Thursday, 14 July 2011

Putting things into perspective

Hello all, quite a quiet day on the home front. Had a nice day at HFD (Holden Fold Dressage and Stud),  The Big Guy was not to amused at having to do some hard work but we finished with some fantastic results. Barinka ( a 5yr old stunning grey mare) who has a slightly poorly shoulder enjoyed a nice hack down the lane (after nearly diving through the fence and a bird flying off from the field). The main man Spyder HFD spent some quality time with his adopted mummy (me) having a good grass munch. 
I then put myself through an hour of personal training ( No pain no gain I keep telling myself), then came home and straight on the laptop to have a nosey at the magnificent Prince Fluffy Kareem's face book. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting PFK yet let me tell you a bit about him. 
Kareem is a horse from Cairo Egypt, who was noticed a few weeks ago as going downhill fast at one of ESMA's ( Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals) weekly horse feeds and lots of us who support this cause were keeping an eye out for him. Sadly, ESMA do not have the funding to be able to buy these horses to save them, but luckily a young student, Marte, who had already rescued a tragic bay mare Na3Na3 (with malaria and other terrible issues) stepped in and saved Kareem from certain death, he was in such a pitiful state that we cannot belive he even made it to the feed site that day - 4th June 2011. With Martes actions, a few of us around the world promised to help, when we could, with finances so that this gentle horse could, hopefully, be nursed back to good health again. I am so happy that this little horse with a HUGE heart is showing us all he was worth it, he is improving daily. He is fast becoming the face of the pyramid horses of Cairo and has a worldwide following on facebook. I am one of those avid followers who eagerly awaits the latest pictures and follows the story of this brave horse. 
It really does put things into perspective for me seeing this story. I see every day the luxury we (respectable people) choose to give the horses we own and care for, as we have respect for there being on this earth. They allow us to ride and work them when they could very easily tell us to "do one", they have teeth and hooves which they could use against us. Yet the horses I work with every day do not use these natural attributes against me or anyone who cares for them as they are shown respect. Is it really too much to ask for people to show an animal who works so hard to please you some respect (i.e Feed it). In the case of PFK I really find my feelings torn. As it is due to a lack of tourism following the recent revolution in Egypt that his previous owner, like many others there find themselves with out the funds to feed the animals they continue to ask to work. It breaks my heart when the new pictures come up of the weekly ESMA horse feeds, walking skeletons is the only way I can describe it. These poor horses know no different, they are starved, beaten when they fall due to lack of energy. Many have given up and chosen to pass into what they can only hope is a better life, and even then they are shown no respect. Mass horses graves are clear for all to see around the city, bodies left in the open for scavengers. Not even given ten minuets to dig a grave from the man they earn't a living for. PFK is one of the lucky ones, he made it (practically on his death bed) that day 4th June 2011 to the horse feed. He felt the love and respect he had worked so hard for from ONE human  (Marte), and that was all that was needed........He chose to fight to live. He was shown the life he deserved (that all animals/humans deserve), a life of love and respect. 

I hope that some of you horsey readers will join me in following this brave little horses journey. It really does show that showing a little love and respect to the animal you ask so much from means a hell of allot.  

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Easy day

For the first time in the last two weeks my day has gone more or less to plan. I managed a slight lie in till 8am then off to HFD (Holden Fold Dressage and Stud) for the day. Angela was back from Verizon in France where she was competing, finishing 8th in the Kur with Mooiman HFD a fantastic result.
I was happy she was back as I felt I needed a slight kick up the bum with one of the slightly older horses on my ride list ( The Big Guy), a very cheeky Medium level horse. He is 17.2 hh and mahoosive in every way and given the fact I am only 5'4, I was finding it hard to keep him together through some of the more advanced movements. And believe me this cheeky chappy knows he is big and how to use it against you, so the slightest chance and he gives it nur nur nur you cant make me do that! Well my bum was well and truly kicked, a gruelling 40 min session of new ways to do old exercises to ensure I am firmly in the drivers seat and he is listening to me. It was a much needed reminder for both me and the horse and I now have new goals and motivation for his work. ( I don't think The Big Guy is very happy about it means more work!)
I think it is very important that no matter what level you are at in your chosen equine discipline, that you are never afraid to ask for help. You can never stop learning there are a million ways to ask a horse to do something, its all about finding the right one for you and your horse. People send me horses for schooling and breaking for all discipline's and I am good at my job, but it doesn't mean I don't get stuck from time to time. I am lucky enough to have ridden for International Show jumpers and currently be riding for an established International Grand Prix Dressage rider. So I always have fantastic advice on hand and I am not afraid to ask for it, why struggle and mess it up, when a two second question can put it right for life.
So bum kicking finished and feeling back in my legs, I worked a few more without hiccups. Then even found the time to take my favourite man ( Spyder HFD) for a cheeky much of grass after he worked so well. If only all days went this smoothly!
Spyder had to try and eat my phone too!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

There is always one thing that never fails to make u smile!!

Hello world, my first blog no idea what I am doing so bear with me and here goes.
As most people who have horses know it is never ending, one thing after another all day every day. I thought i was being smart by choosing at this moment in time to concentrate on my work riding for others, rather than keeping my own. Pah not smart at all even more running around driving here there and everywhere trying to keep everyone happy!! So after a manic day being up at silly o'clock to deal with a 5hr colic a good 40 min drive to my yard of the day Holden Fold Stud, I find I have more to ride than planned and little time to do it as i have to attend the dentist at 4 o'clock to have horrible injections and fillings due to a fall from yes u guessed it a horse. It never fails to make me think why i feel the need to put myself through the headaches and pain (from countless falls from daft breakers over the years) that horses bring...........and then I get to the last horse of the day Spyder HFD. This amazing creature reminds me what its all about, don't get me wrong I ride a lot of amazing horses young and old all day every day (its my job!). But this guy is one in a million, 3yrs old riding only a few months but oh such a dream to ride, has a total yes mum no mum attitude, learns something in seconds and straight away gives you that "whats next?" feeling. He reminds me why I do my job when you get that feeling (which all you riders will know what i am talking about) that feeling of total connection with such a powerful animal, that u know they are waiting to do anything ask of them as they want to please. That just makes me smile, everyone must think I am mad when they see me riding him as i am grinning like a Cheshire cat the whole time! Fingers crossed tomorrow wont be quite so manic, but at least i know that i will always find something to make me smile! :)