The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blustery in spots

Another unpleasant day with wind and rain. We stayed in our stables until 11.30 when Both Dads came to take Dibby and me in the school. Dad tried to school in walk and trot but the wind was very strong and at one point a fence behind me blew over, which made me a bit upset. Dad thought the session wasn't much fun for either of us and that it would be best to give up for today and took me indoors.

Whilst grooming me he noticed some spots on my neck below my mane. He washed the area with Hibiscrub and rinsed it and put me out for the afternoon in my rug at 1.00. We stayed out until 4.00 and thus had an hour less than our permitted four.

I was standing by the gate when Dad came and was pleased to come in. With the blustery wind under my tail, I shied a bit on the way in which was fun. Dad groomed me and put some Dermoline on my neck. If it's not improved tomorrow he will shampoo the affected area with Malaseb. Cobs have a surprising knowledge of proprietory brands.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Sure enough, the forecast rain materialised today. We stayed in our stables with some haylage until 11.40 when we were put out to graze. Dad attended to our stables and then went to have his eyes tested. Other Dad collected us at 2.40, by which time I had had enough and was standing by the gate waiting. Other Dad said we behaved well when he brought us in and hosed our hooves.

Dad returned at 3.15 and dried our legs and put on our stable rugs so that we could go back in our stables. He gave us tea quite early and Other Dad came down in the evening to skip us out and check we were OK. We don't really like this rain, all the mud and limited turnout but don't misbehave. Cobs prefer to behave properly unless they have good reason...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Looking forward

Monday morning started wet and cold. It was also quite windy. Dad took me in the school at noon, whilst Dibby went on a hack. We practised mainly in walk and trot with lots of lateral work and walk/halt transitions. My neck softened fairly well and my jaw did too eventually. We didn't canter much today since Dad felt the quality of my trot needed improvement. We worked on that and did some reasonably impressive walk on both reins.

Dibby and I went out to graze at 1.10 and came in at 4.30, again well within our restricted allocation of four hours.

The mud was hosed off our hooves and we were groomed in readiness for our stables and tea. Dad says the forecast for the next few days is for prolonged rain. We have some schooling hours in reserve and may have some time off. Cobs look forward to mid-winter schooling holidays

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Another rainy Sunday. We were put out to graze at 11.15. Our field was muddy. The Shetlands had been moved back into the next paddock with Jack. We stayed out during some showers until before 3.15. Dad brought us in and washed our hooves, dried them and groomed us as best he could before putting on our stable rugs. We had tea and settled down for the night. Cobs can tolerate uneventful.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dry clean only

Other Dad called in before 9.00 and topped up out haylage and Both Dads returned at 10.30 to go in the school. We began in walk, trot and canter with some transitions, leg yield and shoulder fore when it started to rain. We went indoors for ten minutes and came out when it stopped to continue with more trot and some canter. There was a rainbow.

Dad was pleased that my neck and jaw relaxed quite well and I was moving better from behind with more regular steps. We finished off trotting and then walking around with Dibbyto relax.

After grooming, we went out to graze at 12.45. There was some drizzle and the grass wasn't particularly good, so I was pleased to come in at 4.00, again well under our permitted four hours -again unlike some at weekends. I look forward to when the mud goes away. Some cobs are dry clean only.

Friday, February 23, 2007


The weather was mixed today with some rain. We were put out to graze at 11.15 and brought in at 3.00. Once Dad had prepared our stables, Dibby was put in his stable rug in his stable and Dad tacked me up.

We went in the school at about 4.30 and schooled in walk, trot and canter with some lateral work and lots of walk-halt transitions. Dad was very pleased with me today. My neck softened reletively quickly and my jaw didn't set gainst the hand very much . My rear legs were moving under me much better and my trot was more forward-going and much improved. Dad was very satisfied and rewarded me with some minties as we went in before it grew dark.

We were both given tea with extra apples and carrots. Dad will be delighted if we can sustain today's improvement, but has learned to enjoy the better performances on the day. Cobs teach you such things.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not our sort of day

Both Dads were due at meeting in Solihull this morning, so they came very early and attended to our stables, haylage and water. We went out to graze with Cricket, Leo and the Shetlands at 9.00. The rain poured all morning and we were brought in at 1.00.

Both Dads arrived back at 1.00, after I had been brought in. Dibby didn't want to be caught until he saw Both Dads were there and then came in quietly. Becky said it was because he didn't like a change in his routine. He does prefer to be brought in by either Dad. Our wet rugs were changed and we spent the afternon with our haylage.

Dad came back at 4.30 and groomed us both; we were unusually muddy. He skipped out our stables and topped up haylage and water. Then it was time for tea. It had been muddy and messy; not at all a cob's sort of day

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hell hath no fury

Another bright day before the forecast rain. Dad took me in the school at about 10.00. We worked on our homework from our last lesson with Liz in walk, trot and canter. As another lesson went on in the other end of the school, we focussed on softening my neck and jaw, keeping a contact, shoulder fore, trotting regularly without falling-in and sustaining canter. Dad worked without a crop until we started to run through Prelim 1 and then found I wouldn't go up into canter on the aid. Since I was just taking the proverbial, he carried the crop and I cantered upon request.

My last attempt at Prelim 1 was really rather good, in our terms, and we finished on a high note.

Dibby and I then went out to graze from noon until 3.40 and came in well within our prescribed four hours...unlike some. We were groomed and put in our stables for tea. We had a lovely new neighbour today, Jethro who is only eight months old and is settling in opposite my stable.

Dad was depressed again since one of the other liveries keeps complaining about our field. Cobs understand that hell hath no fury like a livery who covets your field.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The view from my stable

After the morning in our stables with some haylage, we went in the school at about 11.30. We worked on homework from our last lesson: walk, halt transitions, trot and canter with some lateral work and shoulder fore. Dad concentrated on loosening my neck and then my jaw so I was softer and in a better outline.

Dibby joined us in the school and we walked and trotted around together - racing a little as usual -and then separated again for some canter. We finished walking around together on a long rein - and looking into the new mirrors at the top end of the school .

We went out to graze at 1.00 and came in at 4.30 for grooming and tea. Dad sat with me in my stable for a while after tea whilst I ate my haylage. The noises in a busy yard in the early evening are not unlike a hospital ward and quite wearing for more sensitive horses who need time to relax in the field or stable. Dad tries to understand these things. Cobs enjoy watching some activity, but like some peace too.

Monday, February 19, 2007


After schooling three days in a row, we were given a rest today. It was dry but cool and grey. We went out to graze at 1.45 and came in at 3.30, so we still had less than the prescribed four hours in the field. Apart from our enjoyment of minties, cobs are models of moderation.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A good lesson

This morning was dry and sunny - just like Spring. Liz came for a lesson starting at 10.00. We warmed up and practised walk and trot on both reins. I softened in the neck quite quickly but my jaw was set very firm and Dad had to work very hard in getting me to relax and put my head and neck in the correct position. We trotted different shapes and practised shoulder fore, going large and went up into canter both ways.

Dad was able to get some advice on sustaining the canter better, stopping it falling in and on the downwards transition. We cantered in a twenty metre circle and going large and, at the end of the session, we even crossed the diagonal in canter -although I wouldn't come down to trot quickly enough. This involved a pretty hectic flying change -which was more like the legs falling off a table at high speed...but we survived.

We have lots of homework until our next lesson: speeding up the softening process of my neck and jaw, not allowing me to take the rein down too low as an evasion, preventing falling out (with outside leg forward to guide my shoulder) and in, lots of shoulder fore to soften and rounden and sustained cantering on both reins without using the crop. Dad recognised his aids need to be quicker and more effctive, so there's plenty to work on.

Dad asked if he should do the group lesson. Liz didn't really think it worthwhile for us since she wouldn't be able to give us that much individual attention and the private lessons worked better.

We came in and I went out to graze at 11.45 whilst Dibby hacked for an hour. We came in at 3.45, so I had four hours out and Dibby only three, but it was enough today. It was good having a lesson again; cobs relish a good lesson.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back to work

As turnout is now limited, Dibby and I stayed in our stables until 10.00 with some haylage when Dad came and groomed me, tacked me up and took me in the school. We had the school to ourselves this morning and worked large in walk, trot and canter until Dibby and Other Dad joined us and we practised in walk and rising and sitting trot together, which was fun.

We went out at 12.45 and grazed until coming in at 4.00 – still 45 minutes below our permitted allowance. We were groomed again, had tea and settled down for the evening. Cobs enjoy getting back to work

Friday, February 16, 2007

Schooling again

The morning was very wet and we were put out to graze. Dad came to attend to our stables before noon and brought us in shortly after 1.00. We spent the afternoon in our stables and Dad came back at 4.00 and took me in the school. We practised in walk trot and canter and did some lateral exercises and worked long and low. Dad was quite pleased that I was moving forward off the leg and was responsive. If the weather permits, we will school again tomorow and have a lesson on Sunday morning.

We came in when it was growing dark. I had an apple and some minties and was given tea with extra carrots and apples. Even though it’s rather a shock to the system, cobs don’t mind working after a lay-off.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Another day of leisure for Dibby and me. Both Dads were busy in the morning, so we were put out to graze early and came in at 4.00. It was dry with watery sunshine again and rather muddy, so here's another snap of us both in the snow. Being black and piebald, Dibby and I think the snow suits us; cobs have a surprisingly developed aesthetic sense

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not picturesque

Dad had to go out on some business this morning and Other Dad had to stay in for the British Gas engineer, so we were put out to graze early. It was damp, grey and muddy and not picturesque, so here's another snowy snap by the gate in our field.

We came in at 4.00 after a longish day grazing in the watery sunshine. Dad could tell I had been at grass longer than usual since my glands were rather swollen. We were wormed with Equitape today also. Dad administered it to Dibby and me: one whole 600 g tube each and another 150 g or so and, for about the first time, he was able to get me to swallow it without dribbling it all back over him. There were lots of mints afterwards to take away the taste and then tea. Cobs always like to make the best of it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Apres snow

Tuesday morning was dry and sunny. This picture is of Dibby and Other Dad and me during the snow a few days ago.

This morning marked the proper end of the snow; Other Dad took Dibby for a hack and Dad took me in the school. We practiced in walk, trot and canter and did some lateral work and transitions. When Dad put down his crop, I thought it would be a good idea to be sluggish in my upwards transitions to canter and when he picked it up I co-operated again. We came in after a good session and had an apple and some minties. Dibby returned just about then and we went out to graze for the afternoon.

We came in at about 4.00. Dibby and I were tied up outside out stables and ate our haylage, watching Dad put down our beds. We were glad to be put in our rugs and given tea instead of having to go out to work in the rain. Cobs understand and enjoy the benefits of fair-weather riding.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Minty lining

Unusually for a Monday, we were given the day off. We went out early to graze and, whilst Dad was attending to out stables, it was dry and sunny. As soon as he had finished and wanted to ride, it started to rain heavily and, being a fair-weather rider, he gave up.

Liz was scheduled to give two group lessons this evening, but Dibby can't participate just now due to his hock and Dad thinks I am a bit too fast in the trot for some of the mares that are now in the first session, so we opted out. It's a shame since we both enjoy the group lessons and it's good exercise. Hopefully, we may be able to arrange a private lesson before too long. Dad wants to ride tomorrow morning, so no doubt the heavens will open again.

Anyway, we made the most of it and came in to be thoroughly groomed and given tea. Cobs believe that every dark cloud has a minty lining.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thaw point

Overnight it rained heavily again and the last of the snow disappeared. Our field looked rather dank and messy this morning when we were put out to graze, so here's another picture of me playing in the snow. At least I'm playing, Dibby and Cricket are concentrating on eating as per usual.

We enjoyed a day out in the sunshine with no work and came in at 4.00 for grooming and tea. Both Dads thought we needed a break after being cooped up for quite a while during the snowy weather -and who are cobs to disagree?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


After the heavy snow of the last few days, Saturday began foggy, cold and a bit of a mess. There was still snow on the ground but it started to rain and dissolve ..all very McArthur Park.

Anyway, Other Dad came and turned us out to look for some grass underneath the slush. Dad attended to our stables later. Since the leak in Dibby's stable, he had to remove one whole bank of wet straw and change the shape and position of the bed. The black rubber bucket he had left in the corner last night was half full of water. He left it in place in case the leak is continuing and will ask Lil to look at the roof to see if anything can be done.

The stables took ages today and we came in after 4.00 but at least our beds were now dry. Cobs aren't that keen on the extremes of winter..or any extremes really.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Enough already

After another cold night, the snow was still lying this morning. We were left in our stables until noon and then put out in our field whilst both Dads got on with our stables. Dibby tried to graze, but I didn't really think much of it and stood by the gate after fifteen minutes or so asking to be brought in.

Since it was still snowing quite heavily and we couldn't get at the grass, we were brought in after about half an hour and ate our haylage as our stables were prepared. There had been a leak in the roof and my bed was much wetter than usual. After clearing it, Dad put down extra straw to compensate. There was also a leak in Dibby's stable and after clearing it up , Dad had to put down a bucket on the back bank to catch the drips. He will alter the layout of the bed tomorrow, if necessary.

We were rugged up again and put back in our stables with some haylage. Dad left to return at 4.15 to skip us out, top up water and haylage and give us our tea. We're all getting bored with the snow now - cobs too.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snow time

As forecast, we woke up to five or six inches of snow. We stayed in our stable with a haylage net in the morning and both Dads came at noon and put us in our rugs and out in our field.

We charged around for a while and then they brought Cricket, Leo and the Shetlands in. We pottered around whilst our stables were prepared and, after an hour , I was ready to come in and stood by the gate. As ever Dibby carried on trying to graze.

When our stables were ready by about 2.00, we were brought in and groomed and put in our stable rugs and back in our stables. We had fresh water and haylage and a sort of mini-lunch, so it was nicer than being out in the snow.

Dad came back at 4.30 and skipped us out, topped up our haylage and gave us tea. Snow is fun to play in for a while, but cobs prefer proper grazing weather.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Schooling whilst the sun shines

Today was cold and dry with a blue sky. We were put out to graze at 10.00 or so when the frost had moderated a little. Leo was back in our field with me, Dibby, Cricket and the Shetlands.

Dad got on with the stables and went home. The pipes were frozen and he couldn't change our water until later and the melting frost was dripping onto our stables and so he left putting down our beds until later too.

Rob, the vet came to see Dibby at 2.00. He was walked and trotted up and given flexion tests. Then Other Dad walked, trotted and cantered him on both reins in the school whilst Rob watched. Dibby was still uncomfortable in the off-hind where his hock was sore and snatched in trot and particularly on circles. Rob advised that we continue with Danilon, reduce Dibby's weight and increase his hacking. He shouldn't compete and put pressure on the hock. He wanted to reassess the situation when Halina next examined Dibby in early April.

Dibby rejoined me in the field for an hour and then we came in at 4.15. Unusually, Dad then tacked me up and took me in the school for forty five minutes. We worked in walk, trot and a little canter and concentrated on roundness and straightness. Dad was pleased that going large I was taking the bit down and foward by the end of the session and moving well from behind.

We came in before it was dark. I was put in my stable rug and Dibby and I were given tea with extra apples and carrots. Dad explained he was keen to get some work in today since quite a heavy snow was forecast for tomorrow. Cobs understand what it means to school while the sun shines.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Now that Both Dads are back in circulation, it was back to work. We schooled this morning in walk, trot and canter with lots of lateral work and transitions. Dad was trying to improve my outline and get me to go forward with some success. My canter was a little sluggish, but this is often the way when I'm schooled in my new zealand. I guess I shan't have that luxury next time. We finished of walking and trotting around with Dibby. We also cantered around together which was fun. We always turn it into a race.

We grazed for the afternoon and came in at 4.00. When we saw Dad at the gate, we cantered over to him - rather more actively than in the school. We were groomed, given tea and put in our stable rugs in readiness for another frosty night. Leo should be back in the field with us tomorrow now he has recovered from his absess and was visited by the farrier today. Dibby has to see Rob the vet at 2.30. We cobs lead such busy lives

Monday, February 05, 2007


Both Dads were away in London overnight on Sunday, so Dibby and I were on full livery for two days. We spent today out grazing and Dad arrived back to see us at 4.15 or so. At that point Cricket was being brought in and I was standing by the gate -helpfully- to have my head collar put on and be bruoght in.

Di went out to bring in Dibby but he decided to play a game and ran off bucking once he had eaten her mint. At this point Swapsie - Simone's Jack Russell - decided to join in and chase Dibby around the field. Dad decided to help out then and Dibby walked over for a mintie and let him put his head collar on and bring him in. No overreaches or other harm done other than being rather anxious and wound up.

Dad asked how it had gone on the previous evening, It seems it took twenty minutes or so and several tries to get him in.

Dad gave us some minties and our tea and Other Dad came down later in the evening to check on Dibby. Dad says he will have a quiet word with Dibby. He is far too senior a cob to be such a rebel.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


After another cold night we awoke to sun and a blue sky. Both Dads were busy today and so Dibby and I enjoyed a day off. Cobs can cope with this.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Winter's day off

After a bitterly cold night, the morning was dry and sunny with a bright blue sky. We were put out to graze once the worst of the frost had gone and had a pleasant winter's day off. Cobs enjoy some recreation.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A cob's perspective

A dull and gloomy start to the day. Richard the farrier came at 10.00. He dealt with me first and then Dibby. We were both well behaved whilst we were shod and had a net of haylage. We each went out to graze as our shoeing was finished and had a pleasant afternoon out in the sunshine.

We came in at 4.15 and Dad saddled me up and took me in the school for forty five minutes. It was dry and mild and still quite sunny. We were schooling at the same time as Tesco and then Leah and Meg. We warmed up as usual in walk and moved up to trot and some lateral work and then canter. We practised Prelim 1 and then moved into the larger part of the arena to work on shapes, transitions and some canter. Other Dad came and took some snaps and we came in before it grew dark. Dad was pleased that I was moving forward quite actively.

After grooming I was put in my stable rug and it was time for minties and then tea with extra apples and carrots. From a cob's perspective, that was quite a busy day.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A hack or an hack?

This morning was grey and still but dry and mild. Dad and I went into the school whilst Other Dad took Dibby on a hack..or should it be "an hack"? Whatever the gramatically correct version of what Dibbs did, Dad and I schooled.

We worked on a long rein large for quite a while concentrating on going forward and straightness and then worked through walk, trot, some lateral work, transitions and canter. We practised Prelim 1 and also did some canter going large with a lighter seat. Again Dad was pleased with our progress and we came in for grooming, an apple and some minties. Dibby arrived back when I had been groomed and we were put out to graze together for the afternoon.