Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Bye bye brothers

Brian here - this will be my last blog as I now have a new Mummy. Last week Aunty Lynette took me for one last ride. I think this was mostly because she fell off the last time she rode me and she wanted to check that I could still be well behaved under saddle at walk, trot and canter. Come on Lynette, you know when I have learnt something I don't forget. We had a lovely last ride around the farm and I behaved impeccably. 

We did the duck under low hanging branches, walk and trot and canter without bucking. I sensibly walked over all the ditches and only called out to Cyril and Woody a couple of times so they knew where I was. This got me lots of pats and Lynette was very pleased with me. 

So I was a little upset after being so well behaved that on Friday I had to endure two hours of scrubbing, washing and cleaning but I have to admit that I think I looked quite smart by the end of it. I was so covered in mud Lynette wasn't even sure if I was actually under all the dirt. 

Then my big day arrived. Saturday I was loaded up into Lynette's box on wheels for the very last time. I neighed goodbye to my brothers and partners in crime. I have had a great time staying with you for the last three months and I'm very proud to be leaving as a fully qualified riding pony. 

Well I have gone now!  I'm now settled into my brand new stable with brand new rubber matting and very yucky tasting straw, evidently it's called shavings!  Lynette gave me a long lecture on how it's not acceptable to go kicking any stable, but especially a brand new stable. I will try and remember that!

My highlights of my stay with Lynette, Woody, Cyril, Benji dog and Zippy (RIP my beautiful lady friend, who was very kind to me) have been many. I can now hack alone very happily and in company too. I self load into the box on wheels. Thank you to my friend Red for teaching me cars are not scary. I learnt to enjoy chasing the digger down the road. 

My very first dressage test saw me qualify for the Rein & Shine Intro Dressage Championships, which I enjoyed going to. 

I also won my first ever rosette, getting a clear round at the Trec In Hand Competition. I met Stuart the dentist, who pulled out four of my baby teeth and I was allowed to pack them in my bag and take them with me. I met Shane the farrier who worked hard on my wonky back hoof and I now leave with a much smarter hoof that only has a visual crack in it rather than a real crack as before. 

Having been looked after so well at Lynette's I was a little worried about going to a new home. But as soon as I arrived I felt right at home and knew it would be OK, I mean I was moving into a brand new stable. I'm looking forward to my new adventures with my new mummy, Claire. 

My final thoughts have to be with my old Mummy Michelle. Thank you for buying me and starting me out on my new adventures away from the stud. Thank you for entrusting me to Lynette when you became poorly. I'm so sorry you are not well enough to keep me, I will work hard to make you proud. You will always be in my thoughts and horsey prayers. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

I'm starting a new showing sensation

Hello Woody here. I've been busy researching how to win showing classes for the new summer season. I'm hoping Mum's going to take me out to some more in hand classes this year. 

Did you know that some ponies cheat and get false manes and tails sewn in, so they can pretend to have an amazing mane. Well I don't have to, Mum calls me her real life teddy bear at the moment. But this got me thinking. I have LOTS of mane and I'm wondering whether I should start my own eBay shop and start selling bits of my mane to the ponies that are less well off then me. However Cyril did make a rather good point, that if I sold my mane to all the other ponies then I wouldn't have any mane left and I'd have go then go by some for myself. Drat, it looked like such a good plan to earn some carrots. 

So I've come up with an even better idea.  I've read you need to dazzle the judges. So I'm launching my very own new show sensation - sun beam extensions. 

It's perfect I can sell my sunshine extensions to gullible pony owners who will do anything to dazzle the judges. Above I'm modelling my forelock extensions and below is the more expensive full mane version. 

The best thing is it means I get to keep my own bushy mane AND make some pocket money. I just haven't decided how many bag of carrots to charge and how best to post them. I wonder if my clever older brother has any ideas, Cyril????

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I've been sacked 😢

It wasn't even my fault! Lynette has sacked me as a ride lead pony.  I can't believe I have blotted my perfect copy book. It was all Woody's fault. Lynette had come to collect us from the field, Cyril was already tucked up in bed as he had been out on a ride. OK so I was arguing with Woody at the gate and Lynette had to tell us both off. Well I wanted to go first and Woody wanted to barge through and go first instead. 

Once Lynette had organised us and closed the field gate, we went through the road gate and we were still arguing while Lynette tried to shut the padlock. We got shouted at again. So eventually we stood quietly while Lynette got on me.  We went to set off but a car was going down the road so we had to wait which meant circling because Woody and I didn't want to stand still. Well it was chilly and we know our tea is waiting in our bedrooms. So after the car passed we set off, Woody at a trot. 

Hey hang on wait for me, Lynette was telling us both off but Woody wasn't listening and I wasn't going to be left behind. Eventually Lynette rescinded control of Woody and let him gallop up the road, she was trying to tell me to stop but I'm not used to her riding me bareback in a halter and I was more worried about being left behind. So I started to canter to catch up but Lynette was weighing me down so I tried to buck her off while still cantering. I could feel she wasn't balanced and so I did obey when she made me move onto the verge, still at a bucking canter, at which point she decided on a voluntary dismount. Byeeeeee.  Ohhhh Lynette you have left some great skid marks on the ground as you landed. 

I caught up with Woody just before the bridge and we ran around on the grass before deciding in the failing light to head home. Somehow Lynette managed to tell her Dad to stand at the gate on the road to catch us, I have no idea how she did that when he was in the house and we were 1/2 mile down the road. Anyway being Dales and knowing it was getting dusky we did the sensible thing and stopped on the apex of the bridge so any cars would clearly see us, plus there is a nice bit of grass we could munch on. Great views from up here. 

Lynette caught us at the bridge and read us the riot act. Don't think we will be getting extra carrots in our tea, in fact we were not allowed any carrots in our tea. I guess we were lucky to get tea at all. Lynette says I'm sacked as a ride lead pony, until I learn not to be influenced by Woody. I still maintain its his fault. I hope this hasn't ruined my chance of getting a new Mummy!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Time to call in the professionals!

If Mum is serious about getting me super fit this year, I decided she had better get some professional help with 'her' training plan, as I don't think a dressage competition after a week of walk work is really the right approach. 

There was only one person to call, Polly, after all she has competed at the highest levels and on a highland cross pony so I couldn't think of anyone better to keep Mum on the straight and narrow. I'm hoping this plan is not going to back fire on me!

So far I'm really liking what Polly has to say. Firstly and most importantly I need more food - yeah!  Now this is serious music to my ears. My paltry handful of cardboard nuts has been changed for yummy speedibeet and Alpha A with Oil. If this was not good enough my portion sizes seem to be growing each day, oh I'm in heaven. 

Next I'm to have a day off a week - hmmm Polly can't I negotiate two days off a week for good behaviour?  Evidently not but I'm not allowed on super long hacks anymore, unless it's for a special occasion and then I can have two days off in a row - good compromise I think. My hacks have been limited to 60-90mins no more 2-3 hours treks across the countryside visiting friends - which for my little legs is very tiring. 

Also Polly has put a ban on my frequent travelling as at least she understands how tiring it is for us ponies to stand up in our box on wheels. Last year we frequently went out 2-3 times a week. I'm now limited to one outing a week. 

Less travelling, less hacking, more food - this is definitely my kind of training plan!

Well it was until yesterday morning when blowing a freezing gale, Mum made me walk up the road while it rained hale stones for a whole 70 minutes - I don't care if this was the only time you had to ride me yesterday and it said we had to go out on the training plan, surly it could have been a day off instead, even though I had already had the day before off. 

I might have to revisit my views on this training plan, goodness knows what weather I will have to be going out in tomorrow?  Still it's time for my huge yummy tea, so life is not all bad!

I'm back!

Yes, I'm back. After Mum had abandoned me in my field for two whole months, with no rugs, and only hay and Woody for company, I was working on my wild bear impressions, I was doing grumpy quite well, when Mum decided I had had enough time off. 

To make it up to me, Mum drove me 40mins to my favourite yard so she could convert two months of mud pack back into a pony. I rather liked the encrusted muddy tummy look! Oh wow, the mud was all washed off with a warm shower - how decadent!  Thank you Aunty Caroline and Uncle Hugh for lending Mum and me your lovely facilities, I really really appreciate it as otherwise it would have been the cold hose - brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

My treats did not end there. The next day I had Neill Saunders work his magic on my body with an all over body treatment to make me feel super aligned and ready for action. 

I was liking this re-introduction to work, well that was until I realised how serious Mum is about getting me fit. Our first 30 minute walk was in horizontal driving rain, couldn't we have waited until a nice sunny day to start our exercising? 

I have also resumed my dog walking duties and Benji is enjoying coming out with us again, well most of the time. I have accidently nearly squashed him twice while spinning on the spot as I jumped at a car that was carrying bicycle on its roof and a car with a rattling trailer zoomed passed me while I was asleep waiting for Mum to get on me. 

It's not only Benji I have been keeping on his toes. Mum has decided she wants me traffic proof, which means riding down the main road into Wootton Bassett.  I'm glad it has a big verge as we always seem to pass at least one double decker bus and loads of lorries etc. I started with spinning, but on our second attempt I have reduced my jumping to a simple piaffe movement and last time I just crunched up my muscles but didn't move as a big tractor and flat bed trailer rumbled past followed by a double decker bus. I'm getting the hang of all this traffic. Needless to say once we finish on the road and get back onto our quite lane, Mum relaxes. This is when I caught her out. Busy chatting on the phone to her friend Lynda, she suddenly finds herself being spun around and I was bolting back down the road away from home. 

Why? Well I had spotted the rare and highly dangerous lesser ginger Shetland pony, hidden in a purple rug.  Mum finally pulled me up after she had slammed the phone down on Lynda, screaming she had to go, and when she had finally stopped laughing long enough to sit up and draw me to a halt. 

After a lot of snorting to make sure Mum had seen that there was a dangerous pony hidden under the purple rug, she made me go up and say hello - if I must!  After a quick chat we started to head home and then the little terror started chasing me.  That was it I had no other option but to go into snorting dragon mode and make myself look huge by copying the high stepping manoeuvres of my Spanish pony friends. I think I look suitably impressive, though I'm not too sure why Mum was laughing. If it had attacked us, she would not have been laughing, I can tell you!  Far more scary than the huge juganought lorries passing me on the main road. 

Well after a week of walk work, Mum thought I was fit enough to go to a dressage championships. I think I need to call in some professional help for my training regime.  But being a Dales I did my best to step up to the mark and while I was not full of energy I was very obidient and impressed Mum by pulling of a win and we came home as the Rein & Shine Prelim Open Champions.

I should say this is my second win of the year, even though I have only done one competition.  How? Well due to all my hard work last year I won the VWH Riding club Points Championship and I have won my first peice of silverware. I'm sure my Hackpen Trophy is better than Woody's silver plate. 

A pretty good start to the year I think. I'm loving being back in work, especially as I'm just walking at the moment. The best bit though is I'm now being tucked up in my stable each night, all snugly in my rug with my own hay, which I don't have to share with anyone (Woody) and a huge tea. Life is good pony friends xxx