Wednesday 24 October 2007

Up, up and away...

Conto is absolutely fine after his jumping, and we are both raring to do more, but we are going to have to wait for a while, as I am away for the next week. I am off to the US tomorrow, in the company of 3 other UKNHCP bods, to talk hooves and more at the invitation of Paige Poss, who I have talked to by email on many occasions but never met.

It will be an exciting "busman's holiday", as Paige has lined up some fabulous people for us to meet, and it will also be a great chance to catch up with old friends Stateside, including some of our field instructors. I am preparing to be well and truly "hooved out" :-)

More on the trip once I get back!

Sunday 21 October 2007

The rehabilitation of Conto...

After our inaugural trot-and-pop yesterday, Conto showed absolutely no ill effects, so today I took him round our XC jumps. Actually we only tried a couple, as most are about 2ft 9 which was a bit too much of an increase on 18 inches, I felt :-)

He was a sweetheart, and seemed to be very pleased with himself as he popped our baby hogsback...I think the thought it was too small though...He went on to fly our tyre jump, but Andy was too far away to get a shot!
If all is well with him tomorrow (he was happy as larry when I turned him out tonight) then we will start to do a little more over the next few days...!

Saturday 20 October 2007

Charlie and Conto!

Two bits of wonderful news today...

Charlie got back today from his 3rd - yes 3rd!! - day out hunting with the Exmoor Foxhounds and on every occasion he has been an absolute pro...So I now feel reasonably confident in saying that Charlie has found at least one vocation :-)

I don't have any photos of him in action yet, but bless him, he is loading as if he has done it all his life, watching hounds all the time, and being terribly grown-up about all the random horses zipping about in front and behind. Today he fell in love with a fabulous black cob mare called Ellie - turns out she is part Welsh so perhaps she reminds him of some of his relations...Anyway, couldn't be more pleased with him...he seems to love having a proper job, not least because of the enormous breakfasts and teas he gets as a proper working pony :-)

Here he is, for those who don't know him...

Conto has been wonderful today too - after being up since 5am to go hunting I hadn't got the energy to do much with him, but decided today would be the day I found out what he felt about jumping...Bear in mind this is the horse who came here lame all round after being evented hard and probably over-jumped in his early days, so I was ready for tantrums, refusals or mad rushing (!). Put up a teeny tiny cross pole and trotted up to it - plopped over as nicely as you like...came round again and he was focussing on it this time, jumped it properly, very mannerly, enjoying himself and as nice as you please.

OK, it was only about 18 inches, but its the principle that matters, and all seems very well so far...! Will do a bit more tomorrow :-)


Sunday 14 October 2007

Up to 3ft 6...gulp!

Felix and I went off to Southcott XC today, which is a course near us that runs both BE and unaffiliated events, and is a lovely course.

I planned to enter the 3 ft 3 Open, as he pinged the Treborough course at that height last week...Hadn't walked the course though, so it came as a bit of a shock to find that it was "approximately" 3ft 3 and lots of the jumps were actually 3ft 6 - doesn't sound much of a difference butI have a bit of a failure of nerve at that height!

Luckily for me a friend was there whose daughter was doing the same class on another pocket rocket - this one a 14.2 pony, so I decided I had no excuses and Felix knew best...Just as well really as he gallopped and pinged as if the course was 2ft 6...Put me well and truly in my place :-)

I'm attaching a pic with apologies for the quality but I didn't have an electronic version!

Saturday 13 October 2007

Magic wins AGAIN!!! And Ghost is Peter Pan...!

Awesome awesome news from Jane Tweedie today, that she and Magic have won their British Eventing Intro class at Broadway...After winning at Moreton Morrell last time out - YIPPEE for the barefoot eventers!

Even more fun - last time the ground was hard and dry, this time it was wet and slippery...Did it bother Magic? NO - won his dressage and beat all the horses with studs in :-) All the gory details will be on Jane's own blog - congratulations both of you!

And Ghost - well I took him and Felix to be demo horses at a talk Mary Bromiley gave last night. Both boys were very well behaved and Ghost particularly was on his best crowd-pleasing behaviour...Mary's insights and understanding of horse conformation, anatomy and movement were breathtaking - I had not seen her before, and was bowled over - if you evern get the chance to see her work on horses, JUMP at it.

The comment I will treasure though was when she was looking at Ghost, who (to be fair, even to my biased eyes) looks very well for his age, and she asked "How old is he, 12?". In fact he is nearly double that, so it was a big compliment to him and to Anita, as well of course as giving all credit to the god of barefoot (since Ghost was lame as a dog and underweight 5 years ago) ;-)

And as if things couldn't get any better...even more good news this evening - FMD restrictions are being lifted on Wednesday, so we can start hunting again :-) Look out world, 'cos Charlie is coming...

Summer's day...

Back in August, our friends Anita and Yorkie got married, and Ghost was guest of honour, as he is in some ways as much her horse as he is ours :-)

The wedding photos finally arrived, so for posterity here are all of us looking frightfully smart...of course Ghost had a special dispensation to walk all over Lee Bay Hotel's beautiful lawn as he has no shoes on ;-)

Monday 8 October 2007

Flying barefoot...

Sorry about the quality of the photos, but this is what flying without shoes looks like :-)

This was a hunter trial on Exmoor last weekend, and I was so impressed with my pony...can you tell?! There are some great foot shots, but I need a way of uploading better quality shots before I post those...

For the record the pony is 15.1 and the jump is about 3ft 3 -3ft 6!

Sunday 7 October 2007


I can't quite believe it but have managed to start the blog and also to upload it on our website...Remarkable given my usual technical inadequacy... ;-)

We have had some great photos through in the post (fortunately arrived before the postal strike...) of the hunter trial we were at last weekend, and I will try and upload one or two later on. It was a great day for me, as it was the first time I have taken Felix (the 15.1hh pocket rocket) in an open class, and the jumps (xc, 3ft3-3ft6) seemed huge to me...Luckily not to him, and he was flying!

There is also a lovely shot which the photographer took with us going away from him, so you can see these bare hooves flying over the jumps :-)

Anyway, more of that later, and for now off to make the most of our fabulous weather - sunny and as warm as summer today...

Saturday 6 October 2007

Rockley Farm - Barefoot horses

5th October

Felix and I had a blast over the moor with some friends, and we both enjoyed the fantastic weather. We were up on Shoulsbarrow Castle, which is the highest hill behind us, and you could see for miles in every direction - breathtaking!

I rode Monsoon today for the first time on her own, and she was a sweetheart - very brave especially when some inconsiderate pheasants ambushed us from a patch of nettles :-)

Lets see how the blog goes, and there will be more later if I've managed this OK!