jennyaxe: Photo in black and white. I'm in profile, looking to the left, with a calm and content half-smile. (Default)
[personal profile] jennyaxe
The cats have stayed well, so we're satisfied it was the rowan berries that caused the problems (thanks [livejournal.com profile] artela for telling us about it!). The girlfriend has fetched her new kitten, who is awesomely cute, as he should.

This weekend we've been having competitions at the stables. They're members-only, but we had a fair number of participants (there are quite a few people who join the club in order to be able to compete there). These competitions were at a reasonably low level, they're mainly set up to be practice for inexperienced horses/riders or just a fun thing. We didn't have winners as such; in the jumping part (which was today) everyone got a rosette if they got around all the fences in the right order without any faults.

The dressage was on Saturday. We'd also announced a "flea market" for horsey stuff, since we need to get some money for our new riding paddock - we really need a second one for the warmups when we're having competitions. I came early and helped set up the market, pricing some stuff that had been delivered late, and so on. Then I took Melanie for a walk, to see how she'd behave when there were so many other strange horses and people around. She seemed more curious than scared, which is a very good thing. Hopefully I'll be able to ride some practice competition on her next year, if she doesn't go lame again. Then I helped out at the food stall, where we didn't have much actual food to serve as the electricity was gone for several hours - not only at the stables, but in a fairly large surrounding area. The closest shop and gas station didn't have any either...

When the guest riders had left, I fetched Prime Diamond in and started picking burrs out of his mane. He was really bored and wanted to chew stuff, preferably me or my clothes, but I got a lot of them out. Of course he'll pick up new ones, but I made a start cutting the burr plants in the field. I filled the largest wheel barrow, but I couldn't see any noticeable change in the field... still, if the others who have horses in the same field help out, and we all do a little each day, it should help.

Today I was the judge for the jumping part of the competition. It's really fun, but also a bit exacting. I refreshed my knowledge of the rules of competition, and even brought the laptop with the PDFs of the rules so I could check things up as necessary. Since it's such a small show I was lenient where possible, though I did make a couple of mistakes that I had to correct immediately. Still, it all went fairly well and people seemed happy. The weather was OK too, no rain during the actual events, and we got quite a few things sold at the flea market. I bought the first head stall for my horse - it's one he'll grow out of within a year, but it's nice to have something to start training him with, and I can always sell it on at the next flea market.

After the show was done, I fetched Melanie and spent some time combing through her mane and tail, which I've neglected to do for a long time. She seemed to appreciate the attention. Then I went riding, which started out well. I was practicing making her listen when I pull the reins, basically by first making a very small pull, just closing my fist around the reins. If she didn't listen I'd give her a sharper pull, and if that didn't help I'd have her stop and back up. Basically this makes her realise that if she reacts properly at the first gentle pull she won't get the harder and more uncomfortable one. She understands this perfectly well, she's just been ignoring me and I need to work on that.

After a while we got into the woods, and she started freaking out. She'd jump sideways and try to spin around. I thought she was either scared of something, or she was upset that we'd gone away from the other horses - either way I didn't quite feel safe going on into the forest, so I just took her a few meters further on (in order to not teach her that if she starts jumping I'll let her turn around), and then went back. It was just as well, because I was really tired, and I still had a stall to clean. Before doing that I spent a few minutes lying in the clean straw with three kittens purring in a pile beside me. I almost fell asleep there...

So, that was the weekend. Now it's bed time.

Date: 2009-09-14 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artela.livejournal.com
I'm just really pleased that the cats are OK - given what we now suspect it was they should make a full recovery with no long lasting effects :-)

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jennyaxe: Photo in black and white. I'm in profile, looking to the left, with a calm and content half-smile. (Default)
jennyaxe

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