Sunday 29 January 2012

Feeding in Winter

 As we all know a healthy diet is important for all horses and ponies if in work or otherwise, we are often trying our horses and ponies on different feed types to see what works best for them.
This is the newest addition to our feeds, Alfa-A Oil, it has replaced the HoneyChop during the winter months due to the fact that it is more suited to weight gain and maintaining weight, but still has the benefits of encouraging them to chew a bit more and generally slow down the rate that they consume their feeds.

During winter the water can become very cold and even freeze this can easily put some horses and ponies off drinking as much as they should, to help keep all our equines well hydrated we feed Trident SupaBeet. The beet comes in dried pellets and requires soaking before they can be safely fed. Trident SupaBeet has molasses so can have heating effects on some equines.

We also feed Dodson & Horrell Barley Rings to help with overall conditioning, the barley rings provide a wealth of vitamins to the horses and ponies such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Also being a heavily oil based feed they help deliver that extra shine. Dodson & Horrell Barley Rings can be fed soaked, dry or made into a mash by adding warm water (not hot).

We also use Dodson & Horrell Pasture Cubes which are full of vitamins and minerals, quality protein and antioxidants, helping to keep our horses and ponies active. The pasture cubes also contain garlic and mint to make them more pleasant for horse or pony. Dodson & Horrell Pasture Cubes are a flexible feed that are suited to Pony Club ponies through to Event Horses.

After all these feeds have been added together in the appropriate amounts for the horse or pony we add Apples and Carrots.

 So there’s what we’re feeding this winter

Wednesday 25 January 2012

In The Orchard

Now that we have portable electric fencing we can move the horses just about anywhere and as they have now grazed all the land where the trees were removed we decided do some pruning to make room for the horses to graze between the trees. Here’s little Murphy enjoying the new grazing.

And Niko too but he is more interested in treats at the moment. It’s still too wet here to be riding so he’s just having a long break from work, but I am sure it’ll do him good to have time off, he normally gets a long break every winter.

Pip looking very sweet and innocent, but don’t be fooled he is a little monster at the moment. He is still a colt so is starting to get a bit full of himself, so I’ve started to try and get him to behave himself a bit better. He has the annoying habit of lashing out with his front leg if he is made to wait and he ended up smacking me in the knee today, but afterwards I made him walk and trot about with me and stand to wait a bit as well and he was really good, so I was quite happy with him.

Here’s Tipper looking quite the fool with a weed hanging from his forelock, he’s muddy but happy. He to isn’t doing anything because of the wet, but I have taken to putting a bridle on him to take him out and in as he hasn’t been very good about having one on the few times I have put one on him. By putting the bridle on to take him in and out it shows him it is not just for work and can be a nice experience for him, he happens to get a bucket of feed when he comes in ;)

And finally last but by no means least Madeline who is loving the trees as they make for very good bum scratcher, quite a disapproving look on her face in this photo, but it’s the only one that is any good out of the photos I took. Lots of thought going into Madeline right now with regards to her future work.

It always amazes me how I can write so much about so little, anyway that’s about all from me now.

Monday 23 January 2012

Liebster Award

I was recently awarded the Liebster award, I have been lucky enough to be given this award twice, and here are links to the two lovely bloggers that awarded me the Liebster : 

Thank you both it is very kind of you.

Liebster means “dearest” in German, and is for blogs with less than 200 followers, now I have received said award I am to pass it on to five other blogs. 

And there are the five blogs they are all great reads, so please do take a look

Saturday 21 January 2012

The Little Things

Today’s post is just a lot of different stuff that wasn’t really enough to make into posts of their own so I’ve put it all in just the one post.

So to start with the weather has turned pretty nasty, in the above photograph you can see what I pulled out of a water bucket the other day, luckily it’s warmed up a bit since then and now it’s just rain, rain, and more rain.

Due to all the rain there’s lots of mud and our feed supplier almost got stuck. We now know why it is as bad as it is, the ground is well less than ideal, because it has only a small amount of earth on top of heavy blue clay so the water has no where to drain away to.

Here’s Tipper trying on a new bridle I bought, it was meant to be a full size but it is in fact Pony sized, it only fits Pip which is a bit of a annoyance considering it isn’t the correct style for Pip’s breed, but I am still happy with it because I really rather like rolled leather.

I’ve had to take a break from riding because of the ground being so slippery. In other news I took Niko’s stable rug off to put on his turn out, and was pleased to see his weight. I fuss over the horses and ponies weight non stop, I am always checking them over, manually as we do not have anywhere to weigh them, and we don’t use tape. But anyway back to the point about Niko, I was really happy as he looked just about perfect to me, obviously he has been out of work for a while so he hasn’t got enough muscle but he is still looking good.

Anyways that’s all from me now.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Pony Power

After writing my last post about Pip’s feathers I realized that I still had a lot to drone on about with regards to the ponies. Here’s little Pip, check out the moustache, he’s got a pretty big one now it used to be more like Murphy’s one but is now far more impressive.

The ponies share a box as they are both very small and the boxes were made with Niko and Madeline in mind, Murphy and Pip both stand at around 12 hands high, Murphy is about 12 1 and Pip is about 12 2. I am not confirming their sizes because  I used a hands tape measure and we don’t have a concrete pad for them to stand on so the measurement cannot be precise.

Here’s their bed, it is dust extracted wood shavings that also happen to be scented :) it’s a lovely smell when a new bag is first opened, we use wood shavings for the ponies because they will happily eat straw beds, while I do expect any equine to eat some of its bed Murphy takes it a little too far.

This is Murphy with his morning hair, which means bad. Murphy gets on pretty well with Pip in general and they are play buddies, but.

As you can see Murphy can be a little bit destructive, I was not too shocked to see he was able to kick though the kick board, considering they are made of sterling board , but having said that he has kicked me and others a few times and it hasn’t even left a bruise, I guess he pulls his kicks with us.

So that’s the ponies and their box it’s all worked out nicely as Pip wasn’t very happy with being in a box, but now he gets to be in with he’s good friend Murphy  Pip has now become very settled in a box.

Monday 16 January 2012

Pip’s Feathers Get the Cut

Here is a photo of Pip’s new look. Because it was so muddy we made the decision to cut his feathers, and here they are, it looked a little odd at first but I am getting used to it. He doesn’t seem to mind.

He has surprisingly small hooves under all that feathering, they’re also quite upright as well. I thought he was meant to have great big chunky hooves, oh well I rather like the little sweet sort.

And here he is having a fuss, he’s a cuddly pony, alright bit too cuddly, that coat is making him look almost yak like or maybe more goat like.

Ps I know I need a hair cut.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Riding Bold Hawk

Today I rode Tipper after a long break and lots of different problems he is finally sound and ready to be ridden. I only walked him as I don’t want to risk any problems re-occurring, but as you can see he looks pretty happy with himself.

Here we are turning, I am holding the reins in such an odd fashion because I am trying to get him to follow the bit. He was mostly very good a little ignorant and a little fresh but all in all a very well behaved chap.

Before I go I would like to say thank you to my many blogger comrades that have offered advice and well wishes with regards to Bold Hawk, and I would also like to say a very special thank you to Abby who gave me a selection of books for my 18th Birthday, the books have proven very helpful with my riding and with getting Tipper back on track. Here is a link to Abby’s lovely blog, My Spotty Pony

Thursday 12 January 2012

My New Saddlecloth

So as I mentioned in my last post I just got a new saddlecloth as a late Christmas present, and here it is! It’s a LeMieux Dressage Square Front Rolled Edge, as it is a dressage cloth white is the obvious choice but because it will only be used for everyday riding my one is in brown.

Here it is on Niko, and yes I know my saddle needs a clean, speaking of cleaning, because the saddlecloth has a lambskin rolled edge it requires special care:

Only machine wash on a “wool cycle” at 30 degrees or hand wash.
Prior to washing pour a quantity of human hair conditioner over the lambskin & rub to ensure coverage – this prevents matting of wool maintaining density & softness.
Stain removing sprays can be used on cotton areas if saddle stains occur –do this as soon as they appear.
Use non-biological liquid or powder.
Do not use fabric conditioner on the wool.
Always turn upside down & air dry naturally – NEVER speed dry on radiator or in tumble dryer.
Gentle brushing can be done after drying if required.

Or at least that’s what it tells me to do.

Anyways with such a nice new saddlecloth and a thoroughbred just waiting for a run I decided to take Niko for a good run in our big Paddock, it has dried out a lot with the nice weather. Here are some shots of us:

Because the saddlecloth has a lambskin edge and is made to accommodate high withers it is a great fit for Niko.

In other news the farrier is coming tomorrow, so everyone can have a nice trim up. Well that’s all from me today.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Blowing off Steam

We got the horses moved on to a different bit of ground today, as you can see from the photo above they had fun blowing off some steam. Niko likes to have a good run, roll and rear when he is excited, sadly I missed the chance to get a shot of him rearing because I was fetching Pippin at the time.

And here Niko is again enjoying the mud, as you can probably see he’s missing a front shoe, the farrier will be coming on the 13th to trim everyone and most likely remove Niko’s remaining shoe, I think he may be going barefoot for a bit, ah how I hate the idea of that.

 Here they all are except Pip because he was the smart one and he went straight to the best bit of grass, he stayed there till it was time to come in, he is such a sensible little chap. As for Murphy you can just see him behind Madeline, but more on him and Pip in a later post.

In other news I just received a new saddle pad that was a Christmas present from my father that turned up a little late, I will show you it as soon as I have photos, anyways I’ve got lots more posts I need to get done, but that’s it for now.

Sunday 8 January 2012

The Healthy Treat

Not too long ago we bought the horses and ponies a Horslyx mini lick to try, we first off got a mint one as in the past we have got licks and they didn’t like them so mint seemed like a good idea as we all now how much equines love mint. It went down very well but Murphy did get a little bit too excited and stamped on it. Anyway we recently tried them on the original which they also liked as it turns out that all the Horslyx licks seem to have a coating of molasses.

Here is a shot of the lick untouched. The Horslyx Original contains a mix of vitamins, minerals and trace elements that all help your horse, and his hooves too, in the right amount of course.

The Horslyx licks have so far proven to be a great way to treat the horses and also giving them something to do if they should have to wait for some reason. I look forward to trying more of their products, well not me personally ;) Do any of you use licks? And if so what’s your favourite make.
Here is a lick to the Horslyx website if you wish to take a look.

Thursday 5 January 2012

A Yard of Sorts

As the horses and ponies have now been moved over to where we had the stables put up I thought I would sort of show you all around. So here are the stables they still have attachments that need putting on like door latches and most still need haynet rings.

All the doors except the one on the ponies box have large metal chew strips to help protect the doors, especially from this chap who just loves to have a good crib on the top of his door.

Here is the inside of Niko’s box he has the kick boards right the way up the wall to prevent him from cribbing on the wall and causing them to splinter. 

When we ordered the stables we asked for skylights and here they are, they’ve proven to be very helpful with so few daylight hours, it’s good to have that bit of extra light before it gets dark in the stables.

And here is something we did not ask for but were pleased that it was done, rather than the front wall reaching right to the roof a gap was left at the top, this was probably just a way to use less wood but we like it because it helps the stables with air flow.

Now enough about the stables. Here is the turn out area it’s far from ideal but it is not that muddy at the moment so it will do, as you can see we’re using portable electric fencing, it works very well and is quite easy to use.
The horses are in at night and go out during the day which gives them time to stretch their legs, have a roll, and socialise.

And finally the muck heap it is quite close to the stables which makes mucking out a lot easier, well that’s just about it, we don’t have a tack room as we keep it all at home.

And that is our yard of sorts.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Welcome To the New Year

I hope you’re all having a good New Year and I hope you all made good new years resolutions. So far my new year has been mostly unpleasant but I am sure that will soon change, on the bright side we have got the horses out of those horribly muddy paddocks and on to a new bit of ground which I am sure will soon be just as muddy, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

We are keeping the horses and ponies in over night now, and I have lots to yak about but for now I’ll leave you with a few photos, I need to get back in the swing of blogging slowly so just a short post today ;) 

Oh and just before I do finally go hello to my new follower and thanks for following.