alison - Mums human friends. 

When we arrived I had to stay in the trailer just for a little while - this is because Cyril used to come straight out and now when he arrives anywhere he expects to be let out straight away.  Oh big brother you have so much to learn, though I do like his stamping trick. I tried it but it didn't seem to work, I was only let out once I was quiet. 

Aunty Jo took me for a walk around the big outdoor arena, with people and Cyril's friends watching I didn't want to let Mum down, so just strolled around very casually, exploring stuff, a picture of calm relaxation - gosh it's quiet hard to pull of the nontulant look while your actually quiet nervous, but I think I passed muster - maybe I could be an actor? We did a little bit of trotting too and Jo got told to keep up with me, note I didn't get told off!

Then Mum took over and took me into the brightly coloured indoor arena. I still had the humans watching but I couldn't see the horses any more. That was fine. I just wandered around explored the corners, tried eating the carpet off of the mounting block - yuck, but it did smell interesting. Then Mum got me to do a trot up down the centre of the arena, Aunty Trish said I wasn't tracking up. I wasn't going to fail on my first outing so when Mum did the second trot I did my very best and managed to track up - whatever that means but I did it. 

Mum called the whole visit a resounding success and I then impressed everyone even more by just walking straight back into the box on wheels - well I wasn't going to walk all the way home and I was very excited to tell Zippy and Cyril all about my big adventure. Plus Mum says I can have my box on wheels certificate I was that good. It's only provisional at the moment. 

When can we go out again Mum so I can get my proper certificate?