Monday, 31 January 2011


my wrists hurting tonight

i reckon it was too much writing this afternoon, myself - they weren't at lunchtime...

i'd pretty much decided not to do anything with M tonight, give him proper time to reflect on yesterday, which was hard work for him mentally as well.

also give me time to reflect on it as well

he weights the right shoulder, of course, on right rein, so it's going to be a long job to even him up..

the flexions were interesting - Jenny Franklin had shown me them, some of you will recall, and Becky did them - very slight difference of technique, but essentially the same flexions - and very interesting to see that he did them quite well, and very accepting of the bit overall, no stiffening of the jaw in resistance to it...

do hope i remember it all!

not sure what the best pattern of working is - probably one night in hand, one night lunge - but becky reckons, and this is logical, that the in hand will help the lunging a lot, most especially on the right rein, as in hand it is easier for me to actually say on that side of him, but lunging, it's easier for him to avoid me being on that side

interesting walking down to the field this morning - becky said (and really i knew this but hadn't really tried and should have) lead him from the right not the left as much as possible - so conscious of that instruction, and my failings in having done so, i did this morning - and it's already easier after last night. i knew to do that really, as i was something i'd done with molly as practice for similar stuff, so why i hadn't worked on that i don't know....

Sunday, 30 January 2011

excellent lesson

If late - Becky had had a bad day traffic wise and was somewhat late getting to me, but not to worry - and i sharp warmed up once we started working!

As previously stated, Monfy is not used to anyone being on his right, consequently that is his difficult side (presumably reinforcing the "sidedness" he was born with.

so, left rein, the easiest - make the circles smaller rather than larger; bend left elbow thus introducing bend into the equation. if he puts weight on the bit lift it up towards his poll - poll the highest point

right rein, more difficult for both of us - work on the outside track or very large circles - he weights the inside shoulder very much on this rein, and the fence will help provide support and direction

we did work on the lunging as well - right side again the worst, and i simply couldn't get it.

Becky showed me how to change the rein without bringing him to a halt first, but that'll take me some getting! especially moving left rein to right rein, i expect...

all sounds very simple put like that, but it's going to be hard work for both of us of course.

Oh, and since right rein is more difficult, less of that for now - perhaps 2 circles left followed by one right - until eventually we get it

and then we went to the pub.

also some chat about Phillipe Karl, Becky is doing his teacher training course, that was interesting - but we kept that short as partner came over to the pub as well, and she would have been totally lost!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

borrowed a bit

from stacey on the yard, thank you, and put bridle on and introduced him to the idea of in hand work.

as before, left rein better than right (for both of us, in hand! that left wrist of mine is going to prove troublesome, i think!) but he got the general idea, so i was very pleased.

even more pleased as there were two horses whizzing round in fast trot/canter and he was perfectly fine!

Becky, who is coming tomorrow, weather permitting, can be seen here on you tube and she has some more vid up of both longlining and in hand work.

I DO hope it warms up a bit though. it was minus 5 this morning, happily a very sunny clear day so the arena and taps thawed out, as did those bits of the field that weren't in the shade - but it's now hard frost again outside.

Gave M loads of extra hay tonight, and planning to keep him in tomorrow (so as to keep him mud free!)

wondering, however, if i should have put the fleece under the rug ...mmmm

Friday, 28 January 2011

help on it's way

lucky me - becky holden lesson Sunday evening, YAY! just hoping the weather holds - cold we can live with, rain and snow can stay away!

in the meantime, i haven't got round to ringing the doctor to get a referral anywhere (baaad me) but I HAVE been practising lifting my legs up to the side in the pool after swimming before i get out. it is getting easier.

my thought it, that's a good place to do that, no weight applying to things and the water helps support the leg, stretches the muscles and opens it all up - you never know, i may physio myself! what with that and the swimming!

and I've got monfy a bit - off ebay, but it won't arrive for a week, i expect, as it's only second class postage... hey ho. even if it ws first class, wouldn't arrive tomorrow as I've only just sent the money after negotiations concluded this morning whilst i was at work!

he'll live with what I've got for Sunday (I'm sure Stephanie won't mind me using the bit I've just sold her, LOL)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

guess we need help

to set monfy away lunging properly....

he'll walk left rein but stalls going right, and since he doesn't' seem to understand move away from pressure i can't yet get him going on ropecircling, which would help. on right rein, it's largely, i think, because he has never been led from the right, and it's going to take a very long time to get him used to that

i reckon if i wanted to just hop on, he'd be fine - but of course, i can't do that as i can't get off again yet .. and i DO want to do the ground work with him before he's mounted again...

we only had 10 minutes, there was a lesson going to start (if it was even 1o minutes? probably) but it was enough to see what the problems going to be...

but at least the snow we had this morning went away again!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

stair rods again

coming down from the sky.....

it did ease off a shade when i got to the yard, but only enough to get from car to under cover without a soaking....

supplies of bedding arrived today as well, pretty good as only ordered Saturday, and they found the place as well (it's not easy, even with proper address in satnav, so well done them!)

last night people went to pony club rally - apparently Monfy was eyeing the wagon with interest, apparently indicating a desire to go with them.....

he's probably totally flummoxed by the lack of travelling... LOL

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

a warmer day

so a lighter rug...

but i was really late back as i had a late meeting, didn't get back to the yard until about 6.45 pm! about an hour later than usual (was a good meeting, and i was fed as well, a bonus!) so monfy just got fed and said hello to..... i COULD have worked him, but think i already said, not sure it's a good plan to work him when there's no one there and who knows when there will be (some people have gone to a pony club rally but will be there for ages, hope they have a key as it was locked!)

Monday, 24 January 2011

bit of rain bit of wind

was a bit drizzly, and somewhat breezy!

think monfy approves of the more space in his stable, i removed one cupboard yesterday, and it seems to be working better!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

does he understand?

move away from pressure?

not totally sure that he gets it at all....

Took him in the arena this morning to introduce him to the idea of rope circling and other such techniques as taught by Richard Maxwell.

Monfy just stood and looked at me, doh.

He DID get the idea when i was moving his quarters - started crossing his legs nicely, which was the idea - but move away from me onto the circle? no. didn't get it.

I may need to invest in getting Max out to see him, would be worth while....

After that, turned him out and spent the rest of the morning reorganising all my stuff..

Saturday, 22 January 2011


Monfy may have been lined at some point in the past, but spent his time today asking me what i thought i was doing....

and even when i changed to lunging, he still didn't want to do anything anyway!

so i took him for a walk down the track , but not too far as it is very slippy for me and i didn't want to risk myself falling over and hurting something else at this point! took him as far as where he can see the fields where the grass liveries are, and to do that, he had to go past next door's giant strawberry (there's a pick your own farm, and they have a giant fruit in the field just behind the hedge by the track i was on). don't think M even noticed that!

and then it started raining again, anyway...

so, need to work out why that wasnt' working today ... have no idea, as it should have!

Friday, 21 January 2011

an excellent day - but with a cloud...

I went to Smeltings Farm in Sheffield (link in heading, i hope!) for a lesson - on a simulator, followed by a horse...

One of Heather Moffett's sims, Damien has one in Sheffield, i'd been on one twice before but a few years ago, and this was part of the lesson plan for the winter (the only bit that's gone to plan, LOL).

I was fractionally late getting there, due to a very nasty accident on the M1 - one car ended up on its roof in the inside lane, the other further up the slip road (the barnsley turn off) looking very beaten up. It had clearly happened some time previous as the queue was only 20 minutes or so and the ambulances etc were long gone. but a very nasty nasty.

So we worked on position/movement/feel for a bit - i gather it was about 3/4 hour, which is probably about right

then onto the horse, a nice coloured cob mare, about 9, that Damian's had since she was 6 months.

I was quite pleased with myself.....if i say so myself!

We had to work on the lower leg (i need to keep it still, particularly the right one which is the one that has always caused me problems, ever since i first got on a pony 48 years ago!) but he said my hands were fine (i thought they still bounce up and down in trot, apparently not, so i've been working on myself to some effect over the last few years!) and (no doubt in common with everyone else) i need to not try too hard!

New things to me - double reins, which no one had ever shown me how to use before (the mare goes best in a pelham, so I had to learn that) and i managed quite well until the cold got into my wrist.

And for the first time in my riding life - i actually sat a trot! i'd never been able to get that before, so very pleased with that! TBF, this was a VERY comfortable mare whose paces made it very easy.

Finished on the lunge, just to see if we could sort my right leg out (not proper lunge lesson, this was so i could work on a particular position thing without having to maintain pace) and so that Damian could watch what happens ... at one point, going round left rein, he asked me to halt, which i did, and at that moment the right leg/foot did it's thing so i said, come round and look at this... so we changed reins so he could watch.

After that, the mare rightly said she'd had enough, as she'd worked hard as well.

So, you all say, where's the cloud?

Regular readers will remember my ride on Red, Natasha's husband's horse, back in the autumn - friday, 19th november ... and that i couldn't get off. I thought at the time that it was just the saddle and the height of the horse.


i couldn't get off. the saddle i was on was a vogue, same as mine....

had to go to mounting block, keep left foot in stirrup and use that extra leverage to be able to get right leg back up enough to get off, and down onto mounting block.

I reckon that, in the accident in august, i did some damage to the hip that hasn't been addressed - i was thinking about it driving back up - at the time it hurt quite a bit, and the bruising when it came through had to be seen to be believed (ended up black, and not only on the soft part of the hip but down the bones at the front as well). Hospital did have a good poke and prod at the time, after they'd reduced the dislocation, but said it wasn't broken, which it probably wasn't ...

But, I cannot get the right leg back up enough to clear the top of the saddle, when i'm on the horse - no where near.

So, the plan is, i will get GP appointment, get referred back to hospital for the wrist, get the hip x-rayed just to see what if anything was done, and then physio on the hip.

I am SOOOOOO pleased i broke the rules and didn't get on Monfy when i went to see him - my being unable to get off would have fried his poor brain, i reckon! but by the time he's done a load of groundwork and i've done a load of physio, we should be ok.

Also, someone at yard suggested i perhaps should practice getting off the other side - that's probably a really good plan, but will need something much smaller and safe to practice that on - the body habit will take a lot of breaking.

And when I got back, Monfy had his teeth done this evening - i really wanted that done before i put a bit in his mouth, and anyway worth checking. Phillip reckoned, from the look, they were about due to be done, but there wasn't anything other than general rasping to do.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

all dark...

no one there! everyone had gone and whilst the gate wasn't locked (yet) it was shut...that was VERY early for everyone to be done and dusted.

but frankly, since it's freezing again, big time, i'm not surprised.... very impressed the tap hasn't frozen yet!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

defo the hay

is causing the problem.


i gather small square bales are hard to find ATM, along with hay generally; YO is getting big bale from people she knows

so the alternative would be haylage, and a lot of that is hard to deal with as well .. and then of course delivery is an issue.. doh.

anyway, i was given some assistance tonight on the feet picking front, and i got all the mud off the bottom half of his legs - i'd been slack at the weekend and not put the stuff on that stops it sticking (mud fever prevention stuff, creates a sort of slick coating and it slides off, if you apply it regularly!)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

oh dear...... the wrist!

not quite sure what's going on, but the wrist was bad tonight -managed 2 lengths of the pool and decided that was no good, going backwards would have been ok but didn't fancy half an hour of that (too much risk of banging head off wall!). on the down stroke, distinct discomfort. a couple of times today, actual pain - seems to be on the rotation - hope it isn't a screw catching a tendon, but a horrid feeling that is what it'll be...

see how it goes and then back to GP for hospital referral, drat

i've a feeling the cause might well be wrestling with the big bale hay - i tend to use the right wrist (the good one) to hold the net and the left wrist to pull the hay into it... i've a feeling that action is not good...

in the meantime, it was soooooo cold and Monfy had eaten all the hay i'd put in ready for him coming in - i just fed him, put a load more hay in and came away...

Monday, 17 January 2011

was that a first time?

That Monfils will have been lunged after dark in a flood lit arena?

i wouldn't be surprised, don't think they do a lot of that in race yards!

and he was very good about it, no spooking or anything - think he was a shade gobsmacked when i started taking rugs off and putting tack on, instead of producing tea! and probably helped by there being no wind to set the bushes off

he showed odd moments of relaxing his neck down, a fraction more than yesterday

still lunging with no roller/side reins, but i think i will have to introduce side reins on a long setting to show him the way

and then i went swimming - they've mended the heating, and if i don't go, I'm wasting my money paying for membership - so I've decide swim after horsing, even though it means more mileage nearly back to the office, but that way i end up coming home clean

Sunday, 16 January 2011

calm frame of mind`

of both horse and handler is required to introduce something not tried before.

Monfy didn't appear to have calm frame of mind once we were in the arena, due to wind, friends in field and (probably) pony & child also in arena

so rather than longline, i lunged...

he was very good about the pony & child in the arena

the wind wasn't TOO horrid

the friends in the field were a slight distraction.....

did twice both reins....

Rather think he won't get the hang of it's ok to put head in a lower frame whilst trotting unless I do have something to guide him down - so sidereins with the bitless next time, i think, set loose but nonetheless in place...

but my technique is improving as kept him going better, so that's a plus

Rather think he'll be better of an evening when everyone else is in....but he's such a mud monster, i'll have to spend 1/2 hour a night getting mud off before i can do anything (of course, he plasters is all over his face...)

and then after late breakfast/lunch, went for a swim...

Saturday, 15 January 2011


a didn't stop play

i decided, sod it, let's get wet and lunged anyway.

he spent a bit of time too interested in his friends in the field, and i spent a bit of time wrestling with my technique, but occasionally he relaxed and lowered his head!

methinks we need to introduce him to some rope circling ... and i do rather wish i had access to a round pen .. but we can't have everything in this life! introducing rope circling may take a little while in terms of once you start it you have to keep going for the first session until he gets the idea ....and i shall go watch Max's DVD again as a refresher, can't, unfortunately, afford to get the man himself out again ATM!

I'm hoping the gales die down again overnight so can do some more of something tomorrow...thinking i'll try the longlines with the bitless bridle, that'll get more activation and more attention and in any event i do need to ensure that he's ok about lining. he should have been lined in the past - they do it with racehorses when starting them anyway, and I'm told definitely do it in France, where he first went into training...

did put the massage pad on him ... at which point he decided he needed to roll, oops. prevented him from doing so and took it off again. now, if it was just a "i need to roll" moment, that's one thing; if it's a "this relaxes me so much that I HAVE to roll" it's another thing. so we'll see. but he didn't freak about it, which is good. As you all know, I could leave molly standing and she'd just fall asleep whilst it did it's thing.. whether I'll be able to leave him in due course is another matter!

have sold 2 myler bits so can now go buy one his size.. thinking I'll go for the hanging cheek again

Friday, 14 January 2011

crossed fingers

for good weather in the morning. according to the board, there are no lessons booked, so hopefully we'll get into the arena

thinking about longlining with the bitless bridle (still haven't got him a bit) that will be interesting...he will have been longlined in the past ..

Thursday, 13 January 2011

12 degrees C

That's probably about 50 F? dunno...

and not raining ...

i thought, I'll lunge....

unfortunately, there were lessons booked, so that plan went out the window - the person being taught said fine by her, but didn't think it was such a good idea for us at this stage of the game!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

1/2 price girth!

had to go to doncaster today to see client and on the way back (since no way i was going to make it to the office anyway!) called at big tack/feed store just off the A1 ... bit of a sale (they always have some stuff in the sale )

Monfy needs a smaller girth than Molly did - and i got one for only £18, 1/2 normal price.


all i need now is a bit.. i did look for what i wanted, but they didn't have it ..

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I think he'll pick that up in a jiff....

tonight i found i happened to have some treats in my pocket....

thought, head down .. yes! and then he started putting his head down in anticipation of the treat, LOL

and then i ran out ... ah well, that's the way it goes!

today it started off warm and wet, and when i came out of work there was frost on the car .. ggrrhh and had to gan canny on the way home, there was the odd bit of black ice!

Monday, 10 January 2011

from ice rink to pond

in one day...

the yard was too treacherous this morning - i could just about manage myself going very carefully and pushing the wheelbarrow (thus using it to help myself) but no way wanted to be leading horse on it

so he stayed in ....

by this evening, total thaw, ponds all over, turned him in the arena whilst i mucked out and went back to find him just getting up from a roll.....

he'll be going out tomorrow! two days in is more than enough, and the field should be thawing out a bit...

forecast to rain!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

best laid plans

scuppered by snow.

and Monfy made it plain he did not want to be out by staying by the gate - i went to check before i left, and he was within 2 feet of where he'd started, watching everyone else (dunovan & bailey playing, other horse leaning over fence to see what could be gleaned food wise) doing their thing... so i brought him back in again, a bit pointless turning a horse out for exercise if he wont' exercise himself!

if the arena comes good i'll see about doing something later, in the meantime, more tack is being cleaned

Saturday, 8 January 2011


monfy's coats growing enough that it's now starting to shine - always a good sign, a shiny coat!

he wasn't wonderfully happy going out this morning, TBH i rather think i'd woken him up! and he may have been feeling his feet slightly, but walking fine, and certainly walking on tonight.

He does have nice feet - and they're a huge amount easier to pick out without shoes!

gave him a good grooming tonight, and gave the bed a good going over this morning, looks a lot better!

if the weather's ok tomorrow and there's no lessons booked, i'll see about getting him in the arena and see how we go...

and a new blog to follow - regular readers will remember my mentioning my friend Natasha ...

has just been started, and should make interesting reading.

Friday, 7 January 2011

frozen door...

after a 1/2 hour this morning, I gave up trying to get the stable door open.

He still had some water left, I was able to hang a haynet to the ring just inside the door, was able to put some breakfast in over the door, and rang YO on the way to work....

it clearly came loose later - either warped or frozen, but would have needed a hammer, which i didn't have!

and i HATE having to muck out etc. after work! also not keen on making his tea up in front of him, but had to be done.

he was very good, I mucked out whilst he ate his tea. so long as I remember to remind him I'm coming past when I'm on my way out again, he's fine with it; if I forget to remind him I'm there, he'll pull a face, which frankly, is fair enough!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

striding out

I was expecting Monfy to tell me he couldn't walk this morning, having had his shoes off yesterday - but he was striding out as usual down to the field - and he was taken out earlier than usual today, as i had to upend my routine so as to be able to be in my suit for an 08.30 meeting with a client & some witnesses - can't turn up for THAT in stable gear, LOL!

I think they're generally ok about being turned out first - it's when they're last in that there's ructions! anyway, there's a couple of mares in the field opposite his he can talk to, just as well, as he's usually first out!

and this evening he was much admired by RI (who was there for someone else's benefit and came to see after that). Also has made friends with 5 year old girl who has pony in next stable ... much assisted, no doubt, by the fact that the 5 year old had a pocket full of treats, LOL. But Monfy is a really friendly chap overall, always keen to know who you are and what you have to say. a nice person!

the projected lunge lessons didn't happen as the horse's abcess still didn't heal - you'll recall that was planned for what, end november? he's only just coming back right to start work again now! and his owner has fried her own knee, so between them not doing well!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

shoes are off

he was well due anyway counting back to his last race, which i think was when he was last shod it'll be about 6 or 7 weeks.

a touch of thrush, but not a lot, i need to find where i put the bottle of brush on thrush stuff (and it'll be interesting to know if i'm physically able to apply it!)

it'll also be interesting to see how his backs grow - they were quite long in the toe by today

so we're looking forward to the changes in 6 weeks time when Lesley comes back again

in the meantime, it got colder and colder whilst he was being done and by the end i was frozen - should have had more layers on but it was warmer this morning!

and i managed to hurt my right foot whilst sitting at my desk working today - NOT clever, and the mind boggles how or what. i've a horrid feeling i twisted it wrong without noticing ... so long as it doesn't hurt more in the morning i'll be ok, but not comfortable weight bearing

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

shoes are still on

because the farrier didn't turn up = apparently there were some crossed wires about the day. never mind, trimmer tomorrow which is probably better!

and i've gone back to swimming - rang to see if they've got the heating fixed, they said, no, but you can use the Chester club .. now why didn't they tell me that last time i asked (before Xmas) ....

and car dealer sees my point and next time he has one to suit will sort me out with that... clearly not currently got one in....

Monday, 3 January 2011


need to be sold and replaced.

the view is that, whilst the 4 1/2" won't kill him, it is in fact a shade narrow - he's just a tad wider in the mouth

i rather think myler don't do 4 3/4" don't think anyone does. I remember when i was looking for bits for Queenie, 5" was too narrow but 5 1/2" was too wide, and i finished up using a 5 1/4" that would normally have been part of a double....

happily, have a willing buyer for two of the bits, the other will do well on eBay (it's a popular pony size, LOL)

now if i could find my bit collection, I do HAVE a 5" somewhere.. the question is, where did i put them?

As to working him today - got all ready to lunge, walked him down to the arena - lessons .. followed by lessons.....and lessons in the afternoon as well... should have got up sooner! hadn't thought to check the board....

anyway, shoes off tomorrow, and just had email from my trimmer that she can come wednesday, YAY!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

we can lunge

but he clearly needs to be reminded of it

we need (both of us) to work on

1. staying out on the circle
2. moving up a pace when asked
3. right rein.. (now where have we heard that before? but at least he'll go right it's just harder than left)

but he'll halt when asked, and on the left rein halted square and stayed out on the circle.

i did about 10 minutes, i suppose, which i thought was more than sufficient.

at least the arena wasn't the mush it was the other day - only because there had been an overnight frost, but that made it just about right

what i can't do - is deal with picking out feet when there's stones stuck in them. Turns out the way i pick feet up result in pressure on the scar on the left wrist, with consequential effects into the hand as a result of the nerve damage. I simply couldn't get enough strength to get the stones out. so i had to get someone else to pick his feet out.

That'll be easier once the shoes come off as then not a lot will get stuck and I'll just be getting mud out.

this afternoon we went for a walk round durham, organised by the local council, quite interesting, and here's a view of the cathedral taken from Frankland Farm

And i finally, tonight, dismantled and cleaned bridle, martingale and headcollar. the latter two got oiled as well...

Saturday, 1 January 2011


this morning, so just turned him out get very muddy!

plus i had a steaming headache (NOT from drinking, of which i did none, but from needing new specs!)

so breakfast and paracetamol and a morning doing nothing helped ..... then we had to clean the house for some friends supposed to be coming tonight .... the afternoon brightened up wonderfully, shame i had to stay in and do chores....

then after doing that and finally getting ready to go - friends have cried off due to too much alcohol last night ....

never mind, we'd booked the table so we'll go eat anyway

hopefully the weather will be ok in the morning and i'll lunge before turning out...