Thursday 31 March 2011

Muddy Horses

Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, at least not at the moment but yesterday was a different matter. We’ve had sun shine for days now and the horses have been going out with no rugs on, I had just finished hanging the horses hay nets when it started raining, it was not cold so I left them out for a bit longer. I don’t know if it was their way of getting back at me for leaving them in the rain, but they all had a good run around, and then when they were quite wet they all rolled the end result mud! Today they have all had a bit of a groom, I use a curry comb to take the mud off but as the photo shows there is still dust, then I use a Bartl sheepskin grooming mitt to try and get the dust off, it is quite good and so soft that I can do their face’s, oh and I don’t use a metal curry comb on the horse just to put your minds at rest.
Thanks for the comments, Abby, I don’t know about trying for the donkey as where we are moving to has houses nearby and we might have complaints about the noise.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys

Look at those little faces so loveable, yep that’s right the yard we keep our horses at has Miniature Donkeys, lots of them. The moment I saw them I wanted one, this is partly because I felt sorry for them as they are not looked after very well and it is also because they are, like I said so loveable. I tried to buy a little stallion, but when I asked about his paper work they said that they had it somewhere but in their words, “ It will probably take me like three months or something to find “, at the time I thought that I would just say ok and wait to see if they got the papers. After some time I asked about him again, they said that someone else was buying him and that they were paying a lot more then me. I asked when they were going to pick the donkey up, the yard owner told me that they had to hold on to him for two months. Quite some time has passed since the two months, and the donkey has never been collected, but I now realize that one of the yard owners will sell but one of them will not and the one that doesn’t sell will do whatever it takes to not sell, even lying about some one else buying the donkey. Thank you all for your comments. Abby I won the product by entering in to a competition in a magazine, the magazines name is Horses & Rider, you may have heard of it? Sherri b, thanks for the help, sadly it hasn’t worked but thanks anyway.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Chestfields Equine Products

Alright time for horsey care. I don't use many products on the horses but when I do I use Chesfields Equine Products. This is probably because I won a set of their products, so they were free, but anyway they are really good. I would like to talk about two in particular: Cut & Graze - This one sadly has had the most use but it works great. Madeline is always cutting herself on the poor fencing and everytime we use Cut & Graze on her. None of her injuries have got infected since we have been using it. Mane & Tail - Now this one is what I used on Murphy when I gave him his bath. As you know his bath didn't go so well but we have used it on Niko's and Murphy's tails and they stay soft and silky for days later. Should probably have taken some photographs of me using them, but at the time I did not really think of it. Anyway here is a nice photo of Niko. Thanks for your comments on my last post and just wondered if anyone else is having problems with spacing / paragraphs on Blogger?

Monday 28 March 2011

Mud or Dust

What is worse having a horse covered in mud up to its ears, or having a very dusty one? I would say that I prefer a dusty one. Trying to keep a horse clean can be very difficult, dust is quicker to get the top layer off, but it really gets in their fur and can make it hard to get out. But mud is so much worse, it sticks in their fur and then when you brush it off it turns to dust, at least when it is muddy the horses are probably going to be wearing rugs most of the time, but as you can see here this was one of the times they weren’t. I find that Madeline is the easiest to groom because she only rolls on one side most of the time. Niko is probably the hardest to groom because he rubs it all over himself, and he really doesn’t like being groomed and has bit me on several occasions when I am bending down grooming his legs. It is quite a shock to have my butt bitten by him, and then when I go to tell him off he pretends that he has not done it. Thanks for all your comments, Michelle, Murphy is native welsh mountain pony, we think that he is a section B but we aren’t completely sure.

Sunday 27 March 2011

Murphy’s Training

Murphy’s been doing a little bit of work, as he’s only young he does not do a lot of work, today he has been being led. He is not really very willing, he is a very food orientated pony and work just gets in the way of food.

It is very rewarding whenever I can get him going, as he is such a talented pony and so young. He’s jumping in hand, completely bombproof, and he has some great action, so I thought I would do a post about him, but as I mention he likes his food.

So he hasn’t done a lot today, I have just led him around a bit as I don’t want to force him into doing too much work, when he is older he won’t be allowed to shirk off all the time but, for now I spouse it’s ok. Thanks for the comments, Abby, I know what you mean about some horses being uncomfortable to sit on bare back, Niko is very uncomfortable to ride bare back. I’ve been riding him with a saddle today. AllHorsestuff, if you have been riding with no saddle since last summer, it sounds like you will be very happy to have your new saddle.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Riding Bare Back

Today I’ve be riding bare back, it is my idea of practising on my seat/balance, Anyway on to the practise, as normal I started with a walk, obviously there were no problems with the walk. I am not an exceptional rider, but I think even I would have difficulty falling off at the walk.

Then we had a trot which was quite bumpy to start with, but I soon got my balance back, and then all the trotting went pretty good.

And then I just had to try cantering, not such a good idea or such a good experience. It is hard to end on a good note when, well let’s just say my riding was less then dignified, this photograph is sadly one of the better moments, where I can pretend that I am in control, but it really is just pretending.

And I had a goat watch me all the time, with very accusing eyes. Well at least I have learnt another lesson, make sure that Niko is wearing a neck strap for me to grab instead of his poor mane when I almost fall off.
Thank you all for your comments on my last post.

Friday 25 March 2011

Just a Quick One

Just a quick one today because I forgot to take the camera to the yard, so all of the photographs are old but still nice. Here is what I have been doing, I said that I intended to do a bit more work on Murphy's mane and that is done now, and my Mother decided that she wanted Madeline's mane pulled as well so Madeline has had her mane pulled too.

Oh and we now know the names of Pip's sire and dam, his sire's name is Bobby and his dam is Daisy. Ok now all I need to do is remember to take the camera next time.

Thanks for your comments on my last post, it's nice to know that their manes look good.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Pull That Mane

Look at these scruffy chaps, such a messy bunch or at least they were scruffy now I have smartened them up a bit. Well at least I hope they look smarter, here take a look at my handy work.

This is Niko's new hair cut, well I pulled it not cut it, but here it is, and I quite like it. Sadly his mane is still a bit on thin side in places from wearing a cribbing collar.

Well I think he looks quite happy with it. He was very well behaved which is a good job too because it is the first time I have pulled a mane, lots of new stuff for me, first with the bath and now pulling manes.

And here is Murphy's new look. I will just say that I intend to do a bit more work on it tomorrow but I don't think I left him looking too bad. Anyway there they are looking pretty good, but I think that a pulled mane looks better on a thoroughbred then a welsh pony, at least he won't get so hot with out such a thick mane.
Thanks for your comments on my last post.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Murphy's Bath Time

Today I gave Murphy his first ever bath, it was also the first time I had given a pony or horse a bath. He was pretty good about it for never having one before.

But there is always a catch, lets just say I didn't know he was going to do that.

Here we are giving him a good hose down, then we put the shampoo on, gave him a rubbing and washed it all off.

I had decided to give him a bath today because it was such a nice day and so I thought that we could just turn him out and he'd dry off in the sun.

And here he is going out to dry off you can probably guess what happened.

Oh why did I not think of him doing that.

And so I have learnt a valuable lesson today always bring towels if you are giving your horse or pony a bath and dry them very well before turning them out.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Here's The Plan

As you all know we aren't very pleased with the yard owners and so I have decided to try and move sooner then later. So here's what we are up too, at the moment we are trying to get the fence up and running, we decided to go with electric fencing because it is a lot cheaper then post and rail and we really don't like barbed wire.

We need to sort out the stables as well, but I think that if we can get the paddock fenced all our horses and pones will be fine living out until the stables are ready, as they are all quite used to living out, and we have some great weather here too.

I would really like to hear what you all think of it, if you think it is a stupid idea please just say so I won't be offended.

Monday 21 March 2011

A Mouse in Her House

It seems there is a mouse in Madeline's house, well her stable and there are three of them. I have to say I am not very taken by them but they are quite sweet, I suppose it's better than rats. And Madeline doesn't seem to mind them.

This will be my last post involving the bonfire as they have re-lit it and lit a second one, if I manage to get them out for good I will let you know but for now all my posts will be bonfire free. But thanks for all your comments on it

Sunday 20 March 2011

Heavy Horses and What They've Done For Us

(Shire mare & foal)
A heavy horse is a large horse bred to perform hard / heavy work such as ploughing and farm labour. The heavy horse is used today for shows, forestry work, leisure riding, driving, and some are still used for supplying breweries and on farms.
A Shire Horse (heavy horse) holds the world record for the biggest horse, he stood at 21.2 ½ hands high, his name was Samson. Heavy horses are mostly quite docile, they have upright shoulders, a short back with strong hindquarters and almost all have feathers.
The Belgium Draft horse (heavy horse) is supposedly the strongest of the heavy horses, it is also probably my favourite. Sadly the Belgium Draft is still used for meat in some parts of the world. None of these photographs are of a Belgium Draft.

(Suffolk Punch)
It is a common mistake that heavy horses are just modern destriers (Medieval war horses) but it is horses like the Friesian who were the destriers, although it is quite likely that the heavy horse has some medieval war horse in it. But I am not an expert on it anyway.
Oh and the part about what they did for us: heavy horses have helped with farm work for centuries, transporting goods, supplying breweries, they helped to build some of the most impressive buildings and they helped in our wars too. Over half a million heavy horses were used in World War 1 supporting the military effort.
Anyway I am just about finished boring you now but I thought it was quite interesting.
The photographs are from a heavy horse show.

(Shire horse)

Oh and I have soaked the bonfire with the hose pipe now all I can do is see if they have re-lit it tomorrow.

Saturday 19 March 2011

The Project - Stable Block

We now have a stable block of four boxes, it isn't yet ready to have the horses in as the floor hasn't been put down and it seems it has sunk on one side so one of the doors won't lock. But we have them now and yes they need some adjustments and some other stuff to be fitted but they're quite nice and they're made with log lap which is almost as nice as barrel board which was what I wanted but I am very happy with them. Oh and one of them has no chew strip yet.

And now we can begin to try and get Pip used to being boxed. We put him in the box for the first time today he was not very happy to go in the box but when we got him in he was very well behaved. He is back in the paddock now but we will keep trying to get him used to being boxed. I remember when we put Murphy in a box for the first time he tried to jump out, but now he loves to go in to his box at the end of day and have his hay.

And as of the bonfire one of the yard owners has agreed that it needs to be put out but she is leaving it to the other owner to do it and he is to lazy to do it so the bonfire is still going. If they would just let me put it out this would not be a problem.

And thank you for your comments on my last post.

Friday 18 March 2011

Not As Bad As It Looks

Sweet Niko what could he ever do that is so awful? The answer is of course nothing, but that isn't what everybody thinks as Niko has some habits, bad habits. He is in fact a cribber. He has been cribbing all the time I have known him and I still love him just as much as I do the other horses. I knew that he cribbed when I bought him and I was still happy to buy him, more then happy he was my after all my first horse.

There are lots of different opinions on cribbers but I have to say that many of them are just barbaric. I am of course referring to practices such as surgically cutting a muscle and nerve in the neck to prevent cribbing. The use of a cribbing cage, which was used on Niko before we bought him and had made him head shy.

We have tried to stop him with Cribox and one of the livery yards where we kept our horses insisted that he wear a cribbing collar, it didn't work and now I just let him crib. Our vet has told us that the current theory on cribbing is that it is a form of stress relief which then becomes a habit and that providing it doesn't cause health problems it is kinder to let horses crib.

If you have an opinion on cribbers please feel free to post it.

And the problem with the bonfire is not yet resolved, will keep you posted.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Smoke Out

For quite some time now our yard owner has been having a bonfire, and by quite some time I mean about five days non stop, and not to mention that the bonfire is all the muck from the yard. It reeks and today was the last straw. I arrived at the yard to see all the smoke from the bonfire pouring into Murphy's stable. we quickly turned Murphy out in the paddock where he had his morning feed.

Before the smoke had been blowing over to the neighbours which obviously went down really well, we tried to help them put it out but when we went back the next day it was going again. So this time we have put it out again and I have complained and told the yard owners that if smoke blows into Murphy's stable again the bonfire will have to be moved.

And now I should really stop complaining, thanks for listening.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

The Horse Pics

Here are some photographs that a photographer took of the horses at the yard with some interesting special effects, if that's what you call them.
Here's some of Niko and looking good too.

I think this one is really nice.

And here's Madeline being worked, I usually prefer photos with me in them to be a bit further away but with these effects I think it looks quite good.

Here are some of the foals at the yard.

You've just got to love foals.