Riding log - anyone interested?

(1000 Posts)
SupersonicDave Sat 26-Mar-11 11:25:41

Saw this on a horse forum and thought it would be a good idea.

Basically i need a bit of help with motivation (too much to do, not enough hours in the day etc) and can get a bit stuck in a rut wrt schooling/hacking/lunging.

So, today i am riding out my mare, a friend is riding my gelding, and we are going to ride through the village and back across some grassy tracks. Want to concentrate on keeping my mare calm, especially on the grass.

Dhorse had his physio visit last night and SHE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE HIM ANYMORE - which is such fantastic news I had to shout! I'm to get him fit and can aim to take him hunting towards Christmas. I took him out today and he was very springy and snorty which was a bit alarming. So, no more lunging (thank god), just good hard exercise. He still does have to do his stretches every morning which isn't too much of a pain, but at least I'll have more time.

Bearing in mind he's been lunged for 30 mins pretty much every day since 12th August, and ridden 3 times a week for the last month how much work do you think he'll need? He wasn't unfit before he was signed off, we were up to trotting up hills. His rides the last few weeks have been a mix of walk & trot, and the last couple of times short canters. I'd thought of trying to get him out at least 5 times a week (work, weather and children permitting) and perhaps taking him hunting for a couple of hours max towards the end of November, having picked a mid week meet with no jumping in case I get overexcited. Obviously all this is dependant on him responding well to the extra work - and I thought I'd get the physio to check him over once we've done a couple of days.

Mirage Tue 30-Oct-12 20:27:22

Hurrah! For you and your Dhorse frosty.I'm so glad that he's been signed off and is ready for some fun.From what you describe,he sounds pretty fit.I'm not an expert but always understood that a good lunging session was harder work for them than being ridden.

Mirage Sat 03-Nov-12 18:57:32

I cunningly left my 'jumps and how to make them ' book at my mum and dad's house last week,and my dad has already constructed 2 and towed them down to the flat field.grin.We didn't tell the DD's and the minute they saw them,they were so excited.They are only made out of old bits and pieces he found around the farm,but they do the job and can be height adjusted,so we were very chuffed.

I had an email from dpony's old owners last week,asking how she was and what we'd been up to.They still miss her and I'm not surprised,she is a real character.I went to follow the hunt yesterday and they met at the yard I learnt to ride at,many years ago,that bought back some happy memories.smile

That's great - they'll have fun with those, it's amazing what you can do with "junk" if you're so inclined. I took dhorse out for a longer ride yesterday - he was very bouncy - and it was bliss that we only met 1 car in the whole 90 mins that we were out. The ground here is sodden so much as I'd like to give him some canter work I think I'll have to leave it for a bit. I may box him up to the nearest common which has a lovely long hill, and is old, well drained pasture. A couple of spins up there should clear his lungs a bit, and I don't have to worry about stopping too much! There's a sign saying "no training of racehorses" but it doesn't say anything about ex racehorses!

Mirage Sat 10-Nov-12 20:45:57

We went to see the pony owned by the chap we met out hunting today.TBH I knew nothing about him other than he was a good hunting pony,13 years old ,12.2 and grey.But I figured that considering all the ads we'd seen when the pony is completely misdescribed,he was worth a visit.He is only 15 minutes from us.

Well,he was lovely.DD2 got on him and walked trotted and cantered,then hacked him across the fields and over a ford,and DD1 rode him back.He was very well behaved,although a bit faster on the homeward leg of the hack than he was going out.The girls untacked,did his feet,rugged him up and lead him back to his field with no problems.He hasn't been ridden more than a couple of times in the past year as he is outgrown,so not very fit and quite fat.DD2 loved him.Now comes the tricky bit,they want to sell as they'd hung onto him hoping that their younger daughter would ride him,but she has no interest.We really want to loan as we were badly bitten over the summer.The asking price is £1500 and they are happy for us to have him on trial for a month to see how we get on with him.He is registered [not that we are into showing] and they bought him from the family of a huntsman in the Welsh borders,who'd had him for all their kids to hunt on,and in his present home has hunted with their daughter,hacked,done some shows.Currently lives on a farm,which is great because that is a major plus for us,lives in or out,no shoes,no feed but hay.

If we'd written a wish list,he would tick every box on it,but I'm really nervous about buying now.The months trial is great,but realistically,I don't know how much riding we can get in over a month this time of year.DH and I are going to have a chat about it and see what we think and my mum,bless her,says that she'll buy him if he is the right one rather than miss out.Argh!

Well that does sound more promising. A month's trial is quite generous, did it take that long to unearth the problems of your previous pony? Even if you don't get a massive amount of riding, if you can handle it a lot, perhaps lead him out with you and your existing pony you'll get a fair idea, and you do learn a lot from just being around them. A month gives you 8 riding sessions max, possibly even a couple of hours hunting too.....

I think you need to be really honest and explain (if you haven't already) your position and that at the moment he seems great, you've had your fingers burned and are very cautious. If you can get them on your side you may be able to wangle a trial into the beginning of the holidays......Do you know if they have advertised him at all? Also, whereabout in the Welsh Borders - I'm North Herefordshire/South Shropshire so it could have been they got him from someone I'm aware of.

Two greys.....good luck!

marialuisa Sun 11-Nov-12 19:05:46

Quite a bit of good news on here!

Mirage-that sounds quite a brave test ride and a month's trial will give you a fair idea of what he's like.

Dpony had a side saddle on for the first time and was a total gent about it. DD is thrilled and making plans but the smallest side saddle the instructor had would be too big for dpony to use regularly so we need to source something more suitable. Suspect this may prove expensive......

Mirage Sun 11-Nov-12 19:07:26

Thanks frosty.Apparently they bought him 3 years ago from the Welsh Borders,but I don't know whereabouts.His name is Creegan,not sure how it is spelt and he hasn't been advertised.One thing that niggles is that the owner's 5 year old's pony has had to be retired,so they are looking for a little pony on loan just to hack out on for her.I suggested the lovely Newboy who we loaned over the summer as the little girl doesn't want to jump and he won't jump.I'm wondering why she won't ride Creegan and when I asked,the owner just said that she won't ride him and they'd kept him so long after being outgrown by the older child,in the hope she would ride him.DH asked the little girl himself and she said it is because he is sometimes fizzy.

I've told the owner the reason that I'm cautious.My thinking was,the pony is currently getting fat in a field,if I have him for a couple of months,even if he turns out to be unsuitable,he'll return to them fitter than he was and more saleable,plus they have one less to look after and feed this winter.

Mirage Sun 11-Nov-12 19:10:36

Crossposted marialuisa,hope your trip went ok. I'm pleased that the side saddle riding is going well.I agree it could turn out pricey. I've no idea where you'd get a small side saddle from.

50BalesOfHay Mon 12-Nov-12 13:42:46

Hi all (was Treblesallround, returned from a break from Mumsnet, under a new name) Mirage, pony sounds like a good one, and I wouldn't worry too much about a 5 year old not wanting to ride him. He might have just been a bit fizzy once and scared her: she may not be a very confident rider.

Unless the pony has a nasty streak to him (which you'd probably find out during a months trial) I'm guessing that once he's fit he might be fairly forward going. The process of getting him fit will give dd and him a chance to get to know each other, and if he gradually gets more forward then your dd will gradually get used to a forward pony, which she will then enjoy!

In my experience people seeking to foist a git of a pony on people don't offer a months trial, especially that close to home. You're understandably cautious after last time, but it's always going to be a bit of a leap of faith. I'd go and try him again, a couple of times, take him to a rally or two during the trial, and take your mum up on the offer if you still like him.

Marialuisa, how fantastic that dd's learning side-saddle, she'll have to come over to our neck of the woods and go out with the Quorn!

Pixel Mon 12-Nov-12 14:07:15

I second 50's first point as dd had a bit of a scary moment on dshetland when she was about six (cantered a few strides and put in a couple of bucks - dd didn't fall off) and would never get on her again. Ds rode dshetland for 6-7 years after that and she never put a foot wrong.

Mirage Mon 12-Nov-12 15:02:22

Thank you all.50Bales I'm glad to see you back,I missed you! Sound advice from all of you.Pixel you are right,DD1 only rode Newboy twice because he was faster than she was used to and she didn't like it,he never did anything wrong and DD2 loved him.

Newboy's owner is going to do some digging for me if they get in touch about loaning him.I suppose that if he was a git,they wouldn't have kept him for the littlest one,but moved him on asap.I'll have a chat with DH tonight and see what we decide to do.

I second what the others have said too - it is hardly surprising that you are looking for possible problems after your recent experiences. Maybe this time someone really does want you to have a genuine pony with no hidden nasties! Have another chat with them, I spent a lot of time with dhorse's owners before I bought him and had several test rides. The whole process took the best part of a month before they agreed I could have him and they are still in touch now. I think you should take the month's trial because if you don't you'll always wonder whether you shoud have, and see how you feel after that.

Mirage Mon 12-Nov-12 20:25:26

Just to complicate things,a friend has just texted to say that the family that they sold their saintly 12h pony to have lost interest and are considering loaning her out and am I interested? I've said yes,so hopefully will go and see her too.

You'll have ponies coming out of your ears soon! Hopefully at least one of them will be the perfect beast.

Mirage Thu 15-Nov-12 19:51:45

It's always the way,then I go and pick the wrong one.hmm.Anyway,I've texted the owner of the 12.2 asking if we can trial him over the holidays,and we are going to see the 12h that my friend told me about,on Saturday.

Oh joy! I went to see a physio as I'm still having problems with my back after my fall back at the end of January and she has referred me for an urgent MRI tomorrow (££££'s of course) as she thinks that the facet joint of either or both L4 & L3 may be broken or fractured. She's talking about having a screw put in it if this is the case which sounds horrendous.

I am in absolute agony because in order to reach this diagnosis I had to do all the things that make it hurt and boy does it hurt now. I can just about walk, and find moving position excrutiating. So tomorrow I'm off to Cheltenham, then to stay with a friend and then to be on my feet all day Sunday at a work thing, which can't be changed.

Paracodeine here I come....

Mirage Fri 16-Nov-12 22:36:09

Oh frostyy,you poor thing.You've had no luck at all recently,have you.I hope it isn't as bad as they think and that you are soon feeling more comfortable.

Mirage Mon 19-Nov-12 21:04:41

We went to see the friend of a friends 12h mare on Saturday and she was just lovely.Has done everything we want,isn't too big for DD2 and is only 9.DD2 rode her and loved her and she is coming on Monday on trial,for as long as we want,certainly over the holidays.I'm really pleased,because we can take her to the PC gymkhana,go hacking and to a local meet,plus get some lessons in.

Everyone who knows the pony says how good she is,so I'm hopeful.smile

The owner of the 12.2 never came back to us,but I'm happier about this little mare than I was about him.There were a few question marks there.

That's great news Mirage, fingers crossed again! (Is she grey too?) Looking forward to some positive updates.

I had the MRI on Saturday and it showed absolutely nothing - I didn't know whether to laugh or cry really! I have spoken to the physio who referred me who was very surprised and is "unhappy with the way it is presenting".... She is going to talk to my osteopath, and then consider where we go next. Possibly to a spinal consultant for cortisone injections or a CT scan - it still hurts like hell from where she handled it last week so I'm wary of any direct contact at the moment. I did ride yesterday which was a mistake, so dhorse is currently applying mud to himself in layers and will have to amuse himself for the rest of the week!

Mirage Tue 20-Nov-12 20:29:30

Thank you frosty.How frustrating that they haven't got to the bottom of your pain.I had to laugh at the image in my head of your dhorse applying layers of mud to himself.

The new pony is,thankfully,liver chestnut,as near to mud colour as I could get!She has had to live in from Oct to May on the yard where she is currently as they have no winter grazing,so it'll be a bit of a change for her to be out in the day.I'll have to get used to mucking out!shock

marialuisa Thu 22-Nov-12 08:14:13

That all sounds really positive Mirage, make sure you keep us updated.
Nice to see you back 50, DD's teacher is one of the Quorn side-saddle ladies so it has already been mentioned!

Liver chestnut is my favourite colour - you lucky thing! I think of mucking out as Pilates - lots of bending and stretching (and sweating too), only it's a bit more smelly.

Dhorse is thrilled with all this rain, where he's not covered he's plastered. I put his hoody on as I'm fed up with scrubbing his face and now when it comes off he looks like a panda with mud on where the holes for his face and ears are and clean round the rest. When I'm less frazzled I'll see if I can get a picture.

I do hope new pony is the one and settles in well, at least your girls can say they are used to handling lots of different ponies.....

50BalesOfHay Thu 22-Nov-12 14:43:33

Fingers crossed for the new pony Mirage. When are you getting her?

Mirage Thu 22-Nov-12 18:59:40

She is coming on Monday.I can't have her any sooner as MIL is coming this weekend and she is 83 and not into horses.I daren't have the new pony the same weekend as she wouldn't take kindly to not being the centre of attention.The last time she visited,dpony celebrated by colicking,and I spent the day anxiously watching her,and at the vets.MIL likes to remind me of this.grin

We have got her for as long as it takes to decide.I'm cautiously hopeful as my friend's mum bought her originally for her grandchildren,and she is a riding instructor and wouldn't buy a dud.One of the other instructors on the yard said that she was sometimes used for lessons and she'd never seen her do anything naughty.Fingers crossed.

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