October 31, 2006

jumping around

So we haven't jumped in ages, and we're supposed to try a baby ODE this weekend. Figured it was about time I tried Silvi over a few fences in succession (a bit like a course - so she has at least seen something like it).

She was really good after having a break, only wobbled a little over the first 2 jumping efforts and then straightened up and got her balance sorted. She didn't have any problems today except veering a little to the right in the double (photos below) - it was the only time she veered and it may have had something to do with her grazing buddies all being on that side.

While I was warming up, Swifty got the shovel and tidied up the ditch a little bit and she was such a superstar about it - went and just popped over it the very first time like an old hand. So we'll forgive her that she looks like someone crossed a moose with a camel and asked it to jump over tyres in the next photo! She seems pretty good about these few XC type fences I've put her at.

And that was about it. I tried to make a little course and she was good, didn't have to trot any corners but did have to 'dressage canter' a number of them to not overshoot. So then Silvi got to have a rest while Swifty and I spent 90 minutes mucking out the paddock. Fun.

October 30, 2006

rainy rain

Well the Ohariu Valley Riding Club jumping was cancelled on Sunday - though they hadn't told me! No phone call, no email, nothing! So Swifty drove me all the way out there for nothing. But it was another good trip in the truck for Silvi, I think she's much happier in there with the nice big mat to stand on.

We did, however, get her feet trimmed. She was so well behaved! Just a little seedy toe there to get rid of, but other than that her feet are shaping nicely.

Didn't ride at all in the end as the weather really did pack it in, but watching Silviapples huddled in a pack with the other horses keeping warm and away from the rain - I really don't think she minded having the day off!

October 28, 2006

second show!

We had our second competition today - down at Bryants Farm for another riding club dressage day. Was sunny (thankfully) but still windy. Swifty drove the truck down for me, and took a few photos of the warmup and the first test we did before the camera battery ran flat.

First thing in the morning I went down and coloured Silvi's tail (just the ends that were white). She was very patient while I had her tail in a plastic bag for it, and I think it looks pretty good. I've put in an older picture of her so you can see what the tail was like, and one of her tail in a bag while ducks steal her food (poor horse).

We had a good amount of time to warm up before our first test. Not heaps and heaps, but about 20 minutes. The first test was pretty bad (just not really listening) and the second one was a bit better. They were both prelim.

Warmup photos:

Test photos (1.2):

I felt like she still had enough energy for a bit more. I'd already entered one novice level test, but decided to late enter another. Ended up having to learn the test in 4 minutes! But she was absolutely fantastic, I was really over the moon with her performance and her maturity with all of these new things I was asking of her that we hadn't schooled. Even the judge commented later that Silvi seemed to do better in the busier tests. The second novice test didn't feel as good, but was still a good effort I thought and we had a few mishaps (just things like losing balance for a few strides after changes of direction) but she recovered from them so well - I think it's a really good trait of hers that she can just get it together again so well.

As for the results...
Prelim 1.2: 54% and no placing
Prelim 1.4: 54% and no placing
Novice 2.3: 63%, 2nd place
Novice 2.5: 63%, 2nd place

Over 60% for her very first novice test, I was really proud of her. A little crazy that we got the same percentage in each test (different only so slightly in the tenths of percents) at each level. Also got to chat to the novice judge after and she gave me some good tips for things I can do at home in our schooling sessions to improve.

A very successful day I think. Though I promised Silvi I'd buy her a fancy new browband if she got 2 ribbons... so I guess it's going to be a bit more of an expensive outing than I'd planned!

October 26, 2006

no news

Weather has been filthy. Horse is only getting ridden about every 3 days (neither of us particularly overenthusiastic about riding in the rain you see). Revolting weather did mean we got a chance to try out the new shires winter typhoon rug while the orican dried out.

Been doing regular loading practise and walking into the creek practise. Nothing else of interest. Hopelessly under-prepared for this weekend, but we will survive. Saturday we're doing Prelim 1.2, 1.4 and Novice 2.5 at the local riding club dressage day, and Sunday we're intending to do some practise rounds at Greendowns arena. Should be interesting.

Also entered for the Beginner/Intro at Solway.

October 18, 2006

another fantastic day

the sun has really been out lately - and the wind down too. perfect riding weather, pretty much perfect anything weather actually. got Silviapples in and did some more truck loading and she's just walking straight on which is nice, then she had a rest in the sun while Swifty did soduku puzzles and I got ready to ride.

I did a few little jumps, her legs seem to be feeling fine - and when Meredith turned up she hopped on Surf and gave us a lead into the creek to give Silvi some confidence in the water - by the end of the session she was happily walking in and out of the creek even in slightly more difficult and new spots.

As for her legs - here are some photos, the ones on the left are a few days after the accident, and the ones on the right I took today after giving them a hose down.
off hind close up:
It is looking a bit more scabby now, but a lot of the open parts of the wound have closed up and there is now no heat/filling in it.

in the newer photo you can see how well her near hind is healing up.

and I have hairdye now, just got to get the motivation to do her tail as the white bits at the end of it just make it look even shorter and ruder than it already is.

October 17, 2006


decided to take a look around the hills today. swifty came out with me and walked with us to the back paddock so that I didn't have to get off to open each of the electric fences. silviapples was good - not too spooky, but didn't much like the hills - I think she thought they were hard work. So we just went up to the top once and then back down. It will be good for her to do more work in that back paddock so she can learn to balance on the hills and get hill fit.

I also did some flatwork and she was feeling nice and supple and going forward quite well, and poor swifty picked up poo. Did a bit of loading practise which silvi was absolutely perfect for - walked straight on. a nice laid back afternoon really.

October 16, 2006


got out there nice and early this afternoon and did some practise loading (took a little while the first time, but she was settled... then very quick the second time). did some circlework and popped over a tiny jump - not a long ride today, but she was feeling very balanced and energetic. did a third load onto the truck which was perfect.

she let me rub her back legs a little and then massage in the cream on her near side really well - off side was a bit more grumpy, but still looking a lot better than last week.

October 15, 2006

riding again

Feels like forever since I've gone for a ride. I got out there today and Silvi wasn't where I left her, but quite a few of the electric tape 'gates' had come open in the wind, so who knows what actually happened. Still having problems with the 3 horses, but I at least managed to get her past them today and into another solo paddock until their owner could come out to tie them all up. Then I got to tie Silvi to the truck and saddle her up for a ride!

She was great to ride, no naughtiness and also no uneven paces - so her legs must be feeling quite good. I only did a short ride, but we did walk, trot and canter... so I'm really pleased with that.

Stables and storage areas - although both areas are locked so I think you have to get specific permission to use them.

and one of the riding areas (you can sort of see some of the jumps) and the gateway which is well back from the road.

The place is about 1km from the motorway which should be good for getting to shows - not that I have any idea what my next outing will be at the moment. Perhaps Solway for eventing.


Silvi's new grazing is quite a bit closer to my place (bang on 3km), so Saturday I was hoping to get out there and have a ride or at least give her a good brush... but it turns out the horses have a lot of settling in to do yet and there was much squealing and kicking and bad behaviour which resulted in a lot of worked up and stressed out horses and me with a bashed up hand. Joy.

I did manage to muck out Silvi's temporary paddock, which was hilarious as Silvi was obviously keen for attention and kept getting in my face and showing off to me by prancing around. Very cute. Here are some pics of when we put her into the paddock Friday afternoon.

There are 3 horses that are all a bit uppity around Silvi, but the other 3 all seem pretty laid back and so I popped her into the paddock with them.

so lazy

I'm so very lazy - it's like a week since the last update. So after the first show she had Sunday off and just got a feed.

Monday I rode her bareback, and did quite a bit of lateral work - she gets quite confused with it, but she did make some good progress. It was actually easier for me bareback because I could feel what her legs were doing much easier.

Tuesday I got out to the farm to find she'd gone through a fence or kicked out and got caught (believe that insects were stressing her out and she kicked out in a bit of a wrong place wrong time situation). She'd lost a fair bit of skin and hair on the front of her hocks. I cleaned it up as best as I could and then put some antiseptic on it, though she didn't like me touching it.

Wednesday she was even more touchy so I cleaned her up again, but could only get the antiseptic on the 2 worst parts and couldn't really massage it in at all. Poor sore horsey.

Thursday she was much better, let me gently rub her legs while I was hosing them so I could get rid of the leftover cream from the last few days. There was noticeably less heat in her legs too, and I got to massage the scarring a bit and put on some more healing cream.

Friday was quite stressful - we were moving her to new grazing and for the first time ever she loaded really badly. Took about 30 minutes. Not sure what her problem was, but she was certainly feeling well and no stiffness or lameness on the legs (still sore to touch though), and they'd stopped breaking open with her walking around, so that's good - will help keep them clean. The drive to her new grazing was quite short (just out of the valley) but Swifty had to drive by himself so I could get the FTO back home - and there were heaps of vehicles on the road, lots of oversized trucks, a car accident, and Swifty reshaped a roadsign when a 4WD wouldn't give him any space on the road. Got where we needed to be all happy and safe though.

October 08, 2006

first show!

Saturday morning started at a respectable hour - Swifty wasn't feeling well, so he stayed in bed, and I popped in the car and drove into town to pick up photographer/videographer Nick. We then went down to wake up Silvi who had obviously been rolling in her own filth all night as she was a little mucky.

Finished loading up the truck, gave Silvi a bit of a hose down and a brush then loaded her up and I was set for my first ever drive to an event. I wasn't too good with the brakes for the first little bit, but got better as the trucky truck warmed up. Silvi was really well behaved for the drive, and Nick got out when we got to the entrance of Bryants Farm and guided me through their shoddy gateway. Parked up and unloaded horsey who was all eyeballs out on sticks for the first 10 minutes. As I wandered over to the main shed I found that the person I was after in each class had pulled out, so all of my times were bumped forward about 5 minutes or more.

I saddled up Silvi and got myself dressed and did a nice warmup - she was so good with the other horses. It was really cold and windy too. My first test was a bit scary - Silvi was shying at the white piped arena before we even got in, then while we were in there a rogue plastic bag gave her a fright.

She calmed down heaps for her second test and I was absolutely wrapped with it. She was totally fine with the arena and with the other horses getting close to it in their warmups or competing alongside it. After the second test I had some time so I went and fired up the laptop to learn the next 2 tests.

I got back over to the arenas just in time to find out I was on right now- so quickly had another look at the test and then went straight in. Did what I think was her best test of the day (highest percentage, but lowest placing), still I think it was her best test - she didn't put a foot wrong for a baby horse.

Then there was quite a big wait for the last test and I was last to ride. It was bitterly cold and Silvi and I were both getting a bit tired of it all, but we stuck it out and she did another nice test.

Once the final scores and results were up I was really stoked. Her scores had gone up steadily over the day, and she got placed in every class:
Test T, 1st place
Test Q, 2nd place
Test 1.3, 5th place (59% - and I think our best one)
Test 1.5, 2nd place

Then we loaded up and went back to the farm, took Silvi's plaits out and gave her a feed with her heavy rug back on and went home to relax. Felt like a very long day (though it wasn't really!), but very worth it and very proud of horsey for her first ever show. Might be more photos later too, if I can get some stills off the video of the last 2 tests.


Thursday I did some flatwork and Silvi was a little uptight, but generally good. Did some practise of 20m circles and a few loops as we hadn't really done those things, and they were in our dressage tests for the coming weekend.

Friday I found out that Silviapples will have to move grazing - as Wendy has got 2 more fur-children coming from Christchurch and needs the space for them as she will be working one-on-one with them a lot.
So for Friday we just did some canter work in Silvi's paddock, and practised crossing the creek at some different points. Also loaded the truck up with lots of our stuff so that we're all set to go when we find new grazing.

I also plaited... I know it's only an adult riding club show, but I figured it was good practise for Silvi (standing still!) and good practise for me (plaiting!). I washed her tail (okay, so that doesn't take much effort) and switched my bridle to the fancy Courbette soft rubber reins that I've been storing since buying them over winter.

October 04, 2006

fill in the gaps

Okay, the missing updates... apologies in advance as it won't actually be all that interesting.

After getting her hooves trimmed on Saturday little Silviapples was too sore to be ridden on Sunday, and on Monday wasn't a whole lot better (so I didn't ride her at all). Tuesday she was fine to be ridden in her paddock on the grass, but still owchy on the arena and quite tender on the concrete area around the stables. Wednesday I gave her the day off again and then on Thursday she was feeling heaps better - I walked her on the road (only a few hundred metres) and gave her a proper (but short) school in the arena. She was really good, but I think still just the tiniest bit tender as she was having trouble keeping a good canter on the right rein and got disunited a few times. Friday was yucky weather and another day off. Saturday was also yucky weather but we both braved it and did some canter work in her paddock, along with a lot of work in and around the creek, getting her to enter at a lot of different points and walk upstream for 100m or so, it was about knee high, so quite deep for her - she got a bit tizzy about it, but did well.

Sunday was the XC practise at QE2 - for a start I forgot my boots so had to wear my gummies for jumping (which isn't actually the easiest thing in the world, but looks so damn cool). Silvi was really nice and relaxed tied to the truck and the atmosphere didn't appear to bother her. She warmed up really well, only getting a little jig-joggy the first few times people cantered past fast or jumped fences while we were close, after those first few times she didn't even seem to register the other horses on her radar. She did put her head down when I did one of my faster canters in my warmup, but pulled up and went off merrily on our way with no incident.

The first fence we went to was a little rotten log - she seemed fairly sure it was going to attack her and jumped several feet over it 3 times (by this stage I decided to move on from the log!).

Next was the water jump which did prove to be a problem. It took us a long time to get her to trot in, but I know that a lot of horses don't like the sloped trot in entrances when it's all boggy - and once we got her into the water once she was a lot better and even managed to jump in and out (small options) by the end of our rather extended stay at the water jump.

We went on to the bank which she wanted to have a look at first but then popped up and off like a pro (the baby sized bank), and then over to the coffin. She leapt over the ditch perfectly and even jumped the combination (upright-coffin-upright) without batting an eyelid, she has nice impulsion through combinations.

She also did the little pre-training corner and then went back to the truck. She was a really tired horsey by now and to make matters worse the traffic was held up around Porirua so it took quite a long time to get home, and weather was snotty as when we got to the farm, so I popped her in the stable and she was just so happy to be cozy in her nice warm stable with a big feed. I popped out at about midnight to put her in her paddock so she could stretch her legs and not be too stiff in the morning.

Monday was a day off and a big feed, and then last night I went out a bit later than usual, but did a big schooling session trying out some of the dressage movements she will be doing this weekend (loops, 20m circles) . I'm still not sure exactly which classes I'm going to ride in, but she's entered for 2x Training (NZPCA Q and T) and 2x Prelim tests (1.3 and 1.5).

October 02, 2006

Cross Country

Well it's been ages since I've done an update - and I'm too tired to do one right now, so all you get right now is a couple of pictures from the XC at QE2 on Sunday (the water jump and ditch).

Proper update to come later... one day... I promise.