Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Today was a VERY wet day but I was determined to ride no matter what the weather conditions. I was going to float to a nearby indoor but in the end I decided to brave the questionable conditions and ride at home. I am glad I did because once I got over the slight discomfort of being soaking wet it was actually quite a nice feeling being out in the weather.
I rode on the the menage for about half an hour and then ventured out onto the road for a quiet walk. The King did not exactly share my enthusiam for the steep hills right outside our place but once we got to the top of the valley it was lovely to look out and see the weather rolling in.
Today I really worked on forwardness with the King. He has a very bad habit of sucking right back and just half heartedly chugging along at about 30 per cent of his capability. It is quite frustrating when they won't take any contact at all, and this is an issue that always comes back if he hasn'e had enough work. It is a constant battle to lengthen the frame and get his nose out. He went really well today after some VERY forward trot and canter work.

Belles of the Ball

The 3rd of July saw a large contingent of Showjumpers heading to Lilydale for the annual Victorian Showjumpers Ball, which was hosted by the Yarra Valley Jump Club. It was a really fun night and included the presentation of the Horse of the Year and Young Rider of the Year, as well as the induction of Jack Eadon into the Showjumping Hall of Fame.
It is always interesting to see a group of people dressed up when normally you are kicking around in the mud together with everyone trying to keep your joddies clean. And as usual I think the older attendees managed to out-fun the younger guests... almost... :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seperation Anxiety

As predicted, I had a slightly unpredictable horse on my hands today but made it through unscathed. Throughout Winter, I have been keeping the King in a large paddock with my sister's horse, and only today did it occur to me that, of course, they have forged an unspeakably close bond and could not bear to be apart for even one second. A familiar tale, it seems that even the most dire of paddock enemies will become instant BFFs as soon as one or the other is pulled out of the paddock for a ride. So I had some wild neighing and running along fence lines to deal with as well as wind and a VERY wet arena.
I generally try to keep horses in seperate paddocks for this very reason- they get attached, injure each other or injure themselves. About a month ago I came outside to find the the King had managed to rip off all of his rugs (cotton, woollen, heavy, plus neck rugs) and they were strewn across the paddock in about twenty pieces. His paddock friend had at the same time managed to put his leg into the fence resulting in a nasty cut. How it happened I will never know, but these are the things they seem to get up to when left to their own devices.
Anyhow, all is well, the King is now officially back in business and the best part is we still have a good three months before the show season truly kicks off again, plenty of time to convert his fat into something a little more useful.
Take care

Out of Work

The King's couple of months of convalesence are about to come to a wild and wooly end! He has been out of work since just after Mount Gambier Show mainly due to my busy semseter at uni, but with holidays upon us and a slightly clearer timetable on the cards for next semester it is time to deal with the mud, rain, wind, wet menage and hairy horse.
Bringing horses back into work is never all that enjoyable as it seems that everything that you had achieved has gone down the drain and you are left with a slightly wild beast who believes that gremlins reside behind every tree as you attempt to get them around the arena in some semblance of an outline.
The alternative is building up their fitness out on the roads, and I am lucky that where I live is not only hilly but relatively quiet traffic wise. However, this brings with it a whole new set of problems as there are alpacas around the corner to deal with, the occasional truck, and of course the rocks and puddles that so terrify your otherwise quiet horse.
Anyhow, with any luck the King will be his usual gentlemanly self and I won't have any broken bones or runaway horses to report.

Bye for now!