Saturday, October 30, 2010

Grooming business

The sun's out today and the rain looks like staying away for at least 24 hours, so I took the opportunity to take all rugs off. The mob instantly split into pairs for the serious business of mutual grooming, getting at all those places which must have been hiding under the rugs.
Maybellene was dislodging handfalls of thick white coat on Cloud's rump, while Cloud was attending to that spot just behind Maybel's wither!
Pan found clumps of coat near Laddie's wither, but Laddie mustn't have been finding all the right spots, as Pan went for a tree-rub for his neck/shoulder, and sought out a sapling to scratch his belly!!
Gracie was more placid and ladylike, though she did indulge in a bath in the dam, this time getting Pan to join her for mudpacks. Maybellene got her feet wet this time, but Cloud and Laddie were'nt so fussed about getting wet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Brought Paeon home again this evening. He came home for a week then went back to Emma for a week and is now home again.
Emma was excited to show off his progress on the flat. She says he came back in to work after his week away with an established, slower canter, which is feeling like a real 'rockinghorse' ride. She showed off his leg-yielding in the trot, even, across the whole width of the arena, leg-yielding in canter, counter canter loops off the long-side, and then beautifully balanced canter and counter-canter circles off both leads.
His musculature is changing with the progressive gymnastic exercises. He is super fit; loves his work..and looks a picture!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rain, and consequences

Cloud is still growing; taller than Maybellene now, and she,too, has grown again since she's been back in work!!

'Twas supposed to be Jump Club at Maitland Showground today, but with about 20ml of rain overnight and continuing today, it's off. Dressage at Alexander Park is probably off too, which the North Kaludah crew were set for.
Yesterday, Saturday, was beautiful weather. I brought Maybellene home for about a month's break whilst Christine and Jeremy concentrate on the Dressage Championships at SIEC next weekend and then Equitana at Melbourne after that. North Kaludah apprentice, Megan Riley, enjoyed a couple of rides on Maybellene and will probably prepare her for a Young Rider's competition when she gets back to work.

Pan was supposed to be jumping today but the weather has put paid to that. Emma rang before 7am, with truck 'all packed and nowhere to go', so she's riding him, early, at home. She says he's working beautifully and is going to be a "really, really good jumper"!!! Heath suggests trying to get a late entry to Camden Horse Trials for next weekend before bringing him home as he's ready for the task.
What if it rains?? The ground is soaking it up and the garden is thriving, but other plans keep shifting. Oh well!! I'd love to see him competing again!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More of Pan

More photos form Wingham, Pan's first ever Horse Trials outing!
Galloping x-country,
eyeing the water,
coming around a corner into a vertical,
setting up for a jump,
and Emma checking the clock; Woops! bit fast!!!

Young Raquel came to try Pan on Monday night after school.
Only just 13 years old (Had her birthday on Saturday!) she very sensibly watched Emma schooling him on the x-country training paddock and got her eye in before riding. Pan was enjoying himself so much that Emma introduced 2 new jumps in and out of the water!!! A 1 metre "drop" and another Pre-Novice level jump over a vertical pallisade into the water..and he loved it.
Then Raquel got the feel of him on the lunge (she's stepping up from a great little eventing pony she's growing out of) before she jumped some logs, bounce, apex under Emma's guidance and encouragement. Pan and Raquel looked really well suited and as Raquel got the feel for him she stepped up and proceeded to master the bank and bounce, mound and apex, ditch, trakhener and multiple versions of the water complex, ending up with Preliminary Level bounce into a drop and a jump out. They both looked to be absolutely having a ball!!
Then horse and rider walked back up to the indoor arena, changed gear and proceeded to have a dressage lesson. Some really beautiful work!! Young Raquel is an excellent student; absolutely "listened" to Emma and responded to all did Pan.
She's yet to try him show-jumping....but I was so proud of Paeon, and hope she's fallen in love with him!! They look to be really well suited.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Took Pan back to Heatherbrae for a top-up before another "trial" on Monday.
With Emma away at Goulburn ODE, young Georgie will give him a couple of rides till Emma's back.
It was great to see him go straight back to work after a week in the paddock, and cope with a new rider without any issues. It took Georgie about 15 minutes to figure out what she could ask of him; they did some really soft, settled work!
(Photos from his first event at Wingham, courtesy of Terry Inkson, and Barry McGregor Photography.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Super cool Saddlebred athlete!

Pictured at Scone One Day Event. This was only Paeon's 3rd ever competition! He really enjoyed it; couldn't wait to get started...and then was SO!!! focussed in all three phases. Dressage on Saturday, just after lunch, (needed 20 minutes work to "settle" and accept that it was all routine work that he knew well and could do...easily!), then Cross-country late on the Saturday afternoon; lots of waiting around as the staters ere running late, by this time, but this was just a 'breeze'! Great fun. Then Sunday, midday, Show-jumping...had to re-focus twice when the entry line-up queue was re-numbered with a change of officials, so it wasn't the optimum opportunity Emma was geared up for,and he tipped a rail..just a green error. (If he had another round he'd have fixed it!! Next time, Mum!!)

This is one budding athlete!!
I need to find him a like-minded partner!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Brought "Pan" home today.
He has changed so much! He went off to Emma to see whether he could jump, and has proved himself to be a budding young athlete. He's had 1 dressage competition, 4 visits to jump club and 2 eventing starts at Newcomers and Introductory level and he has taken everything in his stride. Loves the work and continues to rise to any challenge.
He's come home looking like a well-honed athlete, "ripped" to the max! He's lost just about all his winter coat and his colour has darkened to a rich liver chestnut.
Cloud and Laddie were impressed!!! He's such a steady type; it only took about 15 minutes for the others to accept him back again. He doesn't confront anyone; just 'waits' for the right moment to move into the group.

He's on the market, looking for a human partner.
He was trialled twice last week and Emma was delighted that he didn't put a foot wrong when ridden by a young 13 year old on the flat, over jumps indoors, and on the cross-country paddock.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gracie's Pretence

How does that work? Gracie's conception date was September 12, 2009, so she and I have been having daily (at least) chats whilst awaiting the arrival of her foal, since her milk started coming in at the beginning of August. The udder filled up over time, and I was convinced it had to be a boy, coming late, as time went by.
She's shown ALL the signs of imminent birth at various times; restless, lying down, looking at her flanks, kicking at her belly. dropped muscles at croup, belly bump dropped forward, off her food, off her drink, waxed up teats, even some (little) relaxation of the vulva (or was that my imagination??)
She's enjoyed tummy rubs and me listening to the movements in her flanks, left side mainly so I gathered his back was against the right side.

Anyway, she seems to have perpetuated one giant hoax!! Another 'phantom pregnancy', She did it before, going in foal in the January after EI, but I figured that was probably because her hormones were confused with the number of injections the stud used to organise her service to suit their own timetable, and I don't remember movement in the flanks last time!
This time she came naturally into season, was served naaturally and went straight in foal. And size developed over the last year as expected.

How does that happen?? The body must have terrific "muscle memory" to go through all those stages, preparing for a birth that doesn't eventuate!!
She seems to be convinced nothing's happening now! I let her in with the mob last week and she straightaway went for a bath in the dam, rolled, then had a kick up and a gallop and tried to convince the others to enter the water. No Way!!!
SHe's very well!! She's been standing around, being a pregnant old lady for a good many months ..and now it looks as if she's sick of that image. Over the last three days, she's been regularly having bursts of exercise, careering around the paddock at full gallop; beginning to look quite trim!!!
Was that big belly just the result of a sedentary lifestyle??

Well, I guess she's enjoying retirement already; but she's developed a liking for the quiet chats and comes up, without the others, to have a back/tummy rub. Funny girl!!!