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

Friday, 16 December 2011

Frosty mornings and a horse with the munchies

Harvey's been with me for a week now and touch wood, it's been plain sailing.

He boxed over to his new home without a hitch and is proving to be very accommodating which is a nice change from Cady's standard pain-in-the-ass approach to life. 

Actually it's not just nice, it's downright unnerving! I keep waiting for him to have a tantrum at the jump filler we have to walk past on route to the field but he just plods on quietly.

It's very early days but I'm loving having a horse on DIY again. We've had a couple of beautiful moonlit frosty mornings and I really enjoy sorting his bed out and making sure he's got plenty to eat.

Speaking of which - Harvey is one hungry horse!! I've never known such a troffer and I'm delighted as I took his rug off yesterday and he's filling out beautifully. 

I've also chopped a load of his gypsy mane off so he's looking quite handsome - come spring time he'll be a whole new character.

Come the New Year and Harvey's getting a full mot as I believe he has long standing hip and back problems which need to be addressed. He also needs his teeth sorted out and after that we'll see where we're at. 

Needless to say I'm delighted to have him and the fact he's such a pleasure to look after makes the lunacy of having a second horse a lot easier to ignore!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What a horse gives back

I once came very close to throwing out a winning lottery ticket.

It was January, cold and snowy and I'd owned Cady for a year and a bit. Her education had stalled completely, I hated spending time with her because her manners were so horrible and I felt overwhelmed by the whole situation.

So with a heavy heart I sat and typed out an advert.

Thank God for timewasters. Out of many phone calls and texts only one woman came to see her. She called after and said she wanted her but couldn't afford my paltry asking price.
I turned her down, reasoning that anyone who couldn't afford the asking price wouldn't be able to afford a vet bill.

Cady. Pic by Corrina Atkinson
I still felt desperate about the whole thing, but the next week I decided to go down and brush her. After that I started calling in after work to say hello (throughout all this she was on full livery so she was cared for though I'm ashamed of how little I bothered with her at that point ).

Then I started leading her out for little walks. The yard manager invited me to an early morning groundwork class, I booked a lesson... Slowly but surely my interest came back and we started to make a tiny bit of progress.

Cady will never make me richer financially but every penny she's taken out of my account she has returned in life lessons. My stroppy little mare has taught me love, patience, clarity and perseverance - qualities that have affected every other part of my life too. 

We can be quick to throw horses away, but in doing so we are often passing up on a huge opportunity to learn something, or many things, that give us priceless knowledge.

*Harvey update: Moving day is Saturday, and all my fingers and toes are crossed that the snow stays away just a little bit longer.

He definitely seems to recognise me now, and he's stopped lip popping (his way of expressing anxiety) when I go to do his evening checks.

He seemed particularly cheerful last night and I'm starting to look at him and imagine him well-muscled and shiny. For all that he's not at his best right now, his legs are clean and his feet are decent. If his mind comes right then he could be a fantastic little horse...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011

Harvey update

Harvey is coming to live with me next week so I'm really trying to get the start of a bond going before I put him in a wagon and turn his world upside down again.

This means driving down to Spennymoor every night (where he's staying at Misty Blue till I organise permanent accommodation!) and just hanging out with him while he eats his tea.

With the help of his friends Isabella, Georgina and Lydia, he's had some serious grooming and we've also popped a rug on him to keep him toasty.

God knows what he makes of all this but he's certainly taking it with good grace.

I've often thought horses are incredibly tolerant of the changes we inflict on them and Harvey is no exception.

He stood very quietly while I did a bit of massage work and even let out a big sigh at one point which I'm told is a sign of relaxation for equines.

Either that or he's already bored of being messed on with!

P.s - Cady has not been forgotten in all this - she's still very much Queen bee and I've managed to fit in a fair few rides with her this week, despite the frosty temperatures. Can't wait till her new saddle arrives!