The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Winter sunshine

Another dry and sunny morning. Dibby and I were taken into the school. Meg was having a lesson in three quarters of the arena and Dibby and I tried to keep out of the way in the rest. We worked separately for a while practising walk and trot and some lateral work and then I ran through Prelim 1 as Other Dad watched. My canter tranasitions and trot were a little better. Dad carried his crop but didn't have to use it and I went forward better. We finished off walking and trotting around together. Dad was pleased with the session.

After an apple each and some minties we went out to graze and came in after 4.00. Rob the vet saw Leo yesterday and said he had an absess which wasn't a serious as tendon trouble so he should be back in our field in a few days. We shall continue to make the best of the pleasant weather. Cobs enjoy winter sunshine.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


After our workout yesterday, Dad felt a little weary this morning and so we were given the morning off. It continued to be dry and dull but quite mild.

Dibby was in good spirits and when he was released in the field, squeaked before trotting away. Even though I'm not the senior cob, I was more dignified and just sauntered off as usual. I also decided it was my duty today to usher the Shetlands around - as befits a cob four times their size.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Bright side

The week began dry and cold. Dibby and I were both taken in the school this morning. We worked alone in walk, trot and canter with some lateral work and transitions. We ran through Prelim 1 reasonably successfully, although without a crop Dad found it difficult to get me to go forward sufficiently. That plan may require re-thinking. After a bad night, Dad was also a little tired before we started - and a lot more tired by the time we had finished.

We concluded the session walking and trotting around together and then went out to graze for the afternoon.

We came in at about 4.15. Other Dad brought in Leo at the same time as us and he seemed a little lame. It was later necessary to call out Rob, the vet to see him.

We were groomed and given tea after rather a tiring day. With the grind of the cold and mud, January doesn't have much to commend it. Fortunately, our minties and apples aren't seasonal. Cobs can usually be relied on to identify the bright side.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Looking forward

After yesterday's rest, we had some exercise this morning. Other Dad took Dibby on a hack whilst Dad took me in the school. It wasn't quite cold enough for my newmarket and was dry.

Whilst we were schooling Denise was giving some RWYM lessons at the other end of the school to Tesco, Kamara and then Izzy. Later she taught Harvey and little Bailey.

We worked in walk, trot and canter with lots of leg-yield, shoulder-in and softening exercies. Dad deliberately didn't carry a crop and I was much more relaxed. We worked on posture, breathing and shapes and lots of transitions and a few poles and did quite a lot of sitting trot. When we came in after an hour Dad was pleased with the session. Dad did some touch work and massage -particularly on my right side and grooming.

We grazed for the afternoon and came in at 4.00 for more grooming and tea. Dad asked Debbie if Katie, who schools Tesco occasionally, might also have time to school me and Debbie said she would inquire. That should be fun and a nice change. Cobs like a something to which to look forward.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


After schooling several days running, we were given today off. Other Dad put us out to graze before 9.00 and we came in before 4.00. It was dry and cold and the Shetlands grazed with us again. When we came in we were groomed and Dad bathed Dibby's overreach again before tea. Sometimes cobs just enjoy a quiet day.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Another dry but cold morning, so Dad took me in the school at about 11.00. We worked in walk, trot and canter with some lateral work and lots of halt-walk transitions. Dad concentrated on straightness, relaxation and heels down and tried to get me to soften and move forward into the hand rather than being pulled in by it. He felt I was getting tense due to the crop he was carrying and worked for the rest of the session without it and found me more relaxed. He says we will work without carrying a crop next time.

Other Dad was schooling Dibby at the same time and, towards the end of the session, we joined up and walked and trotted around together and did some pole work. That was the best part.

We came in to be given an apple and minties and put out to graze. The Shetlands have now been put in our field which didn't cuase any problems because I spent half my time talking to them over the fence anyway.

We came infor grooming and tea at 4.00. We are on a bit of a diet with less haylage and so Dibby is rather sad. Still Both Dads say it's for our own good. Cobs accept what their Dads say but prefer it when it involves more haylage.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Another cold but sunny day. Dad took me in the school in the morning. The surface wasn't frozen but was quite firm, so we worked in walk and trot and avoided canter. We concentrated on relaxation and achieving roundness. We practised leg-yield and shoulder-in and worked large and on a circle. Dad was pleased that I went on the bit quite early. My halt transitions were improved and my trot was quite elastic. We schooled for fifty minutes or so and came in for an apple and to be put out to graze.

Dibby and I came in at 4.00 to be groomed and given tea. Dibby had the day off since Other Dad had to go into Solihull. I quite like to have some schooling in the morning; cobs aren't averse to exercise.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Because we're worth it

It snowed overnight for the first time here this winter. By the time Dad arrived at the yard it was sunny and bright. The arena surface wasn't frozen, so Dad put me in my newmarket and we schooled. We worked mainly in walk and trot this morning with some leg-yield and shoulder-in.

Dad worked on breathing, relaxation and posture. We schooled mainly on a 20 metre circle concentrating on achieving softness and roundness without too much use of the hand. We practised upwards and downwards transitions and did some good work in sitting trot. It was quite cold and fresh and so we stopped after forty five minutes. I had an apple and was put out to graze with Dibby, Leo and Cricket.

A couple of fence rails were down in our field which Dad fixed. We stayed out until 4.00 and then came in before the sleet and rain started. Both Dads had to bring Leo and Cricket in first to be able to get to Dibby and me. After our hooves were hosed our legs were dried and we were groomed and given our tea. The winter routine is quite remorseless, but Dibby and I think cobs are worth it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mid-winter clips

Claire came today for our mid-winter clip. I was trimmed first. I was very well behaved other that when it came to my face when I tried to lick the clippers. Dad said this was not a good plan.

Afterwards I was brushed and sponged down and put out to graze. Then it was Dibby's turn. He behaved well as you would expect of a senior cob and joined me after he had been brushed and sponged down.

The sky was bright blue but it was very cold. Both Dads brought us in after 4.00. Dibby had a small overrreach, so it looked as though we had been running around. They hosed our hooves, groomed us and bathed Dibb's overreach in warm salt water before giving us tea.

Everyone says we are putting on too much weight and so we were given a little less haylage.This is one of the few things that depresses cobs.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cob in the mirror

The weather forecast correctly predicted that the icy winds would blow in from the polar regions today. By 10.30 however it was dry and sunny, if a tad nippy. Whilst Other Dad took Dibby down the road, we went in the school.

After warming up on a long rein we worked in walk, trot and canter with some lateral work. We also walked over some poles and concentrated on relaxation, breathing and roundness. Whilst we were doing this Lil was at the other end of the school putting up the dressage mirrors. I shied once when I spotted myself moving in a mirror. We will have to have another sesion to make sure I deal with the mirrors properly - perhaps when Dibby is there.

After schooling, Dad gave me a massage and groom before putting me out to graze. Dibby joined me when he returned from his hack. We came in at 4.15 for grooming and tea. There was a group lesson this evening. Dibby couldn't participate because of his joints and difficuly in turning and Dad preferred to avoid the cold (1.5C) and dark but we missed joining in with the others; perhaps next time. Cobs enjoy joining in.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday off

After a few days schooling, it was Sunday off. We were put out to graze early. The weather was a little colder with some showers. We came in to be groomed and given tea at about 3.30. Both Dads returned at 7.00 to skip us out and top up our water and haylage. We also had an apple each. Cobs prefer dessert apples.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Real dude

Although it was colder, this morning was dry and bright. Other Dad took Dibby for a hack down the road and Dad took me in the school. Since my bit had rubbed the corner of my mouth a little he added two brown rubber protectors -not exectly smart, but funtional.

We rode at one end of the school whilst Tom Hill was ridden at the other. We warmed up and schooled as we had yesterday in walk, trot and canter with some lateral work and walk-halt, walk-trot and trot-canter transitions on both reins.

Dad was pleased with my paces and willingness to take the rein down and relax my neck.

When Sally had riden Tom, Dad asked if she wanted to sit on me again and Sally said she would. Sally is a very accomplished rider . We walked and trotted on both reins and did a little canter. We had fun doing some medium trot down the long side -which is very long in our arena. We then came in for an apple and some minties. Sally said I was a "real dude" and gave me a big carrot.

We came in to be groomed and given tea at 4.00. We like to have some exercise and time in the field. Cobs prefer it balanced.

Friday, January 19, 2007

David the destroyer

After yesterday's gales - the worst for seventeen years - the morning was dry and bright and Dad was preparing me for schooling. He had transferred my pinchless snaffle bit over to my Elevator bridle and had put it on me and was just fitting my saddle. At that point I decided it would be a good idea to hook the snaffle rings over the hinge on my stable door and pull back really hard. Sure enough, I managed to pretty well destroy £140 worth of bridle. Dad was not best pleased.

He put me out to graze in the sunshine whilst he prepared both our stables and cooled down. He then went home and collected another bridle and returned to refit the snaffle and tack me up again.

We schooled in the sunshine for fifty minutes of so. It was quite good to ride after a few days and we did some promising work in walk, trot and canter on both reins. I was on the bit for some of the time. We also did some pole-work in walk and trot.

After we finished, Dad groomed me and gave me an apple and some minties and I went out to graze for another hour or so before coming in with Dibby at 4.00. An eventful and quite unusual day; cobs don't normally specialise in vandalism.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Today was the windiest so far this winter. Dibby and I were put out to graze early. Both Dads attended to our stables by 2.00. Since the gale was getting worse they brought us in then. Our hooves were hosed and we were groomed and put in our stable rugs.

Dad knew I would just stand by my stable door all afternoon fretting about getting my tea, so we were given a snack of chaff with a few carrots and an apple to tide us over until tea-time proper. I then relaxed with my haylage. Dad came back after 4.00 to skip us out and give us tea. We were quite happy to be out of the wind and rain; cobs are very pragmatic like that.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best part of the day

Other Dad put us out to graze early. He watched for a while, but there were no ructions. Both Dads returned at 11.00 to prepare our stables and came back to bring us in at 4.00.

We were groomed at length and given tea. Dad sat quietly in my stable for a while as I was eating my haylage and finishing off the last of my tea-time carrots. It's relaxing to do that. For cobs it's the best part of the day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One of those days

After two days schooling in a row, we were put out early. Later at about 9.00 Dad had a telephone call from the yard that I was fighting with Dibbs and that Both Dads should come back and check him over. Both Dads came back to find us all grazing peacefully.

They both came into our field and looked Dibby over and found no cuts, scratches, bruises, heat or muddy bits. They also trotted him up and he was sound - or as sound as his arthritis permits nowadays ; so all was well. They stayed on to put up our beds and prepare haylage and water - and to keep an eye on us. There were no developments and they left by 11.00 or so.

They returned to bring us in at 4.00. They were able to get me out of the field first but were only able to retrieve Dibby - who was still in one piece - when Becky had taken in Cricket who was blockading the gate. It was one of those days - even cobs have them.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Missing a party

The improved weather continued after the weekend and so Dibby and I were taken in the school this morning. Lil was working on the new dressage mirrors at the far end of the arena and so we kept mostly to the other end. It will be good to have mirrors in the arena when we are practising.

Again we did a lot of walk on a long rein and moved up to medium walk, trot and canter with some leg yield and shoulder in. We focussed on canter today working on the upwards transition and trying to keep the legs from slipping back too much and getting the heels down. This was quite tricky after the RWYM work in recent weeks.

We warmed down walking around together and were put out to graze in our rugs. We came in at 4.15 or so to have our hooves hosed and be dried and groomed. Tea had extra carrots and apples. It looks like the weather is going to get much worse again over the next few days and Dad is pleased that we are not going to Solihull in the lorry on Thursday but disappointed not to be able to compete. High sided vehicles like our lorry aren't much fun in a gale even on local journeys but cobs are always sad to miss a party.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday school

Sunday morning was dry and sunny. Dad and I worked in the school whilst Other Dad took Dibby for a short hack down the road.

We schooled as usual starting on a long rein and working through walk, trot and canter. Dad wanted to practice straightness with a good heel, waist and shoulder line and breathing. He also concentrated on a consistent contact in an effort to improve my roundness.

We ran through elements of Prelim tests and came in after forty muntes or so. Dibby and I had an apple and minties before being rugged up to go out. We grazed until 4.00 and came in for grooming and tea. Dibby and I are putting on a little too much weight and Dad is reducing or haylage very slightly by degrees. Cobs are what they eat.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Heads down

After yesterday's exertions Dibby and I were put out this morning. Although it was gloomy and breezy, it was dry for the most part and we just kept our heads down and grazed.

We came in at 3.30. This time Both Dads brought Cricket in as well as Dibby and me. It was so muddy our hooves had to be hosed and our legs towelled before we were groomed and given tea. Dad said we would be clipped again next week -which means it's sure to get even colder shortly afterwards. Cobs know these things.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A family thing

Taking advantage of a break in the gales, we rode in the school this morning. We loosened up on a long rein and schooled in walk, trot and canter and then practised Prelim 17 and 1.

Other Dad watched and commented on our tests and then we watched Other Dad practice Prelim 1 on Dibby. Unfortunately Dibby seemed to have some discomfort in his off hind hock joint which caused Other Dad to curtail the test and walk around with me on a long rein instead. He wasn't lame and didn't seem to be in discomfort after the exertion of the test had stopped.

They will arrange for Rob the vet to come and have another look at Dibby next week to see what can be done to help.

We spent the afternoon out grazing and came in after 4.00. Both Dads brought Leo in with us. We were groomed and given tea. It was a shame today. Dad and I were really enjoying our practice which was going well but were so worried about Dibby. With our Dads and us cobs it's a family thing.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


The gales overnight continued into the morning. We were put out to graze and just turned our bottoms to the rain and wind and kept our heads down. It brightened up in the afternoon and we came in with dry rugs at about 3.45 for lengthy grooming and tea. This winter may not have seen much snow yet, but all the storms and mud are very tiring. Fortunately cobs have almost as much stamina as Both Dads.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Intelligent interest

After several days rain, the morning again started wet but had cleared by about 10.30. Both Dads took Dibby and me into the school. We each warmed up alone on a long rein and then tried some medium walk, trot and a little canter.

At about this time Pauline started a lesson with Gail at the other end of the school on her mare Meg. As soon as she mounted Meg was naughty and bucked her off even though Gail had hold of her rein. They calmed her down and lunged her before Gail riding for a while and Pauline re-mounting, without incident.

In view of all this we worked quietly at the other end of the school doing some trot, leg yield and discreet canter together. Both Dibbs and I were obedient and didn't get too excited, so Both Dads were pleased.

We went out for the rest of the day, which was dry and sunny. We came in for grooming and tea at 3.30. We were glad to get some exercise today, particularly since yet more rain is forecast for tomorrow. Cobs take an intelligent interest in the weather forecast.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The strong overnight wind and drizzly rain continued into Tuesday morning. We were put out to graze again whilst Both Dads attended to the stables. Dad hopes the forecast dry weather materialises tomorrow so that we can school.

We were brought in at 3.30 just before the rain grew really heavy and so our rugs weren't too wet. Dad spent a long time grooming us and having a chat. He also gave me a thorough massage before putting me in my stable, which was relaxing. Cobs enjoy a massage.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Another rainy morning meant Dibby, Cricket , Leo and I were put out to graze again. Both Dads attended to our stables and went off to deal with some business in Solihull.

They returned at 3.30 and were trying to bring Dibby and me in whilst Cricket slipped round the gate and trotted off to his stable. Fortunately he just wanted his haylage, so no harm was done. They brought Dibby and me in and then Leo, so as not to leave him on his own in the dark.

We were groomed and given tea after another dull day. On the positive side, cobs cope with dull, provided there are minties and apples.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


The rain persisted throughout the day and we just grazed and both Dads just prepared our stables, changed our rugs, groomed us and gave us tea with carrots and apples. Some of the other horses got quite excited outside in the wind and inside the wash-box but Dibby and I remained calm. It's the cob way.


The rain didn't stop and so we spent Saturday in the field. Our rugs were soaked by the time we came in to have the mud hosed off our hooves and be dried and groomed. Dad spent some time with me having a chat and brushing my coat and tail before tea and so I felt quite happy. We shall have to see what tomorrow brings. Cobs are quite relaxed like that.

Friday, January 05, 2007


The rain abated for long enough for Dibby and I to be taken into the school this morning. We worked in walk, trot and canter with some lateral and pole work. After schooling separately, we walked and trotted around the arena together. The one marginally in front was happy and put his ears forward; the one behind had his ears back and tried to overtake. Even senior cobs play this game. We also practised Prelim 1 a few times. Dad was pleased that I managed most of the canter transitions on the correct leg. We still need to work on roundness.

Dad noticed my bit was rubbing on one side of my mouth and applied some aloe vera gel. He will swap the bridle for my Elevator and substitute a fulmer snaffle with a revolving lozenge when we next school. Hopefully, this should be more comfortable.

We spent the afternoon grazing and came in for grooming and tea at 4.00 or so. Both Dads were tired and relieved to get us fed and settled and to go home. Cobs are virtually a full-time job at this time of year.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Yet another grey and dank day. It rained again this morning and so we were put out to graze and came in after a quiet day in the field. If the weather improves, we should school tomorrow. It's a gloomy January so far, but fortunately cobs quite enjoy the rest and aren't prone to seasonal affective disorder

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Winter gloom

Another cold and monochrome winter Wednesday. Both Dads were busy again and so we were put out to graze early whilst they got on with the stables, water and haylage.

Other Dad returned from a visit to the dentist to bring us in at 3.15 and was shortly joined by Dad. We were groomed and given tea after a gloomy day. Fortunately, cobs tend not to succumb to gloom.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Herd dynamics

After his arrival last night, Leo was put out out to graze in our field with Cricket first thing. Dad rode me in the school until it started to rain heavily. We schooled in walk, trot and canter and whilst this was going on Other Dad put Dibby out to join Leo and Cricket. That went quite smoothly and I joined the group after schooling.

We grazed for a while and then I started playing with Leo. When Jack started running around the next paddock to wind up Pheonix, who was being brought in, we all charged around and tore up the field getting covered in mud. Dibby joined in cantering around and putting in some very impressive bucks for a senior cob who has just had his hocks injected. We eventually quietened down.

By the time Both Dads returned to bring us in, Cricket and Leo had already been taken in. Dibby and I were quite muddy with all that racing around and our legs had to be hosed off and dried with towels. Space was at a premium between the stables with so many horses being groomed but we managed. It was fun playing around in the field today. Dad's books rattle on about re-establishing heirarchy and herd dynamics, but we were just larking around and being horses - even we cobs.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Cobby New Year

As it's New Years Day, it's my birthday. I'm now fourteen. As expected, Dad took me in the school about mid morning. We warmed up and were practising walk and trot with some lateral work when the weather began to deteriorate. We managed a little canter and stopped after thirty minutes when the rain grew heavy.

Dibby and I then went out to graze whilst Dad attended to our stables and went home for lunch. Dad returned to bring us in at 3.30. By then the rain was quite heavy and we were pleased to be inside.

Late on, spotty Leo arrived back on the yard and it looks as though he will be sharing the field with Dibby, Cricket and me from tomorrow. A cobby New Year to all from Dibby and me.