Monday, January 25, 2010


So, got up early today, went out and did the milking, walked the cows right down to the end paddock and watched a plane take off over my head. Sherry's place ends right at the end of the invercargill airport runway. It was only a pencil plane, but it made me wish I were traveling again.

Got to Ainslies and fed the pigs, let the chickens out... etc etc.

Took Harry out for a ride. Oh wow :D We had a small argument again regarding the desireablity of standing about eating vs actually doing some work, but once we got going it was awesome :)
Went round the block to the left. Walking on the road for the most part, with some trotting on the verges close to home. Cantered on the long streatch by the first corner.
To begin with I felt really insecure, Harry's gaits aren't what they could be, they throw me out of the saddle a little too much. So I flopped about and felt like my legs were swinging wildly and our transitions were a mess...

We did it again anyway. And again. and then cruised for a bit enjoying the sun... And then had a lovely long open streach and went for it again. And by the end of two hours of this my legs felt ok, I was balanced, Harry was cantering reasonably nicely and not falling over his forehand so much, and my posting trot was actually keeping up with his sewing machine.

All in all, a wonderful success!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A slightly less successful day...

So Harry had his feet trimmed yesterday. I got on him this morning, ready for another lovely ride around the block and found out immediately that it was not to be. Walking on the grass? Fine, no worries, Happy as. The minute we had to cross a gravel driveway, or walk on the road to avoid it we had problems. Ie. He was not keen. At all. We went 50m one way, to the nearest driveway. Then 100m the otherway, to the next driveway. At which point we had a short argument over whether or not to go on the road for two meters so as to get to the nice long grassy strip on which to ride. The argument was solved when a small girl came out of her house and asked to pat the horse. I succeded in getting him onto the road to be patted, and then we went home and rode in the paddock. Ah well.

We rode for half an hour in the paddock, practicing accurate trot/walk, walk/trot transitions, and riding the corners with an accurate bend. We serpentined back and forth across the paddock at the walk... I'm not sure how straight our lines were, and the tempo was NOT as even as could be desired. We consistantly went faster and with more energy towards the fence behind which his friend was waiting for him. But hey, its a start.

So, this afternoon I led both horses on the tarmac 100m down the road and back again. They have both been in the paddock for too long, and the digital cushion that should be tough and shock absorbing is soft and spongy. As I understand it, the only thing that will improve the toughness and shock absorbtion of their feet is regular work on hard and uneven surfaces. Slowly at first. It may be that I lead Harry along the road to the grassy area, then ride that down to the arena for some work. the leading on the road will be good for his feet, and the work on soft arena footing will be good for both of us.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A wonderful morning!

So, it's overcast and windy and looks like rain... but I spent all of last night inexplicably sleepless and amused myself by imagining a wonderful ride, cantering along sunny grass verges and grinning from ear to ear as everything was perfect and Harry and I just flowed, balanced and collected, leaping with ease over small obsticles...

I have a wonderful imagination.

Anyway, the result of so many hours of positive thinking was to make me determined to get on and ride today, no matter the weather (a brand new New Years resolution probably helped too) And so I did.

And it was wonderful. Amazing. Harry was keen to get going, so we trotted the first kilometer or so and cantered the nicer patches and for once he didn't decide to stop at the corner and refuse to go forward. The only sad part was that by the end I was sweating profusely and he wasn't even damp! Guess the NewYears resolution about keeping up my weights and regular cycling is going to have to stick too.

I'm already dreaming about tomorrows ride...