The unspoiled world of senior cobs, David and Master Dibble

Location: United Kingdom

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Late November lesson with Fran

Friday, November 27, 2009


Cooler today. Out in the field again - me in my purple New Zealand and Dibby in my lightweight rain rug. Other Dad went to look for suitable extra rugs for Dibby - waterproof but not so warm as our normal winter rugs but without success. He will try elsewhere over the next few days.

Dad had intended to ride me after attending to our stables this afternoon but the school was tied up and then there were big machines clearing the muck heap as it grew darker, and he gave up and we had our tea. So we have our lesson arranged for tomorrow morning without any practice this week. Dad says its fingers crossed. Cobs however aren't ones for superstition and prefer to behave as circumstances dictate.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pale blue

Here's me having my electro-magnetic therapy from Auntie Gemma. I like the pale blue; some cobs can carry it off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back again

We're back! Since we last blogged, it has been very rainy and windy. The summer is only a distant memory now.

Dad has been suffering from a bout of 'flu for some weeks now and has only managed to ride me once since the day the clinic was cancelled.

During this time, Dibby has been poorly again with a bad rash and a sore coat. He has received steroid injections and lots of tablets crushed up in his breakfast and had been put out without a rug wherever possible.

Dibby's treatment meant that he couldn't have his flu and tetanus vaccination on the same day as me last week and he caught up with it when the vet visited again today.

The picture above is one of the first ones taken with our new camera. I'm the one in front letting Dad know I want to come in. Apparently, Dad has had problems with the software but fortunately cobs don't have to pretend to be interested in such things.

Monday, November 09, 2009

High maintenence

An uneventful day. Dad was unwell and only came to the yard after three to attend to our stables and prepare our teas. So no schooling today.

Dibby's rashes seemed to be improving with the steroid tablets and ointment although they are still pronounced. Fortunately, he seems comfortable in himself. Both Dads will monitor him over the next few days and speak to our vet on Wednesday. He hopes to come on Friday to give us our annual flu' and tetanus injections. Cobs can be high maintenance.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Dibby's rashes were slightly less angry this morning and Dad applied the new ointment first thing. It was pouring with rain early on and we were kept in our stables with a hay net until it had abated and then went out to graze.

Dad spent a couple of hours in the drizzle trying to tape and fence off the remainder of the rear wooden fence line in our field - hoping to stop Dibby rubbing his flanks on it and aggravating his wounds. This was an interesting exercise since no new plastic fencing posts were available and he stretched the existing ones as best he could along the whole fence line and tied together assorted lengths of tape. This was a delicate task - especially with inquisitive visits from Dibby, Cricket and me and when we joined Max and Bailey in having a canter around to warm ourselves up.

This was eventually done and Dad will try to attend to the other exposed fence line when materials are available.

We came in after four. The eruptions on Dibby's side were pronounced again and Dad applied more ointment. He also emptied and crushed up four boxes of steroids each containing 28 tablets to go in Dibby's tea with inter alia his Danilon, Codlivine, joint supplement, garlic, linseed oil and di-calcium: yum. Nowadays, cobs tend to have a thorough working knowledge of pharmaceuticals.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Yesterday had seen the disappointing cancellation of the clinic an hour before our lesson. Dad came to the yard in any event and took me in the school. Other Dad and Auntie Sharon took some excellent snaps of our session, which was fun. We worked in walk, trot and canter for forty minutes or so. I enjoyed the attention and then I went out to graze.

When we came in after four Both Dads were concerned that Dibby's rashes on his side had worsened considerably and were very warm and sensitive. Dad spoke to the vets on the telephone and agreed to ring again first thing in the morning to arrange a call-out if needed.

Dad spoke to our vet in the morning who agreed it was necessary to see Dibby today rather than await the appointment which had already been made for him to come out for our annual vaccinations and to check on Dibby's arthritis on Monday afternoon. After examining Dibby, he diagnosed an allergic rash and administered a steroid injection and prescribed steroid tablets, shampoo and ointment. Dibbs doesn't like needles and was very brave with the help of several minties. Our vet will review his case again on Wednesday.

Since the treatment clashed with the vaccination, it was re-arranged for us both for later next week.

Once the vet had completed his visit, Dad shampooed the relevant area thoroughly, applied the ointment and put Dibby in his stable for the day.

I then came in. I had waited by the gate of our field since Dad took Dibby in. I was a little vexed and instead of walking down the slope outside the field to avoid a parked car, I decided to jump over it (the slope, not the car), which was quite a surprise for the Max and Cricket walking in in front of me and for Dad. I also shied when someone walked behind me, but didn't rush off. When we got inside - to Dad's relief - I was pleased to see Dibby and stood patiently until we were groomed and it was time for an early tea. Cobs are normally quite staid but do get nervous when they're worried - like I was about Dibby today.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Schooling in lieu of the clinic

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Keep calm and carry on..

It rained heavily overnight and first thing this morning. Dad came at nine and took me in the school when the rain had paused at 9.45 or so.

Our schooling session was quite eventful. First a large JCB with big trimmers came to cut the hedge line along the track. This was loud and managed to set most of the horses in the nearby fields running around, which I found fascinating.

We stood it for a while but went in after ten minutes and came out again when the machine had moved on and things had quietened down.

We then did some good relaxing and stretching work and I walked on the bit on both reins. Two large dogs of a visiting farrier and some yard dogs then decided to run around me. I forgot myself for a minute and took off . Fortunately when they ran away I calmed down and Dad hadn't fallen off. After Dad had exhausted his vocabulary of Anglo Saxon we carried on regardless - like it says in the poster Keep calm and carry on.

It took a while to get back to where we were and I never did get quite as soft or at all relaxed. I did some disciplined trot with walk and halt transitions and finished with some stretching.

At this point we called it a day and I went out to graze for the rest of the day. Cobs have always been firm believers in keeping calm and carrying on

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A cobly virtue

Out in the field in our New Zealands as yesterday. Dad had intended to ride me when we came in at four but needed to bathe and treat the three or four sore points on Dibby's flank following either some excessively energetic grooming or rubbing on the fence when we went out without rugs at the start of the recent warm weather. Dibby was very patient and still while he was treated and I stood quietly when this was done before we were rugged up and put in our stables for tea. Patience is a cobly virtue.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Big issues

As the autumnal weather continued, we spent the day out in the field in our New Zealands. Apart from the occasional shower, the day wasn't too bad.

Dad took me in the school after four. Although we had covered walk, trot and canter on both reins in our lesson on Saturday, Dad had been unhappy that, unlike going right, we couldn't seem to manage to trot along the long side on the left rein with a pronounced inside bend, firm outside rein and inside leg and giving with the inside hand. However hard we tried I kept falling in ...big time and, much to his frustration, Dad's inside leg wasn't effective enough to keep me out.

We went back to basics for this practice session building up from walk with stretching, leg yield and flexions trying to soften my neck and body which was tense like an ironing board to begin. We worked patiently in walk and then trot on twenty metre circles and then larger oblongs on both reins until I softened and took the rein down and eventually showed more willingness to give the correct bend on both reins. Dad practiced riding every step, making better use of his inside leg and keeping a more effective contact with his outside rein, which produced some improvement.

As we schooled the arena was quite busy with Sport and then Lulu being lunged, Gem having a lesson and Max and Leah also being schooled. Happily everyone concentrated on their own tasks without mishap.

We came in after three quarters of an hour shortly after five. By then it was already dark and the lights were on and it was time for grooming and tea. Dad was pleased I had relaxed by the end of the session and wants to take that into our next session. He wants to tackle my problem with bending in trot on the left rein without in becoming a big issue. Often big issues are best quietly addressed before the cob concerned realises they have become big issues.

Monday, November 02, 2009

David dreams

David dreams of Connemara
Safely by his mother's side
Playing tag amongst his brothers
Buck and frolic, seek and hide.
David dreams of misty mountains
Grass so green, so lush and high
Soft rain falls from sacred fountains
In a never-ending sky.
David dreams of dizzy gallops
Bounding through the sweetest air
Sunny carefree bliss of summers
Ignorant of hurt or care.
David dreams of days beforehand
Without harness, wire or wheel
No men shouting, no bones broken
No limbs cut by tangled steel.
David dreams of home in Ireland
Before ferry and the road
Before terror, cold and panic
Made his gentle mind explode.
David dreams of Connemara
Simpler days when home was best
Safer days beside his mother
Kinder days of peace and rest.

Thanks to Louise for the picture of me sleeping. The horses in my dream appear by courtesy of the Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wet and windy

The brief Indian Summer seems to be over. After heavy overnight rain we greeted November in the wet and windy field in our New Zealands.