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.