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Horse Agility

Thursday 21 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 4:58pm in Equines Comments closed

Smokey and I are off to try horse agility on Saturday. We had a trial trailer load this afternoon and he was very good. I'll give him a haynet in the trailer later.

I'm really looking forward to Saturday - should be fun.

Bugsy's new wardrobe

Monday 4 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 10:50am in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

I've just ordered a new bitless bridle for Bugsy - he isn't comfortable with a bit, even a very gentle one, so I thought I'd try this Dr Cook's bitless bridle.

I've also ordered a klibber, from www.journeyman-leather.co.uk. If it all comes pdq, and tides willing, we'll be off to the sea on Thursday collecting seaweed.

Smokey swivels and Bug goes to the beach

Saturday 18 June, 2011

by Rosemary at 12:07pm in Equines Comments closed

As part of Smokey's education as a working pony, he has to learn to turn without bending his body ie by crossing his front feet, one over the other, while keeping his hind feet swivelling on the spot.

Moving sideways is a manoever that we learned in the Parelli programme, so he knows how to do that - in fact, it's often what he does if he's not sure what you're asking him to do - "if in doubt, try sideways".

Last time we were out with Steve and we tried it, he was either moving forward or backwards. On Thursday, we went out on to the road to have a practice and he was foot perfect to both right and left, although he finds going right easier. I found that opening up the right rein, for example, and asking him to "over" was enough to get what I wanted. The going backwards previously was my fault - I was putting too much weight on the left rein, in this case, to stop him going forwards, thus causing him to back up. We've spent a lot of time on "back" :-) I was very pleased with his progress - now we have to try it in traces.

Working Smokey

Friday 10 June, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:17pm in Equines 2 comments Comments closed

Well, almost. Smokey and I had a session with Steve yesterday. We longreined him a bit, then put him to our homemade swingle tree and let him drag that around for a bit - over the paths as well so it was nice and noisy and bouncy. That went fine, so Steve attached a rope to the swingle tree and put a bit of drag on it so Smokey had to work a bit harder. At that point, the steering got a bit hit or miss, but Smokey was great.

Smokey in harness

Temper, temper

Wednesday 4 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:40pm in Equines 3 comments Comments closed

I was picking out Smokey's feet last evening; he wasn't being very co-operative because he thought Sheba was eating all the hay and it was the end of a trying day. Tess, our collie, was sneaking in and out of the paddock and running around Smokey's legs, which wasn't helping.

I told her several times to "get out"; the hundredth time she sneaked back in, I threw the hoofpick at her. Dan told me off and said I could have caught her in the eye - which I suppose is possible but a) she was skedaddling and b) I have a rotten aim, especially when in a strop.

Reins and traces

Monday 25 April, 2011

by Rosemary at 7:59pm in Equines Comments closed

I got the new rope reins and traces last weekend, so I've had Smokey out today in his broller. With 22ft reins, you feel a long way away from your horse but thye need to be long enough to let me get behind the harrow, since changing sides would be dangerous if I had to step over the traces or the harrow itself. I feel a bit like a fish on a bicycle with these long, long reins, but I'll just have to work away until I get used to them.

One of the good things about the rope reins is the weight - if I ask him to move off and he doesn't (which is unusual, to be fair), a flick along the length of the rope makes him pay attention.


Monday 18 April, 2011

by Rosemary at 12:51pm in Equines Comments closed

Well, we got a bit closer to having Smokey as a working pony yesterday. Steve came down and we got the harness sorted. The broller fits fine and we used his old roller plus the back straps and breeching from his webbing harness, to give us trace carriers. We don't really need a breeching for harrowing, since the harrow won't run up his bum.

I'm off to the local ships' chandlers to get rope traces and rope reins made, then we're ready to harness him up and see how he goes.


Monday 21 February, 2011

by Rosemary at 8:06pm in Equines Comments closed

I have finally finished poo picking in Sheepfold! Yipee!!

The ponies were in there during the snow, then it froze and all the poo froze - and there was a lot of it. My plan was to do two barrowloads a day until it was clear but it never worked out like that in practice. But finally, today, I removed the very last piles. I can't tell you how good it felt. I can't tell you what a saddo I am!

Now it's ready to harrow and have the electric fence sorted. And if I can persuade Dan to do something about the North fence, then I will.

Spooky pony

Wednesday 16 February, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:13pm in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

My Smokey is quite an unconfident pony. Over the winter, he's been a bit like a feral pony - he comes in to be fed and have his feet picked out but we haven't spent much time together. On Monday, I took Bugsy out for a walk and intended to take Smokey out yesterday but for several reasons, it was put off until today.

I brought him in this morning, gave him his bucket in the loose box and went for my breakfast. When I came out an hour later, I thought he was coming over the box door. Hmm, I thought, maybe we won't go out.

Horse dentist

Tuesday 21 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:21pm in Equines Comments closed

Smokey, Bugsy and Sheba had their annual dental checkup today. Horses teeth grow throughout their lives and often develop uneven wear and rough edges that can cause pain and abcesses. I've always had Smokey's done annually, so Sheba and Bugsy joined him today.

They were all very good, even Bugsy, who's not that keen on his mouth being handled. He bounced up on his hind legs a few times, but a bit of belly scratching and soothing words helped him cope. The dentist is going to come back in six months, just for Bugsy, so that he has more chance to get used to it and to understand that he's not being done in.

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