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Saturday, 23 April 2011

23/04/11 - Secret -  Worked some more today on the figure eight pattern. Once the "make me" face wore off, we got a good effort. Offering canter for longer today and lighter in trot around the barrels.

23/04/11 - Bluey - Same as Secret but on a looser rein with less being asked on the turns - hesitant to bother his mouth too much as he is giving so much at the moment and has only been back in work for a short time. Finished the session with some pole work at walk.

It was really nice to have Kitty and Anna watching our training today.  They dropped in to see us,  how we do it, and our youngsters.  Good chatting taking place, lots of tea and laughter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

21/04/11 - Secret - Good ride in the midday sun. Doing well in the snaffle but still needs more room for his tongue, wide, low ported myler has been ordered, hopefully this will be the one for him. Rode in the sand school, worked a figure of 8 pattern around the barrels in trot, hopefully we can progress to a sustained canter around it over the next couple of few days. Tried him over the poles left out from yesterday, no real issue just a teeny bit lazy picking his feet up! Time to get him out on a trail........
20/04/11 - Bluey - Saddled up, moved his feet and got on. 5 minutes in the round pen going over the basics, then up to the menage. Into trotting work, lots of circles and changes of direction - he must be finding this taxing as there were lots of nice offers to canter which were graciously accepted. Leaning out on the right rein slightly, this should improve with consistency on our part - moved onto some pole work, nice effort from Blue !!

20/04/11 - Secret - Same start as Bluey today, groundwork kept to a minimum. Put snaffle bit back in, seems to be much comfier now. 5 mins in the roundpen to warm up, then straight out to the large field. Something different today - worked him for 30 mins over the uneven terrain, said hello to all the neighbouring horses and went for  walk down the track. Calm and content throughout, pretty happy with him.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Notes by Hels

18/04/11 -  Secret - good ride today, very impressed with his efforts whilst playing with lateral work. Back up getting softer and more responsive, sideways is surprisingly light both ways also. Canter work proved interesting as Secret was much quicker to relax today. Bit may be slightly too large, might be time to find a smaller one or revert to the snaffle for the time being.

18/04/11 - Cilla - a short groundwork session - the first since her return from the deep south.... very much interested in what all the other horses were doing - Cilla can appear to be checking in, when in fact, she isn't remotely interested in what you have to say. Always nice feedback. Decided work at speed was not the right choice here, Cilla needs the next question to be asked almost before she has said "no" to the first one. So I asked her lots of questions, trying to give her enough time for a response, but not enough time for a brace to develop. Pretty hard for me! Turns out there is a difference between concise communication and micro-management.... who knew!  Worked on farrier prep at the end, easier if you let her check out, more difficult when you ask for her full attention.

Hels had a really interesting chat after training about not making it a contest with Cilla - it seems to have worked. 

David Stuart Demonstrates A Foundation Colt Start

David is back on the Farm at the end of May, to start a few colts for us, and  and hand over those he started last year.  He also just checks through those we have for sale, and hacks a few out.  It is an amazing yet busy time for us all and the farm is buzzing.  

David is a very special person and this was recognised by Ray Hunt and the likes of Pat Parelli.  David has such a nice gentle way of starting a colt, soft and gentle all the way.  For those in the know he is one of the best colt starting horseman of the moment.  On the Wednesday after of his visit we open the Farm up to spectators.  It's very informal, numbers are kept to a minimum and some of you are old timers at this. You get a ring side seat, to view up close, and the chance to ask David directly, any questions.  Not just about colt starting, but horses.  Anything horsey, he has a wealth of knowledge, so tap into some of that .... lol  

If you have never watched a horse being started then you are in for a treat, and if you have there is always more to learn. David's strengths are the beginnings and the development of a foundation on a horse.  His demonstration may digress as a David Stuart Foundation Start is only ever taken at the Colts pace. 
Tickets available on the website: 

Special Offer:  Buy 2 tickets - get the third free - So Join Up !!!

Bluey and Secret

Secret taking a moment - or was that Helly taking a moment !
16/4/11 - Bluey - first session for nearly 2 months, took it easy - 20 mins groundwork and then 20 mins ridden. Nothing complicated just went over the basics today. Ended on a good note, plenty of licking and chewing from Blue. 

17/4/11 - Bluey - a short and sweet groundwork session, asking for yields from FQ and HQ, played with the yo-yo game, gently reminding him of everything he learnt last year! A good prep. for tomorrows ride. 

17/4/11 - Secret -First day back after 10 days off - groundwork was nice, picking up his feet, even in the deep sand of the roundpen. Kept it simple, walk/trot/canter in the roundpen and then the same in the menage. Can't complain. 

18/4/11 - Bluey - Really getting back into the mindset for work.... head carriage a lot lower than the previous ride and much less of an opinion about every ask. Great ride today, kept the groundwork to the necessaries and got straight up. One rein stops improving, trot/canter transitions worked on briefly. 

Secret is really ready for a new home now, and someone is going to really enjoy this horse.  

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cilla and Secret

These two have now returned to the Farm after being topped up with more training.  They have had a few days of chewing the lush Derbyshire grass and the Aidee feed buckets specials and are now ready for Hels to take over their training.  She is starting to interview new candidates to help her with this too.  So anyone out there with natural horsemanship skills, who want the experience then please step forward.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Secret and Cilla - are turning corners -

Secret - yesterdays ride surpassed everything so far! the BYO has turned a huge corner and is responding really well. The suppleness in the ribcage is only the beginning! The transitions have become so snappy that the second from canter to trot caught me slightly unawares, but we ground to a halt in a nice shape whilst I got my balance back  - Happy Days!! There seems to be no amount of lead changes that Secret cannot handle and he never makes a mistake or strikes of on the wrong lead - we definitely like this. 

His heart rate has also dropped exponentially. In the 4 weeks he has been here he has gone from pounding heart and heaving flanks at the end of each ride to a muscled horse ready to carry out the next maneuver if we need to. Secret's foot placement, head carriage have and over all disposition have also changed dramatically; the tail swish is now minimal, the willingness with which he moves around in his own space is impressive and the fact that we had something of an effort to bring his hind feet underneath him as I asked for a stop means it's been a worth while week of work :)

Today we had a steady warm up and then a short stick and ball session and the highlight was when the lead change came, without so much as an ask, when I flicked the ball under his nose from left to right . . . "Nuff said!"

On to Cilla, I won't say too much about yesterdays ride as it was much the same as the others - the directions are getting easier and the leg yields are much improved.

Todays ride was something of a revelation . . . Suffice to say that I wish we had had some one there with a camera. Everything started off the well and and we went straight out to the arena saddled up and ready to go. Hind quarter yields were going well in both directions, soft lateral flexion, a few really nice directional changes at the trot and walk . . . and then it began . . .

The first buck, really wasn't much to write home about and neither was the second - the fact that we found ourselves cantering around in a steady, softly held circle was somewhat of a surprise for both of us, so I let her carry on and tried to stay as neutral as possible while she explored this. After a few goes around we came back slightly more gracefully than usual to a trot. So I thought, lets try left . . . and again, the first buck was more of a tail swish and the second swish produced a nice steady lope to the left on the correct lead. After maybe 10 minutes pootling (a technical term) around to the left we again came back to a trot, then a walk and then she stopped and backed up a step.

All of this might not sound overly exciting, but it was a real break through today with Cilla - the circles were held well, and the lightness was something new - I have been saying for a while now that once she worked it out life would be easy (ier)! Today she made it easy all on her own. Give them some space and in the end you can produce better results.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

31st March - Cilla & Secret

We gave Secret and Cilla a fairly easy time of it today, baring in mind that it is the first one that they have had since they arrived.

Both had a little bit of ground work and direction changes in the arena whilst a few of the grooms where excersising some of the other horses. It gave them something to look at and then they had to remember that the directions and and paces still had to be followed and they both worked it out quickly and settled in to the routine as they kept an eye on the other horses and riders.

The plan for today was to let them have an easy time of it but also treat them like the riding horses that they are, so the ground work was kept to a minimum and we mounted and did a few laps of the arena walking out well. Then we headed down to the excersise track to basically do more of the same, it may seem dreary at this point, but keep in mind that we had to negotiate the muck removal mans' trailer and digger making a bit of a racket and also the new concrete floor going down for the new stables - the yellow one and the pink one barely batted an eye at any of this.

So, off we headed to the track and gave them the ridden break they deserved. We walked out around the track at a good pace and both of them appreciated the chance to relax and drop their heads down and stretch out without the hassle of having to change direction or move the feet too much.

Not an exciting bunch of notes, but a practical and useful example of when less can also be more.

Secret by Helen

Got on Secret yesterday, and all was rosy, he is progressing so much in between my visits. I'm finding it easier and easier to ride him every time and his willingness is improving exponentially. 

 Secret has an underlying braveness about him.

Secret much more responsive to everything asked of him, easier to keep the pace steady, transitions much lighter.... snappier turns on haunches.... heart rate also a lot lower at the end and he is developing some muscle. In general, a very pleasant ride. 

He is going to make someone a lovely lovely horse.


Yesterday, with Cilla, had it's ups and downs . . . the riding went well and we have made a lot of progress in getting the directions more true and soft. Her interest is always peaked when she has a visual stimulus ie another horse to follow, so we let her do her thing and follow Secret around the arena for a while then we separated and came back - it seemed to work well with the directions being followed much more softly and a minimum support from the out side rein. She responded perfectly and only held a brace momentarily when we changed direction and she couldn't see Secret, I was really pleased to find that after a second or so we went off in the new direction with very little tension in the neck. There is a very visible change in Cilla, very much for the better, and the ridden work is getting firmer.

I find that she needs to be ridden with a very firm focus and objective in mind, whilst I say firm I don't mean she needs to man handled - as the roan and Hancock bloodlines (fun late night reading, that stuff . . . ;)) are just there under the surface looking for an opportunity to come up and she does love to exploit these opportunities. Basically, treat her right and have some respect for the ancestry and colour and she'll develop into an odd relationship that should remain quite addictive . . .

A conversation with H in the car after we had finished proved to be productive . . . need to work out how to make the brain engage and therefore motivate the feet better 

Today started with a lot of rain, always fun. So, Cilla and Secret stayed tied up in the barn, ready to go and all tacked up. The delightful Cilla was intent on giving me a little feed back after yesterday. As the rain poured we talked a bit around the Hancock bloodlines and I continued the mantra " Perfect the directions, connect the chin to the feet, engage the brain, focus on the job in hand, know when to stop . . . etc" until H glazed over and I decided that we had better go and get wet and get it over with . . . We got into the arena and I decided that my best course of action, after the feedback was keep it simple, get some ground work in and make it more of challenge - then get indoors and dry off. Some might say I had reckoned on cutting bait rather than fishing . . . . .

Suffice to say it ended well! 

A note on her ridden work: She has a fairly steady working pace at a trot and I get the feeling that she feels much more comfortable and secure because others have lacked the necessary minerals to actually explore where her working pace at a canter will take them - and I think it may be the speed of light, hence the rush in to canter that will make some go "Hang on I'm not ready!" and slow back to then trot - keeping it controlled and organised will be the challenge, whilst letting her work it out for herself! Cilla has never really learnt to hold herself and/or push herself either mentally or physically - hence the lack of maturity in the rides. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Secret by Helen

" I rode Secret today and he was amazing."  

More to come later .....

Monday, 28 March 2011

Cilla & Secret - week commencing 21st March

Cilla and Secret are responding well to the Faradic pulse treatment, so much so, that Secret is all done and a much freer moving horse. Cilla needs a few more treatments to loosen up the hamstrings completely, but is responding better and reacting less.

Cilla is starting to follow directions better with much less rushing. Her transitions are still a little sloppy but that will improve over the next few rides. I swung a stick on her last week and had her following another horse around the arena - she seems to respond better and work more tidily when she has a focus point. In her case, it seems to be anything that she can see and follow, over the course of the next week I'm going to let her buddy up on rides and hopefully she will work smoothly and consistently. In essence, I will let her have her comfort zone and safety when she needs it but she will have to earn her reward by working further from the buddy horse and only returning when she has done something productive. Definitely a work in progress, but still getting better and more confident each day.

Secret is starting to show some true and smooth movements. He's getting more confident moving around in his own body space with each ride. The head carriage has improved immensely and and he is starting to collect into the transitions nicely, I even had a bit of a slide as we came back down from canter to trot. His stops are still slightly sloppy, I think this is more down to a lack of muscle and bodily strength and as he gets stronger and more flexible he is starting to find his feet. The big old boy is finding his feet in more than one sense, he seemed to carry a lot of rigidity through his ribcage at the start, he is now responding smoothly and sharply from the leg and keeping half an ear cocked back to see what we doing next. I had a fun stick and ball session on him yesterday and I get the feeling he enjoys chasing the orange ball around the arena and is totally unfazed by the ball bouncing back towards him as it comes off a wall.

All in all, a good week with both of them and I'm looking forward to a productive week ahead. For the moment the plan is to get them over a few jumps and trotting poles and out around the roads a little bit too.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Secret & Cilla - notes from Helen

Got to yard in time to meet Petra - had a good conversation about the treatment - Faradic- which seems to have some sound theory behind it. Also, watching the ponies' reactions compounds it further. Overall impressed by her general attitude and approach. Immediately after, we started working with the ponies....

Cilla - groundwork showed huge improvements in her movement and seems to have lost a large proportion of brace. Favouring right hind slightly, Petra thinks this may, like secret, be the root of her brace. Head carriage dramatically lower than when I last saw her (over a week ago) and looking looser all over. Even tempted to say she moves quite nicely. Pretty spritely during all of this, in a good way... 

She was then ridden  with one rein in the halter - again head carriage much lower and looking softer. Discussion raised as to how much of her braciness has been related to physical discomfort.

Secret - another positive response to treatment, seemed to swish tail less during groundwork.  During groundwork with saddle I noticed huge increase in movement in the back underneath the saddle - he is still holding some tension in his girth but I think this is learned behaviour and is subsiding as training goes on. 

Again, he seems much softer during the ridden work, attitude has changed for the better. Ridden in snaffle and he appeared pretty content. Footwork improving too, he is more aware of his hooves and where they are going... 

Lots of hard work and good progress 

Monday, 21 March 2011

Faradic Pulse Therapy

This is really working for our horses ....... it has made such a  visible difference

I'm not on any commission or discount,....... 


The Winks Greene Transeva is the result of continued extensive development of a physiotherapeutic machine using Faradic principles. It is based on the innovative work started over 50 years ago by Sir Charles Strong – specialist physiotherapist to the Royal Family. Today there are only very few practitioners in the UK trained in the use of the Winks Greene Transeva hence treatments have been concentrated mainly in South Africa where Winks alone has treated over 25000 equine patients since the early 80s.

Any Muscle injuries or tightness after high performance demands
Suspensory and Tendon Injuries, Haematomas, Bruising
Back problems (muscular rather than orthopaedic) 
Sprains and Strains (acute - after injury or chronic – resulting from adhesions)
Muscle atrophy (increasing of muscle fibre where wasted)
All Athletes, whether human or equine, benefit from a regular physiotherapeutic program to maintain top level performance avoiding a loss of form due to undetected muscular strain
The equine treatment involves a saddle like harness with two electrodes connected to the transeva and a connection pad which is applied with continuous gentle consistent pressure by the practitioner to the area to be treated. 
The pad delivers a low faradic current into the skin and muscles stimulating nerve endings to provide muscle contraction. A pulsing of the treatment area can be observed/felt.
  • Muscle elasticity – irritability and contractibility (ie muscle tone) are rapidly returned to normal.
  • An increase of blood is brought to the muscles and to neighbouring tissue with all the attendant beneficial physiological chemical consequences
  • Waste tissue products are rapidly cleaned away and stagnation of lymph, with its serious sequelae, is prevented.
  • A large supply of oxygen and nourishment is brought to the injured part.
  • Rapid absorption of fluid and extravasated blood and lymph is actively promoted.
  • Beneficial chemical and physical changes after muscle activity takes place.
  • The movements of muscle do not allow the organisation of lymph to take place between their surfaces and the dangers of adhesions are minimised.
  • As the movements do much to prevent stagnation of lymph in areolar tissue in the joint interspaces, the danger of areolar tissue losing suppleness and flexibility – so necessary for efficient joint action – is diminished.
  • In the later stages of sprains, or if treatment is long delayed and adhesions have formed in the muscles and periarticular tissues, the adherent surfaces are gently and gradually torn apart by causing increasingly powerful contractions of the muscles separately.
  • Muscles are prevented from wasting, particularly if treatment is given soon after injury. Muscles already wasted increase in bulk.
  • No attempt is made to cut short the process of inflammation but to guide and control it.
Faradic Pulse Therapy is a complimentary physiotherapy treatment and not intended as a substitute for doctor or veterinary advice. Practitioners respect the Veterinary Act. Veterinary consent is required to treat any injured animals. Referral forms are available.

Basic cost for a session is £40 (plus travel costs) and most sessions last approx. 45 minutes.
For more information or to book a session please contact Petra Sones on 07809 604466 or email

Monday 21st March 2011 -

Cilla - Worked her on the lines on Friday and all was good with the world.  I did a lot of lateral flexion, hoping to break down some of the brace we found in the neck the day before and it seemed to work. Petra came on Saturday to work on the tightness in the hamstrings . . . shame we didn't have a camera as there was quite a lot of reaction to the pulse but she settled in to it and as it worked deeper she actually started to grunt.

I'd like to make a point about introducing new things: Anything that is new to the horse, especially when dealing with a horse in pain, needs to start slowly with a rub. Even trying to get the contact disc, without a pulse, on to Cilla's hamstring was a challenge. However, after she was allowed to move a round a bit it became easier. After 2 - 3 turns around, she started to soften up and let me tip her nose in and so long as he kept crossing her back legs over didn't seem too worried. We introduced the lowest pulse possible and continued to tip the nose and cross the back feet and again after 2 - 3 turns around she responded well and stood still. As the pulse increased, I let Cilla continue to move her back feet and kept the nose tipped in a little. Just to be clear, it wasn't a drift that would have ended up in her leaving or a try to leave entirely - it was just the need to keep moving in a controlled way to keep her relaxed. It worked well and she responded well and then the grunting started as the pulse increased and I think she was actually feeling the tightness in the hamstrings dissipating. So, my point is this: better to let the horse move around in a controlled way than start a battle that will eventually end up with them finding the fire exit. 

Secret - let him have a quick warm up on the long line and we saddled up. The ride to the excersise track was uneventful (we like this) and the very relaxed canter and trot around was a good start. We checked out a few transitions, trot to walk, walk to canter, canter to trot and the feet a definitely freeing up more - I'd like to see these transitions a bit snappier in the next 2 weeks. There are so many improvements in him in such a short time frame that he has definitely deserved his day off!

The work that Petra has done on his near side glute and off side shoulder seems to be paying off too. So much so, that we added a little counter flex in both direction and had the back feet anchoring well. I'm really pleased with the changes we have seen in Secret over this first fortnight. He is holding himself in a much better shape and has found a willingness to work lighter and more correctly. I think the photo from Thursday says it all with the rounded back and vertical head carriage as we took a few steps.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Secret - notes by ADG

Secret almost found his break at the poll (hind quarters not there yet )and is working so much better from the leg that I was blown away at the rounded nose down back up that we had at the end of todays session. His feet have freed up some more and the 'expressive' tail was minimal to say the least. His front feet are following a much softer track now and we had a little bit of centrifugal spin in both directions with a softer feel from the rib cage. If it goes well tomorrow will try a bit more stick and ball at the end of tomorrows session.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

On 16 Mar 2011, at 19:50, Helen du Rose wrote

On 16 Mar 2011, at 19:50, Helen du Rose wrote:

cilla in arena....... did one rein riding, then progressed to change of direction with mainly one rein and flag - nice responses, even with cack handed rider. having vague flashbacks of reins being removed and being made to ride.  cilla is progressing from favouring the gate to the arena, she has also been taught her the far corner is a nice place to stop, this seems to have broadened her horizons somehow.

secret - we were chased us round in circles on the line, towards the end both of us were getting the hang of changing directions and putting feet and hooves in near enough the right places. jelly legs cant keep this up for very long but some form of progress was made.

Cilla & Secret by Helen - 16th March 2011

Cilla - ground work much improved, less tendency to lean on halter and in general giving a more impulsive reaction to asks. She seems to be developing a good work ethic and has responded very well to basic one rein work. Cilla needs to have her head and not be grabbed at with the reins.
Finished with a walk/ trot/ 10 meters of canter around the track, cilla was v. interested in the 2 stray dogs that appeared and would much rather have chased them around instead. V. impressed with the change in how she feels to ride, head carriage lower and strides less choppy. 

Secret - displaying more energy, not quite got the attitude to work to rival cilla's yet but there is a glimmer of it occasionally. In groundwork he is demonstrating better flexion on the circle - and demonstrating that he has a much faster work speed than he actually lets on, mainly because he is a lazy oaf and needs pushing.  Secret joined cilla for a walk round the track, apparently it was the first time for him and he was pretty happy about it all. He would rather schlepp along at the back though today. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Cilla & Secret

Ok, the rides over the weekend went well; Secret is starting to find that faster working speed and seems to be responding well. Sat and Sun, his only issue seemed to be getting his big old frame into a nice shape for a solid stop. That said, the collection to canter has improved and the break at the poll is more evident when he works, he does have a tendency to flop on to his forehand when he gets tired - I don't think that's much of an issue and will improve as he builds muscle.

Cilla has responded really well to the one rein. Her ground work really is getting faster and more solid and the brace to direction is getting less with a bit of rubbing.

Had a good ride on Secret and will work a lot this week on his lateral flexion and soften the ribcage and will, mos' def, be stick and balling a bit.

Cilla -Had a better ride on one rein for 20 mins then changed to 2 and saw a definite improvement. I'd like to think that I'm working out the roan in her but am sure she'll keep surprising me for a bit yet. We went for a walk down to the excersise track at the end and had a bit of a walk, trot and canter for a while. Very  light and curious, until she saw her shadow with me on her and was a bit indignant. Ended well, we stopped in a corral at the side of the track and she had a drink from a trough and ate grass for a few minutes then walked back quietly to the yard.

One thing to note with Cilla is that she is extremely curious about stuff. I had her in the arena on Sunday with a client stick and balling and she followed him and the horse around with her ears forward and head down like a cow-horse, we'll be exploring this with HDR tomorrow . . . . . :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Secret - Day 4 - notes by ADG

Secret - Really good start today, much more life in the ground work and really watching for the cues. Ridden work is getting better and lighter and again managed to get a break at the poll that really made the back ups smoother if not necessarily faster but that will come in time. 

Cilla - Day 4, by ADG

Cilla - I think the one rein worked well yesterday, so we carried on with it for a while today. She responded with a lightness and flexion that was impressive. After a few goes around the arena at all paces I changed her back to a rein on each side and the brace was much less. So much so that we went for a trot down to the excersise track and back - a good day was had.

Secret - Day 3

Secret - poor fella! Think he thought he was heading off for a weeks rest in a grassy paddock after yesterdays' ride . . . . He started lethargic and heavy until we added a bit of sass to him. The sass worked, he really needs to keep himself occupied and his brain in gear, I find he drifts off the never,never land if left to his own devices. So, ground work done we saddled him up and headed off around the arena. I think his working speed is slightly faster than some people have realised, but with all the slow steady work he's got a bit used to being able to bumble around. The upshot of that is that we stick and balled him after a quick break and found the break at the poll that was missing in yesterdays photo's. He followed the hit ball really nicely and we got a few nice canter lead changes (at one point he decided it was easier to stay on the same leg but the arena walls helped him work that one out and he worked it out well - next time H comes I reckon he should be skipping well)

Cilla - Day 3

Cilla - decided to take a simpler approach with her today.  Her ground work is almost impeccable and I get the feeling this may have been over emphasised with her and she has taken the opportunity to dump her ridden work. H and I took a few turns each at the ground work and she responded well and moved her feet confidently and with a better purpose (I think she's got over her journey). We went back to a one rein start and she started off nice and soft, she got stuck a few times as we moved further from the gate but it was only a case of giving her a new direction to move off in - basically we did a zig-zag until we ended up at the far end of the arena (I don't do too much one rein stuff past their second summer, so it was interesting getting my own co ordination quick enough to catch the changes in her, there's probably a lesson on there for me somewhere . . .) it ended well, if a little heavy, with a straight trot around the arena and a few canter steps. I feel that at this point it's as well to let her find her feet in the new environment without compounding any of her previous experiences . . . . .

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Secret in continuation training

An excellent start is paramount to set the foundation training for the horse, and continuation training is key to achieve a well rounded one.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Secret & Cilla -

Both travelled down to Windsor well, and spent yesterday getting use to their new environment.  Cilla on her first day, spent some time rushing around the arena looking for the M1 signs back to Derbyshire, but by the end of 20 mins she decided that the best place to be was next to the trainer and she joined up.

Secret: He entered the arena like a lion and came out looking more like a horse! I turned him loose after a bit of rubbing and off he went . . . . only to come back a few minutes later when he realized Derbyshire wasn't at the end of the arena. He worked really well on the long line and followed all directions and changes and we did some lateral ground work. He over achieved with a  few minutes of bareback trotting around the arena.  He needs to keep his feet more occupied and therefore have a purpose along with the direction - I honestly think he'll be a bit of fun to work with. 

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Harry the foal

Harry did well today,  halters nicely with lead rope attached.  Circles to the left, circles to  the right, hindquarters moving nicely, yielding to pressure, drives past nicely.  Disengages the hindquarters, brings front quarters across ... creating a flow.  His eye was on Helen all the time. With slacken lead rope, it tossed  over his head nicely when changing direction.  She sent him in circles to loosen up his feet, when he got stuck.  Got some really nice circles with snappy changes of direction.  He is a quick learner.  Left him on a good note, for both him and us.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bluey - 28th Feb

Very nicely put together animal. Has a much freer range of movement and seems very relaxed with everything we asked of him. He also has a 'want to be with you' demeanor which should be encouraged and utilized in his performance training.

Training Assessment on Cilla - 28th Feb 2011

Moved off well to the left at walk, trot and canter with a nice free movement. However, she showed some tension when asked to move out to the right and it needed some perseverance and persuasion, there seemed to be some tightness in the right neck and shoulder and this translated in the first ride.

After a some lateral flexion and hind quarter yields she relaxed in both directions she and managed to free up and move out. The brace to the right stayed but got noticeably better as she was ridden. I feel she needs to be ridden with little interference from the riders hands until the directions and lightness become more solid over the course of the first few rides. I think that asking for the hind quarter yield as a means of getting directional control will aid her moving off correctly and increase suppleness in the rib cage.

She had  tendency to rush into her canter a little but this should improve easily as she becomes more confidant with the riders weight and balance.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

24th Feb - 2011 -Naughty Harry

Harry was full of himself today,  as if Spring was in the air.  However he took to his little halter, and responding to pressure and being led around.  Slowly and gently, taking time as his eyes opened wide, and we waited for the brace to soften.  Once comfortable Helen started on picking up his feet, wide eyed again, he balanced for the new game.  Good session with Harry.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Harry - Foaled August 2010

Harry is in with his mum for a few days, so we have taken the opportunity to use the time to start on his ground work, up until this point all his training has been given by his mum and the herd.  He is however use to us, as we never miss the opportunity to stroke a foal, in the field or in the barns.   How nice it is to have a inquisitive willing colt to work with, whose eyes open wide when introduced to something new, and then curiosity gets the better of him as he steps forward to place his nose on the objects.   Slowly and softly we introduce him to being touched and stroked all over. Watching him step forward to look, and then comes the licking and chewing.  That was yesterday, and today slowly and softly we introduced the lariat, and soon it was slipped over his head and he started to yield to pressure. More thinking, more licking and chewing, and yawning, hard work thinking and doing.  A small rope halter tomorrow.   Less haste, less work later. Nicer for all of us.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Bluey - 18th Feb

Good session today, settled and quiet with very little effort, following the feel nicely at walk, beginning to move away from the leg laterally.  Bit sticky to turn on his haunches needs work on transition into trot okay, but a bit choppy,  took him in circles to slow him down and he responded well .  Stood well for tack up and and untacking. 
Tacking Up Bluey

Cilla - 18th Feb 28th Ride

Softly softly improving transitions, and working on being smother through them, both up and down. Nice and relaxed in trot and canter today. Cilla is doing really well.  Has the makings of a nice horse.  Looking well today and out with the Wolfhounds. 
Cilla tacking up before training 
Checking out the Wolfies

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cilla - 11th & 16th Feb

11th Feb - 27th Ride 
Ha, Cilla was very reluctant this morning, something to do with a lovely new bale of haylage arriving, and wanting to have her fair share with her mates. Didn’t want to leave the herd, so she was very resistive 
16th Feb - 28th Ride 
Really good today, nice and soft feel at walk, turns her circle, upward transitions a little rushed today. Canter a bit rushed and trot too, needs work.  Needs pushing forward, so taking her out and about next time, to keep busy, this will bring her into focusing. 

Bluey - 16th Feb - 5th Ride

Not settled today, missing Bobs still,  worked on softness and getting him to settle, bit of disconnection going on.
Front shoes off yesterday and measuring him for boots … 

Bobby - 11th Feb

Nice session, quiet yet responsive to aids.  Did everything nicely, but stops could be snappier, very good to saddle up, chilled boy today. 
14th Feb 
Bobby passed his 5* vet check and now has a new home with Clare.  We wish them both many happy hacks. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Bobby - 9th Feb - likes the polo stick

Bobby has been introduced to the polo stick this morning, first with the friendly game, and at walk, then into full swing, very nice boy totally unfazed.  Went well. 
Worked with softness on mouth. Working on light touch and responses…very nice and light on the lateral movements too.  
Nice turns on his haunches, good and light to respond.   Walk, trot and canter with stops in all,  looking and feeling good, getting himself into a nice position for his stops now. 

Monday, 7 February 2011

Brabus - 7th Feb

Foaled:  May 18th 2009  
He is one of ours, out of  Starlight Express (Barbie) by Dash.  A really nice gelding kind and inquisitive,  and very very chilled.    
David Stuart started basic ground work and loading in 2010 and ready for David to start him this year. 
7th Feb 2011

Brabus very calm and confident in these gales today.  Bought him out of the field,  easy catch, nice gate manners, crosses the road without worry, and not phased by the coming and goings on the yard.  Nice quiet grooming session, made a bit of a fussed when tied, kicked out a little, but soon settled.  Responds really nicely to steady pressure, backs up, moves hind quarters.  Good around girth area, and stirrup positions, moves to pressure.  Going to be a nice easy start for DS this one, as to be expected from our home bred stock.