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

Friday, 28 March 2014

More faith

Moving Rodney to a new home was a daunting prospect for me. I was worried that the bond we've worked very hard to build would drop to bits if I uprooted him from the farm where we've been for the past 18 months.

The yard we left was great in every respect - facilities, people, price - but a good thirty minute drive, often through thick traffic.

His new home is eight minutes away through quiet country lanes and has many great points - it has good facilities, amazing off-road hacking and I know lots of nice people there already. In fact, it's the yard where Rodney was living when I bought him in 2012.

We've been there for nearly a week and so far, so good. Rodney had a couple of days confined to his box after being wormed and then we've gradually been introducing him to his new field friend.

This pic was taken the first time I ever rode Rodney, way before he was even for sale.
It shows a) how cute his ears are and b) how good the riding is at our new/old yard

Before Rodney arrived, new field friend ended up getting kicked to bits and quite seriously injured in fights, so we're doing all we can to avoid this happening again. 

Which has meant rigging up a fair bit of electric fence and some artful introductions. There was one minor disaster when Rodney snapped the fence of his pen and new field friend trotted in for a brief boxing match, but thankfully no lasting damage was done.

I've been at the yard three times a day doing various bits and bobs which has given me a great opportunity to spend loads of time with Rodders, grooming, riding, doing carrot stretches with him or just giving him a neck scratch in the field. 

He's been really quite relaxed and brave despite the upheaval and my fears have subsided. Now I'm looking forward to riding out with my friends and hacking to local shows with him. Lesson learned - I should have more faith in my horse.

Happy horsing everyone x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Rally and a new home

I've cheered up after the last gloomy post but time is short, so here's a photo dump from this morning's rally and Rodney settling in his new home. Words to follow :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Not in the mood

Horsey finally has his shoes back on but my enthusiasm for riding blew away this week and remains missing in action.

Not riding, no thank you
I've gradually been getting more and more exhausted and have now reached the point where I'm driving along and have no idea where I'm going, whether the dog is with me or not and how I'm going to remember important details such as this.

The final straw came on Wednesday when when we rode out in a gale. On bin day. Cue battling down the road on two brave tbs who had no clue what to make of it while wheelie bins and massive chunks of rubbish blew at us like a special effects hurricane.

More windy than this

At one point the wind was so strong we were doing a stationary trot. Lots of effort but no forward movement. And my personal highlight was feeling the heat from the tyres of the van driver who forced his way past me while horsey shit his pants at a workman with some vast noisy machine surrounded by yet more bins and rubbish.

But things are looking up. Last night we were woken at 2am by Nancy howling to get out and lay some explosive diarrhoea all over the joint. As she scampered around me crying and the unpleasant fumes reached my nostrils I looked up at the ghostly moon, wiped the sleep from my eyes and realised the wind had dropped.

How lovely. 

Rodney and I are going to a flatwork rally on Sunday and the same day we move to a new yard much closer to home. Nothing is organised, I haven't ridden in ages and I'm pretty sure Rodney will enter the meltdown zone when he realises that Home Sweet Home has become Random Stable and Random Field. 

I'm sure it will all be fine eventually, but I must remember not to stab myself in the eye with a biro in the meantime.

Happy horsing everyone x

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cady visit, lambing and Rodney riding with no saddle

Well I couldn't stay away for too long before a visit to Cady in her new home became too tempting. Gail, her new owner, lives up north on a farm and invited me up for the afternoon to see the lambs being born and visit Cadillac. 

I was itching to finish work and get up there because the sun was blazing and I felt like me and Nancy really needed a girls' road trip. So we blasted up there at warp speed and soon Nancy was running laps around the kitchen with Gail's new lurcher pup.

Then we wandered down to see Cady, who had thoughtfully travelled up to the gate with her new herd. Once I'd stuffed her with carrots and ascertained that she is thriving, it was time to visit the lambing shed.

Here, I sharp got to grips with all the different varieties of slime that hang out of sheep before, during and after they give birth. Honestly, it was totally gross. But also bloody amazing, especially watching Gail's partner wrestle a giant momma sheep to the ground and dragging a one stone lamb out of it. 

Watching the lambs take their first breath, and then their first steps a few minutes later was extraordinary, and I'll be going back next week to see some more slimy miracles.

Rodney news is pretty cool too. I'm still waiting to get his shoe back on so we've had a really nice week of just hanging out with each other. Today I led him up to the arena and just turned him loose so he could have a roll without his rug and a mooch about. Then I groomed him and did his feet but without having him tied up, to practice us working together willingly and with mutual co-operation.

The sun was shining and it all went really well so I decided to see how he might feel about being ridden without his saddle. I've been itching to try it for a while but he can be quite sensitive and I wasn't sure if he'd wig out. So I just lay over him for a while till he seemed quite happy with that and then I got on and we went for a little walk about. It was really nice - really nice.

Happy horsing everyone x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Shoeless-ness leads to blog silence

Rodney popped his shoe off again while jumping a small course in the arena at the weekend so all riding is suspended until further notice. BOOOOOO! (hiss)

Farrier not due until March 19 and I haven't got any free time to try and organise an interim visit so it's just going to have to wait a while.

Immma havin' a hollidayyy!

In the meantime I'm going to just make a fuss of him, pet his ginger whiskers and let him have a break as he's worked pretty consistently through the winter.

Our next rally is at the end of the month but it's flatwork so it should be manageable to bring him back in to work for that.

In other news, I've just survived my first assessment/step to becoming an RDA instructor! Lots more work to do but it's something I really enjoy so much exciting times :) And at the end of April I'm doing my Riding and Road Safety so I can do my BHS Stage 2. Honestly, as a kid you avoid exams like the plague and then as an adult you go and seek them out...

Don't panic - as soon as I saw this pic I went and sorted out my eyebrows so they're no longer mad wonky

Happy horsing everyone x