Busier

The first of November brought with it a much more satisfying schedule around here, with a few new lesson bookings and some new horsies in training.

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This includes Emmy, who is showing one of the quickest and most miraculous changes I have ever seen in my life. She was a skinny, dull, flat little thing when she arrived in the beginning of September, scoring a 2/10 – all ribs and hip bones. To her owner’s great delight (and mine), two months later she is a shiny, happy 5/10. I’ve never seen my feeding programme work quite so fast in my life. Her owner can take much of the credit, because she saw the wisdom in not trying to be penny-wise pound-foolish and had all the expensive things done promptly.

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We also have a new arrival, this lovely old broodmare, Jewel. She is a Nooitie from the oldest stud in the country – beating Arop by a full decade – and stunning to look at and handle. As you’d expect for a fine specimen of this breed.

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Faithy giving me side eye as I attack her amazing hair with new detangler I found. It is magical.

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My happy place ❤ Our next project is to build some stables, and after that, a jumping arena. The dressage works fine, but it does get a little old to be disassembling jumps before every dressage lesson, or schooling Elementary movements around the jumps. I still sometimes can’t believe we really have a full size, flat, sand dressage arena. It’s wonderful.

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Thunder has finally, finally started to put on some condition again. He can still do with a fair bit, but at least he doesn’t look so straggly anymore.

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Lady Erin, having done a bit of a growth spurt, is firmly in straggly status, but I can still see glimmers of something classy buried under the yearling uglies. Apparently so could a nice – and top – showing rider from the Eastern Cape, who bought her.

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I’m very relieved that she’s found a good home, but I will admit, I’ll be sad to see her go. I would have loved to have watched her grow up.

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I’ll watch these little nuggets grow up instead, ever aided by the faithful schoolies. Ash is establishing herself as a firm favourite among riders of all levels.

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Faith’s first time in bandages. I was amazed that she stood still for long enough for me to put all four of them on – she’s extraordinarily wiggly. But at least her front end has caught up at last.

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I tried Jamaica in the hackamore, on the chiro’s advice. It didn’t work at all to get him more connected and lighter in the hand. In fact he practically ignored it, but he’s so good off my seat now that we still had simple changes through walk just the same as in a bridle.

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I scrubbed the dragon. She looks decidedly better now, but she still has half a winter coat. I sometimes wonder, between being an 8/10 regardless of what she’s being fed and the fluffiness, if she has a bit of Cushing’s. If she does it only makes her fluffy and fat (a healthy level of fat) though, so I’m not losing sleep over it right now.

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Thunny got two apples for his birthday. He couldn’t have been happier.

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Lancey has been angelic for his little rider, if a bit spicy for her big sister after a long break to regain condition. She’s also starting to sit so much better. These two make my heart happy.

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So do these two; I think this tiny child probably has a better position than I do. Stirrups or no.

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Still my best goofball ❤ His birthday was also in October, and he is now ten. Supposedly all grown up. Ha.

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The farmer who works our fields made this big banky thing, presumably to prevent rainwater gushing down from the top of the hill into his fields and washing away the seeds. We are not complaining; it makes a wonderful cross-country obstacle.

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Arwen is sound again at last and back in work. We have our first show back this weekend and she’s going nicely, apart from being occasionally very dragonish and wild when the mood takes her (fresh = loony).

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She’s going such a perfect dappled grey now. ❤

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Emmy’s first day in training gave me my first proper look at her personality and I like her. She is forward-thinking and, like any thoroughbred, can get flustered when she thinks she’s made a mistake; but she’s sensible, robust, and has fairly nice movement – better than I expected. She tries very hard and someone has put in some lunging work with her before, so it won’t be long before we can move on to bigger things.

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Titan’s first day in backing was also pretty good. He’s had most of the basics done before we turned him out six months ago because he wasn’t quite as old as his previous owners said; he can lunge and has worn a roller. His baby Arab brain wanted to gallop madly for the first five minutes, but as we go on we’re sorting out that tendency and he’s remembering that he can, in fact, be quiet and obedient.

I do think we have our work cut out for us getting him quiet enough for his child owner. He is willing, he tries hard, but he’s going to be hot.

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Unlike both these horses, who were just born for kids. Rene and Trooper might be K and E’s, but they both have to earn their keep in the riding school, too.

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Champagne’s injury has still prevented me from putting a saddle on her, so we decided to tackle one of our biggest obstacles: the dreaded circle at C. She doesn’t like cows, and cows are next to C, so she doesn’t like C. We’ve been avoiding that conversation, but she’s finally in the place where we can talk about on the lunge, and we’ve got three relaxed gaits – even with stretching down – on her good days.

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Best of all, Faith’s third birthday came and went and we started playing with the idea of backing. It’s been a long time since I had a truly untouched horse, and while it’s taken me a moment to adjust to the slower pace, I’m loving it. I love just watching her move, she’s so beautiful. Her gaits are much like Thunder’s; boring to look at but balanced and rhythmic, and when she moves in a moment of self-carriage she floats. She is so, so, so wiggly, though. Really – she cannot stand still for more than one second. She’s also a little separation anxious, but happy to go to work, and obedient on the lunge. All baby horse stuff. I love having a baby again ❤

Glory to the King.

 

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