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