Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grown up horse stuff

Well this week we've been doing a lot. Firstly, I realised that Troy has never been taught to lead from the offside. I discovered this when "lunging" him from a long lead rope. All good in one direction, not so good in the other. he was like..."what the? I can't go that way, its just not right!". The nice thing is that he learned very quickly that its ok to go to the right, just as its ok for mum to walk on the right hand side, not the left!

Back on and off the float, now with the partition in. I like to have all my horses self loading, as I largely travel alone to events. Seems to be going just fine at the moment. He will load on voice command - I haven't put the bum bar up yet, just want him to be nice and relaxed in there first. Just lots of on, stand, off. And then repeat... lol.

He's been "sacked out" and I try to throw as many rugs/saddle blankets etc around his feet and body whenever i have him in. He's quite happy to wear a roller and saddle blanket too.

As usual, I've been so busy doing stuff, that I havent taken any photos! Took this one on my phone this afternoon, the boy tied in the shed as it had started raining.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I just found out last night that Troy and I share a birthday. I, however, am not rising 2.

Back on and off the float this afternoon. Big yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Float training???????

Well it wasn't intended to be. I had parked the float in the paddock and configured troy's tape today to include the float in his paddock. Put the ramp down with the intention of letting him look at it and get close to it if he felt like it.

Silly bugger kept a wide berth from the scary blue thing with wheels.

Went into the paddock this evening to say hi, catch him, and just handle him a bit (oh, ok, play with him, I admit it!) Led him around the float a few times.

I am guilty of talking to him as if he is one of my kids. Which sounds awfully inane and quite mental to the casual passer by. Luckily we don't have many of those...

so, there I was, talking inanely to him. Left him standing at the bottom of the ramp, and walked into the float myself, so that I could talk/sing/be an idiot from inside the float. (the photo is taken from inside the float...)

Well next thing, bugger me, he's in there with me!! Must have been lots of lovely horsey smells from when Violet was in there last. He just stood there sniffing, and chilling. So I carefully backed him out. and walked out with him. And went back in, and he followed me straight back in. Same again.

Lots of horse cuddles and turned him out. Too good to be true!!!

This is the horse that was an absolute b***tard to truck down here, according to the transporter. Go troy!!

Photo, taken by me from inside the float (from my phone so excuse the quality - again, it was all very impromptu!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Washing session...

How weird - the pictures are backwards and I'm too inept to swap them around. OK, so the AFTER shots are first up. and the BEFORE shots are last. Go figure...

Anyway, here's the boy, been awhile since any pics, not much has changed except he is GROWING. (To be expected, I guess... lol)

Took one of the two of us too. Well, two half a heads. Thats as far as my arm would reach with the camera...

Sunny impromptu day at home...

Well today instead of being at work, I'm at home because Luke our eldest is sick and off school. It's always a balancing act for them... either they go to school, or they stay at home and in bed. ie, not watching tv all day, and not playing playstation etc. Its amazing how much better they can suddenly seem when faced with the prospect of a boring day at home. However, today he's obviously feeling very under the weather as he's tucked up in bed reading a book with no complaints.

Anyway, my point (which I am taking awhile to get to..) is that I am secretly quite pleased to be at home - its a lovely warm day, Troy is out having a pick at some grass, and this afternoon I'll give him a wash.

I've just spent awhile outside mucking out, and picking up poles off the ground - we are shutting up some of the property for hay, and I daresay the contractor won't be too thrilled at running over jump poles as he goes... as Violet is now with Perf I no longer need my dressage arena set up, so the poles have been stacked away.

So, photos of the wash session later today. Camera charging in anticipation. I may even relent and put the telly on for poor old Luke...

Monday, November 3, 2008

New beginning...

I am loathe to admit this, but I was at a total loss for a few days. The only reassuring thing was that I had two other friends going through the same things with their youngsters. We were all at a total loss.

First things first though, he came off the grass. That helped..

Secondly, he had become very, very reliant on Muffin, and that was at the detriment of his relationship with me. He didnt need a bar of me, while Aunty Muff was around to take him under her wing and to protect him from that nasty, nasty tall lady with the feed bucket and halter, alternating between looking totally bewildered, and ready to cry.

So, Muff has gone home for a holiday - just for a few weeks. And gosh, yes, that made a difference too. Now he calls out to me when he sees me (and thats gotta be good for the self esteem.... ok, I have no life...)

Thirdly, and here's the weird part, I found help in an unexpected place. As I think I said, Troy is the first unhandled horse that I have had, in 30 years of horse ownership. Lots of good advice coming from all quarters, but nothing really seemed to gel. Anyway, in desperation, I did what we all do... but don't admit... I googled. And found a website belonging to Franklin Levinson, who I had not heard of before. Anyway, his advice on catching timid horses (I really felt troys issues were out of fear, not naughtiness) struck a chord, so I tried it. And bugger me, it worked. Lots and lots of "joining up", "bonding", call it whatever you like, but basically its involved a very, very passive way of taking over Troy's space, until he turns and comes to me. A little like the Monty Roberts stuff, but a lot more passive.

And the nice thing is that Franklin emails, free of charge, his advice. And it has bloody well worked. And has taught me a few lessons in patience. So I have had to swallow all the facetious things I have said in the past about natural horsemanship, or whatever you'd like to call it.

It was frustrating at times, as I am not a patient person by nature. But, I now feel like I have his trust, which I never had completely. And the halter is back on, and we are tying up again, and all the rest. Without bribery, or trickery, which is fantastic. Without dramas, and without fence jumping...

So, happy stories. Its been very humbling for me. I've gone from hardly believing what a doddle this whole young horse thing is, to falling flat on my face (figuratively!) and completely losing faith in myself to make it right, and now I feel confident, but far, far more aware, that I can do this, and make a lovely horse out of him, with a lot of time and patience.

Anyway, thats the end of my epistle!! I'll get some more pics over the next few days. Honestly I will..... :o)

I know, I know, I'm hopeless.....

And I knew this would happen... I'd be all keen when I started this blog, then the novelty would wear off, and it would be weeks before I posted again....

A couple of reasons (excuses?) for it though. Firstly, or should I say, at first, I didnt post because, well there wasn't much to report. Just more of the same, rugs on and off, tying up, etc etc. Lovely Troy. Still a little timid, but generally still quite agreeable.

HOWEVER, about 10 days ago I discovered that someone had swapped my horse, with some weird feral creature, that I couldnt get near, let alone tie up or remove rugs. The spring grass has taken off here, and Troy and Muffin (aka the Evil Aunty) had become...well.. somewhat antisocial. Muffin, being her sensible self, came right after a day or so, but Troy, being that much younger, and at a very early stage in his education, decided that being a wild horse was far more fun. This culminated in him jumping out of my 1.40m post and rail yards....(oh, as someone said, what a fabulous hunter he'll make....yeah, right, gosh thats reassuring..)

At that point I was ready to take up knitting.

There is a good ending to this story....