New boy on the block

carthorse

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Well he's still having a meltdown leading past that area but I ignored how he looked and decided to ride once he'd had an hour or so stuffing himself. Luckily the yard has a lower gate that means we can go out onto the road without having to go where all the monsters are. All expectations to the contrary he was actually very good, and even more amazingly let me mount on the second attempt! But when we came back I turned onto the drive and his head shot up and he froze because he was facing the track. Time and patience - I think that's something I'm going to be chanting in my sleep!
 
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carthorse

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It would appear we have a nanny mode, or from the look on his face it may be more accurate to call it a "what the f has the human done now?!" mode 🤣 .

I somehow twisted my knee last night, a good crack followed by not being able to put my heel on the floor and weight bear without it feeling like knives in the joint. One of the teenagers very kindly helped me sort him out in the field as I couldn't face bringing him in and there was no way I was letting anyone else when he's being so iffy on the track, though he has been getting better about it I don't think it would take much to set him off and end up with a loose horse.

This morning, complete with painkillers and knee support, I hobbled him in and while he was shaking and clinging to me he actually kept coming without anything more dramatic than a lot of blowing. From the second I put the headcollar on he'd been touchy, slower, and clearly concerned though - step height replaced step speed, got to use the energy somehow! And then, in my infinite stupidity, I decided I'd be fine to ride. When I struggled to get on the step that should have been a warning that maybe fine wasn't the right word, that stupid or mad may have been closer. Luckily mounting has improved dramatically lately and it only took two attempts today, but oh boy did the actual mount push my knee to the limit even with a tall step, and putting my foot in the stirrup wasn't much fun either. Opted for the shortest circular hack, about 15/20 minutes and he was so sweet, there were a couple of things he clearly wasn't happy with but he braced himself and actually got on with it rather than waiting for some reassurance and riding. And finally very kindly didn't spook or dance when I nearly fell dismounting and had to make a grab at him for balance.

I thought all along that there was a very willing horse in there, but he's clearly also very kind when it's most needed. I was so pleased with him.
 

Huggy

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What a boy! Mind you - what are we all like - doing stuff that we clearly shouldn't when we're not 100%!
 

carthorse

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Oh based on today he's clearly the brains of the partnership 🤣 . Any horse that suddenly went that lame I'd have on box rest and the vet straight up, me it's take a couple of cocodamol, strap it up and carry on :rolleyes:
 
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carthorse

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We've been staying away from busy roads for a while - though given how much seems to be on the back roads he's still seen plenty - but today I decided to take him along the 30mph main road. He'd been very good and relaxed so we were having a trot along when a big lorry came toward us - the builder delivery sort with a crane and full builders bags - and he was definitely doing a bit more than 30. So I signalled to slow down please, at which point he put his hand out the window to give me a big wave, cheery grin, and kept coming! Cars behind me, big ditch to the side and a horse who to date has got distinctly edgy around big traffic. So leg on, keep the contact and my usual running commentary turned into a heartfelt prayer
🤣
. Bless him, the trot probably trebled in speed and height (thank you for all the road nails Martin!) and he got strong in the contact but he kept going straight ahead
🥰
. And once past the trot did come back down to a more reasonable pace, though still a bit on the fast side, with a better contact. The bin lorry a few minutes later was positively tame after that
🤣
 

carthorse

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Spoke to his breeder tonight and found out about the sire's breeding, he's a coloured cob x hackney who is a lot lighter weight that Luka and his dam. That would certainly explain his action, particularly when wound up, and his naturally high head carriage that positively towers if anything catches his eye. I'm told that they are also very sensitive, which makes for an interesting add to a Welsh :rolleyes: . It turns out he wasn't gelded until 5 because his original plan was to keep him as a stallion, but finally he decided he was too old to be confident of giving him a home for life so he thought better to geld and let him have a job that would make his future more secure - I said that as long as I could he'd have a home for life with me because he's just my type on so many levels.

It surprised me less than it should that he was gelded late, in fact it was almost certainly that which gave me such an immediate feel for him - I always seem to get drawn to late cut or rigs!

The breeder was also quick to say don't try to show him who's boss because it'll upset and scare him and he'll never forget or forgive it, I agreed and said he acts like a clingy labrador puppy who wants to please a lot of the time and looks worried at even a slightly cross tone but anyway picking fights just to be the boss really isn't my way. I didn't point out that even as I was trying to talk he was nudging at my phone because he wanted it put down so he was the centre of attention 🤣
 

Huggy

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like a clingy labrador puppy who wants to please a lot of the time and looks worried at even a slightly cross tone
Bless him - that's Ramsey to a "T"! He panicked when my friend (who's a bit harsh) used to shout or smack her horse. He'd get really upset.
 

carthorse

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Bless him - that's Ramsey to a "T"! He panicked when my friend (who's a bit harsh) used to shout or smack her horse. He'd get really upset.

I won't ride him out with loud or rough riders, the one time I did he was very unsettled and jumpy. I also kept him off the yard when it was noisy or very busy, though we're gradually working on that - pushing boundaries gently, never so far that he can't cope.
 
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carthorse

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A few changes since I last updated. the main one being we've moved yards. He wasn't happy where he was and was getting more edgy with time rather than improving - if I was going away for a week I'd take him to a different yard for some schooling an he'd unload there, look around and visibly relax. I was also very worried about what would happen in the winter, yo wouldn't budge on having to stable at night even when I said I was happy to pay double livery so I could keep a stable for emergencies but have him out with the outdoor horses most of the time, just said "he'll have to get used to it" - reality check, you aren't the only yard :mad:. I knew he would stable as he did some of the time at the schooling yard, it was something about there. So I spoke to an old yo of mine and moved him. He's so much happier, I wish I'd done it after the first month when I had doubts about him settling. He now has permanent company (a 2yo Shetland with no concept of personal space), a field with a bit more grass in it, hay in the field if they eat it and to top it all he's decided he wants to be in at night! The main thing is though he's so much more relaxed. Even allowing for the dreadful grazing where he was I was having to feed a lot of decent food and two nets of haylage a day to keep weight on him and it's now clear how much nerves were burning through that because he's doing well on far less.

I've also had to change his saddle. Despite being right on paper and correctly fitted he wasn't at all happy with it and it was moving badly. In fairness to my saddler his shape and movement didn't make him easy to fit. While I was on holiday and he was on schooling livery they used one of their saddles on him which stayed in place and he was very happy to work in, so when they were prepared to sell that one (it's not used much as too wide for his horses, the horse it was bought for was sold a while ago) I bought it. Is it the right saddle in theory? Probably not and I know my saddler isn't happy, but it stays in place and he seems very happy in it so that's good enough. Of course he couldn't decide he liked and fitted in a cheap or even middle of the range saddle, no it had to be a top of the range Devoucoux jump saddle for a cob that will probably never jump a thing! I'm refusing to buy a new bridle, girth or saddle pad in brown, he'll just have to cope with non-matching black because my bank account is in shock.

Why do people think cobs are low maintenance and will put up with anything? I look around me and often think TBs are among the easier options!
 
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Jessey

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Oo very nice saddle! Good to hear you’ve moved for the better, you’ll be able to enjoy him more now as he’s happier
 

Doodle92

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Saddles are strange things. Mintos was fitted to robin and checked several times and it technically fitted. It wasn’t until I decided to buy a new saddle that I realised quite how much he didn’t like that saddle. I also have a jump saddle and will never jump. But it helps keeps me on board when he spins!
 

carthorse

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@Jessey it is a very nice saddle, and I say that as someone who normally hates jump saddles. The blocking on it isn't extreme so I can ride long without it getting in the way, and that makes me feel more secure than jump saddles that I have to shorten my stirrups in. For him the panels extend way past the seat so it gives a big bearing surface to reduce pressure points. and despite the forward cut the front is so flexible it doesn't block his shoulder at all, impressive when he's in full trot action.

@Doodle92 over the years I've known a few horses that have their own views on saddle fit, hating what is deemed correct but being very happy in saddles that even I could see were totally wrong. It's their back, they're entitled to a say. Unlike you I'm not a fan of jumping saddles though - I've ridden in loads and until this one the best of them I merely disliked and felt insecure in. Mind you with what this cost it should feel good!

@Huggy HA! just about says it all 🤣 🤣


I was half an hour late tonight (yes, for the horse that wouldn't stable) and he'd pulled his headcollar over to the field side of the gate and was busily chewing on it, then started pawing as soon as he saw me. Why do I always choose the "expressive" ones?
 
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Huggy

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Your reply to me, when I once asked "What did I take on?" was - "A cob, you took on a cob" . My reply to you now is, is there such a thing as a non "expressive" cob? Never mind making me laugh - Hogan has my friend, the YO, in stitches every single day.
 
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carthorse

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That's the thing though, isn't it @Huggy , they have such massive personalities that we can't help but laugh at them and they always bring a smile to our faces when we most need it.
 
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Doodle92

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I had wanted a gp but saddle fitter said they were actually harder to source as most people want a jump and a dressage now. I was buying new so she bought a few to have a sit in. I didn’t think I would like it until I sat on it. Tried another couple. Went back to that, it is an Albion k2, and it just felt right, thankfully Robin agreed. Still no idea what was wrong with the old one!
 
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