News & Views Diary - 2004
31 Dec 2004 - Nearly at the end of the year and what a stinker it's been in the latter months with Boz and then Bob passing on. On a much happier note, the lorry has passed its HGV test again without any drama. Owen is doing lots of long-reining in harness, also Jac is riding him regularly and he is getting quite good at both in spite of having had such a bad start with a "Professional Trainer". He is now pretty well back to the happy chap he used to be. Tom has been missing Boz and has had some foot problems but seems to be getting over both problems and he is much happier now so it's all go to get him fit again for the next Indoor event at Gracelands on 30th January. We all hope there are not many fireworks tonight and are looking forward to a very happy new year.
26 Dec 2004 - Jac went riding with Owen today in his new treeless saddle that he had as a christmas present. He seemed quite indifferent to being at the cutting edge of equine technology but Jac rather liked it and was very comfortable.
23 Dec 2004 - Poor old Bob, our older Jack Russell, was put down today. He had been getting worse for about a month and had started suffering from panic attacks whenever he was left by himself. He was already blind and deaf so we felt that this course of action was the way to go in his best interests. The vet came to our home and Bob never felt a thing. He had been a faithful friend and a greatly loved companion for over thirteen years. He was part of our family and we will miss him and all his little ways.
20 Dec 2004 - We had to get our chiropractor to have a look at Owen today and she found quite a few problem areas which were not there prior to his visit to Devon. After some treatment he seems happier and is walking out properly again. We wish he could talk and fill us in about his experiences during the two weeks he spent at Fenix.
08 Dec 2004 - Owen has got his shoes on. The fronts were easy but the backs were a little more challenging, he argued about it but did'nt really mind in the end.
06 Dec 2004 - The silver cart is done and has been modified to fit Owen who is gradually getting back to being the pony he was before we sent away for training. He is a lot less jumpy now he has been home for a few days and we are able to long-reign him around the village without fear of him doing anything silly. Jac is riding him around the roads and he is fine but we need to experiment more with his bit. We hope to be able to put him in a cart over the christmas holiday when we have some time off. He is having his first set of shoes the day after tomorrow so then we will really be able to push forward with his education.
28 Nov 2004 - Stephen Pond came over this morning to fit Owen with his harness. It's a Zilco Classic set and very smart it looks too. We will have to make a small alteration to the winker stays but that is the only thing that needs doing so we are well pleased.
27 Nov 2004 - We have started trying to re-build Owens confidence and he is responding a bit at a time although he is very jumpy and nervous about life at the moment.
26 Nov 2004 - Jac went down with a friend to see Owen at Fenix Carriages yesterday afternoon and decided to bring him home asap so we went down in the lorry and fetched him today. He has not made any progress in fact it's just the opposite, so we intend to do the job ourselves and will start soon, once he has had a chance to settle down again. We are all glad to see him back especially Tom who has been quite lonely in the garden yard on his own.
23 Nov 2004 - We are not happy about what we are hearing regarding Owen and Mark Broadbent so we will check things out with a visit to Fenix Carriages.
19 Nov 2004 - We had the vet out to give Tom his injection today and while he was here we asked him to do Toms teeth. He made a real hash of the job and cut Toms tongue badly enough to stop him being able to eat. Jac went ballistic, quite right too, the vet who abused Tom gave her some Bute and Antibiotics to administer but we shall have to see what transpires over the next few days. It's sad that you can't trust your vet to do a proper professional job any more, we pay vast sums of money to them to care for our ponies and get an amateur job done in return.
16 Nov 2004 - All sorts of things have been happening lately. We ordered some Zilco harness and this has arrived, the silver vehicle has nearly been finished and we should get it back very soon, we have found a saddle for Owen which will do as a stop gap until we can do better and Owen has gone away to boarding school for some professional training down in deepest Devon.
07 Nov 2004 - Competed at Yorkley in the Forest of Dean today came 2nd in Open Pony with Tom who was not his usual self, very lack lustre, we don't know if this was something to do with the fireworks as he is quite sensitive to the banger and whistle type and we have had days of those. Still we had a good day out and took Owen along for the ride, he had a nice stable to lounge in and enjoyed meeting everyone at the presentation after the event.
04 Nov 2004 - We are dreading tomorrow with the fireworks and hope the latest laws will do something to stop the "War Zone" that last year was like.
02 Nov 2004- The silver vehicle is now at the carriage builders for modification to the ride height and provision of a proper set of independant shafts. On the harness front we have decided to buy Owen a set of Zilco Classic and went to see Stephen Pond who is our local Zilco agent to check out sizes. It looks as though we will need a pony size set with a few bits of Shetland size stuff particularly the bridle. This should not take too long to get and we hope to step up the training regime soon. We have also tried a few saddles but have not yet found one in our price range.
31 Oct 2004 - We competed at our first Indoor event of this season today,it was at Gracelands and was a dual area event for Gloucester/Wales and West Midlands. We won the Open Pony with Tom and got best score overall. 10hh ponies rule!! Read all about it on the Results page.
17 Oct 2004 - Went up to the Unicorn Centre for some training with Barry Capstick today. We saw a lot of old friends and had a good couple of sessions with Tom single. We also took Owen for the ride but ended up doing some longreining in the school which did him a load of good. Both ponies performed very nicely and we enjoyed ourselves which is a great relief after the recent trauma. We hope we shall be able to do some more this year but will have to wait and see.
11 Oct 2004 - We have decided to be as positive as possible given the circumstances and have brought Owen into the back garden yard to accelerate his training. He really likes being in a stable and is settling down with Tom as his pal, Tom needed this as he was missing Boz a lot. We have spoken to a carriage builder about getting one of our vehicles modified to fit the larger pony and will get this done at the beginning of November, also we have to get some harness made for Owen and we have to get him rideable to get some of his fat off. Meanwhile it's miles of long reigning and lots of walking for Owen, and Tom still has to be fittened up for the imminent Indoor season. We are taking Tom up to the Unicorn Trust next weekend for some schooling with Barry Capstick and will probably have Owen along for the ride as he's only been in a lorry twice and needs to get used to it before we start doing the long distances we tend to cover in winter.
06 Oct 2004 - It's a black day. Boz was getting worse by the week and so were forced to make the decision to have him put down. It was a very peaceful affair and he went to sleep eating his favourite Herbal Treats and with his best friend in the world supporting him. We feel absolutely gutted because right up to the end we were hoping a miracle might happen and the inevitable could be postponed sadly this was not to be. Boz has been loyal and faithful friend to us all and our world will be a poorer place because of his absence. Please take a a few minutes to look at a page we have put up in his memory. Click Here.
02 Oct 2004 - It's just over two weeks now and although Boz looks OK standing still he is finding it very difficult to move comfortably. We put him in our lightweight two wheeler and he tried hard to do the right thing but we had to give up after a few hundred yards. He is a different shape to what he used to be and is tripping quite a lot. We think he is feeling some pain and will have to give consideration to his best interests, we have been dealing with this problem for some years now and are running out of options. The trouble is we think the world of him. Life's a bitch.
15 Sept 2004 - Took Boz to the vets and arranged to meet our farrier there as well. Boz had several x-rays and the vet decided the foot was out of balance again so we got the farrier to shoe him to the vets specification and then had some more x-rays taken. The vet was satisfied and perscribed two weeks rest and then gently back into work, he said significant improvement should be apparent after four weeks. We will follow this advice and post more news on Boz's progress later.
10 Sept 2004 - We have had a rotten few weeks with Boz finding it more and more difficult to get about. He does not like trotting and won't walk on a non-level surface with any comfort also he has fallen over in his yard for no apparent reason twice now. We have decided to get our vet to X-ray him again and this is to be done next Wednesday 15th, we are also having our farrier attend and hope we can get to the bottom of this problem which seems to have been with us for several years now albeit in a much less severe form. We will post more news when it's available.
22 Aug 2004 - Went to the Tanhouse Farm ODE today and came 3rd in the open class. Things were not quite as we expected but we enjoyed the day despite this. The ponies were jolly good considering their lack of fitness. Now we start to get ready for the winter season of Indoor competitions.
17 Aug 2004 - We had the ponies shod and Boz has got a bit of a limp again, but only on the roads, he is fine on soft ground. We will compete at the Tanhouse event this weekend as it's all off road. We don't expect to do very well as we have neglected the ponies a bit to help get the event sorted out.
05 Aug 2004 - Everything has gone a bit quiet lately because we are spending most of our time helping set up the Tan House ODE which will be held on August 22nd. There are a hundred and one things to do so the driving is taking a back seat for a week or two.
28 Jul 2004 - The Berkeley Hunt South pony club asked us to give a demonstration to this years camp today. We showed them what we do and then gave rides to the youngsters. They all seemed to enjoy the experience, Boz and Tom loved the attention and we had a very nice lunch and a bottle of wine. One of those rare win,win,win occasions.
17 Jul 2004 - We were driving down the A38 today in the lorry with the ponies and there was a VERY loud bang. We thought we had been shot at, it was that bad. When we inspected the lorry we found one of the inner rear tyres had blown out in the sidewall. As the back four are all the same age we have ordered four new ones and will have these fitted next week.
10 Jul 2004 - Went to Badminton today for a drive over the roads and tracks on the estate. We took the eight mile option because the ponies were not very fit and we all had a great time. Mary and Tim Davies organised the event with their usual attention to detail and laid on a super picnic tea at the end. Fortunately the weather was kind and we did not get too wet. See a photo here
13 Jun 2004 - We did our first competition as a tandem today. We had the best dressage in the multiples class and had no penalties on the marathon but our obstacles times were of gigantic proportions and although we went clear of driving faults in the cones we had a mass of time penalties. This has convinced us that competing tandem is not a viable option with the size of ponies we have at present so although we will continue driving tandem for fun, we can't wait to get the pair back together for competitive events.
10 Jun 2004 - Tom has a full compliment of shoes again. He had chipped his foot a bit over the last three days so its a combination of nails and glue but its a nice job and will do us just fine.
09 Jun 2004 - We heard from our farrier today and he promised to come at 6.30pm. So we stayed in all evening waiting, although we had made arrangements to go out and see friends. Perhaps tomorrow.
08 Jun 2004 - Still no replacement shoe for Tom and have'nt heard from our farrier yet. Hope we can get sorted soon because we have a competition at the weekend.
06 Jun 2004 - Tom has lost a shoe, we searched everywhere for it but to no avail. Our farrier is away at the moment so we have a bit of a problem.
31 May 2004 - The ponies are going fine as a tandem now and we spent some time today doing cones and slaloms with them. All went well and we intend to compete as a tandem as soon as possible to capitalize on their new skill. We will do some more schooling to rub off the raw edges but overall we are pleased with how they are performing. See some photos of the ponies here.
29 May 2004 - We have decided to have a go at driving Tandem while Boz is not fully fit to give him an easier time so we started training today. It was a bit hit and miss at first but the ponies soon settled down to the new way of working.
23 May 2004 - Boz is still a bit sore although he is much better in himself. He seems OK on the soft but still hobbles a bit on roads.
20 May 2004 - Had an article done for the local paper, the Stroud News and Journal, and it was published yesterday. There was a nice photo and a bit about us. The reason for doing it was because we were South West area champions indoors but the paper forgot to mention this.
16 May 2004 - Our farrier came on Saturday and did Boz, He made a shoe out of some wider metal than we are used to and cut his hoof right back to re-align the foot. Boz is very sore at the moment as we expected, but we hope that this is the first step to a complete recovery.
14 May 2004 - We have just got back from the Bushy Equine Hospital with the super news that Boz appears to be OK. He had a nerve block which confirmed a problem and then six X-ray images were taken and these showed that there is no obvious presence of arthritis, navicular disease or laminitis, so as the vet put it, if nothing is wrong inside it has to be an outside factor, this appears to be a foot imbalance which has caused him to walk with a bent ankle so should be relatively easy to correct by trimming and possibly remedial shoeing. Our farrier is coming tomorrow to do this. We are very relieved with this outcome.
10 May 2004 - The ponies have been shod and Tom is fine, his feet have finally grown a bit and are looking much better. Boz has been slightly lame on roads and we don't know why, so we are taking him to the vets next Friday (14 May). More news on this at the weekend.
24 Apr 2004 - Boz and Tom are responding well to their new therapy regime. Our farrier has injured himself falling off his point to point horse so we are on a wing and a prayer with shoes at the moment, but they should get done next week.
18 Apr 2004 - We went to The Speechouse in the Forest of Dean for a One Day Event to try our new carriage out. We got another red rosette in the multiples and were third overall. More details on the 'Results' page.
16 Apr 2004 - Friday - We have made another pole for the new carriage. It's a bit shorter and has not got a crank. Going to try it out on Sunday at a club one-day event in the Forest of Dean.
11 Apr 2004 - Attended a course given by David Ponton at the Equine Therapy Centre, Bourton-on-the-Water today. It included Osteopthy techniques and Moxabustion. The experience was very interesting, it's early days yet, but the ponies do seem to enjoy their new regime and Boz in particular, is bending much more easily. More details soon. Check out where we went here.
05 Apr 2004 - We are back from the National Indoor Finals. We went up to Keysoe which is near Bedford on Friday and came back home on Sunday night, we were sat in front of the television having supper by 9.15 pm and felt far more tired than the ponies. Read the Results pages for all the news.
28 Mar 2004 - Took the ponies to Janet today for some long-reining. Its P&P practice at Roland's indoor school tomorrow evening and then another session at Janet's for some more P&P practice on Tuesday and back to Roland's indoor on Thursday. That's the plan to work up to the finals which are next weekend.
26 Mar 2004 - What a week. We have had the farrier three times in as many days because both the ponies have pulled shoes off. It's a result of using light-weight shoes and the little devils being too well. At the moment it only takes a horse to go up the track by our paddock and both of them go bananas. Still it's only a short time to their holiday which will be after the indoor finals in a weeks time.
20 Mar 2004 - Today was the first club indoor championship for the Forest of Dean Driving Trials Group. We could not enter because of work but did help with the organisation and running of the event which was held at Yorkley Equestrian Centre indoor school.
19 Mar 2004 - Went up to Stow to the Unicorn Centre this afternoon for a session with Barry on the P&P test for the Indoor Finals. There is an awful lot to do in a 50m x 20m arena in this test. We will have to see how it goes for us but it seems that it will suit a hackney type pony rather more than our little pair of spots.
10 Mar 2004 - The last Indoor qualifier of the season for us, it was at Adlington near Macclesfield and we were winners in the multiples class but yet again it was all very close and we were pushed right to the last obstacle. See the results page for details.
08 Mar 2004 - Took a day off work to pick up our new Bellcrown carriage. We went in the lorry and had a good trip both ways and a nice lunch on the return journey. We are very pleased with our purchase which will compliment but not replace our pink wheeled vehicle. When we got back home our farrier came to shoe both ponies and he worked until 7.00pm so it's been a long day.
07 Mar 2004- It was the last South West event at the Hand today. We did'nt go because we had some other things to do. Prior to this event we were in the lead for the South West Area Points Championship with 60 points and only Janet MacDonald could beat us as she had 54 so if she got a first or second she would pip us at the post. Apparently things went OK for Janet until the first obstacle when she missed a gate and got 'E'd. So we are South West Points Champions although we don't think it means anything because we were top points scorers in the Midlands West Area last year and got nothing for it.
04 Mar 2004 - At Roland F's indoor school tonight for cones practice with Janet and Helen.
28 Feb 2004 - We have bought another digital camera to replace the broken one, so there should be some more home made photos up again, and they should be much nicer to view. The new camera is a Nikon Cool Pix with 2.0 megapixels, a bit better than our old one at 0.6 megapixels.
21 Feb 2004 - Boz had attention from his chiropractor last night. He was having some of his poll related problems. He slept like a baby and seems 100% this morning.
17 Feb 2004 - Gave Martin at Bellcrown a 'phonecall today and were told that our new carriage is finished in bare metal. It's off to the paint shop soon and then there is just the final fettling for it to be ready for collection on Monday 8th March. We can't wait, it's all very exciting.
15 Feb 2004 - Travelled up north to the Hunters Gate EC at Byley near Middlewich in Cheshire today for an Indoor Event. The venue was brilliant as was the whole event. Although we won the multiples class it was all very close, and we really enjoyed the challenge of being pushed a bit.
Read the "2004 Competitions" link on the results page for all the details.
11 Feb 2004 - We have ordered another Bellcrown carriage. It's a Q4 with a pole and a lot of minor changes to the stock spec. We have decided to have this one painted silver and hope to pick it up about the second week of March. Also we are in the middle of installing twin starting batteries on the lorry and have bought some new cables which have to be fitted to enable this.
01 Feb 2004 - Won our class at The Hand Indoor Competition today and got wet and very dirty again. We had a few problems at first but in the end it was quite easy even though the cones were the wrong way round and yet again no maps were provided for the obstacles. See the "Results" page for more details.
31 Jan 2004 - We sold our ECC four wheeler today as it was a little too big for our little ponies and we did not really need two competition vehicles. We will replace it with another Bellcrown but this time with a pleasure carriage with seats for four and a sprung pole.
29 Jan 2004 - Went to Roland F's tonight for some cones practice. We have decided to pay the new rates for the time being.
22 Jan 2004 - We went to Roland F's indoor school tonight and when we paid he told us that the charge was going to be £20 an hour in the future. This is an increase of 33%, it seems a bit steep to us so we might have to reconsider our training strategy for the future.
11 Jan 2004 - The last indoor event of this season at the Forest of Dean EC today. We were the only multiple entered so we were amalgamated with the open pony class. We won the class and got the best score for the competition again. The bubble has to burst soon and we will come down to earth with a bump but we are enjoying the sucess whilst it lasts. See the "Results" page for more details.
08 Jan 2004 - We hired Roland F's indoor school tonight along with two friends of ours and had one and a half hours cones practice, it was very useful.
04 Jan 2004 - Went to Adlington today, won our class and got the best overall score. See the 'Results' page for the detail.
01 Jan 2004 - Happy new year to everyone. We did a load of long-reining today in an attempt to get more suppleness in the ponies and consequently more bend in the P&P. It seemed to be working, we shall find out for sure on Sunday when we compete at Adlington near Macclesfield.