Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you had a nice festive and New Year break.

We got struck down (and I’m still currently sick) with the flu bug going around! However, being the stubborn madam that I am, I didn’t let that, or a sore back stop me too much over the break - although I did have to pull out of the show I had planned to attend with Bob (but we’ve rescheduled to another show in 2 weeks’ time instead). Sometimes you do need to listen to what your body is telling you and when I couldn’t trot around for longer than six minutes or do more than three laps of the arena in canter, I took it as a warning. I reduced the amount I rode over my time off, only riding Bob a few times and gradually increasing the length of time and I even had a plod about on the old gal!

Brown horse in field

It was my full intention for Autumn to have a nice winter break off, however she has clearly had different plans in mind and leading up to the festive break, she became a complete cow bag – hurtling around the field, chasing Aria, stamping and being grumpy when tied up if I didn’t get to her quick enough. She had such an attitude for a good few days that one evening I thought right that’s it, I’m going to lunge you to take the edge off. Shockingly, she couldn’t wait to get in the arena literally dragging me in, then pretty much lunged herself. She was happily trotting around and even decided to have a good blast of canter (not my choice and it did take a few minutes to stop her). After seeing her this happy I decided to have a ride on her later in the week, and she didn’t disappoint, although she was a little over enthusiastic at times! I asked her to do a few trot poles – which she did twice nicely, then later she decided it was a game to her to see how high she could jump them from trot then canter – it was like being on a runaway train, I just had to sit and hold on! She did settle and behave eventually, and this just showed me she has been bored being a field ornament as she was much happier (and has been) since she’s done some work, so I’ve agreed she can do a bit more light work ahead of spring to keep her ticking over.

Brown horse head

Having this flu has made me a bit woolly headed at times and I think frankly I haven’t always been thinking straight, as one evening spontaneously a great idea popped into my head (well I thought that at the time) – ooh lets lunge Aria as I hadn’t done much with her recently! Safe to say she was hyper and spun me in so many circles by the time I finally slowed her, I could have been one of those cartoon characters with the spinning symbols and chirping birds over my head! Note to self never lunge Aria when I’m ill - Just thinking about it now makes my head whirl!

Brown Horse Head

My partner had a surprise encounter last week– the horses were fine in the field one minute then had a complete melt down galloping around snorting while looking across to the edge of the summer paddock. Confused about what was scaring them, I looked across the field whilst my partner went for a closer inspection – as he got into the field and near to the riverbank, we heard a chirp noise and a few high pitched calls and what did he see? the otter I told him I had seen months ago!  Turns out the trio are petrified of it, despite being three fields away and it being smaller than their heads!

Horse Food

We are glad the otter is  still there and that he finally saw it as it is really nice to have such a variety of wildlife around the yard, but I’m now going to see how I desensitise the horses to it – I’ve never encountered a wild one before let alone near horses – does anyone any ideas or come across this before?

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I’ve been doing a lot more focusing on Bob recently, with a lesson booked last week, ahead of our first show. A couple of days before the lesson, I decided it was time to step up from canter poles and trial a couple of jumps. He did so well and didn’t once have an issue.

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