Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Happy hacking

YI'm currently putting my hooves up for a few days and I'm turned out with Grumpy  Cyril, but we are slowly becoming friends. Woody has swapped places with me up at the house as he has been given the job of babysitting Zippy, which I find a bit boring. Much prefer being in the big field with grass and room for a good gallop. 

My rest is well deserved as I went for quite a long hack with two pony friends on Saturday. I had already met Grumpy Amy but I also got to meet her Highland friend Iona, who was not at all grumpy. I had to travel in the box on wheels to get there. I'm very used to that now and just walk straight in. 

Like last time there was a lot of human chatting while I stood tied up on their yard, but eventually the humans got us all tacked up and we were ready to go. 

This is me with grumpy Amy. I led to start with and headed off at a very smart walk that my Highland friends struggled to keep up with. I loved being in front but Lynette said I had to learn to go in the middle and at the back too. 

That's ok I didn't mind where I went. Though I did get told off when I kicked out at Iona, well she was getting too close to me and I was scared she might kick me, not that she looked like she would. 

I even got to have my first canter carrying a human. It was a little tricky to get my balance and the ground was a little slippy but I managed ok and didn't rodeo or do anything naughty. Mostly because it was towards the end of the ride and I was getting tired by then. We had done some trotting too. 

I made Lynette feel safe enough she had ditched her back protector and she even managed to take a couple of compulsory ear pony photos. These are sooo cool my first ever ear photos. Hopefully the beginning of many to come, Cyril has loads!

I think I did ok, though Lynette says I'm not allowed to kick other horses, so I'm  going to work on that. Anyway Lynette should be here with more hay soon so I had best get in the queue - behind Cyril that is!!!!!!

Friday, 22 January 2016

Trotting and Trec

I've had a relaxing few days but it couldn't last forever. I've been back out in the box on wheels back to one of my favourite locations, Breach Lane. Today I have been working on my trot. I've done a little trot with a human but today we did lots. I got lots of brownie points for going into trot the very first time I was asked. 

Evidently we were practising for a competition but as Lynette forgot where we were supposed to be going I don't hold out much hope!  I did my bit and trotted straight lines, half 20m circles and even managed a fairly good turn across the arena through B and E. I tried a free walk on long rein but Lynette still had my side reins attached so I couldn't stretch that far. I do think sometimes she likes to ask the impossible. 

As if I had not been impressive enough at my dressage practice, Lynette decided to practice some Trec moves. She laid out lots of poles in an s shape and we practiced walking between them. I got lots and lots of pats when on my second attempt I walked through without touching any of the poles - evidently that's good!

You would think that would be enough but oh no, Lynette decided we should try going backwards. Please remember this is the sixth time I have ever carried a human and she wants me to go backwards. Ok I can do that, though I struggled to go back in a straight line.   I am definitely starting to think humans are crazy.

However after all of that I was allowed a run around and a roll.  Yippee 

I like carrying humans it's good fun. I wonder what I'll be doing tomorrow?

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Learning to trot

Yes Lynette has taken me out on yet another adventure today. This time my trip in the box on wheels took me to H&B Equestrian run by Lynette's friends Caroline and Hugh. It's really nice, very chilled. I got tied on the yard while Lynette started chatting and chatting and chatting. I thought she had forgotten about me but no she had gone for a cup of tea. Charming!  Good thing I'm well behaved and just tucked into my hay net. 

Eventually at least 30 minutes later Lynette and Caroline decided they were going to ride just as it decided to snow - I seriously do worry about humans sometimes. Caroline was riding Amy, a 22yr old Highland Pony, reminded me of my grumpy mare friend back at home.  Love you really Zippy ❤️

We started by walking around the small arena, I was doing so well, Lynette decided to ask me for trot. I wasn't too sure what she really wanted, so Amy pony showed me and I realised she wanted faster so I trotted. After a couple of goes following Amy I had a go on my own, yeah I understand now, got that. 

Amy started walking and trotting towards me and then going past me from behind, whatever, I just listened to what Lynette wanted, didn't see any point in worrying what she was doing. Evidently this was good and I got lots of pats. 

Next we went into the big 'scary' arena. I still can't work out what was supposed to be scary, maybe scary means something different to humans?  I walked around again, did a circle at the far end while cars zoomed past behind the hedge. Lynette said walk and I was too busy listening to her to worry about the cars, I mean they weren't going to come into the arena. Then Amy cantered past us, while I just walked, that was ok too. By now Caroline and Claire who was watching were super god smacked by my foot perfect Dales performance, to be honest I think I had impressed Lynette too. Evidently this is practice for when there are lots of ponies in the arena, from what I can tell as long as I listen to Lynette it doesn't matter what else is going on. 

So I thought I had better put the icing on my performance by walking straight into the box on wheels, I was looking forward to telling Zippy all about my adventures and as I had been so good I was allowed onto the back garden to eat grass. Can't think of any better motivation to behave well than an opportunity to eat very yummy grass when I get home. 

Night night pony friends, hoping for a day off tomorrow, maybe I'll be allowed to go play with my brothers again. 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Being brave

Wow now one told me how hard it is to be a grown up Dales pony. After achieving my human carrying exams last week (see my video http://youtu.be/RJ9U4_YzhEc ). Yesterday I did my first solo hack. Yes I was solely responsible for taking my human, Lynette, for a ride. Her Dad did escort me to the top of the railway bridge but then I was on my own!

It turned out that I also had to practice some Trec moves. We started with very low hanging branches. Lynette had to bend and hunch down on my shoulder to get us under the trees and onto the farm. No problem Lynette, I'll look after to you. I safely delivered her onto the farm and even though I jumped at a pigeon, I just didn't see it in the hedge, i think I scared it more as it flew away. I very cleverly and calmly negotiated water filled ditches (another Trec obstacle mastered) watched people and doggies playing in the fields. I did halts and walks and circles around two whole fields before heading home. Solo field hacking exam passed, yeah not bad for the third time I have ever had to carry a human.  

Lynette is a hard human to please,even after all my efforts yesterday she asked me to go on a road hack today. Thank goodness I didn't have to go on my own. I had to go in the box on wheels to a horsey friend Cyril knows, Red. He was very handsome and very cool. I was very excited and I don't think Red liked me marching out quite so quickly, but hey this was exciting. Ohhhh hang on scarey noise behind me, Lynette let me turn around to look at the car. Red just looked at me like I was stupid, oh ok, so I'm not supposed to do that?  

Then as I was concentrating really hard at not worrying about the cars, Red's field mates started doing handstands and galloping along the other side of the hedge. This got me a bit worried as I wasn't sure what was expected of me and cars were going past too. Lynette soothingly told me just to walk, ok I can do that. I followed Red's example as he didn't care about the cars at all. So I decided to ignore the antics next to me and concentrate on walking. By the end of the ride I think I had just about got it. I could go in front or behind of Red and keep walking even if the cars went past from behind or in front of me. Phew that was tough, thank you Red. I was glad to get back in the box on wheels and tell Zippy about all my news. 

Errrrr I have some new field companions, they seem to have moved in and tonight they are in the stable next to me - Ummm I don't have that much grass, I don't want to share my hay with them. Lynette are they staying?

One very tired Brian signing off, I need some sleep. Plus Lynette has asked me to keep an eye on Zippy tonight as her foot is still REALLY poorly. So keeping one eye on her tonight too. Growing up comes with a lot of responsibility but I'm ready, because I'm a Dales pony. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

How do I contact the horse tooth fairy?

Lynette said I needed the dentist before I can become a proper ridden pony. She likes to check I will have no excuses for behaving badly. That's another excuse I can't use now, drat. 

On the upside when I have found out how to reach the tooth fairy I'm going to be very rich!  Look....

The dentist pulled out four of my baby teeth, how cool is that. Will I be able to buy my own bag of carrots with them do you think?

He also said some of my front teeth will come out in the next 3 months or so, maybe I can pull them out early if I run out of carrots in the meantime. Maybe I can pay the carrot man in teeth?

Off to go see if I can find out the exchange rate for teeth, as I'm a rare breed that have to be worth more than cob teeth surly?  

Friday, 8 January 2016

Steering with Wellies

I have had fun this week. Lynette has been testing my steering. To start with indoors where I had to concentrate on going through a pole tunnel...

And then we played walk over the correct coloured stripe...this one was going over the middle orange stripe. 

I was so well behaved Lynette decided I was safe enough to go on my own first outdoor adventure. She walked me over the railway bridge and then long reined me around the farm. This meant I had to go first, I think she thought I'd be scared, but I'm a Dales pony and this was fun and exciting, I loved going somewhere new and marched along at a cracking pace, Lynette was struggling to keep up. 

She said it was a harder work out than going to her Zumba class, come on Lynette keep up!  I did circles on the grass and figures of eight as well as walking around two huge fields - sadly no chance to stop and eat. It was great fun. As we headed home Cyril and Woody neighed to say hello as I was going past their field. I wanted to go say hello but Lynette said I had to go back to see Zippy, so I threw a little tantrum, but it didn't seem to work. Will need to go practice tantrums, as Lynette just laughed at me and told me to get a move  on. Embarrassed I headed home. 

You think that would have been enough work for me this week, but no, yesterday I had to go take my wellie exams. This was easy peasey I just had to do more circles while wearing wellies. Not sure why I had to wear wellies indoors, could understand it if I was out in the muddy fields. 

Ohhhh the wellies weren't for my feet, they were for my saddle. Humans are very weird. 

But I didn't mind, I was soooo good I got a day off today, which I was allowed to spend with my brothers. 

Wonder what I will be doing tomorrow, I think it will be important as I had to have all my liquid mud legs hosed off before going to bed. Night, night pony friends, off to eat my yummy tea. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

First long reining exam passed

Gosh it's hard work at Aunty Lynette's, even though it was cold and raining this morning, she thought it would be a good idea to take me for a walk down the road. This was different to my last walks, she decided I had to go in front and thought it would be a good idea to long rein me down the road. Aunty Jo came to in case I needed any help. 

Brrrr it was cold but off we set, just as we got over the railway bridge we met a car pulling a box on wheels.  The lady driving pulled over to the side and stopped but there was not much room to squeeze past but I was super brave and managed to walk past all on my own. Aunty Lynette was very impressed. 

We then went past the field I did think of stopping but I was quite enjoying myself and so I walked on, Aunty Lynette had to walk super quick to keep up with my long legs. Cyril and Woody then tried to put me off my stride by galloping around the field, but I just ignored them. I think Cyril was jealous I was out with his Mum, but I knew I had to behave. 

We made it all the way down to Vowley farm, and even had a go at trotting, think Lynette will need to get fitter if she's going to keep up with my trotting. We turned around and headed for home. 

A big car did past us which was a little scary I wanted to move my feet but Lynette wanted me to stand still so I was a bit fidgety while we waited for them to go past. However when the next car went past we were able to pull into the canal area and I didn't flinch or move at all - evidently that's good because Aunty Lynette gave me lots of praise at this. 

Cyril and Woody tried to put me off my stride again as we headed home, but I ignored them again. As I went over the bridge I neighed at Zippy to say I was coming back but after Jo had opened the gate I went to plunge through to say hello to Zippy, Lynette stopped me because she said I was being rude. Rude would not be rushing back to Zippy, I got a bit cross and did tail swishing, stomping and leg threatening kicks but Lynette was very insistent I had to stand still before going through the gate. Grump. In the end I had no choice but to stand still, well I got a bit distracted half way through my tantrum by two walkers and I forgot to fidget. So I was then allowed to go through the gate to tell Zippy about everything I had seen. 

I really enjoyed my walk today hope we can go out again soon. Yeah Zippy & I have been taken down the road for grass. Time to eat. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

New adventures

Brian here. I've had a mixed start to the New Year. I found out today my Mummy is seriously ill in hospital 😞 Aunty Lynette brought me a Get Well Card which I signed myself, get well soon Mummy. So this made me very sad. 

To cheer me up Aunty Lynette took me out in the box on wheels for an adventure. Every time until today I have found myself in a new home when I have travelled yet I still walked straight into the box on wheels, Aunty Lynette said its the best I have loaded yet - obviously nothing to do with the yummy hay inside that I didn't have to share with anyone!

We arrived at Breach Lane and Aunty Lynette got me dressed for work and we went for a wander around a big indoor room, it was quite like my old outdoor work space in Wales but indoors. 

Oh hello, you are a handsome pony. 

Like my big brother, Cyril, I'm now working towards my human carrying exams. Today I passed the stirrup test. 

We started with just the saddle and then Aunty Lynette added these bashy things to the saddle, which was fine in walk. When she asked for trot I did three rodeo strides, obviously to check they were attached securely (you never know with these humans); they were, so I just carried on trotting after that. 

Job done, easy peasey. Lynette says I have to do the wellie test next. I'm not sure but I think I might have to borrow Zippy's blue wellie for this? I guess I had better go home and be nice to her.