The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

As expected, Both Dads came early and put us out to graze whilst they prepared our stables. They then went off to Wixford to see progress of Caroline and Marks' new house and stables under construction.

Dibby and I were standing by the gate waiting to be brought in by the time Both Dads arrived back at the yard at 3.40. It was gloomy and raining quite heavily. We were pleased to have our hooves hosed and wet rugs taken off. Dad dried our legs off with a towel and groomed us as we ate some haylage. Then it was time for our New Year's Eve tea. Dad says hopefully we will do some schooling next year. I know that was a joke, because it means "tomorrow" too. Cobs have a surprisingly sophisticated grasp of word-play.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


It was quite pleasant and sunny first thing this morning when Dibby and I were put out to graze. Unfortunately, by the time Dad had prepared both our stables and put out fresh haylage and water, it was pouring with rain and didn't stop until the evening.

Making the most of our continued leisure, we turned our bottoms to the wind and rain and carried on grazing. It was pleasant to come in just before it grew dark. We had our feet hosed and were groomed before tea. With Both Dads due to go out tomorrow, it looks as though we may not be exercised until New Year's Day - gales permitting. Dibby and I will cope. Cobs are resolute.

Friday, December 29, 2006

On the nose

Both Dads were busy all day and so Dibby and I were on full day care. This meant someone else rugged us up, put us out to graze in the rain this morning, prepared our stables and brought us in.

When I came in, I had a scratch on my nose, which was bathed and treated with ointment.

Both Dads came at 4.30. They skipped out our stables, gave us tea and topped up our water and haylage. Dad also put some more ointment on my nose. Cobs like a personal touch.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sad day

Both Dads were busy today and Dibby and I spent the morning grazing. Dad took Dibby in at 1.00 to prepare him for a visit from Halina. Halina worked on Dibby's muscles again and found him less tense than last time. She was quite pleased with his progress. We will both now have a check up in early April. Dibby rejoined me in the field after his treatment.

We came in for grooming and tea at 4.00. The yard was sad and very subdued; we learned we had lost our good friend Splash with colic last night. God bless Splash.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Liz came for an individual lesson before 9.00 this morning. We revisited Dad's position and worked in walk and trot concentrating on roundness. We worked on a circle and going large and finished up with quite passable canter on both reins. Dad was pleased with the progress we had made during the session and felt we had a clearer basis on which to carry on and lots of homework in all the gaits.

Dad gave me an apple and some minties and put me out to graze whilst Other Dad rode Dibby -for the first time since his latest hock injections.

We grazed until we came in at about 4.00 and ate haylage until our stables were ready. We enjoyed our break but are glad to be back in harness, metaphorically. Cobs are quite adept at metaphors.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Keeping busy on Boxing Day

Boxing Day dawned cold and dry. Dad took me in the school for the first time in over a week. We began slowly with walk on a long rein and then medium with some shoulder-in and leg-yield. We moved up to trot and eventually some canter.

We had the school to ourselves for much of the time and there was shooting in the next property which was a little unsettling, but I behaved well. Dad tried to keep his lower leg under his shoulder and avoid too much movement. It should be a good foundation for a lesson with Liz tomorrow.

We came in and I was given minties and an apple before being groomed and put out to graze for the afternoon.

Dibby and I came in for grooming and tea at 4.00. It was nice to get some exercise. Cobs like to keep busy and don't mind being schooled.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Cobby Christmas!

Both Dads put us out to graze by 9.00 and returned home for breakfast. They returned at noon and prepared our stables and brought us in before 3.00 for grooming and festive treats - apples and minties actually.

We were left with plenty of fresh water, haylage and our tea and Kate came later to put up our overnight net of haylage. A Cobby Christmas to all from David and Master Dibble!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


As might be expected on a busy Christmas Eve, we were put out to graze early. Dad attended to our stables whilst Other Dad rushed around the shops. We came in to be groomed and fed after 3.00. I wonder if we will be ridden on Christmas Day; more likely to be Boxing Day, I guess. Cobs are adaptable in the festive season.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday off

We were given a second day-off after our physio treatment. It was cold and grey but less foggy than yesterday. We were pleased to come in at about 3.45 and enjoyed being groomed and put in our warm new stable rugs for tea. I guess we will resume schooling shortly. We have enjoyed our break, but cobs don't expect to be on holiday all the time.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Individual service

The thick cold fog continued all day. After our physio yesterday, we were again excused schooling and so went out to graze before 9.00. By mid-afternoon we were standing in the corner of the field and ready to come in. Both Dads were again attending to some family business and so Becky brought us in and hosed our hooves. Dad had put our teas in our stables with extra carrots in readiness which was good.

Dad came back in the early evening to skip our stables out, top up haylage and change our new zealands for our new stable rugs to keep out the cold. We each enjoyed a chat, an apple and some minties. Cobs prefer a service tailored to the individual.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Halina visits

It was really foggy and cold today. We went out to graze early and were brought in at about 11.30 in time for a visit from Halina.

Halina checked over Dibby first and found him very stiff and in need of work. He was very tense and uncomfortable but Halina worked on him to try to un-knot his muscles and agreed to come back next week for further treatment. Dibby had to be given lots of reassurance and minties to relax him a little and hopefully will be better next time.

Then Halina checked me over. She was quite pleased with my progress, particularly on my previously underdevelopped right side. This time she found some tightness on my left hand rump and worked on it. I was good and didn't fidget too much.

When Halina had finished we were put out to graze for the rest of the afternoon. It was very dark and foggy and by 3.00 Dibby and I just stood in the corner of the field playing with Jack in the next paddock and surveying the gloom. We were brought in to stand with some haylage whilst our stables were prepared. I enjoyed putting my head over the stable door when Dad was inside working.

Since it was so cold we were put in our new stable rugs with neck covers. They are very nice and warm. We had tea and can look forward to another day off tomorrow after our physio. Hopefully we can be ridden again on Saturday. Cobs like a bit of exercise.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


After his treatment at the vets yesterday, Dibby spent the day in his stable. I was put out to graze with Cricket and both Dads were tied up on family business for the whole morning. It was a cold grey and foogy day. They returned at 3.00 by which time I was just playing with Jack over the fence. When I saw Dad I came to the gate of our field and stood there until he got the message and brought me in.

They allowed Dibby and me to do some mutual grooming outside his stable before giving us a haylage net and minties whilst they attended to our stables. I put my head over my stable door to see what Dad was doing inside and get some extra minties and a chat from time to time. We were then groomed and allowed in our stables. Dad then removed the bandage from the hock which had been injected yesterday. Hopefully Dibby will be allowed out with me tomorrow. Grazing isn't as much fun without your best friend. Cobs are very loyal.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dibby's visit to the vet

This morning we were again put out to graze early. Both Dads came back at noon and attended to our stables. They then brought Dibby in, leaving me in the field with Cricket. I thought this was unusual and stood by the gate watching what was going on and waiting for him to come back. I then saw them start up the lorry, bring Dibby out in his thermotex rug, tail guard and travelling boots and drive off with him.

I stood there for ages until Kate brought Cricket and me in.

I neighed when I heard the lorry pull into the yard at about 4.00. When they brought Dibby in they stopped him outside my stable and we breathed up each others noses and I could see everything was OK.

Dibby told me he had been taken back to the vets. He had to stand in the big green metal frame and had a sedative injection and had his hocks X-rayed and scanned. The X-ray hadn't shown any really material deterioration in his arthritic changes, which was something of a relief. After that he was shaved a little, given some local anaesthetic and had another big injection in his hock. His hock was bandaged. When he felt a little more awake he came back to the yard in the lorry. He was quite warm and was put in my thermotex rug for a few hours until he had dried off and was a little cooler. We both had our tea with extra carrots and apples and some minties.

Later in the evening Other Dad came back to check Dibby, change his rug and skip us out. Dibby's bandage hadn't slipped. We were both happy eating our haylage. I had worried about Dibby in the afternoon. The people who say we don't have feelings and concerns about each other don't know what they're talking about; cobs are great worriers, but don't shout about it.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Dibby and I had another day out in the field whilst Both Dads were busy. It was gloomy and cold. We grazed and played with Jack over the fence. We came in at 4.00 for grooming and tea. Cobs enjoy a leisurely day.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just fastidious

Both Dads had more family business to attend to and so came early and put us out to graze whilst they prepared our stables, haylage and water. We had a pleasant day at leisure in the cold, dry sunshine.

They returned to bring us in for grooming and tea after 4.00 when it was becoming gloomy. We are getting used to more time off now the season has turned. People notice how my blue rug is still smart because I tend not to roll like Dibby and my legs are reasonably clean too because I prefer to walk around the muddy patches. Some cobs are just fastidious.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back to work

After so much gloom and blustery rain, it was a pleasant change to wake up to a dry morning with a blue sky. It was colder, though. Dad took me in the school for the first time in five days. We warmed up slowly in walk and trot and put our stirrups down by one hole. This seemed a little more comfortable, but made Dad tend to lose his stirrups from time to time in canter.

We practised Prelim 17 a few times with Other Dad watching. My paces were reasonable and my shapes were accurate, but I lacked any consistent roundness and wasn't properly on the bit. We will have to work on this. It's difficult when you practice a different way of going; you improve in some ways but seem to lose the benefit of other recent work and progress. It's frustrating.

We stoppped after forty-five minutes and I joined Dibby and Cricket out in the field until 4.00 when we came in for grooming and tea. Dad could tell we had been playing around in the field since the turf was quite cut up. It seemed strange schooling after such a lay-off. Fortunately cobs don't mind getting back to work - especially when it means more minties.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Other Dad put Dibby and me out to graze early and worked on our stables. Dad came later when he could in a difficult day, finished preparations and brought us in for grooming and tea before it was dark. We did what we were told which was what Dad needed today; cobs understand.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Going with the flow

We were put out to graze early on another windy, gloomy day. Both Dads were due to go to the RSC in the evening and wanted to prepare our stables and give us the longest time out before bringing us in by mid-afternoon. They had also aranged for Hicks to come to start the lorry -hopefully in time for Dibby's visit to the vet's next week. So it all meant another day off. Cobs are usually happy to go with the flow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It was never like this in "Black Beauty"

Another dark and blustery December morning; the weather really is depressing just now.

Rob the vet came after 10.00 to see if Dibby had improved after a week on anti-inflammatories. Dad trotted him up a few times on the concrete and Rob repeated the flexion tests. Dad also lunged him in the school on both reins. Dibby was clearly uncomfortable on his off hind leg and it was agreed that next week he will be taken over to Cornerhouse at Blunts Green for further X -rays. This means Other Dad will have to arrange for Hicks to come out and start the lorry since the battery is dead just now. Talk about the tribulations of horse ownership; Dad says it was never like this in Black Beauty

Dibby joined Cricket and me out in the field for the afternoon until after 3.30. We came in to have our hooves hosed, be groomed and fed. It's several days now since we were exercised but we have been out and we have quite a lot of schooling in the bank from the drier summer days. Cobs cope relatively well with inactivity.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New shoes

Dibby and I stayed in our stable this morning with some haylage to await Richard the farrier at 10.30. Richard attended to my shoes first, a new set with road nails and extra room on my boxy off fore. Dad then applied some Tecsin to my hooves and put me out with Cricket in my rug.

Dibby joined us after he had been re-shod and we grazed in the rain until 3.30 or so. By then I was cold,wet and bored and stood by the gate to signify that I wanted to come in, which is what happened. Soon after the rain grew even heavier.

Dad managed to hose off our hooves before Red kicked off one of the taps on the back yard which meant the water had to be switched off until it was fixed. Dibbs and I stood by our stables in wet rugs eating haylage until our beds were finished and we were groomed. Then it was time for tea with extra carrots and apple. For cobs this is our communion, the best part of any day.

Monday, December 11, 2006


The rain was very heavy again this morning and so we stayed in our stables with some haylage until it abated after 11.00. When Other Dad came to put us out I was still lying down and he joined me in my stable for a rest and a chat. He then put Dibby out and I decided to get up when he came back in.

We spent the remainder of the day grazing and came in at 4.00 for grooming and tea. After yesterday's efforts in the wind and driving rain we enjoyed our rest. A cob's batteries need to be re-charged sometimes.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Other Dad came early and topped up our haylage and we remained in our stable until 11.00. Dibby and I were then tacked up and taken into the school to share a RWYM lesson from Denise O'Reilly.

Dad bought from Denise a gell pad to place between my back and the numnah to help stop my saddle slipping later in the lesson.

As the session began, it started to rain and grew progressively heavier. We began by reviewing our first lesson and the main points learned: seat bones, posture, straight line heel, hip and shoulder, line of thigh on saddle, lower leg off, hands lower and wider/forward, rising from the knee in trot, breathing and bearing down.

Denise adjusted my stirrups back up by a hole and reviewed walk and trot. We worked on posture, leg position, bearing down and particularly breathing. Dad also requested instruction on canter. The main problem area there was being able to point the thigh forward a little rather than just down and keeping still in the saddle. We cantered on both reins and showed some improvement. Our main homework will be to practice correct beathing and thigh and lower leg position in walk, trot and canter.

We came in to be dried off and put out in our rugs. Dad dealt with our stables and - since we were standing by the gate and not grazing - he brought us in after a couple of hours to be dried off again and given some haylage. The weather was very cold, wet and windy and we were pleased to be back inside by about 3.30. All in all it was a demanding day. Dibby and I felt quite buffeted but had done what was asked of us: that's a cob's way

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Dad had to wait in at home yet again for the third visit from a BT engineer to repair the same fault and so we went out to graze during a dry and sunny Saturday. Dad didn't arrive until nearly 3.00 and got on with our stables in time to bring us in before it was dark.

Dibby was prepared and put into his stable first and I stood outside mine whilst Dad put down my bed. He than got me ready and allowed me into my stable to have my tea. Dad was very pleased that I just ate my haylage and the odd minty whilst lots of horses passed behind me. I just ignored them and behaved well. It's the civilised standard of behaviour expected of cobs.

Friday, December 08, 2006


After I finished my morning haylage, I lay down in my stable but got up to greet Dad. The wind and rain abated this morning and so we were able to ride in the school after 11.00.

We worked on the elements of RWYM - trying to get me to work from behind and lift up my back. We schooled to music for the first time in a few weeks, which was fun.

Dad concentrated on his seat bones/position and breathing and letting his hands go forward. We worked on trot and found it easier to rise from the knee. We also went up into canter successfully and finished off trotting large around the arena with Dibby and then on a long rein. After his first batch of Danilon Dibby moved quite well, but it will be necessary to see how he is after a few days.

We spent the afternoon out and came in before 4.00 for grooming and tea. We are having to fit what schooling we can with the weather just now, but fortunately cobs are co-operative.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dibby's home visit

Today was very wet and windy. Dibby and I were put out to graze early but were by the gate ready to come in by 2.30. We were pleased to stand outside our stables with some haylage out of the wind as we were groomed.

Rob, the vet came to see Dibby before 4.00. Dad trotted him up several times after flexion tests on each leg. He also lunged him in the school on both reins. Rob and Both Dads agreed Dibby was uncomfortable behind. Rob suggested that we try anti-inflamatories for a week and then re-check the position. He will have two sachets of Danilon twice a day for five days and then one and a half sachets twice a day for two days. If he hasn't improved then it will be necessary to consider further injections.

Dibby was pleased to get back inside and have his warm stable rug back on. He enjoyed his tea and the prospect of not being troubled during the evening. Cobs take a little time to settle down after all that fuss.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


After a rest yesterday, we resumed schooling this morning. It was still windy but mainly dry. We practised the elements of RWYM, although for today Dad lowered our stirrups by one hole. We still worked on the straight line of shoulder, hip and heel, pushed the thighs back and on and kept the lower legs off but it seemed more natural and comfortable.

We did a lot of walk, some lateral work and circles and going large in trot. Dad tried to push his hands forward and not to hold my head in place and was quite pleased with the session. I still wasn't consistently on the bit, but was less resistant. We also practised some circles in canter and then warmed down on a long rein.

When we came in I was given an apple and some minties and joined Dibby out grazing for the afternoon. By 4.00 we were standing by the gate waiting to come in. I got a little grumpy when Dad took Dibby out of the field first and Dad told me off, but we were both only acting. Even though the autumn has been mild, there's not as much nutrient in the grass now; Dibby and I were looking forward to some haylage and our tea. Cobs have a clear set of priorities.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's windy out there

The predicted high winds and drizzle materialised and so we were put out to graze. This gave Dad the opportunity to decorate the Christmas tree at home and so he found the extra time helpful. Both Dads came at 1.00 to attend to our stables, haylage and water and brought us in at 3.00 when it was growing even more stormy. Again, we were standing by the gate ready to come in. Dibbs and I made in-roads into our haylage as we were being groomed. Cobs prefer their dry stable and haylage net when it's blowing a gale.

Monday, December 04, 2006


After the strong winds over the weekend, we made the most of a quieter interlude this morning to practice in the school. We stayed mainly in one half since Lil and his mate were at the other end installing some large mirrors to assist in dressage practice. Dad was pleased that I ignored the drilling and coming and going and just got on with it.

We worked on the RWYM elements in walk and trot and added some lateral work and went up into canter. I went on the bit for some of the time and our trot was much less clumsy than before. We also tried some canter, which was fun.

When Dibby joined us we walked and trotted around a little and worked on canter together on the opposite sides of a 20 metre circle.

We spent the afternoon grazing. It grew gloomy by about 2.30 and seemed to be heading towards more rain and wind. When Dad returned at 4.00 I was already standing by the gate and pleased to be brought in. After my hooves were hosed down I stood by my stable watching and eating haylage as Dad put my bed down. Dibby did the sme as Other Dad prepared his bed. After being groomed it was time for tea. Some of the other horses were being taken out to exercise under lights in the drizzle, so Dibby and I are quite lucky. Cobs know when they are well-off and would be good at pontoon.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

David and Dibbs on a blustery day

After a very stormy night the morning was dry but extremely windy. Other Dad came early and topped up our haylage. Both Dads returned at 11.00 and put us in our warm rugs and out to graze. It was a bit like Winnie the Pooh and Tigger on a Blustery Day, but Dibby and I didn't float away hanging onto a balloon.

We were already standing by the gate when it was time to come in for grooming and tea. You may wonder how cobs come to be familiar with the works of A.A.Milne, but there has to be more to life than apples and minties...well, apples anyway.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

BT day

Dibby and I enjoyed a quiet Saturday grazing between 9.00 and 4.00 - to enable Dad to await yet another visit from the BT engineer and prepare our stables. When it was time to come in we were waiting by the gate which probably shows we're heading towards winter. We were groomed and given tea after a lazy day. Cobs cope well with enforced laziness.

Friday, December 01, 2006


The weather forecast for the weekend was mixed, so Dad was keen to school today whilst it was dry. We practised the things we learned in the Riding with your Mind lesson (hereinafter , "RWYM"!) and after a while I had softened and gone on the bit. Dad was pleased with this.

We also practised Prelim 17. This time the trot was better and I still managed the canter transitions correctly. It's still not good enough to risk trying at Solihull, but at least it may be going in the right direction.

We grazed during the afternoon and I found some time for mutual grooming with Dibby and Cricket . We cobs are very social.