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Judith
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xx 2014
« Thread started on: Jan 5th, 2014, 8:43pm »

We wish all riders, whether N H or 'conventional'[ whatever the best word may be] a very good year. I m sure everyone has aims they hope to acheive this year - best of luck to all of you!
Here in sunny Sheriff Hutton we have had none of the terrible weather, so have been continuing with schooling Wills [ to get better flying changes , also to get him to forget that foxhounds exist - any dog giving voice in the vicinity sets him off...]
Keanu has been ridden twice without liberty first - and seems just as good. These rides are still short , and we wont increase his work till the spring. Ruby is now officially a 2 yr old , but is only 14.1 or so. This year we intend to show him, mainly for his education. He sgoing to be too big for sportspony claases, and will look too tiny in sportshorse classes. That only leaves coloured classes for him. We ll get Keanu to a few shows too, again mainly to further his education.
Charlie has already started teaching this year, and if anyone has a problem that needs sorting , or just wants to further knowledge of N H, horsemanship etc, judst get in touch and we ll provide help. I also have given my first A T lesson this year - so again ,should anyone wish to improve their posture/riding position do get in touch. A T is a wonderful tool for realigning the rider. It is very effective .
We have been asked to host a clinic in March for therapist Angela Hall who does horse massage and healing. I shall be very interested to see how the horses react, and what the participants pick up.
Winter is when the bulk of the cows calve - at present 3 are starting to bag up, including 1 rather nervous maiden heifer .......
Had great fun today- our son in law , a professional photographer has been asked to provide an image of cat and heart for wedding invitations. Getting Bran and Arya to look through a dangling willow heart took all our ingenuity! Food,toys, all used to get the right shots! Look on Lukebell photography facebook page, as some of the shots will appear there.
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25th, 2014, 10:33am »

Already the weeks are rushing by. Unlike much of the country we have had good weather - no wetter than usual , and so mild. The grass is greening up and fields beginning to dry . I ll be on that tractor with roller and then harrows before long.
Charlie hasnt had a competetion for about a month. he had a bad cold one week, then Wills has had a week or so off with gravel. He is now sound , but a bit 'high' from lack of work and field exercise.
This is our busy cow calving time of year - 7 calves so far , 6 of them female. This [generally] means smaller calves, easier calvings and wick-er calves that get up and suck well. So far this has proved the case , so its all been very easy! Even had obliging calvings during the day, instead of dawn. We d hoped this might happen , changing the feeding from a m , till late afternoon. Apparently the cow will take all night to digest the food before starting to give birth in sensible hours. Seems to work!
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25th, 2014, 09:05am »

Its always good to try new things.
Last week Charlie went on a Dressage to Music clinic. Steph Croxford was the expert for the ground plan. Wills good and not so good movements were discussed , and a floorplan decided. It was then went through three times. First time to see how it looked and how he went , the second to time it [ as the competition time is 5 mins I think] ,the third to time and video record it. After those three goes Wills was getting the hang of it - as extended trot is his party piece he just loved tha tpart of the test - aslo the extended canter ! The video piece was then uplaoded to a computer , and the music person [ cant remember her name] then , knowing our musical preferences, sampled 6 or so tracks, firstly for trot ,then canter then walk. The pieces we chose we really liked , and fit Wills spaces and 'look' so well. In afortnight s time we ll get the whole thing sent as a C D and DVD to learn and perform at competition- though there arent that many near here!
Also new was a Healing for Horses day , given by Angela hall of the Equine Massage Acedemy. I was very interested to see the close correlation between Alexander work and how a healer works. Our 4 boys - Ben, Topper, Wills and keanu were the guinea pigs - all slightly different in response - or time to respond ,in Wills case!- but were good boys and very receptive. There is another day on the 12th of April, with a similar format. One thng that was suggested to me was that Ben missed being ridden. So, yesterday, for the first time in 2 1/2 years,I put on a bridle and sat on him bareback, and off we went for a short walk. I left the decision up to him as to where and how far we went - which wasnt far- but it was lovely to sit on him again. he felt very high after riding Topper for the last few months!
Today Charlie is at his regular trainer - Steph Cooper . Wills has done little and was alittle ring rusty at competition last week, so we re hoping he become more disciplined with regular work. The healing clinic participants easily got his character - a very willful and intelligent horse!
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #3 on: Apr 13th, 2014, 07:28am »

I hope everyone is looking forard to summer and getting new knowledge and experiences - theres always so much to learn!
Charlie has his first Dressage to music competition on the 22nd of this month. Last week he did 2 Medium tests, one he won, but in the other Wills got tense[ same old story!]
We are beginning to work ith Ruby- he is 2 now and a few shows will show him the world and get him used to travelling, seeing other horses,noise&bustle,weird things like steam rollers, balloons,children, and of course its always nice to show off your stock! He has sucha refined head we are having to cut down the inhand bridle - and its only cob size!
Keanu is now being schooled in one of the small paddocks on his own , and has cantered. No problems at all, apart from wanting to stop rather than go forward- thats no bad thing!We continue to hack him out a couple of times per week, with myself as escort on Topper.
With spring now here, Charlie is teaching more , and we have aweekend in bedfordshire on the 9th and 10th of August. private weekends or day clinics can always be slotted in, either here or at your own yard.
Horses and cattle are now out , although the horses are very keen to come in in the mornings for a good fill of haylage. As they are all carrying more than enough cover , they are not to be given more grass than the smallest paddocks. The cows have lots of grass - 12 with calves. One is a foster calf , but that has had a happy ending - for a week or so we didnt see the calf drink and were unsure that the cow had taken to her. As the foster calf is a FriesianxBlue , she will make a suckler cow. We are hiring a bull- a very young Limmy from a good hire firm , and he shall be with us for 3 months. As he hasnt 'worked' before we hope the cows keep him in check and teach him his job. That leaves the summer calvers to bull in the autumn , but we think they ll get an A I straw , rather than the 'real thing'!
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #4 on: Apr 22nd, 2014, 08:04am »

We have had an nteresting time getting Wills used to hearing the music for his Dressage to Music test!
Will s default mode is one of 'GO' in any direction , so to hear his stiring music [ Starfleet from Skyworld begins the test, by Two steps from hell- you tube will bring it up] reminded him of showing - and immediately became tense,uncontrollable [nearly!] and wouldnt go near the loudspeaker. This was practising the test at a friends yard , she has a 20x60 arena and a speaker system. Charlie and Wills have been going there every day for over a week! Also, we went to Port Royal and hired the arena and system , which played the music on aloop for an hour, by which time he was getting a bit better. So, also had to play music by the pens , and for 2 days he looked defiant, as if to say' Im Not giving in' , but hunger got the best of him and he then ate haylage in the ringfeeder with the other 3 boys.
So, yesterday at Port Royal was his first test to music.......he was fine with the music and loudspeaker at 'B' , but objected to the flowerpots at 'A'!!! Anyway, despite jinks at the flowerpots he WON the test [ DTM at Medium] and got a lovely rosetteand an Easter egg! he also won his 'ordinary' test there, but again, the flowerpots were a bugbear.
We will take Ruby to the northern CHAPS show in May , and the North Yorks county in June. Not sure how he ll behave --why cant Charlie like easy horses?!
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #5 on: May 5th, 2014, 07:58am »

Wills won 2 'ordinary' medium tests yesterday , he is now very comfortable at this level. Apart from flower pts, which again made him tense- shall have to work him in the garden?!
The next level up, advanced medium once again has its challenges - flying changes as opposed to counter canter or simple changes and lots of quick pace & tempo changes . Charlie is training for this , and occasionally Wills doesnt get the counter canter or flying change aid correct - but that will come with time!
We are training Ruby for his first outing in a fortnight s time. We may take him to a local show next weekend,and just walk around to show him the sights. The aim would be to not leave until he is settled , and hope that s not all day!
With Keanu, we continue to consolidate his training , with canters in the paddock as well as hacks out. he is 100%in traffic, thats to the wonder that is Topper .Topper was hacked and driven on a very busy A road for many years , and nothing worries him on the roads .Getting a horse traffic proof is one of the most important tasks in todays world. Keanu did get a fright one day though- our smallest cat was climbing in some ivy above his head - I think he thought it was a tiger about to pounce!
The weather has been mixed , but lots of grass for horses and cows. The 4 boys are on less than 2 acres , and in from 9-5 with adlib haylage. the cattle are knee deep in grass , and the calves look exceedingly well. Our young hire bull Ian has had a busy time with the cows , serving 7 in a fortnight .
Polly became very itchy, and I thought it was just because of the moult - her hair is quite long. However, it became more serious , so I put on the Boet rug and slathered bensobensate on her - seems to have done the trick. Can a 29 yr old suddenly 'acquire' sweetitch? I dont know - we ve had her since she was 4 , and she never suffered before - rather strange.
I hope everyone is enjoying their horses - Charlies lessons are still in demand , either for problems [ loading issues are 'populr' at the monent] ,green horse help , or for further knowledge either of N H ,dressage or showing.
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xx Re: 2014
« Reply #6 on: May 20th, 2014, 11:28am »

We never got to the reheasal show for Ruby - it was a cold/wet day- so we bailed! So, we went to CHAPS Northern as a first outing!The evening before he had his first experience of being bathed - it did not go down well. Unable to hose him off at all, all had to be done with bucket and sponge. Early next morning he was to re wash on legs etc , and plait up. he gets easily bored - typical fizzy temperamant of lightbred horses!
The show was not that busy in the youngstock classes - especially for the plaited breeds . Why are the 'hairies' so much more numerous? Following the M&M trend in major show classes? Plaited s perhaps in the 'ordinary' classes in other shows - egshow cobs, sportshorses, ISH, riding ponies. Reflecting a downturn in the breeding numbers?
Ruby wonthe two year old class [ but was told he was on the edge of being too fat - and all he gets is grass in a small field]and a second in the sportshorse class, so we were very pleased. he behaved very well considering it was all totally new to him. he trotted out well, Charlie managing to keep up with him. It was good to be at a coloureds only show - they really fill the eye!The carparks were so small we had to weave in and out of ramps etc to get to the rings , so again good experience for him.
We are entered for 2 more shows , and we ll see how he goes on from there. We wouldnt like to over show a youngster - but the education it gives them in travelling, seeing other horses in a controlled way, seeing humans, pushchairs, ice cream vans etc , all help the horse when it comes to being backed and ridden out.

I went with Charlie to his most rtecent medium tests - a 1st and a 2nd - soon Charlie will try an advanced medium test. The next dressage to music test is the 31st of this month. I do prefer showing to watching dressage , but feel I have to show willing!
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