Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Hello to you random people who still seem to be visiting this blog.
I now have a new blog over at


It's bit of me and my musings, bit of animals, bit of food stuff, bit of house stuff, just whatever takes my fancy.

An update on Fox though. He is now completely retired. After battling for several years to get him sound both of us had had enough. He is happy and as sound as he'll ever be. Sometimes his lameness is noticeable, especially after he's been playing silly buggers, but most of the time he looks ok.

He is also a pretty happy chappy since being retired. I think he was just trying to tell me again and again with his intermittent unsoundness that he was done with the riding. Since I've stopped riding, he's better behaved, the cray cray has been dialed right down and as such our relationship has improved. He's much more likely to have a snuggle or point out his itchy spots now than he ever has been in the past.
Hanging out

Friday, October 8, 2010

Aaargh Grazing

A wee while ago, I wrote about the opportunity to move to new grazing. I went and looked at it yesterday and was highly disappointed. I mean I had seen it over winter as that is where Smurf went for a while and is was okay back then. But now Spring has arrived and bugger all grass has arrived just a butt load of weeds. Not to mention it is still soggy in some places when even the soggy paddocks where Fox is now have dried out. but I'm hating it out where I am.

Here is my carefully thought out pro and con list.

New Grazing

-Close to house which saves time and fuel and I don't need to feel guilty about going out twice a day if I need to.
-Somewhere to store my stuff. I could finally move my stuff out of the garage and into a container they have there.
-Close to local equestrian park. The all weather arena is locked but I have access to everything else.
-Other horses near by. I don't really want Fox on his own though sometimes it does seem easier. - Shade

- Grass is rubbish
- The fencing is not really suitable for horses. There's a bit of post and rail but that also has wires running in the gaps, the rest is deer fencing - bad and tensioned 7 strand fences - bad.
- Fireworks. Houses all round have fireworks at Guy Fawkes and probably at New Years too. He would either have to get used to them, (me too), but it's not really the safest place for that or I would have to move him in and out of town.
- Location. The paddock is surrounded by three houses and one boundary is next to a relatively busy road. Not peaceful to say the least.
- Wet and soggy underfoot still. I was glad to see the last of the mud and I don't really want any more.

Current Grazing
- Location. It is up a quiet valley road, plenty of orchards riding and quiet road riding easily accessible.
- Grass, lots of it and good horse grass too mostly
- No fireworks!
- Fencing is two sometimes three strand low tension wire. Good posts apart from a couple of warrants.
- Two of the paddocks are a hill, good because it gives him a workout

- The arena is always closed and now I'm wanting to get lessons, it is going to be a pain in the butt
- The owner, still weird.
- Fox keeps stressing out whenever the one other horse that is there leaves. I turn up and he's covered in sweat and the skid marks he leaves are rather alarming.
- Two of the paddocks are a hill, bad cause the sight of him running full tilt down said hill is enough to give me heart palpitations
- Distance, it takes time and petrol to get there. Though if I start biking it'll just take time.
- Nowhere to put my stuff which means if I bike I have to ride bareback
- Good shade in only one of the paddocks, the other two have piddly sometime shade

To me, it kind of looks like out there is better for Fox, apart from his tendencies to nut out when he is left behind, and in town is better for me. Really, I should put Fox first. But is leaving him out there to charge at fences really the safest thing? I have no idea, I am so confused. What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Rehab Plan

Well September flew by.

Apart from getting Fox cleared for riding, I really haven't achieved much due to absolutely horrendous weather. A storm the size of Australia battered New Zealand and caused havoc. We got off lightly in the top of the South and we had snow, hail and icy cold gale force winds for two weeks. Not fun. Southland had intense snowfall and freezing temperatures. My thoughts go out to all the stock that lost their new lives, 500,000 lambs. Up North, many places lost power and had roofs blowing off. And the last few days, there has been more hardcore rain and flooding in the local area.

But in saying that, I have been for a grand total of 3 glorious rides. Fox is pretty stoked about them too. He'll barely stand still for me to hop on.

The rehab plan for this month is a not as structured as my last ones have been but I'm aiming to do pole work 2 days a week, stretches and massage two days a week and the rest of the time just hacking building up length and adding some trot work and transitions in.

I'm also keen to get a lesson every few weeks to try and get Fox working his body properly. Poles will help and so should the transitions but I'm pretty inexperienced in that area since I'm more of a hop on and go kind of rider so an experienced eye will make the difference I think.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Updated Horsie Wish List

Leather bitless bridle for Fox - I'm still not sure what style I would like to go with as I'm not sure about the crossunder style for Fox. There's so many different types now!

Saddle for Fox - This could possibly be changed to getting a good saddle fitting as his topline is really starting to look good.

Proper equine first aid kit - Still need most stuff but I've got a few things

Rasp and hoof knife now I'm getting my head round trimming a bit more. Need a sharpener too.

Gloves 2x - one for trimming, one for riding

Wheel barrow - my current one is falling apart and is literally being held together with electric fence tape

Riding Lessons! - not quite yet but very soon.

I would love a proper tack shed and a paddock shelter but they are really just a dream since we don't own our own place yet. One day........

And if we're on the topic of dreams a float too!

We're in the process of getting hopefully a nice towing vehicle though the BF's ute does an ok job just round town.

Bareback pad - Lovely present from BF, looking forward to some good rides in it!
Chiropractor for Fox - No longer needed!!!!
Breastplate for Smurf - I got one, should probably sell it now I don't have the little guy.
Girth for Smurf - Ditto
Poo picking gloves - Simple things make an unpleasant experience so much better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great Success!!

Had Fox's physio appointment today. After a rocky start things shaped up really well. The appointment was supposed to be at 9.30 so I turned up at the paddock at 9 so I could give the mud monster a good groom. Got a message saying sorry can't be there till 10. Ok cool, thanks for letting me know. I gave Fox a super good groom which took till 9.40. Sweet just enough time to give him a quick handgraze.

10 rolls around, still no sign. 10.05, nothing, 10.15, still nothing. At 10.20 I text her and asked how far away she was. Didn't hear anything back but 5 minutes later she was there. So feeling more than a bit put out I just tried to be polite. I do my best writing first thing in the morning so wasting an hour really peeved me off. Fox didn't mind though cause it meant he could stuff his belly full.

She was lovely as usual so my annoyance didn't last for too long. Until she saw Fox's feet and said I needed to get shoes on there as soon as possible. Um no thanks. I just smiled and nodded thinking that would be it but she did rant on about it for quite some time. I really wanted to say to her, there are reasons my horse is barefoot and will continue that way so thanks for the advice but no thanks. She is right about one thing though, his near hind does need attention, the M/L balance has gone out again after being good for a while. Apparently if I trim that side frequently, I should be able to keep on top of it between proper trims. Will be starting tonight!

Anyhow, onto the good news. Fox has been completely cleared for riding, she said he is more than ready and good on you for being cautious but it really wasn't necessary. He isn't stiff, you're just overthinking things. So that's one big fat YAY. She said he is feeling and looking really good and there are only two spots that need attention. One on each side of his last ribs and down behind his shoulders. She said keep up the massage twice a week to keep him supple and you'll be good to go. No restrictions on circles or gait. I'm so stoked. I'll still keep it slow and steady but I might be able to speed up my rehab plan a wee bit which would be really great.

I might even try and sneak a ride in after work tomorrow providing the weather is good. It has been so crappy lately it's not funny. I'm so over rain and mud and wetness. Another good point, Fox has come through this winter with no mud fever, he does have a touch of thrush but I'm onto that.

An update on Smurf. He's doing good today, had a few minor attacks over the last few days but got through them himself. He's now completely off hay to control his COPD and is moving to some new grazing in case it is the change in pasture causing the colic. He is really in the best possible home right now. I'm still so mad at his old owners for putting him through that. I just keep thinking if they had let me buy him when I wanted to, all this would have been prevented. But then I wouldn't have Fox.

Another thing the physio said you've come on a real journey with this horse, had a real learning experience. Which jogged my memory about this from the Jumping Percheron blog

The Five Horses We Meet in Life

1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…

4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…

My Intro horse, a wee chestnut something or other with a blaze called..... Blaze. Tiny, lazy, feisty. The best pony to learn on. On him I progressed from learning to walk, trot and canter to riding out in the orchard and going for my first runs which were the only time he ever enjoyed going fast.

My Experimental horse was a pretty dun QHxTB bred for barrel racing but wasn't fast enough. Her name was Clover and she was the sweetest horse ever. I definitely tried a lot of new things on her, gaining confidence and learning how to push out of your comfort zone. She helped me tremendously when I was going through my early teenaged angst years. At the time, she was the only thing that made me happy. Sadly I gave up riding when I was about 15 though I can't remember why now.

My Connected horse is definitely Smurf. We just had such a good bond. He would do things for that he wouldn't do for anyone else and we came such a long way with his training. If I could have bought him, I have no doubt he could have become my deepest heart.

Fox is my Challenger, for sure. I have learned so, so much and I am so very grateful for the experience I have had with him. As well as learning about horses and Fox in particular, I've also learned a huge amount about myself. I would like to think Fox could become my Deepest Heart but for Fox and I, I think it's early days yet.

Friday, September 10, 2010


If you know the start of my story with Fox, you will know that I experienced this once before. Now I and the new owner of Smurf are getting to experience it again.

The poor wee guy is very ill. He coliced on Monday night and they were close to losing him. He pulled through only to colic again yesterday and is having problems with his breathing. The vets suspect it is parasites causing the problem at this stage so he in on a long course of wormer.

His new owner is obviously worried and distressed, doing everything she can trying to find out what is going on. I was told when he arrived at the end of April that he had just been wormed so I didn't worm him. He was due when the the new owner picked him up so he was wormed a week later. The place where he originally came from have a worming program but it is the standard Ivomectin drench that is bought in bulk, they just fill up a backpack and squirt a bit down the horses throats. They don't rotate drenches, their schedule is highly variable and who knows if the horses are getting the right dosage. Knowing this I should have wormed him. But I didn't.

I also remembered that the old owner had given me some homeopathic stuff because Smurf had been ill last Winter eventually being diagnosed with a hay or pollen allergy. I never had any problems so forgot about the stuff. Having the little guy so ill made me remember it so I passed it on to the new owner. She did a bit of investigative work by calling the homeopath and found that Smurf had nearly died in January. Turns out he was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD by the vets and she had helped treat him. I also found out that he was still being used as a guide horse whilst being on the brink of death. I felt really sick and wanted to cry. The homeopath reckons it was possibly from the moldy hay they were feeding him which she saw with her own two eyes.

Needless to say, we are all highly upset and disgusted that this condition was passed off as an 'allergy' when it is clearly so much more. As the new owner said, at least he is in a place now that he can get the proper care and treatment. But still, it really just makes me so wild.

At this stage the wee fellow is holding up ok but it is really touch and go so any good thoughts you want to send will be much appreciated.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September Rehab Plan

It's Spring and it's WARM. There's that Spring smell in the air and things look wonderful. Or they would look more wonderful If I wasn't still swamped with assignments.

Well week one has kind of slipped by me. I've been super busy with assignments and life in general. So starting from week 2 (which we are half way through now LOL) here goes

Week 2:

Monday - 30 mins handwalk and stretches
Tuesday - 30 mins handwalk and stretches
Wednesday - 30 mins handwalk and stretches
Thursday - stretches and handgrazing
Friday - stretches and hand grazing
Saturday - stretches and pole work
Sunday - Day off, mostly for me LOL

Week 3:

Monday - 30 mins handwalking and stretches
Tuesday - 30 min hanwalking and stretches
Wednesday - Physio appointment!!! Very excited
Thursday - stretches and handgrazing
Friday - stretches and handgrazing
Saturday - 30 mins riding
Sunday - stretches and ridden pole work

Week 4

Monday - 30 mins riding and stretches
Tuesday - ridden pole work with stretches
Wednesday - 30 minutes riding with stretches
Thursday - stretches and hand grazing
Friday - stretches and handgrazing
Saturday - ridden pole work and stretches
Sunday - 30 mins ride

Week 5

Monday - 30 mins riding with 5 minutes of trot
Tuesday - ridden pole work with 5 mins of trot
Wednesday - 30 minutes riding with 5 minutes of trot
Thursday - handgrazing and stretches
Friday- handgrazing and stretches
Saturday - ridden pole work with 5 mins of trot
Sunday - We'll see what happens

Looks a bit boring doesn't it but slow and steady wins the race right? I will evaluate when we get there whether I feel that it's ok to trot. At this stage I think it will be, Fox is progressing so fast but I will reserve judgement until we reach that point.