Search

horseyculture

My journey with Abbey & other horsey bits 'n' bobs

Tag

barefoot

Ut oh! Abbey’s got an abscess brewing

Typically it’s the day when the physio comes that Abbey has a hot hoof.

Must admit it wasn’t me that spotted it. The yard brought Abbey in and picked out her feet this morning. I’d been running a little late so just flicked a brush over her before the physio arrived.

To cut a long story short the physio recoiled when she touched her near fore. She was right, it was hot to the touch.

First thought was laminitis. Abbey’s primed for it…despite my best efforts she is overweight and her grazing isn’t ideal. I’ve been walking the tightrope between ensuring she’s enough forage to prevent excess stomach acid causing ulcers and keeping her weight down. I’m exercising her as much as I can. Her field doesn’t contain much grass but it’s short and therefore stressed meaning it’ll produce more sugar. As we’re now in a cold snap, the grass will be producing even more sugar as an antifreeze. Altogether…it is a recipe for laminitis.

Continue reading “Ut oh! Abbey’s got an abscess brewing”

Happy New Year!

It’s been over a month since my last post which shows just how busy the holiday season has been. I hope yours has been as filled with fun, family and friends as mine.

That last post talked about how I was going to bring Abbey back into work after a short break, getting her back up to fitness so that we could continue our journey with dressage and jumping.

It hasn’t quite happened that way, we’ve not been as focused and dedicated as perhaps we should. Instead we’ve been big kids, having fun and not worrying too much as ‘progress’.

Instead we’ve enjoyed winter wobbles around the fields. In England it’s not been a winter wonderland, more of a muddy sploshy swamp.

As we approached the Christmas break our hacks took to the roads and became increasingly festive.

Every cloud has a silver lining; the rain did provide some cross country water opportunities.

Abbey enjoyed some time with her fieldmate’s owner who hacked her, schooled her and even popped her over a fence or two.


We squeezed in a little schooling but it was all very low key, The main focus was to focus on stretching over her topline and using that back end.

Today we welcomed the New Year with interval training. We shouldn’t really be cantering at this point but, hey, it’s still the holidays and there’s nothing quite like a good canter in an open space to blow the cobwebs (self induced with alcohol!) away!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays as much as I have. Here’s to a fabulous 2019!

Why I choose an equine podiatrist (rather than a farrier)

I first learnt about about barefoot when my first horse, Harley was diagnosed with multiple issues in his feet (navicular).

Extensive research into his issues had brought up Rockley Farm – a rehabilitation centre that has successfully helped horses with similar issues return to sound, useful lives.

Continue reading “Why I choose an equine podiatrist (rather than a farrier)”

Stressage at the weekend

On Saturday we competed at Swallowfields in the 2nd round of the Trailblazers qualifiers.

All in all, it went rather well. We’d not done as much prep as I would have liked and Abbey isn’t as fit as she should be so to come home with 65.86% and 61.92% was quite an achievement!

The first test was Novice 24 and a warm-up class. As I didn’t want to tire Abbey out, I kept the warm-up very short – 10 mins.  This seemed to suit her and something I am going to try again at our next competition.

 

The venue was running a little late for the next test and there were more horses in the warm-up arena. So we warmed-up, then walked and stretched (having realised that we’d a little wait) and then did a couple of transitions before going in. Abbey started to get a little crabby, tossing her head in the warm up and pulling faces when another horse got too close (in her opinion, nobody actually got too close!).

In this test she felt more tense than in the first. I think I was rushing her while also trying to steady her, which made her cross!

New year and a new me!

We’re less than two weeks into 2018 and so far it’s going well.

Abbey is back in work and she’s remembered the vast majority of the novice work that we were doing last year. It’ll be a while before she’s fit enough and strong enough to move the work on but it’s a great start.

The fitness work is hacking only at the moment – a) it’s supposed to be the best way to start them off, and b) the fields are a swamp.

Continue reading “New year and a new me!”

The hardest month

December is always a hard month for horse owners. This is my 8th winter with a pony and I’ve finally learnt to not to fight my urge to be indoors.

The short dark days, the cold wet weather and the mud sap my motivation. This year, for the first time, I resolved to take the pressure and give Abbey some time off.

I must admit, it’s been lovely. Only riding when I’ve been in the mood has really taken the pressure off and our relationship has been all the better for it.

The last 2 weeks the weather has been awful.  First we had snow, then the snow melted turning the paddocks into sludgy swamps and now we’ve had copious amounts of rain.

Continue reading “The hardest month”

Two fourths and a great schooling session

Last Thursday Abbey and I ventured out in 40mph gusts to do Novice 24 and 34.  Despite the wind we came home with just over 63% and 65% and two green rosettes.

Abbey settled much more quickly in the warm up this time and in comparison with our last outing, was slightly less tense and spooky (though I still could have kissed her ears many times during the test!).  I thought she was fairly fit but I guess she’d used up most of her energy being anxious and her engine died for the second test.  This did mean, however, that she got the the relaxation.

 

Continue reading “Two fourths and a great schooling session”

Abbey’s bouncing back

It’s been a busy week for me and a good one for Abbey.

On Wednesday I went to Horse of the Year Show (see my report here). I got up early to see the Connemara class and was delighted to read later this week that Skaergaarden Delicious Love won the overall M&M championship (click here to find the showing tips I picked up).

Thursday was dressage schooling. I’m having to get used to Abbey’s new way of going. She’s so chilled that I’m having to generate energy and engage her hind end through exercises rather than containing the anxious energy that she’s been giving me for the last couple of months.

Determined to get more ‘ping’, Abbey and I headed to the school again on Friday evening and I’m please to report that there was a small improvement.

Continue reading “Abbey’s bouncing back”

Lesson with Ken Sudsbury (shoulder-in, medium trot, canter on a named lead)

On Sunday I had a lesson with Ken Sudsbury.  He teaches ‘fusion dressage’ (a mix of traditional classical riding and modern training sometimes called ‘neo classical’).

It was fascinating. I picked up some real ‘gems’ (of knowledge) and some great exercises that I’ll be building into our schooling. Abbey was a superstar too – considering she’d only been on antacids for four days, she was focused and willing throughout – feels like my ol’ponio is back 🙂

Ken first looked at Abbey’s walk.  He really liked it and gave me strict instructions not to ‘fuss’ with it.  All I am permitted to do is close my hands and shoulders to ask for a slightly more collected walk, and ask for a little more extension by opening my fingers on the reins and giving Abbey a small nudge with the legs.  He explained that with a small horse, the extended walk is not going to be huge. If I shorten my reins too much and push with my seat, I will flatten the walk – this is forbidden!

Continue reading “Lesson with Ken Sudsbury (shoulder-in, medium trot, canter on a named lead)”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑