Thursday, 22 September 2011

Simon Says

Still busy here, as usual.  I have decided to class Thursdays as my day off, as lately the weekends can be busier than some of my week days.
I have been going to the knitting group in the village every Thursday morning and really enjoy it.  I don't knit though, as you know, but it's really motivated me to keep doing my cross stitch. We have such a laugh, and I really need it.
The woman who owns the shop keeps alpacas.  She knits things with their wool.  It's fabulous stuff.  Imagine being able to knit wool from your own animals.  Alpacas actually sound quite easy to keep.  They don't need to be mucked out or fed much, and their little feet don't churn the ground up like horses' hooves do.  Mmmm.. (rubs chin thoughtfully!)  Unlike most animals, it's not the male that's the most valuable.  You know how you have your stallion or your stud dog?  With alpacas it's the female that counts.  Where you can buy a male for £500, the females can be £2000 or more.  Nobody's rung up about our livery spaces, so you never know, alpacas may be the way to go.
Simon, our field ornament, has settled in very well.  He likes Zak a lot.  John has been schooling him this evening and Simon has been standing in the field whinnying for him.  It's not that he doesn't like Barnaby but there's definitely an air of 'Us TB's must stick together.'  Leigh and her sister came up to see him yesterday, but he didn't seem desperately interested, to be honest.  Considering he's only been here a week and a half, he's very settled.
I have decided to clip Barnaby in the next day or two.  I keep hacking him out and not going very far but when we come back he's dripping wet.  I couldn't think what the matter was, but realised he's got very hairy very quickly.  I've never clipped him this early before, I normally do his first one in the middle of October, but needs must. 
I decided to lunge him yesterday.  I don't do it on my own very often, as he's very difficult to lunge.  He quite often runs off and eventually I have to let go of the lunge line.  I can't attach the clip to the noseband on the cavesson, I have to put it through his bit ring, over his head and clip it onto the bit ring on the other side. 
But he did get away from me, the crafty devil.  He galloped round and round and up and down until he ran out of puff.  I caught him and decided to take the lunge line off him and just freeschool him instead.  With most horses I think free schooling is a total waste of time, but I decided as long as he burned off a few calories I wouldn't mind.
And then, to my astonishment, he brought himself onto a 20m circle and started lungeing himself around me.  I decided to give him some voice commands and he obeyed them instantly.  Then I stuck the whip out in my left hand and said, "Aaand Barnaby, TURN!" and he did, and went the other way.  I was thrilled.  Again I gave him voice commands and he obeyed them all.  I have no idea what it is about being on the lunge line that he doesn't like, but he looked at me at the end as if to say, "See, I told you I could do it!"  I gave him a good rub to say 'good boy'.  He looked as if to say, "You've learned a lot today, haven't you?"(giving me that sideways, patronising look).   It was fabulous.  We've had him six years!  So I guess that's how we'll be lungeing in future. 
So all is well here, but I wouldn't mind a couple of liveries to come soon.  Here's hoping.


  1. I have no idea what lunging is but am glad Barnaby got the hang of it! Your knitting group sounds fab. Em x

  2. Hi Jane, what a fun horse he always surprises you, hope that he keeps it up. hugs Shirleyxxxx

  3. My Toby will free lunge like that. The other guys kind of wander around in egg shaped loops until they get tired of the game and wander off. *LOL* Sounds as if Barnaby was quite pleased to teach you a good lesson about how to properly train him. *G*


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