April 26, 2008

Solway Dressage Mum

Solway was also my Mum's return to riding. It's apparently been 18 years since she last did a dressage test, and 14 years since she last rode with any regularity (since then she just hops on my horses once a year for a trot to see what they're like). So she had a ride on Gem during the week to get a feel for her, and then today was the big day. Gem was quite lively still, but I think they had fun, and can only see them getting better as they both get into the routine of it all.
Getting ready:
In the arena:
Seems that Mum thought that was all rather fun... so she nabbed Ruby so she could have another go!
Mum will be taking Gem to Masterton soon to be based up there, so I guess the next outing for them will be something local up that way.

Solway Dressage

Headed over last night (picking a friend up on the way) to Solway Showgrounds for the dressage ribbon day. Was a good trip over with not too much traffic, and the horses were well-behaved overnight (first overnight trip for a couple of them).

Mum was taking her new horse, Gem, for their first competition together. I did a warmup test on Gem and had a ball. She has some lovely movement and is a very enjoyable ride:
Of course she hasn't been in work for a while, and was excited to be out and about, so some of the work in the test was very tense. But overall we were happy with her test and it got her warmed up nicely. More pics:
Ruby came along for the drive as she was heading back to her owner's place.. so we figured why not get some extra dressage mileage into her too. I am so pleased with her flatwork, so is really becoming very soft and easy:
Still some more work to go before it's all perfect. But as every test seems to be an improvement on the previous one we know it's all headed in the right direction. More Ruby pics:
There were some afternoon tests, but we'd all gotten out of the day what we wanted and needed to so we decided to beat the traffic home (note: this doesn't ever really work on the weekends! I should have learnt by now).
Pictures of Mum's test to come...

April 23, 2008

Pippa goes for a Walk

Mum has been down for the week, and has been doing some more work with Pippa. Here is the latest update:
"drove Pippa today - 1st time. Even went round the truck and up to the house - she thought there was a horse there............... (window thing). Of course a bit jumpy to start with - long black things smacking her and me following - but soon setteld. Quite pleasing."

So that all sounds positive! Might get to sit on her next week at this rate!

April 21, 2008

Zilco Tri-Series

Sunday was Waikanae ODE, and the final of the Eventing Wellington Tri-Series. Had a very respectable dressage start time at around 11am! (still not much of a sleep-in, as I wanted a good park! Waikanae is horrid for parking). Ruby did a nice calm dressage test that I was very pleased with! A few untidy parts, but she is improving every time out, and we're stoked about that.
Up the centre line & showing a few lengthened strides (just! haha):
Showjumping was running late, I think we warmed up 3 times before we actually got in the ring - so Ruby was getting a bit sick of me by then. But she just pinged around everything - a wee ball of energy actually.
XC was not a particularly technical course like some of them have been this season, but still a number of different fences that she hadn't seen before (trakhener, palisade, creek crossing etc). We were tearing around, Ruby bounding straight through everything (no time faults for us this time thanks!). Unfortunately we clipped the 2nd to last fence coming at it all wrong, but we continued on and I was just so pleased with how honest and forward she had been the whole way around. A lot of horses took exception to some of the fences on course and Ruby was just the old pro (even after I accidentally hooked her in the face coming out of the water). We stayed around for what felt like forever (3 hours after finishing riding!) for the prizegiving and Ruby got a sash for 3rd place in the Training Tri-series, yay Ruby!!
Next weekend she's got a couple of dressage tests, and then a rest after a busy season.

Neo and Zak

Neo and Zak seem to be enjoying their winter turnout in Pahiatua. Zak's leg is slowly getting better, and Neo certainly isn't looking lightweight! They've also made some new friends (the Clydesdales next door), and by the looks of it Mr sheepish look Zakky has been breaking things (like trees), silly pony:
And cute pics of the 2 of them tucking into their dinners:
Not sure when they're coming back home - but they're more than happy up there for the moment.

April 16, 2008

First Ride on Gem

Gem was a bit pushy while getting saddled up, seemed most interested in absolutely everything. She was good though, and moved over when asked and little things like that. I got on from the fence (she's too tall to get on from the ground!), and went for a walk... She was quite exciteable and a little naughty to start with, but calmed down immediately once she'd had a look around:
So we did some big circles of walk around the paddock just to stretch her muscles out, then went for a short trot:
I figured that was enough for the day, and put her away with her dinner. She's got lovely movement - and even though she's out of work, she was still listening and trying to work out what I wanted so she could do things right. She's going to be heaps of fun for Mum!

Gem Arrives

Last night Gem arrived! Majestics picked her up from a friend's place in Cambridge, then dropped her at the Palmy depot. Mum went and got her from the depot in our truck and brought her home. They got here around 9pm or so.

Gem happily strode down the driveway and once in her yard immediately found the food and water and barely got her head up once she'd got stuck into those! We wrapped her up in warmies for the night and then left her to it:
When I popped down this morning to give them all breakfast Gem looked nicely settled in and has made a few horsey friends already. Will hopefully jump on and take her for a walk today to stretch out her muscles after the long day yesterday.

In the Sun

On Sunday it'd been a year since we lost Odette. It was a nice sunny day, so I spent some time just sitting in the paddocks with the horses that are here now, and some time sitting where Odette is buried.

Alfie and Pip got their rugs off and didn't want to do much else other than sniff their rugs (maybe they wanted them back on?!):

But eventually they went for a wander (and later I saw them playing in the creek too):

Ruby and Billie both came to see me (and later both rolled so much that later that evening the mud was just caked on both of them and took ages to brush out! silly horses). Rubes and Billie

April 12, 2008


Billie is settling into the routine here - though missing Alfie after I split them up (they were in love or something, at least that's what they tried to tell me). Billie will come out for the drive next weekend to watch the eventing, but no competitions for her yet:

Weekend Update

Well it's the first weekend in a while where we've had sunshine... and while some more rain might be nice for the grass, it has been lovely to go outside without 4 layers of waterproof clothing! The new kitten (still unnamed) is fitting in well, though turns out he's an absolute doofus as he has already managed to fracture one of his little kitten legs and sprain a joint or something... but he & Maulfa have been enjoying some outside sunshine time too:
Also got our roof painted today (which is not really very exciting for anyone except us) - but again, lucky to have the sunshine to be able to do it! Repainted in much the same colour it already was... green to match the grass that Alfie & Pippa are happily stuffing themselves with:
Next weekend eventing at Waikanae... hopefully the ground up there is not too hard!

April 06, 2008

'Riding' Alfie

Okay, so Alfie recently popped a split and so I'm not supposed to be working him yet. But he's just so adoreable that I couldn't stop myself from clipping a leadrope onto his halter and climbing onto him from the fence for a little walk around bareback. He is such a dude - very laid back and incredibly cuddly!
Ruby and Pippa were very interested in watching what the new arrivals (Alfie & Billie) were up to, while Maulfa made himself useful looking after the water trough:
Billie had a big ride today with quite a bit of canter work too - and was a very puffed wee girl afterwards! But she was very brave heading through a few different creeks and things, so certainly earned her big feed after:
There has been a heap of rain at our place lately, and while out on Billie I noticed the hill paddocks have started to come away really well. The paddocks I have been resting are actually looking all green and grassed up again! Yay!


About 3 weeks ago now our kitten (well, 13 month old "catten"), Minda, didn't come home after his morning jaunt. We searched for a week or so - and we still haven't found Minda - or any sign of what happened to him. Nick and I were both really sad, but it was really taking it's toll on Maulfa... Maulfa was absolutely unhappy and lonely.

We decided late last week that it wasn't fair to make Maulfa wait any longer. If Minda returns one day we will be over the moon! But in the meantime, Maulfa needed a play-buddy... So we headed off to the SPCA (twice actually - we're not particularly quick with the decision making sometimes) and ended up with an as-yet-unnamed fluffy kitten for Maulfa.

Fluffy-kit has settled in well, and after a few days of being mostly ignored by Maulfa - is now a part of the family, and Maulfa is seeming a lot more settled:
So now we just have to come up with a name...

April 04, 2008

New Horse! Alfie!!

Not to be outdone by Mum, I had to get a new horse as well, didn't I! Alfie is a 4yo by Zorro's Lad. He arrived well after dark, but was a real doll to handle, and seemed to want nothing but cuddles cuddles and more cuddles. Apologies for the very unflattering photos of the poor fella! It's hard taking photos in the pitch black!