Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

Wolfie the Wonder Horse!
Wolfie, 24/02/08

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Creature comforts

As I was driving up to the stables on Tuesday night, Wolfie spotted the car and came cantering over. As I watched him, I thought he didn't look quite level. I got him in and he had pulled a front shoe. He's only done that once before, last year. The girl that works at the stables said he had been galloping around quite a bit during the day and noising up the other horses. He seemed quite sore on it, so I texted the farrier to try and get him out asap. Luckily he was just passing the stables on his way home when he got my message, so he came up and checked his foot and put another shoe on. The shoe had came off clean and not taken any of the hoof with it. There was no swelling or heat anywhere. He was walking better with the shoe on but still seemed a little stiff. can only think he's either twisted something carrying on or given himself a stone bruise. I gave him some arnica and turned him back out. He was better yesterday, but I decided to just bring him in and stable him at night. The other horses aren't being brought in until Sunday now, but if Wolfie is bored, there's not much grass in the field, he just gets up to mischief. Hopefully, if he gets hay overnight and his breakfast, he will be less inclined to go out in the morning and cause mayhem during the day.

This last week he's been increasingly reluctant to go back down to the field at night. Wolfie's good at making his feelings known. I still wondered though, if he would take a few nights to settle to being in, but no, he seemed absolutely delighted. He had a good roll in his new bed and stood quietly eating his hay. When I went down to give him one last check he didn't lift his head as if to say 'If I can't see her, she can't see me and I won't be getting put back out'. For all he likes to be out in the field and he needs daily turnout with the other horses, he likes his comforts. Although, I think I might have taken the wind out of his sails a little tonight. I soaked his hay, just precautionary more than anything, but he looked gravely disappointed when I put it in his stable. No doubt, it will have been dragged and trampled through his bed when I get there tomorrow.

I love Wolfie's exuberance, enthusiasm and spirit. I love how he will just jump the stream instead of crossing further down, I love how he gallops around just for fun. It's part of what makes him who he is. However, sometimes when I see him galloping downhill in a muddy wet field at break neck speed, with my heart in my mouth, I think, Geez Wolfie, just walk will you. At these moments, I just want to wrap him in cotton wool, put him in his stable and keep him there. But he's a horse and he has to be allowed to be a horse. Time to get back into the mucking out routine. Summer goes so quickly.

Monday, 19 October 2009

One of the other girl's at the yard had set up some Le Trec obstacles in the school. I took Wolfie in for a little play around. He was very good, the work with the tarpaulin has paid off. He walked across it with only slight hesitation. The first time it was as though he was walking on hot coals, but he didn't back off it. We did each obstacle individually a few times at walk and tried a couple of them in trot. We then did them all as a course in walk. I really want to take him to a training day. I am under no illusion that he will complete all obstacles, even at walk as there will be too much going on and alot for him to take in, but I am sure that he will love it.

The last few days have been lovely. I love hacking on autumn days when it is quite cold and the horses are walking on crisp leaves. I've been trying not to get Wolfie sweated up this last week, not wanting him to get a chill while he's still out. With his winter coat, it's not easy, but my clippers should be here soon. Wolfie has been great fun. I love nothing better than to hack him out, he loves to explore and his enthusiasm is infectious. His ears are constantly pricked and he is so aware of everything around him. We went for a hack on Sunday with another girl from the yard. Wolfie leads all the time as he walks much quicker than my friends horse. On Sunday I was tacked up first, so I got on and was waiting for H. Wolfie couldn't curb his enthusiasm and wss bouncing around the yard in anticipation to get going. He was on his toes the whole time we were out and quite spooky. We even went into single file for a bit along the road on the way home with Wolfie still in front and he was great. Sometimes I feel like I am constantly half halting and slowing him down, but he has an incredibly fast walk. I remember when I first backed and sat on him. He would be just walking, but I constantly felt as though he was about to take off with me until I realised that he just had a very fast walk. I also can't let my mind wander for a second with him. He likes to take his own route and will take sharp turns onto different tracks in the blink of an eye.

I'm looking forward to clipping him. I don't know how good he will be. I borrowed some clippers last year and gave him a little bib clip to get him used to the clippers. He wasn't too bad, so hopefully this time won't be a problem.

The horses come in on Friday, back to mucking out.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bit by Bit

I haven't posted in a while, but Wolfie and I have been keeping busy. I'm still having issues with the bit. I've been riding in a Sprenger KK ultra augarian metal bit which has been OK, but I'm still not happy. Having tried various bits including snaffles, happy mouth, french link and rubber, I settled on this. I may be being slightly pedantic here, when I say he's not happy, I just feel he's not entirely comfortable. He's not in real discomfort, he readily accepts his bit and will work willingly. It's so slight that on the ground, it's probably not that noticeable, but I can feel it. Wolfie's a chewer by nature. If he's not chomping on the bit, he will chew his reins. But it's the same problem that I've felt since he first started being bitted. I don't want to go down the road yet of putting a flash or drop noseband on him to just clamp his mouth shut. I think he has got a low palette and he does have a big lump of a tongue and just doesn't have much space for the bit to sit.

I've been getting advice from the Myler people (who have been very helpful) and am considering getting a Myler bit. Firstly though, the dentist is back out in November so whilst he's here, I'm going to ask him to give me a full oral anatomy of Wolfie's mouth. His mouth will have gone through a lot of changes since the dentist was last here, so I really want him checked.

I've been back riding in the Dually halter and am going to buy a bitless bridle. I don't really have a problem riding bitless, if that's the way it ends up, but it irks me about the rules of competing - bitless bridles are illegal for many disciplines. Wolfie works well in the Dually and I'm confident hacking him out in it - most of the time. A couple of weeks ago I hacked him up the hills, asked him to canter and he rodeoed like a professional. It was early in the morning, there had been a drop in temperature and he was just in high spirits, but he came close to getting me off. The next day he performed a lovely canter pirouette and then half pass in excitement when two unknown horses trotted past us. His athletic ability astounds me sometimes. The half pass was perfectly executed and he felt so strong and powerful crossing over behind. Unfortunately at that time we were supposed to be trotting forwards, but he made me laugh ........ once I regained some control.

Wolfie's winter coat is growing thick and fast. I want to give him a blanket clip in November and am looking at buying some second hand clippers on EBay. I've never bought anything electrical from EBay, so I'm a bit apprehensive they won't work. I also need to get a move on and get him kitted out with a couple of stable rugs and a thicker turn out. Wolfie had outgrown most of his rugs by last winter so I have to replace them. No bargains to be found on EBay, looks like everyone has the same idea.

Buttons already has such a thick coat he looks like a little bear. He's settled in nicely, actually you would think he'd always been there. He seems very happy and contented. He loves to be scratched and he will happily groom you back. I got Buttons a little turn out rug. I don't really think he needs rugged, being a sturdy shetland, but he hates the rain and being wet. It's just a sheet to keep him dry. I tried it on him and he freaked Wolfie out wearing it.

Only another few weeks and the horses will be in for winter. I love crisp autumn days, I actually prefer it to summer. The aim for winter is to keep Wolfie in as much consistent work as possible, weather permitting. Schooling and ground work during the week and hacking at the weekends when it's daylight. I'm aiming to do a couple of the Kelly Marks winter Le Trec training days, give us something to work towards.