September 30, 2008

Daylight savings

Daylight savings has made riding after work so much easier! Tonight I was able to get 3 horses worked over 2 rides on the hills and still have heaps of time to potter around down at the sheds. I decided to pony Alfie off Neo, as Alfie had a sore leg last week and is only just coming back into work, so I wanted something nice and easy for him. He seemed to really enjoy it once we got up on the big hills and into a steady trot. My cute boys:
Then I took Violet up on the hills as her fetlock is all better after the knock. It was her second time on the hills and she wasn't spending her time looking at everything else this time, so we were able to get in a better ride. She's not hill fit though! We did a very short trot and then she was puffed and sweaty, poor darling. Miss Vi:
Kody and Pip stayed down at the yards and didn't do anything except eat dinner tonight. Lucky animals!


Building has started on the shed:

September 28, 2008

QEP XC Training

Was planning to take Violet out today for an outing and a few cross country fences, but she banged her leg on Saturday morning, and it's a tiny bit puffy. Thought it wasn't worth trying to jump while it's like that (especially as she is out of practise). Such a shame though, I was really looking forward to doing some XC on her. She's been a total doll at home, just cruising around. But Neo was still keen to get out and do some jumps, and I thought it could be a nice stress-free outing for Kody to come along and just walk/trot and not do any jumps.
Helen (Neo's old owner) was down for the weekend - so me, her, Nick & Swifty all piled into the truck with Neo and Kody in the back and headed to QEP. Got there far too early, so headed on up to Woolworths Paraparamu to pick up some beer & wine to enjoy in the sun (it was so sunny! absolutely a summer Sunday), then headed back to QEP and started getting the hores ready:
Also met up with Alicia (riding Amy) and one of her friends, and Kaycee from the horsetalk board came along too! There were a bunch of additional supporters on foot as well. We looked like quite the tribe heading around.
Neo & Helen modeling Helen's pink bridle (note: not Neo's bridle! I have not yet been able to convince anyone that it's a good idea for me to buy him a pink bridle), and Me on Kody, with Helen & Neo in tow warming up:
Kody was a real star, just cruising around with Helen. Absolutely unphased by anything. I was really proud of him. After a while I thought it would be good for him to walk up a little bank, but he did a big leap over it and then seemed quite uncomfy afterwards. We took his saddle off and he seemed to immediately settle, so he needs more work on his back. I am thinking I will send him up to Masterton for a rest at Mum's place and get a few recurring chiro or massage sessions for him until he's feeling 100% again.
Neo warming up (he's so pretty), and popping over the ugly training plywood table thing:
And doing a few types of fences that are quite new to him.. the Novice drop off the bank (he did the full combination with the bounce and jump before as well) and the Novice ditch. He's done baby versions of these sorts of fences, but nothing like this before and he was just so calm about everything. I am over the moon with him:
We also did the water, which was very deep! Out of the water and up over the ramp:
Such a fantastic day, and very pleased with both horses. It feels like summer has started and I'm feeling so motivated and enjoying it so much at the moment. Can't wait to have a really cruisy and fun season on Neo, just cementing the things he learnt last season. Plus all the other amazing horses I have at Odenhills this season - it's going to be a great one!

September 22, 2008

New Horse! Violet

Yes, another new horse! Violet (Wynyard Irish Kiss) joined the lineup on Sunday afternoon after a fantastic last outing with her previous Mummy. Rackil & Violet did their first Elementary start and picked up 3rd place, putting registered ESNZ points on Violet's scorecard. What a great start to the season! And great for me too, as I am looking forward to increasing my dressage mileage, and Violet will be a great schoolmistress for that.
Vi has been mainly doing dressage and showing lately, but we'll be looking to get her jumping fit again and get her back on the horse trials circuit and get some showjumping starts into her. She has done Novice HT before - so it certainly shouldn't take much reminding once she sees those XC fences.
Piccies of Vi last week at home (I'll try and get some this week of her down here):
I had my first ride on Vi tonight and she was fab! Rather full of herself (and in love with Neo already!) but within 2 minutes she was completely focused and supple. She has the most fantastic movement - not huge warmblood paces that are overpowering, but just really fluid and rythmic - I'm absolutely impressed! After doing some basic walk/trot/canter to get the feel of her I took her over the bridge, through the creek and just generally around some spooky things and she didn't bat an eyelid! She was more than happy to splash around in the creek.
I have plans for Vi to go to QEP for the XC training this coming Sunday. She probably won't be up to heaps of jumping, but it should be a really good refresher for her and a great way for me to get to know her better. So far she seems like an absolute push-button schoolmistress.

New Horse! Sam

While Mum has been over in Masterton she has been horse collecting! Well, not really - but she came upon an opportunity to take the ride on a nice schoolmaster showhunter type gelding, Sam. Gem on the left (all clipped! yay!) and Sam on the right:
Sam is quite a big boy, around 16.2hh and hasn't done a whole lot in the past year or so. Previously he's had quite a lot of success in the showhunter ring, and ribbons in showjumping up to 1.10m or so. Mum has been bringing him back into work and tells me that he is an absolute gentleman and lots of fun. Not sure yet when Sam will make his first public appearance, but we are certainly eyeing up a few classes for him at Wairarapa A&P show at Carterton.
Gem is in full work now, and hopefully will have some outings through October to keep her occupied. She's full of beans though! So instead of sticking to saddle hunters, it looks like Gem will come over to Wellington to get some jumping experience under her belt.

Waikanae Spring Show

Sunday was Waikanae Spring Show. I'd intended to take Alfie for a ride around to get accustomed to the atmosphere, but he banged his knee overnight and had a treestump for a leg in the morning, so that was a no-go. Kody is on a short break. So that just left Neo to compete!

So it was a very laid back morning (still took Alfie & Kody along for the drive), and a leisurely start to the day. Neo did a super clear round in the showhunter ring, a couple of missed lead changes and rather a lot of energy! But still so much improved from last season.

What I was really really pleased with, though, was Neo's showjumping Ring1 start. He warmed up really well, not even tanky or fizzy. Unfortunately I stuffed him up into the 2nd fence by taking a (really!) bad line into it and trapping him under it. He worked some magic and climbed over it, but we had a rail. Last season he would have stressed a bit, or been slightly distracted by that. But not now, he just came back to a good collected canter and focused on the next fence. The rest of the round was clear and I am totally bummed to have stuffed him up into that second fence. No jumpoff for us!

Think he may have tweaked a muscle getting me out of trouble at that second fence, so our next showhunter was really off. So packed up for the day so he could get his cuddles and his dinner.

Also exciting things!
I met Rackil who dropped off Violet who will be staying with us (more details soon)
Kody is now loading perfectly without a bumrope or any additional encouragement! What a good boy!

September 14, 2008

Clipping & unexpected things

It was so sunny today! I wanted to go for a ride, but am still at the tail end of this flu/infection so the prospect of brushing all the mud off, riding and then having to hose all the sweat off and dry the horses was just about the most unappealing thing I could think of! So I decided to have a go at clipping Neo! So that next time I head out for a ride it'll be a bit easier to do all the grooming stuff. I know that Neo has been clipped before, and expected that he'd behave pretty well. I tied Kody up beside him so that Kodes could learn all about the scary noises that clippers make and discover that they're not going to kill horses. Neo was an absolute angel, and I even got his legs done. I wasn't feeling too tired so I thought I'd give Kody a go and he was really great too! A little twitchy around his legs, so we didn't finish those - but I was really happy with both boys. Clipped Neo & Kody enjoying the sunshine, while Alfie & Pippa do their best impression of homeless people:
Neo, of course, managed to roll and get himself filthy in the short amount of time I had him outside naked. I've got a good white sun-sheet for him... but just looking at how pink he is in these pictures I think I will also need to invest in some sun shade paddock boots so he doesn't get sunburnt legs.

I brought the horses back in to put rugs on the boys again and decided to clean up Alfie a little (I'd left his legs on when I clipped his body previously). I couldn't get his legs 100% dry, so I clipped all of the chestnut parts of his legs, then just whatever bits of his white socks were dry. A bit of a hack job, but I think he looks tidier and if this sunshine keeps up I will be able to do the rest of his white socks one evening this week. As I was clipping Alfie's legs in the tractor shed, Pippa invited herself to the door to have a nosey. She wasn't too worried by the noise of the clippers which got me all motivated...
I took Pip's rug off and got her into the shed, but she's not too keen on enclosed spaces still - so she was a bit worried (all crazy eye!) so I untied her and took her back outside, grabbed the clippers and rubbed them on her neck and she didn't seem bothered at all... before I knew it poor Pippa was half clipped too!

Kody and Neo would just like everyone to know that when you are eating it is mandatory to lift a leg and paw at everything in sight. Also a cute pic of the horses eating and Neo looking a bit confused (he's such a sweetie):
Waikanae Spring Show next Sunday! And collecting Violet... Will be a busy weekend.

September 09, 2008

XC Training

Took Kody and Ned out to introduce them to solid obstacles at the Waikanae PC XC training day. Ned's owner Sarah came out and took some pics, and rode Ned for some of the outing. We didn't get there as early as I thought we might (my fault! my flu-self only operates at half speed) so we missed out on the Intro level flags... which meant we had to take these green as grass horses around the PreTraining fences!
It actually ended up being a fab day. Sarah introduced Ned to water, and then I hopped on him to see how he'd take to the jumps. It took him a while at once fence to work out exactly what was required of him, but once we got over that fence we were on fire! Headed off to do 3 in a row straight away, including fullsize PT fences. Also did a palisade too, Ned just wasn't bothered by anything, not spooky at all! Only managed to get one jumping pic, but you can see how confident he is and how nicely he was jumping:
Kody also jumped really well, but he's overjumping a lot - and then I think he's scaring himself a little, so is losing confidence rather than gaining it. I'm glad I took him out to the training day, but now I will take a step back and get him over more grids and little crossbars until he is happier and not clearing everything by a country mile. Cute Kody drinking the waterjump filthy water:
So I was pleased with the day, but absolutely stuffed at the end of it! Have now finally gotten myself to a doctor and have antibiotics for chest and sinus infection, so hopefully I can get better in time for Waikanae spring show, as I'd like to take 3 or 4 horses out to that.