Other things…

So equine education aside, what else am I doing currently preparing for a some time away and a royal show?

 

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Admin side – Holidays from work …tick Entries done back in October. Stabling at two different locations, booked and paid for Boneo Park (WOOHOO!) back in Dec…and praise the stabling allocation gods we have been allocated stables for Canberra. Sorting out dog accommodation remains on the agenda as finding a decent kennels in Canberra for our dates seems a little hard. Would be nice to bring the furkids with us to Melbourne for the week.

Feed wise – Mid December started on Groom, Ricebran oil, Sunflower oil for E and Livamol along with my very simple diet of hay/chaff and the best mix ever created made by a local company. If we need topline I use HPI whey powder -same stuff and far cheaper than the brand names. 😉 Closer I will start both on a mix of physillium/brewyers yeast/slippery elm and whey powder (different to above…go google it) for ulcer prevention when travelling.

Transport – New car so that should be okay though electric brakes are being a little difficult thanks to some known wiring issues with the cars (2012 Ford Rangers) so perhaps visit the auto electrician…..float may need new tyres and its routine visit to having bearings checked.

Gear wise, all good – new things from Stable8 have been ordered, just have to pick them up. I think I have scored E the most amazing bridle of which I was just about to purchase made to measure….fingers crossed it remotely fits. Silly though – I didn’t order padded reins…I love them, so ordering of them is pending bridle arrival. New tweed in pink/purple for J requires new shirt/vest/tie but Canberra has amazing trade stands so they can wait. Plus knowing me I will stick with my favourite mustard jacket.

Along with the above there is so many other things like restocking the Fat Max, and various little things from getting power cords tagged to making sure I have a worn in shoe or three in case we self remove.

Now, all of that aside my favourite thing is the grooming/presentation. At the moment its a matter of making sure everything is clean.

539549_279785362131884_2027695078_nBecause of the hot weather, I use flag rugs and they are getting washed every 2 days so its handy to have plenty of spares. I purchase mine from Camelot. After being worked they get hosed off, mane washed every 2nd day.

J has his tail plaited so it stays bagged and is brushed daily and washed weekly. His tail truly shows that if you put the time in the hair does grow! Its gorgeous, hardly needs a falsie now.

E on the other hand has the clipped/shaved/pulled thing happening, its growing out…Im wishfully thinking I may have enough length to plait it. Consequently it gets a tad sweaty and needs washing quite regularly.

Coats a fairly routine, lights in stables keep them short. J = curry & brush pending time. E isnt keen on the whole brushing thing, best thing is going over dispensable rubber glove to pickup the loose hair/dirt and towelling him off well after work/hosing.

I leave ears to grow, find you get a better job doing it the night before. Muzzles/chins I generally shave for neatness/getting stuck in the bit/I don’t like kissing prickly boys.

Chestnuts always get removed though I tend to leave them alone a little bit, so they come off easily and cleanly. Any white bits get clipped out.

After being worked I generally use a moisturizer like Palmer’s olive oil around eye/faces…keeps the skin healthy and lessens the hair growth. Clean skin = fabulous and easy makeup jobs.

About 4wks to a show I like to clip their legs, just to take off the coarser hair, makes for cleaner lines. We may being competing in a few weeks so I choose to do this sooner and let any clipper lines grow out. Some people possibly think I’m mad for clipping out black legs but I believe it does make a difference.

Hind legs are the easiest, clip out from fetlock down then once up the back of the leg and taper that around to take of the hair on the outside of the hock joint. Any scars get clipped over with a finer blade.

Front legs, depends on the horse and what the history of the legs is. Any splints I clip as closely as possible using a very fine comb. I generally pick the leg up, clip fetlock, both sides and then up the front to just below where the knee naturally bends. That way when they are moving the hair line blends in easily. E I do all over with a very fine comb. J not so much, being a hunter the super fine bone isn’t really the look we are after 😉

Here are J’s legs in all their honourable bumps and white haired glory.

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7 weeks and counting

7 weeks and counting

Whilst I generally like to keep my *ponies in good condition  I feel you cannot keep a horse at its peak 24/7. They always need a spell mentally and physically at the end of the season I tend to give them a holiday of about 4 weeks. Mainly as it for the past few years as coincided with Uni/Post grad exams.

With some luck I may have finished studies, so hopefully we can make use of the winter break -. I don’t know what it is but we seem to be slightly cursed with something fairly bad happening to one whilst on their break. Anyway so holidays now = winter…end of season this year, they can stay in light work but trail ride and beach.

Work started Mid Dec – I like to use these off season periods to train something new, that may cause a few issues if I was to teach when we are showing every weekend. Last year E learnt flying changes, picked them up rather quickly. Though I should have started a little earlier as we were still a bit keen to show them at every opportunity. Like Here. Nice one E…should have smiled and gone with it…but I’d prefer to contain the self-expression.

Fast forward nearly a year and tempi changes are happening. E is one of those “I want to dance” types and finds them fairly easy,  being on board I have to work on sitting up, counting correctly (naturally I get a bit hung up of this) and not interfering. I appreciate dearly of both J & E that I can teach them something, then they “schoolmaster it” back to me.

This summer we have been a little confused about lateral work to a certain direction and lacking forward, 2 weeks in and we have *got* it. Now just a matter of suppleness and flexion. Both working with that and shortening/collecting the trot and canter to later prepare for higher level work.

Riding early this morning the aim was along with the above, to work on being a little more responsive to the aids, both upwards and downwards. This evenings ride I went sans spurs, need to use legs a bit more and rode mainly long and low doing basic lateral work and practice walking. If your time poor I find a collected walk without anticipation is one of those hard things, we finish work and head goes straight down to stretch. So lots of practice collected walking now, just a matter of making the time for it.

So yes I rode my pony twice!! Canberra is coming up in about 7 wks and we need a decent amount of fitness. Compared to last year when E kept falling asleep again the stable door, which need to be pushed in, to open….he effectively locked himself in….wishful thinking to prevent that! LOL!

So above you have work wise to prepare for big show. Next post will be all the other things 🙂

I saw these gorgeous photos on Supreme Products Facebook even Olympic gold medalists do shiny faces and quartermarks.

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Yep, she is my idol….though that was confirmed before she was famous, the picture of  Ardenhall Royal Secret has been a favourite of mine for years! I came across the mare when looking for pics of E’s relatives. For those not into the riding ponies, she is now owned by Whitemere stud and progeny include a number of highly succesful LJS/Kolbeach/Whitmere

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*Well really horses yes, but seeminly as galloways and one being RPSBs and the other just scraping into pony dressage height they make good ponies 😉