Tuesday, November 30, 2010

quick pics

What a day. Started at 6am, with a rush out of bed to drive my mother to hospital. Its a 11pm now and i just got home from their. Mums on the mend, so all is well. sometime during the day i managed to squeeze in time to ride three horses and feed all the animals, all in between hospital visits. I'm exhausted, but to pumped full of adrenaline from the stress of the day, to go to sleep. Don't think my brain is functioning enough to write up an in depth post, even though there is a lot on my mind regarding the wild horses. Will have to leave it to another day.

Meanwhile here are some pics of the non-wild foal that was born last Thursday. Not at all related to anything to do with the wild horses. but i thought shes cute none the less. Oh and Sonny the wild foal playing with his mother feed bucket, trying to scrape every last bit of food from the bottom.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A baby is born

So little Sonny, the wild horse born in captivity, remains the only foal i have actually witnessed being born.( http://http://wildhorseproject.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-boy.html for post on Sonny's birth).Again i arrived 5 minutes to late, the second little foal of the season, was already on the ground being licked dry by its mother. Another filly, Sonny is still also the only colt born on the farm. This filly, at least was born at a slightly more respectable time of 11pm.
Although not quite as cool as a wild horse,she is still gorgeous and an absolute treasure. But we already had a good idea of what she would look, because we knew who both parents were. Where as Sonny, we knew what Fern looked like, but the father could be any ones guess.

photos will come. I unfortunately had to travel to the big city, the day after the little foals birth, so didn't have time to update my blog or put pictures up. But will be home soon with my camera to give a better update. I need new photos of Matai too, as he is looking like a full grown, big, beautiful boy at the moment.

P.S it was almost exactly a month to the day that Sonny was born. Hopefully the new baby and mother,will be ready to put in with Sonny and Fern with the next week or two. Sonny can have a new friend and stop annoying his poor mother.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Baby number two

So proud of my little wild stallion. Matai, let someone else catch, handle, and put him away today, no fuss. Sounds like nothing amazing, but it is another small step in his journey from the wild.

He has always been amazing for me to handle, but is still reserved around other people. eyeing them suspiciously, and it takes time before he relaxes enough to be touched or handled by a stranger. he's Not totally convinced that humans he doesn't recognise, are safe, and not going to jump him at any minute. until today, this morning, my non-horsey boyfriend, walked right up and started patting him. Matai, didn't mind at all. Excellant.

just as a little test, and also to get him accustomed to other people handling him. i sent the boyfriend to catch him and bring him to the stable for the night. No problems, the lovely boyfriend, caught, lead and put him in his stable, with out any dramas. he just walked along behind, like and old school pony. Best thing about this is that it gives the average person, such a sense of honor, a very special feeling. Just to be able to interact and handle a animal that has once been wild.

By tomorrow morning, Sonny should have a new friend to play with. Finally another mare on the farm is ready to give birth. So another long night ahead, checking on her through night until shes give birth. This mare though is not from the wild, shes just an ex racehorse. This will be her second foal, her last one is a stunner, so we are all pretty excited. Fingers crossed everything goes okay.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Judgement fail

Yesterday was a bad day..... or a good one depending on how you look at it. But it was a great reminder of why i took on wild horses in the first place. I had a bit of a failure in judgment yesterday...twice. Twice i found myself on the ground underneath the feet of a horse. One set a feet belonged to Matai, the stallion from the wild. The other set of feet belonged to a 6 year old, domesticated since birth, warmblood show horse. I only got hurt by one horse. Guess which one....

I am at that stage in my life, where trying to earn money, tops the list of priorities. Not because i want to be super rich, simply because I chose a very expensive lifestyle/career/ sport. Horses require a lot of money to keep them going and compete them. So when people offer me jobs i usually jump and accept, any little bit more money, that i can scrape in, fantastic. I am definitely not in the position to be picky. This is how i ended up agreeing to ride and train, a warm blood/Arabian cross horse for a lady who was giving up riding and wanted to sell him.

To cut a long story short, i definitely wasn't told the complete story, when i agreed to take on the ride. Usually i am happy to take on young or problem horses, horses with bad behaviour, or ones that just don't have much experience. What i do not take on, and try to avoid are horses that have been broken in badly, or had to be rebroke to ride. This always spells trouble to me. Because the horse has usually gotten away with and learned some pretty rotten behaviour. As it turns out with this horse. It had been broken in slowly (in other words the lady breaking him in was terrified of him, and never pushed the horse like she should have, He's intimidated her into getting away with everything), turned out afterwords, the riding was never continued, then the horse was leased out to a young girl for a month (just finding out now that he was out of control with her). The horses owner was giving up riding, and i think scared of the horse. When i rode him the first time, i had never sat on such a unhelpful, stubborn, arrogant and unfortunately intelligent horse. You couldn't get him to go forward from the leg, in fact you couldn't get very much reaction out of him at all. Unless it was to put his ears flat back, and kick out or threaten to rear. Excellent.......Anyway, not one to give up, i continued with the horse for a couple weeks, and he was getting better, still the most unwilling horse i ever worked with. I'd fixed his biting, his kicking and gotten him going forward to the leg. he still just didn't want anything to do with working with you, and had an attitude that screamed '"I don want to and you ain't gonna make me!!"

Finally yesterday, i thought id take him out for a ride around the paddock where hes kept, instead of sticking to the arena. Thinking this would be relaxing and fun for both of us. Judgement fail! I know better than to ride difficult horses at the end of the day, but it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon before i got there, your always tired and not as mentally alert as you need to be. I should have realised the horse was in a worse mood than usual, it took me 20minutes just to get the bridle on the damn thing. For whatever reason i continued on my plan to go for a nice ride. More judgment failure. As soon as i got to the paddock, the horse was more excited. But i worked him a bit, then got on his back. i Hadn't been riding more than a minute before he decided he didn't want to go the way i said. So I gave him a kick in the ribs to tell him to go forward, and he exploded......

He reared up, came back down and took off in a fit of bucking. I can stay on a good buck, i know this. But man, this horse let loose, he put a rodeo horse to shame. He twisted and leaped, and twisted and leaped. At first i tried to pull one rain to try and get his head up, this didn't work so i just hung on. To be fair i stayed on a good few bucks before he sent me flying. Boy did i fly, it seemed to propel me higher in the air, than ever before. When you go up, you must come down. So down i came onto his back feet, that were kicking in the air. Taking a good kick to both legs, before hitting the ground. the horse then did, what no horse i have ever had, has done. he had stopped bucking as soon as i was in the air, but when i landed on the ground he kicked out twice more with both his back legs. Luckily i had landed in a kind crouched position and had the presence of mind, to start getting out of the way as soon as i touched earth, so the kicks missed my head, by a couple of inches. Instead, i do have a couple of fantastic bruises on my leg, and a bit of a limp to show for myself . The bastard horse then ran off and it took me another 20minutes, to catch the damn thing. huge judgement fail on my part, even getting on that horse's back. But thankfully i only have bruising it could have been much worse.

The other judgement fail had happened earlier in the day. Had just done some work with Matai. I was on a real high buzz, because i was so pleased with the work he'd just done. So i thought id give him a quick rinse with the hose, before letting him out in the paddock. I found what looked like a nice long hose, coiled up in some long grass, next to where Matai was tied. So I went to give a great tug, to free the hose. To my surprise, the hose was only about 3 feet long. So this time i went flying backwards of my own accord, straight into the side of the horse. Then landed on my rump, directly under his feet. This is where i though "o sh$t!!, I'm about to get trampled". but instead of Matai going crazy and trampling me in panic, he sucked in his breath, tensed for a second, seeming to weigh up his options. Then looked around at me and let out a huge sigh as if to say "why is this crazy person sitting between my legs, what does she want now??". he jsut stood there not movnign while i crawled back to my feet. I love my wild horses, they try so hard to please, and are sensible and kind. They are unspoilt and there is no meanness in them. unlike bastard, spoilt rotten physco horse mentioned above....

God bless the good horses!! they make it all worth your while, so you can forget the bad ones....

Just a added note- The horse that bucked me off, would never have been bad to begin with, but through inconsistent and a series of bad handling. Basically he has in the very literal sense been spoiled rotten. If you break in horses you have to know what your doing, and you have to do the job right. Otherwise like me, people get hurt trying to salvage the monster someone else created...

Monday, November 22, 2010

My lastest wild horse has grown

I guess i cant really call Sonny a wild horse, as he was born in captivity or into domestication. But he gets called the little wild horse, around here because that's his heritage after all. Wild or not, just look at him now, grown sooo much. managed to take a few quick pics today. hard to do as hes always coming up to sniff the camera. Anway hope you enjoy

It was hard to get the perfect shot because every time i looked down my camera lens this is what i saw....

Finally striking a pose

Typical young male, always hungry, looking for any last bit of food mum might have missed

Sunday, November 21, 2010

time is flying by

I understand why people love daylight savings. i really do, i enjoy it as well. But to me it seems, all it really means, is a couple extra hours work, has to be crammed into every day. Instead of being inside animals finished, by 6pm. It now is a rarity for me to be in the house before 8.30pm, then dinner still has to be cooked. I'm not complaining, i know i have a wonderful lifestyle and get to work outside with horses all day. But i also work dam hard for it. from September through to December, i seem to be in a state of constant exhaustion. I think the main reason for this is its horse show season...(im sure it also has something to do with the fact that the number of animals on the farm seem to have increased dramatically, with calves, foals, goslings an even the rabbit having babies, but i like to blame shows, and not the time i spend holding baby animals)

As soon as daylight hours increase my work load seems to increase ten fold. Not only do i have my own horses to work, but people want me to ride, train and show their horses as well. Suddenly everyone wants lessons again. usually from 2.30-7pm I'm teaching as well as taking pony club rallies. Mondays and Fridays, mean either packing or unpacking the truck for the weekend. Saturday and Sundays are very often early morning and long days traveling to, and competing at, horse shows. But like i said i love it, and competition keeps me on my game, i wouldn't give it up for the world. I just struggle to find the time to do anything non horsey related, like update my blog, check emails,do paperwork, or do anything that doesn't involve actually making money or riding my own horses, as well as work around the farm...

But today I actually have an hour or two free today, having for once, no horse shows. So here is an update on all the wild horses.

Matai, continues to grow and fill out. no longer looking like a shaggy scarecrow he once was. he is a handsome muscular little man now, with a gleam in his coat to rival a top show horse. He has also come to the stage, where girls are pretty interesting to him. He is an angel to handle still, and never so much as looks, at a girl horse while I'm on the other end of the lead rope. but in the paddock he races up and down the fence calling 'the ladies' as they walk into the barn each day. unfortunately for him, they are not interested at all, ignoring his flirtation and calls. as soon as they are out of sight he gives up and goes back to eating. his groundwork is very established, he can be lunged, handled, has progressed to doing some more advanced jumping exercises, and basically will try his best to do anything asked. i think it is time, for him to move on to the next stage of his training.The plan being, to break him in to ride,during the next few weeks, as he looks strong and ready to be ridden.

Fern, like i mentioned in the last blog, is very fat and healthy. she is still her lovely self, calls to you, when she sees your on your way to visit her. she's still happy being handled, and loves being scratched every day, but unfortunately doesn't get more work than that, as i don't have the time, and she is also busy being a great mother to little Sonny. so i think she will just have a quiet few months, until little Sonny is old enough to be weaned and then i will continue with her training.

Sonny, is gorgeous. Is a bit of a fatty, at the moment, but also seems to be growing taller and stockier by the day. He has the sweetest face, and is genuinely, i think, a kind, happy soul. He seems to spend most of his days sprawled out flat, sleeping in the sun. But gallops and plays, speeding around the paddock and exploring new things, every morning and night. he loves being itched all over, and shyly stands and sniffs at you while being scratched. I must get photos up on this blog, as he has already changed so much since those first few pictures were taken.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kaimanawa qualities

Recently i was thrilled to be asked to do a little article about my wild horses. But it was hard to know exactly what to write. Did i discuss my experiences? how i trained them? Did i just write about the horses? about them as a breed and try to promote them? or just talk about them as individuals? Then i had a big think to my self. what was it i actually like most? what were the advantages and dis advantages compared to other horses?

in the end i settled for writing about a few key experiences and mentioning the positive attributes, they have compared to other equines. i wrote about Fern foaling, how she lay down next to me. I talked about the calm stoic attitudes, that make them so easy to work with. Their trainabiltly, and intelligence. What i didn't mention enough, and to me probably one of the main advantages. They are cheap to feed!!!. They live off the bare minimum of food and are very easy keepers. This is honestly in my books one of their biggest assets.

Horses are expensive creatures to maintain. having taken on ex race horses and a few skinny neglect cases, as well as having competition horses that require a lot of feeding. i can tell you, horses that tend to swing towards the chubby side, are a god send at times. i worked out once that it cost me over $2000 dollars and two years before i got one racehorse back to normal weight and even then she was such a nervous horse that it would only take a couple days before she lost it all again. Wild horses, no such issues.

When they arrived, they were skinny. No only that they were worm ridden, looked lacking in some vitamins and minerals. Generally looked shabby and thin. but only six months on and they are fat, glossy, healthy and calm animals. Unlike racehorses i havnt had to regimentally pump and coax feed into them. they haven't gone on to become super excitable or hot now that they are in good condition either. Although i haven't calculated it, i don't think i would have spent anywhere near 1/2 what it would have taken me to get a race horse looking good, with the two wild ponies together.

in fact Fern, started to look to good (think big fatty), someone even joked, that she might have a second foal still in her belly. So for the first time ever, i had to put a mare and foal, in a diet paddock. she has grass, but no the long lush stuff that is usually reserved for my mares and foals. She gets just enough feed to mix her vitamins in, and 1 flake of hay a day. Sonny the foal, is also the fattest foal i have ever seen. Due to his mother, producing enough milk, to feed a whole herd of baby horses. she must be the most efficient horse i ever seen at turning grass into milk.

Sonny is adorable he is the sweetest, chubbiest little boy i ever seen (iobviously putting all that milk to good use). he has the kindest looking eyes and an expression that butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. he is so big now ,very compact,with a cresty little neck, I'm thinking he will definitely outgrow his mother, when hes fully mature.

I have another mare due any day now. I'm hoping that she will be half as good at feeding her baby, and keeping weight on as Fern. I wish i had more horses that needed diets, rather than constant feeding.So although i love everything about my wild horses, it is definitely the low maintenance, and cheapness to run, that my wallet is enjoying the most.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The day the wild stallion saved my life....

Matai, the wild stallion saved my life.....sort of......or at least he thought he did. In a rare moment of a 'Walt Disney magic', that doesn't usually seem to happen in the day to day reality of dealing with horses, the horse from the wild protected me from a rampaging, savage beast.

Im exaggerating slightly, but hey, Matai was quite proud of himself, and didn't realise, that we were never, actually in danger.

So Matai and Milo, have been grazing a fenced off section of the driveway, that has nice long knee deep grass, to keep them content. Unfortunately it is a long way up a steep hill to lug water buckets to them. So instead i lead them to water in the morning and again at night before they go back to the stables. The water is located down a little race, in the orchid. there is no other horses paddocked nearby, so i generally just let the fence down, and the two bay ponies. happily follow me to the water and when they've had enough they take themselves to the barn while i meander along in front of them. They know the routine, and usually i don't even bother catching them, allowing them to walk along free.

last night as i was walking along with them to the water, relaxed and day dreaming, Matai (the wild stallion) suddenly let out a huge snort. stopped dead in his track, head up hole body tense. Thinking he must have caught a whiff of a mare or something on the wind, i clicked and waved an arm to tell him to carry on his way.Suddenly looking every inch the wild stallion, muscles tight and seeming to hold him self a foot taller. He shot forward a couple metres. Snorting he swung his head around, like he was trying to catch the smell of some foreign scent. Then came back towards me and the other pony who were watching his odd behaviour. still holding himself tensely and snorting, he dropped his head, ears back and shook his head at me and the pony. Looking every bit the aggressive herd leader, not my scrawny wee colt anymore.

At this point, knowing something was definitely up, with my horse, and not quite shore where this behaviour was about to lead. All i could think was "Sh#t!!!" if i get hurt by this horse every body in the horse community would be relishing the chance to shake their head and say "I told you so", especially, some of my more narrow minded competitors . So back Matai came towards us, ears back, neck down low, head tossing from side to side. His body language clearly saying "back out of my way NOW" The pony retreated a step, but wasn't too phased. I stood my ground, and just waved my arms to shoo him away. He didn't charge us, but turned, back they way he'd just come. still snorting, still un happy. Tensely an looking away from me down the track, he criss crossed the path a few times in front of me, snake necked,swinging his head from side to side, glancing back at us to make sure we were not disobeying him, and coming down the track.

Slightly at a loss as to what i should do, as Matai up until this moment, was the most submissive, well behaved horse on the property. i just stood there dumb stuck, knowing something was definitely upsetting him, but not sure what, as the other horse was clearly un bothered. Suddenly Matai charged away from us. Ears pinned flat back against his neck, neck low to the ground, muscles bulging,every inch of him looked ready to fight something. he hadn't gone but a few metres, before he veered left into a patch of long grass, and from a gallop, lashed out violently with his front legs, striking the ground. with what could be a horse version, of baring his teeth, he looked like a wolf diving in for the kill.

All at once, there was the screaming, hissing sound of a very angry/frightened animal. Matai seemed to lift himself up tall for and instant, puffing himself up, struck the ground again. From in amongst the striking hooves and long grass, out ran a brown weasel type animal (must have been a stoat or ferret I'm not sure which). It ran for it life across the path and disappeared into the bush on the other side. Matai whirled almost to follow, but is was gone. He stood there snorting head up in the air for a little while. then walked to back, looking triumphant,shaking his head and sniffing occasionally, for any sign of the enemy returning. when he got back to where me and the pony stood, with I'm sure an equally shocked expression on our faces..Battle over, in what I'm now beginning to realise is typical 'wild horse' fashion, he started eating grass. We had been saved and his job as protector was over.

I'm still a bit shocked over the whole thing, i went a over and inspected the grass later, and found a half eaten dead bunny exactly where Matai had been attacking the ferret thing. when we got back to the barn, i also, haltered Matai, and did some handling with him. Just to make sure he didnt really think he could behave like the dominant wild stallion, i was still boss. But he was an angel again. It did go as a reminder though, that no matter how wonderful he is, you cant take it for granted that he is a stallion. But thank god he is...you never know that ferret could have killed me and the pony, without his wonderful self to protect us.......Maybe...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Training vs inherent behaviour

I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. I picked up Reserve Champion Hack at yesterdays A&P show. Even more pleasing was i only entered for a bit of fun, and to give my horse some experience of competing at a show with crowds of people and lots more distractions than what he usually does(I am an eventer by trade) i am not a 'showy'. These competitions are like the beauty pageants of the horse world. Everything has to be immaculate, colour co-ordinated, turned out to the absolute perfection of polished neatness. Not always my strongest point. But a 5am start, hours of sewing plaits, brushing, spraying and polishing paid off. not only did i take my big warm blood eventer, but also my four year old pony, that a local girl rode for me.Photo above. in only her second outing ever. she was a picture of calmness, handling everything (including a pet sheep running across the arena during her class) asked of her, standing contentedly ringside with no fuss for hours. This almost made me happier than wining the purple ribbon, because it shows my training is producing calm, happy, well mannered horses than can also perform and hold their own in competition.

i love competing, it something that really drives me, as well as keeps me motivated to keep improving, and always seeking to train myself and my horses that little bit more. But there is one thing that irritates me. Everywhere i go people comment on how "lucky i am to have such nice, quiet horses". ITS NOT LUCK! I actually spend hours training my horses, teaching them ground manners, getting them relaxed with any exercise they might be required to do in competition, and establishing good and relaxed behaviour patterns with them. It does not all maigically come together for me on the show day.When they go to a show, nothing changes, my riding stays the same, they are still required to have good manners and behave. This is what keeps them relaxed. Some horses are definitely more calm and less easily excited than others, but all horses can learn to behave calmly. Horses are not inherently crazy, or inherently calm . it all comes down to how we deal with them, and the work and preparation we put in before hand.

Horses are not the best at figuring things out for themselves, the reason horses can be trained so easily, is because they are a herd animal that looks for guidance form a leader. Most horse people know, that once horses start getting upset they can just wind themselves up into a panicky state really fast. If a human can be that leader for them, and not let them get to this point, this is what can keep them calm and at ease in new situations. Just a note, but if you have two herds of horses, one with a stong lead alpha mare or stallion, and another herd without any pecking order/leadership. The herd with the alpha horse will always be calmer, less skittish and happier looking.

Being the leader is not about being rough, hitting, yanking or pulling a horse around. It just a bout setting standards of behaviour that are always followed. Even at home i expect my horses to stand still while being handled. they are not allowed to push, rub, leap and stand on top of me(basically same rules as a dominant horse,ever seen any horse pushing boss mare around?) . Especially with Matai, but all my horses when i working with them, they are not allowed to ignore, look off in the distance or call to other horses. The rule is they are focused on me.

So when i take them out to competitions, they know to stand still and quietly for the grooming, handling or when leading them about.By the very fact that they have to stay focused on me, and not whatever else is going on, they never have the chance to get worked up and upset. before i even get on their backs they are already behaving how i want them to be. The riding is just a extension of the ground work, they get rewarded for relaxed and focused behaviour. so They learn to be relaxed and happy out competing, and because each outing is only ever associated with good behaviour and experiences they continue to become more relaxed with every show.

Good horses aren't just born. They are made, and become good horses through correct handling and training.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time heals all wounds...

If you have been following this blog for a while. you'll remember a couple of months back, Fern fell into a fence. Where we found her, hanging upside down, tangled in wire. She had not a mark on her from the wire. But massive bruising on her chest, and a cut/ deep graze from a fence post.

This is what it looked like to begin with.
A picture taken a few days after, notice the haematoma/ bruising on underside of her chest, from where she was wedged against fence post

A few weeks later, looking nasty.But nice clean wound, no infection, healing beautifully.

Now. Only a tiny scar.

Sometimes natures is the best healer. This looked bad. but healed well, and needed very little care/interference from me. Although i did check it and spray with iodine twice a day. Fern is a tough cookie. It also goes to show that time and mother nature's natural selection process ensures that only animals that are tough and strong survive. I'm sure if one of my Thoroughbred did this the result may have been quite different.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Boys and girls

Wow, the days just seem to be flying by. Sonny is almost two weeks old. Any day now, we should have another foal for him to play with. He wont be the baby of the farm anymore. But Already he has grown so much, you would hardly recognise him as the same baby. His coat has darkened to a much brighter bay. His head which was not beautiful, at birth, has become handsome, his body seeming to catch up to the size of his head. His body has filled out, and he looks fit to gallop all day up and down a mountain side. Sonny is the first colt we have ever had, all the others born here have been fillies. There is definitely some difference in behaviour already, just likes humans. Boys and girl are different.

Boys like to wrestle, rough and tumble, run and hit things. My best friend and i rode horses as kids and our brothers, younger than us , were also the same age and best of friends, had ponies to. While my Friend and i, tried to perfect our jumping technique, plait our ponies tail's and groom them to within and inch of life. Our brothers, galloped around the field, with toy swords and whacked at imaginary monster (gorse bushes and fence posts), usually they were only half in the saddle with arms stretched out to the side,reins left unattended on the ponies neck, they galloped unguided where they choose. The boys loved this. I always remember mum saying that as a child i hugged and cuddled, my brother wanted to wrestle, and demonstrate his new karate, on her instead.

This is what it is like watching sonny. He gallops, whirls and kicks at some imaginary monsters before bolting back to Fern . Where he usually attacks, whirls and runs back off again. Frequently i go to see them in the paddock, i find Fern trying to sleep in the sun. Sonny usually climbing all over her, unable to be still. Biting at face, pulling her forelock, pawing her side. For all the world looking as if he saying 'mum, mum, lets wrestle, come on wrestling time, get up and play with me...Mum, MuM, MUM!!!' Poor Fern just ignores him to the best of her ability, and continues to doze. Although Sonny did get a scolding once, when in failing to get any response, he bit her eye in frustration.
I had to laugh this morning and when i arrived at the paddock, this is what i saw (top photo). Sonny in a rare moment was letting his mother sleep in. He was himself fast asleep next to her, in what had to be the worlds most awkward position, for a horse to sleep in. Head facing down hill, on his side, one hind leg underneath him, and his bum hoisted up in the air. It looked ridiculous, and it amazed me that anything could sleep at all, lying like that. Ten minutes later he was back to his usual routine of wrestling and running. Poor Fern.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Hmm i watched some Grand prix showjumping on the weekend, little Matai still has a wee bit to learn. He is slightly confused, as to why he is not allowed to walk over the small jump, but rather has to trot and make some attempt at jumping.

Soo clever standing on platforms (can see non horse people eye rolling about now)

The cat as always has to be in on the action...

What a weekend! two days of non stop showjumping. With a 5am start the first morning, and two days of wind, cold, and hay fever. I am feeling slightly worse for wear. Also feeling mighty angry/disgusted, about some of the horsemanship i saw over the weekend. So might let myself cool down before i right anything about it, that really shouldn't be publicly recorded. I hate cruel horsemanship with a passion!! luckily most horse people are decent human beings, but there are always a select few,in any sport, that ruin it for the rest. At the end of the day im just super happy with my horse who i thought went awsome, and try not to think about all the idiots out there.

Any way this post was meant to be about Matai. Who is an angel. A little joy, in amongst the constant chaos, and nonstop activity, that seems to go hand and hand with having so many horses.

unfortunately i haven't had time to do anything exciting with him lately. But did play around with getting him standing on platforms, and doing some small jumps today. Love doing these kind of activities with the horses. As it gets them thinking, and they learn to try things, no matter what your asking. Also getting them stepping on loud objects, that make a bang, helps get them comfortable with noise and makes loading, walking acriss bridges etc much less scary to them.

He was so gorgeous with his jumping. he trots up in the slowest pace imaginable, heaves in the air with his front end , lands, then trys to just step over with his back end, usaly knocking the pole down. It is not to watch, what i would call, raw talent. But he trys very hard and does learn fast. Hes definately not worried about the jumps. which is good. He also tolerates the cat very well, who thinks it has to accompany me, on all horse train adventures, and likes to position herself in the centre if the action (usally in the middle of the jump).

i think little Matai looking so much better than a few months ago, but its always hard to tell when you see them everyday. What do you think??