Friday, November 20, 2009

Equine Touch and Riding lessons

So, It's been ages since I last posted, And I have heaps to catch up on.
First, I passed my Level 2 Equine Touch! Hoorah! Karen was particularly pleased by the time I gave the horse (Harry) to process everything between moves, and also picking up on what I needed to work on, ie, picking up back legs and resting the hoof on my thigh while working over the sacrum and in the groin area. I'll be round at RDA lots next week to practice that.

Also, I've just had my third riding lesson and my God, the improvements! I'm really pleased with myself.
When I started with the lessons we did an hour of walking, with some trot. Just getting to know the horse I was on, and a way for the instructor, Rebecca, to get to know me.
Second lesson was much more trotting, some work without stirrups and a few trotting poles.
This lesson we did trotting with no stirrups, then no reins, then no reins or stirrups and posting without stirrups (yes, my thighs are killing me!) And then we moved on to trotting poles, cavalletti (raised poles) and a small jump and some canter work.
All in all I am exceedingly pleased with how fast I'm improving :) Ah, the difference having my own horse makes! Plenty of time to practice between lessons! Hoorah!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Wondering what to write and coming to the conclusion that really, nothing is happening in my life worth writing about. It makes me a little sad. Life is boring. And I'm not doing anything and no wonder I'm feeling as stale as the bread found at the back of the pantry a week too late.
Today, for example, I got up, showered, did a load of washing, had breakfast and went to work. Work was ok, there was a band playing and I was happy enough. I fed a few people, cleared their tables, made some of them laugh, then I cleaned up and went home.
Not much of a life really, and certainly not what I want to be doing. I wonder if anyone's day is improved because I was in it? I wonder if anyone remembers that I spent my day trying to make people leave feeling more happy than they did when they arrived.
I don't know, really, what I want to do with my life, but I think I could be doing more to make the world a better place than I am. I think I could be doing more to make my life a little more entertaining. I just don't know what.
Ah well, I will sleep, and tomorrow, hopefully will leave me with something worth talking about.
Hah, or no time to write at all. So far the plan is: Feed animals, practice Equine touch on half the horses at Riding for the disabled, feed animals again, bike home, get cleaned up for staff meeting, go to staff meeting and have a few drinks while trying out the new menu, go to a business introduction meeting... For a monday, Its looking like I might actually get something done.
Have yet to see if any of it might lead to something life changing.
Life changing would be good, obviously I'm not satisfied with the one I'm living.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More time with the boy!

Well, they say every cloud has a silver lining. With James' mum having broken her back we are spending much more time at her place, and with my horse. Twice a day we feed pigs and horses and goat and chickens and dog and cats and steers and (less frequently) the fish. It means no sleep ins, sad as I'm often working nights, but I see my Harry boy every day. We've been doing some work on knowing exactly who's boss and me being able to drive him away from his food. Or rather, me not getting bowled over by him getting to his food. I find, oddly enough, that he's calmed down at feeding time with this practice. He had been pawing the ground and stamping his feet and generally unable to stand still. Now with me being the boss and allowing him to eat when I said so, the pressure's off and he can eat without worrying.
I find it odd, but I guess it makes sense to him. I'm still having trouble getting weight on him. He gets all the baleage he can eat plus twice a day feeds of alfalfa chaff, soaked beet, horse nuts, boiled barley and a cup and a half of canola oil. With that and the new spring grass I swear he should be the size of a house, but no. My next bet is to get a supplement which replaces bacteria in the gut, enabling him to get more out of the food he's eating. Worm count is zero and his teeth have been done by a qualified equine dentist so I'm at a loss if that doesn't work. As an Off Track Thoroughbred I know his early years weren't the best for his digestion, and I know his previous owner had trouble keeping weight on him too but I feel inadequate some how, that I'm not taking good enough care of my horse.
At anyrate, the weight will sort itself out eventually, and in other respects we're comming along nicely (I think) we had an excursion yesterday out to Riding for the Disabled. He was calm and quiet, with only a few moments of snorting and giraffe imitations (donkeys and an unexpeced peice of machinery on the side of the road) and we got to the arena safely. Here he was faced with a bunch of unfamiliar horses, two of whom were on heat, and being tied up on his own while I had lunch. He was remarkably calm about it all. I did some body work on him, practicing my advanced body balance before my level three course next month, and he just about fell asleep, then followed me around the arena looking for more. I sat on the mounting block and he walked up and had cuddles with me for a good half an hour. Half asleep with his head in my lap and occasionally whuffing at my face to request more ear scratches.
Such a sweet heart.
I did discover though that he will not eat oranges or parsnips.
Walking home was much the same and we did alot of trotting up small hills to get his shoulders working. I have a few poles (read small pine tree trunks) at Ainslie's now, so I have him trot over them a few times a day and lunge him up and down the only real slope we have. He thinks I'm mad, but the muscle is beginning to build up correctly in his shoulders and his back end doesn't feel so much like jelly ( mine is another story, sadly).
I feel that things are starting to come together and so long as it is consistanly clear that I'm in charge, we will be fine. Any moments of doubt on my part he picks up instantly. Damn horses and their fantastic body language skills!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hanging with Harry

We were house sitting for Ainslie this weekend, so I'd hoped to get in a long time with my boy, but sadly had work both days. Sigh. Ah well. Need the money anyway.

Have discovered however, that after a winter of walking over Ainslie and not much (read: no) work, he's decided to a) try walking all over me, and b) become paddock bound. I took him out to groom him and he yelled and spun around and was generally up tight and spooky for half an hour. Harry. My calm quiet boy. Spooky.

I'm thinking the increased feed probably won't be helping with this. Nor will the fresh spring grass.

After grooming him I took him into a bigger paddock and let him go. He galloped around a bit, bucking and farting as they do, and then found a nice patch of sun and spring grass near his buddy and grazed. I watched him for a while, and then joined him in the sun and we had a moment.

I guess any horse person has them. Those moments when you and your horse are just happy and content and enjoying each others company. Its still new to me, what with Harry being my first horse, but god its good. It makes the lack of money, the half hour bike rides through driving rain and hail, the slogging through the mud with a hole in one gumboot to feed out all worth while.

Just Harry and me under the trees having a cuddle. He put his head under my arm and I rubbed around his ears and down his neck and he blew gently in my ear and we just stood there, happy in the sun and the trees and the grass around us.

My new saddle (or rather, my second hand saddle) will be down in a week or so. Hooray! I have all my fingers and toes crossed that it fits both of us well! It was a freak purchase. maybe 2 in the morning on trade me thinking, saddle for $50? I'll never get it. So I bid. And got an email a week later saying I'd won. Oops. Looking at the auction again I realized I have no idea of the seat size, the gullet width, anything! I know it is leather and was last used about 12 years ago. It is 15 years old. Fingers crossed also that it has been carefully stored and the leather has not cracked! Ah well. I'm hoping for a fairy tale ending. You know the one, completely by chance everything turns out perfect? The prince that came along and kissed Sleeping Beauty just happened to be the love of her life and she wasn't hopelessly out of date and they lived happily ever after and everything was perfect...

You get what I mean anyway.

Here's looking forward to more riding in the near future!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


So... I'm browsing Trademe, looking at sections and getting really irritated with titles such as, "build your dream home!" and "large section"

Two things I know my dream home is not: In Ravensbourne (damp, dark, cold place that it is) and on a 600m2 property.

When I'm looking for a large section, I'm thinking 5acres plus. Preferably more than ten. I want to keep horses and a garden and an orchard... 600m2 is not going to cope with that. The best I've found so far, and the place I would really love, is around 10 acres on the bank of a river in Southland. It has a 3 bedroom house (which is new and very livable, if not what I would build for myself) a 40x40m riding arena, a number of sheds, one partially converted into stables, and substantial amounts of horse quality fencing. The one problem with this section? Well... I make roughly $200-300 a week. Hardly enough to pay my existing bills without getting what is no doubt quite a substatial mortgage. I've just applied for a second job filling shelves in a supermarket so as to have a little spending money.

But hey, I can dream. And dreams go further than you imagine... I dreamed for a long time, in an abstract way, about getting a horse. Then for six months I thought of little else, figured out what I wanted and needed and dreamed about that and... found him. So now I have a horse. I'm hoping the same approach works for property.

And I really do want property. A horse I have been working on for some time now, Mr Wobbles (formerly known as Volcano) has recently been sent back to a former owner who wants him gone in a week or he's going for dog food. Had I land of my own I would take him in an instant. He's kind and gentle and tries so hard to please. An absolute sweetheart who had one accident (a horse fell on him in a float) and is now in the process of being rehabilitated. I believe he is fixable, and I believe he would make a wonderful first horse for anyone. In the three months or so I have known him he has gone from falling over and being unable to get up, to being able to carry a 65kg person around comfortably at a walk. I realize he has damage and may never be able to compete to a high level, but I fully believe he can be a perfactly good mount for anyone wanting to hack gently around the countryside... and for such a wonderful natured horse who will try his heart out for you even when in so much pain... I think he deserves a better end than the knackers.

Had I my own property I would take him in in an instant. Sadly, I rent grazing and the land can't really take another horse, nor can I currently afford another animal. However much I might like to. Having seen one other horse I cared for wind up at the knackers, I would hate to see another end up the same way. It's been well over a year since Fergus sent Bill to Clover (clover meats) and I still can't believe he's really gone. Another sweet horse gone for no good reason.

Still, I have Harry. And I will do everything in my power to see he never has to worry that he might end that way. He is currently diging in to huge amounts of baleage and looking very pleased with himself. He covers himself in mud whenever he gets the chance to and with recent rains... well. He is a hairball covered in mud and as happy as can be.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Found this elsewhere on the internet... so this is a cheat post, I don't have to think about it :)

1. How old were you when you first started riding?
By the time I was 5 I had convinced mum I needed lessons
2. First horse ridden:
A shetland at a fair. First I remember was Winston, a chestnut pony at Willowcreek
3. First horse trotted on:
4. First horse cantered on:
Pipi, by accident. She liked to lead and tried to pass all the other ponies...
5. First Horse fallen off of:
Pipi, when she was cantering through the thistles, and confused 6 year old me kept posting...
6. Most recent horse fallen off of
an arab riding pony cross, who liked the race track (read galloped madly around) until we got to the gate... 90 degree turns at speed are not my thing. Guess I'll never be a barrel racer
7. Most terrifying fall:
Burt bolted straight towards a fence and then stopped and swiveled right infront of it. Thought I was going to land on a warratah. Ouch
8. First horse jumped with:
9. First horse who ran away with you:

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you:
Minty. Took off with me at my first show and didn't stop til some one else grabbed him, I think I was five and we were trotting.
11. First horse shown :!)
Minty at an A+P show.
12. First horse to win a class with:
Noddy, in a treasure hunt at Willowcreek
13. Do you/have you taken lessons:
Yes. Wish I could afford them now!
14. First horse you ever rode bareback:

Harry :D My first horse. Currently don't own a saddle, so learning fast!
15. First horse trail ridden with:
Winston. but only short rides. First long ride was on a TB apaloosa cross when I had a broken arm and his rider didn't want to ride him. Spent a whole day on him at the catlins canter and he was lovely :)
16. Current Barn name:
Don't have one
17. Do you ride English or western?:

English. Sould like to try western for trekking
18. First Horse to place at a show with:
Noddy. but not a real show. I have shown once and Minty and I didn't get anywhere
19. Ever been to horse camp?:
Yes, where I met Minty. I remember polishing tack and having freezing fingers trying to braid Minty's mane.
20. Ever been to a riding clinic?
Yes, but was only watching. Looked like it was really useful for all the participants. I'd love to go one day.
21. Ridden sidesaddle?

22. First horse leased:
Never have. Wanted to lease Trevor :)
23. Last Horse Leased:
24. Highest ribbon in a show:
first in walk trot canter, not a real show though, just at the barn
25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?:
26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?:
27. Ever fallen off at a show
nearly, on minty.
28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?:
Have ridden, yes.
29. Have you ever barrel raced?
30. Ever done pole bending?:
at a trot, in a paddock, around electric fence standards.
31. Favorite gait:
Harry's long striding walk...
32. Ever cantered bareback?:
Not yet, but I'm working on it

33. Have you ever done dressage?:
ver low level, and loved it. Starting dressage lessons with Harry as soon as I can afford it.

34. Have you ever evented?:
35. Have you ever mucked a stall?:

36. Ever been bucked off?:
37. Ever been on a horse that reared
One that threatend to. Franklin would throw mini tantrums when you asked him to do something he wasn't happy with. Never really did anything though, just threatened.
38. Horses or ponies.
Horses. Ponies are to smart for me ;)
39. Do you wear a helmet?:
40. What's the highest you've jumped:
two foot
41. Have you ever ridden at night?:
in the dusk, yes, not at night
42. Do you watch horsey television shows?:
when I see them. more likely to get national velvet out on video... or the black stallion on youtube... anyone know why national velvet STILL isn't on youtube?
43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?:
Not from falling off. Got knocked backwards off a mounting block and broke my arm though... 5yo TB spooked at my cat...
44. Most falls in one lesson:
one. I try not to repeat my mistakes...
45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?:
most of my riding has been in an arena. Currently I ride mostly in a paddock or down the roadside. Can't wait til I have a trailor and can go to the beach!
46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?:
nope, just had my toes stood on.
47. Have you ever been bitten?:
nipped. no good bites yet, knock on wood
48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?:
on numerous occasions. no real damage done yet though. Hooray for leather boots. Down with crocs and sandals at the yard :) James won't come near Harry without steelcaps now...
49: Favorite riding moment:
Trevor and I cantering down the ring... with him tripping over himself and leaning into my hands... and the moment I finally achieved a half halt and felt him collect himself underneath me for the whole long side... wow.
50. Most fun horse you've ridden:
Harry. With my own horse I'm allowed to do what I want. :) lessons would be wonderful, but I enjoy lying on his back with a book while he grazes :)

ps. No idea why the bold keeps coming on. Can't seem to fix it. Apologies.

I'm a slacker, what can I say?

Took Watty out for a ride on Saturday :) had a good time, let Harry have a bit of a graze down the side of the road. He's looking forward to seeing me now, I arrive and he's all, "Hey! Feed me!?" Which is nice, but I know come summer I'll pay for being so lax with him now. He's on baleage and hay and speedi beet and chaff and pellets now. Sadly he's STILL skinny. I don't know how he does it. He is putting on weight now, but not as much as I'd like... hence extensive time grazing the roadsides. Its a good time. I'm going to try riding him in his halter as I'm sure eating through the bit isn't pleasant. As it is, I hang out and try to get the mud off his neck/knees/face etc and he eats. Occasionally we go a good pace along the road to the next nice patch of grass. I'm not yet brave enough to try trotting bareback, though I'm considering it. He has an up and down trot that makes me think bareback might be a little uncomfortable. Or a lot uncomfortable. Ah well. He has a lovely canter to make up for it. Get my bike back from the repair shop this week, so I'll have a little more access to him. It's a long walk to Otatara!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another beautiful but cold day :) Took harry out for an hour of grazing the long acre beside the road. I sat on his back and relaxed... He ate.

I'm getting a feel for what his feet are doing and how his spine moves and what he's going to do next and he's getting a few extra greens in his largely hay rations.

All in all, a very pleasant afternoon :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

So, went riding today :)
lovely day again, bit cool and windy, but good all the same. Poor BBB's paddock is getting grazed out and I feel sorry for him (stupid, stupid, stupid) and let him have a go at all the grass on the way. Hoping I haven't turned it into a habit... I just know I hate having no greens for a while, I'm guessing hay gets boring. at any rate, it keeps things nice and slow and cheerful, which is what I need really. The bareback thing is still a bit... awkward. He is fantastic about it though :) Hoorah

My man came with me too, spent lots of time teaching his mothers puppy to SIT and STAY, while the BBB and I hung out at particularly nice patches of grass.

Friday, June 5, 2009

...Bloody weather...

So, I went out for a ride today, beautiful day, sunny, calm... got half way to the paddock and the rain started... Got his halter from the shed and the hail started... So I brought him into the woolshed, groomed him, did some equine touch, and as he was standing there after the body work, half asleep... The sun came out again.

I hate this weather. I really, really do...

One day I will have an indoor arena...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

back to it

so, for the last three weeks it has pissed with rain pretty much constantly. On the three nice day's we've had, i've either been at work, at tech or sick in bed. So no riding.
I also seem to have discovered quite a bit of fear. Apparently in deciding I want to work with horses for a living I've put enough pressure on myself that now I am.. afraid. Of doing something I've always loved.
As you can imagine, being afraid of getting on my horse is kinda freaking me out. I don't recall ever having been afraid to get on a horse. Mildly nervous of a new one I didn't know well, but no actual fear. Combine this with learning to ride without a saddle for the first time ever and you have a fairly terrified me. I have no idea if my horse has ever been ridden bareback.
So I took my partner out with me. and made him stand, holding poor BBB (who only wanted to eat, his paddocks pretty well grazed out and the grass around the mounting block is beautiful...) while I tried to convince myself to get on. I think I put my leg over about four or five times before committing to getting on.
BBB was wonderful. We walked quietly around the paddock and stopped to graze a few times (just while I got used to the sensation...) I will get a bareback pad though, as he has saddle damage over his withers and it makes him a little uncomfortable to sit on. I hate to think what my bony bum does to his poor back!

I am amazed at the amount of feeling there is... every time he moves his head, bends his neck, takes a step... you can feel all of it, his ribs bulging on either side, the curve of his back changing as he drops his head and lifts a hind leg forward...

I believe learning to ride bareback will make me a much better rider, and I believe I will overcome the fear I have now. But for a while, I will continue to keep company with me, especially while riding round the block, which is my usual hack. God only knows how long it will take to feel comfortable at the walk, or the trot, or the canter, but I will do it.

I dream of myself riding, like Alec and the Black, down the beach, without fear... That is my picture of absolute freedom.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Newbie fears

Ok, So BBB and I have had some adventures since the last post. You remember he was sound again? Well, there were a few nights where class didn't end til four/five-ish and it was too dark to ride, so I didn't go out this week.

Friday Ainsley went to feed out and for whatever reason, the BBB turned round and kicked her. Not so flash. We chased him around the paddock for a bit, made it VERY clear he was never to do it again and I'll be working on having him respectful of both of us when feeding time comes round. Left a post for mugwump and have some practical advice from her and Laura Crum.

At any rate, Saturday was lovely and I had all day free so I headed out for a ride. Guess who's lame again? Tearing around the paddock without a warm up seems to have left him off in the back right leg. Damn it. We got maybe ten steps out of the drive when I thought, no, this doesn't feel right.

It doesn't help that after so long being lame and under worked he's as high as a kite and making me nervous. I gotta get a grip on that. The BBB being high as a kite is a tall horse picking his head up and looking about and walking a little bit forward. He's not that scary. Not out of control, not spooky or feeling like he might buck... Just not a lazy old school horse you've got to wear yourself out on just to get a walk.

But let me tell you, the whole owning a horse thing, and riding outside of an arena and not having an instructor to tell me what to do? It's bloody scary. I'm terrified of loosing control, and trying really hard not to hang off his face because of it. I'm afraid I'll do something wrong, not feed him adequately or not notice that he's sick, or... I don't even know. Anything. I want to look after him so well, and every day I find something else I had no idea about. I'm learning fast though!

Right now I'm slightly worried that my riding fears are getting in my way. Ainsley doesn't think he's lame, and apparently he was only very slightly lame last time too... I don't know about that, I could see and feel the difference that fast it felt like a huge limp! She thinks I should still be working him, and if he's only very slightly lame she might be right... but again, it feels wrong to me. How long will it be before I can safely trust my own judgment? I feel ignorant and everyone elses opinions seem that much more... important? knowledgeable? I also haven't owned this horse for long enough to know if this is normal. Maybe he's always a little un even. I don't know. Maybe it's a result of being barefoot for the first time. It's been six weeks since the shoes came off, maybe he's still adjusting? Maybe I'm just making excuses so I can still be a scardy cat and not ride...

I hope not.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beautiful Day

Today was lovely, not a cloud in the sky, gentle breeze, moderate temperature. My first thought on remembering I had the day off from class was "fantastic day for a ride" I then sat up. And yelped.

See, I used to laugh at mum when she complained about bicycle seats... I can't anymore. Those bruises hurt! and the bike is the only way out to the BBB. So of course, like any good student, I procrastinated. I'm learning to do that in a slightly more productive manner these days. So I cleaned the stove and did the dishes and tidied the bedroom and re-wrote my CV and went to find myself a job.

I've been awfully lucky in that I live in a country where grazing is cheap. And even more so if your almost mother in law owns 14 acres. So It's been cheap so far. But feeding out in winter is not going to be that easy. And the $170 a week the government gives me to study is not going to feed both of us easily. Bills total $155 a week, inclusive food, grazing, power, rent, internet, insurance etc. So an extra hundred a week wouldn't go amiss.

Sad thing is, I had a job when I bought him. I'm just not a fan of bosses who ask you do do illegal shit. Not my cup of tea. So I left. Now I need a new one, and hooray for the cafe down the road that's hiring!

So now its getting dark, and BBB's fed and I'm not going to ride. Cos my ass hurts. DAMN IT!

...I don't suppose he minds though...

Sound Again!

The BBB appears to have recovered!! Three cheers! No, wait, we're running out of time...

Trotted him out this afternoon (having spent half an hour on a dreadfully uncomfortable bicycle to get to him) and he was just fine :) Thought I'd go for a ride but he appears to have developed a cow shit fetish and had covered himself in the stuff. By the time I got it off him it was dark, god damn it. Why does it have to be winter and dark early?

Gave him a feed and got back on the damned uncomfortable bike. Anyone else have a bike seat that manages to jam itself up your bum? I swear I get bruises *between* my sit bones. Ouch.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


So, today there was no heat in the foot and the BBB didn't seem as sore. Not sound... just not lame either. Probably got sore muscles from limping around the place for a week. At any rate, I couldn't see that it had actually blown out, so we soaked and walked again anyway. Can't hurt right? And if it had blown out and I was just being blind the salt water would have helped anyway.

Have learned since that abcesses sometimes do just disappear on their own. Glad to hear it, I might get to ride this week! Hoorah!

At any rate, we walked about ten meters down the road and hey, there's a digger reversing off the back of a truck! Fun fun! Yes, I own a TB...

Thankfully, the BBB is the most wonderful TB in the world and didn't turn a hair. Had a good look and walked a little quicker. That was the extent of his reaction. I really do *love* this horse! The last TB I knew went off his rocker standing in cross ties, or standing on a lead. The one thing I didn't want, when looking for a first horse, was a TB. Oh well, Breed doesn't count, he just IS the right horse for me.

Last day of vacation today too, have been editing the other half's assignments and finishing mine up . Will be good to finish study and work again. Kinda need the extra cash for horse feed/new shoes (for me)/driving lessons etc etc.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some sort of explanation is probably required...

Ok. So I went to a wine tasting this St Patricks day... Had a few too many glasses and then sort of spent the afternoon buying a horse.

Now, before you get too concerned, I was looking for a horse, and specifically for THIS horse. He'd been living at my partners mothers house for a month. So really, its not quite as "I got drunk and bought a horse" as I've made it sound... but hey, how much more interesting is that story?

As you may imagine it's a little new to me. I mean, its my FIRST EVER horse... And having spent a large part of my holidays reading back logs of "fugly horse of the day" and "the VLC" I've taken advice mentioned and started a blog. Hopefully it keeps me motivated. Hopefully it doesn't deteriorate into the kind of drivel normally found in my journal... hmmm. There are somethings not even strangers want to know...

So anyway, here I am with this horse, lets call him, well, Very Large Gelding's taken... So... Big Red Gelding? BRG? (I've an urge to go with Roald Dahl's BFG but he's a 16.2 TB gelding, not a shire.) How 'bout Big Beautiful Boy? I can live with that, BBB.

So. The BBB is without a doubt the best first horse in the world. And yes, I know I'm biased. We've been together a month now, more actually. And so far we've done quite a bit of quiet hacking (I've been out of riding for a year and a half and am DEFINATELY out of shape!) and just last week a very short schooling session. I say very because it lasted exactly until we changed directions and trotted half a circle to the left and he felt LAME. This was a week ago today. Not hugely lame, no swelling or heat or sore points and heres me, newbie horse owner, thinking "oh my god, I have NO idea what this is." So I txted my Horse Person.

Turns out he has an abcess in his left front foot. It is suspected its been hanging about for a while but now that he's barefoot for the first time in his life and the hoof is flexing a little more BBB is feeling it. I know he had dificulty with his left lead with his former owner, which would make sense if that foot was slightly sore.

So I'm learning already. So far I've learned that BBB is a saint and will keep his foot in the bucket even when he drops half a carrot *just* out of reach. Instead of stepping forward, he walks his back feet right up close to the front feet and leeeaaans over to pick it up, then walks his back feet back again. I *love* this horse.

I have to say, he's actually got good timing with this, as not only am I starting to feed him this week (handy dandy way to keep him happy with the bucket) but with his bare feet he was iffy about the road work, which he needs, and I need because we're both unfit and his feet need toughening up. So hand walking him up and down the road twice a day is good for both of us. Hoorah. And a nice way to bond.

At the moment we're working on waiting nicely for our food without barging past and forcing our way into it.

Ok. So now I've rambled completely past explaining the origin of this blog. I think it might be a good time to stop.