Sid's diary

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Just for the record, here is Sid's original advert:

Screenshot 2021-04-02 at 15.12.57.png

and the pictures:
Screenshot 2021-04-02 at 15.17.48.png
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And the video:

Natalia the dealer was honest about him, his good and his bad parts (the bad are that he is grumpy, basically, and doesn't like to stand at the mounting block).

I tried him the day he went up on HorseQuest; Sarah my RI saw me ride him and rode him herself the next day; and he was vetted, passed easily and was brought to me on 31 March, a week after I first viewed him.

I'm sure there will be loads to say about Sid, but I'll do separate entries rather than one big one!
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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I love him Jane, heā€™s just so sweet. I love his blue eye too. I think heā€™s going to be one of those horses who grows with you.
 
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Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Lovely riding, please don't put yourself down, he looks so comfortable and willing and that's credit to your riding!
 
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Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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He looks 100 times more comfortable with you riding him compared to the video you posted last week. You are so obviously suited to one another and will have great fun with him.
 
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chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Yep i agree he looks more comfortable with you on him. That seller video did him no favours. He looked uncomfortable.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Observations of Sid so far

It's Easter Sunday and I have the day off, so a chance to do a little work in the school with Sid and evaluate where we are so far.

Things Sid can do that are good

Leads really nicely and be a pleasure to take out for a walk. Curious, interested, a nice brisk walk with a good overtrack. Not very spooky and easy to manage when he is. A lovely brisk trot at a word ("trot!"), takes responsibility for keeping the lead rope slack.

Lifts all his feet helpfully and easily.

Stands to be groomed and sorted out.

Enjoys a scratch, especially on his back and haunches. He makes wonderful faces.

Puts his head into the headcollar to be caught and wait politely while you fiddle with it.

Is easy to bridle, even when the bridle is the wrong size at the moment.

Lunges at walk and trot (I'm sure he can do canter too but haven't tried), walks and trots over poles on the ground and small jumps. Lovely neat jump.

Pays attention, one ear locked on, and tries hard to understand what you want even if it's new to him.

Backs up, though it's not his favourite thing.

Manages a treat ball like a pro.

Imitates a giraffe at feeding time.

Grooms other horses very thoroughly.

Keeps remarkably clean, especially his tail, which is really white! I suppose it helps that it's so dry.

Gives up relatively quickly when he has decided not to be caught (see below. 2 quick moves while spinning the rope to get him into a corner have worked both times so far.

Things Sid can do which are not so good

Decides he doesn't want to be caught and runs away.

Decides he doesn't want to be caught, runs away, encounters a double strand of fence, tests it with his whiskers and bulls straight through it when he finds it is off!

Lunges at trot very very fast and is really hard to slow down. I think a previous owner used fast lungeing as exercise.

Makes rude faces if you come near him when he is eating or otherwise doesn't want to be bothered..

Lunges at other horses who come near him when he is eating.

Swings his bottom to you when you reach to stroke his shoulder (he has only done this once mind you).

Things Sid struggles with

Bending and stepping under. Today we tried unwinding (where you take the rope over the wrong side of the horse and he has to turn away from you, all the way around, to solve the puzzle). First he couldn't figure out what he needed to do to sort it out, and then he clearly found it very hard work to bend his neck and step under to turn himself away from me. He did manage it, but it was tough.

Stuff happening above his head, which is quite a regular occurrence in our hilly terrain.

Summary

He seems a very well trained little horse who enjoys going out and working generally, but he has a smart brain and is definitely testing me. Pretty much every day he tries something on, just once, as if he's saying "just checking". Once I handle it appropriately - yelling, waving my arms and being cross when he swung his bum, getting after him and keeping him moving when he declined to be caught - he shrugs and gets on with it. I feel that I am being assessed in just the same way that I am assessing him! He is definitely clever. And sweet.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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"Backs up, though it's not his favourite thing."
Rashid who starts with backing up any horse, says he does so because backing up is not something horses do on their own. You are asking a horse to do for you something that does not come naturally. Most other things will be done easy after that compliance.
 
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diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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The video of you riding him he was more relaxed. He could be a bit stiff in his neck so carrot stretches could help loosen him up. He did nothing wrong, he changed pace and direction when asked, didn't buck into canter and was well mannered. If he has been chased around in circles in lunging as exercise, it's pretty boring for him and also if he is a bit stiff throughout it isn't helping him. He doesn't look that fit so maybe not been doing all that much. The bit looks as if it is too wide for him, as it is too far out of the corner of his mouth. Being a cob, he probably has a thick tongue and might be more comfy not in a snaffle. If you can borrow or try a Myler - i use this on Buddy and he goes well in it. I used it on Rose and Molly cobs as well as they didn't like snaffles. You can put the rein on the round part like a normal rein or you can put it on the bottom D for poll pressure - i've only used it on the standard ring with Buddy. I find they can't tank off with it and it gives their tongue a lot of room and it doesn't pull through easily if it is the right size.

1617555378256.png
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Surrey Hills
I'm glad that there are some things we can do together which will be learning for him, as well as me! @diplomaticandtactful I am going to see if Ziggy's old bits fit him. I have a French link eggbut, ditto with a little "b" shape (can't remember the name) and one with steering aids which I will use for long reining if he's a beginner at that too. The eggbut looked as if it was a good fit and he didn't show any discomfort, but I'll all my RI and my dentist to check his mouth conformation and we can go for one with a higher port if necessary.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Surrey Hills
Just a note which I will edit to add where we have walked during this exploratory phase and how he was. I want to build up until he knows our immediate area quite well and has ranged a little bit further afield too.

The local names will not mean anything to anyone except me!

  1. Short loop up the hill onto the Heath, a little way up the bridle track and back along the lane. 25 minutes. Scared of cow.
  2. Up Green Lane to the Heath, up the canter track and back across the lane and home. 50 minutes. Cow OK but scared of things above his head, eg dogs on a bank.
  3. Up the lane and onto the Heath through the gully. Up the main track to the gallops and over to the Blackheath car park. Through the village to the bottom and back on the Spooky Wood bridle track, up the steep hill to the Far Side and home. 1hr. 5 mins noms on the Far Side wavy grass. Very good indeed, only 1 tiny skitter outside Southbrook when the wind got up suddenly. Knows "stand" and will wait for me to eg cross a log before stepping over and coming in on the rope when I call him.
 

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
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Just a note which I will edit to add where we have walked during this exploratory phase and how he was. I want to build up until he knows our immediate area quite well and has ranged a little bit further afield too.

The local names will not mean anything to anyone except me!

  1. Short loop up the hill onto the Heath, a little way up the bridle track and back along the lane. 25 minutes. Scared of cow.
  2. Up Green Lane to the Heath, up the canter track and back across the lane and home. 50 minutes. Cow OK but scared of things above his head, eg dogs on a bank.
  3. Up the lane and onto the Heath through the gully. Up the main track to the gallops and over to the Blackheath car park. Through the village to the bottom and back on the Spooky Wood bridle track, up the steep hill to the Far Side and home. 1hr. 5 mins noms on the Far Side wavy grass. Very good indeed, only 1 tiny skitter outside Southbrook when the wind got up suddenly. Knows "stand" and will wait for me to eg cross a log before stepping over and coming in on the rope when I call him.
he's doing really well, very brave and compliant
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Quite an eventful walk today. I thought it might be and in retrospect perhaps it would have been better to wait for a less gusty day, but all went well in the end.

We went up the bridlepath towards the Sheepwalk. The first place you pass through is a competition yard and stud. There are always lots of horses there, youngsters, breeding mares, their stallion and several liveries. They also have a couple of pigs in a small bit of woodland between two of the paddocks by the bridlepath, presumably because they want their horses to grow up unafraid of them. Ziggy didn't mind pigs, but I know many horses do and indeed Sid was very very unhappy about them )even though they were in their hutch like sensible creatures with a windchill in the negative figures!). He did at one point try to turn tail and head for home, but I dug my heels in and he came back to me. I insisted and he passed by the pigs, with me between him and them, shivering and making like a giraffe the whole time.

Then the stallion saw him and screamed at him and he stopped, looking absolutely horrified: "What is he on?!" ! But he walked on when I asked him, and was good passing the mares and the dog kennels. At the yard proper there were some really flappy tarpaulins which gave him a fright but again, he walked past when I asked.

After that walking through the woods was a piece of cake. Sid calmed down quickly and his head dropped from its high-alert position. I chatted away to him and after a little while I noticed that every few minutes he was touching me on the shoulder. To start with I thought it was just chance, because we were on a very narrow track, but when I changed to the other side of him he was still doing it and I realised it was on purpose. It was a gentle touch, just brushing his moustache and lips against my shoulder. I thought he might be asking for reassurance, so when he did it I spoke to him gently and stroked his neck. We walked for about half an hour like that, touch-stroke, touch-stroke. I've never had a horse do that before.

After about 45 minutes altogether we got to Green Lane and walked back home (another 20 minutes or so, it's about a mile). He had been along this lane in the other direction but was still curious about it, probably because he was heading the other way. At the end we went up onto our drive and into the front garden for him to have 5 minutes' grazing on the lawn.

He was really good. He's not at all switched off or dopey, he is as reactive as any other horse, but he really tries to control himself when you ask him. I get the feeling that he is beginning to trust me, too - no grumpy faces today.
 

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
12,682
2,063
113
Quite an eventful walk today. I thought it might be and in retrospect perhaps it would have been better to wait for a less gusty day, but all went well in the end.

We went up the bridlepath towards the Sheepwalk. The first place you pass through is a competition yard and stud. There are always lots of horses there, youngsters, breeding mares, their stallion and several liveries. They also have a couple of pigs in a small bit of woodland between two of the paddocks by the bridlepath, presumably because they want their horses to grow up unafraid of them. Ziggy didn't mind pigs, but I know many horses do and indeed Sid was very very unhappy about them )even though they were in their hutch like sensible creatures with a windchill in the negative figures!). He did at one point try to turn tail and head for home, but I dug my heels in and he came back to me. I insisted and he passed by the pigs, with me between him and them, shivering and making like a giraffe the whole time.

Then the stallion saw him and screamed at him and he stopped, looking absolutely horrified: "What is he on?!" ! But he walked on when I asked him, and was good passing the mares and the dog kennels. At the yard proper there were some really flappy tarpaulins which gave him a fright but again, he walked past when I asked.

After that walking through the woods was a piece of cake. Sid calmed down quickly and his head dropped from its high-alert position. I chatted away to him and after a little while I noticed that every few minutes he was touching me on the shoulder. To start with I thought it was just chance, because we were on a very narrow track, but when I changed to the other side of him he was still doing it and I realised it was on purpose. It was a gentle touch, just brushing his moustache and lips against my shoulder. I thought he might be asking for reassurance, so when he did it I spoke to him gently and stroked his neck. We walked for about half an hour like that, touch-stroke, touch-stroke. I've never had a horse do that before.

After about 45 minutes altogether we got to Green Lane and walked back home (another 20 minutes or so, it's about a mile). He had been along this lane in the other direction but was still curious about it, probably because he was heading the other way. At the end we went up onto our drive and into the front garden for him to have 5 minutes' grazing on the lawn.

He was really good. He's not at all switched off or dopey, he is as reactive as any other horse, but he really tries to control himself when you ask him. I get the feeling that he is beginning to trust me, too - no grumpy faces today.
despite the drama really really nice, he sounds a right poppet
 
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