Well, September’s been a busy month, I’ve been all over the place doing a variety of things, including vaulting, horse dissection, equine touch at a rescue centre and bringing on India.
I had a vaulting lesson with Rosie from Jive Pony, which was absolutely brilliant! It was the first time I’d ever done it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Rosie and her horse, Tinker, were both lovely and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try something a little different with horses. You can see all the photos here.
I also attended a Whole Horse Dissection course with Ivana Ruddock from Equine Touch. It was an amazing 4 days and I learned loads. It was brilliant to see how everything really fits together and to be able to manipulate the legs and feel the textures of tendons, muscles, ligaments and fascia. Ivana’s knowledge and enthusiasm made the course fascinating and enjoyable, especially as she also discussed management, riding, tack and equine touch in relation to the body in front of us, which really clarified why horses build up certain muscles doing certain things and so on.
With my own horses, I’ve really been focussing on India this month. The start of the month I was concentrating on riding her in the arena, to really solidify walk, halt and turn cues and ensure that she’s calm and listening under saddle. This video is of the second time she was ridden without someone on the ground to help guide her.
Yesterday she was ridden on her first hack out. She’s been ponied and walked out loads, and we went with Toby, so she was lovely and calm. Her only problem was a tendency to want to eat everything we went past! This was particularly difficult for her when we were riding on grass, I felt like she was saying, “Hang on a minute! This is for eating, just look how green it is!” But, really, for her first hack she was great and I couldn’t have asked for more. Unfortunately, my camera broke so no photos but I did get these when I took Toby and India up to my house. They enjoyed eating the apples off the tree, acting as lawnmowers and taking a peek into my kitchen!
I was back at Hope Pastures rescue centre last week volunteering with Equine Touch. I saw Trigger (below), a coloured pony his 30’s who spent most of his life in a riding school, coming to the centre to live out his retirement. Although there is obviously damage to his back, it was nice to find that he doesn’t seem to be in pain with it.
I also saw Mr Pickwick, a little shetland (pictured above). I think the best thing I did for him was a spontaneous bit of willie cleaning! The large bits I removed from the outside of his penis, the smaller bit is a bean that was inside. I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable now and it might even help some of the stiffness in his back and hindquarters.
I also revisited Peanut the donkey who was having trouble picking up his hind feet due to pain in his hindquarters, (possibly from growing as he’s much bigger than last time I saw him) and Oliver, who’s looking much healthier than the skinny little pony I last saw last time (see before and after pics above)
The only downside to this month was that I missed another fantastic (so I’m told) course with James Shaw as I came down with mumps the day before it! I had to spend a week on the sofa, though many thanks to Lindsey and her homeopathic help, which made me feel loads better!
Off on hol for a week now, to sunny (I hope!) Wales, so I should be refreshed and ready for winter when I get back.