Sunday, December 28, 2008

We Qualified!

Woohoo...i got my wish for an early qualification, which takes the pressure off! We can now concentrate on training. I was pleased with our scores for our first outing of the season, we came home with 5th in the 5.2 with 59.5% and scored 59.2% in the freestyle.
Silly me forgot my spurs, so there was a definate lack of impulsion, which wasn't helped by the heat! I stuffed up my pirouettes in the 5.2, and ended up with 4's, which let me down hugely considering it had a co-efficient mark. Am looking forward to the next outing, and having a wee play in some level 6 tests.

Cossack as usual is being a little star. He is having a range of riders come and hop on him, and he looks after them all so well! Yesterday we had Joe's sister come have a ride, she has had a brief lead around on him a few weeks ago, and also hopped on hammer for a walk on lead last weekend. Yesterday she was trotting on the lunge, and then had a potter around the arena for about 15 mins off the lead. ( he does tend to just try and follow Hammer around though!)I decided to have a play with him over the dreaded poles yesterday. I was very impressed with how hard he tries. It is very obvious that he is scared (I would love to find out what happened to him!) but he is very trusting and i had him lunging over them with little issue, after about 5 minutes. I am hoping to build his trust enough that he starts enjoying it and i can then try while riding him. He is alot braver when he has a person leading him!

Hammer and Joe are doing exceptionally well. Joe is having bursts of trotting off the lunge now ( he is a hard one to learn to trot on, as he is still quite unbalanced) and Hammer seems to have realised Joe is boss now, and he is SO much calmer for it. I have jumped on him bareback twice to ride him back to his paddock and he is an angel :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grindy's Lesson

Yesterdays lesson was great! Still alot to work on, such as straightness and me not holding on when Grindy is round enough....but Bill seemed happy with our progress and seemed excited at me having a play with a few advanced tests this season.

We ran through 5.2 as practise for Saturday, and its quite straight forward, I think the counter canter half circles and simple canter change down the centre line will be our biggest challenge, again due to straightness issues!

Will give Grindy an strech tonight, and a quick schooling session tomorrow and we should be all go!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cossack Update

Cossack is SUCH a star! Bringing him back into work has been proving rather difficult due to my own time restraints with work, and schooling Grindy. I have been inundated with offers from people wanting to ride him! I am usually not very keen on people riding my horses as I like them to have consistant schooling..but i thought, while i am unable to give Coss regular rides i should take up some of the offers. I had a friend who hadn't been on a horse for 4 years, come out on Friday to play with the horses and she hopped on Coss. This was only his second ride after a few months off, and he was just a perfect wee gentleman. It is going to be very hard to part with this wee man in the future! He did about half an hour of walk and trot in the arena, then we went for a ride around the paddocks where he happily followed Grindy on long rein!

On Sunday I had a 14 year old come out and hop on him, and again he behaved perfectly, even when the rider hopped on with the girth too loose and the saddle ended up sitting on him sideways with rider onboard!! The girl is slightly nervous, though she does have some experience and Cossack just took it all in his stride. His trot is so much more balanced than when i first got him, although his canter will need a bit of work.

Not alot else to report...Grindy is ticking along nicely, I have a lesson booked with Bill on Wednesday which i am really looking forward to. And still waiting to hear if i got my late entries through for dressage at Clevedon on Saturday!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saturday's Ride

The Boys: as i expected, both boys were absolute angels. We lunged them for 5 mins with no worries, so jumped on board and did lots of walk-halt-walk transitions, bending etc. Cossack really has grown into himself, and his trot is looking super. He doesn't rush and works well off the leg coming nicely round and soft although we need to work on consistency. Hammer seems to be carrying his head lower, which to me means he is a heap more relaxed! There was alot less resisting and both boys looked very happy to have the attention!

It was far to hot after riding the boys, so i went back in the afternoon to ride Grindy, and brought Joe for a play with Hammer. Grindy was good, as per usual...but i realised i haven't been sitting straight..I tend to put my weight to the outside especially in canter, which isn't helping me with straightening her! It felt extremely odd to sit my seat more to the inside, but as with most position changes while riding, I know I will adjust if i keep at it. She was going lovely and straight by the end of our session, very light in the contact and carrying herself which is something we have struggled with!

Joe learnt how to lunge Hammer (eventually....Hammer wasn't giving anything away that afternoon!!) and then jumped on and Hammer was excellent. Joe has found the ground work he has been doing with Hamm is giving him more tools to use when on board. So we shall keep doing alot of ground work to keep them moving forwards!

Grindy and I are on the waiting list for Auckland Manukau Dressage Festival on the 13th December, so here's hoping we get in. And we are looking at starting up our weekly lessons with Bill again, from the 10th Dec...exciting!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bringing the boys back in

Hammer & Cossack: we seem to have the toxins under control, with boys boys being like little old men pottering around their paddocks. So time to bring them back into work and make them earn their keep! Helen and I are going to lunge them, judge their attitudes, and probably just jump on! (if i know both the boys like i think i do, they will be cruisy as and happy to have the attention!). Following on from that I have been approached by a girl who is interested in lunging/riding Cossack a few times a week to get her 'horsey-fix' which will help me immensely while I have competitions looming!

Joe is going to start following the Andrew McLean book, to get a bit of insight into the training of a horse. I believe if we start off right and get the ground work sorted first...they will be away!

Grindy: I am struggling for time to get good decent rides in at the moment, but am managing to keep things ticking over! I am hoping to get down to Bill for a few lessons before I head out to try and qualify. She appears to have had a few more falls in the paddock, but she is booted full time now so that seems to stop most of the damage. She is holding her weight just perfectly and looking stunning! Can't wait to get her out there doing something!

HOY: Qualifications have gotten alot stricter for many of the classes, however my dressage quals appear to be the same as last year....57% in a Level 5 Zilco Freestyle. If we achieved it last year before our breakthrough, i am confident we can achieve it this year! Looks like i have a test on Wed, Thurs and Fri. Have found out the grazing that I usually keep Grindy at over HOY is not available this year, so am on the hunt again...have a few leads to follow up so here's hoping!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Long awaited update

Grindy - I am very happy with Grindy after her break over winter. I expected her to have gone quite a few steps backwards, and to have alot of work to do, to get back to where we were after HOY. But she is really stepping up to the mark. We still have a wee way to go in her fitness level to have her comfortably carrying herself, and her extensions are lacking the elevation we acheived right before HOY (i am literally talking about getting this in my warm up with Bill prior to my 2nd HOY test!) She is looking awesome, we seem to have finally sorted out her weight too.
The only negative i have, is that i turned up on Monday to find her legs bleeding after she obviously had another of her falls. So she is back in her paddock boots for the time being!

Hammer - Is having a wee rest after beign affected by the toxins. His head is far too massive for him to be bolshy and jumpy. Poor Joe copped it a few times with a good whack! But we have restricted his grass (he was getting a bit chubby anyway!) and started him on a toxin binder and chelated mag. Busy week this week means I have to focus on just keeping Grindy ticking over..but next week we will pull Hamm out and get him up and going again!

Cossack - is back with us, and i willupdate on him soon!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Long time no post....

Brief update, and will try get some pics this weekend!!

Things are ticking along nicely, Hammer was a wee bit sore on a hind leg a couple of weeks ago after being a clown in the paddock, but was fine after a days rest.

Our lovely crew memeber, Helen, has found a wintec 500 for Joe to use until we find a saddle to purchase. It suits them both very well so we will be on the look out for an 18" one for Joe at some stage soon. Joe and Hammer had their first off-the-lunge ride on Sunday just gone (19th). Having 2 days riding in a row did wonders for them both, rather that just the weekly rides Joe was managing before we had the lighter evenings.

Both Hammer and Grindy have put on alot of wieght and are looking awesome. Hammer is starting to look a very big, impressive boy, and not so much the lanky, gangly TB look he used to have.

Grindy is coming back into work nicely, and is very enthusiastic and willing. We seem to have worked out a good feed combination, which is giving her the energy to carry herself, without blowing her head.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Daylight Savings Update

YAY for the lighter evenings!

HAMMER - Helen came out to ride Hammer on Tuesday, he went extremely well considering he hadn't really been ridden at all for a few weeks, and was only getting weekend rides for some time before we purchased him. He was very alert, but quiet. No dramas what so ever.

Joe came up on Friday for his first proper ride on Hamm, now that we have both a saddle and helmet. They started out with some ground work and Hammer is responding well to Joe, and Joe is picking things up quickly. Hammer took it all in his stride having Joe on board. Just working on the basics - steering, breaks, position etc they were both very patient with each other and seemed to enjoy it. Joe can quite comfortably lead, cover, uncover, pick feet out and groom Hammer now, and Hamm is lapping it up!

Today (saturday) Helen came to excercise Hamm again, he was trying her out a bit more today...resisting etc, but again, no dramas. He needs to build up the strength for arena work and I think he will be very willing to offer correct bend then. He seems to like to please.

GRINDY - was back to her normal calm self on Tuesday, and had a nice quiet ride. She was in season and is inlove with Hammer! Although isnt' appreciating the time he gets with 'her people' while she has to stand in the paddock! Today's ride, she was again her normal cruisy self..Helen had her first ride on Grindy also.

Both horses are looking great weightwise although the grass seems to have stopped growing so we may have to up the feed to maintain it.

Photos will be up in a few days. Off to Matamata A&P tomorrow!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

First Ride

Joe has his first ride on Hammer on Sunday...well it was more of a 'sit' really. We need to find a better fitting saddle before we attempt to do too much. And without finding Joe a suitable helmet yet, we felt it was too much risk to do more that a bit of a walk around the paddock.

Hammer behaved perfectly, especially considering the new grass, and 2 weeks off! They seem to be forming a bond very quickly, with Joe already able to cover/uncover, groom, pick out feet, lead, back up etc, with only a couple of visits, and Sunday being his first time handling him properly.

Hopefully next weekend brings us more luck with saddles/helmets!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Hammer arrived with us on Sunday 21st September. He was a bit hesitant at getting on a new float, he has obviously hit his head loading previously and was wary. Once he was in, he stood quietly, and didn't move the entire journey from Whangarei Falls to Dairy Flat. After not seeing him for a week he once again looked HUGE but was very quiet and easy to handle, even after unloading. He settled quickly into his paddock, with new paddock mate, Donna. Joe met Hammer on Monday, and Hammer stood quietly in the paddock for Joe to do a cover change. Hammer has now had a week to settle in, and his first ride is planned for Saturday, and Joe's first ride on him will be on Sunday.

Hammer meeting Donna ------------------>

Grindy is feeling the spring grass. We are hoping the energy and impulsion she showed on Sunday will return when she is fully in work, (minus the bucking!) and have upped the toxin binders in the meantime to try bring her back into work slowly with lots of its meant to be! Her weight appears to be improving after the hard winter, although her oil and barley has been cut back after her bit of fooling around since changing her paddock!

Grindy watching Hammer-------------->