Monday, November 16, 2009

Wargames day 2

Hi all, sorry it's been awhile, but I'm currently having internet access problems - why? Well, me and Mum went to the wargames day on Sunday... and she left me there - here I was thinking she didn't love me any more, but she did come around today for a ride and to give me DINNER!! But I guess I should start from the start. Sunday morning Mum comes and takes me out of the paddock and loads me up into the truck, and we head off for the wargames. But heading into Riverhead the truck starts acting funny - Mum's thinking it is either the gear box or the clutch - wuh woh. We get there safely though.
When I get out of the truck, I smelt something really weird - I didn't realise my neck could arch in such a way, and boy did I start snorting. Mum thinks it was the sheep hides in the shed that set me off, but I don't know. What did the poor sheep do?
Once we were saddled up, we all went into the paddock and did some Steve Brady patterns, while the ground crew fought each other and made lots of noise. It was interesting to watch, but I wasn't too sure when the fight came a little too close to me some times. Eventually I had enough of watching, and when mum asked me to walk around, I decided it was time to play up a little, every time I had my back to the racket, I tried to use it as an excuse to take off - it didn't work, and then she made me start working round in circles and in figure 8's changing direction all the time so I actually had to listen to her - it was much more fun pretending I was scared and trying to run away. She takes all the fun out of life!!
Then we rode the gauntlet between two lines of warriors, hitting their shields with their swords or axes. I'm sure I came pretty close to doing a piaffe there when mum wouldn't let me run forward, but in no time I was walking through there pretty calmly for mum, or trot or even canter when she decided it was going pretty good. I had to keep to one speed though - she wouldn't let me gallop through there.
One time they were even yelling out "KILL KILL" but I went through. I can be a good girl when I want to be. Mum kept threatening me that I would be the best horse there for them to have for dinner - what could a girl do but behave!
After a bit of that, the rain started, so we took a mid wargames break (or some of the horses got to - mum wanted me to do some canter transitions - I'm tired of doing my Steve and Shar homework, especially when she won't let me rush).
But she didn't keep me at it too long before taking me back to the truck, taking my bridle off and loosening off my saddle. Then I waited while the humans talked for a while.
When the weather changed, all the humans were back up in the saddle, though Cruise, Ra and Autumn got to give other people rides - Daphne looked soo happy after her ride on Cruise.
I then stood and watched while Anna put a funny cap on her head, and then a big metal helm - she looked funny in the cap, but I didn't recognise her once she had the helm on. I think they also handed a helm to my mum too, but I didn't get to see what she looked like. She sounded funny under there though, and it kept hitting on the zip of her jacket making a funny noise, which had me a little jumpy.
Mum then walked me up to a cabbage on a spike, but she wouldn't let me eat it - that wasn't fair, I'm sure it was there for us horses to eat - why else would you put a cabbage out in the middle of a horse paddock? Apparently to swipe at it with wooden swords, a mace or a real sword (though mum didn't use the real sword - she was frightened enough that she might get me with the mace). We then we ridden at the cabbage while our riders took mock strikes at the cabbage with the wooden swords, which wasn't too bad, except from the metallic sound that sometimes came from on my back. But then they took swipes at it for real - though mum's hand eye coordination isn't the best... at least I know she won't hit me... I hope!
Once the mace came out, there was cabbage blood all over the ground - that made it an entirely different kettle of fish - it was much scarier then, and I know mum was distracted with the helm bouncing around too (and only having one hand on the reins because of the sword), so I made the most of any opportunity I could! Some people got some good swipes in at the cabbage, even mum got one or two, and then they changed the cabbage for a watermelon.
First Anna took a swing at it, and then Matt came charging up and split it in half with one stroke - pretty impressive! The poor watermelon was pretty cut up after a little bit of this, and Lady T went round handing out bits of melon to all the humans - she didn't give any to me though :( So unfair. Didn't she know I was STARVING??
After that came the charge - I was having a good time running with the other horses, until I realised that I was running towards two human warriors. But mum kept urging me on - I showed her though, I did my bouncy I'm about to stop canter, but still she made me run through them - I'm sure it wasn't a pretty sight however - lol.
It was then time to finish the wargames for the day. I had my cover put on and headed out in the paddock with Autumn, Ra, Cruise and Murph, where I got to polish off the cabbage leaves that had been left lying around, even if I didn't get any watermelon, I could still enjoy the cabbage!
The humans finished off with a barbecue, and after that was finished, mum came into the paddock, took my cover off, and next thing I know I see the truck driving out the gate without me?!? Apparently she didn't trust it to get home with me in the back, so I get to keep Murph company until the Steve Brady practice day here on Tuesday. He still doesn't really like me though - he just can't get over how pretty I am, I'm sure!
Mum told me my truck is in the driveway at home, up on a jack, where her dad is trying to get the clutch out to get it fixed. The main thing though is she hasn't forgotten me, and she came out today for a ride, and most importantly she brought me DINNER!!!!
The fact that I am currently not at home has made finding a computer much harder, but SHHHHH, don't tell Eve I've snuck off to do this. More later.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

DIY warhorse practice

Well, mum's finished work for the shift, so I guess she decided it was time for me to do some work... how inconsiderate.
It was weird though. First off her dad came out and hammered something into the ground in the paddock that us girls have been using. After a little bit my mum came out and started putting poles on the ground in funny patterns, and got out these big orange cones and put them all over the place, and hung one of those round shield thingy's on the post that had been hammered into the ground.
Then mum came and got me and saddled me up - after a good brush to get rid of my loose coat. I just can't get rid of it! After my brush there wasn't as much chestnut 'snow' lying on the ground like there has been though.
When mum was up in the saddle she was riding one handed again - I could tell, but she didn't have anything else in the hand that she wasn't using, so sometimes she cheated and used two - it wasn't fair, I couldn't get away with any of the mischief I had planned *sob*
She had me doing all these patterns between the poles and going around cones at walk, trot and canter, and then she would stop and back up. She kept telling me what a good girl I was :)
Then I walked up to the tall thing with the shield hanging on it, and I had to stop beside it while mum hit it with her hand - that wasn't too bad. Then she went and picked up a stick (this certainly wasn't a sword, just a stick) and she would ride past the shield at walk and trot and hit the shield, or she would get me to stop beside it while she hit it. Then she had me riding round the outside of the paddock while she hit the fenceposts with the stick - I didn't mind that, but I did jump a little when the stick made the fence go twang, but after a bit even that didn't bother me.
She kept mixing it up too, some one handed, some two handed work - loose rein, with contact, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, shoulder in. I never knew what was coming next, but it was certainly fun!
The other girls were out on the grass verge, but I don't think they were eating much of my GRASS I think they were watching and being very impressed by my brilliance don't you think.
After mum finished the serious work, she decided I could help her tidy up - hmpf - that's her job isn't it?!? Apparently not, because she would ride me over to one of the big orange cones and pick it up and make me carry it and her over to the fence. I'm very helpful though, and in no time all the cones were lined up along the fence, and then mum could go and give me a wash and let me out into the paddock where I can go and eat some GRASS with the girls. Now where's my DINNER?!

Warhorse in the one

It was a rather relaxed, late start to the day, with mum loading me into the truck just after 10am. Then on the road again... from the feel of the road, I thought we might be heading back to the place we have the Steve Brady course, but after going through this little town we went straight ahead for a bit... maybe I'm going to the arena to go riding with Petra, Simon, Rose and Restless? No we turned too soon - hmmm somewhere new.
When I got off the truck I recognised two of the horses I had seen at Steve Brady - they belong to a lady called Anna - those two boys are called Cruise and Ra - they are big and grey - I don't like them too much - they are the wrong colour - why would anyone make a horse any colour other than me?
Ra and Cruise were dressed up all funny like, and so was Cruise's rider - he was wearing something called armour. I'd never seen anything like it before, but what do you expect, humans do some silly things!!
When it was time for a ride, we started off riding towards another horse... those greys are scary - I'm sure they are going to try and bite me each time I ride past. I think they are mad at me for being so pretty!?! We kept riding towards a different horse each time, and sometimes there was a horse coming at me from the side - it was kinda a weird thing to do.
Next we played this game called 'tag'. Apparently someone is 'it' and has to try and tag the other riders on their left shoulder. I showed them all how not to be tagged - for one thing I don't really want to let another horse into MY personal space, and then that stuff that mum had been teaching me through the Steve Brady clinics and as homework kicked in, and I kept turning my butt around (don't I have a lovely butt) so the 'it' person couldn't tap my mum on the shoulder. Fun stuff.
The time to ride a pattern through cones like we have done at SB clinics before (sorry, hooves are getting sore and don't feel like typing the full name anymore). Then Anna decided to take things up another level and had these warriors in chain mail standing in the centre of the cones banging their sticks (swords? - whats a sword for) on big things (shields apparently), making all manner of strange noises - especially the one in the helm that I met earlier - I don't think it can be human, though mum assures me it is. We had to ride past these warrior things. Those shields are scary though - especially the big red one. And then our riders picked up one of those stick sword thingys and we had to walk past while our riders hit the shields with their swords. It was funny feeling mum trying to make me do things when she only used one hand on the reins - hey mum, you need to practice that!
The last thing we had to do was a charge for the cameras. They said only a charge at the trot, but where was the fun in that - especially when mum had a sword in the other hand. How about a nice in hand canter? twice even :) Though the second time made me paws errr slow down... when mum wanted me to trot between two of those big warrior things.
It was a fun day, and then I got to spend some time in a paddock with GRASS!!!! Though I did have to share it with those 3 grey boys. Cruise and Ra are okayish, even if they are grey and boys, but Murph doesn't like me. Oh well.
I didn't really want to get in the truck and go home when the day had finished, but it was good to go back and see the other girls and get DINNER and more long GRASS. But boy was I tired!

Hi, I'm Lee

Hi there, my name is Lee and I am a 9 year old Haflinger mare, living just out of Auckland NZ. My mum/owner/slave imported me into NZ from Australia when I was just one, and since then, I've been living with my pals Tammy (an anglo arab mare), Trillium (a stationbred mare) and the most recent addition, Oolala (a mean ass grumpy Haflinger mare).
Since my mum started riding me, I've done fun things like going trekking in the hills around KatiKati, Steve Brady Horsemanship clinics (I enjoy showing up those larger horses - and the response from people even when I do something norty err I mean bad is really funny). I've been riding through the forest with my pal Tammy and another grumpy haflinger, Rose D'Amour (I think she's only grumpy when I'm around though - don't think she likes me too much - must be cos I'm so cute :D ). I've had a dressage lesson and also been ridden in an arena with my mate Restless (another Haflinger) and Rose. I've been out to some ribbon days as well, but mostly mum and I have fun at home. Sometimes people come over and ride me which is fun - but the day I gave pony rides was kinda frustrating. Each time I got back to the fence thinking we were finished, someone else would climb on my back... if I could have rolled my eyes at mum I would have! I also go to the North Island All Breeds In Hand Horse Show every year. Thats kinda fun going and seeing all of the haflingers again - though Lorelei and Rianna don't come any more. They came over on the boat with me from Australia, but I haven't seen them for ages... my mum tells me they have gone down to some place called the South Island... I don't know where that is - sounds cold though - we came southish from Australia and it is much colder here than back home in the Hunter Valley, so I guess a place called the South Island must be even colder still.
My mum's latest idea of fun is turning me into a war horse, so I've decided to sneak up here and provide you all with the details. I must admit the first day was fun - especially seeing what mischiff err trouble I could get away with when mum had her hands full with this wooden thing that is apparently called a sword. So now you know about me, my next blogs (next time I can sneak up the stairs onto mum's computer) is about my effort to become a warhorse :)