Diary of an Equine Mum

Monday, 28 November 2011

Haynet Is Going From Strength to Strength!

I am having some exciting times with Haynet at the moment. For those of you that don't know I am the owner and founder of Haynet UK's No1 Equine Social Blogging Network (hay-net.co.uk). Since setting the network up at the end of August this year, the site has gone from strength to strength and I am thrilled with the response to it.

Social Go who I use to platform hay-net.co.uk have redesigned Haynet for me and now use my webpage as their customer example as they have been so pleased with the way Haynet has grown over the last few months. I am in Equi-Ad this week and Ireland Horse and Pony are running an article in January about Social Equine Blogging which I am so looking forward to seeing.

Even more mind blowing is that I have been put forward to be nominated for the Equestrian Social Media Awards later this month. Voting starts on the 15th December for potentially three categories: Best Newcomer,  Best Blog and Best Social Network!!! I cannot believe it! The voting is 30% public and 60% board so I am just happy to be nominated which is good for me!

I will keep you posted, my blog has been a bit neglected as Haynet takes us a lot of my time at the moment. What a way to be ending 2011 and I have real ambitious hopes for hay-net.co.uk for 2012!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cricket Dinner - My Those Boys Have Grown!

We had the annual cricket dinner on Saturday night where I had to endure long speeches on match statistics for the last season and hear who has won what and why and when! It was however a rare occasion that we went out as a family and eat out. We don't seem to do this much these days as the boys seem to have their own social lives and also we seem to kiss goodbye to about £100 if we go out to eat with them!
Miles won a couple of awards (sorry I forgot what something to do with bowling I think) and as I watched him walk up to collect his trophies I couldn't believe how grown up all of a sudden my baby boys have got!
Billy (above on the left) was award less this year but all the same had a good cricket season this year and had a good night. He has grown up too, they are both now taller than Stephen which obviously makes me feel a midget! Where has those 16 years gone.... Times are a changing....

Friday, 18 November 2011

Zeb Was Mr Grumpy Today!

I think horses have grumpy days, don't you? He is all fine, it's nothing underlying or anything wrong with him - he is was just having a grumpy morning!

He has been left out in the field for a few days with lots of hay and water with his mates, but he hasn't had his snooze in the stables for a couple of days. All of us have been busy with work at the yard so we have turned them out for 48 hours and I don't think this has gone down with the Belgium one.... He was standing at the gate with a complete face on!

Grooming him and tacking him up didn't please him too much either. Face pulling was on top form today. Once out on the hack, he changed back to his normal self and was much happier. Zeb is bit of a stickler for routine and he hasn't had his chill out time in the stable which I think he misses. It's hard work entertaining your friends in the field for hours on end!

Anyway I left him this morning after the ride in his bed, a bit of breakfast and now a happy chappy. Little does he know that it is lesson time tomorrow....perhaps I will have a "face on" instead!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

A Little Tribute To A Childhood Favourite - Thelwell!!

I have been round my mum's today and we were talking about childhood toys and what were our favourites. Thelwell ponies immediately was voted my favourite cartoon books and toys. I had Thelwell Curtains, Bed Spread, Books, Money Boxes etc - you name it if I could get a Thelwell pony on it I would have it! I just loved the comedic images of the children and their ponies. I don't think they have dated over the years either. Norman Thelwell had his first cartoon for Punch published in 1952 and led to a relationship which lasted for 25 years and over 1,500 cartoons, including 60 front covers. His first pony cartoon was published in 1953 and, by accident, led to a lifetime of association with the image of the little girl and the fat hairy pony.

stately homes, children and country pursuits have all been given the treatment. He was a master of sharp social comment and sheer zany humour, and the foibles of the British at work or at play were his favourite themes. He was also a serious landscape artist, painting in watercolour and oils. His 32 books have sold over 2 million copies in the UK and been translated into languages as diverse as Finnish and Japanese and his drawings have been used on many different kinds of merchandise including stationery, jigsaws, table mats, china, glass, door mats, socks and bedlinen.
Anyway my mum (who is bit of a hoader) went upstairs and came back down with the Thewell Curtains! She had unpicked it all so it was just the Thelwell fabric. It must be 30 years old. So I now have some fab Thelwell fabric to make use of. Thelwell cushion anyone?!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Lunging The Belgium Idiot

Having had a lunging lesson about 10 days ago, Zeb behaved perfectly in this lesson , no bucking, bronching nothing. It would have probably looked to my instructor that I was making up the problems that I had been having!
This morning with the grey and murky weather, decided against hacking out so thought would put my new lunging techniques to the test. I decided (probably in hindsight the wrong this to do) to just lunge him in his bridle, no roller or saddle. Anyway it all started so well. It was all quite calm to begin with, forwarded going walk, lovely energetic trot. I then asked him to go wide around the whole school and again all fine. After about 10 minutes of this perfect lunging, we then changed the rein. Again all calm and working well. I then asked him to go wide around the school and walking up to the top corner of the school, he grew from 17.2hh to 24hh and then decided to take off, bronching and bucking....
Deep joy! I'm hanging on the end of all these idiotic shannagans!  Anway I put him straight into a circle and he started bronching again, eventually calming down as I bought him away from the top end of the school.N ow our top end of the school is flush against some woods full of deer - it is known as the spooky end. He works brilliantly on both reins at the other end of the school!! Anyway calmness resumed working down the other end of the school. So I thought he has got to go back up the school again and do some calm lunging to finish on. I cannot let him get away with his idiotic behaviour. So we walked wide again, my friend Sue came up the path to come in with her horse once I finished and started to watch. Well started to watch more idiotic behaviour - he started again acting like a complete idiot! Once away from that spooky end, then he calmed down. I managed to get a circle out of him 3/4 up the school and I ended it not long after that....
So next time I am going to put on his kit and kaboodle on and hopefully perhaps he may respect that having all that on is work. My thoughts are that he see's it as a mickey take without his saddle on. 
Who knows what goes on in his Flemish little mind!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

My Autumn iPod Plays!

I wrote back in the summer that the album that I was playing endlessly was Friendly Fires, Pala! Still love it and now those songs remind me of the summer! I had a great summer with lots of parties as many of my friends turned 40 so Pala gives me those great memories!
Now the leaves are falling and the weather is now very grey, my iPod is now playing three albums that I cannot get enough of: the brilliant Coldplay- Myloxyloto, the fantastic Kasabian Velocirapator (gutted as wanted to see them in Brighton at the end of the month and it is sold out!)
and finally the super Noel Gallaghers album High Flying Birds which all remind me of the autumn months - enjoy!

Friday, 4 November 2011

I Dedicate This Post To Our Hay Man - Andrew!

I just wanted to write about our friendly reliable farmer Andrew who delivers our hay for us. We were looking a bit low on hay this morning and also the horses are coming in starving - grass is no more..... So we decide to have three large round bales delivered, two in the barn and one in the field.
We decide this at 8.45am and within the hour, his green tractor is chugging up the lane with three bales for us! He pops one in the hay feeder in the field and then with our help , pushes two into our hay store. He even unwraps it and forks it all in for us! It would be such a struggle without him and he never lets our yard down. He fixes fences, unblocks drains, cut hedges, and generally runs about after us! He has even been known to turn up with cakes for us providing a cup of tea is made to go with it!
So "three cheers"  to these great unsung hero's the farmers who work so hard, all year round to look after and provide for their animals on his farm and ours. Andrew is our unsung hero!