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. :)