Sunday, February 27, 2011
What a weekend! the stallion got to his show, and my dog retained her title and trophies as the fastet swiming dog in the area, and i spent ten hours driving between the two.
Thanks to Marilyn and Kristine, for finding and providing a place for Matai and myself to stay.
I met so many wonderful people, and their horses. It was a great show, with a great many supportive individuals who made me feel so welcome!
An hour or two ago, my little wild stallion, backed wearily down the ramp of the horse float,. Walking back to his paddock in the growing dusk and the first creeping cold of autumn weather, the poor boy looked exhausted. the travelling, competing, socialising and spending the night in a strange new paddock had certainly taken their toll on him. He had learned that the world was a whole lot bigger than he thought it was, with many a strange thing to be seen and experienced!
But throughout it all his behaviour was impeccable, he learned to behave around other horses, mare, stallions no matter what they were. Apart from a few shrill calls to begin with in the ring, he settled down perfectly. We did end up with a few ribbons, but ill will have to write up the full story next time, as for now i need some sleep
Friday, February 25, 2011
Poor wild stallion, he was washed and shampooed to within an inch of his life today. That mane of his is so thick, that when i finally applied enough soap and water to wet it through, his head was down by his knees with the weight of it all, and with that thick black hair he looked like Bob Marley caught in a rain storm.
I'm going to admit that i may have been a little keen in doing my entries though. Because although i would like to perform a horse training miracle,the stallion, having a couple days off this week with a sore leg, just hasn't had enough rides, to be able to compete in the ridden section of the show. Even though hes wonderful, less than ten rides with a saddle and bridle is just far to few, to then go to a show and ask him to perform it is asking for trouble, and could potentially undo all his good training.
Anyway i will be away for the weekend, but cant wait to see how the show goes, will be a learning curve for both me and the horse as to be honest i don't know what to expect either.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
For the first time in New Zealand's history, it has been declared a state of national emergency. For the second time in six months, one of our major cities, Christchurch, has experienced a major earth quake.
The death toll, 31 hours after the event, stands at 75, with hundreds still missing. The national news channel, is running non-stop news coverage. The images coming through are heartbreaking. Whole towns, buildings, roads, and the complete city center, shaken to the ground.
Thank you, for those of you who sent well wishes!! My ponies and I, are safe, being situated on the other island and well out of the danger zone. However i ride a horse for a client, who lives in Christchurch, thankfully she is safe, but has lost just about everything in the quake. I heard a farmer on the radio had to shoot all his favorite cows, because they had fallen in a crevasse which opened up in his paddock. My heart goes out to them all!!
Disaster like this put everything in perspective!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Today he has one big fat front leg.....Swollen from the knee down to the fetlock. No obvious wound or mark on him, and i have checked him thoroughly. Not problems in his feet either. Hes not really lame, although hes not wanting to trot out as freely as usual...
Uh-oh is all i can think. It would be terrible to miss his first show! Hes such a sturdy wee thing its unusual for him to have this kind of problem.
My guess is, because we are having such weird weather patterns here, hot extremely humid summer, lots of horses are coming up with weird skin conditions,grass staggers and other abnormalities that we don't usually see. So I'm hoping this swelling is just due to grass and heat, as every couple of years we have the odd horse, come up with weird swollen legs that go down after a day or two, although usually its all four legs, not just one. Ive been told its due to high toxin levels in some grasses.
hes had a good feeds with extra supplements, hopefully he will be all cleared up by tomorrow. Fingers crossed
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I did however have a quick, literally 5minute ride on Matai, with both the saddle and helmet, when we first got there, before moving on to bareback, when we started our ride.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
To excited its write up the whole story, il put up the pictures for now.
My best mate, who has accompanied me on many a crazy adventure, and I, spent the whole day riding the wild stallion, and a pony mare of mine, bareback across the beach, and rough country, two hours drive north of me.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I get so so pissed off with irresponsible animal owners its not funny. We get loose pig dogs showing up at our farm from time to time....we are the last stop between the road and hundreds of acres of beautiful native forest. It is a favorite for feral pigs and there for hunters and their dogs. I don't have a problem with hunters, just when they happen to be irresponsible and idiotic hicks, like future events showed these ones to be....
At 2am this morning i woke to hear galloping, thundering hooves and high shrill screams of a foal. My life is nothing, if not action packed. I was the only one home as it happened, so leaping out of bed i grabbed the torch and a halter from the back door, and took off ruining for the paddock. There i found the youngest foal,who had either gone over or under his paddock fence, and was runing up and down along the wrong side, bordered on the other side by a steep bank into the stream. Excellent. I haltered the mare, who was galloping up and down on the correct side of the fence, to keep pace with her baby. After a few attempts of trying to get the foal back to correct side of fence, i gave up and got wire cutters.
Friday, February 11, 2011
He was as usual, an angel. Just a quick ride around the paddock, walking trotting and cantering both directions (with a saddle), was all i had time for. But even so, I'm happy, he stays focused and attentive the whole time, and in a horse that is so very very green, i really couldn't ask for more..
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Here are some pictures from the floods we had ten days ago......Oh and i have decided the wild stallion and I, are going to the show, the other other horse can compete later in the season.
The top photo is of the road between my house and the nearest town, this is just after it opened, it was closed for two days as the water rushed right over, the poor farmer lost all his fences. This is usually beautiful flat paddocks full of cows....
All the gates on the farm, that we had to leave closed, got warped like this one. Note also the level of debris on the other gate, all from the flood water, This was one of the higher gates too, and was so warped, we had to use crowbars and sledge hammers to open it.
Let me repeat January and February are our DRIEST months!! We have already had two floods and more rain predicted for the weekend, and the temperature fluctuates between freezing cold, and scalding hot beach weather.
Monday, February 7, 2011
So here's a question.... The Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare trust is having there annual show. It's at then end of this month, so i have only a few days left to do entries. Its the same weekend as i had scheduled another show for my eventing horse to go to.
Which one do o choose??
I really would love to attend the, wild horse show, because
- I think the KWHWT do a really great job placing horses in good homes and set up a good support network for those who take on the horses from the wild, and i would like to support them
- Would be great to get my wild stallion out and about, i love showing off my horses. But also to see other Kaimanawas and get to know a bit more about the breed.
- Its closer than the other show, cheaper to enter, and would be for me, more of a fun event, about participating rather, than serious competition that my career depends on...
But the other show, would give me a chance to gain a qualifying score, for the national three day event, although i could possibly do another show later in the season to qualify. I'm also quite a competitive person, although i love my stallion, not sure hes wining material, and hasn't been ridden long enough to realistically have a chance for the ridden classes. Also traveling, is slightly more challenging with a stallion, if they don't have suitable yards at the show i would have to find somewhere to stay...as being so far away i would definitely have to travel down the day before.....But overall these are all solvable problems
i just cant make up my mind.....
Also how are u meant to show them, ie, in their natural state, with long manes and feathers on their feet. Or are they meant to look like a show horse plaited and trimmed?
I have put Matai on a show horse diet and have been giving him extra grooming each day so he'l be in tip top condition, just in case....
Saturday, February 5, 2011
In the blistering summer heat, that we are now having, yesterday i went for another amazing ride on Matai, the wild stallion. he has an awesome nature, and is one of, if not the best horse i have ever worked with. But i also think it is important to know, that training, understanding and handling of the horse makes a huge difference in how fast they learn and how willingly they work. A intelligent horse, no matter how willing, can soon be turned, nasty, aggrieve or sullen to work with, if training is done incorrectly. there are some absolute horror stories out there, about people who have taken on wild horses, with no knowledge, and it has turned into a horrible disaster.
i took Matai back over to my cowboy friends farm again. For those of you maybe not so familiar with the horse world, Stallions are somewhat notorious for being hard to handle, especially around females of the same species. But Matai happily loaded into the float for the journey, this time with another horse beside him, a pretty young girl,who has been broken in about a year now, and is soon to be sold. After an initial look of excitement as the female horse loaded in to stand directly beside him, he was an angel, loading easily and standing quietly for the whole journey. unloading again quietly after the girl had hoped off.
instead of working in the arena, with the extreme heat and dust, it was decided to go out for a ride across the farm. For young horse sometimes the best thing, is to get them out and about, moving forward freely, and make riding a fun and interesting experience for them. instead of dulling them with endless circles drilled in the arena. Horses feed off the behaviour of other horses and their rider, so having horses that are calm and happy and ride out with them, allows them to follow the example and become relaxed and unstressed about any situation.
i saddled both my ponies, the cowboy rode his mare (girl horse), and another friend riding her mare as well. I rode my little girl, and led Matai behind me. To start with his little face was so confused about what he was meant to be doing, so i got him following me, and working him a bit off my horse ( turning around me, getting him to move away from my horse) just so he didn't think it was a breeding situation. Once that was established he happily followed along behind, calm and quiet but his eyes taking in everything. Off we set, over the paddock and into the bush where shelter from the burning sun, and cooler temperatures beckoned.
Leaving open paddock behind us, the trail become narrower, and a lot steeper, winding along a ridge,through beautiful native forest, with cicadas roaring in the trees, and cool enough under the forest canopy to be enjoyable, it was the perfect ride for a hot summer day. It also gave the horse something to focus on as they always had to be thinking of where to put there feet next. Matai being a sure footed little thing, from his days running wild on the moutains, had no trouble negotiating over logs, steep, narrow and winding terrain, he was unworried by the whole experience. huffing a little bit he happily made his way behind us, unfazed about all his female companionship.
Even with the shelter of the bush, after a about an hours ride it was time to head back for home, before we sweltered in the midday heat. climbing off my girl i handed her lead rope to the cowboy, and jumped aboard my wild stallion, who was standing as calmly and contentedly as a old farm hack who being doing this his whole life. i always test my control as soon get on a young horse, by doing turns and halts, bending left and right etc, to make sure they remember and have their mind on the job. Matai felt relaxed and focused underneath me, the ride out taking the edge off any extra exuberance he may have had. We turned and headed for home, Matai and i following the other three horses.
My wild stallion never gave me cause to be anxious, i felt completely at ease on him, safe in the knowledge that no matter the terrain he was secure on his feet, he never felt like he would do anything other than what i asked of him. Every so often when i had the chance, i would go for a little trot or canter, to keep up with the others, and use it to teach him more about the correct aids to go forward. He didn't need reminding he remembered everything, and as easily as i could make him go forward he would slow and stop, when ever asked.
The whole journey home, was a twisting and winding, downhill trek the entire time. This can sometimes be where a young horse is inclined to buck as they feel your weight shift around on there back. Not matai he never even felt tense. sometimes following behind other times leading the way home, he was focused and at ease underneath me .
I wish i had photos, it was a magical ride, and a huge adrenaline rush, to be able to enjoy a beautiful ride on a horse that has came from the wild, and yet felt completely calm and safe, on only his second ever saddled ride.
all i can say is i love my wild boy to bits!