Hmm, I’m rethinking why I bought Freya at present, as the little madam is certainly testing me! She’s going through a “spooky” phase at the moment, where everything and anything makes her jump – not so much of a problem unless you are brushing or tacking her up, as I found a few days ago.

Horse head

I was just adjusting her bridle (well, Autumn’s old one, as it turns out she needs cob size and I wanted to double-check before I bought a new one) when, all of a sudden, all four feet went in the air and she leapt sideways. Luckily, she only bashed me out of the way and didn’t land on me, but it still hurt, especially as I had had a physio session in the morning and had just felt better that afternoon.

When I looked to see what spooked her, it turned out to be a duck in the field. Yes, a duck! The river had flooded and made a lovely lake for them to paddle in. I have one horse with a fear of pigeons and now one with a fear of ducks! It’s not ideal that she has a fear of them as we are bordered by a river. Oh well, hopefully she will eventually desensitise herself (although that’s not worked for Bob and pigeons yet).

Horse in field

If that’s not enough, I excitedly got her first pair of shoes on her last week, but by the weekend she had pulled one off in the field galloping about. My fab farrier came out first thing bank holiday Monday and put it back on. “Yay,” I thought, “local show here we come.” Nope!

On lunging her a few days later, the little devil had a hissy fit and hyper-ran round the arena, this time flinging the other front shoe off. Can we find this one? Nope! We’ve scoured the arena, it’s not to be found and I don’t fancy digging through the three-foot nettles, so when we strim/pull them out, hopefully we will find it again. Sadly, my farrier’s away on holiday now so, unless I can find another to assist, we may not make the show.

Brown horse

Compared to Freya, Bob is doing very well – he’s loving canter poles at the moment (although one of the poles I can say is not loving him and may not survive much longer) and is gaining so much more strength over them. I can really feel the difference from how he was a few weeks ago in the lesson to how he is now, as he properly carries himself and bounces nicely. They are great for exercises and building horses up – he originally rushed them to get over the line as fast as possible, but now he is building strength he allows me to hold him and goes over them much more balanced and consistent. Next step is some fences – yay!

Horse feet

Autumn’s been a bit sore with her arthritis on and off (I think Bob has been marching her round the field when it’s been dry and hot with the flies, and then we’ve had the wet weather too), so I’ve given her a few days’ rest, although she happily canters off into the field when we move them round each day. I can definitely tell when I run out of Boswellia, even if it’s only for a day or two, as she looks a bit stiffer. Luckily, I’m restocked with that and her No Bute Premium, and she’s seeming a bit happier. But I’m keeping an eye on her in case we need to reassess her medication going forward to keep her comfortable.

At this time of year, it can be tricky to know which feed can be best, especially as I’ve found Autumn is not gaining condition as quickly as previous years. I’ve moved Autumn onto a veteran mix and mash, Freya is on a conditioning chaff alongside a new mash, with Bob staying as is as he seems to be okay. I’ll keep an eye on their progress as the grass hopefully improves. I am always conscious of things like laminitis, especially with Autumn at her age and reduced workload.

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Paula’s blog – A terrifying fright

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28/06/2024

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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