Making decisions

This blog kind of links in with all change and a few bits from previous blogs.

Throughout life we always have to make decisions, some are hard and some we do without even thinking.

When you are young their was never a lot to worry about only things which would get us into trouble but actually when you look at it it’s a decision for instance ‘if I don’t do it I wont get in trouble or if I do do it I will get into trouble’ but being young these weren’t big decisions they were just like small challenges of whether you could push boundaries or not.

As you grow up more decisions have to be made, what do you take for your GCSE’S, A Levels, what uni do you go to and what are you going to become and work as?

These are some of the decisions which can start someone’s journey and change their life. I knew when I was in high school I wanted to go off and do horses. I wasn’t academic and let’s say school wasn’t my favourite but then again everyone says that when they are at school.

Due to not getting some of the academic grades I had to do an extra year at college. I could of gone off to a horsey college straight away but planned to go with my sister and she was still doing her a levels.

So I did two years at college but because I had to re do an exam my first year was a BTEC course in business. It suited me though as I didn’t need to spend all day at college and had only 4 days a week in college. After passing that I did a year of a levels and then went on to start my equine career.

I decided I was going to go and do horses, get my equine exams and see what came of it. The equine world doesn’t always pay well and sometimes I do think will I need to make the decision to do something else which will provide me with better income but for now I do what I enjoy.

When you make a decision do you think about it until your so stressed that your no further at making a decision or do you just jump the bullet and make that decision.You could say it all depends on the scenario or the outcome or what will be better long run. Theirs also the harder decisions which may involve something or someone you love or are passionate about these are never easy and sometimes people don’t realise until they’ve been through it themselves.

I had one of my ponies put to sleep (Lily)it was the hardest decision and I think it was made harder because we was was given options.

When we got Lily to the the vets we was told she was in shock and in a bad way. We knew this as we had been with her all day trying to treat her at home with our vet before she was referred where they then did some more tests and scans. They said we could operate on her but a high chance of loosing her on the table due to her being in shock already and her age or if she came through surgery their would be long road to recovery and for the next 6 months no turnout and then constantly having to limit her grazing after that and she could pull through surgery but a week later could go down hill again but no one could tell you what would happen.

Me and my sister made the decision not to operate on her. We was given time to think about our options, we rang our vet and we spoke realistically. Lily was 22 and never owed us anything and the recovery if she ever got their was long term. I looked at it as that’s not a happy retirement, when we first picked her up from the riding school and put her in the field she was happy she galloped around and had mad moments she wouldn’t want to be stable bound after enjoying almost a year in the field. It was a hard decision to let her go after waiting so long to get her but I know it was the right thing to do.I always wanted to own lily and wanted her to live a happy life in the field. We got her to retire her after being in a riding school her whole life. We had her almost a year before this happened.

The memories with this pony I will always remember she was a true diamond and legend and too this day I still wish she could have got a longer retirement and made it to our new field with all the ponies.

Quote: ‘sometimes the hardest things and the right things are the same’

The point I’m trying to get as is don’t dwell on your decisions. Learn from them and at the end of the day only you know what’s right! Some people may not agree with the decision you made but their will be plenty of reasons why you made that decision.

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Not giving up

Everyday we come across challenges which some we may not see as a challenge or others which just make you feel like giving up.

For me I sometimes like a good challenge but other times can feel defeated. I will always give something ago and will keep at it. Sometimes I just say I can’t to people or to myself but then will just keep trying anyway, so I sort of say it but don’t mean it and I get that bit of fire in my belly where I just dont want to give in.

When I ride Ozzy their will always be some distracting moment, either because I feel he gets distracted and not listening or if it be that he doesn’t feel like his getting any better or the day before he went so much better. Through these moments we forget that they are animals not machines and they make mistakes just like us humans. I never get angry out loud or I don’t get angry with Ozzy. The frustration just builds up inside and the more frustrated I get the worse our ride gets. After the ride I’ll look back and I know I should never have got frustrated, I have to look at the journey me and Ozzy have had so far and the improvements he has already made. It’s the little things that count. This is always a big learning curve for me as you really do feel like you have one step forwards and ten back especially with a youngster.Images of when I first got him (top) and then the (bottom) is a few months later.

When things go wrong I did use to beat myself up about it and then just give in and not end on a good note but that then didn’t help as as I would get off on a bad note and frustrated with myself and then our next ride would be harder. I’ve learnt to preserver and always end on a good note even if it’s a small second of good.

I keep Ozzy’s routine varied but even if we go on a hack I’ll pick something to work on, it could be that I get Ozzy to walk straighter , or we do some leg yielding across the track or just work on his canter. I like that not everyday is the same, and that theirs always a challenge.

The saying that everyone knows that makes sense is ‘Practice makes perfect’ and sometimes we try a little to hard and will then only notice the bad points but it’s the small good things we should take away with us.

A recent challenge of mine relates to my recent blog of Ozzy being out of action the start of this year. I had been getting him fit all winter to go out and do some events the start of summer but I didn’t go to plan as ozzy has been out of work. What I found is when Ozzy was out of work he became more bolshie on the floor, and just harder to do everyday tasks with him. I feel ozzy thrives from being in work as he has something to focus on and when his in a consistent routine his more polite to handle. Having such a long time out he lost some muscle and fitness. I’ve had to start from scratch again building up fitness and now working on getting him to build up muscle using what I have available. Im not at a big yard and don’t have loads of facilities but you learn to make do with what you have and lucky enough to be able to have an arena, a field and suitable hacking all which I can use to bring Ozzy back into work. I had seen this stage as a challenge as I’ve had to deal with his behaviour on the ground and his boredom. He is only young so always best to keep his brain busy.

My instructor does groundwork lessons which I want to do abit with Ozzy as it teaches them to have a better understanding of what’s being asked when ridden and also helps with focusing their energy and being able strengthen their core and use themselves correctly without rider interference.

Groundwork can be a challenge in itself and not everyone spends the time on the floor with their horse doing the basics, I hold my hands up I never do it with ozzy and I use the excuse his to strong, playful and bolshie on the floor but then how do I expect him to become better if I don’t do it. So a challenge I set my self for now is to do some work on the floor before I get on. It doesn’t have to be every time I ride and to start I’ll do it with my instructor to know I’m doing it correctly.

Everything will always fall in to place and most things happen for a reason. Don’t give up, keep trying and preserver. Everyone has a different end goal and something different they want to achieve so don’t compete against everyone else, just focus on what you want to achieve.

Ozzy summer 2017

I will keep blogging as someone messaged me over the weekend saying how they can relate to some of the stuff I’ve written about and to me that was a good feeling as Like I said before I didn’t know what would come of this blogging or even if I would keep it up but if I can inspire people who read my blog or it just helps with other Equine’s going through the same.

So keep following and you can follow some more of Ozzy’s daily journeys through my instagram.

When one thing leads to another.

December 2017 just before Christmas Ozzy came in from the field with a fat knee. Because I didn’t want to leave it over the Christmas break I got the vet out on the same day so he could have some antibiotics.

When the vet arrived she had a look at Ozzy’s knee and suspected that something may have gone in it. She had a feel and we decided we would treat with antibiotics and see what it looks like once swelling had gone down as if we decided to scan it, it would be hard to see anything with all the swelling.

Over Christmas and new year our turnout fields were open for 24/7 turnout, I still gave Ozzy his antibiotics everyday but being out helped with the swelling as well. The swelling had gone down over the new year but there was a little lump left which when you felt it didn’t feel like just fluid, so I called the vet out again. We decided to x-ray and scan his knee to see what was going on, the results showed that Ozzy had 3 thorns inside but they had all got into awkward places to remove, and two were not just behind the surface of his skin they had gone further in. Because he was sound and could still be ridden we made the decision to leave them and see what happened once he was back into full work.

I started to bring Ozzy back into work, luckily he had only had about two weeks off so didn’t take long to resume as normal. He was fine. We schooled, jumped and hacked without a problem. A couple of weeks later his knee became fat again, I didn’t really know what to think, either he just bashed it and it flared up or the thorns were causing a problem. I spoke to my vet and we decided to try another lot of antibiotics and see what happens. He remained in work this time as he was still sound but I just walked him and small amounts of trot while his knee was fat mainly just hacking. His knee had gone down and everything was back to normal other then the weather . Typical Just as work resumed for Ozzy, we had loads of snow therefore he was out of work again as everything had just become either to hard to ride on or too Icy. I tried to exercise him when I could, I even managed to hack him once but only literally 2 minutes up the lane before we hit loads of ice that hadn’t melted and their was no way of carrying on our ride.

The snow cleared up and the whether became abit more rideable again, this time when I got on something wasn’t right. Ozzy would trot off then stop and start and stop and start or he would just trot and if I asked him to stop he would throw his head up. I would ride through it as I thought maybe it was just excitement or freshness but the problem persisted and got a whole lot worse too the point where I would get on and ask him to walk and he would just leap and buck leap and buck. This just wasn’t like Ozzy at all it was so out of character. My first step to making sure I riled everything out was to get the saddler so I had the saddler come out to check his saddle even tough he not long ago got a new saddle, but I thought maybe he had changed shape. I knew his teeth were up to date and the saddler said his saddle was fine.

The next step I got the vet out, my vet did several test to rule out lameness and anything else that could have been causing these problems. We then decided to book him in for a scope to see if he had ulcers as all his symptoms were leading to this, and we was right Ozzy was diagnosed with grade 4 ulcers.

some of the images from Ozzys scope.

He had to have a further two weeks off plus treatment for his ulcers, after two weeks I could attempt to ride again if he still wasn’t right then to give him more time and then re scope in 5-6 weeks.

After two weeks of treatment, changing his hard feed to something more ulcer friendly and his normal routine in at night and out during the day I got on to take him for a ride, I just wanted to take him for a little walk. He was ok, still not great but we managed to get off the yard and go up the lane and back. It felt good to be back on board and I felt like we finally hitting a turning point.

The next day our summer fields opened, Ozzy was still having treatment and had a few days to settle after the change of routine and then I got back on board again, as soon as i put my foot in the stirrup I knew he wasn’t right again, he was head snatching and then when I got on and asked him to walk he went all crooked and was really hesitant so I got off. I wasn’t scared of him I just didn’t want to ride through it knowing that it could be hurting him.

I felt all a bit disheartened knowing that Ozzy had been out of work for so long and we just did the long haul of winter to keep fit so we could enjoy the summer but for now my main priority was to get him right again. More time off and more treatment!

I didn’t ride Ozzy until he had his rescope which was another 3 weeks away. Finally the day had arrived the moment of truth to see where we was at, finally some good news, Ozzy’s ulcers had cleared up 80%, they were so much better and the vet was pleased with progress so his still on treatment to clear the rest up but his dose has been cut down.

second scope and not so red !

The next day was time to crack on, I now knew they were a lot better so some of his behaviour could be physiological and him thinking it’s still going to hurt. I got on and he was great as if nothing ever happened. I’ve started to slowly bring him back to work building up his fitness and muscle again after having 4 months in and out of work and not being consistent. I’ve done lots of walk hacks with him and small amounts of trotting, he then had a physio session with our physio just to keep him comfortable while he strengthens up again. I’m hoping now we can just press on and get out and about again.

Happy horse after our first time back in the school since it all began (photo taken 1/6/18)

Young horse work 💪🏻

When I got Ozzy I was just looking for something which I could do a bit of everything with but at the same time something I could bring on. I knew whatever horse I got would be a lifetime horse.

Oz was 4 almost 5 when I got him and because I had him on a 3 month loan with view to buy I wanted to do as much as I could just to make sure he was going to be the one.

After a few days to settle I took him into the arena to lunge him, he wasn’t phased by being in the arena but he was excitable and a little playful. I just worked him through it and by the end he became more reactive to my voice commands. What I noticed is the way he carried himself on the lunge, he didn’t really have any sort of stretching technique so was more hollow in his way of going but after all it was his first time being lunged in a new place.

I felt now I was ready to get on board and start our trial. Within the 3 months I rode him the school, took him hacking, took him out in the trailer for a lesson, jumped him and took him away for the weekend to a camp run by my instructor Wiola who runs an academy called aspire equestrian academy.

After I made the decision to keep Oz I knew it was time to start bringing on his education. He is a very laid back horse and wasn’t quite off the leg so before I could ask him for any sort of contact I had to teach him to go forwards. Theirs so much to think about when you ride and their was always something to work on whether that be the way ozzy turned, his straightness, getting him to go forward or just trying to get him to accept the contact and not to be so hollow.

Ozzy was young so therefore I made sure our routine would be varied. For example one week would contain 2 days off either 2 days in a row of 2 scattered days, 1 lunge just from a headcoller, 2 days of schooling one of which would be a lesson and occasionally would jump but wasn’t a weekly thing, and 2 days hacking. If plans were to change he would end up doing more hacking then schooling as I found the hacking with another horse helped to get him to go more forwards.

One week I had lesson where we hacked down to this local green area which we call the racetrack, it’s just a field but with flat surface. We just walked around and made an imaginary arena, Wiola was giving us exercises to do in walk just to get him a little more focused and not being so nosey. We then went up in to trot and I can officially say it was the weirdest feeling. He was being very careful with his footing and it felt as tough he didn’t want to touch the grass. He wasn’t silly just babyish but both me and Wiola saw the funny side to it and knew it was something we could work on. We slowly just kept working in our little area and he soon settled and became more confident. I found it strange because I’ve not had a horse who’s done that before, especially as it was flat ground and had been dry so wasn’t even slippery. This was now something else for ozzy to work on but with him I always got the feeling that he was trying hard, he would make the small corrections which then led to him being more confident and just overall feeling stronger.

This picture was from the first time I rode him on grass and by looking at that you wouldn’t think he had been acting strange.

Ozzy still had a bit of growing to do as he was still slightly bum high. I decided that while he was still growing just that little bit and his work was becoming more challenging that I should get him seen by our physio. He would see our physio once a month and I feel that this made a difference too him and made him feel a lot stronger.

I started to take ozzy out to some SJ we just did small classes and a clear round. Nothing really phased him but he was just green, would go off any stride and would over jump the jumps. The more he got out the better he was becoming. We also did a bit of XC schooling he jumped everything and even went through the water without any problems.

Summer 2017 me and Ozzy did a ODE at twesledown. It was his first proper big event. He warmed up nicely for the dressage and although we didn’t get an amazing score from the judge he felt great compare to how he had been when practicing at home and it was on grass. We then did our SJ and the only downfall was that he was green and it just showed in the arena with an unlucky two poles. Now we was ready to hit the XC course just me and him to get around the course, which was quite a long course. I member trotting in and out of the start box and I could just see the first jump from the box the seconds remaining before I could leave the box felt like a long time but then we was allowed to go. We got going but the scary fence judges slowed us down, I guess this will come with time the fact that scary people seem to be beside a fence. We had one hiccup but sailed through the rest, I really had to keep encouraging ozzy but heading home he felt like he finally was on a role. Overall I really enjoyed my day and hopefully want to do some more eventing this year.

Our schooling at home continued and ozzy was showing huge improvement throughout our lessons, he was coming together a lot quicker and felt he could accept the contact and was strong enough to be consistent. Sometimes it would feel like we had one step forwards and ten back but at the end of the day they are horses and ozzy was still young and I didn’t buy him knowing the ins and outs. We have had many setbacks and I haven’t managed to start this year as I planned but hopefully everything is back on track now and we can carry on where we left off. I hope to share much more of ozzy journey with everyone.

Equine Cushing disease and sweet itch.

I thought I would do a blog on these topics as my 1st pony Charlie who is now 26 suffered from both and I’m hoping I can share with anyone who has a horse or pony that suffers with either a little bit of light on how I manage Charlie’s.

Let’s start with sweet itch as this was the first big problem I had with Charlie. When he was in the riding school, before I brought him he used to get really itchy at the time I didn’t know why. I used to wash him in tea tree shampoo and put coconut butter on him but it never really seemed to make a difference he would itch him self raw to the the point where he would loose all his hair on the top of his tail and loose most of his mane and forelock. I was so unknowledgeable on the sweet itch at the time that I just didn’t know what was the best way to treat him. I brought him a fly rug for when we was turned out and we also hogged him one year as he virtually had no mane and Someone had told me it was best to treat the sores and scabs as close to the the skin as possibly so with him being hogged it was much easier to treat.

Over the years I have tried many lotions and potions, and social media nowadays is also great. I joined a group on Facebook called sweet-itch support. It’s got loads of members all sharing their options on what works for their ponies and horses. It is a very supportive group and you could always ask advice.

These pictures were of Charlie last year 2017, his sheath and face were mainly being effected. This was still bad but considering previous years much better. He constantly lives in his boett rug 24/7 all through the summer. The boett rug comes in several sizes, it is breathable, and made out of water repellant fabric. It doesn’t cause them to over heat and is used in many hot countries without any problems.

I also started to buy some biteback products which came highly recommended. They provide repellant sprays, lotions, creams and some of their products can be used on sore broken patches of the skin to help with healing.

The biggest thing with sweet itch is managing it, it has to be done everyday otherwise it just suddenly seems to get really bad and so hard to then get under control again. When I knew I was leaving my job in Surrey, Charlie was going to be retired and me and my sister had rented a field for all the ponies. I was slightly worried as wasn’t sure how Charlie was going to cope with being out 24/7. He has lived out before but would always come in during the day due to his cushing disease which I will talk about abit more shortly.

Charlie loves to scratch on absolutely anything he can, this year 2018 I was determined to get on top of it especially before moving date. So I brought everything early: topped up on my biteback lotions, I brought some more benzoyl benzonate which is also meant to be really good, and two new products which people suggested within the Facebook group. One was Avon skin so soft which is apparently a mosquito repellant, which I did try but wasn’t helping with the other midges for Charlie but my other ponies all have it put on. The other product was imperial leather talcum powder. The powder is easy to apply all I do is just pour it on him I can also easily puff it onto his belly and sheath, I then spray him with his biteback summer nights midge and fly spray. I then just put his boett rug over the top spray the boett rug as well and that’s his body done.

For his face that also gets sore I got some iaserderm cream from the vets, he had started to make his face sore when he moved to the field but a couple of days of applying the iaserderm it has healed nicely.

This picture was taken 26th May 2018 after a week of applying the cream to his face you can see theirs only a little few patches just above his nostril. I’m hoping this will clear up in a couple of days.

I would say this year is the first year I feel like I’ve really been on top of his sweet itch and I know we still have several months of hot mild weather but he looks more comfortable all ready. I can not recommend the products I use enough and the Facebook group.

So another topic I want to talk about is equine Cushing disease, some people think that cushings can make sweet itch worse or trigger itchiness but nothing has been proven so I’m not sure as Charlie had sweet itch before he was diagnosed with cushings. Charlie was diagnosed with cushings disease in 2012/13. He was showing signs before he got tested like drinking loads, urinating a lot more, growing a thicker coat all year round. The best way I describe cushings to someone is that it’s similar to human diabetes. With the horses and ponies they struggle to control their insulin levels therefore too too much sugar in their bodies.

The main thing with cushings is that it can trigger laminitis and to me this was one of my main worries. Charlie isn’t the easiest of ponies to catch and can be a nightmare when he wants to be. Before I moved him to where I worked in Surrey he was in a big field with a big herd which wasn’t ideal as their was a lot of grass for such a small pony and also I could never catch him to give him his medication.

Charlie was on one prascend tablet a day and they are tiny but it’s amazing what he could smell. He hated taken his tablet even if we hid it in his feed he would sniff it out and eat around it, same if it was in a carrot or apple you would have no chance. The best way was to dissolve it and put into his feed or if he wasn’t having a hard feed I would place the tablet in the side of his mouth and just hold him for a couple of minutes while the tablet dissolved. He would then have to have bloods taken 6 months apart just to monitor his levels and then you could adjust his medication from their. Their was only one time when he had to go up to having two tablets a day but within 3 months he was able to drop back down to 1 tablet.

The tablets cost 1.09 for each one, so every 3 months I was paying £100 just for his cushings, that’s without blood tests. To me Charlie is worth every penny I have spent on him and he has taught so many kids to ride since he left the riding school and has become a complete different pony.

When Charlie moved to work with me it was so much more convenient, he had a small paddock which once he had eaten down was basically bare and if need be I would give him some soaked hay. When the grass was rich I put a green guard muzzle on him. I found that even tough they don’t look that nice the green guard muzzles are a lot nicer and user friendly then the other muzzles.

Charlie would live out at night and come in during the day, he would get his tablet in a small feed which would be sugar free and then have some soaked hay before going back out for the night. Charlie was also clipped all year round as he would grow such a thick coat I thought it would make him more comfortable as well as help with treating his sweet itch.

When I found out I was leaving my job in Surrey I knew then would be he time to retire Charlie so I spoke to my vet about the risks of taking him off his medication as he was going to be in a 5 acre field, and I just wanted him to be a happy retired pony. My vet said it wouldn’t be a bad thing but would have to be my decision. I would have to keep an eye on his symptoms and obviously he would be at more risk of laminitis. I thought I would give it a go so I weaned Charlie of his medication slowly before the move so I could monitor him and see if he had any symptoms re appear. All looked good so to this day he is still of his medication.

My thoughts behind taking Charlie off the tablets were; he owes me nothing, he was about to go into a field and I don’t have access to any stables if he needs to come in., he doesn’t enjoy having the tablet and it makes him really difficult to catch. Of course tough if he started to get symptoms that I could notice with him just living in the field I would put him back on his medication but for now he is happy, both conditions are under control and I’m confident I can keep him like this.

All change

Their is always change going on whether it being a small change or a big change.

I have worked with horses since I was 11 years old, when I first started I wasn’t keen I used to be quite scared of them but with help from my sister and the handling of Lily I overcame the fear.

Charlie was the first pony I had ridden and I just remember several of us were given a free ride for helping out. I didn’t know what Charlie was like so wasn’t expecting anything. We had all walked around and the instructor had me at the front, as soon as we all went up into trot I just remember being at the back of the ride. Charlie had gone from walk to canter ( he was quite speedy so not your average steady canter) and I was at the back of the ride before I knew it. This was normal for Charlie so it happened to me quite regularly but I soon got to grips with him and was able to ride him without him doing it.

When I finished college I went off to do my equine exams, I already had done my BHS stage 1 and Riding and Road safety while at the riding school. I had looked at several places to go but also had to be places where I could afford to take Charlie. I had been accepted on to the working pupil course at Wellington Riding with my sister and a friend from the stables.

This was the first big change I had to make, it meant leaving home at 17, living in the middle of no where and meeting and living with 14 other people in a farm house. I also had to work out what I was going to do with Charlie, the cost, how it would work with working and having my own horse.

It all just seemed to fall into place once we arrived. The horses all settled, we had been given our allocated bedroom, a package of what yard we would be working on and other info. So I waved goodbye to my parents and the new journey began.

A month in my sister left and went back home due to personal circumstances. I had never been apart from her and always worked with her. For sisters we never argue and we get along like a house on fire which you may think is strange or impossible that we never argue but we just don’t. I found it hard as it was now time for me to stand on my own two feet, get through the exams and make my own decisions. After a year Charlie went home to go on loan at the yard my sister kept her horses.

I spent 5 years at Wellington gaining my exams and working on the riding school and livery yard having several different roles before I decided it was time for another change. I was on the phone to my sister and she was telling me how a job became available where she worked in Surrey and did I want it?

I worked it all out, moving back home, working my notice period, a starting date for my new job etc. As time got closer I did start to worry a little just as I wasn’t sure as I knew it was going to be completely different to the big atmosphere at Wellington. I was glad to be doing this change as it meant being closer to family, being back with Charlie and who knew what else would evolve.

So I started my new job in 2015 on this livery yard in Surrey. My sister worked for the woman who owned the yard and I worked for the daughter, it was two separate businesses but on one yard and they offer DIY. It was definitely different, a lot more relaxed and not so many people, it was a nice change. The yard had a few changes eventually and me and my sister ended up working for the woman who owned the yard. It was still the same atmosphere and nothing really changed just that I had a different boss.

2018 and things are about to change again . . .

The end of April the livery service stopped running therefore I had to move on. I was given a month to figure out what I was going to do and that’s what got me thinking. For a while I started to find it a little demotivating working with horses and having my own horses. The winters were hard, I was up st 3:15am everyday and didn’t get home any earlier then 7:30pm everyday and my day still didn’t finish when I got home as the dog still had to go for another final walk. No mater the weather this was my commitment. My routine would be :

3:15 – wake up, 3:40 – leave the house, 4 – pick up my sister, 4:15 – arrive at our horses.(8 horses between us to do) We would then muck out, turnout, make feeds and be ready to leave no later then 6:30 in order to get to work on time. Our working days were not long but had an hours travel time sometimes longer. When we finished work and got back to our own horses it was just finding the motivation to ride or do some sort of exercise with the horses. It just took the joy out of having my own horse a little, I just felt I was always rushed to get him done to get home.

Anyway after a long thought of what I could do for a living and a change of career a job opportunity cane available. At first I wasn’t sure, I didn’t know if I would enjoy it or anything about it. My new job opportunity was to work on a farm helping with the haulage/ hay and straw making. It’s a family run business only 15 minutes from where I keep Ozzy. I had a chat with the family and we worked out a plan of action as always I like to have a rough idea of how it works, my role, what to expect and what they expect.

It was all set from May I would go work on this farm. I have been their for almost a month and can gladly say that change is good and looking back on it now I needed the change. I can never imagine myself sitting in an office, doing paperwork or being behind a computer screen so it’s worked out perfectly being able to be outside all the time. I’m having to learn new skills like tractor driving and machine handling and fixing but it’s such a relaxed environment and never the same routine it suits me. I like the fact that not everyday is the same it makes everything a little more interesting as with the horses it was always the same routine.

Hopefully I will be able to post more on my journey about working on the farm as my time goes on.

For anyone wanting to make a change, whether it be big or small just do it. A small quote ‘ will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely.’

I’ve had to change my whole routine and wasn’t sure how it was all going to work but it’s all just fallen into place.

Ozzy

Meet Ozzy (Oz). He is a 16.1 ISH, 7 year old. I got Ozzy just before he turned 5. He hasn’t done much with his previous owner so was still quite green. When I went to see Oz I wasn’t sure what to expect, he was going to be my first proper horse. I had been with my instructor and my sister to view some other horses so wasn’t expecting Oz to be the one.

I watched his owner ride him, and she had someone who jumped him once but she never jumped him herself. He looked really sweet, and laid back. When I got on him everything felt different then what I thought it would. He wasn’t as easy as he looked but I guess that’s always the same when you watch anyone ride. He was just very babyish and very green. I had a play around and then even popped him over a jump, he was very athletic and gave it much room that’s for sure.

I just liked his temperament and I knew I felt safe enough on him, their was no sharpness about him or quirkiness, just very genuine. We untacked and I had a conversation with my instructor and sister and decided we should give him a go so the following day I picked him up and he came on a 3 month trial with view to buy.

The biggest thing for me was he settled in like he had been at our yard all his life. Wasn’t stressed, phased or worried about anything. I gave him a couple of days to settle and get into his new routine before I started to ride him.

My first time on board I expected him to be a little on edge as it was a whole new arena, and lots going on at the yard but he wasn’t even bothered just a bit nosey. He was quite a lazy horse, so for the first couple of weeks for me and him it was just about finding the right buttons.

Coming up to the end of his 3 month trial I got the vet just to run some flexions, trot ups, eyes and heart check. All which Oz passed. So that’s was it, decision made I was going to buy Ozzy who is going to be my horse for a lifetime.

Ozzy has become a great horse and still has plenty to learn. He is just so honest and gives everything ago.

I won’t bore you with everything as it’s only meant to be an introductory to my animals so I’m sure I’ll blog more on him soon!!