Saturday, January 28, 2017

28th January, 2017 One of Us is A Bit of a Donut

Dottie appeared to be saying, "Is he with you?" as she glanced at me this morning. We were planning a new route as we are building up her map of the area, and assessing her general confidence levels.

As usual, we always do a little training in the yard before we go out, making sure that everyone's adrenalin is nice and low, and that Dottie is listening to Vanessa.

For now, and pending the arrival of a Micklem bridle, we are using a loosely fitted drop noseband so that if Dottie really opens her mouth in order to resist the bit, then she can be asked not to.

As we were going along the side of an A road, it seemed prudent to lead Dottie first to see how she reacted to the volume and nature of the traffic. She was absolutely fine with all of it even though none of it seems to slow down all that much.

She wasn't quite so keen on stepping through the puddles on the byway. Horses have very poor depth perception and are always more worried about stepping into water where they can't see the bottom.

With all appearing to be well, we found a useful mound for Vanessa to get on board.

Again, just to be on the safe side, Dottie remained on the lead rein albeit loose. Basically David's role was to be an anchor.

Back out on the main road again...traffic still refusing to slow down even though we were all wearing hi-vis.

Waiting to cross the road just before home, and Dottie is still foot perfect.

This is our Donut of the day. His owner had painted quite a vivid picture of the problems she has been facing with him since he moved to his new yard, with his friend, Baby. Since moving he has been separated from her and introduced to a small group of geldings which has affected his equilibrium.

Whilst groundwork cannot affect his behaviour when loose in the field, which can be a matter of herd politics coupled with the field set up of the field, it can help to settle a horse overall. Bottlenecks by gates, where one horse can intimidate another, or one can cling to another, making it difficult to negotiate the gate, can be improved immensely by the addition of an 'airlock' area.

Donut seemed to enjoy having a job to do and worked well despite Baby repeatedly calling to him over the fence. His groundwork is pretty good and just needed a bit of fine tuning.

Baby is certainly a Babe with her Maybelline hair. She's a New Forest cross Welsh Section D.

At last I get to see my baby too and although he only appears to have one ear he is looking really well. Give it another two months and I should be able to ride him again as his sick leave comes to an end.

I get to see him trot up by making poor David run across the field with the wheelbarrow.

Three calves and one cow outside the fields all crèche-ing out in the sun...

...close to my tarmac coloured pony. Blue is looking really well.

Her friend, Blue, wasn't sure he wanted to share his hay with the cows but those are very long horns.

After a day with horses David still wanted to say hello to the elderly neighbours.