Monday, 26 December 2011

Happy St. Stephen's Day

As I missed the opportunity to wish the world a happy Christmas, I will send my thoughts to everyone for the feast of St. Stephen.

AKA Boxing Day here. Which is now the number one shopping day of all the year in New Zealand. And this year, even I found myself braving the shops with my Mum. Luckily, any of the shops I find interesting aren't open today. So my bank accounts were safe.

Season's Greetings to all.
(Next year, you never know, I might even get a themed photo to post!)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A week off

Lucky ol' Maxie Potaxie got a week off. I had planned for us to have a lesson but my coach wasn't feeling well, so she cancelled. I then spent most of the day watching the local dressage Champs (eek!) and so we just had a bit of a stroll around the paddocks. On the Sunday I had volunteered to write for forementioned Champs (double eek, as I got put in a Grand Prix class!). We had a little wander around the vineyard that afternoon but nothing like real work.

Then I was off for the week for work meetings, staying at our other site about 4 hours drive away. The fun of staying in motels and eating out all the time has definitely worn off!

One thing though, looking at the photo above taken on the Sunday, it sure has dried out here in the past week.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Max goes hacking!

Big breakthrough this weekend!

We'd had a good but pretty tough lesson on Saturday and if Max was feeling anywhere near as sore as I was, we just needed to do something different. So I thought we would try to go hacking in the vineyard again.

Just down the road from the paddock is one of our vineyards. Now, vineyards are brilliant for hacking around and doing fitness work. They leave huge headlands at the end of the rows so they can turn the tractors with sprayers etc around. See below:

So this means there is lots of grassed space around the edge of the vineyard which is all nicely mowed, flat and pretty safe. And the whole vineyard is fenced because although vines tend not to stray very much, they graze sheep there in winter. So if you did happen to fall off your horse, he can't go very far!

Even though it is just a mere 400 meters down the road, we took the float because it is not worth the arguments and stress of trying to ride up there. Apparently the roadside is overflowing with horse-eating tigers/lions/lampposts. Not to mention the blood-thirsty alpaccas that appear over the fence occasionally! We arrived, I shut the gate and unloaded the boy. He came off looking like a bit of a giraffe, but settled down when there was no-one to talk to.

I quickly got him saddled up and climbed on from the side of the float (note to self: teach horse to stand next to things for mounting). Off we went, a bit bouncy and syncopated, and indeed, quite giraffe-like. I have found that singing and talking to him helps. But I am not naturally talkative, so quickly run out of things to say, so I resorted to quoting any poetry I could remember. Not much poetry, it seems - a couple of Shakespeare's soliloquies, Spike Milligan, and some Pam Ayres. Poor horse.

But we survived a mostly sane ride right around the block, including across the scarey bridge and under the wind machines. I was so proud of my little guy! There was no way on earth he was going anywhere near the creek but I'm sure we can overcome this. We can go hacking!!!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Twilight Thursdays (5)

This week at the Park, I worked on introducing Max to the concept of "hacking". This requires some bravery especially for chicken bay horses who think everything might bite them. It seems that the secret is to keep said chicken horse distracted from approaching threats by asking him to stay focussed on what the rider asks.

So we wended our way around the Park. I just kept changing direction everytime he got distracted. So it was a pretty erratic path and must have looked completely insane to anyone watching. But what the hell, this is about my horse, not what anyone else thinks.

We even got into the Tucker paddock (very scarey area full of tigers!) and got all the way around the perimeter and through the (dry) water jump a couple of times. Success!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Jumping phase - combined training

50 cm.

One foot and 8 inches (I think)

Not the actual round, but representative

That's not going to get us to the Olympics.

Well, it might but it will be a v  e  r  y   s  l  o  w  journey! However, we all have to start somewhere. And since we don't really have canter doing a jumping round is a big ask. (But look at how snapped-up those knees are! George Morris would be impressed.)

I was so proud of my little guy. He was pretty freaked out by all the coloured poles, and wings and fillers and STUFF! in front of him. The riding club girls had got out most of our toys, so we had a green wall, a white picket fence, a painted fill as well as lots of oxers. But I just sat quietly, put my legs on and said "Yes!" everytime Max got a bit looky. He is such an honest horse, he just believed me and went forward. We lost a bit of control in the in-between bits (hence the long time for the jumpoff) and so I think no more jumping for us till we are more in control.

But I think this is a good sign for the future, if he will listen and go even when he isn't sure. I just have to figure out how to make him catty and brave for cross country. Anyone want to take a little llama-horse out hunting for me????

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Combined training

No photos of this as the photographer was also the secretary. Probably just as well, really.

I know we aren't ready for real competition. But it was just a low level, riding club day and I figure every time I have to ride into a dressage arena will be good for my nerves. At least this time we weren't completely last or eliminated. 

Test 1.1 
Max 53.63
This put us in 8th=, and the winning score was only 60.

50cm SJ 
Max C C C C C C C C C C 0 
Jumpoff C C C C C C 0 1.09.78
We were 8th in this too. But I was so proud of him as this was his first ever clear round, and jump off!

Now that I think about it, this was quite a step up for us. We had only ever done the low level Pony Club or Training tests, so this was our first ever real dressage test! Good to start with the first prelim test (1.1) even if we didn't do the canter part of it.

In my previous lessons we had worked on a warm-up routine. Starting with lots of walking to get the fluids moving and the muscles warmed up. Long rein to start, then picking him up and starting to use some contact to ask for roundness. Alternating working paces with stretchy rests, and then adding in a bit of trot. Now, our trot is still a work in progress, so I do just a little bit. Or else it all turns to crap and the llama is back with a vengence! 

On the day my nerves were obviously affecting Max as he was quite spooky, and "looky" at the other horses, the cross-country jumps etc. I just kept asking him to concentrate (as best he could) and tried to stick to the plan. The judging was running early, but I know my rules, so I kept on warming up till my set time. Then a friend on a young TB went past, looking greenish and sick. I offered her my time so she could get it over with, and then rode after her.

We were tense, but there were a few (all too short, fleeting) moments of nice work where it all came together. Unfortunately if you don't do the canter parts of this test, you end up endlessly trotting with just one walk on a loose rein across the diagonal. We scored 4s for all of the canter parts, so overall we didn't do too badly. The judge's comments were fair, including criticism of my circles (diamond shaped) but also some nice comments too.

Next - show jumping!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Twilight Thursday (4)

It rained.

Rally cancelled.

: (

Monday, 24 October 2011

Twilight Thursdays (3)

We had to miss a week, as I was away for work but we were back again this week. I had had a pretty shit day with vehicle issues and running late for appointments and lots of swearing. So I wanted to have a quiet outing on my nice little horse to cheer me up.
And good ol' Maxie did just that!

It was just an intimate gathering of three, all young/green horses, so we stuck together. Nice too, not to have others hooning about and no displays of rearing/bucking/bolting. The pony club had left up a little showjumping course for us to use and put away. Even at 65 cm it was too big for us greenies, so luckily K was on hand to reduce it to a ridiculous height (on the bottom of the jumpstands!).

Max for some reason best known to himself, charged off and cantered through the trotting poles. Maybe a bit of panic from seeing so many poles? Who knows, but I kept quiet and got him trotting through with some nice elevation in the end. We played around with trying to achieve a nice working trot and popping over any jumps that got in the way. Max found it all very exciting though and kept breaking into a rough canter, so I think we need to get some real jumping lessons soon.

The only negative thing was that he has started to be difficult to load into the float. I wonder if the longer trip the other weekend has scared him a bit, and there is a definite regression in his behaviour. I'll have to invest some time in more float training, although he still goes on pretty easily. It's just annoying when he doesn't just walk straight on! I have to remind myself how far we have come with this though, and not panic.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Twilight Thursdays (2)

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See what I mean about the tummy?

So this week was a bit less stressful for us. No loose horses galloping about to start with. Max seemed to recognise the park, and go "all right, here we are again". We set off hacking around with a group of others, one of who was a young mare that was feeling pretty fresh. She started hopping up and down which didn't seem to worry Max as long as I kept him distracted.

We got over to the other side of the cross country paddock (all the flags were up for an ODE that weekend, sigh...) and I was talking to the woman next to me on a little skewbald. She had just finished saying he was much better this week, when he suddenly bolted off on her. She held on as long as she could, and then crashed to the ground in a heap. All that excitement, with people yelling helpful advice, set off the mare again. She started to seriously rear and then threw in a good buck as well. Poor old K didn't have a chance of sitting through that, so she hit the ground too.

Max was pretty googly-eyed by this stage and starting to tense up, so I took him off on a quiet mission to catch the loose pony. He helped me do that and we returned the pony to the shaken but unhurt rider.
After that, we just pottered around practising being brave on our own, with a few halts here and there and decided that was enough for one day.

So although my little horse is green and a bit spooky, it could be worse!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Max Snax

I'm a great believer in positive reinforcement and/or food bribes. One of Max's favourite treats are little crunchy biscuit-like thingies. He will load onto the float and then crane his head and neck right around to look at me behind him. The look on his face is all "I've done my bit, now where's my reward?". So I always have a few in my pocket to give him.

But then the shops ran out!

I asked my good friend, Dr Google, about a recipe and had a go at making my own horse treats. The first batch was obviously very palatable to Max (but then he is known for being a "gannet") if a bit crumbly. I'm sure a bit of experimentation will sort that out though.
He loves them, so I called them Max Snax!
  • 1 c flour (preferably wholemeal)
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses (optional)
  • other options - crushed linseed, sunflower seeds, coarse cornmeal etc
Line a shallow baking tin or tray with baking paper. Set oven at 150 C.
Mix ingredients together.
Add enough water to make a firm dough.
Press out till about 0.5 cm thick, mark into squares with a knife.
Bake gently for at least an hour, until very crunchy.
Turn the oven off, and leave to dry out in the oven.
Store in an air-tight container. Hand out if your horse deserves them, especially once he is in the float.
(Or if you just feel like it!).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Twilight Thursdays

Our riding club is based at our Equestrian Park, and so we have access to a great venue. Each Thursday now that Daylight Savings has started, we have a twilight rally after work.

The plan is to get Max to as many of these rallies as I can. Hopefully they will be quiet little low-stress outings for us, and then I might be able to take him out on a few small/short treks. There is only so much riding around in circles that a girl and her horse can cope with!

Max was a bit astonished to be wrapped up and loaded into the float on a weeknight. I was well-armed with Max Snax though, so he went on happily enough. The Park is only a few ks down the road, so it is a quick trip and we were among the first to arrive. He came off the float looking  like a giraffe, and immediately made friends with the two horses at the next-door float. That was going swimmingly until they went off to ride in the other paddock. So panicky little Stress Horse appears, spinning around to the end of his rope and knocking me aside as I tried to put his boots on.

I had started to get some sense back into his brain when someone else arrived, and promptly let go of their horse, who proceded to gallop around the paddock like a manaic. Great! Stress Horse was back and even more hyped up now. Eventually I caught the offender, handed him back to his (completely unembarrassed, unworried) owner, (thanks for that!) and got Max tacked up. I'd added a running martingale so I had something to hang on to in an emergency, and to stop the llama getting his head up too far.

We did a bit of ground work, and wandered about talking to everyone for a while. Then we went off to the PC paddock where I used one of the cross country jumps to get on. Training size rolltop = Max sized mounting block!

He was a bit tense to start with, all googly eyes and llama neck. But we just kept trooping on with some accompaniment from his newest BFF Maurice, until Maurice lost the plot and we went solo. There were people cantering huge circles, thundering past jumping the cross country jumps, horses going sideways in a panic, and the horse-eating sheep - all of which he coped with really well. I was so proud of how he got his brain in gear and got calmer as we went on. We ended by popping over a few little poles (cross training is the way to go for the baby eventer!) and I went home very proud of my little guy.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Unbearable Roundness of Bellies

It is fair to say that Max is a "good doer".

He gets through winter with just some hay, the paddock and maybe 400 grams of barley a day. The rest of the year he just gets a skerrick of chaff and sugarbeet to disguise his minerals and toxin binder.

This year I was behind the balland missed the boat and he managed to pile on at least 30 kilos in a week. His paddock mate moved out, and I hadn't realised how much the grass was growing so was still hard feeding him. And when I took his cover off in front of my coach - it was a bit like seeing the Thelwell pony, but with longer legs!

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Image from with thanks
Not quite what I have in mind when I think of my all rounder!

So that was the end of the hard feed, he got moved into another paddock with two mates and I contemplated a muzzle. I haven't inflicted the muzzle on him yet as he has dropped quite a lot of weight already. But it is there and waiting...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Progress, of Sorts

In the two years I've had Max, we have had ups and downs. I guess some people would think it is taking way too long for us to get out and do anything. But I have to remember that I'm just a novice, with my first green horse, and that my job gets in the way of my riding.

I am hugely, extremely lucky to have a talented, well educated coach to help me on the way. She is also busy - working, training her own horses, training other people's, and teaching.

She got on Max the other day and it was impressive to see my little horse pick himself up and move! He is capable of really swinging his back and even though he isn't completely straight (he dishes) he looked like a dressage horse. Now, I just have to learn how to ride like that and we might get somewhere.

He is now really good to load into the float (as long as there are Max Treats for him once he's on). I took him to the Park the other weekend, just to watch and eat his haynet. He came off the float, took a good look at everything and then stood to be groomed and walked around calmly. And then he loaded up and went home. No problems.

So this week we will start going to the Twilight rallies the riding club are running. If I can find a girth to go around that tummy (!), we will have a ride around and just see how things go.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Dressage - the day after

We survived.

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In fact I was laughing during my second test. See, I just stress myself out.

Friday, 10 June 2011


Now that I have 2 tests to ride this Sunday, I am wondering why I keep entering things.

We are not ready to be seen in public.

We won't be cantering at A, and so will get a big fat 0 on that movement.

On both legs.

So we will come last (unless someone is silly enough to get eliminated).
We got eliminated last time for jumping out of the arena.

My coach is probably just too polite to tell me that I'm just wasting my money and time.

I can't ride to save myself.

I have to plait Max up, and that is going to be a dog's breakfast. And I'm not even going to attempt to plait his tail, or pull it. It is lovely and natural, and is going to stay that way.

I'm going home to drink some wine now. (Sob).

Thursday, 9 June 2011

RIP Huia

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My favourite little RDA horse went to pony heaven the other day.

It wasn't my decision, although as I am on the committee, I guess I am partly responsible. But she was starting to lose her enjoyment of life. She couldn't get down to roll, was losing weight, and just seemed very tired. It's so sad when they lose their verve and you know what the best thing to do is.

We arranged for her to go on one final float trip to a friend's farm a bit south of here. She travelled okay, despite our concerns, and came off the float with her wonderfully fluffy ears all a-pricked, looking to see where she was. She had a last few carrots, the girls said goodbye while the vet gave the initial anesthetic, and then it was quietly all over.

I'm glad we were able to give our loyal and hard working pony a respectful end. Although she didn't have enough teeth left to figure out her age, we thought she was at least 35. A lack of teeth never stopped her from eating carrots, she just jiggled them around her mouth till she found two opposing ones, then CRUNCH. She had a long and often hard life - she had the swollen hock and scars to prove it. Her career had included everything from teaching little ones to ride, to pony club pony, to babysitter for racehorses to therapy horse. We were amazed at the number of local people who would come into the RDA and say "Is that Huia?".  She was well-known and well loved.

But she wasn't perfect either. She had a wonderful sense of humour and a naughty streak. She was legendary for being difficult to catch if she didn't feel like working. Apparently she would rark up the baby racehorses really badly and she dumped most of her riders in her younger days. We would indulge her in late life, letting her think she had "escaped" and allow her to roam and graze all around the property - including my back yard. I never did get a photo of her calmly cropping at my lawn, while standing under the clothes line. I really wish I had.

Farewell old girl, you are sadly missed.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Max's first clip

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Amazing what a good clip will do for a boy! He was (mostly) very good, just a bit wriggly when we started. But a change from the washbay to where he had more room, and he was much happier. I also think that the Stressless kicked in about then, so in all, it was a positive first experience with the clippers.

He is just so cute now, I can hardly believe it!!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Looking forward, not back

We had a visit from our wonderful physiotherapist on Thursday. Mr Goober had been cantering downhill to catch up with his BFFs, and slipped over and did the splits. He was very sore in one front elbow/leg and the opposite hind. So much so that he nearly flattened me when I applied some pressure to his right hamstring. Nothing, if not demonstrative, is my Max!

So the physio appointment was to check out the damage and also see if he was fit enough to go back to work after his holiday. And the good news was that he had hardly damaged himself, and was passed as fit! We now have a whole new series of stretches/massage moves for the new sore bits, but I guess that's all part of the learning curve. Overall, we are so very lucky to have a brilliant physio here, and she is very affordable. But I had better keep that quiet, or someone from Auckland will steal her away...

And now, onwards and upwards. I think it was a good idea to give the winter dressage a miss this month, as he would've had to go in with zero work. And it gave me the chance to accrue some good-dressage-karma by offering to write for the judges all day. Funny how things work, I ended up with the same (quite senior) judge all day and by the end I could just about predict what she was going to say. I think everyone who rides dressage should do some writing. You learn an incredible amount in a short space of time, and it is amazing what the judges can see from where they are sitting! Any wobbles on your centre line are blindingly obvious, as are missed corners and even wonky-shaped circles. Don't think you can talk to your horse without them noticing, 'cos they are watching like a hawk, and can see your lips moving.

And now, I know that judge knows who I am, and she'll be watching for us next month. Uh, oh.... Better do some practise and get lots of lessons in or I'll be in trouble.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Da boy iz Back!

Safely delivered one goober horse to his paddock.
And he even has a new friend - a lovely chestnut mare who sorted out the pecking order in about a nano-second!

He travelled well, as he should considering the, ahem, "additives" in his feed this week. Just a couple of tries to avoid going in the float, and then clomp up the ramp and standing.

Such a good boy!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bringing the hick into town

And the next thing is to get Max back into town so I can try to get some riding in. It looks as if I am expected to work this weekend (well, what's one more weekend worked?) so it might be Sunday before I do this.

So we are dosing him up with the marvellous Stressless as it has been some months since he's even been near a horse float. It's quite a trip into town from his "country retreat" - complete with rough roads, bridges, steep gorges and the possibility of stock on the road. Not quite the same as his usual travels around flat Hawkes Bay, so I hope he isn't going to be traumatised!

He was a bit of a pain to load up last time. He seemed to have lost all his manners and cool, confident knowledge of going in the float. It took the threat of someone else with the dressage whip before he surrendered and went in. So by the time we arrived at the other end, I handed his lead rope over and said "You sell him and you get half of the money." Naturally, I didn't mean it but honestly!!!!

Some of the best advice I got about getting a horse to go into a float was to make out that you had all day to do it. Often it's when you have time pressure on yourself that it all goes wrong. I tend to forget how sensitive horses are and how they can sense how I'm feeling even if I'm pretending everything is just fine. Even good old Penny, my sensible old mare could stick me up some days.

They are nothing if not great teachers!

See! We can go out and about!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Rain - or - Why I haven't entered the dressage

So finally, I get some sort of a life where work is not the total focus of my attention. I might even get the weekend off this week!

And it starts to rain. And rain, AND RAIN. Man, has it rained! I'm a girl from the Naki, and I grew up being rained on daily but this has been spectacular. They have had to evacuate people from the beach-side settlements, part of Napier hill has collapsed in a landslide and they are warning people not to drive if they can avoid it.

So, naturally, not much chance of dragging the horse out of the paddock and doing any riding. I suspect he is a furry little mudball anyway, as he is a bit of a mud lark and one who looovves a good wallow. But to be honest, I am tired and just can't be bothered in forcing myself to ride just because I "should" be entered in the Winter Dressage series. So I figure I will offer to write for the judges, earn myself some brownie points with the dressage gods, and look to enter for next time (June). Hopefully by then I might have managed to sit upon my horse and get some lessons and therefore not disgrace ourselves (like last time).

And this weekend, well, I might just take some afternoon naps, like Max here.

Monday, 25 April 2011


So, another vintage over, and I can return to thinking about my horse.

He hasn't been neglected, I've just been too busy to spend as much time with him as I would like. He's had a lovely break at his second home, running up and down and along the hills. Before he was turned out, he had a very sore back and the physio agreed that some time off would do him the world of good. Now, I just need to get her back to check him over, and we can spend the winter working on our flatwork.
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tragedy in NZ

New Zealand is an island nation on the volcanic "Ring of Fire". We are prone to earthquakes, shakes and the occassional eruption. But it is always fairly harmless, a lot of drama and not much happens in the end.

But on Tuesday we were struck by a Big One.

The city of Christchurch, where I studied and lived for three years, was hit by a 6.3 earthquake. This was a shallowly-seated earthquake with the epicentre only 10 km from the central city. The devastation is hard to believe. Whole buildings collapsed. Facades of buildings fell into the street, killing the shoppers and tourists immediately. Hundreds of people are still missing, homes are destroyed, there is no water, power or sewerage to much of the city. My heart goes out to everyone who this has affected.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


A quiet Sunday afternoon at the paddock.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


I am trying to write up our dressage fail. But have got writer's block and too much other stuff to do.

So, apropos of text:

Not that Max will ever look like this in a million kajillion years. But he did do sort of a levade the other day when I was trying to ride him down to the vineyard for a hack. Sigh...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Words of wisdom

Lucinda Green on young/inexperienced horses:

  • Think of them as kids learning to read. They need books with only a few words per page, short words and big letters. They will read slowly at first, but given time, they will get it.

  • Guide with your hands. But steer with your legs. Imagine an invisible wire connecting your calves to their eyeballs, where you turn your legs, they will look.

  • Try not to think. Feel - don't think.

Photo by Owain.davies  
 Lucinda has long been one of my eventing heroes. Now I have found some info on clinics she is teaching and it is all so applicable to the Maxster. If only she would write in down in a book!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Maxie the Spotty Pony

January 2011

I took this the other day just as a conformation shot. Unfortunately he is standing like a complete dork. It makes it look like his saddle is too far forward and his hind legs are too straight. I mean, he doesn't have the World's Best conformation, but this is not a great photo.

And all the junk in the stall behind him isn't helping.

But anyway - look at those dapples! Surely, the picture of health, the well rounded all rounder. He has been in a paddock with another fattypuff and so has slimmed down a kilo or ten. I am hoping to get some good work into him over the next 6 weeks before vintage starts. We are even entered for a baby class at the next ODE - just dressage and show jumping - but still!

I will fill you in on our Dressage Adventures later. Let's just say - Fail...

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Max heeR! My Mum makez me werk too hard! I wuz yawnin' and everyfing and still she don't get it.

So shez tryin to make me a "allrounda". An don't say I iz already round!

Wez bin doing Dress Sarge and Lun Jing for ages an ages but last weekendz we went to do Jumpin too. That wuz cool, an I meetz lots of new frendz. I dunno about getting ova dem poles though, it's a bit hard with 4 legs! She haz No Sympathy for me. An she justabout falled off wif the laughin' at me. Dunno wotz so funny???

I reckonz just as well she brings nice noms, or else I bin trading her in.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Figuring out the feed

I discovered this handy tool late last year.


It's fantastic! I had been wondering how much feed Max needed, considering the small amount of work he does, and the HUGE amount of grass this season. A toxin binder is definitely needed, especially with him coming over all itchy in October. We had an incredibly wet winter and early spring, and so the paddocks were very lush (well, for this part of the world). Horses all over the Bay were displaying all sorts of behaviours that could only be attributed to too much good grass, and endotoxins. My farrier said he'd never seen so many crazy horses.

Max started scratching on anything he could get near, even rubbing his hair off in places. If I had someone to take photos, I could've got some great ones of his goofy/appreciative face as I scrached his neck. Note to self- start taking the camera everywhere.

So anyway, it seems that the little fatty-puff is doing just fine on a handful of chaff, a cup of sugar beet, minerals and toxin binder. He is lacking in selenium and vitamin E, according to the analysis and I know the soils around here are low in selenium. BUT it is a very dangerous thing to overdose a horse with (their hair and hooves can fall off!) so I am thinking of consulting the vet first. I might have to get him in anyway about the itchiness which has returned with a vengence.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Twenty Eleven

Yikes, 2011.

Still, a new year, new opportunities, right? So, here we are back on the blogging again. I will endeavour to post more often as I have found that it is the little things that you forget. And how else to track our progress?

I haven't set any concrete goals for the year, just fuzzy ones about being happy and appreciating the scenery. Hopefully Max will stop being a llama, and we can do more than walk. I'd like to start working him over some poles (once we have trot and canter again) and take him out as many places as possible for the mileage. Maybe we could go to the Riding Club's NI event next January?

I have to think a bit to decide on our progress for 2010. It seemed to be a year of one step back, and two backwards, circles and some arguments.

  • We did achieve getting him on the float and going a few places. 
  • He won his first ribbon for dressage. 
  • I have learned an incredible amount about handling and dealing with young horses. 
  • I think I have gained a tiny bit of "feel" and developed my eye. 
  • I don't tie us up in a huge knot when trying to lunge him. 
  • And I didn't break any bones or fall off although there have been a lot of tears.

So, progress, of sorts.