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Horse Grooming

By appointment only

Riley began week six at his new home with more appointments than me.  I must admit over the last couple of weeks I have been busy making arrangements for him and buying all the necessary gear. Monday mornings are becoming one of my favourite times at the yard.  The riding school is closed so it is very quiet and both the indoor and outdoor schools are usually free all day long. I usually take a coffee to the stables with me so when I arrive at Riley’s stable, it’s time for a chat with him, which I must admit is one sided and I get to enjoy my drink.

Relaxing in the sun

Horse Grooming
Riley standing well for a grooming session
Monday 2nd March was a lovely sunny day, so I tied Riley outside for a long grooming session. He was very well behaved and didn’t even quibble when it came to pick out his feet.  I had decided to spend some time working on taking him to the mounting block, as he tends to swing out when I try to mount. After that I rode for about ten minutes bareback. Come Tuesday morning, and still without a saddle, I was unable to have my riding lesson on Riley, so there was a brief session of groundwork before it was time to change him into his rug. After that, a mad dash to turn him out before my lesson and volunteering with Riding for the Disabled.

Riley’s pedicure

Wednesday morning. After my now daily routine of coffee and chat over the stable door, Riley and I did some more groundwork followed by some bare back riding.  Currently, I am sticking to walk as I have only ridden bare back a few times in my life and Riley has a quick trot that takes a while to slow down.
Bareback horse riding
My first time riding him bareback
The farrier was due later that day and any horses at the yard who are seeing him, generally stay in their stable for the day.  As it was early, I decided to turn Riley out for a couple of hours, head home for something to eat and return afterwards to bring him back in. Consequently, that day it did feel as though I had spent more time at the yard than away from it.  When I returned later that day, Riley had four nicely trimmed feet and he was munching away happily.

Our first trot-up

On Thursday morning we had an appointment arranged for the physio to check his back.  As we had time before the appointment, Riley and I did some groundwork although it wasn’t entirely successful as he wasn’t too keen on going backwards when asked. At 10am Amy from Visionary Equine Therapy arrived.  She started by asking about Riley’s history and then we had to walk and trot so that she could assess him.  After that we reconvened in his stable and she set to work.  She was generally happy with him and advised that he should be fine as a general-purpose pony although wouldn’t have the confirmation for Burghley Horse Trials.  I can live with that as I wouldn’t have the confidence.  Amy also recommended that I buy a weigh tape and monitor his weight each week. The yard manager spoke to me later that day to advise that the Farrier had mentioned to her that Riley had had laminitis in all four feet at some time in the past and that it is something that we would need to monitor.  There was also the recommendation that we switch from haylage to hay. It seems that Riley doesn’t currently have laminitis and that given his healthier lifestyle in recent months, he should be fine so long as we monitor food and keep him working.

Riley tends to fidget for the first five minutes

On Friday morning we had a lovely grooming session.  Riley tends to fidget for the first five minutes but then settles down and seems to enjoy it although only if we are outdoors.  I love spending the time grooming and I do particularly love brushing his tail which is just as well as he always has a lot of wood shavings from his bed in it each day. I spent so long grooming him that I didn’t have time to ride him afterwards. Later, I made an appointment for a saddle fitter to visit Riley. That will happen on Friday 13th March and I am really looking forward to it as I can’t wait to have a saddle again and get back to riding properly and have my regular lessons on him.

It was a wonderful sight to see him in all his glory

Saturday was his day off although I still groomed him.  It was such a beautiful sunny day and I am not sure who enjoyed themselves more, me or Riley.  Afterwards as the weather was so lovely, I turned him out without a rug for the first time since he had been clipped.  He rolled within a minute of being in the field and I must admit it was a wonderful sight to see him in all his glory with no rug. Then as usual it was back to his stable for mucking out.  I enjoy mucking out although it is surprising how much times passes and there have been a few passing comments on how lovely his bed is. On Sunday, it was another grooming session although this time he wasn’t well behaved. At the moment he does flip between good and bad behaviour.  He does seem to fare better being groomed outside and luckily it was another sunny day, so I turned him out without a rug again.

Go shopping for a weight tape. Come home with a gorgeous Kingsland polo shirt!

There is a tack shop on the livery yard, so I popped in to buy a weigh tape. Unfortunately for me they did not have one however I can pick one up on Tuesday.  Unsurprisingly, I didn’t leave the shop empty handed as I decided to have a browse and spotted a gorgeous Kingsland polo shirt so came home with that instead. I spent the afternoon online finding lightweight rugs for Riley as he only has medium weight and with the warmer weather on its way, he needs new rugs.  I wanted plain navy which wasn’t as easy to find as I had anticipated, however did find them and I am expecting them in a couple of days.
Riley and I in the sun. He is such a special horse

I have found a very special horse

There are still ups and downs and from speaking to people it sounds as though that will never change. Nonetheless, I do know I have found a very special horse and, in the future, both he and I will have changed in a good way.

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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Hello My name is Sharon Howe and I am horse mad. This site is my place to scribble away my…


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