Monday, August 03, 2015

Busy Day.


Had a great day yesterday, started to train for Extreme Mountain Trail.

The only course in the UK, did pretty good, here`s a few shots from the arena prep, and some from the Trail course, I have a lot to do!

extrem trail

Feeling pensive!


Tyres!  Not easy.


Bridge and sharp turn downhill.

fat horse

mud and water

Having a look see? Does`nt look too inviting.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Someone told me to expect the worst, and plan for it!

Fortunately, we did. as some of you may know we set off last Sunday to ride from Callander to Newtonmore in Scotland. Some 189 miles, not a big ditance in world affairs, but big enough if things do not go well. Day one started with a hint of rain, with a stiff breeze blowing down Glen Ogle, it slowly deteriorated into a full blown gale, with hail, rain and sleet, with the odd snowflake thrown in! By the time we had done 10 miles, we were soaked, and dispite gearing up for cold a wet, I didnt have a single part of me that was not wet!

By lunch time, we had decided that with the horses shivering in this cold, and wet, we would call a temporary halt. Unsaddling was fun, cold numb fingers trying to undo buckles! Anyway, we managed, and a few hours later, with no phone signal, we found some overnight grazing. This was supposed to be flaming June! Hot and sunny, no chance! We had picked one of the worst weeks for doing our trip, and for the next 3 days we were battered with 70 mile an hour winds and all that comes with it! Rivers flooded, trees down trails blocked, our very own tent flattened,and to top it all off, water in the cell phones! The only thing that worked was the stove! At least we ate. finally after three days stuck in the same place and no respite, we called in the back up team. Craig arrived, all smiles? But we straightened him out. Our next destination should have been Glen Tilt and then Glen Marr, but the rivers for horses had become really to dangerous, and we needed to get clothes and saddle pads dried out. Friends in the Great Glen helped us out, and how! Finally with clothes and tack dried out, sleeping bags dry we set off on the last two days of our trip, yes it rained, and yes it was windy, but no where near as bad as what had been. It was to be a quite sobering last two days, as we heard that 4 people had been killed due to the weather in our own community. Here is a few of the pictures we managed.  Tranquility on the last day. 

This video was of the Commemoration, of the Center of Scotland Stone. Which we arrived in time for.
Never have  I known such weatherin June, never seen snow either, totally extraordinary. Sorry there isnt much more folks.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Away Again!

We are off again! Today one of our Big Rides, 8 days, 200 miles, carrying everything, well almost we do have a back up truck.  So I`ll post again when I get back. Happy trails everyone!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gracie Turns 14 Years

It came to me today, that my main riding horse has reached the ripe old age of 14 years. I really dont know where it has gone.  So I have put together a small album of her from when she chose me. Her she is at 5 years old.

Here she is crossing the Cheviot hills at 8 years old.

Here at 10 years old, with friends.She has started to grey out.

Finally, at 12 years old, in the rain, in the hills, where she is at home. Gracie prefers the wild places, with me out and about, no arenas, no competitions and no grief. Go where we can and cover what ground we can. Long may she continue.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

5 Star Pad update:

Its now been a couple of months since the pad arrived, so we now have 19 rides on it. Not long rides a couple of hours and some hill work thrown in.
So far all is going exceedingly well! Initially the pad had no form, and when fitted to the horse, and saddled up, tended to roll when getting onboard. A bit disconcerting! But 5 Star did say that.
It was a bad time for a new pad, all horses were casting, and (shedding) with that amount of hair the pad needed constant cleaning. Which neatly brings me to that point, 5 Star supply a sponge pad for use in gently rubbing away the hair, using circular motions. This was not always effective. So I reverted to my own time homoured method, the wet hand! Worked a treat.

Back to the horse, now I am not in favour of bathing horses, nor am I the most fastidious of groomers, however, the saddle area, cinch area are always free from dirt etc.
Yesterday was my 19th ride, the pad has settled into the shape of my horse, and does not roll or move imn any way and hasnt since the 6th ride. There is certainly less cinching, I have a dry horses back when the pad is removed, there is no uneven pressure points and I have a happy horse. She is certainly moving more freely on turns and has improved her walk. longer strides, more fluid.

I did find a slight problem with myself during this, and that was, sighting the pad, on the horses back, I know should be easy as I do it all the time. But heres the thing, I find that now with the 32 inch length, I have 3 inches of pad infront and behind the saddle all the time. There is no slippage!  No rocking, and no ruffled hair on the horses back at all.

The Pad has taken on the shape of the horses back, and my saddle although fitted good before, and I dont know how to discribe this, is sitting just excellently, But it sat well before? Not sure what I`m saying here, but I feel a lot more "balanced?"
Anyway, there we are, money well spent, and I dont have a lot to waste! So here is the latest photo, of the pad, sorry about the dirt!  It brushes off!! As you can see everything touches in the right places!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Addition.

And here she is, a nice new filly foal! Foaled while I was away in Turkey, and how I wanted to be there for the birth. Nevermind all was taken care of. She is a week old now, and looking a bit darker.