Thursday, 30 June 2011


First unaccompanied ride out. Only round the block (the one friend led us round Sunday) and he was foot perfect and showed no signs of planting on the drive, and not bothered by cyclist coming towards us on road.

Big grins

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It was my back

Causing my leg problems, I'm sure. Felt slightly sore to the touch. Anyway been improving all day, this morning was struggling with stairs, much better this evening.

Did a bit of in hand with Monfils as didn't think it clever to ride.

His eye is looking a lot better despite him getting the mask off again

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

if it's not the horse it's the rider

woke up this morning with a dodgy leg, which hasn't improved over the day. it's EITHER a pulled hamstring, OR sciatica - all that wrestling with feet catching up with me, not assisted by tossing and turning to get comfortable in bed. Either way, I've been limping and twinging all day so didn't think riding was a good plan! mucking out wasn't totally easy, didn't bother emptying the barrow just left it in the stable.

Monf has kept his fly mask on, which is good - he wasn't too upset being in overnight, which was also good, hadn't got so bored as to wrestle rugs to the ground or whatever

as usual, the vet always makes it look easy getting ointment into the eye, but doing that oneself is never as simple! but managed it....

Monday, 27 June 2011

and another vet's bill...

blocked tear duct combined with him getting the fly mask off and thus letting flies in....

so Phillip out again, necessary expenditure

found the fly mask over by the field shelter in the mud! so it needed a wash, and then no way it was going to dry quickly so Monfils is in for the night - the mask is hung up to drip dry under shelter from the rain and i should be able to turn out in the morning - and of course at least i won't have to walk the field to get his ointment in!

and got home before it rained, thank goodness!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

standing still at the block

you will all recall the grief i had with Molly, who NEVER stood at the block and always turned quarters away...

Monfils doesn't do that, which is pretty impressive for an ex racehorse - one hears all these stories about them not standing, and i've known some (belonging to friends) that took ages to train to it...

so this morning there was no one to help, so i thought, right, let's see - 4 tentative attempts by me (i need to KNOW that i can get on , and whilst i do know that i can, i don't QUITE trust myself to be as quick as i can be...) anyway, he stood very nicely and i thought, i need to have confidence in my own body, which is (TBH) more flexible that it was this time last year, and my hips are certainly much better.

so that was good.

there was no one to ride with, so thought i'd try by myself, down the drive and round the block all left turns.

unfortunately, that takes him past his field, and he stopped as he got level with them all standing under their favourite tree .....doh.

one of the ladies on the yard kindly offered to walk down, and with that confidence giver in front of him, he was fine.

he's no bother about traffic, which is good

then when we were done, he didn't want to go out again - can't say i blame him, the flies were awful! so he stood in for an hour whilst I went and got him a new fly mask that fits him - TB heads are very difficult to fit, really, as they are not as big as what manufacturers call "full size" ...and then he went out with that and his fly sheet on...

and whilst I was clearing up, i spotted this little chap, still got his baby fluff

then this afternoon i went swimming, and in between all this i did 4 loads of washing - 3 of which were bone dry before the next lot got put on the line, but the last of which is now wetter than when it came out of the washer!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

tidy mane!

finally got round to tidying up his mane, looks a lot better!

rode! on my own!!! (although, to be fair, i did get someone to hold his head on a just in case basis whilst getting on.)

Went in arena as no one to go out with - big circles and diagonals in walk, walk halt transitions, and stopping him napping out the door all good - he tends, of course, to plant at the door wanting to be out of it, so pleased i was able to move him on again!

Friday, 24 June 2011

94 not out

My mother. And looking quite good on it. A good visit, and good to see my London cousins

monfy was fine when i saw him. He followed me back to the gate which rather impressed me, first time he's done that. I have some video of that to upload later

drat, it won't play for me now i've uploaded it! hope it works for you all...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

more downpours

it was interesting - it started when i was out in the field, had just caught Monf - and ALL the horses left in the field RAN for the thickest tree (the one that is driest underneath) - and Monf & I joined in, it was sooooo heavy. He was already caked in mud, so it became damp mud, and there was more to come. so fed him and turned out again.

i DID think about trying again, but decided I'd rather ride out a few times before trying any ground work again....and that won't be this week, that's for sure. mother's birthday tomorrow (94!) and I'm going up after work, hairdresser saturday morning, all in between heavy rainstorms apparently. but the forecast is good saturday afternoon/sunday .. well, at the moment it is...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

good to bad to moderate

it was raining and i had a wet horse with mud on him... so since riding was not going to be in the equation, i decided ground work would be.

so, into the arena, which i was sharing with (mature) 13 year old on her horse

at first, Monf was doing as asked = circles round me. then he stopped doing that. he started offering laterals round me (not asked for) then after a huge effort on my part (lots and lots of repetition of the ask!) he started offering moving intowards me, but still sideways....

pushing him away using body language etc eventually only had the effect of him coming in to me...

anyway, in the meantime 13 year old had finished doing what she had to do (effectively, i might add! she's a good rider) and came back in to see how i was doing....

said, shall i try? i thought, why not

so monf did....


no clear difference, of course, between what she did and i want i did.....

after he'd done that for her twice, i called it a day - at least he hadn't got away with not doing, we at one point looked as though we might be there all night which no one has time for on a week night...


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

rain or no rain

when i left the office it started teeming down not vertically; stopped, but threatened more, blowy, generally not nice - so decided not to do anything with Monf, on the grounds that if i cracked on i could get home and get the washing in before the next downpour.

got home, got washing in ... and it came out fair! doh!

so went for a swim instead, and took the time to succeed in getting video off the camcorder.

which at least means i can now take time to see what needs editing and so on..perhaps see how to get a still shot off it as well.

The play back on the computer is very odd, though - you know how stuff on e.g. youtube often looks rushed? this is the opposite, slightly on the slow and jerky side. probably will be fine on e.g. TV - looks flowing when played back on camcorder itself! but very weird to watch, anyone who wasn't there might think Monf was lame!

Monday, 20 June 2011

excellent Max session....

So, the man arrived at about 0830 or so, checked out Monf in the stable, drank tea (he'd come a fair way!) and then we got going.

firstly, basics

my technique had been at fault in the basic rope work, that was clear, so that's now sorted. Monfils was a shade emotional about it, but not huge amounts and once he was going and "got it" he was excellent.

This was interesting as going right, when turning in to halt, at the start the near hind wasn't coming through properly and he was doing a little hop skip; by the end, he wasn't doing that any more

the point, of course, being to supple up etc both sides so they end up equal.

Then some in hand laterals on both reins - this without the bridle, only the rope halter & dressage whip

It was interesting to watch this - and to then watch it translate into the longline work. Max had him where just by taking up the contact both reins and moving himself in towards the horse, Monfils was moving laterally.

This was in walk, of course!

it will take me some practice to get this going, but now the basics are there for Monfils and i know i CAN get monf moving, it'll all be a lot easier and quicker! it's just getting myself back into it, which shouldn't be too difficult now.

and none of the throwing self to ground in a tantrum that Molly did!

Then we went up to my friend's for him to see her horse, also interesting in a different way ( and a shade more exciting).

there is some video, when i get it off the camcorder, of Monfils - but i shan't be putting all of it up, just clips, and it won't be going on public forums because (quote):

Video-ing of consultaions is encourage for personal use, but we ask that video footage is not uploaded to any public forums or You Tube.

Which is fair enough. Max can't earn a living if people put everything out on the net.

edited to add - video isn't as simple as i thought, i can't use the software i already had, and will have to learn a new one ... doh.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

sunday IS a day of rest

which i spent oiling the bridle and martingale that got soaked yesterday, and Monf spent rolling in the mud, it seems.

i have left him out, as the forecast is for dry overnight, so hope i don't regret that!

tomorrow, Max is coming in the morning - readers of Molly's blog will recall I had Max see her, and he helped both of us a lot. Hopefully, the same effect on Monf! i plan on taking some video, and it will be interesting to see how he approaches the problem of getting Monf moving.....

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Rain did not stop play

The planned hack happened, although my riding mac came out as well and i was glad of it fir second half of ride as heavens opened thoroughly, where it had been just drizzle.

Monfils was pretty good. Took the lead for part of the way out, went through ford again twice, happy to only walk up hill to harbour house. Couple of plants, and from now on stick will be carried.

But altogether good.

Then in the afternoon old friends turned up unexpectedly for visit, i went for swing and have now cleaned cooker and its surrounds.

Friday, 17 June 2011

thursday's post

if he doesn't want to do it...

took him in the arena tonight. went in 2nd time of asking. TBF, the door wasn't open as wide as it could have been (someone ame and opened it wider for me) and it's the first time he's been ridden in to it...

and he was nicely coming on to the contact -but then stopping, and have to move his head left and right to unblock him.

so we did a few circles both reins, with occasional stops by him that i had to work on to get him moving again...

missing posts!

wednesday, thursday, are missing! wednesday i posted from the mobile tablet, and it's trying to tell me it's posted it 20 times - when it hasn't been posted at all! and last night was posted from the pc - i think! and it's not here either....

ah well.

wednesday trimmer came and was very pleased with his feet.

last night i went in the arena, and we've decided he's a definite planter.

And now I've worked out where the missing posts went. There was an upgrade, and they went in Molly's blog. And i deleted the one from Wednesday now.I've

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

follow the link in this title

for a map (not wholly accurate!) of tonight's ride.

apart from napping on the way out (had to get off and lead down to the next yard and get back on there, he wasn't answering the stick or the leg!) he was good as gold. a minor wobble half way roudn teh 20 acre, he was ahead and unsure, and plagued by loads of flies which were really hacking him off, not a problem. went through the ford both directions with a lead, very good - 2nd time i wondered if he was thinking about rolling, LOL

Monday, 13 June 2011

safety first...

decided that due to the wind (windy) and the fact that there was going to be no one there, i would not ride. I don't think we're yet anywhere near a place where I can ride if there's no one about ... particularly not knowing if anyone is GOING to be about... would probably have been fine, but why risk it not being?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Big grins


he was good as gold! got on before RI arrived - she was running well late, and i didn't want M losing the plot as 3 friends went out for hack (he was very chilled, but no point pushing it!), so one of them held him whilst i got on, he was very good, and i walked round the stable block twice till RI arrived. Then we walked down to Blackdene outdoor arena and practiced walk/halt transitions and changes of rein for about 10 minutes, no more. this photo was taken at the end of that session, when, as you can see, I was tensing slightly as he was ... then back up the drive. excellent. Think previous YO was right to suggest he's taller than Molly - he certainly feels as though he is, possibly in fact a shade over 16 hh ..... but that doesn't matter.

Friday, 10 June 2011

which planet was his head on?

not planet me, that's for sure.

got him in from the field, and as we left the gate, all the others kicked off big time, full pelt... as did the mares on the other side of the hedge

got him into the stable, he was relatively calm whilst i got the very soaked fly sheet off and cooler rug on ... went up to arena to see RI who was giving another lesson - they all kicked off again as i walked back down - Monfils proceeded to trash his stable and bounce around - 15 minutes later, we thought, lets let him run round in the arena then put tack on when he's calmed down .... 15 minutes after that, he was still on planet whatever, he'd even been running around without being asked to ... so any thoughts we might have had of my riding were put on hold, and he got turned out again without any tea...

will try again sunday, and hope that he's dry... and his normal calm self

Thursday, 9 June 2011

twinged foot - mine!

not clever - the bit i broke in 2006 is twinging, because i twisted it whilst sitting on my office chair ... oops. hope it settles.

hoping to be able to report something good tomorrow night, all going well....

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

in hand....again

not done that for a while. it wasn't very successful. must get in touch with RI, really don't want to get on for the first time on my own :-)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

so .....

Shall we give up on the idea of groundwork and just ride, or not? that is the question.

my feeling is, on balance, we should ...

but I'm not planning on getting on him if I'm on my own LOL

Rode friend's cob again tonight, lot of walk, two lots of trot and a small unasked for canter - very comfy on nice welshy! no nerves on my part, and i'm clearly a lot more agile than i was, what with all the swimming and stuff...

and two weeks today, Max will be here, touching wood for no more abscessed or whatever..... so he can sort out the groundwork, LOL, since we can't!

Monday, 6 June 2011

back to the beginning

that is, not lunging.


almost think we might as well just get on and be done with it .. but strictly he doesn't yet have the muscle he should have .. but if he won't do the work that would build the muscle? ....

anyway, this is what i bought saturday

never bought a stable door sign before... but i guess there's a first time for everything!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

still fingers crossed

it was a bit damp today, so i ony got him in and checked his feet and fed and turned out again.. he had of course divested himself of the new model fly mask i'd bought (the stretchy one was in fact catching his eyes, i concluded..)

is he sound? he seems to be even when i brought him in, but uneven when i turned him out again .. mmmmph.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

bramham horse trials

cross country was today, so off we went for a days shopping and walking....

the shopping went well - one new pair of Ariat Conistons, one new Joules tweed jacket (reduced in the sale or i wouldn't have bought it, it wasn't on the agenda) one name plate for Monfils stable door

I ended up wearing the Conistons - the box they were in collapsed not long after we left shop (the handles fell off) so the easiest way of dealing with that was to wear them, and put the short boots i had on in the other bag wrapped up with the jacket etc.

the walking went well as well - we did only the 2nd half of the course, and i didn't do all of that ( my hip isn't really up to too much of that, especially up and down hill) but enjoyed what we walked (allison did more)

Felt sorry for Tina Gifford - horse slipped between 2nd & 3rd elements of the fence we were at, thus had NO chance of making the 3rd element, but of course counted as a refusal, so she retired - apparently she'd had a stop earlier in the course

Friday, 3 June 2011

hoof putty!

got some, and put it in the hole tonight. fingers crossed.

and put the fly sheet on (can't remember how long i've had that, but fits him) - it's very hot, and no wind any more, so thought i would. he's already had a bite where we don't want one..

Thursday, 2 June 2011

hard ground

seems to have induced more lameness - think he possibly did too much hoolying yesterday? who knows. people keep asking me if stuff is coming out of the hole still, but TBH, i've NEVER been able to tell whether it is or not...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

i rather think he's sound

but i want something to fill the hole with before i take the bandage off. i guess i shouldn't worry too much ATM! oh, and i'd turn the sound off, and note that not long after the start i nearly dropped the phone i was using to film!