Sunday, 1 April 2012

Woooo April is here

Sitting up is really dragging on and there has been a total lack of Nickel updates for a while. He is now back to normal which is a relief. I've been working on our stressage in preparation for next week, I've been a bit down about it all but those that have seen him seem impressed so maybe I am being a bit harsh on us.
I have broken up the boring schooling with some lovely long rides. The weather has been so nice, Nickel has been naked out in his field. I also introduced Nickel to the joys of the Pub! I have Tweeted proof of this on Twitter so please go and look.
There is also a link on there for Steph Greaves' beautiful painting of Nickel that she did this weekend. It is simply stunning, she is so talented.
So the preparations for the dressage competition at Worlington Riding Club are now in motion, I've entered, got the tests, got together all the gear needed. The main thing I need to do between now and then is to get Nickel clean, so that'll be washing him Friday and Saturday and a touch up Sunday morning!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Apologies - been a long time

Well I've been a bit pants at posting again. Lots has gone on recently, firstly Nickel had his photo shoot which was amazing and I will post the pictures on here very soon! Then we kicked on with the recovery. Nickel's behaviour had been getting worse and worse as he got fitter and fresher. Ho hum, so in the end after getting the all clear and Nickel being signed off by the vets as sound, he was then turned out. I finally got my lovely sane boy back!
So it was on with getting his shoes, back, vaccs and teeth sorted. All this went well apart from his vaccination. I have seen horses with swollen necks etc from having the flu vacc. done but Nickel, in true Nickel style went to town. He was fine the day after it was done, a bit quiet but nothing too much to worry about. However the next day he was clearly upset in the morning and could not put his head down to eat his breakfast, it looked like he had tied up. Cue a visit from the vet to give him some drugs to get him more comfortable and a few days of bute.
Next on the priority is the preparation for our first ever dressage together. That is now just 3 weeks away!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


It's been nearly two weeks since my last blog and a lot has been going on. Mainly boring stuff, not really blogworthy. Nickel has been ridden nearly every day since the snow has gone. This has been with a variety different friends with a variety of differing success on staying in walk. Overall Nickel's best mate Harry Beau (as picture here at Racheal Upton's) is the best option as he walks at the same speed and is quiet. Harry is the most amazing pony, he is a jumping pro and the horse that convinced me not to give up riding. We are hoping to do hunter trial pairs at the end of this year. I've also had to resort to using draw reins to control the excitement and explosiveness. Not ideal but it is working.
Tomorrow, Nickel is having his feet done by the talent Will O'Shaunessy, he has really helped get Nickel's feet normal and we never lose a shoe. Then on Sunday, Nickel shall be full clipped including his legs so will have to smarten him up for a photo session.

Friday, 10 February 2012


So this week has not been the write off I thought it would be. With steely determination I got on Nickel for the first time in 3 months on Tuesday. Conditions were not ideal, I was on my own and had to do a route where I went up the road and turned round to come back but that what snow does for you! Anyway he was a total babe to take up the road, I even took photos as I rode along. Turning for home he turned into a complete lunatic. Jigjogging, cantering sideways bucking, it was so much fun, especially when we met a lorry and my usually bombproof horse turned into a lunatic. Anyway I got home in one piece sweating like a pig!
Thursday was round two but this time I was prepared so I got a sensible friend to come along and we managed a roundish route. Nickel was fab. We had a slight dodgy moment when negotiating a school bus, normally fine but the air brakes went off just as I was passing and we nearly slipped into the massive ditch on our side. However, all in all, a good ride. It took an hour which was longer than I wanted but for the sake of a sensible ride, 1 hours of normal walking is better than 30-40 minutes of hell!
I need to get the leg injury out of my mind, I did have to trot him on the road, as I thought it was better than crab cantering and he felt amazing and sound. So the plan until the snow goes is to try to get out every other day with a friend and handwalk with spells in the pen inbetween.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Firstly this is not my first attempt at blogging but this time I hope to get it right, i.e. sharing enough that it is interesting but not too much that my job is danger or that I offend people. LOL.

I am a frustrated writer, I might explain about that more as time comes on but basically, the purpose of this blog is to record the journey of Nickel.

Nickel is a 15hh Connemara born in Ireland, imported as a 4 year old by a dealer, where he was mainly hunted but he also showed promise as a good allround PC horse. Two years ago he was bought by some rich people for a large amount of money, somewhere inbetween they lost interest and I picked him up for a lot less. Given what happened between then and now, some may say you pay for what you get. I disagree, I have never spent more than £2k on a horse. I just lucked out this time. Rather spend that amount, than nearly £5k on a cripple that can't be fixed. (and breathe) Sorry mini rant over. The thing that went wrong was PSD in both hind limbs, or basically wear and tear of the suspensories with a bit of arthritis in one hock. That resulted in an operation and 11 weeks out of work. Now he has the all clear and is even better than ever, so I hope to use this to record our journey.
I was meant to ride Nickel today for the first time since November, however, the weather chose otherwise and with the snow, all current exercise is curtailed until further notice. Hopefully I shall be getting back on board this week. TTFN!