Saturday 25 July 2015

Slow and Steady...

...wins the race.
Or at least that is what the saying & the Tortoise + the Hare story would have us believe, however I cannot hand on heart pretend that that is what my approach to riding has been so far this year. My approach has been slow and steady although not because of a planned out end goal but more because circumstance.

Whatever the reason my girls are forgiving angels who let me clamber on board after 3 weeks of sitting in a field and potter about their business like they haven't had a break. Yes Nancy, here's looking at you kid! ♡

Closest thing to a group shot of the 3 of us

We have had a good week comparatively speaking. I got three spins in on Nancy, two arena walk/trot sessions and one leisurely stroll in the woods.
Kika has had two quick pessoa lunging sessions and came along in her head collar for our walk in the woods. My youngest sister will be back in Lux for a visit from Tuesday to Sunday next week, so hopefully the four of us will get out for plenty adventures together. Company is key & a great motivation *nod*


Both girls have been very very good. I have taken things easy on all of us with our reintroduction to under saddle work. Nancy & I have been sticking to walk/trot work in the arenas, with the focus being more on getting her to relax down into a more long & low frame to build back up some of the lost muscle. All the while trying to remember to keep my brain engaged and to ride the corners and support her through them in all gaits. #sighmyissues

Mucky Moo
I'm taking a similar approach to Kika's return to work but using the pessoa lunging aid instead. As slow and steady under saddle work with Kika just leads to her looking for distractions and us fighting/bickering. Plus we had been having some struggles with our canter work under saddle way back when I rode slightly more consistently then this last month. The way I see it building back up her muscles with the training aid of the pessoa (which she enjoys working in) saves both our sanity, our relationship & builds a solid foundation to work from when I do climb back in the saddle for arena work. I will of course continue to ride her for strolls in the woods when others volunteer to come with me and ride Nancy for Kika's hand/hoof-holding☺

My two girls together after something spooked Kika
 so she walked faster to be minded by Nancy
who didn't even flinch an ear

None of our arena work has exceeded 25 minutes as all three of us need to build back up condition and the weather has continued to be warm and heavy in the evenings. Thankfully this weekend is forecast for plenty rain to refresh all the air around here. Sure it will limit my saddle time as ponehs will be wet....but this is actually a blessing in disguise as i have my first guests staying in the flat. Myself and 2 friends planned a Marvelathon - a marathon viewing session of all things Marvel Movies. Except for the Incredible Hulk #sorrynotsorry
This is my indoctrination/total immersion after i fell of the MCU cliff at the deep end when I went to see a back to back showing at the cinema of the two Avengers films. Then dove head first into binge watching Agents of Shield and Agent Carter on t'interwebs.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Walking Wounded

I was going to make this a Wordless Wednesday post for tomorrow,  but then thinking about it I couldn't post these photos without offering some sort of explanation.

Older pic with a bit of a
"Don't read on if squeamish"
warning as wound pix to follow

Nancy & I are a bit like the walking wounded at the moment. First of all I skinned the front of my right shin ducking through wire on Sunday - don't worry the fence was off but that white rope stuff sire has a way of grazing exposed skin! Ouch is -  note to self wear trousers!!!

Apologies for the dirtinesd of me
- i had been traipsing around their dusty field
& filling haynets etc prior to this

Another bonus to wearing trousers when skipping through fencing, stuffing hay into haynets & hanging the suckers is not getting hay-rash or bitten by midges/creepy crawleys resulting in your legs itchy like a mofo - especially worth noting if like me you have a wedding the following weekend & it's summer and a nice flowy above-the-knee dress is on the agenda. Harumpf - my legs are going to be a state on top of being so white. Yay hobby requiring covered legs combining with pale skin ftw
And to top it all off i ripped apart my heels today wearing my old paddock boots (which coincidentally has reminded me why I stopped wearing them to begin with) - fingers crossed a combination of sudocreme on all my scratches & scrapes + plasters on my heels mean I might help the healing process along and/or still be able to wear the shoes that match perfectly with the wedding outfit!
My timing is honestly impeccable - even if i do say so myself *eye-roll*

On to the real reason people read this blog - the horses!
Nancy must have hit her head off the metal frame the haynets hang from and gave herself a nice gash between her ears. I discovered it last night, looking nice and gooey/goopy thanks to the nasty flies that love this heat & her and she cannot stand flies! She has a lower fly - tolerance threshold than Kika. Nancy cannot abide the beggars - but i digress. I hauled her butt in yesterday evening (Kika obvs came too for the stroll) cleaned the wound wih isobetadine soap, took a picture and sent it to the vet. In fact after i took the picture I had to examine the wound again as it looked so muh deeper on my screen then what i was perceiving with my own eyes - weird!

Quick capture post staples
including unimpressed ears!
Who needs side-eye when you can
 side-ear like a total BAMF

Vet said she could call out at lunchtime today, so I took the car to work and met her at the yard with an unimpressed Nancy & Kika being hauled in in the middle of the day. They walked so slowly in from the field,  I was literally dragging them - i think they thought I was there to ride! Silly sods i was in a skirt! Although to be fair my legs are so white they could be mistaken for breeches *sniggers*
Vet cleaned the wound, placed an antiseptic disolvable pill or something inside the wound and stapled that bad boy shut. Nancy was such a good girl and allowed us work without sedation - which thankfully made turning her straight back out no problem. However she got progressively less impressed (understandably) as each staple went in - luckily there were not more as boy can she give dirty looks & has she a temper! She didn't lash out or anything, but it was written clear across her face - don't do that again. Thankfully we did not need anymore staples.

Best I could manage capture-wise this evening
 as she ducked her head to eat loose hay

Even this evening i was not allowed close enough to look at it - well i could look but not touch. No mean feat when she stretches her head up as the wound was on the top of her head between the ears to the right of her forelock.
I turned the pair of them out on the shaded "winter" turnout for the afternoon which has lots of trees that N typically loves to use as a scratching post. I am trying to keep an eye on her for sweet itch *sob* as her younger sister had it and I wonder could it be presenting late in N or is it just paranoia on my side & she is just particularly bothered by the flies and unlike previous years she has ways of scratching an itch on this field that she hasn't had on either of the previous two fields she was on for summer turnout.
In saying all that, what i was getting it is she may have scratched her head off a tree and made herself more sensitive & cranky towards me this evening and that is prob why I couldn't get closer to see/touch as she has kind of forgiven me earlier in the immediate aftermath of the vet visit. Although I may have been bribing her with other ear scratches & treats *whistles*

Knock-on-wood this is our first injury requiring vet intervention in the 2 years I've owned her - unlike Kika who had already racked up a few vet visits within the first two weeks of my owning her as she and some others broke out of their field (if only I knew then what i know now of Horsey-Houdini) and Miss K had needed but & stitches to the inside of her hind haunch (i want to say right leg - will have to see if i can find pix as cannot remember off the top of my head). Almost immediately after she got a kick to the hock when returned to co-habitation on the field and required more but and cold hosing. Honestly - what we do go horses!
However I cannot complain and am knocking-on-every-wooden-surface (namely my head) as  on pared to the kind of vet dealings fellow bloggers & other equine friends have had i really have been beyond lucky with my two.


Staples will be removed in 10-14 days - i actually totally forgot to ask if i can ride her. But (a) I'm off to Ireland from Thursday to Monday & (b) as she can wear a headcollars without it causing issue/rubbing I'd imagine a bridle should be ok after my long weekend away. The bit of swelling will have hopefully gone down...but I'll examine more closely on my return and see how she's doing. Don't worry I will have my bf & my mama checking in on the two monsters in my absence. If this heat persists and our promised thunderstorms continue to elude us - someone is going to have to take over the haynet filling & hanging and swap them fields for the afternoons to get them out of the glare of the sun...phew! No wonder I don't often go on holidays - the guilt i feel at leaving them *gulp*

Saturday 4 July 2015

Sunny Saturday

The heatwave rages on here on mainland Europe & with temps consistently approaching 40°C as the day goes on my desire to don breeches & leather boots is non existent. However a polo tournament helped me get my horsey fix today - as well as visiting my girls at lunchtime to swap them to the shady field and then again in the evening to, swap them back, douse them in fly spray + fill & hang the haynets.
The humidity is something else and particularly affecting Kika who is sweatier in the evenings than when I saw her at lunchtime, arguably the hottest time of the day under normal circumstances.
Oh Wells,  not much more I can do for them at the moment :-(
On to the couple of photos from the polo this afternoon...

I'll try any shade to keep from getting burnt
& yes I do wear suncream incessantly 

Barefoot farrier is coming tomorrow and we are due some thunderstorms so hopefully the temps come back down to be more manageable for pale old me & I can swing some strolls in the woods with my girls!

Thursday 2 July 2015

Summertime Shade

A heatwave has hit continental Europe and while it is nowhere near the temperatures that most the rest of the world deals with but for my Irish ponies & I it's too hot *blush*
We are not used to it and it is abnormal enough that we won't really have the time to acclimatise before the thunderstorms this is building to hit.

Parched Pasture @14h00 today
Sadly their summer field only has shade in the mornings, but boy am I glad that their "winter" turnout out is right next door & surrounded by lovely shade making trees.

If the heat continues i may have to reinstate my lunchtime commute to the barn to swap them fields for a few hours every afternoon!

On the plus side, seeing as they have been off the winter turnout since the last week of April...plenty greenery has grown back and they have something other than hay to eat. Admittedly the greenery is mostly weeds & nettles as the 'field' is surrounded by disideous (spelling?) trees cramped together so not much room for sunlight to get through nor much goodness left in the soil for actual tasty grasses to grow.
However I don't think my two greedy guzzlers will be complaining till I take them back out of shady heaven and return them to their summer field and give them their swinging acrobatic haynets later this evening. *insert-evil-cackle*