Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fun Ride Time

Went with a friend to do a fun ride on the weekend in support of local riding for the disabled group (RDA Quest).

Day went so smoothly - trailer hitched, horses on, got there a whole hour early but luckily we started early too. Here's a piccy of Oreo and Olivia sharing food in the trailer (not Oreo's idea, by the way)...

Anyway, it all went very well - the ponies seemed to enjoy themselves, no falls or hurts except for at one point on a steep downhill path, Olivia decided to throw her entire body into a small step down rather than...you know...step down it...
Nevermind, everyone has their quirks (some more than others). Other progress is looking fantastic; I gave her a good long stretchy lunge on Monday and she looked FABULOUS on the lunge. Gone are the days when she used to run round with a hollow back and head looking everywhere but around the circle. She was shaped (a parelli phrase coming..) like a good banana, back up, neck down and stretching and really striding out.

Today we had a quick ride in the miserable weather, stretching again because I'm still waiting for this slight tucked-up-ness to go away, but she felt so good again. Very happy :)

Now here's a quick question...I feel every day I spend more time brushing mud out of her beautiful long, flowing mane than I spend riding her. To pull or not to pull?! The dirt is driving me mental, but without her long locks she wouldn't be my pretty pony, I'm torn!

I will let you know what I decide :)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Tucking Up

So today I thought I would write about tucking up, as in the last year this has been a constant bother for Olivia and me. It all started about March last year when Olivia started to get really tucked up with hunting. Back then she tied up twice, and after lots of vets bills she didn't have equine exertional rhabdomyolysis (try saying that fast..)

Well that was then. Once we had the all clear, I brought her slowly back into work and the next few times she was trailered up for a hack she got all tucked up too. But several trips later she was totally fine.

Now it's back!!! She was tucked up after we went hunting again but that went away after a few days, and then when I trailered her for a hack she was again, but it was the excitement of where we were going! That went away again, and then I must have pushed her too hard in the school because once again it came back. I wonder whether it's to do with the cold, does anyone else have a similar problem? I try to keep her well rugged but she is a very warm horse and don't want to keep her sweating, especially as it is so warm at the moment.

She's in light work, and after she's stretched her legs she always looks much better. In fact, yesterday when I took off her rug she looked perfect, and I was ecstatic! As soon as I walked round the corner her tummy tucked in straight away...hmmm is someone faking? I'm still erring on the side of caution, lots of stretching, no lateral work, and no breaking sweat. I've checked her muscles for signs of spasm and there's nothing, so please don't be concerned! However I would LOVE to hear from other people who've had a chronic tucker-uper? What do you do to solve the problem?

Here are some pictures I took of how she looks, it's not terrible but it's annoying for sure!

Over and out!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Welcome Back ... x2

Ok... So it's been a while (again), but I'm back to do more! I've graduated from University, started a masters, living at home and got all my good old friends around me again so things are looking great.

Most importantly though, Olivia has gone from good to better. We are still trying a bit of everything. We started hunting last season which I loved although she got a little over excited and put herself out of work for several months, which in the end turned out to be a muscle strain but at least we've got bone scans and muscles biopsies to prove it..! We also did our first dressage test over the summer, which didn't go well seeing as I forgot my test and had a very tense horse. Oh well ... it was only while I was trying to get Olivia fit again to do more fun stuff like ... DRAGHUNTING! Went the other weekend and had a blast, as soon as I've got transport sorted I will be doing it as often as I can. Towing, using my Dad's audi a6, on muddy fields turned out to be a big no no. We got stuck twice on the grass at the hunt, and then putting the trailer back in the trailer park turned out to be impossible so now it' sitting in the mare's field, waiting to be used again!

I am currently laying down plans to buy a nice big 4x4 with my Mum, I'll let you know how these get on!

Anyway, she's looking better than she ever has and is moving better than ever. I was hoping to go XC schooling today in preparation for a bit of eventing next spring (fingers crossed) but the bloody weather got in the way, thank you Britain! Such a shame, but my friend who was going to take me, and is able to tow in her lovely 4 wheel drive, has agreed to do a few hacks and other xc schooling sessions over the next few weeks which is all very exciting :)

Anyway, after the vet fiasco of last year, here is my current feelings on horse care

Over and Out


Monday, 8 August 2011

Show Jumping Successes

I never gave an update about how things went at the show a few weeks ago. I entered three classes - Ridden hunters, Ridden foreign breeds and 2"3 jumps. Ridden hunters we came 3rd (out of 3 so no biggie) and foreign breeds we got a 4th (of 5). Concluded that we don't like showing :P Obviously we had tongue issues through the whole thing and kept picking up the wrong leg in canter. I wasn't especially gutted because I only really wanted to jump, and I wish that I had not bothered with the showing but done the 2"6 as well because despite being 1st in the ring we came third :) She did a lovely clear round and I played the corner on the turn to the last jump too safe so we lost of to (only) 2 people. So so so happy!
Here are some pictures from the day. My mum didn't enjoy the showing either so didn't bother with taking any pictures of it! I've also got 2 pictures pending that the show photographer took. I'll put them up when I get them.

Got a few things coming up before France, but I am so excited about it :) Just about everything for the way there is planned now, just a waiting game.
Jo xxx

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sucker for good advertising...

I stumbled across this video today:

It's Klaus Hempfling promoting his book/DVD titled 'The Horse Seeks Me'. I've not read it, but I am reading his book 'What Horses Reveal' slowly but surely. As you may have been able to tell from my bit down the side about horsemen that I admire, he is on there but I wasn't totally convinced. The video is obviously made to promote Mr Hempfling and show him in a good light so people buy his material and it has worked on me. The reason I dislike the book I'm currently reading a little is that the author comes across quite arrogant, and above it all. I find humility a really important aspect of being a horseman, in fact I think its an important quality in any career. There's no point saying 'I can do it all' because then your audience will just be waiting for you to get it wrong. I guess we can look at Pat Parelli and Catwalk last year at Stoneleigh Park, just as an example. Although the Parelli's maintain that Pat was doing the right thing, it just didn't look pretty or calm. I think horsemen should say as little and they can but show as much as they can. People are always more impressed when they are suprised. Besides, that way you don't set yourself up for a potential fall.

Anyway that wasn't the point of the blog. What I wanted to right, was that I really like the way Hempfling moves with his PRE Stallion. I thought there was such harmony there and it was pleasant to watch. I want to get that book and see what else he has to say in it. It was written before 'What Horses Reveal' so perhaps he isn't as arrogant in that one as he has become since gaining popularity.

Does anyone study much of his material and have any opinions? I'd love to hear from you.
Jo xxx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

So much going on!

So exciting how busy I've been. It's my holidays but I'm more shattered then I was at university.
I've been teaching my brother to ride on Sundays when he's home from work and last week we took the camera and he took some cool pictures when I jumped on to show him a few things.

Then on Wednesday night I went with some friends to a local open schooling jumping course at a yard round the corner from us. It was mini week, so the courses I did were 1ft9 and 2ft. Olivia had never gone round a course though so I wasn't too bothered about heights. I was just so impressed with how she got on! In the 1ft9 she refused one jump once, but we still came third and in the 2ft we did a clear round and came 1st. So proud of my pony!! She was jumping the jumps HUGE though. After the grids I've been practising with Emma she has become a lot more careful about the jumps, and it shows in the photos a friend was taking. Here are some:

I've caught the showing bug now anyway, and on Sunday am planning to go to a local show and try out a 2ft3 course.

One thing that struck me was how excited Olivia was about the jumping. When I went in to do the laps of honour she was so on her toes about going into the ring. I think I've found the sport that makes her tick, and luckily for me it kinda suits me too :)

Love Jo xxx

Thursday, 14 July 2011


I had a jumping lesson yesterday with the fabulous Emma, it was possibly the hardest Olivia has worked in several years. Emma set a grid up for us to do: 3 uprights with a stride between and a canter pole. Olivia loves to jump, especially if she can run through at a million miles an hour (except for the one time I took her to a show and we got eliminated at the first jump). The grid stopped her though and made her (and me) really think. I haven't had ridding lessons on other horses since I got Olivia, so about 4 years, let alone jumped another horse who's more technical. I got a shock as she slowed right down and realised my position had gone to sh*t!!

Olivia often chucks her head up in the air and hollows her back after jumping Emma gave me some useful tactics to help stop her doing that. The lesson was great fun and I learnt a lot, especially that if she would only keep her tongue in her mouth and focus on the jumping then she would do much better. I've been thinking for a while about getting her a grackle as a jumping & just special occasion bridle. The bridle I've got at the moment is really horrible and casual looking so I'm adding grackle to my birthday list, fingers crossed!

Since it's been so long since I blogged let alone posted photos here are some to show you how she's been getting along the last couple of years.

Love Jo xxx