Today’s cover image is a cracking photo taken of Freddie being a loon the other day by one of our liveries husbands’ who is a professional photographer. Richard Milnes Photography, look him up!
I have some really bad news for you all, the horseflies were out today for the first time this year.
I’m allergic to horseflies, and go up like a balloon if I get bitten. Mia thinks it’s hilarious and referred me to ‘clubo’ when I got bitten on my hand last year and so resembled a club rather than a hand. What are friends for eh?
Freddie seems to be on a good streak, I don’t want to jinx it but so far, so good. I was really pleasantly surprised as to how well the donkey has taken to long-reining. We go all over the yard, up and down the little hills and round the arena and he’s not phased at all. He’s started tracking up slightly better on the corners and is re-learning how to stretch down over his back. He’s trotting up totally sound and seems (touch wood) to be moving easily in his paddock. His physio has said there’s now no reason why he can’t do a bit of in-hand showing so hopefully that’s what we’re going to do!
In other news, I have got another little project to work with. I’ll be detailing her progress on here, as well as on my recently opened facebook page ‘Just A Horse World’ (shameless self-promo I know…)
I’m going to be helping a friend with her lovely, if a little nervous, cob she has recently bought. She has been backed then had some time off so is being handled and restarted now, which is what I’m going to be doing hopefully! We did our first little session this morning, teaching her to stand still at a mounting block and for someone to get on. She is nervous, but once she’d relaxed she seemed quite happy so hopefully we will be able to do a bit more each session. We only did about 25 minutes, give or take a little, but the difference in her in just that short time was so rewarding. I personally am not one who will jump on and do everything straight away, one bonus I have is endless patience so the fact that all we did today was get her used to someone getting on and off didn’t bother me in the slightest. We finished by walking a circle in the arena, and ended on a very positive note.
In the beginning, each time I stepped onto the lowest step of the mounting block she would visibly tense up, and shift away a little. Though she didn’t move dramatically, she was obviously uncomfortable, tense as a rock and her head came straight up in front of us. We spent most of it getting up and down off the block until it was boring for her (she relaxed and happy with me getting up and down next to her) and then started putting my foot in the stirrup and standing up alongside her – effectively how you would get an unbacked youngster used to it – and then sat on. Being entirely fair to her, she was very good. Despite being clearly very nervous she stood and let us show her that I wasn’t going to eat her. Though she is backed and the basics are clearly there I will still take it slowly just to reassure her and build her confidence as horses can be knocked back so easily. The first time I sat down she did rush forwards and do a little spin, but stopped and stood still.
From being visibly tense and anxious even with someone at her head to standing relaxed and happy to let me get on unaided at the block is so rewarding for me, it sounds insignificant but really isn’t, horsey folk will probably understand a little easier!
I personally love working in situations like this, with younger horses usually but when you do something & it actually works and you have a happier horse that’s accomplished something good I find it incredibly rewarding. Hopefully the future holds good things and I’m very excited to see where this lovely little mare can progress to!
In other news, Freddie’s nephew was really lovely. He’s also only young, freshly re-backed and green but importantly clean limbed and I actually think he’d make a lovely little workers pony in a couple of years hopefully. He’s being vetted tomorrow so (once again) fingers crossed he passes! Another potentially cracking horse for the future.
If he fails the vetting by any chance we’re going to put the horse hunting on hold for a bit, don’t think I have the energy for any more viewings!
As a little sidenote, last Saturday was mine and my lovely other half’s anniversary. Although he’s a city boy through and through, he does make the effort to come to the yard on occasion and even did the feeds once. I’ll turn him into a countryman yet!