The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cobs' Equity

After another humid night, the morning began stickily and grew stickier. At least the horse flies liked it.

Other Dad came early and after breakfast put us out to graze in our fly rugs. Given yesterday's performance, he didn't bother to put on our fly masks.

Both Dads had appointments this morning and we were left to our own devices until Dad came at 1 'o clock . We stood by the gate to show we preferred not to be out, so by 2.30, Dad conceded and brought us in.

The best part was a long cool hose down to wash away the flies and lower our temperatures. We then stood quietly outside our stables whilst Dad prepared our beds and teas.

Dad put my tens machine on for half an hour. At one stage I twitched so violently to get rid of a fly that I sent the equipment flying onto the concrete of the yard. I guess that's what they call "testing to destruction." Well in this case the kit passed with flying colours and worked when dusted off, put back together and restored on my back.

I guess we will be ridden when the temperature is less extreme and, until then, will be "resting." In some ways, the lives of cobs resemble those of actors with performance after bouts of resting. Unfortunately, unlike actors, cobs don't have an agent or even a union.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Flies time

An eventful night out in the field - whilst Dibby and I were in our stables oblivious to what was going on. Some might say this is the normal state for cobs - and indeed our Dads - usually the last to know...but I guess that's beside the point.

Baby Cob started off sharing with Cricket. All went well and quietly until Cricket got upset with his little visitor.
To avoid further mayhem, it was decided to bring him in and substitute Edward in the field with Baby Cob overnight. Next morning, Baby Cob came into Cricket's stable, when Cricket was put out to graze.

Dad came and rode me this morning. I wore a blue fly fringe in the school and Dibbs a natty red one. Fashion note: we may be portly but, with our colouring, we can carry off a bright fringe.
While we practised in the school - as usual - Other Dad walked Dibby down the lane and back.

By 9 'o clock it was already hot and the horse flies came out. Dad spent half his time squashing them on me - so it made concentration difficult.

The surface was dry and deep and we worked in walk and trot looking for roundness, smooth transitions and square halts. We did a little rein back but didn't canter today. We came in after forty minutes and had a good hose down with Dibbs.
Dad was pleased that I worked quite well despite the blood-sucking distractions. He was also pleased that I ignored the other horses being put out when we were working.

We went out to graze in our fly rugs with masks on - very Darth Vader-casual. Dibby's head collar was left on to try and keep his mask in place.
A man came on a quad bike thing to spray the weeds in the field, but it wasn't very exciting and we ignored him.

Dad brought us in at 3 'o clock and wasn't too pleased that we had both disposed of our fly masks at different ends of the field which he had to spend some time looking for.

He hosed us down in the washbox for some time, but found it quite difficult to lower my temperature today.

Dad says I seem to absorb heat very efficiently - especially in 30 degrees C. - due to my being black.
He said it reminded him of a line by Ali G for some reason, but I didn't understand. Like most cobs I'm not overly familiar with the work of any post modern comedians and haven't even seen "Borat" - or any other films now you come to mention it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fly rugs and gratitude

Although Dibby tried to persuade me that fly rugs were being worn over the head this June, I didn't really believe him. After his little adventure with his old rug yeterday, Other Dad bought him a new one by Shires.

So, both wearing our new tasteful pale blue protection from the flies with leg straps, we were put out to graze by 9 o clock on yet another scorcher.

Dad prepared our stables and went home for breakfast whilst we grazed. He came back at 1 '0 clock in time to see the new Baby Cob introduced to the field.

By then it was getting hot and humid and there were lots of flies. With this and an audience of people and dogs watching, we all milled around the gate and got hot and bothered. When Baby Cob came in, we trotted around with him to say "hello" and I asserted my self by chasing Dibby off - and nearly connecting with a massive kick at head height -which didn't please either Dad very much.

By now the flies were really bad and everyone was getting fractious. Cricket was taken in to avoid the flies and as usual we stood by the gate hoping to come in too. Dibby's eyes were getting sore and Other Dad drove to Solihull to get him a new fly mask. Baby Cob sensibly trotted off and grazed whilst Dibby and I stayed at the gate as a hint to come in.

When Other Dad returned, he fitted Dibby's new fly mask which looked rather smart for the three minutes before Dibbs skilfully removed it, leaving it crumpled by the fence. Sometimes it must be very rewarding owning a cob and being allowed the privilege of spending large sums on gear that is immediately trampled into the ground.

At this point, with new clouds of horseflies, Dad gave in and brought us in. He gave us a quick hose down in an effort to cool us down and we stood by our stables before being put in for an early tea.

Later Baby Cob came to visit and we touched noses over my stable door - though Dibby wasn't his usual avuncular self.

From Dibby's perspective, people -even Dads - don't always realise that it's not always that easy being a cob - especially a senior cob with arthritis, whose legs and teeth often hurt a lot.

Perhaps that's why cobs don't always seem to "do" gratitude.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hot and humid

A grey and dull start to the day.

Dad rode me in the school at 9 'o clock for three quarters of an hour. We walked on a long rein and shortened up, leg-yielded and worked on halt transitions.

We trotted in a circle - and worked on upwards and downwards transitions and tried to straighten rein-back.

When Other Dad came out we added a little canter on both reins and left it at that.

Viola joined us in the school late on to be lunged and work over poles. She is in the next field to us and we talk over over the fence a lot. I think we are going steady - but I suspect she may also be seeing Cricket and Dibby when my back is turned.

We came in and Dad hosed me down and put me out to graze with Dibbs.

Since it wasn't sunny, Dibby and I went out without fly rugs which was OK until mid-afternoon when the horse flies went crazy and we ran around in protest. Pesky varmints.

Dad brought us in and, with several horses coming suffering from the same horrid thing at the same time, was eventually able to hose us down to get rid of the flies and cool us off. Dad also tea-bagged Dibby's eyes, which had gone puffy raw and sore from flies and rubbing. An uncomfortable afternoon. Dad says we will now have to go out in our rugs until the weather breaks.

Auntie Gemma kindly gave us some of her special hand-made fly spray to try instead of the spray that has been mentioned in various forums. Dad says it smells very nice with floral high-notes. It has essential oils, including lavender. Nice!

Other Dad bought Dibby a new rug with legstraps today, so we will both go out in fly rugs tomorrow.

Cobs do like a new rug - and a floral high note.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New shoes

Friday already.

Richard the farrier came at 10.30 to change our shoes. Dibby and I were kept in with some hay rather than going out in the field.

Richard shod me first whilst Dad did my stable. Refits again because I don't wear them out on the road going hacking. Apparently my frogs are now in good order. Hooray. Dad applied some purple Tecsin spray and put me out to graze whilst Dibby was shod and then he joined me. Dibby has nice frogs too - also hooray.

By then it was pouring with rain with some thunder - something to do with there being something going on somewhere called "Glastonbury", according to Dad. I believe him but Dibby and I just carried on eating and ignored the heavy rain which was at least warm.

Later on, Dibby managed top pull his fly rug over his head so he couldn't see. Hannah and Auntie Debbie kindly noticed and took it off for him. When he came, Dad took my rug off too so we could mutual groom before coming in when the horse flies were getting worse. Other Dad will have to get him a fly rug like mine with leg straps if he is going to be quite so silly - which he will probably be. Although he is a very senior cob, Dibby gets very itchy - so it's understandable.

Every time Dad was about to ride me today it started to rain so he gave up until tomorrow morning. Fortunately cobs have no objection to a day off.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Re. flexions

Time for some more cob-tastic commentary upon life's rich pageant for David and Master Dibble.

What to report? Let me see. Not much really since I last blogged. Neither Dibby nor I made the team to the Olympics. I gather Hong Kong is quite humid at that time of year any way - and the Germans usually walk it.

The lorry has been playing up a little - expensively as usual - with thousands of pounds spent on new brakes and the exhaust.

So we haven't been to Solihull - or anywhere - for a while, but hopefully we will make it back some time this year. Walk and trot-tastic
I have had a sore foot with an abscess. The vet came out and treated it and Dad learned quickly how to apply poultices and iodine compresses and to hand graze me. It was better in a few days.

Dibby had continuing problems with his teeth and finds it harder to eat his hay. Other Dad swills out his mouth now with a big syringe twice a day. As a very senior cob Dibby is very brave and stoical about that.

Dibby is also sore with his arthritis in all four knees but takes his Danilon and supplements and tolerates it well. Dad tells me I have to be more considerate to him and not to boss him about, but I forget sometimes.

We still share our field with Cricket who is a senior cob too. Leo who shared with us has gone to another home as has Xaile so its just the three amigos for the moment - though rumour has it we will have new friend soon. The Shetlands still occasionally break into the field from their paddock and cause mayhem. I look forward to their visits and enjoy a play.

Now it's June its getting hot and there are masses of flies.

We are put out to graze in our flysheets and covered in pongy spray which tastes nasty when Dibby and I try to mutual groom.

This morning Dad came and rode me in the school at 8am when it was cool with a pleasant gentle breeze. The surface was deep and we just walked and trotted a little and Dibby joined us with Other Dad and we went around the school together for half and hour.

We did shoulder-in and leg yield, lots of flexions and rein back. Dad was pleased that I softened quite well and walked out properly.

I always like it when Dibbs is there. We came in for an apple and a mint and went out to graze by 9 'o clock.

The early cob catches the breeze.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday morning lesson in June

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grazing after topping in June - with swallows