Monday, 29 December 2008

Happy times!

I don't want to jinx it, but Bonnie has actually been - dare I say it - nice to lunge the past couple of days.

She has come to realise that I don't carry Mr Evil Whip to beat her senseless, just to encourage her to step through with her hind legs properly. She also now seems to understand the concept of walking and stretching to warm up rather than buggering off at a canter as soon as we get in the arena. Aaand (duh duh duhhhh!) she has finally got it into her little horsey brain (who knows what goes on in there...) that I don't like to woooooooahhhh Bonnnniiieeeee for hours just for the fun of it, but that I would actually like her to stop please. :)

She is also pretty good at coming in for treats and love at the end of each session now, she used to be like "aaaaah you have a whip in your hand I can't possibly come near you OMFG aaaah!". But since she started to realise I am always heavily equipped with polos and other such nice things she is all too keen. Today she was trotting round and I turned my shoulder in and called her and she came trotting in all sweetly. Although that could've had something to do with the fact she knew her breakfast was waiting for her in her stable!

But on a slightly crappy note, I've noticed one new scabby bit of mud fever has appeared on her near fore. I wish it wouldn't keep reappearing overnight, when I checked her heels yesterday they were perfectly clear! Hopefully I got on top of it quickly enough with the old Sudacrem. :)

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Yay! :)

I actually rode today, hahahaaaaa. :) And in a shiny new bridle that I got for her for Christmas!

I figured seeing as I've started to see improvements with the way she was going on the lunge, I'd see if I could feel any improvements in the way she rode.

She felt very forward going! Apparantly the only pace she had was medium trot! But she also seemed much lighter on her forehand than I remember (although she still tried to rely on me for balance during downward transitions... but then again I haven't been able to practice those very well on the lunge, haha) and I could actually feel her using her back end when she trotted.

We did some spiral-y things like we do on the lunge, and she seemed to be bringing her inside hind under her well and dropping her neck into the turn. All the lunging seems to have really helped with her bending too, I used to find it really hard to maintain a bend with her, but she seems to be doing it for herself now, which is very exciting.

So all in all, I am a pretty happy Phoebe. :) Only a week more of lunging to go until the physio comes again, hopefully she will have the same positive opinion as I do!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

All I want for Christmas? My pony to be fixed!

Went to go see Bonnie for a bit this morning. Dragged my dad and little sister along too, because I was too lazy to get a bus. :P And my sister hadn't seen Bonnie for ages anyway, she got very excited. She is her number one fan!

She did her best to show off what a 'good' pony she is for my dad's camera, haha. She was in a loopy mood again, bucking and not listening to me and generally being a pain. My dad got a pretty amusing picture of her mid-buck though. :)

So yeah, not the most productive session ever. But hey, in the spirit of Christmas, I will let her off. And I do get the feeling that all this lunging is starting to make a difference. I guess I was just used to her way of going before all this physio business and didn't really notice how she wasn't really using herself when she moved. Now I can really see that she steps through with her back legs properly, her back start to lift (something she was virtually unable to when the physio first visited) and she seems much more relaxed through her neck... and in general really. She did an amazing medium trot today too... when I was trying to get her to walk, but never mind! :D

Not long now until the physio returns either, hopefully she will have the same opinion as me that Bonnie has improved... and maybe I might even be able to start riding again! :O That would be nice.

She'll get tomorrow and boxing day off due to the lack of buses. :) It's gonna be weird not hunting on boxing day, I've done that with her the last couple of years. Ah welllllll. There's always next season eh?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas is coming...

... and I'm still lunging away. :)

I think Bonnie and I have come to some sort of agreement with this lunging business. We both make compromises in order to make the situation as pain free as possible.

I have come to understand that I cannot reasonably expect her to just walk round without jogging until she has got some energy out of her system, therefore we start each session with a 5 min trot/bit of canter on each rein. In return, Bonnie will now let me carry a lunge whip most of the time without trying to bugger off. She will also make some nice walk-trot-walk transitions, but only in the last 5 mins or so of the session, when she's tired herself out a bit. :)

She's also learnt that if she comes to a halt like I ask, there are usually polos involved! Although she does get annoyed that I make her do stretches to get them rather than just giving them to her.

I've also started doing a bit of groundwork with her at the end of each lungey, just so we don't both go mindless with boredom. Just simple things like backing up from my voice, yielding her quarters and shoulders to me, etc etc. She picks things up very quickly! Like today, I hadn't even finished saying 'back' and she did about 6 steps backwards, stood there waiting for me to let her return, then trotted the short distance back to me to get some love. :)

She's a lovely girl really I suppose. But I'm still not very happy with her seeing as she gave me a blood blister. She went to bite Flea when we were walking past his stable and got my finger instead! Bloody horse.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


The day off seems to have chilled Bonzo out. :)

I guess the fact she's getting more turnout now might have something to do with it. She's had to stay in more often the past few weeks cause of this bloody weather, but she was out all day today and yesterday.

But yeah, she's still pretty crap at listening to me when downward transitions are involved, but we didn't have any looning for once! I managed to get her to do some good spirally things and a few half decent walk-trot-walk transitions, and then when she was quite tired out at the end, I had a go at reintroducing the lunge whip.

It's not that she's lazy or anything, far from it, but I'm finding it quite difficult to stop her falling in on the circle when I lunge her. I figure if I can get her to let me carry a lunge whip without getting scared and buggering off, it would be useful to stop her doing this. But the lunge whip is sooooo scary, obviously. As soon as I picked it up she was offfff. So I made her halt in the middle and waved it around a bit in an attempt to get her used to it, only stopping when she stopped running away. This seemed to work ok, eventually she would stand still whilst I waved it about next to her. She seemed a bit tense about the whole thing though, so I let her have a nice long walk round after that to relax her again.

Will probably not get a chance to go see her tomorrow as I have work in the evening, but hopefully she'll be just as good on Saturday!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Oh silly horse. :)

Bonnie continues to make lunging as tough as she possibly can. We got into such an argument last night. She was apparantly feeling energetic, despite my efforts to try and tire her out this weekend with hacking. As soon as I got in the arena, she was off. I figured I would just let her get it out of her system, so let the line go out as far as I could and whacked out my phone msn. :)

10 minutes or so later, she was still cantering round.

I figured enough was enough, and did some severe wooooooahing. When that had no response, I started to shorten the line a bit, still woahing. That was of course an excuse to canter even faster. By this point I was severely fed up, it was freezing cold and I just wanted to get the bloody lunging over with. I figured I would stop her somehow, let her have a run around on the other rein and leave it there, seeing as she was obviously in no mood to work properly.

I woahhhed a bit more, shortened the line a bit more, but that still didn't work. So I figured I would just sort of 'run' her into the arena fence to make her stop. And it worked. Well, it made her stop anyway. But then when I went to swap the line onto the other side, she just flipped out and tried to run off again. But she'd put me in a really bad mood by now so I wasn't about to take any crap. I got hold of her bit, and she started running round me in a little circle. So then I sort of got in front of her so she couldn't run, and she reared up, lifting me up with her! Really hurt my arm!

So yeah, then I was in an even worse mood, I just let her run around on the other rein for another 10 mins then called it a day.

She was marginally better today, at least I had some kind of control over her. I even managed to make her walk after only 2 circuits of first asking her, hahahaa. She's having a day off tomorrow though cause I've got xmas shopping to do, I'm sure she'll be even more of a laugh on Thursday after that.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Mud, mud, mud!

The weather was horrid today, and I wasn't up for standing and freezing in the school to lunge Bonnie in the icy, horizontal rain, so we went for a hack with Catherine instead. :)

She was, as I predicted, a loon. Everything was oh-so-terrifying, despite having a comforting Mayfly-bum to follow! I probably would've actually died if I'd tried to hack alone, she was just jumping at everything. She's always like this when she hasn't been out for a while, it's like she forgets the world and everything in it isn't going to eat her just because she hasn't left the yard or her field for a week or so.

We had a particularly spectacular spook when we were just walking along this track. With no warning at all, Bonnie just upped, span road and started galloping for home. Luckily I've got pretty good at sitting all her silly moments, so I didn't end up in the mud, which was a plus!

When we actually got to cantering, she was verrrrry keen to get going. She needed a lot of convincing to stay behind Mayfly rather than just buggering off and starting a race with her. She also doesn't seem to be experiencing too much stiffness through her back, as she seemed to have the freedom to do many huge bucks! She was better on the last canter we had, just had a little one when she saw Mayfly zoom off away from her, but as the field was sooooo muddy and she was determined to keep as close to Mayfly's bum as possible, we got some severe mud spatter!

So yeah, wasn't the most relaxing hack ever, and I had lost of cleaning to do when we got back... but hopefully now she's got that out of her system she will be less of a loon to lunge?! I can hope. :)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Bad pony, good pony. :)

Bonnie was a naughty girly on Tuesday.

The silly mare managed to snap her headcollar trying to bugger off when I was Hibiscrubbing her leggies, so I did some nifty temporary bailer twine fixing as I knew I wouldn't get a chance to get a new one for a few days or so. But then when Catherine went to turn her out in the morning the next day it broke. And Bonnie being the lovely horse that she is, she thought it would be lovely of her to go running up the gallop truck up right up to where the xc jumps are going to be. Catherine was understandably not too happy! :)

She was a right pain to lunge on Tuesday as well, she decided she was going to completely ignore my woooahhhs again and just keep doing her own thing. Bloody horse. :)

But she was better tonight though. I got there a bit earlier than usual as I managed to nab a lift instead of walking, yay! (It was nice arriving while it was still light!) So yeah, got down to lunging business. I retried the strategy of just letting her get the loonie out of her system before asking her to do anything, and I think it helped. After cantering about for a bit and having a few bucks she was very hot but seemed more willing to listen. She's still pretty crap at just walking on the lunge, for some reason she has it in her brain that she can't possibly walk for more than 3 strides on the lunge without jogging. So frustrating! But ah well, will just have to keep working with her.

I got stuck at the yard this evening for a bit as there was an accident on the road which meant it got shut. So I ended up doing chemistry homework and giving Bonnie a proper groom to kill some time. I scratched her itchy spot above her stifle with a rubber curry comb and she thought she would return the favour and groom my back. Bless her. :)

Monday, 8 December 2008

Lungey time. :)

Bonnie's already getting better at this lunging business.

When I lunged her yesterday, she was a complete and utter idiot about the whole thing. She would NOT stop for anything or anyone. I woooooahhhhed for ages and she was still just cantering around like a loony. Eventually I got fed up and just 'shook' the line to get her attention. That was of course her cue to rear up, spin round, and canter off in the other direction. :/

But apparantly she'd got all that out of her system and was much better behaved today. I actually managed to concentrate on doing the exercises with her rather than just making her stop. :P We've got to basically concentrate on her relaxing and bending, because it's when she bends properly she's using her back muscles properly. She's got the back half of a Pessoa on just to remind her to use her back legs to power herself forward rather than 'towing' with her front legs. We do spirally circles, getting bigger and smaller, and practice transitions between walk and trot. It's all such fun!

I sense this is gonna be a looooong 4 weeks.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Poor pony.

Bonnie had her assessment with the physio today.

First I just walked and trotted her up and down the drive so she could get a proper look at her, then she walked and trotted her for me so that I could see the things she was talking about. :) Basically, Bonnie does not 'swing' through her paces like she should, because she is constantly tense through her back and neck. When you look at her walking from the back, you can't see her hips moving as she strides forwards like you should be able to.

After that, she gave her a massage in order to indentify particular areas of tension. She's pretty much stiff all over, but particularly in her poll and neck. Her intercostal and chest muscles are much more built up than they should be. And she's pretty much unable to lift her back muscles, when she did manage to, she was obviously in quite a lot of discomfort.

All in all, she's been one sore little pony! :( Just shows what a lovely, honest horse she really is, the fact that she has been doing her best for me regardless of all these problems. I'm just glad they've finally been identified.

Emma's given me some exercises to do with her on the lunge. I've got to try to stick to lunging as often as I can, as it's much easier for me to correct her way of going from the ground than in the saddle at the moment. She briefly showed me some of the things I've got to be doing with her, and even in the space of 10 minutes you could see the difference, she looked so relaxed!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008



It's all much of a muchness with the Bonzo these days.

Yesterday I schooled her for a bit, then Hibiscrubbed and Sudacremed the leggies. Doesn't get much more exciting than that!

Today I had a free last period so I left the old school house at about 3 and got to the yardy a bit earlier than usual. It was still light, shock horror! I couldn't be bothered to ride her (lazy meeee) so chased her round the school for a bit instead. She got a bit into it bless her, we had all manner of leaps and weird spazzy legs things. In the end I wasn't having to encourage her to keep going at all, she was just merrily cantering round, changing direction occasionally. Then she got fed up and came trotting in to see me and get some scratches and love. :) She makes such funny faces when I itch her, strange horsie.

No new scabs seemed to have developed on the mud fever front, so I just whacked on some more of the anti-bacterial cream stuff I got from the vet instead. I'm running out, may need to go stock up!

Poor beast is probably going to be neglected by me the rest of the week, I definitely can't go visit her tomorrow or Friday (unless I skive and go during the day, haha) and probably not on Thursday either. Ah well, I'm spending my hard earned money on physio for her on Saturday, and she's got me all to herself on Sunday as I'm not working lunch at the pub this week. I'm sure she'll cope. :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Busy busy busy.

Ach, I have not stopped all weekend I swear. This has actually been the first chance I've had to do any bloggage.

But anywho! Marey-moo had had a couple of days off, so when I hacked her yesterday she was a bit of a loon. I had no brakes whatsoever! She also got scared of the new horse style thingie that got put it. It took me a while to convince her that a few pieces of wood were not going to eat her. :)

I didn't think I was going to get a chance to ride her today as I had to leave the yard by 10.30 to get to my pub job, but I finished the mucking out and poo picking earlier than I expected so I took her in the arena for a bit. I think she was trying to make up for being such a silly girl yesterday, because she was so nice to ride! I didn't even have to make an effort to keep her off her forehand, there was not even a hint of leaning or overbending or anything silly.

The mud fever situation is still under control. She had a couple of scabs on her 'worse' leg, but I whacked on some more cream pretty sharpish so I'm hoping it's not going to take a hold again as bad as it did.

Happy timessss.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Lalaa. :)

Bonnie doesn't know what's hit her, I've managed to visit her every day this week so far. :)

Spent quite a lot time with her yesterday, as I managed to get to the yard a little earlier than usual. Silly mare had managed to wiggle out of her turnout during the day, she'd had quite a few layers on as it was cold and the rug she'd had on top had come up and slipped off her head somehow, with all the straps still done up?! Wish someone had witnessed how the hell she did it!

Took her for a little walk and trot around the paddocks to warm up, then took her in the arena for a bit, again concentrating on keeping her off her forehand. Did some canter poles too, silly beast tried to jump them to begin with! Also did some practice at not rushing in leg yield, she always gets lazy and just runs through her shoulder rather than actually stepping under. But we managed to do some nice ones, so I finished on that good note. :)

Then today, she had to be in all day (not that she cared, she ate through lots of haylage!) because hard standing was getting put down at the entrance to the field she goes in, so I went to go give her a quick leg stretch. Turned her out in the arena while I mucked her out, then chased her round the school a bit. Was some good exercise for us both! :P

Upon careful inspection, I discovered a new scab on her heel tonight though. I was very quick to whack out the HibiScrub, hopefully I can get back on top of it before the mud fever gets bad again.

But! I managed to get her booked in for an assessment in physio, which is gooooooood!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

I'm fed up of it being cold. Really I am. My lovely walk to the yard warmed me up quite nicely though. But I nearly got run over though, walking along on phone msn, haha.

But anyway, Bonnie! She is a funny creature, who never ceases to amuse me. She's such a clever little marey, as soon as I came in the barn she was all keen to come out of her stable. So I opened her door and she just came out, swivelled herself round and positioned herself next to her headcollar for me to tie her up. Bless.

Rode her in the arena for a bit this evening, was really concentrating on riding her forwards and up, even more so than usual, now I know that her being on her forehand is not only annoying for me but affecting her physically too. She was actually very good. I was doing lots of transitions within paces to try and get her stepping through more, particularly when I did this in trot I could really feel her starting her use herself more. Annabel had set up some trot poles for her and Mayfly, so I did those too. I love how she goes over trotting poles, her legs seem to stay in the air for ages. :)

So after that, took her back into the barn to demuddify/sudacrem the legs and give her some treats and love! She was not happy I made her do some stretches for her treats tonight though, but I gave her a scratch in her itchy spot to make up for it. She is the only horse I know who prefers being itched just above her stifle to on her withers or neck or something.

Yeah, so was a pretty happy little trip to see ma horsie. I tried to get hold of the physio today but didn't manage too, will try again tomorrow. I just want to get this all sorted out!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Things are looking up?

Wow, this is actually the first chance I've had to write anything this weekend. Been a busy bunny with work and stuff. :)

But yeah, I can tentatively say things are actually improving with Bonnie rather than carrying on getting worse as they seem to have been! The mud fever is now becoming less of an issue, there's no more scabs and the skin isn't red and sore looking any more. I'll carry one with the cream I got from the vet until it runs out though, just to be on the safe side. But fingers crossed, no more fat leg!

Seeing as her leg was no longer swollen, I went for a hack yesterday with Catherine and Ben. She was a bit spooky (nearly had me off at one point) but didn't seem to be in any discomfort at all, she seemed pretty cheery really, trotting along with her ears pricked. :) She went out in the field for an hour or so after we got back with Mayfly and her new little friendy Penny, but was very keen to come in when she saw me and came galloping towards the gate. She doesn't seem to have missed being out in the field so much this week!

Today was all horrible and cold and rainy so she didn't go out in the field, but I did stick her in the arena for a bit of a leg stretch. She was mental! Apparantly she was feeling a bit full of herself, and went leaping about, rearing and bucking and galloping and generally looking like she was enjoying herself. She also really surprised me by passaging along one of the short sides, I never knew she had the ability! I wish I'd had my camera.

After that I went with Annabel and Catherine on Mayfly and Ben for a bit of a hack. It was a bit cold and rainy, but it's nice to be able to get out of the arena. I have to make the most of it, it's so dark in the evenings after school all I can really ever do is school her.

Tomorrow I'm going to phone and try and sort out the physio coming to do a proper assessment of these muscular problems. At the minute I'm just so unsure of what I should be doing with her, she needs exercising obviously but I don't want to push her and aggravate anything. The sooner I know whats definitely up with her the better! :)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Ho hum.

Well, where to begin.

The physio came to see Catherine's horses yesterday, and while she was there she had a look over Bonnie. Turns out she's suffering from some physical problems which I had never been aware of, for example in the base of her neck and pelvis. I feel so bad, she's probably had these issues for ages and has been struggling on, jumping and schooling for me regardless.

So basically, I'm going to be looking into sorting out these problems through the physio. But I'm going to need to see whether I can get a proportion of the cost covered by her insurance, as I really can't afford the £30 odd a month it's going to cost me otherwise. Oh, horses. :(

Went to go and see the lovely marey tonight though. She'd been out in the field so I had to spent a while cleaning up her leggies, then I took her for a bareback walk/short trot around the paddocks. She was a bit lively bless her, she tried to canter off one of the short trots I had so she can't be feeling too bad. :)

So yeah. That is that.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Same old same old. :)

Oh, the routine is so exciting with Bonzo these days.

Sorted out the leggies, gave her a walkie and a graze in hand, then showered her with love and polos. :)

But, on the plus side, her leg does seem better today. I'm going to go and buy some Vaseline or its generic equivalent to smother her leggies in for turnout so hopefully she'll be able to go out in the field again soon. Will save me having to walk her about, I'd forgotten how boring it was. I've gotten pretty pro at walking her and playing Quadrapop on my phone at the same time though. Because I am so talented. Hah.

Monday, 17 November 2008


The leg is less fat than it was yesterday, but still huuuuuge.

Lucky mare got me visiting her twice today though! She seemed a little confused to see me reappear.

Went to go see her at like 10 this morning. Cold hosed her fat leg, did some Hibiscrubbing, took her on a walkie up the drive for half an hour or so, then chucked her in the arena for a mooch while I did some painting. Then I actually went and got a bit of education (hah!) before popping to the vets after school, then going to see her again for another walkie and some lovage. :)

They prescribed some new and exciting antibacterial-y creamy stuff at the vet and gave me some advice about treatment. They recommended I give it a week for the swelling to go down, if it doesn't then it will be call-out time. Also, they said I should try to 'walk off' the fluid building up in her leg rather than cold-hosing, just to keep her legs drier. So that means lots more walking for me, haha. I should've got a dog instead!

Sunday, 16 November 2008


Poor Bonzo has a huuuuuge leg.

She seemed a bit iffy when I lunged her yesterday, but I checked her legs and they didn't seem to be swollen or heated. But today, her near fore was HUGE. Like, all of it. Her whole leg.

So that killed our lesson plans for today. Poor mare was unhappy about not being allowed in the field. I took her on a couple of walks and she tried to run off, haha. And she wasn't happy about walking past the gate, did a little mini rear to show her disapproval.

I turned her out in the school for a little bit to let her have a roll whilst I sorted out some things in the yard. Beastie really is good at keeping me on my toes! For a start, all of her stable rugs are disgusting because she seems to love lying in her own poo, so I did a bit of cleaning. Then, silly mare managed to tip over her water bucket and soak all her nice clean, mucked-out bed! Ah well.

Well, what can I say. I'll go see tomorrow and hopefully her leg will have improved a lot. If not, might be time to give the old vet a call.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Operation Mud Fever!

Today I got serious with the mud fever situation, and went and bought Hibiscrub and Sudacrem to begin the war on the bacteria. :)

Poor beastie was not very happy about me touching her sore leggies, but she was very brave and let me get most of the scabs off. She gots lots of treats and a nice groom for being such a good patient.

Then we went for a nice little bareback walk/trot around the track. There was a very scary tractor but she went past it without much fuss. Bless me pony. :)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


The school wasn't as flooded today, so I was slightly happier. :)

Bonnie was a bit of a pain though, for some reason she kept trying to do flying changes all the time in canter which got me a bit frustrated. Ah well, she's getting better at halting and not getting angry about it!

Her mud fever is looking really sore though. I feel so sorry for her. :(

Monday, 10 November 2008

Rain rain go away...

I hate riding in the dark. I hate riding in the rain. So today was not the most happyfying schooling session ever for me. :)

Bonnie seemed pretty mellow about it all though. She wasn't particularly keen about the puddles in the arena, but she was quite obliging when it came to being vaguely well behaved for me!

Love my pony. :)

Sunday, 9 November 2008


I think I might need better brakes.

Jumped Bonnie today, seeing as I hadn't done that in a while. We did some interesting things, did the 'arms' and then through the middle of a helicopter jump, and a corner, and a skinny. She was off! As soon as I turned her up to any jump, she would just run at it. Then if I tried to take a slower approach, she started doing that annoying thing where she kind of twists herself sideways.

I think it may be time to whack out the martingale and dutch gag for jumping again. :/

Also, this whole bucking when I use my leg any stronger than a little tap business has to stop. She was being a bit lazy with her walk to canter transition so I just gave her a bigger nudge with my heels, and she did this huuuuuge buck then buggered off to the other end of the school (we were doing transitions on a circle). Silly horse. :)

Saturday, 8 November 2008


Hmm, I forgot to post anything on Thursday. Obviously I've been so engrossed in homework or something, cough cough. :)

She was so lovely to school that evening, all lovely and round, not leaning, carrying herself yadda yadda. And she did an awesome medium trot, and she actually did a square halt on the centre line! :O

And then today, she was craaaaazy.

I usually let her trot round on a loose rein when I first warm up, just 'cause I find she's more willing to soften after she's had a stretch. So I did, and then she just took off in one corner. Once I stopped her, I shortened my reins up, then when we got to the same corner again she just started leaping randomly on the spot?! Words actually fail me sometimes to describe her. :)

So all in all, I left the arena not feeling quite as cheery with my pony as I did on Thursday night. :) I managed to get her to behave fairly sanely in the end, but it took her about 15mins just to chill out!

I might hack her tomorrow, maybe if I can let her let off some steam she will behave nicely next time I school. :)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

It's dark. :(

Had to use the lights in the arena for the first time since moving Bonzo. How depressing. I really hate riding in the dark. I don't know why, it just doesn't make me a happy Phoebe.

Bonnie was apparantly a happy Bonnie though, she seemed very full of herself today. Apparantly everything had to be done at speed: she couldn't walk, she had to jog; pretty much all trot had to be medium, and canter was an excuse to loon off around the arena and try to change legs a lot. She is a funny one. :)

Her mud fever seems to be getting worse though, on her near fore in particular its starting to look really sore and the area's a bit heated. Ah well, I suppose I will just have to keep diligently cleaning, drying and Sudacream-ing.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


Yeah, Sarah came to clip Bonzo for me today. :)

She was a very brave girlie, but still didn't let us get particularly near to her head, despite the ACP! Ah well.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Hacking... and clear rounding. :)

Didn't get a chance to do any bloggage yesterday as I was busy 'celebrating' Halloween. Hehe. :P

Anywho, we went for a jolly hack yesterday. Annabel and her friend took Delami and Mayfly, and it was all pretty amusing. The mud was horrendous though, poor Dels sank in half way up to his knees! There were some minor traumas, some oh-so-scary wheelbarrows and logs and flappy tape yadda yadda. But we all got home in one piece, which was a plus! :D

So, today. Catherine and I went to a little clear round thing at Fenning Farm with Ben and Bonzo. It was a good fun little outing! The jumps were only 2ft3-6ish max but it was nice to take Bonnie somewhere different and to do a course, as we don't get to do that at 'home' anymore like we did at Hadham Mill. Silly horse failed to pick up her feet when we did the 65cm clear round and knocked a few, I think she was trying to tell me they weren't big enough for her! Then we did the 75cm a couple of times and she livened up somewhat and flew round them all. I was very proud of her for going over the scary fillers, she had a bit of a wiggle and a look at some white and green ones but she never really seemed like she was going to stop. So we got two nice little clear round rosettes to add to our collection. :D

So all in all, a productive outing I would say. More milage for the Bonzo in a new and 'scary' place. :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Snow day!

We had snow last night! :) Only problem was that my dad's car's doors were frozen shut this morning, so we had to wait for them to thaw out a bit before he could take me to go and see my lovely beastie.

Leggies were filled as per usual, but they looked a bit more even than yesterday, rather than her near hind being bigger. I'm getting a bit obsessed with checking her legs now. :/ However, I did notice the windgall on one of her forelegs seems bigger than I remember... and one of her forelegs did seem slightly heated... or maybe I'm just making these things seem worse than they actually are. I probably am, as soon as I get the idea that anything might be wrong with my lovely pony I do tend to go a bit overboard. I do worry about her crazily, I'm like a mother or something. She is ma baby! :)

But, I've decided that for now I'm not going to get the vet out. She's not seeming in any major discomfort for starters, and also, as her 'lameness' seems to have no obvious external cause, I can predict that all a vet is going to suggest is getting some scans done. Which all seems like a bit too much effort. Because I'd have to sort out transporting her, talking to insurance company yadda yadda. Plus there'd likely be an excess which I really can't afford to pay at the moment. Sigh.

Anywho, today! The arena was frozen and I couldn't be bothered to take her on a proper hack (gates... barking dogs... mud to hose off when we get back... all too much effort! :P) so I just took her for a little mosey up the drive and along the track that runs round the paddocks, and through the wood-y bit that leads out to the bridleway. Bonnie was a bit hyperactive, as soon as she hits grass these days she thinks its galloping time, regardless of snow or mud! She was powerwalking everywhere, and when I let her have a wee trot she tried to canter off. There was a section of the track that was clear of snow so I did let her have a little canter, but she got very irritated when I made her stop, hehe. All my practice on her downward transitions seems to go out the window as soon as we leave the arena, a bit bad really! :P But at least she's happy. If she's feeling sore in any way she's not showing it! :)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

All ok? Touch wood?

Well, I gave Bonnie yesterday off after her little soundness blip. I went to go see her bright and early this morning, and her back legs were quite filled (the near hind more than the off hind). I took her in the arena and walked her around for quite a long time to start off, and that seemed to take her legs down. She didn't seem to be in any discomfort at all once we started trotting either, in fact she seemed quite jolly and spritely! So I just schooled her as normal, and she was actually very good, if a little bit too forward going. There was a crosspole set up in the arena too, so I popped her over it a couple of times in trot, then a couple of times in canter. She got very excited bless her, she really does seem to be loving her jumping at the mo, and I hadn't done any with her in a while.

Also her smidgeon of mud fever seems to be fine, I caught it early enough that it's not really gotten to anything worse than a couple of tender patches of skin on her heel. And I'm hopefully getting her clipped on Sunday, and she's got a shiny new heavyweight combo stable rug on the way to stop her getting chilly once she does. So all's looking good in the world of Bonnie... let's hope I haven't jinxed it! :)

Sunday, 26 October 2008


I don't think Bonnie is quite right, soundness wise.

I lunged her this morning, and she kind of stumbled, then looked lame for a couple of strides, then seemed ok. But I still worry. :/

I hope she is ok.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

More hacking... and scabby Bonnie! :(

Took the Bonnie for another hack today, seeing as I couldn't be bothered to school. :P

I think she enjoyed herself, she had a proper loony moment the first canter we had. She started off quite slow, then stuck her head down and had a mini-buck fest before zooming off, eheh. I think she was hyper-ified by the wind, it was actually proper windy. My eyes were streaming when I finally managed to get her to stop.

Oh, and she was traumatised by a wheelbarrow by the side of the road walking home. She had to scuttle past at top speed, dragging me through the hedge in her effort to be as far away from the scary metal thing as possible. Mares. :)

When we got back, I noticed she seems to be developing a wee bit of mud fever on one of her forefeet when I was hosing the mud off her legs. I feel a bit bad, I probably would've noticed it sooner if I wasn't so lazy and left her overreach boots on all the time. :/ Ah well, I suppose no harm done, I gave the scabby bits a proper clean and put lots of Sudacream on it.

I'm toying with the idea of longreining her tomorrow for a laugh. If not I might do another random dressage test, we shall seeee!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Dressage test practice. :)

Took Bonnie in the school today, and did a dressage test just to give our schooling a bit more structure.

I think we did Novice 24? I think she did it quite nicely really, our centre line was a bit wiggly but everything else was pretty good. She did some pretty good extended trot strides too.

So basically, we just need to work on our straightness down the centre line, and our immobility in halt. Bonnie seems to find it all a bit dull halting on the centre line and wants to get going again, bless her. :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Crazy hack.

Annabel's friend didn't come in the end, but we took Mayfly and Bonzo out for a hack anyway.

Both of them were pretty mental, neither of us had very good brakes! We did a hack which usually takes nearly an hour, but we were back in about half an hour. Bonnie was enjoying herself though, had a few excited bucks just to add to the fun. She really is loving life at the moment. Shame she is so fat. :P

I'm going to try to go ride her tomorrow, weather permitting. I've been walking to the yard this week to save bus fare, but I'm not doing it in the rain! I'm sure Bonzo won't mind if I don't though, more time to stuff herself with haylage and add to that lardy belly of hers!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


I managed to school Bonzo for like a whole half hour today. Pretty amazing for us as we both have such short attention spans when it comes to proper work, hehe.

She was a bit lazy to start with, then she seemed to liven up and we had a few bucks. She does make me laugh.

Mostly just concentrated on transitions again tonight to get her stepping through with her hindlegs better. She is getting better at not being so on her forehand, but she was still a bit leany at times. We did a couple of ok-ish medium trots, not as good as they can be but passable! :)

Did a bit of flying change practice too. I'm working on getting her to change leg from me clicking my tongue, she's nearly got it but she still sometimes gets disunited. She's turning into quite the voice commanded pony really, shhh! means go, woah is half-halt noise, humming is downward transition and brrrrr is a direct downward transition, like trot to halt. I never seem to shut up when I ride too, I'm always blabbing at her about something. The things the poor mare has to put up with! :D

Hacking with Annabel and her friend on Dels and Mayfly, should be laugh! Fingers crossed Dels and Bonnie aren't too spazzy, and Mayfly doesn't try to tank off, hehe.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

More jumping.

Annabel was very kind and built jumps/video-d for me today. :)

We did a little grid, a cross pole, one stride to a little upright, one stride to an oxer. And we also did a wider oxer on it's own. She was a very good girly, jumped everything without much fuss, although she wasn't too keen on the planks.

What a clever horse I have. :D

I'll probably give her this week off jumping seeing as there's not really much more I can achieve with her at home, hehe. We're going to a clear round thing on the 1st of November so we'll probably just be concentrating on flatwork/looning around out hacking until a few days before that. Should be a good outing for her, having to jump a course in a strange place, but without the pressure of being in competition.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Mental horse!

OK, I had no brakes today. At all!

Took Bonzo round the two hour hack, but ended up back in an hour and a half! She was feeling somewhat full of herself today, and decided that everything had to be done at speed. When I tried to make her walk, she would jog, even through all the muddy wet bits! When we were trotting, she would do a super extended trot and try to break into canter. When we got to the first canter, I thought twice about actually letting her because of how nutty she had been. But then I figured she might tire herself out if I let her go a bit, so off we went.

Well, I had absolutely no control. Bonnie was off and there was nothing I could do about it! I probably ahould've been scared, but I just found it quite funny really. She kept bucking and making funny noises and changing legs randomly. I'm just glad there was no-one walking along the track, we probably would've actually run them over.

But then I started to think, hmm, how the hell am I going to stop her. I was just bracing myself for a tug of war when a massive herd of deer start crossing the track in front of us. Bonnie stopped DEAD, her head shot up and she had a snort fest. Pretty handy. :)

So yeah, was an interesting hack. I definitely needed the gag today, but ah well!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Speedy exercise. :)

Was running late today (bloody bus was nearly half an hour late!) so didn't have time to do much with Beastie.

I think I set myself a new record for how quick I can be at the yard. I had Bonnie brushed, feet picked out, lunged, rugged, skipped out, hay topped up and had given her an apple and a kiss in 17 minutes. :D

She's getting a day off tomorrow as I am badass and have a detention after school, eheheh. Unless I can be bothered to walk there after that, which I doubt. I'm a bad person. :P

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

More schooling!

I was going to hack today but I couldn't be bothered as it looked like it was going to rain! So I just did a quick bit of schooling with beastie again.

She was a bit silly and spooky today. She got very traumatised by the ducks (which she has seen a million time), by an evil white jump block that was in the bushes next to the arena (shock horror!) and Annabel riding Mayfly on the other side of the trees. We were just merrily walking on a long rein when I was warming her up when suddenly she leapt in the air and buggered off up the other end of the arena. My bad for thinking she might have got used to her 'new' surroundings by now! :P

But other than that, she was actually very good tonight. Her flatwork has improved immensely since I moved her from Hadham Mill. I think she is benefitting from just having me riding her now, rather than lots of random people all the time. She's become a lot more sensitive to subtle aids now, for example, I can practically stop her dead from a canter just by lifting my hands slightly and bracing my back. I swear she knows what I'm thinking half the time too. Tonight, I asked her to halt, and she automatically rein backed. So I thought hah, I'll do something else. I asked her to halt again, and the bloody mare sensed I was about to ask her to turn on the forehand and span round before I'd even had the chance to ask. She really is too clever!

If the weather's OK I think I'll hack her tomorrow, let her have a nice gallop after all that proper work today!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Easy Sunday. :)

Gave Bonzo a quick 15-20 minute schooling session in the arena today, seeing as she's done quite a lot this week (exercised 5 days in a row?! What's wrong with the world?! :P). Nothing particularly interesting or taxing for her, just a stretch of the legs really... although I have come to the conclusion that she feels more comfortable in her mouth without a flash. I left it off by accident yesterday and forgot to put it back on today, but I dunno, she just feels a bit better somehow!

ALSO I caught Bonnie and Mayfly grooming each other in the field! Hahaa, they can't deny that they have become sort of friends any longer. I have video evidence!

Saturday, 11 October 2008


I wasn't too lazy to set up jumps. :P Set up 3 jumps in the arena, two along each long side and one at an angle in the middle and started them all off at about 80/90cm ish.

She was reeeeeally keen to get jumping. I rode her in a snaffle today but it really does nothing to stop her when she's determined! I almost felt like I needed a martingale at times too. Ah well.

Then I whacked them up somewhat. I put one of the uprights at 1m10 and one at 1m20. I popped her each of them once each, and she flew over with ease. Such a clever girl!

I got some ok video footage so I'll probably put them up on youtube when I can be bothered! :)

Friday, 10 October 2008

Yep. :)

Just gave Beast a quick lunge today as I was too lazy to ride, ehehe.

Silly mare does not seem to understand that she is allowed to walk whilst on the lunge. No amount of woooooahhhhhhing will make her walk, unless I have her on a really tiny circle, and even then she tries to jog. She does make me laugh.

I'm thinking I'll do some jumping with her tomorrow. Or I'll hack again if I'm too lazy to put up jumps. :D

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Yep, took Beastie for a hack today. She was seeming pretty forward going again! :)

But she was very clever and actually stood to let me open the gate today. Usually she does this really annoying thing when she lets me stand her next to it, then as soon as I lean forward to unhook it, she runs backwards as fast as she can. But today she was very good.

She was seeming a bit silly and spooky today though. We were just merrily walking along this little track when suddenly some strange, terrible, invisible thing appear and sent her cantering for home. Strange mare!

It does make me laugh the way she knows exactly where we canter, where we stop, where we trot etc etc the whole way round the hour hack now. Kind of annoying when she was jogging in anticipation of cantering, but at least I know she'll stop at the end. Well, hopefully!

She actually managed to work herself up into quite a sweat today. Might be time to start thinking about getting her clipped. But she's still shedding her summer coat and not very fluffy yet, so I think I'll leave it a bit longer. I swear Mayfly is still hairier than her and she's already been clipped!

Hmm, but then comes the decision as to how to clip her. Last year she had a hunter clip, but seeing as she is doing much less work now I'm not sure whether she really needs that much hair off. Also she did drop off quite a bit of weight last winter (despite the huge amount of rugs!), so I'm reluctant to naked-ify her too much! Although having said that, she is probably the fattest shes been since I've had her at the moment. I don't think she's in too much danger! :D

Perhaps a blanket then. Or a high trace. Oh I dunno. :)

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Hyper beast!

Well, Bonzo seemed to enjoy her couple of days off! She was pretty fresh when I rode her today.

I rode her in the field today for a bit of variety, but I could really have done with a smaller arena to slow her down, she was getting a bit forward going with all the open space! But I let her have a little gallop to let off some steam and she settled down a little.

Did some practice with our direct transitions today. She is now officially awesome at halt to canter, but we struggle with the downward transitions a bit. When she's still not quite settled, she tends to resist quite a lot. But then she gets clever and starts anticipating the downward transition to halt from canter when she feels my seat change, and kind of falls down into the halt rather than 'bouncing' into it. But she did two really good ones, then I left it on that good note.

Did a little bit of half pirouette practice too. Again, my beast really is too clever and anticipates what I'm doing and rushes a bit through them. It's so annoying having to trick her into thinking we are doing something different! :P

I pulled her mane today as well, which she wasn't too jolly about! She made some angry noises which made me laugh. But it was beginning to get a bit long and thick really, and she suits a shorter mane I think. Can't have my Bonnie not looking her best!

Will probably go ride again tomorrow (as long as I can afford the bus, eheh), I really need to stop being so lazy with her. She is getting even lardier on the new ryegrass haylage. So much for being a poor doer eh? :)

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Ware XC

Well, today was good, but very very wet! :) Got to the Ware showground about 9.45, and it pretty much rained continuously the 3 hours we were there.

But! We did well! In the pairs (which Bonzo and I did with Annabel and Mayfly) we were one of only 3 clear rounds (out of like 7 pairs, but SHH! :D), and came joint 2nd. We were about 30 seconds faster than the optimum time though, we were having some issues with brakes!

Then we had the individuals. Both Annabel and I went clear, but we were both much faster than the optimum time again. I came 6th, and got a lovely pink rosette, and Annabel came 7th because she was about 0.4 of a second faster than me. :)

All in all, I was very proud of my beastie! She only backed off one of the fences (it was uber scary, it had a HOLE in the middle of it!), and even then it was nothing major. Looking back at the video you can just see her wiggling a bit on the approach. Doing these small heights a couple of times has definitely boosted her confidence, she's actually starting to take me to the fences instead of relying on me for back up all the time. Having good old Mayfly to follow in the pairs has been beneficial too.

So that is that! I'll be giving Bonnie tomorrow off to recover, then it's time to start practicing for Le Trec on the 26th!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Schooly schooly.

Did a quick bit of schooling with Bonnie today as I didn't have much time to ride her.

Rode in the dutch gag again, it's seeming a lot easier to keep her off her forehand, but I think it might be a bit 'sharp' for her, my brakes are a bit too good. :) So I'm thinking maybe a happy mouth gag might suit her better.

Just did the usual with her really, lots of transitions, rein back and leg yielding. There were some jumps set up in the arena too which were quite handy as things to bend around, though she kept thinking she was actually jumping them and speeding up as she approached them! She started out a bit leany, but towards the end she was feeling like she was actually using herself rather than running on her forehand with her nose stuck out. She did a pretty good medium trot too, really surprised me! :)

She's getting another day off tomorrow as I'm at my cousin's wedding, then I'll probably either give her another day off or a quick lunge on Saturday, to keep her fresh for xc on Sunday. Yay! :D

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Silly beast. :)

Gave Bonzo a day off yesterday after her hard weekend, then thought I would do a little bit of sensible jumping today after all that charging about at xc! We had another go with the dutch gag instead of the snaffle today as well. It seems to help with her leaning on me, so we'll probably stick with it for a while.

So anywho, she was a bit skittish to begin with when we got in the arena because it was a bit windy, but she got over that pretty quickly. She did a badassly good canter-walk-canter transition too, so I was a happy Phoebe. :)

But our jumping was a bit interesting! I set up a bounce to an oxer, making the stride between a proper horse stride instead of a Bonnie stride. She didn't really seem to be thinking forward enough today to make the stride, so she did her lovely stop-and-duck to the side thing a few times and a HUGEEE leap from ages out one time, leaving me nicely left behind, eheh. She nearly had me off at one point, it was quite amusing really. All the humour will probably appear on my youtube in a couple of days!

So yeah, I figured I would get rid of the bounce at the beginning, and moved the oxer in a wee bit seeing as she was having difficulty making the stride. That solved the issue and she popped through the double nicely a couple of times. Just goes to show how evil I am for trying to push her out of her pony stride comfort zone. :)

Ah well, beastie won't have to put up with me tomorrow as I'm on a school trip to Cambridge. A day of classics lectures, what fun. But I'm sure she'll enjoy the extra time out in the field engorging herself!

Happy Bonnie doing what she does best! :)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Brent Pelham Hunter Trial... etc. :)

Yesterday (Saturday 27th) Annabel and I took the two podgy mares to the hunter trial at Brent Pelham. Bonnie hadn't done any competitive cross country in about a year (or... come to think of it, competed at all in ages!), so I was just taking her with the aim of having a laugh and getting around in one piece.

Mayfly Ginger and Annabel Shaw... and a bit of Bonnie.

We did a bit crud in the pairs, we accidentally missed a fence, Bonnie and I had a couple of runouts, and then we failed to do one of the dressing fences properly because marey had a moment at the photographer. :) But! My lovely little mare was awesome in the novice individuals! We went clear, managing to keep up a good pace throughout, and ended up placing 3rd. The only slight blip we had was when we had to go through a gateway which had *shock horror* a bale of straw leaning next to it. Bonnie thought that would serve as a good excuse to snort and spin for home, but luckily as it wasn't at a fence it didn't count as any penalties.

So I am a very proud Phoebe! It might only have been a tiny little hunter trial, but it's definitely a step in the right direction for the both of us. I just need to keep getting her out and about, to get her to realise that actually, the world isn't that scary a place.

Bonita Spring and Phoebe Kitscha

So after all her hard work yesterday, we just went for a nice, quiet little hack. Well at least, that was my intention. Bonnie had better ideas though, and decided to jump the river crossing from a standstill and take off at a gallop. :) So much for being tired! When we got back, I had a bit of time to kill before getting picked up so we did some trick practice, seeing as we haven't done that in a while. Bonnie was more than happy to waggle her forelegs at me for polos, and did a nice little bow. Bless my little marey.

And so it begins...

Welcome to Bonnie's blog. :)

I figured this would be a good way to keep everyone updated on how the marey-moo is doing, and also for me to look back over our progress. So I hope you enjoy!