Friday, 22 May 2009

The ednovean mares in the sunshine

The Ednovean mares hanging out together

Annie growing very bright and independant

Dolly - Diva's yearling from last season is by Resplendant Cee

Diva and Belle are firm friends - Belle is in foal to Lenard

Diva standing guard over Dolly

Must have dozed off

The TB yearling Dolly playing dead in the sunshine

Annie Looking very professional over the fence

Charles loved this one - he thought she looked as though she was eating a boiled sweet

Annie posing with mum

The sun has come out at last at Ednovean farm and all the mares have settled back down from their excitement at the newest addition - Annie. Annie has been practising a series of dizzying dressage movements - flying changes every couple of strides, figures of eight - to the assembled oohs and ahs of the adoring equine audience, that Lizzie defies .......dares in fact, to look one moment longer than she thinks fit.
Charles spoke to to Lizzie's sire, Lenard's old owner and she told him Lenard was renown for putting a lot of lift into the horses stride so the combination with the Pura Paza Danilon is an exciting one. We are hoping for Belle to have one last posthumous foal by Lenard if all goes well so it will be interesting to look at the two generations next year - the grand daughter compared to the daughter or son.

Still with the wonderful weather is was super to wander about the field with a camera and i spotted Diva's filly from last year Dolly, playing dead in the sunshine - she was so soundly asleep she was snoring and didn't pop her head up until I spoke. Her Mum Diva was still looking over her in a kindly fashion although she is expecting Dani's foal in June - the 26th. Her pregnancy has gone much better this year and she is blooming so i hope she has a safe delivery and what then for Annie? Will we stop following her every move - probably not!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Fillies and shoulder in

The filly's first day out

Learning to walk beside mum

On day two of Lizzie's filly life she went out into the field for the first time with Charles guiding her with his hands around her shoulders and quarters and Lizzie anxiously "assisting" with a series of gentle wickers and nuzzles. We were pleased with the amount of quality Danni brought to the union and the little filly moved off for her first taste of freedom bouncing like a gazelle across the field. The little paddock is nicely sheltered but with a bad forecast for the rest of the week i bought her a cute navy foal rug in the mammoth size of Three feet!

Second day out wearing her new rug

Lizzie wasn't at all sure about the merits of rustly new rugs for foals and did her best to get her nose in the way but very soon the filly was quietly dressed for her outing and that was that as far as she was concerned.

Today dawned bright and blustery with occasional squalls of horizontal rain - click any of the pictures to see the angry white horse coming in across the bay behind them.

Charles has named the filly Annie for the stable at least and today was the day that Annie discovered she could gallop across the field

Annie a sweet quality foal

Danni had his usual three day schooling again this week, stretching and strengthening, flexing and collecting - by Friday I worked more on his shoulder in -finishing with a session of shoulder in up the centre line interspersed by ten metre circles which at least stopped him trying to "lean"his shoulders on the fence and he did his best one for Monday we have planned........!
Poor Sooty has been very troubled by his feet at the moment after his last shoeing and although the smith came back out and seated out his shoes he is still not very happy so he is confined to short walks around the village. The two extremes of life the young filly just starting her adventures and the old horse drifting towards his sunset - but not yet.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Dani's first filly more pictures!

Lizzie has been starring on Lizzie/cam in our bedroom for over a week and this morning when I checked her for the milionth time she was in her usual place - two minutes laer she was down and faoling with two little feet already emerging. It was remarkable how quickly Charles dressed and got to the stables to assist.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Introducing Lizzie cam

Lizzie's favourite snoozing place beside the left wall

The foal is now getting very active indeed!

After many sleepless nights checking Lizzie, we succumbed to the luxury of an infra red camera mounted over her stable. Now we can observe her effortlessly from the comfort of our Bedroom - perhaps comfort is too strong a word for the eerie half light cast by the TV but its better than going outside in you dressing gown in the middle of the night.

I never realised how inert horses were in their own time until watching Lizzie all night - she barely moves from her favourite spot by the left wall for the night before getting up at a lady like 6.30 to finish her haynet before waiting fro her proper Breakfast to be delivered at 7.30am.

Our vet was calm and reassuring today assuring us we would just have to "sit it out"........and he remembered one horse that went "a whole twelve months" but tonight the slightest suspicion of milk is marking her glossy back leg and the muscles either side of her tail feel soft - so here's hoping!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Sunday with PMG

A photo from Saturday

For Sunday we had booked a double session to allow time for Peter to ride Danilon.

Peter worked Danni through shoulder in initially and then worked him at canter stopping to adjust his bridoon bit higher in his mouth. Peter experimented with the flying changes and suddenly Danni "Got It" and as Peter revisited yesterdays exercise of a loop five metres either side of the centre line Dani started to change. Not little mean changes but big exuberant expressive changes - one, two, three across the centre line one way and again one, two, three for his second trip! We were thrilled by Dani's progress with Peter. And now it was my turn.

The first exercise was the shoulder in on the circle working from the inside leg to the outside hand - bringing his shoulders in by bringing my outside hand across the neck. I think my hands still have that Pony Club demarcation line and don't cross the neck very readily and so naturally I wobbled about, havering between angles, secure for four or five strides and then woops my weight would slip to the outside leaving my inside seat bone flaoting in the air with the horse no longer working from my seat to my hand. This exercise showed a particular weakness in my left pelvis position and levelness that I need to work on at all paces before those flying changes will come my way with any accuracy.

Peter wasn't happy that Dani was anticipating the change of direction and legs too much now and wanted to go back to work on two concentric twenty metre circles with my not letting Dani's left shoulder escape outwards on the change of rein to the right circle and working him truly from the left leg to the right hand on the left circle. Moving up to canter trot transitions but now making Dani wait until he was working securely before making the transition. Solid work to lay the foundation for Dani's future i hope.

And this is Lizzie, Dani's no one wife and Mrs Robinson - still showing no signs of foaling but nickering gently when we just visited her with her super - ah well another sleepless night for us, at least Dani could have the good grace to stay away too but he was already covered in shavings from his first nap of the night!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Danni with PMG saturday

ooh my shoulder

Peter wants more sit and engagement in the canter

Lizzie and April from across the valley - still no news!

I found it a hard session on Saturday spent mostly at canter! We started on the twenty metre circle working for shoulder in to the right and the left, continued through a three loop serpentine with counter canter centre loop. Next exercise canter three quarter line leg yield to fence - continue by flexing to the outside away from the leading leg then leg yield in - change the bend leg yield out - up the center line leg yield to fence. The point to emphasise to Danni that he must stay on the leading leg no matter what the bend. Asked to collect the canter more for second phase.
Continue to counter canter twenty metre circle - bend to inside of circle.
Change legs through simple change on the centre line - continue aiming for to canter a six metre circle - finish by cantering a short loop across the centre line changing on the centre line "quicker with the legs - quicker" Rider(me) very pink and panting!!

Apologies for the short list of movements but another lesson at 11.00!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Dani's PMG fix!

Well the day didn't start too well with the key to Lizzie and April's field magically misplaced - we hunted high and lo as they solemnly looked on and it eventually turned up in my jodhpurs pocket - so we were late already but Charles refrained from mentioning the obvious cause!

Danni's session was at 4.0 pm today so we brought the TB mares, Dolly, Diva and Belle, in early from the weather, that had changed from early sunshine; to slight drizzle; to heavy rain; to an absolute torrent. Lizzie and April make use of their field shelter when the have had enough, so we knew they would be OK in our absence and Sooty had been out for a ride with Charles earlier in the day. Danni made use of our absence and the silence in the yard to settle down to sleep in a patch of poo, snoring exstacticaly, obviously deciding it must be a day off. No, No No chap get up!

So with Danni extricated from his nest of shavings wearing a natty pattern of stable stains it "only" needed a quick bath and mane plait to make him presentable for Peter. It was then that I noticed his brushing boots still floating around in a bucket of water and I had forgotten to transfer them to the washing machine let alone dry them, so he had to wear a very dirty daily set............and i went into the house to change....except i couldn't find my "best course" jodhpurs either so settle for a clean but faded pair with only a small hole which would be fine provided I didn't fall off. So we matched rather but Charles had applied a layer of hoof oil which did brighten things up a bit so we set up in the gathering rain or should I say wall of water for St Piran's.

A mare had just foaled there, so we would have to work outside but we were greeted by a happy, upbeat Peter and Danni did his best to strut his stuff for him despite the weather. i quickly showed walk trot and canter ( I definitely favour canter in bad weather to keep warm) and then Peter set us to work on the twenty metre circle. Peter was pleased with Dani's relaxation but still wanted more engagement and jump in the canter - moving Danni more into the hand with the leg in rhythm with each stride and I was scolded for failing to let Danni sit in my hand. Peter then asked for us to use canter shoulder in to emphasize "inside leg to outside hand" turning my shoulders and bringing my outside hand slightly across the neck just in front of the withers.........and to the left it was SO hard, my left knee magically slid up the saddle and my leg felt totally ineffective. To the right phew much nicer. Rachel appeared to rescue us from the now horizontal rain as they had settled their new mum down to allow us to use the indoor school.

So a lesson in two parts, one common theme, in two environments. The work in the indoor school was more about emphasising the use of the outside rein to move the shoulders across on twenty and then ten metre circles and achieving a greater flexion to the inside in traver. Peter said it was important that the horse should be round and working well between hand and leg before the lateral work should be attempted.

For today's traver he asked me to think of drawing the horses body in with the leg and body weight as apposed to pushing him in with the outside leg. Naturally I firstly lent to the outside and then totally flattened my inside wrist as i moved my hand across - i must have some sort of invisible barrier I mentally can't cross but eventually with perseverance my hand came to the correct position and my elbow stayed in and dear Danni turned out a very nice traver for me. As a correction to me on this occasion he asked me to bend Danni to inside by sliding my elbow back past my ribs on a small preparatory circle and then present the traver form this increased flexion.

And now the sun has come out and Lizzie is still not thinking about foaling as all the horses settle for the night contentedly munching. Tomorrow we work just after lunch so wish me luck!