The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Grey Thursday

Wanting to get in some more practice before the weather broke, Dad took me in the school again in my snaffle. It was overcast and breezy with the odd spot of rain but nothing heavy. We worked in walk with lots of transitons to halt/walk off, shouder in and leg yield. We manoeuvred around the fences in the school with a lot of changes of direction and trotted and cantered large.

Simone watched us for a while and suggested that we canter in larger circles around the school, which we did. This helped me to fall in and motorbike less.

Dibbs joined us and we finished our session walking and trotting around. By the I was quite soft and responsive.

We came in and Dad brushed me down and put me out to graze for the afternoon. surprisingly the rain held off. We came in for grooming and tea at 5.00. Dad applied Tecsin to our hooves and we now have green frogs - which I guess is the colour a cob's frogs should be.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Businesslike midweek

As yesterday, we worked in the school in my snaffle in the morning. We began with lots of walk on a long rein stretching as much as posible, going large on both reins. We then shortened and did a lot of halt/walk transitions and lateral work and 20 metre circles and then went up to trot and canter. We still had problems falling in and will need to work on this with general lack of roundness.

We ran through Prelim 18 once or twice and went in to be sponged down, groomed and put out to graze. Dibbs joined me afer his hack and we stayed out until 4.30.

We came in to be groomed and fed after another structured day. Cobs like things to be businesslike - but with apples and minties.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Breezy Tuesday

More of the same today. Dad schooled me in my snaffle with a lot of transition and lateral work in walk, trying to gain roundness and softness. We didn't practice tests this morning since the arena was occupied but did some reasonable canter and than called it a day.

I grazed for the afternoon and was brought in at about 5.00. I was quite excited when Dad brought us in and needed to be calmed down but then felt better. It may have been the gusty wind. Cobs can show temperament sometimes, you know.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Holiday Monday

Today's routine was much the same as yesterday. We went in the school in my snaffle and practiced transitions, softening and lateral exercises and with lots of work on a twenty metre circle and frequent changes of rein within the circle. We finished off with several run-throughs of Prelim 18 paying particular attention to the canter work. Overall, Dad was quite pleased.

I grazed with Dibbs for the afternoon and came in at 5.00 for grooming and tea. Cobs prefer this type of Bank Holiday to being stuck in a traffic jam on the way back from Weston-super-Mare.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday school

After yesterday's excitement, it was back to routine today with a session in the school. Dad had swapped my drop cheek snaffle bit from my soft elevator bridle onto a sabre bridle. This was done with the intention of increasing the poll pressure a little without making it too strong.

As before, we worked in walk a lot with many halt/walk transitions and a lot of flexions and softening exercises. We went up into trot and I struggled with falling in a little. We ran through Prelim 18 a few times and Dad was pleased with the improvement in my canter when he remembered to keep his hands soft and low on the upwards transition and maintained the contact to stop the canter petering out.

We came in and I was hosed off, given some mints and an apple and put out to graze with Dibbs and Cricket. We came in for tea at 5.00. We had a chat when I was being groomed and it made a nice end to the day. Cobs enjoy a quiet Sunday.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Reiki consultation

It was my turn for a consultation with Sara, the reiki practitioner today. Sara saw Jack, the labrador first and then me. It was rather noisy in the stable, but we managed to concentrate.

Sara checked me over and told Dad that my hind quarters were still congested and painful, as was my poll. She asked if I had been checked over by a chiropractor or back specialist recently. Dad explained that I had been given check up and clear bill of health only a few weeks before. This surprised her since she thought that, if anything, it was worse than last time. She suggested that we try Helena and Dad confirmed he would ask if she would see me.

Sara also described my reaction to being schooled in occasionally pulling my head up. She thought my teeth might be uneven on the right and asked when I had last been treated. Dad explained I had been treated earlier this month, but said he would get the vet to check it out.

Sara asked me various questions about my reactions to our work. She passed on comments about my GP and dressage saddles and bits. I prefer a bit that gives me some support, but understand we need to work in a snaffle and told Dad we should persevere. She explained that I didn't blame Dad for my discomfort at present. It wasn't due to his way of riding, but my body needed further building up. I told Sara that I was worried about Dad's pains in the lower back from riding and that he should get some treatment too!

I told Sara that my left hind leg was stiff and prone to give a little . This was because I had to stretch it to compensate. She also thought I had some respiratory problems and caughing, possibly as a result of out new very dusty and dirty straw and gave me some healing to help this.

I described our instructors and said that I wanted lessons from the slim, fair lady with a bubbly personality. I confirmed that I was happy with my current life and loved Dad very much. Sara said she couldn't say much about this since it would make her cry.

Dad asked Sara to see if I would disclose some more about my earlier years and the accident that hurt my pelvis. I told her about a dark haired woman who had rejected me and remembered some arches by a canal, but didn't want to talk about it any more. Instead of standing quietly at the front of my stable as before, I then began to walk around until Sara changed the subject. When she finished, Sara said I was in very good order and happy and a credit to Dad, which made him pleased.

Although I liked Sara, I had found some parts of the consultation unsettling, so Dad decided to give me the rest of the day off and put me out to graze with Dibby. Sara then had a long day at the yard with consultations for Sassy, Connie, Edward, Little Bailey and Harvey.

Dad brought me in at 4.30 or so just before it began to rain hard. We had a chat , grooming and tea. It had been an interesting day; not every cob gets the opportunity to speak to his Dad or vice versa.

Friday, August 25, 2006

No lesson today

Dad schooled me in my snaffle again. We worked on softening and roundness and ran through Prelim 18 a few times. The canter transition went better but we had some difficulty in sustaining the canter in balance. Also we need to work on correct bend and not falling in on circles. There’s a quite a lot to look at in our next lesson. Dibby and I were hosed off and put out to graze.

We came in at 5.00 for grooming and tea. Dad put some more purple spray on my overreach which had healed well. The flies weren’t as bad today and Dibby and I were much calmer. Calm is very cob.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Not all grazing and minties

Dad schooled me in the morning in my snaffle. We worked mainly in walk but with some trot and canter and again focussed on straightness, roundness and softness with varying degrees of success. Dibbs stayed in his stable with some haylage during this since Other Dad was attending to some work at home.

We then went out in the field, but both of us and Cricket were troubled initially by an unpleasant bott or warble fly, which upset us. It eventually went away and we settled down for the afternoon. Dad brought us inat 5.00 or so when our stable were ready and we were groomed and given tea. I had a bad overrreach wound on the coronet of my near hind which Dad bathed in salty water and applied purple spray. I was still agitated and relieved to have my tea and some calm time in my stable. A cob's life isn't all grazing and minties, you know.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Uneventful Wednesday

It rained on and off during the day and Dad wanted to watch some of the team dressage on satellite from Aachen, so we had another long day off in the field. Dad attended to our stables and brought us in for grooming and tea at 4.30 or so. Cobs quite enjoy uneventful days.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bath time

Heavy rainshowers are forecast intermittently over the latter part of the week and so Dad was keen to get in some more schooling today. Whilst Dibby went for a hack, we went in the school in my snaffle and practiced in walk, trot and canter. Dad is trying to be firmer and clearer in the contact and to sit up more. We did a lot of halt/walk transitions and concentrated on roundness, straightness and submission with varying effect. Some of out canter transitions showed a real improvement.It went quite well and we worked for fifty minutes or so.

When we came in Dad gave me a bath and shampooed my tail. I was dried, given an apple and put out to graze. Dibby joined me after his hack and a bath.

We came in at 5.00 after our stables were prepared and were groomed and given tea. I was still clean and shiny after my bath. Dibbs had rolled as usual, but wasn't muddy. Dad says I'm cleaner than the average cob. He obviously doesn't think a cob would understand the word "fastidious".

Monday, August 21, 2006

Schooling again

After a lazy Sunday, we went back to schooling this morning. I was in my snaffle and Dad continued to be a little firmer and clearer with me. We worked in walk with lots of halt transitions and lateral work and tried to get rounder and softer and then went up to trot and canter. We practiced Prelims 1 and 18 and walked round with Dibby to cool off.

We were both hosed off and put out to graze for the afternoon.

Dad came back at 4.30 and had intended to leave us out to graze whilst he put don our beds but they wanted to put Vadio out in the field and so we had to be brought in and tid up outsdie our stables with a haynet until they were prepared. We then had tea. Some cobs realise, it's gone full circle now; once horses worked hard for humans for little reward, now it's the other way round.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Day-off for the Horse Trials

Both Dads had agreed to be dressage writers in the pre-novice section at the Blue Chip Horse Trials at Solihull Riding Club today, so Dibby and I enjoyed a day off. Dad was writing from 10.30 and other Dad from1.30, so Other Dad put us out in the morning and and Dad brought us in at about 4.30.

During the day, we had been seen running around the field and Dibby was thought to be lame, but Dad ran him up when he returned and found he seemed to be sound. He then brought us in to stand by our stables with haylage whilst he dealt with them. Other Dad also walked and trotted him up to check when he came back and found him OK too.

We were groomed and put in our stables with tea after a lazy day. I expect we will make up for it in the week. It was nice to watch Dad preparing my stable and to be made a fuss of with mints and an apple. Although it's shymaking, cobs enjoy that sort of thing.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Firm but fair

Dad and I went into the school as normal this morning. I wore my snaffle and we did our usual exercises, starting off on a long rein and building in halt tansitions, walk-on and some lateral work - around the school, on a square and twenty metre circle. We built up to trot and included some canter, but didn't run through any tests today.

There were a lot of poles left out and we incorporated them in our work. After a while Dad decided I was being a bit slovenly and resisting through laziness and so he asked me to concentrate harder and march on and generally not try to take advantage. He told me that in the future he needed me to be more obedient and to cooperate better. He was going to work on a long list of things: consistent contact, uprightness, straightness, breathing, length of leg, inside leg and outside rein and stopping me falling in by anticipating better.

When we had worked better for a while we went in and I was hosed down and given an apple and some mints, put in my fly fringe and spray and put out to graze. Dibby joined me after his schooling was completed and we stayed out until 4.30 or so when we came in for grooming and tea.

Other Dad came down later in the evening to skip out and top up our haylage and water. It looks like the next phase in my training has arrived. A cob should never stop learning.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Easy Friday

Both Dads were having some new paving laid at home today and no lesson had been arranged, so Dibbs and I were given the day off. Other Dad put us out to graze before 9.00 and we weren't brought in until 4.00. By then it was just about to pour with rain and mix thunder and lightning.

We were groomed and given tea and were pleased to be in the dry. Cobs are surprisingly numerate and know how to count their blessings.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thunder and lightning

Storms were forecast for today, so Dad came to ride early. We went in the school in my snaffle and worked in walk, trot and canter for half an hour concentrating on roundness and straightness. A large digger was transferring the muck heap in to a waggon with a tractor, so Dad erred on the side of caution and we worked at the far end of the school. We went in and I was hosed down and put out to graze. Dibbs joined me after about twenty minutes.

After an hour or so a strong thunderstorm broke out with torrential rain, lightning and loud thunder. At the worst of the storm Dibbs and I stood in the corner of our field where it intersects two others, right next to Jack in the starvation paddock and Edward in another field. We all felt safer together. Dibbs still managed to keep on eating most of the time. It was a shame for Cricket since he was in another field on his own and was very worried, but was brought in rather quickly by Di.

We were then brought in for safety's sake by Both Dads and stood by our stables with a haylage net whilst they were finished off. We were then put in early with snack and both Dads went home for an hour before coming back to skip us out, top up our water and haylage and give us tea proper. The storms carried on into the evening on and off.

The big advantage today was having one and a half teas. Cobs do like to accentuate the positive.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Flies time

A fairly routine sort of day really. Dad schooled me in my snaffle this morning. We ran through Prelims 1 and 18 and part of 10. The first two went quite well but the canter in Prelim10 was too difficult at present.

Dibbs was schooled too and we walked and trotted around together, which was fun. The flies were really very irritating today and Dad brought me in quite early to be hosed down and put out to graze.

We came in at 4.30 for grooming and tea. Dad hadn't time to go home before bringing us in and says he will start earlier tomorrow. Even cobs can be quite labour intensive on DIY livery

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back to normal-ish

Yesterday was a funny day. Dad had lots of things on his mind and they really got through to me. When we went in the school I picked up on his mood and was tense and pretty unco-operative. It didn't go well. Today, he was more relaxed and we had our usual chat to begin and had a much better schooling session.

After schooling we were sponged down and put out to graze. Dad brought us in at 4.30 for grooming and tea. It was a much happier day all round. Cobs may not have antennae, but they pick up signals.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The second reiki

Sara the reiki pratitioner was due to vist the yard again this morning. Both Dads rode at10.00. We practised in my snaffle in the school and ran thorugh Prelim 1 and the Classical Riding Club Walk and Trot several times. Dad wasn'tvery happy with my lack of roundness and we went in after an hour or so, to be hosed down and put out to graze.

Sara saw Bailey, Jack, Izzy and Bonnie and then Dibbs in the afternoon. It was very interesting and covered past life and his current joint problems. I am due to see Sara later in August.

Once they had finished Dibbs joined me outside and Dad continued with the stables.We came in at 5.30 for grooming and tea.Hopefully Dibby will benefit from the reiki treatment and it will add to his current recovery. As well as being sensible, cobs are normally good healers.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rainy Sunday off

After the excitement of yesterday, we were given a free day. In any event it was rainy and blustery on and off. We were put out to graze before 9.00 and Dad dealt with our stables in the morning.There was a party at noon for Syd's second birthday, which was well-attended.

We were brought in at 4.00 and groomed and given tea. Cobs like a restful day after the stress on competition - even a Prelim.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Dressage Day

Today the yard was due to host the Stoneleigh Riding Club dressage which would include Prelims 1 and 13, Novice 21 and Elementary 41. Dibbs and I were entered for Prelim1. This would be my second Prelim test in a snaffle and Dibbs second test since his joint treatment.

Dad came at 8.00 and groomed me and tacked me up. He then put on his black jacket, best hat, boots and breeches and took me to warm up in the school by 8.30 or so for a 9.11 test. The test went quite well except that I struck off on the wrong leg in canter and had to be corrected. We achieved 57% or so which wasn't in the rosettes by quite along way in a field of 16 but Dad was reasonably happy.

Dibbs test went well and earned a score of around 66% and a second place rosette. Other Dad was delighted wih this result.

Dad attended to our stables and watched the other competitions on and off and brought us in at 5.00 for grooming and tea. I enjoy competing but can live without a red rosette. Generally cobs are happy to participate and don't have a fixation with winning; for Dad and me, perhaps this is just as well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

David and Goliath

Normal Friday routine resumed this week. We were put out to graze by Other Dad before 9.00 and Dad dealt with our stables. He returned and brought us in at 2.30 in readiness for my lesson at 3.30.

I wore my snaffle and Dad warmed me up for half an hour or so. In the lesson with Teacher Steve we ran through Prelim 1 three times and were instructed on it. We concentrated on slowing down a lot and preparing for movements in advance. Dad was to avoid falling in by keeping a firm outside rein and not to place too much emphasis on going round and soft. We worked on the turns across the diagonal -making them smoother and not going too fast or on the forehand. We are to change diagonal at the end of the diagonal we have crossed and to have a clear canter aid and not to rush it. We will have to see how it works.

Dibbs also ran through his test and we came in to be shampooed,groomed and given tea. We have an early time for our test tomorrow at 9.11 and Dad hopes to warm up by 8.30. Teacher Steve said there wasn't too much point in warming me up too long and Liz said we should walk through the canter elements of the test, so it's not been an altogether encouraging week although we enjoyed the group and solo lessons. We will just have to try hard tomorrow since all the other competitors seem to be more advanced than us. Against all those accomplished horses its a cob version of David and Goliath.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Visit from the farrier

Another strange disrupted day. Dad came early and topped up our haylage and returned at 10.30 when Richard, the farrier had arrived and started work on me. Dad attended to my stable whilst I was re-shod and stood me outside for a while whilst Richard worked on Dibby. It was very blustery for August and poured with rain at intervals.

When it had abated Dad groomed me and applied Tecsin to my hooves and put me out to graze in my fly fringe. Today I didn't settle without Dibby and stood by the gate until his shoeing was finished and he was brought out too. This was the second time he had the remeidial shoeing on his front hooves with mesh and plastic padding for support. It was a very neat job. I was happier when he came out and we mutual groomed (as best we could with Dibbs in his muzzle) and then got our heads down to graze.

It rained on and off in the afternoon and so when we were brought in at 5.15, Dad groomed us again and gave us tea in our stables - so we had a day without schooling. Like pupils missing a lesson, cobs are pleased to miss out on schooling from time to time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Practicing our test

A blustery day for August. Dad took me in the school at 11.00 in my snaffle. The surface had been levelled yesterday and was very good. We worked on walk, transitions and lateral exercises and then ran through Prelim 1 a few times. I wasn't round and took off somewhat in canter but otherwise was quite good. Dibbs came into the school and we walked around on along rein and practised halt/walk transitions.

Dibbs and I went out for the afternoon and came in for tea and grooming at about 4.30. We have the farrier and, no doubt, more schooling tomorrow. Cobs are quite happy with an ordered regime.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Another day -off

External contractors were servicing the school this morning and part of the afternoon, so Dad thought itwas a good day to have off. We were put out to graze at 9.30 after Dad had taped off some broken fencing in our field. Dad put up our beds and left, returning to put them down and bring us in at 4.00 for grooming and tea.

So Tuesday was not very active. I imagine we may make up for it tomorrow. Cobs aren't lacking in imagination

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Group Lesson

A warm and sunny start to the week. We were put out to graze early and Dad dealt with our stables in the morning.

We came in at 4.00 to be groomed. Other Dad washed Dibb's tail and Dad put on my black exercise bandages. Liz came from Moreton Morrell to teach the first group lesson at 5.30. I was in my double bridle by then but Liz suggested we try my snaffle - which we did. Our group also included Tod, Vladio, Meg, Dibby and Tom. We did lots of work in walk concentrating on turning and then turns on the forehand. We did lots of softening and then the group cantered but Liz made us do it on our own at the end.

Even though it was hard to get me to soften and go round consistently we enjoyed it more than the last group lesson in greater heat. We may have a go at a private lesson next time. We did seem to get a lot of instruction given our problems, but this doesn't always go down too well in a group. We were still trying to canter when the next group were being ushered into the school.

Liz did say there wasn't much point in working in a double or snaffle and, despite the struggle at times, I think Dad agrees.

We came in and Dibbs and I were hosed down and dried. After a rest, we were given tea and Dad sat outside my stable as he brushed and rolled my bandages. I don't think we excelled today, but Dad seemed reasonably pleased. Cobs can be relied on to enjoy group lessons - or at least to behave well.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Summer Sunday

Both Dads came down to ride at 10.00. It was another hot and sunny morning and both Dibbs and I went in the school. Dad wanted to sharpen up my responsiveness and I wore my double bridle. We ran through Prelim 1 and the SRC Walk and Trot and Dad was quite pleased. We may do the Prelim1 next week hors concours, in my double bridle since Kate says they won't let us compete in opposed to "compete innit?"

It was Lapworth Show today, but for the first time in several years both Dads didn't go for a look round. Bailey attended for the Working Hunter but had a bout of colic which required the vet. Fortunately after treatment, he was OK and is now recovering at home.

We were hosed down and put out to graze. Both Dads went home and Dad came back to deal with our stables at 2.30, bringing us in about 4.00 for grooming and tea. Despite the flies, we enjoyed today; it had good balance of work and relaxation. Cobs appreciate a balanced existence.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tiring Saturday

Our haylage was topped up by Other Dad early and Dad came to take me in the school at about 11.15. We worked in my snaffle and ran through the Walk and Trot test and Prelim 1 a few times. I guess I wasn't really in the mood because at first it wasn't very good: no roundness, falling-in, wrong bend and dodgy transitions.

Dad kept plugging away and we eventually went through the Prelim a little better and came in. The flies were a little troublesome and various mares were in the wrong field and galloping around , so it was quite distracting.

Once inside Dad hosed me down and gave me an apple and some mints. By this time Breeze had returned from Swallowfield having had a fall on the cross country. The vet came and looked her over and she was alright but shaken and will be sore for a while. It all seems to happen on a Saturday morning.

Dibbs came out to graze once he had returned fiorm his hack and Dad got on with the stables. It was a humid afternoon and it seemed to take ages, so he stayed and put down both beds and then brought us in to be groomed and given tea. After a chat and mints Dad went home but Other Dad came down later to see we were OK. Owning a cob seems to be nearly a full time job. It's because we're worth it - or I hope we are.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The dentist cometh

Mike Field the dentist was due to visit today, so Dad was at the stable by 9.00. Mike saw Cricket first and then treated me and Dibby. Unlike some of the later horses -Edward and Tesco ,we didn't need sedating so it saved time. Dad stood in the stable with us whilst Mike filed our teeth first in just a hedcollar and later a metal contraption that kept our mouths open. Any way it didn't hurt and Dad reassured us, so it went well.

We went out in the field to graze by 11.00 and came in at about 4.00 -so no lesson for me today. We were groomed and given tea. A new mare arrived in the stable opposite so it was all very exciting. Cobs are like humans and sensible ones have a dental checkup every six months.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Change in routine

Dad was due to attend a funeral at noon today, so he came down early and put us out to graze and attended to our stables.

He returned at 4.00 and put our beds down and brought us in to be groomed. He tacked me up and took me in the school in my snaffle. We worked in walk as before this week and did a little trot and canter, sharing the school with Tilly and Breeze. We came in and I was hosed down and given tea. It made a change to be schooled in the late afternoon, so no-one can say we're in a rut. Cobs cope well with a change in routine

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Easy day

Other Dad put us out to graze quite early and Dad came down to attend to the stables at about 11.00.They had to go to see the accountant about this year's tax return and didn't have time to ride - so Dibby and I had the day off.

We came in at4.30 for a long groom and our teas. Cobs aren't averse to an easy day sometimes

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

School to ourselves

Dad and I continued our work in walk in the snaffle. Kate had been levelling the school in the Landrover and when she had finished it was in pristine condition and we had it to ourselves. Dad's back had been playing up and we stuck to walk with lateral exercises and halt/start transitions and trying to keep up a good march . We added circles of different sizes with lots of changes of direction trying to keep roundness and on the bit. It rained intermittantly, but it didn't bother us.

As we were finishing, Dibby came into the school and Dad groomed me and put me out to graze alone until Dibbs joined me.

We came in at 4.00 for grooming and tea. A satisfactorily neat day. Sometimes cobs can be quite tidy- minded.