June 21, 2012

Dressage Saddle

So... there comes a time when you just can't avoid it any longer, and you have to get a dressage saddle. I'd really only just sold my old one (having no use for it) - and yet somehow the universe puts me back into the world of needing a dressage saddle. Seems to fit Mijla nicely (and even popped it on Zak and it seems ok - didn't girth it up on him though, so not 100% sure). I am very out of practice though! First few pics are with my stirrups shorter...

And these two pics are with the stirrups a bit longer. I think they mostly look better longer, but I felt like I was reaching for them. I'm going to have to do a fair few hours in the dressage saddle to get into the swing of things again!

I thought I'd found a bridle to match, but alas it was not meant to be... so still on the hunt for a brown bridle to go with the saddle in case I ever get enough weight on the mare to put her in some saddle hunter classes.

June 19, 2012


Dentist for all 3 horses! Loaded them up in the float and took them to Otaki. Zak loaded very well (he does much better when he is between 2 others - seems to make him calm).

Neo was pretty good - just has a front tooth that needs to come out next time we're up there. Possibly not causing any issues, but better to be safe than sorry.

Zak has big wolf teeth that may need to come out - just have to play it by ear with him. I have changed his bridle to ensure there is no pressure on that area and I'll see if I can spot any discomfort. 

Mijla had quite a few sharpies and had those seen to, but nothing more exciting than that.

June 17, 2012

Tielcey Combined Training

Entered Neo in the PreNovice, and Mijla in the PreTraining. Neo actually did a very good dressage for him, but shocking jumping - wouldn't jump off a long stride and I have no idea why. Very disappointed. So he ended up last, which was also 3rd. I didn't do any straight showjumping on him as I felt there was no point if he's not jumping well.

Mijla did a kind enough dressage - we both made some mistakes, and still need a heck of a lot more rocket fuel in her. She came 3rd in the dressage and 7th overall after a rail in the SJ. I also did the 80cm straight showjumping for a double clear! About 5 seconds off the pace, but very pleased with her. 

I'll update this post later if any photos crop up - no photoslave for me this weekend.

June 12, 2012


All ponies were overdue for their toes, so thankfully the weather sort of played ball for the farrier and I. It pissed down a few times, but only for a couple of seconds then the sun came out again. Very odd, actually. 

Neo's feet were good, as usual. The farrier likes him too, as he just stands like a rock for having his toes done (about the ONLY time Neo stands still for anything). 

Zak was really good news - being in work has done him a world of good, and the shape of his hooves was the best that we've ever seen them. Still got a way to go yet, but it's looking like we won't need to put on corrective shoes - just keep chipping away with the trimming and see how it progresses. Zak's behaviour was still naughty, but it's getting slowly better every time. He's so different to any other horse I've worked with - I really hope there is a superstar in him waiting to come out, god knows I put enough time and energy into him for it! 

Mijla had front shoes on, and back feet with huge cracks. It was all a bit of a mess. So it was hot shoes all around, and a custom one on the off hind with extra clips to hold the crack together. Looks like the cracks are from old injuries - so we'll just have to keep on top of things with the shoes and then by next season they will be looking a lot healthier. 

Dentist in a week for the lot of them! I am spending all of my money before becoming an unemployed person at the end of this contract!

June 10, 2012

More Manfeild

June's Manfeild event crept up on me - like really crept up on me! On Saturday night Karina mentioned it on Facebook, and I ended up rearranging a few things and deciding to head on up very much on a whim.

Mijla was coming up mostly just to see what she'd do. How would she travel, would she stand nicely at the float alone, would she behave? She travelled really well (after accidentally boofing me in the face and putting a tooth through my lip).

She was a bit unsure when we first headed out - a little spooky at a few things and had a little hop around at one point, but nothing that would get you worried. And she calmed down heaps after 5 minutes riding. I even took her into a few warmup areas that had other horses cantering past us and towards us... again, she wasn't overly confident, but got better with time. 

At the truck by herself she called out lots, but didn't appear to actually try and go for a wander anywhere - so that is nice to know. I could have done a bit more with her - but she's still very unfit and skinny and I just didn't want her to associate going to shows with not having fun. I want her to associate it with food and good times (much like I do!).

It was going to be ages till any class for Neo, and the rain was moving in, so I figured I'd just take him for a ride. He is starting to be really good in the warmup areas these days - no reefing or being a total idiot. Because I do most of my work on him bareback, I know that he will be a bit different to ride on the days where I put a saddle on... but if I can work out a way to keep his brain between his ears then I might be looking forward to a fun season on him.

Did a few little practice fences on him, not the tidiest haha! And then headed to the hose down to wash off half of the arena surface that he seemed to have got over his legs and belly.

Thanks again to Swifty for pics and also opening gates in the rain!

June 03, 2012

Queens BDay - Mijla

Mijla is a new arrival. She's a 7yo TB mare (by Traditionally) who has done a couple of low level shows, but hasn't been in work for around 18 months. Majestic dropped her off to me on Friday, so I had a bareback ride on her Friday & Saturday while waiting for some rainscald to clear up. Today was our first day with the saddle! She doesn't actually look very thrilled at the prospect:

But she behaved really well - she hasn't been spooky or uptight at any point - even with other horses coming to use the arena, which Neo gets quite excited about.

Mijla is very kind and I think once I get some heating food into her and some more meat on her bones she will actually have quite a nice trot - she seems to remember the basics of her schooling and doesn't fizz when we get our signals mixed up.

Finding the canter button took me a while - and because she's quite unfit I didn't want to sit on her and have her trying to balance both of us, but once we got into canter she sorted herself out nicely.

And the next few canter transitions were fine too. We only did about 10 minutes of riding, didn't want to make her too sore and tired.

Don't currently have a dressage saddle, but have bought a square pad for under my jumping saddle, just in case we decide to pop along to some winter dressage (I guess there must be some coming up).

Queens BDay - Zak

Zak has had a few weeks off, and yesterday when I got on him he was really well-behaved, I was super happy with him. Of course that meant today, when I had Swifty and the camera around we had a few occurrences of naughty Zak:

But for much of the time he was quite soft and moving forward and freely.

More boring walking pics:

Attempted some trots, most hilarious! Not sure if I have trotted him bareback before? He certainly got his back up a few times but didn't actually buck - so that is a good start!

And cutie-pie Zak:

He is still having little tantrums when he thinks he's done enough work. I'm just trying to work through them, make him work just 5 minutes longer once he's had a tantrum, and hopefully they will become less & less. I think we're getting there. Will also pop the saddle back on him either tomorrow or next weekend and see if any of the saddles I have here are fitting him properly at the moment.

Queens BDay - Neo

Long weekend! And getting lots of work into the horses... it's been really great. Have been trying to get lots and lots of canter work into Neo. I'm sure his canter is improving (at least it feels a little softer, certainly doesn't look any better).

He's in really good condition coming into winter too - and not too much of a fluffy yak.

His trot is still really terrible and jammed up, even with loops in the reins. To be honest, at the moment I can't be bothered trying to fix it... I'm just going to work on doing one thing at a time, and at the moment I'm focused on the canter... so the trot is just going to have to wait for another time!

As usual, I don't know what the next outing for him is. Probably another of the Manfeild SJ series up in Feilding. I wouldn't mind taking him out to do some dressage so he gets some non-jumping outings, but his flatwork at the moment isn't worth offending the judges.