Wednesday 27 November, 2013
Didn't have time to get out yesterday but managed four circuits of Sheepfold today. Smokey's halts and stands were much better - managing a count of 15 today - and he was happy to go right into the corner of the field between two posts. He did express his surprise at being asked to go round twice in each direction :-)
I was debating with myself today whether we go on the road next or set up some obstacles and I've decided on the latter. I hope that working through the obstacles will increase his confidence when we restart road work.
Monday 25 November, 2013
Very quick tonight - didn't manage out with Smokey on Friday and I was away Saturday and Sunday.
However, we managed to get out for two circuits this morning; two spooks (and a little one) but just jumped and stood still, which is progress.
The halts were better; standing for a count of 10 fairly reliably today.
The plan is same again tomorrow with longer halts; if the ground is a bit softer later in the week, I might put up a round pen and try a bit of lungeing. Or I might put outs some "scary things" like tarpaulin and cones to start building his confidence.
Thursday 21 November, 2013
Well, today we did two circuits of the track - one anticlockwise and one clockwise. When a Highland pony walks well, its tail should be reminiscent of the swing of a Highlander's kilt - and today, Smokey was striding out. He had a wee wobble when I asked him to go away from the gate the second time but soon got back into his stride. I was watching his head carriage, ears and tail and he seemed more relaxed today.
We did two "stop and stand" on each circuit - each for 10 seconds. He found this hard and did a bit of reversing, but we'll keep working on it.
Wednesday 20 November, 2013
Smokey (or Munro of Millfield, to give him his posh name) is my Highland gelding. I’ve owned him for 10 years – we were happy hackers, then my chum, Claire, and I broke him to drive. Then we had an accident and since then he’s pretty much been a pet / grass cutter / manure maker. I’ve always wanted to work him round the holding and we’ve had a few false starts but I thought if I kept a blog of our doings, we (I) would benefit from the support of our on-line friends and that I’d be able to record our experiences and our progress.
Thursday 15 November, 2012
When we built the Paddock Paradise, we used two lines of electric wire to form the outside track. This worked fine keeping the ponies on the track but because we run sheep in the field, I felt that the bottom wire was taking a bit of a hammering as they pushed under it.
A couple of weeks ago, we took the top line off and moved the bottom line up to the mid-point between the two original lines. Now, I was pretty sure that it was too low for Bugsy to go under and too high for Smokey and Sheba to go over. Well, I was half right. The big ponies were fine, but Bugsy let himself onto the grass at will.
Friday 6 January, 2012
Bugsy got a day off today, because Smokey did the hay delivery. In the absence of a klibber, I used his driving saddle and hooked the haynets over the rein terrets. It worked fine, except he's obviously lost weight and the girth was a wee bit slack, even in the tightest hole on both sides. It's webbing, so I'll make two new holes tomorrow.
He was very good - we had a bit of a trial run on Wednesday. He got his saddle on then I threw haynets round his legs and over his back, before hanging them on the saddle and moving him around a bit. He sometimes reaches back for a mouthful of hay - it's like a picnic.
Saturday 24 December, 2011
We're preparing an area for the pig enclosure. There are some rhododendrons that need to be removed, so we decided that Smokey was the boy to help. The idea was that he'd pull, using the scrub puller, and Dan would loosen the roots at the same time.
This was quite different to anything Smokey has done before - although he's pulled a log and a carriage, he's never pulled anything that didn't immediately follow him, and then that followed him in a rush. I was a wee bit anxious because a) it was new and b) I haven't really done much with him lately.
Sunday 18 December, 2011
Bugsy's had a few days off because the wood part of his klibber broke. One of the haybags caught on the gate and, although he was very good and stood still, the wood split.
However, John fixed it yesterday, so this morning, Bugsy was out with hay for the ponies and the ewes. Next week, we'll have the cattle to do as well. Over the holiday period, I'm planning to get him going a bit further afield - like the local shop
Sunday 4 December, 2011
Bugsy, our Shetland pony, started his new job yesterday - delivering hay. After a quick brush and pedicure, he got dressed in his klibber and carried two hay nets down to the hay boxes. He can't manage the knots, so I had to unload
Sunday 9 October, 2011
Smokey, Sheba and Bugsy got to try out the new barn enclosure for the first time today. Rebecca put up the tie rings (she's handy with a drill ) - gate and hay racks still outstanding - then they all came in for a bite of hay and a brush.