The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Monday, August 31, 2009


A grey Bank Holiday Monday out in our fly rugs. Dad took me in the school after five. We shared with Rosa and then Mary Rose without getting distracted.

As with our lesson on Saturday, we began with softening and flexing, adding some shoulder-in and leg-yield and lots of walk-trot-halt transitions, the odd rein back and upwards transition to sitting trot and upwards from walk to canter.

Dad tried to sit up and breathe with heels down and keep his hands stiller and lower with less - visibly agricultural - aids. We schooled for forty minutes and came in for a hose-down, apple and tea. I'm still nowhere near consistently round in trot but there is some improvement. Cobs are pleased to give some grounds for encouragement.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bye bye Baby Cob

Archie left to go to his new home on Saturday. Bye from Dibby and me.

After the lesson

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Walk, trot, shoulder-in and canter from trot with Fran

Friday, August 28, 2009


A peaceful day out in the field without rugs. We came in at 4.30, just before a really heavy downpour. For cobs - like people - timing is everything.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


A brighter morning. We went out in our fly rugs and spent a lot of our time with our heads over the fence at the top of the field looking at the mares - because we could, I suppose. Also, the breeze was pleasant at that high point.
We came in at four and Dad took me into the school. Initially Rosa was schooling at the top end and around the perimeter and Izzy next to me. There was plenty of room and I wasn't distracted by the trailers and big tractors moving around the yard and piling up up large green bales of haylage throughout the session. I concentrated and worked in shapes around the fences to begin and then in the marked out arena.

Despite the recent rain, the school was still quite deep and we stuck to walk and trot. We went through the same softening exercises as last time, but added a little lateral work such as leg yield earlier in the session, plus changes of pace in sitting and rising trot.

Dad was pleased with the schooling and particularly that my jaw and neck loosened more quickly. We also went through the walk and trot test - rather better than last time.

We finished off on a long rein in walk and trot and came in for grooming and tea. Cobs enjoy being surprising sometimes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


As predicted in the weather forecast, today was wet and windy. Apparently this was due to the arrival of the residue of what had been a hurricane on the other side of the Atlantic. Despite the rain, it wasn't at all cold and we were put out to graze without rugs. Dad dried us off when we came in and put us in our cooler rugs until we were comfortable. All in all a funny sort of day - even for senior cobs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A quiet morning at the yard. Dad took me into the school at about ten. Other Dad took Dibby on an hour's hack around the pig farm. After a few rainless days, the surface was still dry and deep and we confined ourselves to walk and trot without canter.

We continued with basic work on softening and getting and staying on the bit. We began with stretches walking around the arena adding some shoulder in and fore and leg yield with walk-halt-walk transitions and then some trot. We varied tempo in rising and sitting trot and tried the odd rein back and transition forwards into a round trot.

Dad worked on uprightness, sitting deeper into the saddle, heels down and breathing. He tried to maintain a constant dialogue with my mouth without setting or pulling and to use inside leg into outside hand. He also tried to remember to take the leg off and put it on again rather than just keep it against my side.

By the end of the session I had softened and was responsive to aids. We stretched down to finish on both reins and came in for an apple before going out to graze. In for grooming and tea at five after a pleasantly uneventful afternoon. To a cob "uneventful" is a double negative - we would say "eventless."

Monday, August 24, 2009


Out in our fly rugs to graze early this morning. The weather varied from sunshine to showers. Each time Dad was about to tack me up it started to rain and so he eventually gave it a miss on the third attempt. Anyway he also felt low and it's never best to ride like that, so we had an easy day. Here is a snap of me with my Tens machine on -with Viola in the background. Note the machine under the elastic surcingle to avoid me twitching and sending it flying. Cobs are usually relaxed about new technology.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


After yesterday's exertions I enjoyed a restful day out in the field with Dibby. We came in for grooming and tea by four, so Both Dads could go home to watch England win back the Ashes. Cobs understand these things.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finishing off

Sue schooling

Saturday morning : about to go out

Friday, August 21, 2009

To plan

After a day of mixed weather out in the field, ranging from drizzle and wind to bright sunshine, we came in at four. Dad took me in the school which was dry and deep today. At first we had the arena to ourselves. Then Cosmo came in to be lunged and later Rosa for her lesson. We had the opposite end to ourselves and Dad was pleased with my concentration.
We began in the usual way with lots of loosening and flexing exercises working on a twenty metre circle and straight, trying for straightness and stretching followed by leg yield and shoulder fore and in.

We did lots of transitions and softening in halt but for a good while I wouldn't relax my neck and jaw and felt very stiff, particularly on the right rein.

We went up into trot and my head still jutted out, but after many changes of pace and flexions I gave and became rounder. We did some better work in a more correct outline and then stretched and finished on a longer rein.

We deliberately didn't canter today and will wait for a little rain. It's sometimes good not to add the strain and anticipation of canter to a session and to focus on all the weaknesses in the other gaits that need attention.

By the time we finished after forty minutes or so Dad was satisfied with what we had done and brought me in for a sponge down, apple and my tea. Cobs understand that not every schooling session goes exactly to plan.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


(L to R) ~ David, Dibby, Max and Bailey
(L to R) ~ Cricket, Dibby rolling and David
(L to R) ~ Cricket, Dibby, David and Max