Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Come see me!

Hello. In case anyone is keen, I've begun a new blog -


It would be lovely to see you there :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014


About two weeks after my last post I went to do morning check and found Rodney lying down in the field. He didn't get up when I walked over and when I made him stand up his back legs were splayed and not right.

I called the vet and blood tests confirmed he had atypical myopathy. There is a sycamore tree in the field but as the fields weren't over-grazed and I was feeding him, I thought this would be ok.

Rodney was put to sleep a few hours later as he rapidly went downhill. My vet did her best and put him on fluids and rang the Animal Health Trust and Liphook to discuss prognosis but because of the severity showing in his blood tests there was no hope.

I will miss him more than I can say, and have many happy memories, none of which take away the sting of letting him down so badly.

If you do read this and realise your horse is grazing near a sycamore, please take action and avoid this nightmare. There's a lot of good information readily available on the internet and there have been a record number of cases in the UK this year so it is something to be aware of.

I know that standing on this side of it, I feel haunted by what's happened and completely responsible. I won't be getting another horse and so this blog must come to an end.

Thank you for reading, take care, and enjoy every minute with your horses.

 Happy horsing x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hello Cady Miss

Forgot to include most important info in last blog, namely, went to see Miss Cady Pooo last week to see how she's been...

Answer: totally fine, hurrah! She is too, too fat, but very happy and set to shed the pounds over the winter as she'll be living out. Her tail has been chewed by a naughty friend but she is clearly blissful and missing me not one speckle.

While there I got to feed the orphan calf known as Moo Moo...the temptation to kidnap him was strong, but I resisted.

And for the picture-starved..here's a rather blurry video still of Rodders beasting a line of traffic cones last week. Squeezed an early morning pre-work ride in today. It was like swimming through mud trying to wake up but I was rewarded with a lovely sunrise while I practiced Not Being a Sack of Spuds during transitions. No saddle, no one about, just me and Rodney being swotty :) Though there is def something weird going on  with left side of my body - it is WEAK and uncooperative!

Happy horsing everyone x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Peter or Paul: Part II

In my last blog , I wrote about some ideas in the way we coach/work with our horses. I think its an interesting topic because as owners I think we often turn up at the yard hoping our horses will wow us, without really thinking about what we bring to the table.

It's definitely something I experience. I know I'm somewhere between Peter and Paul, but working to become more like the former. It definitely struck a chord with me a few weeks ago when I filmed my schooling session and left out something really important...praise

I find it really easy to look at what my horse is NOT doing, without appreciating what he is giving me and without considering that there may not be much in it for the him at all...long term food for thought.

Rodney is faring well at the moment. I've given up my little field vigils as it's sooo cold at the moment but he's being good to catch and seems to hang out more these days, rather than just doing a pocket inspection and diddling off, so that feels nice. Work wise we're doing a bit of everything - raised poles, little hacks, bits of jumping - just ticking over and having fun. Or anyway, I'm having fun, and I hope he is too!

P.S, blogginig very sporadic at the moment as computer, phone and camera have all gone to heaven, hopefully will be sorted soon, bear with me :)

Happy horsing everyone x

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Which one are you?

Let's build a short story for a second...

Jane and Joanne Doe are identical twins of average health, weight and fitness. They both decide to take up running but have to find someone to run with as they can't run with each other (they work different shift patterns, let's say)

Jane runs with Peter. Peter shows up at the same time every day and he loves to run, so he's always smiley. He makes polite conversation and offers Jane a lot of encouragment, especially when her knees are aching a little or she doesn't feel that she's improving. Peter has been running for longer than Jane, and plans their routes carefully, only increasing the distance and difficulty gradually. He encourages Jane to take part in a fun run, just for the hell of it. They both complete, in average time, and have a lot of fun. The day becomes a good memory for both of them.

In time, Peter is not just a running partner, he calls round for coffee and a chat too. Jane loves to run with Peter and the friendship is really good for both of them both physically and emotionally.

Joanne runs with Paul. Paul turns up when he feels like it, and sometimes he doesn't turn up at all. Joanne never knows quite what mood he'll be in. If he's had a bad day at the office he is rude and sullen and takes it out on Joanne. But if things are going well he wants to run much, much further, which Joanne finds quite difficult. Paul is critical of Joanne's efforts, and often says she puts no effort in, but she notices that he rarely criticises his own technique.
When Joanne picks up an injury from their inconsistent training, Paul says she is just making excuses, but a doctor confirms that she has damaged a tendon.

Joanne gradually loses faith in running as the relationship with her running partner becomes more and more unsatisfactory. Eventually she gives up, and finds through a mutual friend that Paul is running with a 'better' partner now. 

When it comes to your horse, are you Peter or Paul? 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Riding from Within and Wear Your Hat!

I treated myself to a new book recently, James Shaw's Ride from Within, a meaty tomb that aims to bring the benefits of Tai Chi to horse riding.

I'm about half way through now and it's just starting to get really good. The first few chapters lay a lot of important groundwork but I found them quite slow going. Now though it's all starting to glue together a bit more and I am finding the exercises really good for figuring out when I'm balanced, when I'm not and why. 

I've realised I tip my shoulders and spine to change direction instead of turning from my centre (think pelvis) and it's been really useful in our schooling sessions. 

The big emphasis is on breathing - namely right into the abdomen and in a steady manner and while it's quite tricky at first this is something I've known is a weak point in my riding without knowing how to correct it.

My only issue with the book is that none of the people riding in the pics have a riding hat on which makes me really uncomfortable. Needless to say I will be wearing mine as normal. I do think anyone who coaches, whether through lessons, books or dvds, has a responsibility to wear a hat and make students wear one too. The evidence that this saves lives is just too strong to ignore.

Rodney seems well lately and we're getting plenty of rides in while the weather is so beautiful. He's been excellent to catch and lovely to do. I'd like to get his saddle reflocked soon but overall it's all going in a nice direction. Here's to a happy autumn and winter hopefully with lots of riding and not too much snow ;) 

Happy horsing everyone x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Updates ...

Tuesday and Wednesday were work days so I got to the yard early to do a bit of field sitting. It was much harder knowing I was off to work as I felt much less able to relax and read my book. Also, I sort of broke the premise on Wednesday by taking him a carrot which made him pester me for a bit and then leave as soon as he knew the pockets were empty of treasure.

On Monday we did some raised trotting poles, no bother there, and today I took him for a hack and then tried some neck reining in the arena but using a neck strap. It was quite windy on the hack so her felt slightly tremulous but he was forward going and brave as always, though slightly concerned when we found two ladies blackberrying in the woods. I could feel him thinking, "We never find people here!" but a little canter made him forgot about the disruption.

 The neck reining thing was cool. He picked it up straight away and we only lost direction when I forgot what I was doing with my legs or lost concentration.

This was the clip I watched beforehand that encouraged me to try it...I think it's a good video :) Click here if you fancy a look...

Happy horsing everyone x