The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Thursday, May 31, 2007

All about the journey

After much heart searching Dad withdrew me from Prelim 17 at Solihull this morning. He wasn't satisfied with progress on our canter down the long side and decided to practice a little longer and enter the next competition on 2nd August.

So it was back in the school for pratice in walk, trot and canter and then a couple of attempts at Prelim17. Initially I was resistant but after a while I went on the bit although we need to work on consistency. After forty minutes or so the heavens really opened and we had to make a dash for cover.

Dibby and I went out to graze in the drizzle and heavy downspours with thunder and lightning -called showers in the forecast- until our beds were ready at 5.00. So it's back ot the drawing board. Fortunately cobs understand, it's all about the journey.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The cool grey weather continued. Since we had not ridden for several days Dad felt obliged to exercise this morining and took me in the school at about 11.00. It was drizzling lightly for most of the time.

We went through our warm up routine with walk on a long rein, medium walk, halt transitions, some smallish circles, shoulder fore/in and leg yield going up into trot. We practised Prelim 17 twice. I accomplished most of the shapes but wasn't consistently round and my canter is different each time. On the positive side my strike-offs were correct - which shows improvement.

Dibby joined me after twenty minutes and also pracised the test. As the weather worsened we came in to dry off and have an apple and some minties.

We spent the afternoon grazing and came in for grooming and tea after 5.00. There had been some very heavy downpours in the late afternoon, rather than the showers forecast.

Dad said Dibby and I had been entered for Prelim 17 at Solihull tomorrow, but with the way the group canter went last week, the cancellation of our lesson on Sunday and the loss of several days practice due to rain this week, it looks as though we may be well-advised to withdraw. Dad is sad because it would have been our first Prelim test -and one indoors on a long arena, but knows you have to be ready for these things. We shall just have to see. Cobs are patient - especially me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


A drizzly start to the day. Claire was due to clip Dibby and me at 11.30 and we stayed in our stables with haynets until her arrival. I was clipped first and was good apart form trying to eat the clippers when my head was done.

I was then brushed and sponged down before being put out to graze in my light rain sheet. Dibby joined me after his clip. He was good too.

We came in for grooming and tea at 5.00. Cobs like being smart and appreciate a good clip.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wet Whit

The rain continued into Holiday Monday. We were put out to graze by 10.00 and celebrated with much bucking and squeaking and cantered off. We came in at 5.00 after a lazy day to be groomed and given tea. At least cobs enjoy a wet Whit.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Whit Sunday morning was rainy and windy. Liz spoke to Dad on the phone early and they agreed that it wasn't suitable for a lesson. So Dibby and I were put out to graze in our rain sheets whilst Dad attended to our stables. The rain was continuous for the rest of the day.

We came in soaked at 4.00 to be dried off, groomed and given tea. Cobs can cope with soggy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Whitsun grey

Dad took me in the school this morning. Other Dad had to go to the bank first thing and so Dibby stayed in with some haylage. It was dry and warm but a sort of Whitsun grey.

Leo was schooling at the other end of the arena. We worked in front of the mirrors and built up slowly as usual from walk on a long rein through medium to halt transitions, leg yield and shoulder in, some sitting trot and a little canter.

We also worked large concentrating on roundness, staightness and concentration itself. We came in to be hosed down and given an apple and minties. Dibby then went in the school for half an hour including good practice of Prelim 17 and joined me in the field after being hosed and having his treats.

We came in after 5.00 just as light drizzle was starting. There was space for me to be groomed outside my stable but Dibby had to go in his straight away. We were put in our rugs since the night is forecast to be cooler. A lesson and heavy rain and wind are scheduled for tomorrow morning. Cobs are used to these things.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Both Dads were busy today ordering some new chairs and going about various chores. We went out to graze at about 10.00 and came in when our stables were ready at 4.30. Dibby wore his muzzle, but Dad hasn't put me in mine yet. He will have to if I he thinks I will put on any more weight. I guess we'll be exercised tomorrow morning, Bank holiday weekend weather permitting. Cobs are realists and understand how it works.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Declining into Whitsun

The morning was dry but overcast and humid. The weather is typically declining into the Bank Holiday weekend. Dibby was put out to graze whilst Dad took me in the school.

We worked on a large arena shape taking up half the school and started off with a lot of walk on a long rein. We movedup to medium walk and added halts, shoulder fore, leg-yield going large and into and out of twenty metre circles. We went up into sitting and rising trot and practised canter transitions.

We then went through Prelim 17 twice and after trying some canter going arge, cooled off on a long rein. Dad was pleased with my obedience during the session.

Coming in, I was quite warm and, after untacking, I was hosed down and given an apple and minties before joining Dibby for the afternoon.

We came in after 5.00 after a sunny afternoon. I managed to keep my fly mask on which pleased Dad. We were groomed and had tea. Cobs enjoy a comfortable day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


A warmer and dry day. Dad took me in the school whilst Other Dad took Dibby for a hack.

A lesson was going on in the other part of the school and we confined ourselves to the top section in front of the mirrors until it had finished. To begin, we did a lot of work in walk on a long rein and then in medium, adding shoulder fore and leg yield to gain roundness. We leg yielded into and out of circles and went up into rising and sitting trot with a little canter.

Dad was reasonably pleased with the session although we were nowhere near consistently round and soft. We came in for an apple and minties. When I was untacked and the washbox became available I was hosed down to cool off and dried before going out to graze in my fly mask.

Dibby joined me for the afternoon on his return. We stayed out until 4.30. I was quite glad to come in to cool off and have tea and more minties. Black cobs absorb the heat and are pleased to cool down.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Simple humour

After our energetic group lesson last evening, we were given the day off.

We went out without rugs and had the whole day in the field, coming in at 4.30.

We were groomed and given tea. I played my favourite joke on Dad by having a drink and pouring all the water over Dad's hand. Cob humour tends towards the simple.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dodgy canter

Other Dad put us out early without rugs on a fine and dry day. When Dad came to attend to our stables he saw Dibby removing his muzzle. When he entered the field to put it back on, Dibby ran away and wasn't very popular. He was persuaded to be caught and to allow it to be put back on later in the morning : an amusing diversion.

We were brought in at 4.00 in readiness for a group lesson with Liz at 5.30. We warmed up in walk and trot and added some shoulder in and fore on both reins in walk and sitting trot. We worked on leg yielding into and out of a circle. Dad was pleased with my roundness and shoulder fore but we ran into problems when we were required to canter as a group large around the arena. Dad's half-halts weren't effective enough and I wasn't exactly generous and co-operative today, so we ran the risk of running into the back of the slower ones and had to take evasive action. We will have to improve the control on our canter with half-halts and sitting deeper in the saddle if we are to go large with five other horses, so there's quite a lot of homework to practice on that.

We came into be hosed down, dried and groomed before having tea. We were all quite tired and enjoyed some minties. Cobs expect minties even after a dodgy canter.

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Other Dad came early and topped up our haylage and Both Dads returned to ride at 11.30. Dibby went for a hack and we went in the school as usual. I was a little on edge this morning and tried not to concentrate and resist a little. We worked through it and did a lot of work in walk and a little trot and canter concentrating on softness, contact, straightness and generally tidying up Dad's riding. By the end of the session we had covered what Dad wanted and came in for an apple and some minties.

I went out to graze without a rug and Dibby joined me after half an hour. We enjoyed the afternon out and Dibby managed to dispence with his muzzle. We came in at 5.00 after what the Small Faces described as a Lazy Sunday Afternoon. Cobs have a surprising knowledge of popular beat combos of the 1960s.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Good judges

Both Dads took us in the school at 11.00. We warmed up in walk and trot and ran through Prelim 17 twice before the drizzle turned into an absolute deluge and we had to make a run for it. Inside we were dried off and had some minties.

We went out in our rain sheets and grazed for the afternon before coming in after the Cup Final. Dibby and I thought our rain-interrupted schooling sounded more exciting than the match. Cobs aren't bad judges.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Both Dads took Dibby and me into the school at 11.30. We warmed up walking and trotting around together on both reins with some lateral work. Other Dad didn't do any small circles and Dibby coped well. We then worked separately and each practised Prelim 17 using half the school again. The tests went quite well -including the canters and walks on a long rein. We finished off walking around together to relax and came in.

We went out to graze without rugs and fortunately it did not rain. We came in at 4.15 for grooming and tea. Cobs don't object to an active day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Inordinately fond

Thursday morning was overcast and showery and, as forecast, humid. We stayed in until the rain had abated and Dad took me in the school at about noon.

Today we worked on a 60 x 40 size area since there was no-one else in the school . We warmed up in walk and trot on both reins, added some lateral work and and walk-halt transitions and a few twenty metre circles in canter,

We then practiced the whole of Prelim 17. Other Dad watched one and said the entry as nice and straight, the canter transitions crisper and the shapes OK. we need to work on softness and roundness in trot and the downward transitions so as not to go too much on the forehand. We fitted in forty five minutes or so before the rain resumed and were quite pleased with the sesssion.

I joined Dibby in the field for the afternoon. We stayed out until 4.30. Dad brought us in and hosed our hooves before grooming and tea. We enjoyed some extra minties of which it could be said that even senior cobs are inordinately fond.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

As it comes

Yet another rainy day. We were put out to graze in our rain sheets by 9.30 and stayed out until 4.30. Dad watched me for a while. Unlike Dibby and Cricket who just ate I stood in the corner of the field looking -although I did graze some of the time. I expect we'll go in the school tomorrow if the rain permits. Cobs try to take each day as it comes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The wet weather continued into Tuesday. Other Dad came early and put us out in our rain sheets. The day saw rain, wind, bright sunshine and gloom. We just grazed. We came in at 4.00 when our beds were prepared and had our hooves hosed and were groomed. We were going to be schooled but the rain started again and so we took the hint and stayed in.

We were wormed with Equest and given minties to take the taste away and then tea. Dad managed to administer the wormer to Dibby and me without most of it ending up all over him. Cobs aren't the only ones capable of multi-skilling.

Monday, May 14, 2007


The unsettled weather continued with heavy rain overnight and during the morning. Other Dad came early and put us out to graze in our rain sheets. Dibby and I were pleased and cantered away to the other end of the field.

We came in at 4.00 and were groomed and tacked up to go in the school. By now it was sunny and quite breezy.

We shared the school with Leah being lunged, Tom and Kamara. We worked alone for most of the time warming up in walk and trot with some lateral work, sitting trot, twenty metre circles and canter. Dibby cantered around with Tom and Kamara on a big circle but I Dad didn't let me join in and we did our own canter circles instead. Dibby and I finished off together walking around the arena and came in for grooming and tea. We worked around the rain today; cobs are flexible like that.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

All-weather grazing

Sunday morning was grey and overcast. Both Dads came at 11.00 and took Dibby and me in the school. It had aleady started to drizzle with rain and we practised in walk, trot and canter with lateral work and transitions alone and then going large together around the school.

Dad practised straightness, sitting up, breathing, use of legs and hand position -bit width apart. I still wore the staight bar snaffle borrowed from Liz and Dad was pleased with my mouthing and softness. It still was nowhere near, consistent but was moving in the right direction.

The rain grew more intense and after forty minutes or so we came in.

We were dried off and put in our lightweight sheets and put out to graze for the afternoon until 4.30. The rain had continued heavily since about noon and we were glad to be dried off and given tea. When it rained hardest we just turned our bottoms to the wind and carried on eating the grass. Cobs are accomplished all-weather grazers.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Preferring the norm

Another showery and blustery day. Dad took me in the school at about 11.00 but it started to rain and horses next to the school galloped around rather unsettlingly so we took the hint and gave up! I wasn't complaining since I got to go out to graze with Dibby.

We came in at 4.00 for grooming and tea. It was good to get back into the field together. Cobs prefer the norm.

Friday, May 11, 2007


The rainy weather continued. Dibby was on box rest today following his hock injections. Dad came and put me out to graze at 11.00. I squeaked and cantered off after my minty since it was another day off. My rain sheet was still damp and so Dad had put me in Dibby's since he was staying in. The picture shows me on another day in my rug...all very confusing.

Dad kept Dibby company for most of the morning whilst he attended to both stables. After a quick lunch Both Dads returned and brought me in. Shortly afterwards it began to rain very heavily and Dad decided against riding in the school.

They let Dibby and me do some mutual grooming over the stable door again before grooming and tea. Dad took Dibby's bandages off, which made him feel a little more comfortable and Other Dad came back later in the evening to check Dibby was OK. He skipped us both out and gave us some minties. It will be good to go out to graze with Dibby again tomorrow. Cobs get very attached.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


A funny sort of day. We stayed in our stables as usual as the day began. It rained on and off.

Richard, the farrier came at 10.30 and shod Dibby first. Then it was my turn.

Once Dibby had been shod, Rob the vet arrived and examined Dibby. He then gave him a sedative and clipped patches on his hocks and sterilised both areas. He injected some local anaesthetic and then injected both hocks again and bandaged the hocks. I watched this as I was shod and could see Dibby was very brave.

I went out for the afternoon with Cricket since Dibby had to have two days box rest.
Dad brought me in at 4.00. When I saw Dibby we both whinnied. I was allowed to stand outside Dibby's stable and we did mutual grooming over the door whilst my stable was prepared. Then it was time for grooming and tea.

Other Dad came down later in the evening to check Dibby's bandages and skip us out. It's better to go out together. Cobs are very loyal -especially to senior cobs like Dibby.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The weather was forecast to deteriorate this afternon and so we were schooled this morning. Dad took me in first and we warmed up to music on a long rein and then in medium walk with leg-yield and trot on a twenty metre circle and large.

The surface was a little deep before the rain and we didn't canter much today. Dibby joined us and we walked and trotted around together and generally relaxed. Then I came in to be groomed and put out to graze whilst Dibby hacked down the lane and back.

We spent the afternoon grazing without rugs. It rained a little but was quite warm.

We came in at 4.30 and were towelled off, groomed and put in our sweat rugs - Dibby in red and me in blue. I watched Dad put down my bed and had the odd minty. It's a nice time of day after time out in the field. Other Dad came down later and changed us out of our sweat rugs. It's a strange time: April was like May and now May is an impression of April. Cobs notice these things.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Both Dads were tied up with business during the afternoon, so Dibby and I had another easy day. We went out to graze in our lightweight rugs in light drizzle at 11.00 and came in for grooming and tea at 4.15. Not much more to report; like cobs, some days are straightforward.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Making the most of it

The forecast rain arrived overnight and this morning. We were put out to graze mid-morning in our light rain sheets.

We came in at about 5.00. Neither Dad felt like riding today in the wind and drizzle and so we were groomed and given tea. Cobs are naturally disposed to make the most of it.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


The forecast rain didn't materialise and so we rode on Sunday morning. We stuck to the same routine as last time with long rein, walk, leg-yield and walk-halt transitions. Going up into trot we worked on a twenty metre circle and large and cantered both ways. Dad tried to use more leg, less hands and sit straight with hands at bit width.

I worked on the bit for much of the time and Dad was pleased with the session.

I was put out to graze to await Dibby's return from the hack and we stayed out until 4.00. Dibby had scratched his nose a little and, once it had been bather and treated with ointment, went out without his muzzle.

I was quiet when we came in and just watched Dad prepare our stables and enjoyed the odd minty before tea. Cobs believe in relaxation.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Enjoying Badminton

Dibby and I were given the day off. We went out to graze at 10.00 and came in at 5.00. During the afternoon, Dibbs managed to remove his muzzle. Dad a hasn't put me in mine yet, although he has lined it with fetching black and white fake fur in readiness.

We were groomed and given tea after a restful day - when both Dads watched Badminton on television. This is the closest most cobs come to enjoying Badminton.

Friday, May 04, 2007


A much greyer and cooler day. We were put out to graze -without rugs - at 11.00 and brought in at 4.30.

Dad took me in the school for half an hour after 5.00. He wanted a shorter session than usual but to fit in specific elements.

So, we warmed up on a long rein and then medium walk on both reins. We added some lateral exercises including leg yielding into and out of a circle to promote softness and roundness. Dad continued his efforts to use his legs to steer and to keep hands in position bit-width apart - and not to pull on my mouth. We did some sitting trot and a little medium trying for extension along the long-side. We then moved up to working canter on both reins and finished off on a long rein. We found the session refreshing and Dad was satisfied.

We came in to grooming, minties and tea. Since it was cooler we were left in our lighter stable rugs overnight. Dad was pleased I had no objection to schooling at tea-time. It's what we do ; cobs can be very professional.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


The morning was greyer than recently, but the sun increased as the day wore on. We were put out to graze in the morning and had a pleasant day out.

As we were getting ready to come in Pheonix managed to get ito Izzy's adjoining paddock in the field. She ran around but no harm was done and the mares were soon separated without any injuries. Dad hopes she won't get into our part of the field.

Dad had moved our water tubs in the field away from the electric fencing and mares, but still didn't seem me drink outside. When I came in I drank about half a bucket of water straight off -less than yesterday.

I was tacked up and taken in the school for forty minutes. It was sunny but with a pleasant cool breeze. We worked in walk and sitting trot with a little rising. We added some walk on a long rein and leg-yield along the quarter line and into and out of a circle. We also worked on canter on both reins, which went well. Dad was pleased with my obedience and relaxation. I was on the bit for a good time. Hopefully now we can set up a long arena and practice Prelim 17.

We came in and I was hosed down and groomed before tea. The schooling went well but on the whole I prefer to exercise in the morning. Still, cobs like to oblige where possible.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


After a rest yesterday, Dad took me in the school this morning. We went in with Dibby and walked and trotted around together, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising. We also worked on leg-yield and shoulder-in and generally had fun practising.

We came in after forty munutes of so and spent the afternoon in the field. I was waiting by the gate to come in again and showed I really wanted some water. I drank a bucket-and-a-half, which made Dad think my bucket in the field is too close to the electric wire and mares. He will move it tomorrow and check if I drink. It important, since it's unseasonably warm at present -although pleasantly so.

After my long drink Dad walked me around the building and saw I was alright. We were then groomed and given tea. Most days, cobs are different.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


After two energetic lessons on consecutive days, Dad decided I should have the day off. Dibby and I were put out at 11.00 and enjoyed sunshine and grass in the field with a cooling breeze.

By the time Dad arrived, I had dispensed with my fly mask and he had to search for it along the fence line and put it back on. He attended to our stables and went home. When he came back I was still wearing my mask, but standing by the field gate. The field had been rolled during the afternoon and I was a bit agitated, although Dibby just carried on grazing.

When we got inside I stretched over my stable door to show I wanted some water. Dad undid my rope and I stretched down and had a good long drink. Dad thinks I haven't been drinking in the field since they put the mares in and our water buckets are now next to the new electric tape. I never did like electric tape; it makes a funny buzzing noise.

After my drink I had some haylage and tea and calmed down for the evening. Just because we're cobs, doesn't mean we're not sensitive.