Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

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

Sunday, 30 December 2012

'Life isn't about waiting for the sun to shine, it's about learning to dance in the rain'

Christmas is over and the New Year is just around the corner.  It is still raining.  I mentioned in my last post that Wolfie seemed to be very itchy and rubbing his tail.  I was going ahead to treat it as pinworm, however he seemed to be itching at his sides and back and not just rubbing his tail.  I had checked through his coat thoroughly and couldn't find anything and his coat looked clean, no scurf or dandruff.  I decided to clip away some of his hair and found tiny little black scabby lumps and bigger swollen lumps which looked like hives.  I ended up giving him a full body clip.  I washed him down and gave him Piriton and have been applying his skin balm.  The hives have gone down and tiny scabs have came off across his back leaving bare skin.  He does seem to be a bit less itchy but I have no idea what this is.  It came on very suddenly.  Nothing has changed in his routine, feeding or management.  His coat looked in good condition and there was no evidence of anything bug like (I did Deosect him last week just incase).  I don't use any sprays or anything on him.  I'll probably give him another Ivermectin Wormer and if it doesn't clear, I'll call the Vet.  There will be no riding for a while as it's right across his back, although we haven't been doing anything anyway due to the weather.      

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Some very wet Christmas photographs!  Santa came to Wolfie and the ponies....the stockings obviously worked.  I hung them up, took a few photos and then went down to Wolfie's stable to give him his carrot.  When I came back, the stockings had gone.  Honey was standing in the stable.  I went in and looked over the partition and there was Buttons trying to rake through the stockings, having pulled them both off the door.  There was nothing in them, he obviously wasn't patient enough to wait until Santa had been!

Wolfie has become very itchy over the last few days and last night he was getting quite distressed.  I can't see anything on his coat, but I put Deosect on him last night and tomorrow he's getting clipped and bathed.  Poor Wolfie.  Nothing has changed in his diet or routine and he's recently had a worm count done which was fine.  I turned him out without his rug today and I thought the first thing he would want to do would be to roll, but he didn't which I thought was quite strange.

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

This picture was taken in the summer, the only day it didn't rain I think.  Wolfie has lost a fair amount of weight since then.  First job for the New Year will to be get the saddler out and get my saddle re-fitted. 

So the ice has melted, the temperature has gone up and we now have non stop rain and flooding.  Wolfie is fine, he looks really well.  He has lost approximately 15Kg since he was last weighed.  If I could get him into some sort of consistent work now and start building some muscle it would be fantastic.  But as the weather dictates what work we do, he is currently on his winter holiday.  I have been continuing with his stretches in the stable at night and have been giving him massages (I got a really good book as an early Christmas present).  I always struggle with this time of year.  I find it really mundane, virtually no riding, it's so dark I rarely get to see the horses in daylight and spring seems a lifetime away.  It seems worse this year as the summer was so wet and miserable, the horses have been stabled at night since July. I'll need to try and get some up to date pictures of Wolfie, he's lovely and dappley this year.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

"If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance"

So it would seem that winter is well and truely here.  Wolfie has been holed up in his stable for the last 2 days, eating large amounts of very expensive hay.  The yard is like an ice rink and even if we had managed to walk the horses to the field, the fields themselves and the gateways were treacherous.  I turned the ponies out for a couple of hours yesterday, they have better grip being barefoot, but are also small enough to walk on the tiniest of verges to get some grip.  The field was like concrete and very rutted so they weren't overly impressed and I could hear them shouting as I was mucking out to go back up and get them in.  It was a little warmer yesterday and as the ice began to thaw, huge amounts of grit was put down so fingers crossed the temperature has stayed above freezing and the horses will get out today.  2 days is about the maximum I get away with keeping Wolfie in.  It's not even like I can take him out and walk him.  He is very good but if he's kept in again today, he will start climbing the walls......or the stable door.  It's not easy being a horse owner, every season with it's various weather conditions brings its worries.  Now winter, frozen grass is a concern for laminitics, frozen conditions means you can't turn them out, keeping them in can increase the occurrence of colic, you can get filled legs, the older ones stiffen up, frozen water buckets, can't soak the hay, you keep them in and then when you do turn them out they go for a jolly around the field on rock hard ground.  The list is endless.  Hopefully we will have a few milder days and back to some sort of normality.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hello.  If you are popping into Wolfie's blog, could you please take a minute to go onto facebook and vote for Wolfie and Buttons to appear in a 2013 Calendar.


Thank you  Cat, Wolfie and Buttons xxxxxx

Saturday, 24 November 2012

This is amazing.  I suppose the closest we have here in Britain is Trec, but that seems pretty tame in comparison.  Especially around 3 mins 12 when the horse backs into the water.  Very impressive stuff.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Just a Horse

From time to time, people tell me, 'lighten up, it's just a horse,' or, 'that's a lot of money for just a horse'. They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for 'just a horse.'
Some of my proudest moments have come about with 'just a horse.' Many hours have passed and my only company was 'just a horse,' but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by 'just a horse,' and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of 'just a horse' gave me comfort and reason to overcome the dark.
Those who think it's 'just a horse,' probably also use phrases like 'just a friend,' 'just a sunrise,' or 'just a promise.' 'Just a horse' brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. 'Just a horse' brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
Because of 'just a horse' I rise early, take long walks, and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not 'just a horse' but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
'Just a horse' brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday others have the opportunity to understand that it's not 'just a horse' but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being 'just a woman.'
So the next time you hear the phrase 'just a horse,' smile. You are one of the blessed few who understands.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

So........................winter is upon us.  The horses have been stabled at night since early Autumn, so there shouldn't be much adjusting to do to a new routine.  It's just getting used to doing everything in the dark and the cold.  Wolfie and the ponies moved up to their winter grazing last weekend, the last field change I'm hoping and the last time the electric fencing gets moved any great distance for a while.  The electric fencing has it's benefits when it is working, when it is not working it can be very time consuming, dangerous and gives me a complete headache.  Prior to the field move, Wolfie was going over and through the electric fencing at every opportunity, leading everyone else out the field like the pied piper.

I've been trying to keep him busy and he has been going through the usual seasonal spooking.  I need to accept that I can only do what the weather allows me to do and not get frustrated when I can't ride or work him due to the weather.  I took him in the school during the week, forgetting he hadn't been in there with the flood lights on since last year.  It was cold and then fireworks started going off.  I'm not quite sure how I managed to stay on, luck more than anything.  I'm considering getting one of those hit-air vests.  I don't ride in my body protector because I hate it and feel it really restricts me.  If I was doing any jumping, I would probably put it on, but I won't hack out in it or school in it.  The air vests are really expensive, but they are supposed to be really light weight and unobtrusive.  If you come detached from the saddle and they have to inflate they are supposed to provide protection for your neck, rib cage, chest, lower back and vital organs.  I'll need to look into that for next year, especially if I want to do any cross country schooling.  I also need to get a new riding hat.  My hat makes me feel 'safe' as it's so comfortable and I've had it for so long, but it's not a great fit any more and it has saved my head from getting smacked off the ground many times, so it's probably time to think about replacing it.

I hacked Wolfie out yesterday.  It's the first time we've been out of the yard in about 3 weeks.  It was raining, but it went off in the afternoon and I thought I would chance a short hack.  As soon as I got on him he had his back arched, that usually goes one way or the other.  Into bronco mode or he walks it out.  He walked it out and although he was looky, he was walking forward and obviously pleased to be out.  He was spooking, but just being a bit silly and looking for things to spook at.  There are always two pheasants that hide in the hedge and jump out in front of him at the same place, squacking and flapping their wings and then do their funny run up the hill.  The first one ran out and Wolfie jumped, the second one didn't appear, so we waited, Wolfie knew it was coming so then spooked about 5 seconds after it appeared.  It's almost like a game to him.

We got onto the line and it started to pour.  The temperature just plummeted and it was freezing.  It was only 2pm in the afternoon, but it's amazing how dark and overcast it can get so quickly.  We headed back and onto the road.  Wolfie was wearing a hi viz exercise sheet, hi viz leg wraps and breast plate and I had on a hi viz jacket so there was no doubt that any traffic on the road could see us.  I asked two vans to slow down as a lot of surface water was sitting on the road and Wolfie sometimes spooks when cars splash through puddles.  Needless to say, they gave us the full width of the road when they passed but didn't slow down.

Maybe I should be pleased that they at least did one of the two, but they obviously don't understand the highway code or arm signals.  The Polite slow down hi viz range seems to have an effect on drivers but I think that's because it looks very similar to the hi viz worn by the mounted police and as soon as drivers see it they automatically think straight away that it is the police.

Soaked to the skin and frozen to the bone, but his ears are still pricked and he's still marching on.  Good boy
I went to see the Monty Roberts demonstration a couple of weeks ago.  I think that's about the fifteenth time I have seen him and for the first time ever it was held at Ingleston Equeatrian Centre and not Gleneagles.  Every time I see him working with horses I always come away with something new to think about.  I realised that I must be so much quicker with Wolfie to reward 'the try' and everything I ask him to do, I want him to be able to do softly.  It also reinforces every time that there is no place in horse training for violence.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Why do I like horses?

Why do I like horses?
I reckon I must be mad.
My mother wasn't horsey
And neither was my dad.

But the madness hit me early
And it hit me like a curse.
And I've never gotten better
In fact I've gotten worse.

My stables are immaculate.
My house is like a hovel.
Last year for my birthday
I got a brand new shovel.

I hardly read a paper
But I know who's sold their horse
And I wouldn't watch the news
If Mr. Ed was on, of course.

One eye's always on the heavens
But my washing waves in vain
As I rush to get the horses in
In case it's going to rain.

And though they're wearing 15 rugs,
The best that you can get,
I bring them in to keep them dry
While I get soaking wet.

 I spend up every pound I've got
On horsey stuff for sure.
 I buy fancy rugs and fancy rugs
 And then I buy some more.

 I should have had that hair cut
 Or bought that nice blue shirt
At least it wouldn't now be
Ripped to shreds and in the dirt.

I can't make a bloody sponge cake
 I don't even try
But I can back a car and trailer
In the twinkling of an eye.

It's jodhpurs and mucky boots
That I live in night and day
 And that smell of sweaty horses
Just doesn't wash away.

Once in every. now and then
I can dress up for a ball.
Make up and a hairdo
With high heel shoes and all.

I ache from long forgotten falls.
My knees have got no skin.
My toes have gone a funny shape.
From being all squashed again.

But late at night, when all is still
And I've gone to give them hay,
 I touch their velvet softness
And my worries float away.

They give a gentle nicker
And they nuzzle through my hair
 And I know it's where my heart is
More there than anywhere.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Happy Halloween!!!!!

Trick or Treat!!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Happy Hacking

The sun was shining again today so wolfie and I ventured out for another hack.  It was a good bit colder today and Wolfie was very sharp.  It also seemed to be a day for people to be hiding behind their hedges in their gardens, snapping branches and sparodically using their chain saws.  Wolfie was literally jumping out of his skin.  We rode one of the same paths we went along yesterday and it looked completely different, more leaves on the ground from the trees and they were much crunchier to walk on.  Every time a leaf blew and landed on him he leapt in the air.  We just walked, spooked, leapt about a bit around a circuit and returned home along a path which Wolfie is always very spooky on, regardless of the weather.  I don't know what it is about this path, there's really not anything to see on it which would make it seem 'scarier' than any of the other tracks we ride on, but as soon as he steps onto it, I can feel him tense.  He's bolted with me a few times on it and we've almost ended up in the river a couple of times.  Today was no exception, except he managed not to take off, just leapt off all four feet in every direction.  We were riding along that track last summer when he bolted.  It's a twisty path and you can't see what is around the corners.  I was trying to stop him when we careered around a corner and straight in front of us on the path was a Nun out for a stroll.  The Schoenstatt is just near the Glen which is a retreat and Nuns live there.  I don't know who got the bigger fright, the Nun or Wolfie as she was dressed in full habit.  She managed to jump into one side of the hedge and Wolfie leapt into the opposite side as he galloped passed at full pelt with me shouting 'I'm so sorry'.  I don't know what the penance would be for trampling a Nun but I think it would certainly be greater than the 7 years bad luck for breaking a mirror.  We stopped today on the way home so he could pick some rosehips and hacked back along the road and he was very good.

All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn, Led yellow Autumn, wreath'd with nodding corn. Robert Burns Brigs of Ayr.

I like Autumn.  I love riding when it is cool and crisp, seeing the changing colours of the leaves and hearing the sound of dry, crisp leaves underfoot.  We haven't had many days like these so far, I didn't manage to ride Wolfie during the week until Friday due to the torrential rain.  Yesterday, the sun was shining, so despite being totally loaded with the cold and probably should have spent the day indoors, I took Wolfie out for a hack.  He was delighted to be out, we had a lovely time and it's rides like this that make you forget the awful, tiring, hard days when you are cold, soaked to the skin and wading around in mud.  It completely restores your spirit and strength.  Everybody seemed to be in a good mood yesterday, the car drivers all slowed down and were smiling and waving, people out for walks wanted to stop and pat Wolfie, amazing what a little sunshine brings. 

It's really hard to hold the video camera and ride.  I'm always worried I'm going to drop the camera.  I had to stop as there were too many people around that we might have crashed into.  Obviously I never tire of looking at Wolfie's ears, but it would be nice to have some photographs or videos of us riding.  I have tried to video a couple of our schooling sessions but I don't have a tripod and tieing the camera to the fence with baling twine doesn't work (I filmed the ducks in a puddle in the field for a full 40 minutes the last time I tried!).  I will need to speak nicely to someone to come out with us one day and take some pictures.

The next clip is Wolfie crossing the bridge that he has always had difficulty with, mainly due to a few frights at it.  No hesitation today, but you can see at the end of the video, that a crazy cyclist actually followed at his heels across the bridge, neither Wolfie or I realised he was there,  once at the other side, he bellowed 'excuse me' and cycled around us, Wolfie, bless him, just stopped dead and kind of looked at him.  Would it really have cost him to wait, one minute for Wolfie to get off the bridge before he crossed, it's a narrow bridge and there really is no room for error on it.  

Happy Days

Wolfie trying on his new cosy winter stable rug

Wolfie is back to having his feed buckets placed inside an old tyre in an effort to stop him kicking the bucket over and trampling his feed into his bed.  It's not too bad if he is on a hard bare surface and he can just eat it off the ground, but it gets lost in the bedding in the stable.  He coups it over, paws it about and then looks at me as if to say 'I don't have any dinner'.  Plus the balancer he is on is expensive and I don't want him wasting it.  He can still get the rubber bucket out of the tyre without too much  effort, I wonder if one of the buckets designed to fit inside a tyre would be better.  I could feed him in a bucket that fits to the door, but he doesn't like them and I prefer him to eat from the floor at every opportunity considering he has to eat from small holed nets. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hair Cut

I started clipping Wolfie today.  I say started, as it's always a 2 day job.  He doesn't have the concentration to stand to let me finish a clip in one day.  I usually do it the first or second week in October, but I had the weather and the time this weekend, so just decided to do it.  He is actually very good with the clippers (apart from on his belly as he is very ticklish), but he is such a fidgit.  I've pretty much given up on ever having straight lines.  I'm borrowing clippers as my own set met an untimely end last year.  I was going to replace them this year, but I still haven't decided on what kind to get.  I should have sent my blades away to get sharpened though.  I have washed and re-proofed all the turn outs though, sent a couple of no longer needed rugs to the shetland pony welfare society and one of Wolfie's old rugs to a sanctuary in Aberdeen.  I cleaned out the back of Wolfie's stable to find the mice had chewed through my grooming kit. Fabulous.  Wolfie looks so different with his hair tied back. At least I know what he will look like if I ever decide to chop off his mane.  We went for a little ride around the fields after I half clipped him and accidentally jumped a stone dyke wall. I really want to take him cross country schooling.  He's really bold across country, just a little strong and over enthusiastic at times.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

True Friends

Wolfie and Zoe have grown up together.  They are the same age and have known each other since they were both just babies.  Wolfie is quite infatuated with Zoe and is always delighted to see her.  He seems to understand that she is only little and he has to be extra careful around her.  Wolfie is not reknown for being quiet, but he is exceptionally good with her.

Strike a pose!

I've written a review of the bespoke natural products I have been using on Wolfie, Buttons and Honey.

It is available at the following Blog page:


If it wisnae fur yer wellies where wid ye be.........

.....you'd be in the hospital or infirmary
cause you'd have a dose ae the flu or even plurisee
if ye didnae have your feet in your wellys.

wellys they are wonderful 
wellys they are swell cause they keep out the water 
and they keep in the smell.
and when yur sittin' in a room 
you can always tell when some bugger takes aff his wellys.

Billy Connelly 'The welly Boot Song'

I am having trouble finding wellies that don't leak.  I have worn the Hunter Original for over 15 years and I adore them.  Only within the last maybe 3 years every pair of Hunters that I have bought have leaked within a couple of months.  I used to wear Hunters when I worked on yards, they endured a lot and were really hard wearing.  Since they moved production from Dunfermline abroad, the quality really has suffered.  

3 pairs of Hunters with very little wear to the actual welly and sole, they just leak.  Every day I get to decide which foot I want to get soaked that day.  I used to be quite smug about the fact that my Hunters were work boots and I didn't wear them to the supermarket like many of the Hunter wearers today.  I think I have to now agree that the Hunter Original is no more than a fashion boot.  I do love them and find them so comfortable, I however, can't justify paying £70.00 for a welly to wear to the shops.  I have to make the sad decision to toss all of my Hunters in the bin, otherwise I am going to end up with trench foot.  I had a pair of Dublin Deluxe wellies which started leaking within a couple of days.  They were returned to Dublin.  I decided I was going to buy cheap wellies and just toss them when they burst.  I bought a pair of £9.00 wellies (which make me feel a bit like Captain Birdseye when I wear them).  I have worn them twice.....I think they are leaking.        

Friday, 21 September 2012

The sun was shining today.  It was a really beautiful day to be out riding and Wolfie was thoroughly enjoying himself.... a little too much on occasions!  His winter coat is coming through thick and fast, it will soon be time to clip him again.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Just a little catch up

Wolfie and I have managed to stay fairly busy in between the rain showers.  Weather and ground permitting we have been walking up a fair amount of fat busting hills and having short schooling sessions if there aren't too many puddles.  There is one thing that Wolfie finds particularly difficult in life and that is to stand still.  We have been working hard on this and play a game of statues where we are gradually increasing the length of time that he stands still, particularly whilst he is tied up.  This has been improving greatly whilst I am there with him and I can cue him with my voice to stand even loose in the stable and he is to 2 and a half minutes now, however if I go out of sight or leave him, he reverts back to, well doing his own thing, which doesn't involve standing still.  To be fair, we haven't even got anywhere near me taking steps away, so a lot of work to be done still.  The other day I was just about to get on him and go for a ride when I realised I had left my phone in the car.  He was tacked up so I just put his headcollar on and tied him up outside the stable whilst I quickly nipped to the car to get my phone.  I was gone probably less than a minute but on my return I found him just about to smash up my saddle holder and mounting stool.  Yep, one day I will learn not to leave anything within his reach.

We finished our 'tester pots' of the itch ointment and the hoof therapy balm.  We now have big pots of each as so far I have to say that I am really impressed with both.  Sorry the photographs aren't very clear, I will try and take some pictures of the feet after I have applied the balm outside in daylight.  I have been using the itch ointment as a sort of multi purpose cream and have used it on Wolfie's mud fever over the last couple of weeks with great results.  I will do an in depth review on both a little later on.  Proper update and post to follow.


Friday, 14 September 2012

Party Time

Zoe's Birthday bash with the boys.

Grandpa John made her a souped up Bogie using the battery from an electric golf trolley.  It goes really fast and you can drive up the hill before you come back down.  I wanted to test drive it, but no chance I was ever fitting on it.  

 At Scone Palace to see the theatre production of Black Beauty

Peacock at Scone Palace

We sit in the mud... and reach for the stars. Ivan Turgenev

Two words.  Mud fever.