Thursday 25 September 2008

Welcome Erik!

A new horse arrived yesterday, Erik, a handsome Danish warmblood. He has settled in very well, and has made friends with Conto and chatted to the others in the barn, over the doors.

He has been diagnosed with deep digital flexor tendonitis on the basis of MRI, so he will be a fascinating horse to have here, as well as being a very sweet boy.

More on him later!

Monday 22 September 2008

91 Bales...

Yippee! Haylage has been cut, and really very nice stuff, 91 bales in by 9pm last night, wrapped and safe :-)

Up again at 4am so a short post today! More to follow :-)

Thursday 18 September 2008

The sun has got his hat on...

...glorious, perfect weather, for the first time in 2months, I think...Blue skies, sun shining, gentle breeze, horses sunbathing with no rugs on, grass drying beautifully...FINALLY a summer's day - and its only September 18th... :-0

Off to make some haylage - and it could actually be rather good stuff, despite the date ;-)

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Well it is SUPPOSED to be sunny...

...this week - and after weeks and weeks of waiting, I am looking out at our grass, which has finally been cut, and wondering if its going to dry before the next lot of rain comes in next week!!

Actually its not too bad - dry here at least, and nothing nasty forecast, but a bit of sun would be nice - its going to take days to dry otherwise, because the grass is so thick!

Keep your fingers crossed for us - its a slightly nerve-wracking few days...

Sunday 14 September 2008

Hector the hunter!

Well, its been ages since the last blog, mostly because life here has been incredibly busy, with not only all the usual stuff but building work on the house, and we have reached the clearing up stage (!) so at the end of the builders' day, our cleaning time begins...There have been quite a few late nights and early mornings, and anyway its no fun blogging in thick dust ;-)

However, on the horse front its definitely Hector who has deserved the gold stars. He (and Bill) have been working well since my last blog, and gradually doing more and more. Hector has been very good, but it became clear that he was really starting to find hacking out a little bit routine - he was giving signals that it was all just same old same old, and both mentally and physically he was clearly up for a bit more of a challenge.

So yesterday there was a meet local to us, which we could easily hack to, so I took Hector and Andy rode Charlie as our nanny. I thought Hector had hunted before, judging by his reaction to hearing hounds on his last time out, and maybe he has, but his eyes absolutely popped out of their sockets when we arrived at the meet. On of the foot followers remarked laconically "Hmm, he looks a little bit stary". One of the field told me later on in the evening that he thought Hector was about to explode - though I must admit he didn't feel explosive, just a bit high on adrenaline :-)

We spent the first hour and a half quietly moving along, which was just what he needed to settle him down - standing still wasn't really an option for him anyway, due to his excitement levels!

The big challenge though was not the field, but the terrain. After the incredibly wet weather we have had for the last 6 weeks of course the ground was terrible - wet everywhere, not just on the boggy bits of the moor, and the river crossings in particular were horrendous, deep, murky and very very off putting - having to jump off overhangs into swirling torrents is unsettling even for more experienced horses like Charlie - but when Charlie hesitated, Hector stepped into the lead!

Hector astonished everyone, including me, with his boldness and bravery. There was nothing which worried him, and although he was over-enthusiastic he was never rude: even though he was tempted to rush down a very steep hill when he saw the rest of the field going, he agreed to turn away, with Charlie, and go down a few yards back, still down a steep slope but out of sight of the rest of the field. This is no mean feat for a young horse, and his balance and surefootedness were impressive - not only was it horribly trappy ground, but he has only been with us for 2 months!

At one point we were cantering along the road for half a mile or so, and I thought to myself that no-one would ever guess that he had been bilaterally lame and written off at the beginning of July!

Of course, after such an exemplary debut things can only go downhill from here on in, and I am fully expecting him to be a complete muppet next time out! However I am hoping that there are many more great days in store for us both - I can honestly say that apart from Felix, I have not ridden another horse who gave me such a good feeling first time out. Fingers crossed!