Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

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

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mad as a March hare

The weather has been amazing this week and with the nights getting longer, I've actually been able to work Wolfie every night this week. Spring is here and Wolfie knows it. He's been somewhat 'difficult' this week. I'm putting it down to the change in season, better weather, increased daylight. The grass is growing in the summer field, there is greenery sprouting everywhere and he's still stuck in his winter field which is completely poached. He's bored and when Wolfie gets bored it means only one thing, mischief. I managed to get him out for a slightly longer hack on Monday and Tuesday. Both times as soon as I've got on and started walking, I've known straight away that he's been looking for an 'excuse' to be silly. He got it on Monday when a rabbit darted out from under a fence across his path. He shied violently sideways, span around and managed to set J. off too. He then took off, I pulled him up and he stuck his head between his knees and bucked. He was then pretty well behaved for the rest of the hack but this has set the presedence as he now stares at the area where the rabbit was constantly waiting for another one, as rabbits bounce around there all the time, he doesn't have to wait long till one appears and then he spooks. It's in good spirits and seems almost like a game to him. Not a game I enjoy though. If he wasn't quite so excuberant about his games, it wouldn't be so bad.

He was shod yesterday and was pretty naughty. He was fidgeting, spooking at nothing and at one point span and took off. I didn't even realise what was happening until he screeched to a halt about 10 yards along and my feet hit the ground. He then casually walked back like nothing had happened. I lunged him last night and tonight I schooled him. He's on a complete fibre diet, he doesn't get any concentrates and he certainly won't be until, well until I feel that he requires it, despite his increasing workload. Hopefully after the clocks change this week I'll be able to work him for longer.

I brought him in tonight and tied him up at the trailer with a haynet and left him there whilst I mucked out, just keeping an eye on him. He was relaxed and just stood eating his hay, even when the other horses were brought in from the field. I will start tying him up at the trailer and tacking him up as at the moment he only ever gets tacked up in his stable.

He worked well in the school tonight. I worked him in and walk and trot and then we worked the last twenty minutes in walk, concentrating on just asking him to relax and soften. I have to be much more consistent in my rein contact and clearer in what I'm asking him. For all he is full of bravado, he doesn't like to make mistakes or get it 'wrong' and worries and tenses. A couple of times I felt that I had confused him tonight and I really don't want to do that when he is trying. Like most young horses he takes time to warm up and settle, but I always seem to get the best work out of him in the last 5 minutes of any session. I got off, slackened his girth and we did a little leg yield and shoulder in, backing up and just placing his feet in hand which he seemed to really enjoy.

Buttons is great. He's the slimmest he's ever been. His coat is coming out thick and fast, every time I brush him, mountains of hair comes out, but when you look at him, his coat just looks as thick and huge as ever. The farrier commented yesterday on how well he was looking.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Without a hitch

I hitched the trailer up on Friday to have a little practice loading Wolfie. I wasn't really too sure what he would make of it this time. However, I needn't have worried, he bounced up the ramp bursting with enthusiasm. I tied him up and he had a little sniff and a look around. He ate a couple of carrots and I took him back off. He actually looked a bit bemused when I led him back down the ramp, I think he thought he was going somewhere!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Trailer happy!

An amazing thing has happened. I have a trailer, my very own trailer! It still hasn't sunk in and even as I type this, it still doesn't seem real. We picked it up last night and today as I was mucking out, every time I walked past it, I smiled at it. This really is a dream come true and will enable me to do so much more with Wolfie. This wouldn't have been at all possible if it hadn't been for the kindness of my family, for which I am so grateful. It's an Ifor Williams 505 Hunter. I think it will take a while before it really feels like ours. Like my saddle for example. Although I loved my saddle from the minute I got it, now that it has been used and broken in, there are creases in the leather and a few marks, it feels completely like our saddle and I love it even more if that's possible. I feel like I know it and I trust it.

So Wolfie and Buttons have got some wheels. I need to take it out a few times empty just to get used to towing it and build my confidence up. I'll hitch it up and practice loading. Wolfie has never had a problem loading in the past for the few times he has been in a trailer (touch wood) so hopefully that will continue to be the case. I can't even begin to explain how excited I am.

I've managed to ride Wolfie almost every night this week. He's been very good. I'm concentrating again on building his confidence. The word 'can't' is not in our training vocabulary. He's enjoying getting out. I have started introducing trot along the straight, flat parts of the fields. He bounces into trot and takes off in extended trot, on Monday I was half halting and asking him to soften, slow and bring his weight back every second or third stride, tonight it was every 6 or 7 strides, so it is improving but it's time to get into the school a few nights a week now and continue his education.

He's been out without his rug on every day this week as it has been dry and fairly mild during the day. It will now take a chisel to get all the caked dried mud off. He doesn't entertain any sort of brushes or grooming. I use a very soft body brush and a sheepskin mit to do his saddle and girth area. The rest of him can stay dirty for the moment.