Thursday 30 September 2010

Pampered Princess!

Just a post, about what a pampered little madam Kika is becoming!
The weekend before last Kika got a new neighbour in the stablen next to hers, another chestnut mare - I know what you're thinking "recipe for disaster" aaaannndddd you'd be right!
To say that Kika didn't get on with her would be a bit of an understatetment! The partition between the two of them got such a hammering, and embarassingly for me it appears to have been all one sided. The new neighbours partition did not have scuff marks where hooves had made contact! *embarrased*

On top of this the weekend before this "move", the two brothers who run the yard had *seperately* said to me that she kicks up a massive fuss at feeding time! Pawing her door till the feed gets to her, which is mighty annoying considering feeding could start at the opposite end of the barn (50 odd horses away from her!), but Miss (it would appear) has amazing hearing when it comes to the sound of feed! Yet if i walk into the barn and say hello to her, i might as well be talking to the wall... Go figure! *eye roll*

Anyways so chalk all this fuss down and imagine my discomfort at asking the owners if it might be possible to move Kika to another stable as:
1. I was changing her from straw to sawdust (straw was getting too wet as she was spending so much time indoors and the soles of her feet were being affected) and
2. I was worried as to how much more the partition between herself and the new neighbour could take.
I spoke to one of the brothers on friday to which he informed me that they had been planning on moving her ina ny case as the stable she had been in since arriving was not infact going to be her stable for the winter months! He couldn't tell me where exactly to which stable she would be moving to, but did give me the barn aisle she would be on so i could narrow down my search for her on monday.

So up I went on monday evening after work, looking forward in a childish way to my game of hide and seek ponio. Imagne my suprise to see her rugged self staring back at me as soon as i walked through the door. Not on the aisle i had been told she would be on, but simply 2 stalls down from the one she had been in and now the first stable in the row (right beside the hay supply - so that'll be one fuss sorted as she will be first fed with the hay each time so no door hamemring on that count), another bonus of this stable is that she now only has one neighbour and the partition separating them has some sort of rubber matting (similar to what's inside horseboxes) to stop her damaging the wood and/or herself is she ever does kick up a  fuss again. The other good thing is that her sole neighbour is a tiny little miniature mare, again chestunt, but I don't think that will be a problem this time, as for as long as I've owned her Kika has been incredibly broody and loves animals that are smaller than her! I think it stems from where she was before I bought her from her breeder, where she had obviously lived her whole life, and once she was weaned from the mare she was in a field with other young horses. So after her first year of life she was joined in the field by the next year's foal(s) and so on until i bought her at three. In the three years I have had her, she has always had a healthy obsession with small ponies/foals and adopted a protective stance over any youngsters that used to join the "big" herd when she was in Ireland!
And to see her reaction every time I return her to her stable makes me think that we shouldn't run into any problems with this neighbour. Whereas before when I used to return her to her stall, she'd try to turn straight to check for feed and/or eat her hay (this was a habit that was not allowed to form and she got over it pretty quickly but often looked longingly in their direction when returned to the stable). Now when she gets back to her 'new' stable, when released from teh headcollar, she goes straight to teh bars taht divide her from the neighbour and checks that the little mare is still there!

I also got an explanation (re:the change in stable) on Monday evening as one of the yard owner brothers was there ar the same time as I was. Turns out she had been moved to the aisle I had been told she would be on as those stables are ever so slightly bigger than the one she is in now (by like 5-10cms), but she kicked up such a fuss in there. Hammerig and pawing at the stable panneling that they couldn't leave her there for fear she would do herself or the stable damage! (Cue a very red face from me!) So she was moved back to her "orginal" aisle.

So here I am rather embarrased by how misbehaved my horse is being when stabled. But when I explained to the YO (yard owner) that she has to get used to being stabled and has to learn to be patient, he asked why? Turns out either i forgot to tell them, or they forgot that i had told them that this will be/is Kika's first time being stabled for any length of time. She used to live outdoor sin Ireland, taht combined with her age, has them looking upon her slightly more leniantly now! So hopefully she'll buck up soon and stop acting like such a pampered princess! ;)

PS: sorry if my spelling is atorcious, I don't have time o re-read as I'm running out to lunch before my first german class in 8 years! Scary, and yep - you guessed it, I'm freaking out a little! (*ahem* read: A LOT!)

Wednesday 29 September 2010

A Bit About Us (For Those who don't know)

Well I figured why not start at the beginning and have anyone who reads this on the same page as everyone else. This is a blog about my horse Kika and I's adventures since moving to Luxembourg from Ireland due to work commitments.
Kika is a Liver Chestnut mare who was born in May of 2004, purchased by me when she was going on 3 in April 2007! She had absolutely nothing done when we bought her, she couldn't even lead! With help from my mothers family where I spent every weekend and holiday while i live in Ireland (while studying at university); we trained her to saddle (and to lead - sort of!). Between injuries to her (minor ones, never more than 2 weeks break) and myself (more long term unfortunately and i was out of the saddle for 3 months then back for a bit and out again for 6 months!) we still managed to get around and try out a few things.
She tried her hoof at hunting (without me as I'm not a major hunting fan, but if anyone wanted to take her for a day out they were welcome to - she went down a treat), hunter trialing (we had one outing at a charity event which was great fun) and what we both really enjoy doing show jumping. We did a few competitions at 80cms, 90cms and 1meter classes before leaving Ireland. (Youtube link to our first double clear video, if anyone cares, teehee, you can see the rest of our vids there too!)
Anyways as mentioned above in January 2010 I was offered a job in Luxembourg, which is where I grew up incidently, for 3 months while a woman was out on maternity leave. After a month and a half I was told that the lady in question would not be returning to work and they asked me would I like to stay on for 12 months, to which i jumped at the chance!
As I had originally only been employed for 3 months I had left Kika in Ireland in the capable hands of my mothers family on the Livery yard they run where she had lived since i bought her! But now facing 12 months in Luxembourg and her still in Ireland and my paying livery, I figured why not see if i could bring her out to me. Which i obviously managed!
She now lives 10minutes walk up the road from where I am living and I get to see her every day! Which I'm not sure she is thrilled about, lol, considering while at uni i used to only ride her at the weekends and every day when on holidays. Now she gets ridden almost every day!!!

So basically this will be a blog about us and our adventures since coming out here. The yard I keep her at has amazing facilities (see pictures here); 3 indoor riding arenas, one outdoor, access to at least 17kms of forrestry, a walker and paddocks for turnout weather permitting. There is also on site instruction and extrenal instructors who come in either on special occasions for weekend clinics and/or there is a jumping instructor who comes in weekly on wednesdays.

I have been taking weekly flat lessons for about a month and a half now and was due to start jumping lessons today, but madam had other ideas when twisting one of her two week old hind shoes last friday and then proceeding to pull it off on monday before the farrier could look at her! Then yesterday after getting the shoe replaced, she caught herself with the shoes in the box or something (I wasn't there so can't know for sure) and so wrangled her way out of being ridden last night. So i cancelled todays inaugral jumping lesson as she hadn't been ridden since friday and she really does love to jump. So was think we might make a better first impression next week, when she hasn't had a "break" which would result in her getting all hot and excited at the sight of fences!
We pottered around this evening, to make sure our gears were still working ahead of our flat lesson tomorrow evening.

I guess that really is enough out of me for now, ;-)
I'll leave you with 2 pictures of Kika! The first picture taken of her in April 2007 and a more recent one after her arrival  and settling in period in Lux taken in August 2010.

That's about it for my first post, fair play to you for reading that to the end!
Please do check back for more as I hope to update as regularly as possible. Probably not every evening, but on eventful evenings/days I will!
To keep on top of our adventures on the continent!