Friday, 24 August 2012

First squeek at me!

I take Theo out of the field. He's in the field day and night for a few weeks now and I am amazed how clean he is. Except for his legs. They get muddy when he wants to drink from the small canal next to the field. I groom him a bit, clean his hooves. He is relaxed. I will lunge him today. Once we're in the paddock his energy changes. He starts to trot right away. He seems to know how beautiful he looks trotting, but he has to walk first. After some minutes he's allowed to trot but jumps into cantering, throws his head in the air with a twist, shakes his manes and makes a tiny squeek. I am surprised by this sound. He makes it while playing with Kjelt the young Frisian stallion. But never before, when playing with me! It's his expression of joy in combination with some amazing moves with his front legs. Like clawing in the air so high, so gracious. I wish I could film this, but I am too busy.

After the exercise we walk through the paddock together for cooling down. I can hear him breath behind me. He follows me without a rope and when I stand still, I feel his nose to my shoulder. Cooling down like this is more than cooling down. It's bonding even more and enjoying each other's company.

And then I put him back in the field again. You can see Theo in this very short video below.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

First time riding

I couldnt ride Theo because of my backproblems. I am so happy my back feels better since I am treated with a painblock... Sunday... It has to happen today. I want to ride Theo. In the paddock. My back feels ok and Theo always feels right. Saddling him, he's very relaxed. Bitless keeps him relaxed. Cor arranges a high step-on. I am only 1.60 m and Theo is 1.68, so to get on is a challenge. But I manage and Theo stands still when I get up. First we use the lungeline, but it feels so safe and Theo is so relaxed. I feel incredible happy on his back. He steps just fine and a bit later we trot. It is so long ago I was riding. And now, on my own horse. I can tell you that is magical. He's such a good boy and I feel very comfortable. Later I realise I didn't think of how high he is, or that I was riding him bitless. It is just perfect. Theo is aware I am on his back and he's careful, he is concentrated and relaxed at the same time. This is the first time I ride him and I am so aware of that. A dream come true. There will be many many times following.

Here's the link to a short video Riding Theo 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

New Horse

The new horse is in the paddock. Ferro is his name. He arrived yesterday. Today we'll see how meeting the other horses goes. We divide the paddock in 2 smaller parts. We: Helen, Ferro's young owner and me. Helen is 16 years, Ferro is 4 years old. The two geldings are very friendly with each other. We take away the dividing wire. They start trotting together and seem to like each other. Then we put Ivy into the paddock. Ivy is the beautiful young Frisian mare. She's Theo's best friend, I think. And a very attractive young mare. Letting her into the paddock where the two geldings are, changes all of the dynamics. Theo starts defending her with all his power. There seems nothing that has to be defended, since Ferro doesn't try anything, but Theo has made up his mind. He protects Ivy and chases Ferro away. Even when he doesn't approach. After 15 minutes Theo is sweating and Ferro looks where he can escape from Theo. We take Ivy out, but that doesn't "help". The subject of protection is in the other field now, but Theo still thinks he has to be boss in the paddock. Finally I take Theo to the field where Ivy is. Ferro has to get used to the herd, but it looks quite serious how Theo's behaviour developed. So we decide to put them apart now, and put them together soon, another day. Seeing Theo's impressive power and speed is a wonderful thing. He's kind of exploding and it looks great. He speeds, turns, twists. When I take him out of the paddock, he's breathing heavily. Gentle Theo is a Mighty Defender of Ivy. The pictures below are before we put Ivy in the paddock...

Friday, 15 June 2012

In the rain

Theo is in the field with the herd. It is raining. I approach the field with a treat for him. I call his name. He's standing with his hind towards me. He turns his head to look at me. I step into the field. Theo starts walking backwards to me. With his hind towards the wind and rain. I have never seen anything like this before. A horse approaching me backwards. He wants to come to me but at the same time, keep his head as dry as he can. It looks so strange. Walking backwards and holding his head low. I don't mind this odd way of approaching me, as long as he's coming to me. And why not in way I don't know yet? To give him the apple, I walk to his head. Have to, since he doesn't turn his head to me. This way he can keep his head as dry as possible on this rainy day. And still have his apple and hear my gentle words for him. No picture taken today. The picture below I took earlier this week. Theo coming to me. In the sunshine.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

First day in the field

Theo and Ivy are in the lush field since this morning. I am home, but I want to check Theo in that big field with so much grass. To check what? Well maybe if he's still there. The fence is just a tiny electric wire. But on the other hand, why would he want to leave, since he's in a heaven of grass with his best friend Ivy. When I arrive they both are in the back of the field. Together, side by side. When I call Theo, a bit against the (strong) wind, he doesn't hear me. That's my interpretation. He continues grazing. Would he come if he heard me calling? They look great together, even though a bit far away. Golden Theo with Black Beauty Frisian Mare Ivy. They both shine! I look at them for a while. The wind seems to be bit calmer now. Then I call Theo again; I clack my clack that Theo knows so well. And yes. He lifts his head almost immediately. And then, one of the best things that can happen, happens. He starts trotting at me and Ivy joins her friend. To see them run in that huge field towards me, and forget about the grass for a moment. They must have had quite a bit since this morning 11. But I think too Theo likes to see me. click here for video

Friday, 8 June 2012

Not so much time

As I approach the farm, I see Theo in the field. Ivy and Theo have been grazing here together for some time already. They are so busy, looking for grass. I want to spend some time with Theo. I want to take him out of the field. He comes to me. As I walk to him I feel my back is painful. Walking isn't fun. But I want to offer Theo a bit of time out of the field and spend some time together. Like we do every day. As I take him out of the field, he puts his nose to my hand. I doubt if it is a good idea to take him out and walk. My back is very present today. I stick to the plan. Time with Theo is important and makes me happy. We walk a little bit, he looks at longer grass than in the field. Ofcourse he does. It makes me smile inside. I observe him and see his shiny coat, his legs that move so easily as he searches for grass. His tail and manes are waving in the wind. He's blinking his eyes all the time. He enjoys. But my back tells me it's not good to stand. So I lean against Theo. His coat is warm and soft. This feels better. Then he moves and I move with him. It's ok. It's not that he is indifferent. The moves he makes are small, he's aware of me. He's careful as always. Ofcourse he is. It's ok for the both of us. He eats, I am leaning. My time with Theo is limited today. I cannot exactly do what I'd like to do with him. But Theo is able to give me a good feeling about it and accept it for the biggest part. He tells me, it's no problem, it's ok, don't worry about it. So sooner than I'd like I put him in the paddock with a haynet. But it is ok. Precious time is shared.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Theo and Grass

I come from work. I cycle over the country road to the farm. At a certain point I can see Theo's white stripe. I make a clacking sound with my tongue and I can see the white stripe rise almost right away. He's in the paddock with Villord and Kjelt. I always spare an apple for Theo to greet him. Ofcourse he knows. When I approach the paddock he's already standing close to the wire of the fence. Looking like: I know that you have something for me, give it to me please. Sometimes he lifts his frontleg high, excited and a bit impatient. He first bites the apple in half. The sound of his chewing is juicy. The next bite is only a little piece and very precise. As if he wants to keep something and enjoy longer. After the greeting I put my bicycle away and see what has to be done. Depending on the condition of my back I decide what I'll do. Today it isn't good. So I will stick to a minimum of work, but offer Theo some distraction from the day in the paddock. I ask him to come and after giving it a thought, Mr. T. decides to come over to me. Meanwhile I look at the amazing amount of poppies beside the paddock....He has arrived, offers his halter to click the rope on, I open the gate and he turns so swiftly around me. I close the gate again and instantly he looks for grass. After a day in the paddock and a limited portion of hay, fresh grass is on his mind quite strongly. So I take him for a short walk. He looks right and left. Grass everywhere. I try to convince him he'll be able to eat grass in a few minutes. That's human talk that he doesn't understand. He keeps on looking left and right. But finally (after 5 long minutes for Mr. T) I allow him to eat and he attacks the grass. The grass is in different lengths and Theo prefers very short and very long grass. Nothing in between. Well, nothing.... In the meantime Mente has come to see us up close. I can hardly express how much I love those nose-holes vibrating, just before the whinnying sounds. He's excited to see Theo and would love to play. But Theo is very concentrated on...the grass. This week he will be put in the field, with lots of lush fresh grass. And the portions I offer him on these walks every day are a good preparation for grazing all day soon... He suddenly raises his head when he hears or sees a still unidentified object. He stops chewing for a few seconds, while the grass sticks out of his mouth left and right. When he knows what he sees or smells (a duck, a cyclist), the chewing starts again and his head lowers to where he likes to be best. The grass.