Friday, 2 November 2012

Danni's interview with Judy

Dani turn on the haunches

Danni granted a rare interview to Judy Heminsley of ~Work from Home Wisdom fame and was charmed to meet her - even if she didn't bring a polo mint. And so click here to read his full frank interview about the pressures of multiple wives and the need to look good at all times - all whispered over the stable door or should i say straight from the horses mouth (sorry couldn't resist)

Fifty shades of Grey Stallion (Click here)

Would you like to hear more words of wisdom form Danilon himself? leave a comment below and I will read them to him as his PA!!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Danni in the Autumn

Danni coming in from a hack

Danni is putting the miles behind him now on the road back to full fitness with long steady walks along the country lanes and relentlessly trotting up every hill we meet. His spare tyre is a little bit less spare at last!

September and exercising in the field

yes we still found a hill to canter up!

Danni enjoys lunging us once a week for fun

Danni's party trick Spanish walk

I vary his routine as much as possible but each day i ask for a little bit of Spanish Walk just before his stable - the first time he managed alternate legs was quite a thrill and he got lots of praise!

Else where on the farm Dolly is now four and starting serious work - on Saturday we started driving her up and down the lane after Charles had introduced the two reins to her on the circle - Charles is recovering from a broken leg and so Cat and i were promoted to the work in a straight line and the trotting puff pant

Dolly moving off with the extra rein - it isn't attached to the roller for safety

to start with

Off around the circle

and changing direction

On to the lane and Dolly has extra support from Cats with a lead rein -
Charles advised me to move out to the side before asking for trot

We all had lots of excises

Dolly 4yr old TB Filly and Charles

The reins are only attached to the cavesson at the moment

and finally

turning Danni's youngstock out at dawn each morning - they love human company!

The first of Danni's youngsters are now three years old and so it wont be long now - not long at all. It will be very special and a little bit awesome to complete the circle and start work with Danni's babies - such a long time since I started this blog with this very moment in mind - wish us luck!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Do you remember Danni!?

Danni increasing his daily walks to 30 mins

Danni this week about to start work

So shall we try Spanish walk?

Rembering to move the back legs is such a bind...

Then right foot

The essential polo mint reward

just reorganising ourselves


trying some collection in the form of Piaffe

It might be untidy we do have a diagonal movement


our efforts at Piaffe again - I'm sure "sit" will come with time

moving on

Do you remember Danni!??An age ago i had more time it seemed to write his blog and then poor Danni wasn't well - a little pottery in the mornings, and sadly licking his hooves after exercise, and so the vet came, and came again and again. He took exrayes and then some more, he tried nerve blocks and it didn't look good. Danni had one thing in his favour his private health insurance with PetPlan. An MRI scan was agreed and so we set off very early one morning to Glocestershire with its major "Horse Hospital" and Danni was lunged and they took more ex rays, did more nerve blocks and he was finally admitted for an MRI scan the next day.
We arrived in plenty of time the next morning to escort him for his procedure but were shooed away from the massive machine behind equally massive doors.....and so we waited and waited until at last the results were there. Phew he had an increased reading from his Lateral Collateral Ligament in his hoof and was prescribed twelve minutes in hand walking each day for twelve weeks gradually increasing in that time to forty five minutes.
And so every day i walked with him  little further each day finishing each trip with his highlight in hand grazing back home along the lane. he loved picking over the old herbs and flowers tucked under ancient stone bank with a particular penchant for hawthorn twigs yum!! I notice that when we first started our outings he would always choose a large mouthful of earth and clay to eat but over time he stopped eating it.
The vet and the blacksmith trimmed his feet, spending ages discussing the angles and finally I was allowed to ride him again - just for thirty minutes but such a relief after weeks of trudging up that steep hill out of Goldsithney!
In the mean time i put our walking to good use to teach him a few tricks to keep him occupied and develop his collection - the set of photos were taken by a kind guest of one of our little training efforts in the car park, Fingers crossed for his final examination this week.........then we can trot!!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Danni's spanish walk

Danilon Spanish stallion

Danni's blog has been distinguished by its absence lately so here's a quick update of his progress with his Spanish walk Olay!! The camera clicked just before he pointed his toe out to its full extent but you get the idea. I put this picture on Enlightened Equitation Forum and one member asked how we had progressed so I have idly copied and pasted my reply for you below!

" It was the blind teaching the blind but here goes! My first clue came from a Spanish facebook friend Pedro Blesinger suggested tapping Danni's back legs to get him to lift them up in turn, as a prelude to Piaffe - seemed odd to me, as being English I thought it would make a horse kick but as  predicted he learnt to pick up his back legs in turn from and indication of the whip. We moved on to a little Piaffe but then I reasoned if he would learn to pick his back legs up he could learn to pick his front ones up too - particularly as my husband was in the habit of stretching Dannis legs forward from his girth each morning, before I went out for my hack. So at the time Danni was thinking "leg stretch now"  I introduced my tap and the foot came up and he got a pat. (The pat is a surprisingly effective tool I taught my Anglo Arab to Piaffe* by using the same spot each day on the lane home and patting him when he got it right! I think they call it Gestalt) When he could lift his foot a few times on asking he got a polo! Next step was to gt him to move - So foot up not high just up (i think I put a photo of him on hear about then) the polo was held just out of reach so he moved forward - it was slow progress as I haven't done this before and Danni would forget to move his back legs so end up like a stretch limo. Over time, before i mounted each day i would do a few steps and reward then go for a ride and enjoy ourselves. When i worked in hand he was always keen to offer this but on these occasions I would keep it until the end, and point him towards his stable, as horses are always eager to please when a haynet is in sight!
So we had a walk but not spectacular one but as I continued my other schooling and as his engagement and collection improved so he offered more and just lately Wow his feet are flying out - i have done nothing different but as he found he could, so he has chosen to give more.

* I was lucky enough to have my first proper dressage lessons with Baron Blixton Fineck who used to live in Lelant, Cornwall. He said when teaching piaffe to start at the beginning of the session when the horse was fresh - this idea I transferred to spanish Walk by starting first with it in the morning.

and to finish Danni working on his power trot - I am trying for engagement and swing - notice his back foot will reach the ground just before the front one and that is as far as we have come so far - just another two hundred miles to go!

I try to lunge Danni once a week for a jolly for him

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Danni 3 the final 2011

Gira Volta left - I've started to think about the front legs crossing too now hat I have the carriage and balance

and now move the back legs!

So that is my old friend Danilon with our DIY schooling method - he loves it and really looks forward to working - the state of the car park is another matter!! hope you enjoyed meeting him again. I've hacked him out now for three days of relentless walk and we will start the whole fittening process again building u to long trots up hills but i think I'll keep up the inhand he is so much more supple for it and even managed a shaky Piafe and baby passage yesterday..........slowly slowly or as one kind Spanish facebook friend said "Take your time - do not waste your time"

Danni in hand 2

asking him to step through and over behind

hmm probably shoulder in (ish!)

still working on the Giro volta

towards the end of the session I bend him towards the movement for more collection

some moments are better than others - down hill is great for losing your balance

back to Giro Volta

Think it helps

If not Ollie provides a cat half halt

The balance i wanted

Danni in hand 1

working on the left bend in Giro Volta

Danni starting Traver

Poor Danni has had a poorly foot - we've poulticed the nail holes, the shoe has been removed and replaced but he wasn't up to his usual daily patrols around the villages that he so relishes, so instead I've kept him amused with some in hand exercises in our car park including starting to teach him a Spanish walk. You might think it is a vanity pace but it does help to free the shoulders and he has had to really concentrate on controlling his balance remembering to move his back feet before things reach a critical state will take a little longer - I'm going to break my post down into short sections so bear with me if the photos that Charles took the other day aren't quite in order