Sunday, August 31, 2008

Good 'Horse Day'

A gorgeous sunny day just begging for some horse action, sums it up perfectly. I brought 2 broodies in from out the back, JK Glamour Girl and JK My Penny. Penny is due to foal on or around 2 October, and looking great. Glamour Girl (aka 'Cuddles') is an antique and just needs a little extra love! They are in with Rodin now, as they are a good 'family unit' and can stay out of trouble together. The 3 TB's, Duckie, Lady and Sassy can stay out the back for another few weeks yet: I like to see their coats through before I start any serious teasing and they are all still woolly and wild.
THEN:! It was RG Rococo's turn for some much needed attention. He hasn't been touched for far too long and boy was he happy for the session! I brought him over to the round arena and did some leading/tying-up followed by a good grooming session and a bit of maintenance. What a lovely natured colt. He is now officially 2 years old (real time is November) and feeling his 'oats'. I am in a bit of a quandary as to how I am going to manage 2 entires this season....maybe more yarding and stables etc etc etc. He was very well behaved and I am looking forward to another session with him this week.
Everybody had their rugs off for a couple of hours and got some much needed sun on their backs. Gawd...I know how good that feels! The only downside was that with this poxy flu, I don't feel like riding at all, and Red NEEDS the work! Oh, for a body-double....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

RedMans Big Day Out

I am so proud of my youngster, RG RedMan, after we attended a local Training Comp. during the weekend. We entered the Saturday 'Ride and Review' test 0.3. He warmed up well on the lunge, listening to all verbal commands in spite of several whizzy youngsters flying about! He was a little 'bouncy' and fresh when I got on board, but settled quickly and gave me the confidence to at least Enter at 'A'.

I am learning (albeit slowly) that this horse is REALLY sensitive....and my usual heavy thuggish way of riding needs a lot of work! But he is also very forgiving and when I get the buttons pushed the right way - WOW!

I wasn't prepared to do the canter-work in this test, as we are both a little too unbalanced, but we are working on this at home. He was a little fussy with the bridle, hand-related (!) and some rhythm was lost through this, but all in all, pretty good. We ended up with a score of 58% and some nice judge comments.

Day two was tests 0.1 and 0.2. Nice and easy, no canter. The day before had taken the sting out, and Red warmed up quickly and kindly. We were 2nd to ride in the first test which went beautifully! Good rhythm, less fussy, good impulsion....all the boxes being ticked! We scored really well and ended up in 2nd place! So proud of him!
The second test was an hour and a half later, in steady drizzle with a few 'surface issues'. A lot of riders worried about slipping on the rapidly-turning-to-slush grass. We warmed up with some trot-work and lots of up-down transitions, which I am still a bit ham-fisted with and need to learn to use more seat and legs! Red was knackered! I had to squeeze every last drop out of him, and he rose to the challenge, finishing on a very credible 75% in second place again! I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!!!! He is easily the nicest horse I have ever sat on (apart from his daddy of course) and I just can't wait til our next 'outing'. Two blue ribbons. Yay!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just Another Day...

A non-horsey day. Only because my cunning Red decided that I could whistle and call all I liked this morning, but the spring grass was a better option. And knowing my love for traipsing through 25 acres....knew he was pretty safe!
Instead of (wisely) going for a ride, I decided (unwisely) that it was time to do something about the roosters. For months I had been putting off the nasty chore, but after watching Jamie Oliver's 'Chicken Episode' the other night.....well...the time was right. I managed to catch 6 of the blighters and lock them in the shed with 2 on the run. With no hardened kill-thirsty help to be seen, I did a classic 'me' and headed back off indoors to start painting the lounge ceiling. After about 10 minutes, 2 ladder-climbs and 3'sq coverage, the help appeared! Works every time.
I'm not going to give all the gory details. The job was done fairly humanely and we were now faced with a pile of flesh and feathers, which Greg assured me would come off WAY better with the help of a little hot water. 'A little hot water' involved: The building of a roaring fire, the setting up of an old cauldron full of (rusty) water and a cup of tea break whilst waiting for the water to become usefully hot enough. It was at this point the other two roosters showed their noisy faces. We decided to nail them with the shotgun. After a little stalking, to-ing and fro-ing, swearing, ranting and finally blasting we had a total of eight to deal with.
I have to say, the hot water works! The feathers just fell off! I wish I could say the same about the insides of the damn critters. That was MY job, as I had the smallest hand. Bugger. What a waste of my gorgeous french polish that took me ages to get right. I have a freezer full of lovely free-range, pre-crowing, man-chooks.
The weather has now turned to custard. Red is still nowhere to be seen. I guess it's back to the paint job...

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Season Approaches....

OK. Where to start. As the 2008/9 breeding season approaches, I am starting to monitor the mares a little more closely. As their coats start to 'shift', so do their attitudes! I have 3 new TB mares of my own this season: Sassy, by Hula Town, Lady, by Columbia and 'Ducky' (Garbo's Last) by Mellifont. I have 2 mares to foal this season, Glamour Girl and JK My Penny. Industrial sized rolls of cotton wool required!
In between working the youngsters and visits to the broodmares, I have lifted nearly 2000 lambs for my long-suffering-non-horsey husband. Docking is a great way to keep fit, although, if you are partial to lambs tails (EW - I know!) all of the benefits are negated as you tend to scoff your days work! We have had a great lambing. Only ended up with 2 pets, Bruce and TinkyWinky, who both 'lost' their tails yesterday. Calving is now imminent. I think we are calving around 300 cows (beefys) this year....will double check that. The vineyard is awaiting a team of pruners....once again, my best layed (laid?) plans have come to sod all when it comes to taking charge of that job! ...Maybe next year?