Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

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

Sunday, 24 January 2010

We're back in the game!

I rode Wolfie today for the first time in around 10 weeks. I've been doing a little ground work during the week with him, I lunged him last weekend in an effort to let him burn off any excess energy. He had a complete carry onto himself and after 10 minutes of him cantering around uncontrollaby and not showing any signs of slowing down or tiring, I just gave up. Wasn't doing either of us any good. I was a little apprehensive sitting on him today, he's never had such a long time off work, so I wasn't quite sure how he would react. It was a mixture of excitement and anticipation though as I have been desperate to ride him. I concentrated on my breathing and keeping my adrenalin levels low. Monty Roberts talks alot about this and it really does work, it makes sense really. He was a little tense when I got on, and the walking off as I was mounting raised it's ugly head again. I had been working hard at consistently making him stand when I mounted and waiting until he was asked to walk on. He has a habit off walking off at an alarming pace when I have one foot in the stirrup. However, hopefully it will just take a few reminder sessions, it was the first day back after the holidays after all. All in all he felt brilliant. He's lost the condition and muscle he did have, but he felt strong and responsive. We only walked for twenty minutes on a loose rein in the school. He had a few hairy moments and outbursts of speed, but nothing bad. He's had his new bit in several times, just standing in the stable for 15 minutes at a time to let him get used to it, so we will see what the next few weeks bring with the ridden work. I'm just going to take it easy, walking this week, increasing the time. I'll keep him in the school and then hopefully at the weekend I'll hack him out if he's being sensible. I'm a strong believer in that you only get out of horses what you put into them. I feel so enthusiastic, excited and optimistic about this year. I want to put the work in and I have so many plans and expectations for us. One big bug bearer I'm going to have to address is the road. If I want to be able to vary our hacking routes and introduce longer rides and faster fittening work, I have to get him along that 100 yards of road safely. On one hand I was disappointed that I have been unable to work Wolfie for such a long period of time and he's not as fit as I'd have liked him to be at this stage (he's completely unfit now), however I don't think it ever does any harm for any horse to have a break, especially a young horse. He's still very green, but the basics are installed in him. We certainly haven't taken any steps back after the time off, so we can only move forward and I can't wait.

Monday, 4 January 2010

How cold my toes...................

Actually, how cold my toes, ears, nose, fingers, everything is freezing. I've had enough of the arctic conditions now, the rain and mud no longer seem quite so bad. The yard is like an ice rink. Fortunately, the longest Wolfie has gone so far without being able to be turned out is 2 days. On the second day of being confined to the stable I turned him out loose in the school. He couldn't stay in any longer. As much as I adore Wolfie, he is hard work if he doesn't get turn out or exercise. To give him his due when I took him out of his stable that night, he was walking like he was on hot coals, but he didn't pull me or drag me about. It was a bit like walking next to an unexploded bomb, but he managed to contain himself until I turned him loose. He then went bananas and managed to smash a rail of the school fence bucking and kicking out.

Christmas now seems like a distant memory. Wolfie did very well. He got a set of equilibrium all sport boots and a Thermatex rug. Note to Wolfie... please, please don't rip it. Best of all, my dad got us the Sprenger Dynamic. I have tried it on him, but have had no chance of being able to ride, so at the moment all I can do is look at it. I have many plans and goals for this year, which I will blog about later. In the short term, I just want to get Wolfie back to where he was 6 weeks ago and build up his fitness. A good few days groundwork will be required before I get back on. Wolfie has been demonstrating his famous vertical corkscrew bucks alot lately and I don't want to begin the New Year in plaster cast. Apparently this weather is to last another fortnight. I'm so fed up, I just want to ride my horse.

I got some money for Christmas, which I have decided to use to buy Wolfie a bridle. Derby House had a sale on their bridles after Christmas so I went along to have a look. I was very disappointed. Wolfie currently wears an old bridle that I have put together from various spare pieces. The cheek pieces are a different width to the head piece, and the leather has stretched so the holes are no longer even. The keepers are all broken and although it has served it's purpose, it's really time I replaced it. It would appear that you can no longer buy individual parts of bridles to make up a bridle, you have to buy the complete bridle in a cob or full size. True to form, Wolfie needs a full size bridle, but cob sized cheek pieces so I am unable to buy a complete bridle off the peg. I've been online looking at various bridles and it amazes me that the majority of bridles are sold with a flash noseband. I have decided I like the Sabre Cordoba comfort bridle with a cavesson noseband. I have emailed Sabre to ask if any of their retailers will customise the bridle and sell it with cob size cheek pieces. I really don't want to spend all that money on a bridle (which doesn't come with reins) to then have to buy another set of cheek pieces. Fingers crossed.

Buttons has been enjoying this weather. By enjoying it I mean, he likes the extended time he has been spending in his stable eating. He is designed for this and has absolutely no problem walking on the snow, ice etc. For Christmas he got two very small holed haynets. I have doubled his net in an effort to slow him down. He eats so quickly and he is still on a restricted diet. I really want him going into summer on the light side. Buttons goals for this year are to have a bit back in, continue with Zoe riding and I am thinking of teaching him to drive. It would be fun and another way of exercising him, helping control his weight. I had thought that I would ride Wolfie and lead him out, but Wolfie isn't really established enough yet to be a lead horse. He's also too sharp and I really need to have my full concentration on him when I'm riding him. Will just see how it goes.