Diary of a Pony Squisher

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
So decided to do this member diary thing! Not quite sure what I'm even going to post but figured I'd give it a go haha I'll mostly be posting about my pony Toffee but will probably end up chatting about all sorts of random rubbish in between!

So Toffee. Toffee is a 13hh mixed breed, native type pony who originally comes from Dartmoor. He's roughly about 8 years old now at a guess. He's a very dominant pony and despite being the smallest out of 6 in his field, he is the boss and isn't afraid to show it. He doesn't back down at all and will double barrel any horse that dares to argue with him. He doesn't want horsey friends, he doesn't like company, he just wants to be left alone. You will never see him mutually grooming anything. He's more likely to take a chunk out of their neck for getting too close lol But humans? He loves those. He's very much a people horse, not a horse horse and I do have to tell people when they walk their horses past his stable, not to come over as he doesn't play well with others!

Toffee is very fit at the minute and is going so well. This makes me so happy after the state he was in when I bought him. Currently my goal is that I'm trying to perfect his canter with a view to trying to get him to jump in the not so distant future. Jumping is something we have had huge issues with, on top of everything else from day one. I'll explain.....

When I got him, he was ridiculously green and unbalanced, terrified of whips, no manners, bolshy and uncontrollable on the ground with no dental work having being done and a huge ulcer in the back of his mouth, where a razor sharp tooth had ripped his gum to shreds. Poor baby. All this considered though, he was never nasty. He loved attention and never pinned his ears at any human. Something about him shouted out to me when I went to view him and I couldn't leave him. I took him that day.

When I first brought him home, I rode him to find out what he could do. He broke my finger the first time I got on him by spinning, taking off and throwing me off lol I persevered and then found out that when he doesn't want to work or he gets excited, he bucks. Thankfully it's not a nasty buck, it's just a cheeky one. His canter was horrific. I found out that basically he's had no correct schooling and cantering him was basically him flying round in a disorganised canter with no balance whatsoever. He was on the wrong leg 90% of the time and it was a panicked, run into canter. He hacked out yes but would freak at everything from white lines on the road to a cat. Thankfully he wasn't a bolter. I think if he was, I'd have sold him back then. Finally, I found out that jumping even a tiny X pole was a no go zone since it didn't matter what the hell you put in front of him, he'd crash through. solid, wooden, plastic, it was getting broken. He has no care for his legs, it doesn't hurt so I'm taking that jump down. It was at that point that I thought, he needs to start again, he literally doesn't have a clue what you are asking him.

I contacted a few people who knew him before I bought him and found out that *apparently* when the lady I bought him off, bought him, he was pulled off the wagon, tacked up and made to jump. On approaching the jump, he panicked and started weaving to get out of the jump at which point he was belted with a stick and made to jump. Ideal.

And so fast forward to this year: I have spent thousands (not an exaggeration) over the course of having him (just over 2 years now) on lessons, schooling sessions, groundwork sessions, saddle fitters, physios etc. The improvement is amazing. His manners on the ground are near fantastic, and his trot is excellent. He is great at hacking and really enjoys it but he is spooky. You have to be confident and ride him through the fear but he will go through it and he's never bolted yet. His canter is getting there. It's still a bit ropey and when he is in a new place, field for example and gets excited it can go a bit downhill but we are working on that. Unfortunately until it's sorted, no jumping. I need him to be confident in himself in the canter before I even start to introduce any jumps. I just hope that it's something I can fix and they haven't ruined him for life. :(

So yeah that's Toffee.

Toffee when I first bought him (2014)
Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 21.14.05.png

Toffee now.
Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 21.16.16.png


I also have two Staffordshire Bull Terriers - Kaiah and Harley, and a Pug called Bella Boo. Bella for short or Miss Boo for occasions. Yes I know, I'm a bit bonkers lol All the best people are. I have a husband (or man child as I prefer to call him) and 2 daughters - one of which is a teenager. Yay. :rolleyes: My oldest used to ride but has now found out she has a social life. My youngest is horse obsessed and lives and breathes riding. The man child isn't horsey but he does a good job helping us bless him.

And that's my little gang!


Hope I've not bored you all senseless, I do tend to waffle. :D
 

misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Really enjoyed reading this. It sounds like you've done wonders with Toffee! I can't wait to hear how you get on with getting him jumping. But your progress so far is amazing!

I too have 2 Staffies (well 2 Staffy crosses) and a border collie cross. All rescues and all what we like to call Heinz 57s but absolutely adore staffys! I think we may need some photos ;-)

Looking forward to reading more!
 

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
@misty Thank you, I have had lots of help thank goodness as if I'd been alone, I don't quite know what I would have done. I'm not feeling over optimistic about the jumping if I am totally honest and that's only because in the back of my mind, I'm thinking has the damage already been done? If it turns out that he will never jump then I will consider getting a second horse that can jump in the future but one thing is for certain, I won't ever be selling him. He deserves so much more than being passed from pillar to post. I promised him a forever home and a forever home he shall have.

Ah Staffies are such wonderful dogs aren't they? They just get such a bad reputation due to some of the idiots that own them. Mine aren't rescues as I stupidly bought them from a backyard breeder. In hind sight I should have stayed well clear but I felt sorry for them and I'm glad we did get them though. I have grown up all my life with dogs (mostly rescues) and my earliest memory was me being tiny with our X breed that my mum took in off the street. Sadly she passed years ago but dogs have always been a huge love of mine. I love Border Collies, they are so so clever!

Here's my little doggy family:

- Harley

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.24.03.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.23.50.png Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.24.18.png


- Kaiah

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.27.36.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.27.47.png


And last but not least, the naughty Boo......

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.31.42.png Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.31.23.png Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 13.31.03.png


Boo is the loudest and the naughtiest out of the lot of them lol

Have you an photos of yours? I'd love to see them! xx
 
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SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
Toffee has had 3 days off this week, not good. It's quite difficult with it being the Easter holidays, to find time with the kids being off school, to actually get anything done with him. My RI schooled him today for me and he was just not having a good day. Lots of little rein snatches and generally being a right old pain in the butt. Because his trot work wasn't quite as good as it should have been, she decided against canter as we both agreed if the trot isn't up to scratch, chances are the canter will be worse so she just worked him at his trot. I think he was just having an off day probably not feeling it after having a few days off.

Tomorrow and Wed is pony camp! Pony camp is literally where the kids ride - my friend/YO/RI daughter rides one of her ponies, my youngest daughter borrows her other pony to ride and my oldest daughter uses Toffee. We do 2/3 days (often 4 in the summer) of fun horsey things with them - stable management, show jumping (or demolition derby for Toffee), dressage, showing, hacking and fun XC in the jumping paddock. I stay over at the house with them and so do the girls and we do something fun like a movie night at the house or a trip to the trampoline park etc. Due to the paddock being sodden with the downpour we had yesterday, there won't be any XC but they will be riding tomorrow morning, cinema (Beauty and the Beast yay!) tomorrow afternoon, sleep the night and then more riding tomorrow. I am the resident photographer so I'll post some snaps when it's all over. Poor Toffee won't know what's hit him but in all fairness he is easily fit enough to do it so should be fun. :)
 
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misty

Active Member
Oct 6, 2016
305
161
43
Lovely to see your dogs! They're gorgeous!!

Here are mine. Caesar is the ginger staffy cross who we have had the longest. He's about 8. We rescued Gemma, the black and white staffy cross at about 13 which we think makes here about 16-17? We rescued Ginny the border collie cross at 4 months old. She's is now almost 3.

All bonkers! Hope this works...
https://goo.gl/photos/388nDMUWHDBCcQRE9
 
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SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
So Tuesday and Wednesday this week was pony camp! My eldest daughter rode Toffee and considering she's been out of the saddle since Jan, she did so well. Even my riding instructor commented on how relaxed and confident she seemed. I was really proud. Toffee can't jump but a raised pole was put up and I was so elated to see that he didn't knock a single one. This is a vast improvement to a few months ago so I do feel slightly more positive about our jumping goal! So anyway, here are the photos. I took over 100 and obviously can't post them all so I picked a few nice ones.

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.39.13.png Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.39.41.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.40.46.png Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.41.05.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.41.22.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.42.06.png


Little Legs joined in pony camp too and borrowed her friend's games pony and had a good whizz around on her.....

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.39.57.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 20.42.23.png


And on Tuesday evening we went to see the new Beauty and the Beast film which I absolutely loved. I'm huge fan of Emma Watson anyway but I felt she absolutely shone in the film and did the role so, so well. Definitely one I will buy on dvd I think! So yes, all in all a good couple of days. We're all absolutely exhausted now so I'm in bed with a cuppa.
 

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
Toffee's legs are getting whiter slowly! The Supreme Products shampoo is definitely working. His fronts are almost white, they just have a yellowy tinge to the feather.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.01.00.png


His back legs are proving to be more difficult but the orange has faded to a yellowish colour so I live in hope lol

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.04.48.png
 
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SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
Kids are still off school so very hard to get any proper riding done but we had a bit of a blast in my friend/yo paddock today with her games equipment which was very fun and a huge improvement to last time we did it. No spooks, no messy legs, just a nice, sharp forward pony. Really pleased and it makes me feel very positive about taking him out places when I get a trailer as clearly repeated exposure works wonders with him. He is such a star.
 

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
Did some flatwork in the school today and it as fine until we cantered and Toffee decided he would kick up his heels and fly. Not great and then trying to calm him and get him to walk properly was like trying to nail jelly to a tree. Walked up to the field and back afterwards and on the way back two girls on my yard asked did I want to hack out but I had to say no because I wasn't wearing high vis.
 

SeeingSpots

Toffee - Spotted Hotshot
Feb 27, 2015
889
252
93
North East, UK
www.instagram.com
On Friday evening Little Legs had a private lesson. She's gone back to private as she felt a little bit down in her group lesson as they are all older than her and whilst she can keep up to speed with them, the one thing she didn't feel like doing was jumping a straight and because everyone else was jumping it, she felt a bit down on herself. We took her back to private to work on that dreaded straight bar! Here she is working up to it and finally, popping over it! Jumping position needs work but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, one step at a time and all that.

 
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