Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Walking holiday and Larry update :)

Hi all,

So J and I decided to take the lorry and go on a dog walking holiday for a week round the north east of Scotland! We planned to ‘glampervan’ in the truck, taking the generator, radiators, heated towel rail and lots of things to make it a fun week away.

After shopping for a new walking wardrobe (the old stuff falling apart) we packed enough clothes to go for 6 nights. Mum came up to spend the week with her hubby Dapper and look after our large gang of animals – including the new goatlings –

So we took out the partitions, put a roll of carpet down and made the horse-end quite comfortable

We set off on Thurs morning, heading to little chef on the way (I love little chef!) for breakfast before arriving at Dunotter Castle for a wander round and the dogs went for a swim

We then headed over to our first stayover – Bennachie Forest. What a lovely place, unfortunately we found out that the main car park was closed for forestry works so had to drive round in the dark hunting for ‘Back’o’Bennachie’ car park – which actually turned out to be an even better place to stay.

Unfortunately the weather was grim, it rained all night and after heading out for a 3 hour walk the following morning with the dogs, we were absolutely soaked.

Even the inside of our boots were wet. Cue several hours of radiator, towel rail heat and still our clothes were wet.

We did manage to cook nice meals in the truck though:

We decided then that we would change our plans and drive somewhere else but not any further north. We headed over to the Cairngorms and found a beautiful place ‘Glenmore’ to stay in. We parked on the banks of Loch Morlich, which has its own beach, and then went for a walk in Glenmore forest park.

It was a lovely walk, but we were wearing wet walking clothes which made it a bit unpleasant so after returning to yet more rain, we decided to bail out and come home.

It was nice to give it a try, and had we ended up with the weather that we then got for the next two days, we’d have stayed out and travelled but alas it was not to be.


That did mean we could come home and dry our walking clothes to get out and go somewhere locally – went up Trahenna Hill and the Iron Road (4 hour walk) yesterday which gave 360 degree views at the top of the hill – it was awesome! We had lovely weather; dry clothes and the dogs loved it!

My dog resting:

We have decided that we will probably go away in the lorry again, but next time it will be less ambitious and we’ll only go for long weekends (maybe in the middle of summer too!)

I also got to make a start on Larry’s education:

Long reining:

Lying over:

He’s only 3 and a half so if the weather prevents me from doing more then I’ll start him again next spring. If I can get to sit on him before the year-end that will be perfect!

And to finish off, gave Jack a light school

All boys coming in for a gallop: think the hill will get Larry’s muscles built up!

Thanks for reading, We’ve got lots of munchies to offer as we packed enough food to last a month!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Aske report and brief Larry update

Hi all

Sorry its taken so long to get an Aske report!

I entered Aske and requested an early start time as I was driving down on the Saturday. I had originally wanted to compete at Burgie (Sat) but we were taking some sheep along to the Hebridean Show and Sale at Stirling on the Friday night/Sat morning. We won breed champion at the sale and our shearling (not the champ) was one of the top ones to sell

Anyway I headed down to Aske on Sat after Jack was scrubbed clean. My stable was about 20 minutes away from the venue at a pig farm and although I though J would have a porkie at them (excuse the pun ) he didn't bat an eyelid.

My friend met me to chauffeur me to the xc course so I could walk it as my times were close together (thank you). Course looked nice, the BE100 was running as we went round with some very dodgy stride missers - the one thing that shocked us was some rider who lost control of their horse on the way to fence 5, the horse went through the string so they got it under control and tried to jump the string to get back on course even the jump judge said it was dangerous - horse was confused and eventually at the second attempt jumped it, before heading through to fence 5, they didn't need to do it, and were cursing loudly. Anyway, for us it was a bit of a how-not-to-do-it (although I think we knew that already!)

I was eyeing the course up for the Novice, and the only fence I could see that I think J would need so pre-schooling over would be the hedge jump into water. Need to find an xc course with a proper jump in that I can school over - any ideas?

Went back to the truck, tucked J in for the night and turned on the tv. was a lovely evening just me and my dog and even though it was minus 2 we were toasty warm (I love my lorry!)

Got up early (was the first to be up in the morning) found I had the only stable with rubbish lighting bathing a grey horse with a head torch is not easy! Plaiting in the dark I can do so was loaded up and leaving as other riders were appearing.

parked up, tacked up and hopped on, my feet were freezing decided to warm up for longer as it was cold but I over cooked J. he was totally flat by the time I went in, so got a 37. headed over to SJ.

The course was on a slope, I thought the ring was nice and J was jumping well. Went in with a *slight* hope we might break our 4-faultitis-at-BE-events but it was not to be - what a total misser I got to the 4th fence - to be honest he did well not to have both parts. Not sure why but my eyes were watering going round - think i need racing goggles

Anyway, happy enough with 4f, as he jumped well. My friend had come along to watch again so we had a chuckle at my expense and patted the very good horse for being an honest soul while heading over to start xc.

I really enjoyed the course, was a good end of season run, although not as hard as it had been previously from what I heard. J jumped well, pinged everything and came home clear with 6 time faults.

Our tf are getting better, its really me that wants to keep him continuing to grow in confidence so haven't been chasing the time too much. Next year we'll do more work on that. Interestingly my friend who watched (who has done advanced etc) said that she felt I needed to get him to some gallops next spring as he needs to learn to gallop and properly open out. She felt that although he could cover the ground easily, he just wasn't yet doing it.

So thats a good plan for next year I think. (thats if there are any events to go to!)

Pics from Aske:

And just a quick update with Larry, he has now started his training slowly due to the weather. He is already bitted so the bridle has been fitted, breaking roller was ignored so has been introduced to lunging and a saddle!