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    (Un-)Reasonable expectations

    Report of horse out just before dark two nights ago, so straight down there, caught him, and put him back in with his field-mates (no stable down there, so the only place to put him). Too late to go looking for his escape route, but figured he'd be out again, so arranged for someone to be down...
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    Saddle experts - opinions please

    Recently picked up an 'interesting' looking saddle. It's a GT Palmer (Walsall) saddle, with a single long girth strap dividing into two billets. Constructed with no panels, and just a small quarter flap over the points. Does anyone know anything about the design, use, balance or history of...
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    Went to see an old friend today.

    My first pony. Brave was with us for 10 years. We learned to drive together, and he went on to do a further 10 years with driving for disabled, and is now retired at the Horse Trust, where we saw him yesterday, and it was amazing to see him looking so well. Here he is doing a wedding for a...
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    +ve feedback for The Pure Feed Company

    Ordered micronized linseed from the above at a good price, and a bag of their 'pure easy' to mix it with. In just a week or so the difference in my ancient Dartmoor pony is astonishing. He suffered in the cold weather we had in late spring, and was looking dreadful. With a history of age...
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    Pony ride insurance - helpful news for once

    So, today was our day to give pony rides down at the local fete. We've done it for about 10 years, and it's damn hard work. I've always believed the insurance was a bit of a grey area, with m covering me so long as it's not for 'hire or reward'. This year, the organiser actually looked...
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    Pet expectations

    D1, now living away, has just signed up to provide respite care for pets from homes where the wife has fled domestic abuse. When asked what type of animal she could offer a home to, she ticked 'small furries', thinking that meant dogs and cats. ... in her mind, large furries was ponies and...
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    Funny snow pom-poms

    The snow we have here seems to like to attach itself to the pony's feathers, and builds up into balls until they're carrying around a kind of snow-tambourine on their feet. It looks mighty peculiar, but doesn't seem to bother them, unless you attempt to remove it... which sends them snorting...
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    Ground manners

    Bold, friendly, cheeky boy is no trouble, except when he'd feeling frisky, when he won't stand still to be tacked up and mounted. Lots of pawing, turning, head tossing, and not infrequently a half-rear or two, including when being mounted, if he so feels like it. He's not being nasty. It's...
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    London Parade carriage horse

    Just seen the story in the DM. As usual, the quality of journalism is woeful. Looks from the pics as though the pole strap broke, but could have been caused by the horse going down. Does anyone know what actually happened?
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    Am I right to hold off rugging for a little while longer?

    I only rug the two oldies. They've been out all year, and once the rugs go on, they won't come off until March. This time of year I always get twitchy, as it feels so cold, but I suspect I'm more bothered by the dry frosty weather than they are... they're good and fluffy, and have had the...
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    Bikes - think the word has got out

    Noticed over the summer that I can't remember the last bike that went past us without giving us a word or other signal of their presence Even though my ponies are all 100% (even if cycle comes out of nowhere and they're in blinkers), we still appreciate it, and it seems that they all know...
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    Splish, splash, sploosh!!

    Seemed like the perfect evening to see if Miller (12.3hh NF) would take the 4 wheeler through the ford a little more quickly, so approached at a working trot, and asked him up just a little, so he wouldn't slow. He decided to take no chances, and cantered through the water (about 2' deep)...
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    Found out what happened to my first pony. Cried for joy.

    I had Brave for 10 years; sold him to RDA for driving when he was 18, as it was too likely that he would kill my children as they got old enough to ride him - he was not for the feint hearted under saddle! That was 12 years ago. The other day I plucked up courage to get in touch, wanting to...
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    12 weeks, bright and going to be big - what to teach her?

    Hi. I have a new puppy (yey!). She's a Ridgeback x Cane corso, so she will be a big, athletic girl. At 12 weeks she walks nicely on the lead, knows sit, stay/wait, come, paw, leave it (80%) and starting to get lie down. She's also lost her 'puppy biting', and is starting to understand that...
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    BDS and barefoot - told I need a 'farriers certificate' for pony

    As above really - I was told at a BDS pleasure drive today that a barefoot pony requires a 'farrier's certificate' (whatever that is) to take part. I can find no reference online or in BDS literature. WTF? - so a badly shod pony is fine, but one with shapely, rock crunching, hard as nails...
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    Stupid mistakes - could have killed myself today!

    Basically I harnessed up a pair, and didn't notice that the reins were with the wrong set, so coupled the draft(outside) reins, and had the coupling reins on the outside. We headed off down the road like that, and I only noticed because the poor ponies wouldn't (couldn't) settle, and seemed...
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    How much?

    What is an honest, steady ride and drive 14hh, suitable for a novice, responsive and obedient but not properly produced (i.e. not 'schooled in an outline') worth these days?
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    Trailer for carriage driving

    I'd like to convert a larger trailer to carry two small ponies (c.13hh, 300kg each) and a four wheel vehicle. A Rice or wessex treble should be big enough, but how about a hb510 - there are lots more of them about. Another alternative would be a livestock trailer, which is slightly wider, and...
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    Road-proofing your horse - response to hacking thread.

    Thought it might be useful if those of us who have successfully traffic-proofed our horses shared some of our habits. Sucking eggs for some, but hopefully food for thought for others. I'll start: I graze my ponies at the side of the road after a hack as a 'treat'. Right by the road. They...
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    New floor for old Rice trailer - advice please

    The old double layer of plywood in my Rice Beaufort is starting to rot (suspect it was standard marine ply, which isn't great), so I need to replace it. I understand that folk these days just use a single layer of 18mm buffalo board (phenolic ply). Is that really enough? Local sawmill has...
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    Bit question

    Horse was 'on the limit' in a French link snaffle first time hunting. I'm thinking in the interest of safety of using a wilkie with two reins next time, so I can use the second rein with a slight gag action if I need it. Does this sound sensible, and should I add a chin strap?
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    Why is it so hard to find reliable sharers?

    As my own children grow, I'm looking for a couple more local families to share the ponies. Not looking to make money, but to weed out complete time-wasters I do ask for a very small contribution to costs, and stipulate a regular SO, so that they are making a commitment. The deal is 'go out on...
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    Hunting on new horsey

    Prince has been with us for a month or so, during which time I've been hacking him quietly as his feet settled (fronts removed just before Christmas), and he got used to his new home. He's Welsh, so there were dragons everywhere initially. There was a hunt nearby yesterday, so we went along...
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    Mysterious black creature in my garden (not horsey)

    I was clearing dense ivy from a large oak tree this morning. As I sawed away a section of vine, a critter, about four inches long shot downwards across the area I had cleared and disappeared into the dense foliage below. I only got a very quick glimpse. My first thought was 'how could a...
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    Had to try a unicorn, now didn't I?

    My poor, long-suffering ponies are now getting used to being strapped together in new ways. This morning it was a unicorn. Miller up front, Duke and Shadow behind. They are so very good about standing still being put to and having things fiddled with and adjusted...
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    Gelding a couple of older stallions. Update.

    Vet came to geld Duke (8) and Blue (6) a couple of weeks ago. They were done standing with an emasclator, tied in the yard with no fuss or drama, and went back out in the field with their friends after a few hours. They didn't seem to suffer any ill effects afterwards, and have been very...
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    Another first try - this time tandem

    Building on our experiment with a team last week, and one of my wheelers still recovering from the loss of his marital assets, I decided to take Miller and Shadow out tandem This was a bit of a harness test too, a I made a set of tandem bars over Christmas, and wanted to try them out. Miller...
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    Four in hand - first try

    We have just taken four ponies down the estate as a four in hand for the very first time. I am pleased to report that nobody died, though there was some serious wonkiness, due to driver looking at her hands, rather than keeping an eye on all of the horses whilst adjusting the reins. A very...
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    Selling a little stallion - gelding and pricing questions

    Thinking of selling little Blue in the spring. He's 6, 13hh, blue roan NF with an exceptional temperament. He's done lots of hacking and a fair bit of driving (single and pair), but no schooling to speak of. Quite unusual in that he is so kind and quiet that he's safe for little ones and...
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    Cheap rubber mats from ebay

    Have just ordered some recycled cheapo mats to floor my emergency stable. They aren't really horse mats at all, but come from under sports pitches. They're porous and only 1/2" thick. At £60 they won't break the bank, and I'm hopeful they will do for occasional use by unshod ponies -...