The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Monday, July 31, 2006

Walking and halting

After a day-off yesterday, Dad took me in the school mid-morning in my snaffle. We continued our work in walk trying to keep up a steady march. We concentrated on lots of flexions, halt -start transitions, leg yield and shoulder-in with many changes of direction and walk on a long rein. Dad was focussing on breathing, soft eyes, relaxing soulders and keeping heels down. We finished with some upwards transitions to trot and came in without having become overheated.

Dibby was schooled after me and then joined me in the field for a long afternoon grazing. Dad brought us in before the heavy rain started. We were groomed and given tea. Dibby and I prefer it when Both Dads are around; the quality of service deteriorates otherwise. When it comes to their personal comfort cobs are firm believers in maintaining standards.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday off

Since both Dads were due to go for lunch in Stow-on-the-Wold, Dibbs and I were put out to graze early whilst they attended to our stables. We were brought in after 2.00 and put in our stables where haylage and water were ready and given tea later.

Both Dads came to see us about 8.30 and skipped us out and refreshed our water and haylage. We also had an apple each and some minties, so we weren't grumpy for too long. As a rule, cobs don't sulk.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday morning schooling

Other Dad came down early and topped up our haylage and Dad arrived after his haircut. He took me in the school in my snaffle bridle to try to reinforce some of the ground we covered in our lesson yesterday.

We worked in walk with even more flexions, halt/walk on transitions and softening and many changes of direction. We focussed particularly on a pacier walk and straightness with some leg yield and shoulder-in to break it up.Towards the end of the session we did upwards transitions to trot and finished off on a long rein. Dad was quite pleased with my roundness. Leo and later Jack also schooled at the same time, which helped me work on my concentration.

We came in and I was sponged dwon and put out to be joined by Dibbs when his hack finished.

We had the afternoon out and came in at 5.00 or so to be groomed and given tea. We were chilled and relaxed. A quiet and pleasant Saturday; a cobby sort of day.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Back in Friday routine

After yesterday's outing, it was back to routine for a Friday. The hot weather continued and Other Dad put us out to graze at about 8.20. Dad dealt with our stables and brought me in after 2.00 - to give me time to cool down for a lesson at 3.30.

I wore my back exercise bandages, dressage saddle and snaffle for my lesson with Teacher Steve. We went to the far end of the school, supposedly out of the way, but virtually as soon as we had started, someone started jumping a line of fences next to us, so it was rather distracting. Trying to disregard the jumping display and commentary, we worked in walk a lot to increase roundness but walking more actively. This turned ito rather a battle of wills, but following instructions, Dad prevailed in the end. Teacher Steve told Dad how to practice this in our schooling sessions.

We came in. Dad hosed me down and put me in my stable to cool whilst he brushed and rolled my bandages. I could tell he was disturbed by the disruption of our lesson. He gave us our tea with some carrots and an apple each. It had been another long, hot, expensive and not very rewarding day. Even cobs can't always put a positive spin on things.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Dressage party at Solihull

Both Dads arrived at the yard before 8.00 and prepared us to go out in our travel boots, tail guards and sweat rugs - red for me and blue for Dibby. We travelled well in our lorry during a downpour of rain and arrived at Solihull Riding Club at about 8.50 by which time it had brightened up.We were both tacked up in our dressage saddles and snaffles and Both Dads changed into boots, breeches, black jackets and hats.

We had plenty of time to warm up in the covered area. Some of the usual suspects wre charging round in canter but we managed to avoid any collisions. Dibby did Prelim 16 on the outdoor rubber surface first. We were anxious to see how he would feel after his recent treatment and were pleased that he was so spritely. He was given 60% which was not exactly generous but the main thing was that he performed without discomfort and enjoyed himself.

We did the Solihull Walk and Trot test indoors. Dad was pleased with the way we warmed up -virtually all in walk and found me quite soft. The judge felt we should have been rounder and gave us 53% or so, but Dad was more than pleased with my behaviour and perfomance.

After some photos we went back to the lorry and were untacked and sponged down. We had an apple and our haylage before being booted up and taken back home.

It was still hot and humid so we were hosed down to cool and put out to graze until 5.00. Dad had prepared our stables and brought us in for a quick groom and our teas. We cobs like to go out and about to parties and to perform, so today pushed all the buttons.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hot and steamy

After another humid night, Other Dad came down early to top up our haylage and Dad arrived at 10.15. By then it was already hot. We worked in my snaffle and ran through the Walk and Trot test in readiness for tomorrow. Dad found me more resistant in my neck than was ideal during our rehersals, which he found disappointing, but I eventually softened. He decided to leave it at that, but isn't very optimistic about our prospects for tomorrow - especially after the judging last time.

We were sponged off and put out to graze. Dad put our beds up and went home for an hour. He returned and brought us in at 4.15. We stood outside our stables whilst he put the beds down. We were then groomed and given tea. I guess that wasn't one of my most giving efforts in the heat in the school today, but Dad didn't lose his temper. Like some people, cobs aren't invariably generous.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Clipped and bathed

Another really hot day, exceeding 30 degrees. Other Dad put us out early and Dad brought us in shortly after 11.00. Sally - deputising for Claire who is recovering from an accident - came at 12.30 and clipped us both whilst Dad dealt with our stables. Sally made a neat job of it and talked to us both, so we were all very pleased.

After we were clipped, Dad bathed us and shampooed our tails. We were given haylage nets and, since it was so hot, Dad put us back in our clean stables and gave us our tea. We both looked very smart and will enjoy having less coat in this warm weather. A smart cob is a happy cob.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Another early start

With another hot day in prospect, Both Dads came down at 7.00. They gave Dibbs and me a snack, groomed and tacked us up. I wore my snaffle and was schooled as previously with lots of walk, halt transitions, leg yield and shoulder-in. Some jumps were out in a treble and Dad schooled me in and around them, doing lots of ten metre circles in walk and trot. We ran through the walk and trot test again. The first time I was disobedient and Dad got quite cross. We started over and I concentrated better and when I had run through it better we did some work on a long rein and called it a day.

Dibby and I were hosed down, given breakfast proper and put out to graze until 4.00 when Dad brought us in. We were groomed and put in our stables with tea. With all the irritable mares now around our stables, Dad found it best to get us inside and out of harm's way fairly promptly. Some humans, like cobs, find discretion the better part of valour.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Routine Sunday

After a disrupted Saturday, it was back to normal today. Other Dad topped up our haylage early and Dad came down to ride at 10.45. We went in the school whilst Dibbs went for a hack. I was in my snaffle and we did a lot of work in walk getting round with leg yield and shoulder in and halt transitions. Dad was trying to get me to volunteer to soften and take the rein down and work longer and lower. He concentrated on lots of inside leg and outside rein and tried not to have too strong a contact It worked some of the time. Towards the end of the session we trotted and went through the Solihull Walk and Trot test we are due to do on Thursday.

Dad was quite pleased with the session and took me in and sponged me down before putting me out to graze. Dibby joined me when he returned from the hack.

We stayed out until 5.00 and were groomed and put in our stable with our tea. They put another thoroughbred mare in the empty stable opposite me without telling Dad and ignoring his views, so he is worried about our welfare. Cobs aren't highly strung or neurotic like some mares. It's strange that it seems to secure such good treatment; perhaps we should try it sometime.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dad the Steward

Today was the day of the Horse Watch coloured horse show at Solihull and Dad had agreed to be a steward. Other Dad came down at 9.00 whilst Dad was doing his duty stewarding for Henrietta Knight for several classes. He put us out to graze and then went on to the show.

Both Dads returned at about 1.30. By then Dibbs and I were troubled by flies and wanted some attention so we stood by the gate to come in. Both Dads brought us in to eat our haynets whilst they attended to our stables.

At intervals Dad told me about the show - how he had enjoyed meeting Miss Knight and Terry Biddlecombe, who had been very kind and about the other horses and the hard ground. It sounded too hard for Dibby's joints and my balance! Several other horses from the yard competed in various classes including Izzy, Patch, Perry, Bailey, Sassy and Harvey.

At that point a fierce thunderstorm with heavy rain started and the lights went off. We were glad to be inside and were put in our stables and given an early tea.

Other Dad came back later and skipped us out and topped up our haylage. I imagine we will be ridden tomorrow and hopefully will spend some time with Dad. Cobs are keen on quality time.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Funny Friday

Both Dads arrived at 7.00 and rode us in the school whilst it was still cool. Dad had arranged a lesson later in the day and so rode me mostly only in walk, which made a nice change. We loosened up on a long rein both ways for a while and then on a shorter contact with lots of flexions, halt transitions, leg-yield and shoulder-in. Dad practiced breathing, relaxation and soft eyes - as in Sally Swift - and also rode for a long time without stirrups. At the very end we trotted a few circuits again on a long rein and went in after 40 minutes or so.

We were put out to graze whilst Dad put up our beds. The lesson was then cancelled since teacher Steve was unavailable following a fall and we stayed out in the field until about 3.00. Dad brought us in a hosed us down to cool off. We were allowed to do mutual grooming in the washbox before being tidied up, put in our stable and given tea. Although I like my lessons, I was a little relieved to miss out on such a hot afternoon - over 28 degrees and humid. To extend the meteorological metaphor, cobs firmly believe every cloud has a minty lining

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Another early start

The day began with yet another early start. Although overcast, it was still very warm and Both Dads came to ride at 6.45. I wore my snaffle again and we worked mainly in walk to increase roundness. We went up to trot at the end of the session when going around the school with Dibbs.

After breakfast we went out to graze whilst Dad put up our beds.

Dad left usout for most of the afternoon. When he came back at 3.00 we ate a mint or two but didn't signal that we wanted to come in immediately, so he left us and put down our beds. He brought us in after and Both Dads groomed us and gave us tea. Other Dad came down later in the evening to check our water and haylage. This warm weather is a bit of a trial, but cobs are strong on endurance.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hottest so far

The forcast for today was 35 degrees C, so both Dads turned up at 6.50. They gave us a small breakfast and tacked us up. We were in the school by 7.00. It was sunny, but still quite cool. Mary and Breeze were already being ridden when we arrived.

I wore my snaffle . We did a lot of walk with some lateral work and halt transitions. We moved up to trot and canter. My canter transition was still poor and Dad tried various measures to improve it.

We came in and were hosed down and put out to graze. I wore my fly rug and fringe.

Dad was concerned about the heat which had risen to 35 degrees C and came back at 12.30 to bring us in. By that time I was standing by the gate. We watched him put our beds down and top up our haylage and water and were glad to be in the cool for the afternoon.

Both Dads returned at 5.00 to skip out our stables, top up water and haylage and give us our tea. Other Dad also saw we were Ok at 8.00. and skipped out again. We did have a lot of attention, today but are grateful. Cobs are capable of appreciation.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hiding from the sun

Another early-ish start to the day. Both Dads came before 9.00 to see Rob, the vet with Dibbs. Rob came shorty after 9.00 and gave Dibbs his third injection. He looked at him trotted up and thought he seemed better. He now wants Other Dad to do some more schooling including circles to check on his progress. Dad now has the task of submitting the vets and remedial shoeing bills to the insureres - so fingers crossed.

We were put out to graze whilst Dad attended to the stables and Other Dad took one of the cars to have a nail removed and a new tyre fitted. What an expensive week.

When Dad had gone home for an hour, Dibbs and I decided we had had enough of the heat and flies and stood by the gate. The yard telephoned Dad and he came back and brought us in. He hosed us down and put us in our stable in the cool for the afternoon.

He came back at 4.45. It was still too hot to school so he skipped out, topped up our water and haylage and gave us tea. He will try to come and ride in the very early morning tomorrow which promises to be even hotter. There's a saying amongst cobs:"If you can't stand the heat and/or horse flies (delete as appropriate), get out of the field". It may need a bit of work.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Funny sunny Monday

Both Dads turned up before 9.00 this morning, expecting Rob, the vet to call on the hour to give Dibbs the third of his intraveinous injections to help his joints. They put me out to graze in my fly rug and fringe and waited until 10.00 with Dibbs. On checking with the practice they found the vet would come tomorrow instead and so Dibbs was put out to join me whilst they got on with our stables and went home.

By 12.30 we were very troubled by the heat and flies and so the yard rang Dad to come back and bring us in early. He did that and then hosed us both down and put us in the cool of our stables with full haylage nets.

He returned at 4.00 to prepare me for a group lesson with Liz from Moreton Morrell. We were in the first group with Bonnie, Tom, Leo, Little Bailey and Vadio. We worked in walk and trot on both reins and then cantered large and finished with some lateral work. Dad found me a little reluctant to go up into canter again and not as soft and round as he wished. I wore my pelham today and we will practice over the next few days in a snaffle too.

When we went in, I was hosed down yet again and after cooling down for an hour -whilst Dad brushed and rolled my exercise bandages- we were given tea. A demanding and uncomfortable day. Some may like it hot; cobs don't.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunny Sunday

Yet another blazing day. Dad took me in the school in my snaffle at about 10.00 whilst Dibbs went on a hack. The walk and trot work went well but I was reluctant to take the aid to go into canter promptly - if at all. Dad says we will do some work in the pelham to get that sharp again. The flies and heat were tiresome - as were some children riding at the same time - and I was relieved to get indoors into the shade to be hosed down and put out to graze.

We had a long and lazy afternoon in the sunshine and were brought in at5.00 to be groomed and given tea. It seems likely to be a hot week and hopefully - after the group lesson tomorrow evening - Dad will get organised and ride in the cool of the morning. Cobs are sometimes quite optimistic.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hot Saturday

Another warm day. Dad rode me in the school in my saffle whilst Other Dad schooled Dibbs. We worked in walk, trot and canter with some halt transitions and lateral exercises. By the time we finished, we were all hot and bothered and Dibbs and I enjoyed a cool hose down before being put out to graze.

Although it was hot and sunny, there was a pleasant breeze and so we were left out until 5.00. We were given a good groom and our teas. Dad says the coming wek should see even higher temperatures. Funny how the summer heat has been so much of an issue this year. The hard ground seems the most damaging it's ever been. Fortunately it's not up to Dibbs and me to come up with answers to such difficult concerns; cobs have limited understanding of the issues behind global warming.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Back in the groove

Despite not having ridden since Monday, Dad had arranged a leson today with Teacher Steve. Other Dad put Dibby and me out to graze first thing and Dad came to attend to the stables at 11.00.

I was brought in at 1.00 and stood in the cool with my haylage and the lesson bgan at 2.30. I wore my double bridle today and we worked a lot in walk to begin, concentrating on roundness. We moved up to trot and also canter on both reins.

Whilst this was going on, large bales of hay were being unloaded from a trailer and piled up adjacent to the school .Teacher Steve thought it would be a good idea if we had our lesson just next to all this and so we did - apparently as an aid to my concentration (even though the diesel fumes made Dad a little quesy).

We were all pleased with the lesson. Dad hosed me down since I was quite hot and put me in my stable to cool whilst he sorted out my exercise bandages. He then gave us tea and topped up our haylage. Dad and Teacher Steve were very pleased with my behaviour and I feel quite proud of myself. Cobs are happy to take pride in personal performance as long as it falls short of smugness.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dad's return

This entry covers both Wednesday 12th. and Thursday 13th. July 2006. Both Dads were away in London and Dibbs and I were on full day care. We coped -although Dibby was not inclined to be caught on the first evening or today - until Dad arrived.

Dad groomed us both and gave us mints and apples and toppedup our haylage and water. It looks like normal routine will be resumed tomorrow, whatever that means. Although I didnt pine for just two days, I like it when normality resumes. Cobs feel more comfortable with consistency.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A short holiday

Dibby and I were put out to graze early this morning. It was dry and sunny and much fresher than recently. We will be having some free time until Thursday. Everyone needs a holiday and that includes cobs.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Vet and schooling

Rob, the vet, came to see Dibby shortly after 9.00 and administered the second of his three injections aimed at increasing the production of sinovial fluid - and easing his joints. This gave Other Dad a chance to talk over his prospects and the best exercise to give going forward.

Dad then took me in the school in my snaffle. We worked in walk and trot today concentrating on roundness with lots of halt transitions and some lateral work. Afterwards, I was sponged down and put out to graze in my fly rug and fringe. Dibby had the rest of the day off in the field after his injection.

We came in at 4.30 after a pleasent day out with Leo. Cricket is still on box rest. Other Dad called at Gibbs for Codlivine, garlic and linseed oil for our feeds. We had a relaxing groom and a chat. Cobs enjoy some quality time before bed.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another not-very-enforced Sunday-off

Other Dad topped up our haylage early and Dad came down and put us out to graze at 10.00. He wanted to ride, but there was another jumping clinic in the school all day and so we didn't have a chance until much later.

We came in at 4.30 and were groomed and given tea. Dibby has Rob, the vet tomorrow morning at 9.30 and Dad hopes to ride then. He felt I was a little subdued and might benefit from another day off, so I'm not complaining. I understand complaining isn't something for which cobs are generally known.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Another lie-in

When Dad came to see me this morning, I was lying down again, so he took some snaps and sat with me for a while and gave me more minties. I was then tacked up and taken in the school in my snaffle with Dibbs, but after twenty minutes or so it started to rain heavily and so we all gave up and came in. Rather than wait around for it to clear, we were untacked and put out to graze whilst Dad got on with the stables.

We came in to be groomed and given tea at about 5.00. Dad had wondered whether my apparent tiredness this morning signified anything and will double check when Rob the vet calls to give Dibby his second injection on Monday morning. I think it just meant I felt like a lie-in on an enervating, humid morning. Sometimes a lie-in is just a lie-in. Cobs are quite hot on free will.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday lie-in

Dad came at 10.00 today. Unusually, I didn't hear his car and get up in readiness and stayed lying down. So Dad came in my stable and sat on the straw next to me for five minutes and gave me some minties.

After this interlude, I decided to get up and was groomed and tacked up in my snaffle. We went into the school for forty minutes. It was drizzling with rain but we carried on schooling in walk but with some trot and canter. We then came in and I was hosed down and put out to graze with Leo in my fly fringe. Dibby joined me after half an hour or so when he returned from his hack down the lane.

We came in about 5.00 for grooming and tea. The yard was frenetic with lots of liveries and a farrier working, so we were glad to get into our stables. Cobs do enjoy some peace.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thunder rode

After the build up of heat over the last few days, the forecast was for rain and thundery showers. At least it seemed a little fresher. Betwen 9 and 11 it absolutely poured down with lots of thunder and lightening. Dibby and I were in our stable swith plenty of haylage until Dad came down at noon.

By then it was only drizzling and so I was tacked up in my snaffle and taken in the school. Again we did a lot of walk including quite a lot of pole work. When Dibby joined us we walked and trotted around with him and went over poles together. I finished with some canter and got quite warm.

We came in and were hosed off and put out to graze with Leo. Cricket is still on box rest.

We came in at 5.30 for more grooming and tea. We're quite glad to be in our stables overnight even though some of the others enjoy munching away all night and staying inside and away from the flies during hot summer days. Although I suspect Dibby would like to graze all night if he could, we cobs are quite conservative about such things.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mid-week break

Both Dads had a busy day arranged. We were put out to graze before 9.00, which was nice. I wore my fly rug and fringe. There were outbreaks of rain in the morning but it didn't bother Dibby and me.

Dad came and dealt with our stables and went home, returning with Other Dad to put our beds down at 3.30. We saw the cars arrive and asked to be brought in. We watched as our beds were put down. We were then groomed and given tea. A lazy, sultry day. Fortunately cobs can cope well with such bursts of inactivity.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Tuesday lesson and a visit from the vet

Since Teacher Steve would be competing on Friday this week, he brought forward our lesson to Tuesday. Dad came down at 8.00 and groomed me and tacked me up in readiness. We had the school to ourselves and worked in my snaffle. We used today's lesson to simulate warming up before competition, but in walk. We began on a long rein and then shortened with lots of flexions to the inside and exercises to soften. We worked mainly on a circle and changed the rein a lot and did halt transitions with softening and flexions and then walking on.

Teacher Steve was pleased with my increased flexibility and stretching down and so the lesson went well. We then came in to be brushed and put out with Dibby in my fly rug and fringe.

The forecast was for the hottest day of the year so far, but fortunately there was at least a little breeze. Dad put up our beds and went home for a while. When he came back at 2.45, Dibby and I stood by the gate to show him we had had enough of the flies and wanted to come in. He brought us in and stood us by our stables with haylage. He hosed me off, but couldn't wash Dibby because Rob the vet was due at 3.30.

When Rob came Dibby was trtted uo and given flexion tests and more trotting. He was also lunged gently in the school. Rob thought Dibb's hocks were much improved and now turned his attention to the fore. After discussion, itwas agreed that he should have the first of three intra veinous injections to increase the production of sinovial fluid in about six joints. Rob gave the first injection in the stable and will give the two others in succeeding weeks . He left a supply of Danilon and would post the insurance report back tomorrow. He felt Dibby shouldn't do the group lesson next Monday, but could hack and start to do some pole work in the school to begin with.

Dad gave us our teas and settled us down. A funny day with a lesson for me and the vet for Dibby. I do worry about Dibbs. Cobs have the capacity to worry about others.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Heatwave continues

After a hot and sultry night, Monday morning was even more sunny and warm. Dad took me in the school in my snaffle at 9.30 or so. We worked in walk and trot on roundness and used some trotting poles on both reins. The flies were troublesome again but I was obedient and so Dad was pleased. we finished off by walking around on a long rein when Dibbs and Other Dad came into the school and then went in for a long cool hose-down.

Dad put me out in the fly sheet and I was then joined by Dibby. We stayed out until 4.30. When we saw Dad's car arrive we both walked over to the gate to say "bring us in" which Dad did and tied us up by the stables with haynets whilst he put down our beds. We were groomed and given tea. We both drank lots of water when we went in. Unlike some football fans, however, cobs are no trouble after a good drink.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday off

Since it was forecast to be very warm today, the Dads decided to give us the day off and not to ride unless it was particularly cool in the evening - so we were put out to graze before 8.30.

Dad came at noon, by which time I was standing by the gate, troubled by horse flies. He brought me in and stood me by my stable with some haylage and then hosed me down to cool off. I stood there whilst he attended to both stables and put me back outside with Dibbs whilst he returned home for an hour.

I decided to race around the field with Leo then and so Debbie rang Dad who came back and brought Dibbs and me in. We were groomed and given our tea. What a hot, hot day; black cobs seem to absorb the heat and don't really do thirty degrees.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Football Saturday

Both Dads wanted to watch England play Portugal in the quarter finals of the World Cup on TV later and needed to get various chores done earlier than usual. It was also very warm again, so they came down to ride at 10.00.

Dad schooled me in my snaffle mainly in walk but with some trot and canter and lateral work. The horse flies were troublesome again, but I got through it. Once inside Dad hosed me down and put me out with Leo. Dibbs joined me after he returned from his hack and had a bath.

Both Dads dealt with the stables and brought us in at 3.30 with full haynets, groomed us and gave us tea early. They then went home and Other Dad returned at 6.00 to skip out and replenish haylage. A funny day altogether; although cobs like routine, we understand that every day can't be precisely the same.