Friday, January 29, 2010

Muriwai Beach

Today Cilla was going to ride Annie on Muriwai Beach but I didn't really feel ready to get on Garbo - when we arrived he was tense (mind you there were no other horses in sight and he had not been there for like three and a half years).... so we just walked around and went over some logs and through tree gaps in the tie up area. The tie up area is really really huge now - hitching rails everywhere - it's very cool.

We had about 30 minutes before anyone else arrived but I knew he was not ready to ride - and wouldn't be - it was all too new for him. At one point I thought - gosh the two times I came her he was ok - but that was pre-Parelli and I bet he wasn't - I would have just been blind to it. No wonder so many people fall off.

So finally the others arrived and Garbo and I headed off on the 22ft to the beach through the access (deep sand track) - it took about 15 minutes on foot and he was leading the way all the way till about 3/4 way - where suddenly he could hear the waves.

He stopped. I asked him forward and he backed up fast - so we headed back to a safe point and waited for the others - it seemed like an eternity but finally the appeared. Garbo then followed the others with me in tow over the rise and down the sand dune to the beach.

He was unconfident but he trusted me - that's all that mattered for me today. We stopped with the others briefly and then they headed towards the water and along the beach and we just walked along - quite away from them. He was a bit unsure about the black sand lines coming from the shells in the sand, the tire treads and sometimes just the lines in the sand the wind had made. But he didn't stop or spook - just looked. He had two nervous poos though!

We got to the Estuary and he wasn't even interested in playing in the water - so the others went on and we headed back (alone). He was very keen to show me which way home was! But he didn't go faster and always stopped when I asked him to - keep coming to me but not walking into me.

At one point we actually joined up with his hoof prints from the way 'to' the estuary and he recognised them as his. He hauled me up the sand dunes (I was quite knackered by now) and waited while I trudged through the deep sand - he would take two steps and wait, two steps nd wait.

Back on the track he was not confident enough to graze again until the float was in sniffing distance. I tied him up for a rest and a think and had some water, then we headed home (3 hours after setting off).

I was really pleased with him today - and with myself for not riding. But also how confident he was just with me - completely on our own - walking away from other horses.

And the loading was fab too. Maraschino apparently had some little run arounds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Forest ride and BFO

Well we went to the forest with 5 other horses today!

I got there really early (because Garbo loaded like a dream) and Cilla went with Annie the horse she is borrowing from Julie. I don't think I have ever ridden Garbo in such a big group in the forest. We got there early so we had a nice walk around and investigated the forest and grasses on all sides of the carpark - and of course all the email (poo).

Finally the others arrived and soon after that we set off. Garbo seemed knackered quite soon into the ride - and he was sweating alot by about 15 minutes into it. After he had a poo (he drifted back until everyone else was ahead) he started his steady pace of passing, one by one, all the others. First I thought it was just he had a faster walk but soon realised he was vying for the front spot. Julie has said 'no one passes me and Kiwi" - well - Garbo had other ideas!

I tried lifting his rein and tried partial disengagement too but he was dead set on leaning on Kiwi and trying to pass him. After a while he got in a tizz and started bucking on the spot, I think from me lifting the rein to hold him off Kiwi all the time. I got off and backed him up... then got back on - he had a very 'sorry' look on his face and sidled up to the log for me to get on.

Then we set off again and 5 minutes later same thing.... well this time Julie said - just let him go in front. So we did and calmly and confidently lead the whole ride back (sometimes way out in front) back. That's a FIRST!

You know - till today I never thought that was a dominance issue but I realised today it was. He was dominating Kiwi and thought his rightful place was at the front.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


The horses have been having a holiday - I am in my 2nd week of working very long days to get everything dome before a couple of important deadlines at the end of the month, and of course I want to be free to take time off while Cilla is here - a good incentive!

But the horses have only been getting fed at night and a wave out the window. They don't seem to mind too much. Today I gave them all some vegemite. I got it for Maraschino's sarcoid and he just ate it and then Garbo got the taste - now they all line up for it.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

For Cilla and Lizzie

Cilla I will put this on a disk for you too. I know you don't like Country music but the words are just perfect. I was out yesterday with my boys and was making this and I turned in my iPod and this song came on and I thought - yes - it's perfect. And it's Keith Urban - he's damn cute!

Sending you love and strength for Monday.

Another sunny ride today

Boy it was hot and humid today but I persevered and stuck my black joddies on and went to Jools with Garbo for a ride. She offered us the indoor arena - we started off in there, playing touch it first around the edges since we had not ridden in there before and only been in it once. Garbo chased all the chickens out first too.

We tried a few yo yo's without circle.

Hi Milo.
I got on but it really was too small to do too much so we headed out to the grass arena again.
Funnily enough in the indoor arena - after we got past the saying hi to every horse around the outside eating hay, we got some lovely canter circles!

My goal was to trot the rail x 15 today - well we ended up cantering it (stopping at point A for a carrot each time) about 6 times plus about 7 times at trot with transitions and change of direction - so my plan kinda went out the window but you have to deal with the horse that shows up right?

I tried to focus on cantering with my body if he stopped cantering, and to start cantering from trot, and it worked well - heck we even did a flying change - must have been on the wrong lead and he swapped. Clever boy.

Afterwards we went back into the indoor arena and I took his gear off and we did some liberty. Jools commented again (I always think she isn't watching) how much he loves it.

She then jumped on Intrigue - her arab and went to check the drains.

Garbo could see them through the trees and was initially trying to figure out what it was he could see so far away - then called out. Oh and he rolled in the sand too - as you can see.

Garbo loved little Milo!!

Then we did some touch it since there were so many interesting things around the place.

So all in all a very well rounded day! Loading was great too! I have been asking on softly but if he looks like one little ounce of trying it on I get very assertive very quickly.

Here's some video of the Liberty, a bit of confusion with aids as you can see... but we are getting there and I am getting fitter - I edited out the parts where we were out of shot (camera was sitting on post).