Sunday, 29 November 2009

We have weather

Sooty one summer a few years ago when we didn't live under water

Well we have weather in Cornwall at the moment - each day brings torrential rain and gales turning the fields into lakes and the gateways into quagmires. The mares and foals foray bravely into the fields each day, although we had to give up and break out the New Zealand rugs for the mares, which caused great consternation to Archie when "mummy turned blue" He flapped about the gateway looking at all the legs until he found the "right" pair to follow poor chap but he has come to terms with locating his morning pinta under the diaphanous folds now. Yesterday evening the poor souls had made an orderly group under the hedge with their tails turned to the wind but the rain was so intense that it was rising as a secondary spray over their heads...........yet another evening with rugs hanging on every available surface, dripping sadly on to the floor, as the horses munch blissfully in their stables away from the torrents.

Sooty and Danny have abandoned all dressage in flooded arenas and we have taken them out for long steady road work instead, plodding for miles through the lanes at a steady walk and trot. Of course Sooty's dressage days are long over but he enjoys his daily constitutional still swinging along at twenty four with his big warm blood walk. poll swivelling this way and that to check the hedges for different coloured leaves or worst of all white polythene bags. He hit the jackpot the other day with a complete field of cows sending him cavorting sideways in a crazy passage emitting loud snorts as poor Dani and Charles plodded solidly on bemused by the entertainment.

And still it rains so no photo but this is Sooty pre Cushings probably taken in the summer, when he was in his late teens and before he grew the Koala coat - how time flies -we have them in our lives for so short a time...........................but for now he enjoys his daily walk with me.

I've just found a blog that might interest you try and if it's there a youtube video from Golega! Wow!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Archie this morning

I stalked Archie about the field this morning waiting for him to do something interesting but no he plodded about considering this and that sampling this and that and only pausing n the most un photogenic places in the field. He even clambered on the spoil heap from a badgers set/foxes earth to improve the view over the hedge before eventually noticing that the horses were moving on to the next field in their morning agenda and he had better keep up!

Archie waiting in the gateway for Annie

Climbing on a spoil heap to improve his view over the bank - watching him pop over a pole yesterday i don't think he'll stop at the planning stage for long!

And those big broad ears are just like his father Dani's

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

A blacksmiths visit

Annie and Lizzie (Holstein)

Annie has grown on well this summer

I finally caught up with my husband Charles and our blacksmith Nigel Stevens as they pottered about the fields this morning looking at the youngsters feet

and I finally had to ask them to come out from behind the horses to have their picture taken
The two half sisters Annie and Amie

and finally Nigel and Charles!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Filly for sale

Looking at our expanding collection of horses (and finite number of stables) it is time to make a hard decision and let Dolly go out into the world - in short to offer her for sale. We feel the time we would put into her production really should go into Dani's stock.
Dolly is by the Thoroughbred Resplendent Cee

Resplendant Cee has now moved from Devon and is standing at New Hill Farm Stud, Worsley

A quiet dignified stallion that is ridden out every day and when I saw him was standing in a mixed barn of horses looking very happy indeed. After just taking a second look at his web page though I can see his attributes do not stop at his super temperament he is.............

  • Winnings of over £95,000

  • including the Ripon Championship Trophy, The Queens Stakes etc

  • Graded Elite by the Sports Horse Breeding of Great Britain via his Timeform rating

  • A European Breeder's Fund nominated Stallion

  • "Racehorses of 2002" describd him as a Fluent mover, smart performer and acts on firm or soft going

  • His Dam - Western Friend was sold through Tattersall's 2 year old sale for £250,000 - Western Friend (USA) is Dam of 7 winners from 7 Foals. She was by Gone West

  • His sire Polar Falcon (USA)won 5 races to the value of £225,000 including the group 1 Haydock Park Sprint and is a leading sire of Group winners

...............In fact *** we shouldn't sell her at all!!

Out of Diver's Perk (IRE) foaled Apr 02, 1996

Divers perk with Guy Brewer up in her racing days

We bought the Irish TB Diva, aka Diver's perk, already in foal with Dolly for Danilon our Spanish stallion with the aim of producing Sports Horses.
Diva is a big great galloping mare with the chasers stamp, by Executive Perk (IRE) sire of 1210 foals of which 466 raced to produce 122 winners.
Divas was imported from Ireland and initially sold through Doncaster sales. She trained well beating winning horses on the gallops but failed to act on the race course and was retired to stud after a particularly bad fall. She is a quiet charming individual, a delight to handle with burning brown eyes that follow you around the yard. she will finish her days with us.

Dolly was born at 1.30 much to Divas surprise and they spent an idyllic summer together and Dolly was naturally weaned just before Christmas by being put in the next box to Mum each night but still with a chatter box, when the time came to give Diva her own time to prepare for her next foal.

Dolly at Weaning last year
Dolly has always been corn fed and stabled over night with sympathetic daily handling. she has started to mature this year into a big scopy intelligent filly with lots of bone and should make a smart eventer to cross any country. She is at present running with the brood mares by day, including her half sister Amie.

Divers Perk with her 09 filly Amie by our Pre Stallion Danilon
Dolly's half sister the spanish sports horse Amie
To read more about Dolly scan back through the farm Diary

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Dressage time again

Dani had his next module of training from Peter Madison Greenwell this week revisiting the transitional mode................ and was rewarded with a session with Celia Cohen a meastro equine physio....rider succumbs to a cold.

On the first day

Peter liked Dani's relaxation at the beginning of the session but decided to work to improve Dani's "sit" into his downward transitions with the back raised in a revision of the work for the year. To this end I was asked to ride forward to halt using the legs a little further back than normal to raise Dani's back and allow the hind legs to snap further under his body. Things started gently with simple transition to halt from walk progressing to trot and then canter - by the end of the session the canter, halt, canter transition repeated around the circle with growing frequency..........well "rider malfunction" was the best way to describe my performance!

now by the second day!

Peter went back to those ***** transitions and further complicated the issue by asking me to collect the canter by slowing the rhythm of my seat at A and on the centre line whilst sliding my inside knee down the saddle and letting my inside hip progress further forward. Well I think I need to practise that one too ah hum

and finally

Misty rain put paid to the outdoor school and so we worked inside - raising the back at walk whilst working long and low, a little shoulder in to half pass. Trot halt trot not even twitching the rein a nano touch which eventually showed me something of a raised, lifting balance through the shoulder. A simple change of legs at canter in which if I failed to keep his back raised he would creep behind the leg again to loose impulsion in a perfect demonstration of achieved impulsion and finally finishing with a long and low trot going large around the school. Hmmmmmmmmm - I sympathise with Peter and Dani!


Working on Monday I remembered the lifting balance of the shoulders that I had felt in Danilon in the final transitions and applied it to the half pass - bingo much much better. Thank you Peter sometimes you can only learn by doing!

Saturday dawned for Dani and Celia Cohen (equine physio) paid one of her regular visits to Dani - I have a little trouble changing the flexing to the left and Celia found some soreness in his poll. She used an extreme stretch to help free the area, fittingly helped by an apple on a stick. Dani can be seen in the first photo supervising the loading of the stick with the help of Celias mum Pip.

and he was only too happy to follow the tasty morsel

to whichever unlikely position it was likely to assume

What's a chap got to do to get an apple around here!