The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Hard Lesson

The warm spell continued. Other Dad put Dibby and me out to graze by 8.30 this morning. Dad came later and prepared our stables.

Dad brought me in at 1.00 and I stood for a while in the cool, whilst Dad put on my black exercise bandages and groomed me. There was a haynet but I wasn't really bothered with it.

Dad and Other Dad sat and had some coffee next to me by my stable and then Dad got changed and tacked me up. Our lesson was fixed for 2.30 and we went out to warm up at 2.15. This went well, including some work without stirrups, but went on rather a long time. Teacher Steve arrived at 3.00 or so. He had 'phoned Kate to say he was running late but her mobile didn't receive the call when she was out hosting lunch for a departing member of staff. There you go.

Dad explained how our competitions had gone last week and showed the sheets and snaps. He also outlined the problem in schooling with upwards transitions in canter. We only did a little work in walk and went up into trot and, much quicker than usual, practised transitions to canter. It didn't go very well and I either went on the forehand or cantered off on the wrong foot quite often. Dad wondered if it was because the underlying quality of trot wasn't good enough -because I had already been out foran hour. We repeated the process a lot and there were quite a lot of instructions - particularly to give a strong half-halt on the outside rein and just to slide the outside leg back to give the canter aid.

We eventually improved a little . In the clammy heat Dad got rather groggy and was pleased to have a sit down when he dismounted at the end of the lesson. Teacher said I was very well and a bit strong and full of myself just now. Dad would need to use half-halts and give a clear canter aid and not be too fussed if it was necessary to repeat the process in practice to obtain a consistently accurate transition. Others were in the school when we were having our lesson and cantering past, which made it harder- although I guess it was a pretty good rehersal for most warm up arenas at competitions. Teacher thought we should alternate between the pelham and double bridle for a while and have the next lesson in a double. We finished and it was all fairly discouraging compared to our earlier lessons - possibly one to put down to experience; Dad hasn't decided yet.

We got inside and Dad sat down for a while and drank some water, whilst I stood by the stable. Sue came in and kindly untacked me and hosed me down by which time Dad felt better and brought Dibby in. When we had rested for sufficiently long, Dad gave us our tea.

I meant to talk about the other reiki consultation a few weeks ago, when I was visited by a nice lady called Sara. Dad told me Sara would come and would probably be better at speaking to me than most people. He said I should enjoy speaking to her and that there was nothing to worry about.

When Sara arrived she introduced herself and came into my stable whilst Dad stood in the background. I wandered around a little until I settled down. She ran her hands over me without touching and I could feel it was going on – particularly in the more sensitive places like my back and hind quarters.

Sara thought I had some soreness in my pelvic region and offside rear thigh, and some pain in my hooves. She wondered if I had any known history of abscesses in the hooves and Dad told her that the farrier who saw me when I was brought in from the field a long time ago found some problems, which are now rectified.

In the past I remember being teased, especially in my ears; someone had “hung off them” which was very painful. Dad is now very careful when he touches my ears and it isn’t a problem any more.

Sara asked me some questions about my early years. I found it sad to talk about and didn’t want to say much. I couldn’t help but give the impression that there had been times of lengthy and severe hardship in the past – specifically being very cold, wet and hungry for a long time. This was a really negative experience for me and I didn’t want to feel the same again, so Sara let it rest at that.

I didn’t have much to say on how I was backed, but there was some long time after when I didn’t do much. I think I may have suffered from a virus for a while a long time ago. Sara said she thought I had a tendency to chest or respiratory infection.
Sara asked me about my previous owners. I have a strong memory of a fair haired woman who sat leaning forward in a way that was not always comfortable. Afterwards Dad sent Sara a copy of a photo of my previous owner Elaine sitting on me and Sara said it was the same person I had described to her.

I have very clear memories of being driven in harness. I remember the pain caused by this and uncomfortable, ill-fitting tack. I think I sustained the injuries to my back and pelvis whilst being driven. I have a distant memory of being involved in a
collision involving a metal object – possibly galvanised – such as a large water trough.

I like my pelham bit and am used to consistent poll pressure. I don’t like it when there is too little contact and I have no support. My current tack is comfortable, but I have strong memories of pain when being driven and an uncomfortable brown saddle which hurt.

Generally I’m happy with our current activities. I don’t particularly want to get back to hacking because I do worry and get tense when we are out on the road. I would quite like to jump, but suffer some pain in my front hooves – I don’t know if this was from a past accident. It may explain why I tend to go through rather than over even small jumps from trot.

My sight seems OK, but I have some confusion over past memories perhaps from driving days – perhaps relating to when I wore blinkers. Obviously blinkers are designed to obscure peripheral vision, but after my accident I am uneasy about anything behind me I can’t see.

When he rides Dad is a little twisted with his right hip higher than left and he slips to the right. He needs to continue to work on this and to sit up straight – unlike my
previous owner. He should also ride forward. I definitely don’t want Dad to resume any work in harness – absolutely not.

I’m happy with my current life and enjoy my current activities. I like my current home and Dad very much and feel happier and more secure. I’m happy with my companions and enjoy having other horses around, even though I’m not in charge and not very high in the pecking order.

Generally I’m content and very centred. Sara said I am an “old soul” but being a cob I’m not sure what that means!

Other Dad came down later to check that we were alright. It was in the middle of a loud thunder storm by then, but Dibby and I weren't unduly worried; we cobs have a calm approach to most meteorological conditions


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