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!