Monday, 17 October 2016

Many learning opportunies

Sunny and I had another lesson on Saturday, they had another clinic at the yard he used to live on so I took him there again. This was the first time I have ever taken Sunny out completely on my own which I was fairly nervous about but I left myself plenty of time and tried to stay nice and relaxed.
Leaving plenty of time turned out to be fairly amusing given that it turned out the clinic was running about an hour behind (I had a message saying 20 minutes but obviously things escalated lol) because something was going on at the showground which meant traffic...much traffic. Anyway, as I'm only literally a 4 minute drive from the yard I didn't get stuck in traffic so got there with over an hour to go before I would actually be having my lesson.
When I got there it was suggested that I might want to leave Sunny on the trailer for a while because of the delay. I'll be honest, I tried really hard not to laugh whist politely explaining that my horse does not wait patiently on trailers so that would be unrealistic. Well, Sunny being Sunny decided to prove me wrong. I had his lead rope on and the trailer all opened to lead him off but he was just stood there chilling so I decided to see whether waiting on the trailer was a legitimate option.
He was a very good boy and waited there for 10 minutes then the guy who owns the yard came and said I could turn him out into the roundpen rather than making him wait for ages on the trailer. So I unloaded him and let him stretch his legs for a while.

As we all know, Sunny's not the most patient pony in the world so I won't lie, I kind of expected a bit of a tantrum but he was chill. He did open the gate a couple of times, but at no point did he try to escape, just opened it like 'you might want to make this gate more secure because it would be very easy to get out of here if I wanted to, I'm not going to tho....I'm just saying'
Anyway, the lesson. It was amazing, I have literally never felt like a better rider in my life! Our homework is to do some straight lines. He still has a tendency to counterbend when going left so the theory is if we can get him moving in straight lines without counterbending then we can gradual move into getting the correct bend.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

We're nailing this hacking malarky

You know you're getting better at hacking (in a group k lets not get all ahead of ourselves) when someone lets their small child hack out with you. Yesterday I asked V and O if they wanted to go on a hack which they were super excited for, on their way home from school they saw V's Auntie who asked if it would be ok for V's cousin L to come with us. O's mum agreed that it would be fine and we'd collect her on our way out (she lives at the house where the menage is). Now, L is 6 but is a very capable, confident rider so I knew she would be fine. My main thought was that Sunny has never met her pony before and also this would be the biggest group he's hacked in....I think ever. Anyway, I didn't worry about it too much and I was right not to because we had a great time, Sunny said a quick hello to Ted when we picked L up and then continued along his hack like a good boy and we had a fab time.
Guys, I'm just having so much fun with this pony lately!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The pony that only goes left

It's a tale of some slight woe but not much because really he's cute so whatever.
I attempted to long rein Ronski on Tuesday which was...interesting to say the least lol. He can do ever such a good back up...but forward is much more confusing.
So I decided to lunge him instead because he sort of kind of gets that. But only to the left. We've graduated from just trot to walk AND trot to the left, so that's exciting. Right though....he still looks at me like 'We were going that way surely you don't want to turn around and go all the way back?'
Yes Ron. Yes I do.
After we'd lunged for a little while (to the left of course) I decided to take him for a little walk. We saw many cows, pheasants, pheasant feeders, a tractor and although he did a lot of snorting he never actually spooked at anything so I'm calling that a definite win.
Also, he looks super cute all tacked up so that's always fun.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Maybe possibly think we've pretty much nailed that

You may or may not remember (because although this year seems to be flying by at the speed of light my goal post was a while ago) one of my goals for Sunny for this year was to be able to hack Sunny with other horses. My main reason for this is that, as we're aware, I do not have a dedicated riding area, therefore sometimes hacking will be the only way I will be able to ride. Well over the past month or so, since the arrival of the amazing calmer into our lives, I have been giving this a go with one other horse at a time. There was even one time I attempted it alone with just a walker which was a bit of a disaster. However, every time we've been out with a friend since I tried the calmer he's been fab. So tonight I decided we'd give it a go with 2 friends, plus both O and V who can be very excitable while they're together. If anything was going to tip him over the edge...this was it.
He was amazing. He happily trooped along in the middle (he seemed to feel confident with Dory in front of him leading the way and Freddie behind so no monsters could get him) and we had a jolly old time. He led Freddie past a tractor and we were even able to have a little group canter up a hill in one of the fields. I couldn't fault him for a second. I'm hoping this means that we've pretty much cracked this goal and will be able to have many enjoyable hacks through the winter when the ground in the field is too wet to ride in. 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Testing out the fat paddock

Now, we all have to accept it, winter is coming, which for most of us without dedicated riding area poses some challenges. One thing that can possibly assist with this challenge is that we have a small paddock that is generally not in use throughout the winter, shouldn't really get too churned up and should be good for riding throughout the winter. Downside, last time I rode him in there (like...last February I think) he spent the whole time napping to the gate, so we needed to test it out to see if he'd be willing to be ridden in there (because as we all know, Sunny has opinions and is not afraid of letting people know about them).
So today we had a little practice, some of my friends from work had come to visit for the day (complete with a lovely picnic) and I'll be honest, I'm not sure if he was actually showing that he'll be good or if he was just showing off for our guests but he was such a good boy, popped out some lovely chilled out canters and was just super overall. He even got tied up in a different spot to be tacked up (I know, complete nbd but this is Sunny we're talking about, he can make anything a big deal) and he basically fell asleep so I was super happy. I'll try a couple more rides in it without an audience but hopefully we'll be able to use the fat paddock as our riding ring when the weather gets nasty.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

2pointober is underway

Well and truly, and so far I've managed a grand total of....2 rides. Ok so we're not off to a roaring good start but the up side is the second ride I improved my time by 30 seconds, so that's cool yeah? However, tonight I had a really, really nice ride. I haven't done a proper schooling dressage ride since monsoon dickface 2016 (AKA, when I tried to take my horse to a show) so tonight I sucked it up and told V to come shout at me while I rode to make sure I actually schooled him properly. It was really nice, we had some lovely canter work, and just a really nice responsive horse. We even had the easiest, longest right canter I think we've ever had (which was during my 2 pointing because I effing nailed it with up and down transitions in both directions, boom).
While we were grooming V mentioned how flat his back was and how she imagined he must be super comfy bareback, so when it came to cooling down I took his saddle off, threw her up and she trot and walked him around to cool him down. He was super for her and they looked super cute!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

In the saddle tag

1. What is your favourite event to watch?
Cross country, like the really big international levels, its just so much fun to watch.

2. What is your favourite thing to do with your horse?
Probably just chilling in the field, having them coming over to me and see what's going on and just watching them go about their day.

3. Did you  want to have a horse-related job when you were younger, and if so, what?
No, I always wanted to do the job I have now which is not in the least bit horse related.

4. Describe your dream horse.
It would have a brain that didn't fall out of it's head when you asked it to hack...just saying.

5. What is your favourite colouring?
I love a really light dun/buckskin

6. How many days a week do you ride?
Really depends on work, usually about 3.

7. How did you start blogging?
I blogged many years ago when I was first starting uni, then a little while after I got Sunny I decided I wanted to have some way of documenting how we were changing over the years, hence this blog.

8. Who is your favourite blogger?
Emma, her blog is so much fun with equal parts hilarity and sass.

9. What is the most expensive piece of equipment you own?
I was going to say my saddle without question but then I remembered Steve (my trailer), he was a fair bit more than my saddle.

10. What is a bad habit you have when you ride?
I have this tendency for my reins to get longer and longer as I ride and I have to be reminded to shorted them again and again.

11. What is a bad habit you have around the barn?
I'm that person who is constantly reminding people to clean up after themselves. Not sorry though, if people kept tidy and clean I wouldn't need to.

12. What is your favourite thing to do with your barn friends?
Eat, we like to eat, we don't mind what time of day it is, let us at food and we're all good. Also, love a good hack (emphasis on good).

13. If you had a horse/pony what would its show name be? If you have a horse, what is its show name?
Abbeyvale Sundance and Mischief Managed

14. Do you have/have you ever collected Breyers?
No, I may have a had a couple when I was younger but was never a collector. Now My Little Ponies, that's a different story.

15. What do you call your barn/stable/riding school?
Generally I refer to where people keep horses as 'the yard' but where mine are I just call 'home'. Not in some overly emotional soppy way lol it's just where I live.