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

Friday, 24 January 2014


Rodney must have heard me typing out his 'for sale' advert last night because he was as good as he normally is to catch today. Major relief!

We did some jumping in the arena, just practicing staying calm and straight and not zooming too much and it was really enjoyable, esp because it's been a crisp, still winter day.

He was rewarded with much scran and I've left his headcollar on just in case!

Happy horsing everyone x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Is that the sound of my hopes being flushed down the toilet?

Why Yes! Yes it is.

I've been riding so much this year, and Rodney has been so, so good. We've been jumping, hacking out, schooling, everything.

I got so excited I joined a riding club and signed up for a jumping rally.

Then I sat all happy and chatted to Phil about how great Rodney is, all our future plans and how so many of his annoying habits have gone..like being a toad face to catch.

Yesterday went to get him and he didn't walk over as normal. Thought nothing of it and then my heart plummeted as I realised he had his shitface expression on and wasn't going to let me or my pathetic treats anywhere near him.

Lessons learned from the spring (the last time he was bad to catch) and I just left him. No point chasing him around and exhausting myself when I'm already full of cold and have a stupid eye infection that makes me look like John Merrick.

Very kindly my friend let me ride her pretty horse for which I was very grateful! 

Hopefully he'll come round tomorrow but if he can't handle lots of riding then I'll be finding him a new home. I've gone way past the point of only wanting to ride round the farm once a week!

One thing is for sure - I WILL get to that jumping clinic, even if I have to canter round on my own two feet with a sodding hobby horse!

Happy horsing everyone! Hope you're having more fun than I am ;)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

How good riders get good

Favourite quote so far from Denny Emerson's book - How Good Riders Get Good.

"If you don't have what it takes to clamber out of the ashes of your burned-out dreams, time and again, you'd better take up golf."

So far so good with this book, and I'm about 3/4 of the way through. It's not beautifully written or soulful, like Mark Rashid's writing: instead it acts as a blunt trauma to any excuses you or I might be clinging onto when it comes to riding ambitions.

I won't bore you with a detailed breakdown but here's a small example of how effective the advice is. This afternoon, after three hours of mucking out in the rain, I snuggled down on the sofa with Phil and a cup of coffee with the intention of spending a rainy Saturday relaxing and reading. 

I picked up Denny's book and thirty minutes later I was down at the yard sheepishly tacking up for a schooling session. I rode for almost an hour and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the drizzly weather. Denny advocates lots of riding and lots of graft, and his no nonsense advice is highly motivating.

In summary, if you need a kick up the arse, this might be the book for you :)

Happy horsing everyone x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Hands up if you love a Welshie

Spotted this in blogland the other day - lovely to read about a Welshie fan Stateside. I think Jen sums up all that is great and good about this cracking breed.

Click Here to read :)

News today is that Rodney and I did a spot of jumping before he got his new shoes on. Right near the end we had a couple of really nice gelled attempts so I'm happy, happy. Love being able to ride through the winter and we are both much fitter versions of ourselves this time last year.

And - as an avid fan of horsenation I couldn't resist ordering myself this book

Love the title and looking forward to it landing on the doormat.

Happy horsing everyone x

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Inner cowgirl - arise

I decided to zap my inner cowgirl into life this morning. The novelty challenge was to catch and saddle up Rodney, go through a bit of schooling to check we had steering and brakes harmony and then ride up to Cady's field. Catch her, remount and ride Rodney/lead Cady back to the yard for their feeds.

The schooling was nice and we even managed to open and shut the arena gate smoothly. Rodney used to be worried the gate was going to bang into him but he stood quietly today and did really well.

We did some transitions and leg yielding into shoulder-in and then rode up to collect Cady. She had her worried face on at first and tucked her head up Rodney's bum but after a few mins she walked next to him really nicely with her head close to my knee. Then they had a bite to eat together and we headed back. 

It's not miles to the yard from her field but it is a small trek and the point was to extract her from her bosom buddies and see a bit of the world beyond the haylage bale without getting her stressed to bits.

Also, when it's just me and Cady the shit tends to hit the fan and we have a blazing row so Rodney is our mediator. I love him and so does Cady which helps us to put down our dueling pistols for a bit. 

It did feel a bit special to ride along with both of them and the sky was very pretty to see. I might have slipped into a slight daydream about working as a ranch hand in the Rockies for a minute there...

We made the return trip without incident and I was pleased. It's just a small challenge but gives me hope that Rodney can work as a calming influence at the same time as expanding his own tolerance for slightly different set-ups. I have led Cady from Rodney before but not without Phil there to step in so it was a good way to make myself ride and handle them with conviction.

Here are some pics - they are slightly poor but I had my hands full ;)

"I think we have something in common..oh yes, the idiot who pays for all this."

Lead rein becomes neck strap

First one to finish wins a T-shirt

Mr Cool Dude Good Influence

"I'm soo pretty. And muddy. But mostly pretty."

"Goddamit, I think I just behaved myself!"

Happy horsing everyone x

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Had a little sit on Miss Cadillac today.

Was I planning to? Noooo, I got her out of the field to bring her up to the yard for a feed while a pal rode Rodney. 

I lunged her for a minute or two and she had a little fizz about and then settled so I couldn't resist getting on. I didn't have her saddle so we just had a little walk and a trot with Rodney as our sensible guide horse.

She did really well and I can't quite describe how good it felt to feel that rolling walk and look down on her shiny dark bay shoulders and black mane. She is very comfy to ride bareback and I do like the view between those enormous alert ears!

No new pics but here's one from the summer that I love of my girl.

Happy horsing everyone x

Friday, 10 January 2014

Six rides in seven days

Reading about the wind chills and snow some of my Stateside blogger pals are enduring is definitely keeping things in perspective for me.

The fields are a bit mushy and we've had some wind and rain but I've ridden almost every day this year and for that I'm very grateful.

Rodney is fairing well - he's holding his weight and being a real trooper. He has two rugs on and a vest and we put round bales in the field so he has everything he needs to be cosy. Historically he is a bum wart to clip (never tried) so I'm happy to leave him fluffy and ride little and often.

This week we've ridden out a lot with a friend who's started riding again after some problems with her back last year. It's been good to have company and this morning we headed out on the roads where we met EVERYTHING you can meet: roadworks, an enormous noisy building site that's sprung up in the middle of nowhere (we had picked a normally quiet route as neither of our horses have done much road work since the summer) motorbike in a field, vans, buses THE LOT. 

Rodney was just not convinced that this was a good idea and for the first half of the ride he shuffled along at a very grudging walk and even stopped dead twice. Once we'd maneuvered past a really loud digger scooping up piles of rubble with the horses on tip toes and us yelling at the driver to try and get him to stop a second, the hilarity kicked in and we had a good laugh. The rest of the ride was uneventful and the horses walked up the side of the dual carriageway like police horses.

We'll go out on the roads again asap as I like to try and fix these 'training potholes' as they crop up. I guess we're so happy and comfy pootling about the farm that it's time to explore a bit more and get used to these road monsters.

Meanwhile, Cady stands in the field, while I avoid riding her. Time to do some soul-searching methinks.

Happy horsing everyone x