Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nap time!

I looked out the window while making breakfast today and spied this...

Of course, I abandoned the french toast and took my camera outside! (Sean took over the fry pan).
Scarlett watched me walk up, but Indy was fast asleep with her head resting on the ground.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleaning & selling!

I wrapped myself in several warm layers after work this afternoon with all the good intentions in the world (I wanted to go for a short ride) but it started raining just as I was picking Scarlett's boots out of the float. So I collected up all the gear still hanging in there, which ALL needed cleaning (the float is too damp and cold for leather in winter).

A load of washing went on, too (saddle blankets & girths). There are a couple more in the float that I didn't bring in today... will do them tomorrow before I clean the horse hair out of the washing machine ;)

After all the leather tack was wiped down and conditioned, there was a huuuuuuuuge sprawling pile of tack on the lounge floor. So, it's sale list time again!

I have sold SO much stuff since I last made a list. Many of these items are on trademe, username eschey.

* Anti-gall girth, black, 70 cm, no elastic $25
* Mattes GP shaped girth, 110cm, cream fleece with sable (brown-y-beige) quilt, used only a handful of times so in "as new" condition $175
* Mattes shaped GP girth, 110cm, black/black, never taken out of packet. $185
* Mattes straight dressage girth, 70cm, black/black. 'Narrow' version (8cm wide rather than 10cm), used once but wrong size. $155
* Black Stubben 'Trevira' string girth (synthetic). Approx 157 cm long (that is not a typo, it is a LOOOOONG girth)  Hardly ever used (completed a few rides with a 17.3 and 3/4 TB...). $50
* Sparrow turnout girth (covered buckles) 75cm long, black . Excellent, near-new condition, hardly used. Buttery soft leather. $125

* Bates Caprilli GP 16.5" $500 neg, comes with irons.

* Albion Style (SL) dressage, 17", M $2500, unmounted, excellent condition
* Albion Legend jump saddle, MW, 17.5" seat. Black, suede knee rolls, moveable (velcro) knee blocks. Some minor scuffs and fading of colour. $3k neg, comes with Sparrow stirrup leathers.

Bridles, breastplate, halter, strapping
* Hack size Sparrow bridle, excellent condition. $200. Brass fittings, black leather. Lovely quality & condition, but Indy's RP saddle is brown so this is surplus. No reins.
* Black hack or possibly full size Peter Horobin "Horson" bridle, s/s fittings. Comfort poll headpiece. Lovely quality leather, well looked after, doesn't fit my current nags! Non-matching web reins incuded. No bit. $150
*5.5 inch double-jointed Baucher snaffle. Mouthpiece is similar metal to Sprenger's Aurigan, however it is not a Sprenger bit. "bean" centre joint. $50 incl post. * Hack size leather halter, dark brown, brass fittings. Good quality leather, well used, lots of life left though. Has a nameplate (easy to flip over and engrave on other side, or new ones are approx $20)... or you might like to leave the nameplate, it says " V I P " lol! $60
* Mid to dark brown Western split reins. Approx 225cm long. Nice leather. $40
* Kineton noseband, approx size cob, can measure if you are interested. Mid-brown leather (though if you wante another colour, you could get a saddler to attach new leather to the metal pieces). $50

*Sparrow dark brown (dark havana) cob size breastplate. Elastic 'Y' style.
Removable martingale rings. Brass fittings. Well used but lots of life left yet. Good quality, well-made. $100.
Various bits
@ assorted prices, please ask. Most bits are 5 inch, some 5.5.
plain s/s loose ring and eggbutt snaffles, sweet-iron & German silver loose rings, brass dutch gag, Korsteel curved bit, apple-mouth eggbutt, s/s french link, brass anti-rearing bit with leather head strap, several Sprenger bits incl 5" Aurigan Weymouth and 4 3/4" WH Ultra Soft.
Hoof boots
* Easyboots size 1 (older style without gaiters) $50
* Davis hoof boot, black, size 3, $20 (one only). Ideal poultice boot.
*BRAND NEW Full leather chaps, made by Matamata Saddlery. Never worn as don't fit me! Would fit slim adult or tall child (stamped 'S' for small, my best guess is approx size 8 to 10). Plain, full grain black leather with zips up the sides. Buckle front and back at waist. $100
* Lunge roller, with leather side reins. Leather. Good quality. On behalf, hack size. $90 ono.
* Lunge roller, fabric, approx cob to hack size (only marginally smaller than the leather one). $40.
* Couple-Mate trailer reversing guide to help hitch up trailers. Heavy but not bulky item so shouldn't be much to post. $100 ono.
* A pair of N.E.W. bell boots, brand new. Small, $30
* Large tack trunk. Painted black. Approx 1m long, and 60? cm high and wide. Hinged lid. Very heavy, needs two people to lift. It fit in the boot of my Surf (SUV) when I bought it, just!

I am sure there will be more lurking in the car, float, tack shed or my room...

Please note: all prices are plus post. Pickup from Hamilton is welcome. I may be able to arrange getting items to Auckland, Tauranga or Taupo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Connected plans

Dates for Peggy's December clinics have been set. This year, there is also some CR Practitioner training on offer. From an initial pool of 15 'interested' people, when push came to shove, only 4 sent in an application and a deposit so I am one of the 4 who will take part in CRP 101 in November... I am super excited.

I also paid deposits for both 4-day clinics. Like last year, Scarlett will go to one and Indy to the other.

For the first time EVER, both clinics are already full. All 18 spots were 'booked' by the end of June.

This does mean I need to get back on the ponies to get them fit & ready for clinics... My knee is healing well. I saw my physio yesterday so have a few things to work on. I am walking nearly normally (no real sign of a limp) and have been out on my bike a couple of times. Next step will be doing some groundwork with Scarlett, then if I feel up to it, riding. I will leave Indy until I am totally happy dealing with Scarlett.

Also confirmed is Peggy's appearance at Equidays. She will do a demo each day.
IBEM/Strasser Hoofcare NZ will also have a stand. I have said I can do some time on both stands. I would really like to watch all of Peggy's demos.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Shortly after my last post, I ended up taking Indy out twice in one weekend. She has come such a long way, which just goes to show time off can do them good.

Annika came out to ride Scarlett so I quickly re-fitted Indy's saddle, we scrubbed about ten kilos of mud off each pony and went out to investigate the new walkway. It connects Birchwood Lane to Camdon Place, which comes off Koppens Lane. We can easily get all the way through to the school without having to deal with very much traffic at all. We could also do a loop, starting or ending with the walkway, right around Newell Road, but I am not brave enough to take Indy on the road under saddle quite yet.

Indy got to see scary things like the fencing around the old coolstore site, kids playing soccer kicking balls around, cars parked on both sides of the road, scary white road markings, and even some strange equines in other peoples' paddocks.

On Sunday I took Indy out to Sharon's. We spent an hour taking photos of Ozzie, then went out for a gentle hack down Bellevue, with Sharon on Ace. Indy was great about meeting the donkeys (which, probably thankfully, didn't bray) and very brave to go around several roadworks signs. A shame that when she reached out to touch one, it "bit" her back!

She is coping with a lot more, doesn't get brain-tired so quickly, and is less "looky" about new or scary things. It is easier to get and keep her going, or change things up and add a circle, stop, or turn. She will spend time leading and following (though this tends to be at her request rather than mine...).
When she runs out of steam, it is VERY obvious! She starts to need more frequent rests... it's like she is a train who has left its caboose behind, so she has to stop to let it catch up again ;) I ended up getting off and walking the last 500m home.

It is also really cool to see how well Scarlett copes with another rider. I used to throw anyone and everyone on her, when I still had Cas, because I couldn't ride Scarlett as well or easily as I could ride Cas. For several years, I was very protective of Scarlett ("no one can ride her because she's too spazzy" or  "no one can ride her like I do.") It is fabulous to have a friend like Annika who LIKES MY PONY! and wants to ride with me. Scarlett is also far enough through her CR journey that she has a few things to show Annika, too :)
It is also very cool taking a horse like Indy, who has had nearly 3 months off (with the bare minimum of handling), starting with 5 minutes of groundwork before a ride and seeing her change from spaced-out to a calm, collected horse who is happy and capable to do what I ask her.

I'm on the countdown to Finals now: only ten days until we head south. I squeezed in my final mentor day with Carmen at the end of May and got the opportunity to watch her trim Annika's young gelding Mack yesterday. It is not often that we see trimmers dealing with brand new clients (usually any new horses are with existing clients), so it was very valuable learning experience.

I'm fighting off some stomach-y kind of bug, so haven't stayed on track with my revision for the past two days. I think I will be OK as I should have time to catch up over this weekend while I am housesitting for Jude & Ted. The weather is atrocious so I don't feel like being outside anyway.

Speaking of which... I need to go check on the two ponies at home, sort out what I'm eating for dinner, feed my animals (mum and dad are away, too) and come back to DO SOME REVISION!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Long time, no news!

It's been a LONG time since I posted a blog update. Indy has been essentially turned out for about 2 or 3 months. I'm sure she doesn't mind, not one bit!!!

When I decided to take Scarlett hunting, I needed to dedicate time to getting her fit, which meant squeezing in as many rides a week as I could, as well as riding with a purpose.

While the weather is dodgy and I have limited horse time, I decided to focus on Scarlett. She is safe, dependable, the same after a week (or month) off... I know her inside out. I do not feel it would do Indy justice - or that it's a partciularly safety-conscious thing for me to do! - for me to deal with indy only imtermittently.

I've also had a lot to finish up before Finals: I've done about 8 mentor days with Carmen in the last several weeks, been going over assignments, and still trying to get horses trimmed in between bouts of crappy weather. We will be in Christchurch again in June... just four weeks to go!

I have a grand total of one more Mentor day to complete.

Today I started putting my four case studies together; Scarlett & Indy's will not take long, as I can continue from the 6-month case studies I've already done. For my two client horses, I have to start from scratch!

I managed to skip riding today due to the weather, but caught a fine break and took Indy to do a little groundwork. She is not supple or used to my cues; she had a few moments of feet-in-the-air, but even those have come a long way from the beginning. She is much more balanced and has a better way of going. I did a bit of one-line work on both sides (walk and trot), then a wee bit up close, and then a bit more one-line work at walk, then back to the paddock.

As we get further into winter, I will not ride very much (unless Annika wants to come and ride Scarlett) so need to get my A into G and start with groundwork. I have to consider they will have at least a few weeks off in June, for finals, then I go in to get key-hole surgery done on my knee straight after that. Carmen will come and trim for me at least once so I can make sure I am really 100% before I get back under a horse.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Life has been fairly interesting of late.

We spent 8 days down in Christchurch: 3 mentor days with Thorsten then 5 days of Practicum, trimming basiaally the whole time. We were absolutely shattered by the end of the week and very glad to be home... 18 hours later, even more so, when we heard about the second major earthquake in Christchurch within the last 6 months. Scary, scary stuff which definitely makes you appreciate the people and animals you have around you.

The trimming time showed up some errors in my trimming. Though I have made changes since mentor days with Carmen, I am not seeing quite what I need to.
I have to be sure I have trimmed the bars correctly, and, surprise surprise, my scoops are still buggered!!!! Bane of my life, those things... *mutter mutter* I was so enthused when I came home that I've not trimmed my two yet! That is this week's job. Zen is also coming to do another cranio sacral session with both girls on Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, Saturday, I took Indy for a clinic day at Trisha's. She was really good. A huge lightbulb for me in the morning came when Trisha mentioned 'connecting within myself'... oh. Duh! I've been forgetting ME! What a dummy... Changing that changed the way Indy went quite dramatically (...Oh, really?!).

I need to do some two-people work to get her releasing around her heart-girth; Trisha & I did some work, one person on the line and one person doing heart-girth presses, shoulder delineation, etc, which got her moving outwards on the circle more (rather than collapsing in).
I also need to MAKE her move, rather than let her mooch. She CAN and DOES stride out: I must not accept a shuffle or 'short' stride.

We also found the GO button under saddle :D so did a fair bit of trot work. She had the hugest snooze after that.

Moving on, I will work on simple changes of direction, letting her stride out and move forward actively, being direct and clear in my aids so that she does what I want (but... I also need to decide what I want!). Her odd moments of deciding she's not going the way I think I'm asking for must be due to me not connecting within myself and also forgetting my outside elbow (and outside suction-cup leg). She did it once, before I mentioned it to Trisha, then was great for the rest of the lesson after I started using my brain.

I am enjoying this over-sized pony more and more as time goes on.

Finally, some photos! Sharon took these on her mobile when I realised I'd ridden out with a flat battery in my camera.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I am so stoked!

Today I went to Club and helped out with their working bee. I trimmed the rosemary bushes around the hedge, picking up branches/dead wood around the trees and dragged it all to the fire.

Indy was good tied to the float - even had a bit of a snooze despite all the activity (people all over, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, tractor with trailer, impromptu bonfire, etc).

Quick tack up and very short 5 mins groundwork before I hopped on at the trough, hoping like mad that she wouldn't move and knock me in, haha!

She was SO supple to ride, very keen to go forward, easy to turn.

We mooched around the grounds, checking out the show jumps, the scary grass/dirt patch where barrels had been, and all the jump fillers until other people were doing something & then joined in.

She was good with company. People rode close to (and towards) her at walk and trot, stood next to us, left - she took it all in her stride.
We rode in and out of the jumps over there, knocked one tiny cross bar over when we stepped over it at a near standstill, investigated the bending poles and flags (very scary), attempted to walk the bending course (stopping to investigate every flag, of course, with the odd quick step sideways when one moved)... then people started jumping.
The jumps were the baby course, set up for Sunday's practice SJ, and about as low as they could possibly be.

I walked over a cross rail then gathered up the courage to trot in. She was great! Jumped it quite big and then cantered after... very bouncy... threatened to buck, perhaps in delight. I asked for a better trot at the next attempt so her canter was better, though still very bouncy. The final jump was the nicest. Then they put it up so we stopped for a rest in the middle.

I popped out over a small cross after people went into other paddocks. Shaz was watching & said it was her nicest jump of the night.

Indy got a carrot, we had chips (nom nom), then drove home and gave her some oats for dinner.
She was a star & I am very, very happy with her!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cranio sacral - feedback

Both girls have been chilling out in the paddock since their treatments on Thursday morning.

Scarlett was quite deliberate on Thursday avo when I went out to see them - she didn't rush over to me or crowd my space. Today she was walking very well, not rushy, nice overstep. She is also more respectful of my space (of course she wants treats and cuddles, but hasn't been so in my face about it).
Indy is much happier to come see me and be handled. I haven't taken a halter out with me, yet, which is some type of trigger for her (she tends to decide whatever I'm about to do definitely isn't what she wants to do!).
She appears to be walking a lot free-er and her super-tight hamstrings don't look quite so "over inflated."

I am very happy with what I have noticed so far. When it gets a bit cooler this afternoon/evening, I will do some groundwork with them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cranio sacral

Today both horses got some cranio sacral work. Peggy suggested Indy would benefit way back in December, but this was the earliest I could get Zen to come out.

She was very gentle with the horses & they seemed to like it. A few sticky spots (specifically Scarlett near her poll and Indy in her HQs) but otherwise it was a case of starting the unlocking process off. I will get her out again after I am back from Christchurch, in mid-late Feb.

On Tuesday I took Indy to Club again. She loaded & travelled extremely well, only a tiny bit sweaty when we got there. I was tacked up in time for the pre-ride meeting; I didn't ride in a group (it was an XC training night!) so found someone else with a young horse who wanted to potter around. Indy did SO well - Shaz text me after to say she looked stunning. I could really feel the improvement in her coping ability.
I definitely need to thank Annika for helping me get Indy out and about down the lane :) as that's a huge part of this progress.

Both girls will get the weekend off, if I get a chance I will do a bit of groundwork but Zen said I shouldn't ride for a few days, to allow the CS stuff to settle and process.
I do have to tidy up their feet (I didn't quite finish Indy's on Monday as it started to rain, and Scarlett is due for a touch up as her last trim was 2 weeks ago) and take photos, so will aim to get that done on Sunday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hired help

Oh, alright, not *technically* HIRED help! ;)

Annika volunteered to come over and ride with me, while she's horseless (leaase mare Foxy went back to her owners & Mack is away learning a few manners). I trimmed Scarlett's feet in the morning then had a bit of a break before she arrived.

We caught, groomed & tacked up then did a wee bit of groundwork in the paddock. Unfortunately I was totally disorganised & managed to forget where everything was, including Indy's CR rope, so I took Scarlett's one and Annika just worked off the reins.

It was really cool to have someone who knows what they are doing around horses & when riding (I don't have to worry about them), seems to like the horse (she got on and said "gee, this horse has a sense of humour!!" which is very true... I couldn't let anyone who wasn't able to laugh get on Scarlett, it would blow her sheshul wee brain) and also understands the CR stuff (I gave a few pointers or reminders every now and then but basically left them to it).

Bonus! She can see how it feels to ride a horse that's done a fair bit of CR, my horse gets ridden, I can focus on Indy and all is good! :D

We rode around the paddock for a few minutes, testing directions and brakes, etc, then out down the drive and lane. We rode across to the other lane and then turned around for home. Indy did really well, with only a few looky moments. Annika was able to either stop Scarlett and wait for Indy to collect up her brain cells, or keep going to give Indy incentive to un-stick her feet. Awesome! I was very proud of Indy's ability to cope with all the new things (it was only her third time ever down the lane, second time ridden).
It does show me how far she has come & the importance of taking things slowly, so that when the horse is exposed to new and scary things there are ways to help it cope with those things.

I meant to take the camera out but in my forgetfulness, didn't. I really must upload pics one of these days...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Out of the paddock

Heather is back for two weeks from Aussie and asked if she could come for a ride with me! Exciting.

I got both mares ready & she got on Scarlett at the mounting block. I led Indy to the paddock and did a tiny bit of groundwork. Heather rode Scarlett around while I got ready to get on. Then we walked around the paddock a couple of times (for safety's sake!) and walked out the gate into the driveway...

We walked down our lane then crossed the road to the new subdivision lane (name escapes me at the moment). Indy did really well - a few looky moments but considering she's only been walked down the lane once (way back in Sept when she came home), not bad at all!

She got a little overloaded coming back down our lane so I hopped off and led her the rest of the way home, fiddling with a little groundwork as we walked.

I am very pleased with her first outing. It was nice to have Scarlett there as company & a familiar face, plus she can be relied on to keep going most of the time, or circle or stop if Indy needed a moment to gather up all her brain cells ;)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quick update

I've managed to ride Indy AND Scarlett for the past two days - well done me! (*pats self on back*).

Yesterday afternoon I rode Indy while mum was gardening, so she could keep an eye on us. Today I rode after dinner, again mum went to do some gardening but down the drive this time so I'm not really sure how much of us she could see through the trees!

Indy was a little more active today; I put her out on one line to ask for some trot (I thought about doing transitions but got stuck once she was trotting, oops). She had a couple of moments at canter, too (unplanned, though once she was going I asked her to do a couple of circles).

She really resents any nagging with the wand, and sometimes doesn't understand what I am asking her (for example, when I try to stroke down her neck, chest and front leg tp steady her gait and stop her rushing, she will often swing out like I'm going to beat her!).

Today's ride was really nice. I asked for walk then trot in both directions, then some halt transitions, TOF both ways, and finally some walk.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ride out

For the past week or two, I've been groundworking both horses then riding Scarlett. No one has been around for me to ride Indy (I trust and know Scarlett, but Indy is simply too athletic for me to be alone should something go wrong).

Sharon invited me over for a ride last Thursday, so I jumped at the chance to take Indy out. I did a spot of groundwork with Scarlett then with Indy as we walked over to the float. She was looking at dad's tractor (he was filling the sprayer) and an old mouldy bale of hay that had been thrown out into the paddock and split open. Once we worked past those she walked calmly up the drive & loaded straight away.

She spent a little time in the round pen to get used to the surroundings, then I gave her a quick brush and tacked her up. Her mane & forelock don't look all *that* bad... ;)
I did a few minutes of groundwork in the round pen then got on and walked around for a few minutes while Sharon tacked Ozzie up. Then we led them out into the front paddock.

Indy was really good: some circles, trot poles at walk, changes of direction. I even trotted her in both directions before I hopped off. The traffic behind the hedge is a big distraction which she coped with perfectly. Riding in such a large paddock can be quite scary so I was really pleased with our ride.

Mentally, she tires very quickly so I have to be consistent in asking for something of quality before I lose her attention. I was being very concious of owning my elbows, keeping a good contact, wiggling and suction-ing my legs to bring her attention back. I forgot my extreme rotations, save for a few tries.

She then chilled out in the round pen while Ozzie got worked, we had a coffee & then loaded up to go home.

Must be time for me to remember the camera, one of these days........