Saturday, 31 October 2009

Feng Shui wouldn't do it better

My computer decided that he was overworked. He packed up and refused to cooperate so I had to have it wiped out clean and delete ALL my files, programmes and documents. I bet some Feng Shui consultant would be over the moon with such de- cluttering but I am feeling rather lost. The good side of it is that it seems to be working OK now but I am yet to remember what I deleted.One of the files had written training programmes for three of my riders, that's gone. Will have to write it all over again.
I am not going to cry too much about it, as long as it's working I am fine. I can't be without this machine for too long, it connects me with the world I can't reach otherwise.

Very enjoyable day running Training Day for Kiran who is now back into riding after a few months break. She got to meet Kingsley and learn how to do his TENS therapy as part of her Stable Management session.

More pictures from Kiran's Training Day:


Friday, 30 October 2009

Name Day (Imieniny) and thereabouts

A few weeks ago my mum asked me what I would like for my Name Day. See, in the UK there is no such thing like Name Day, and as nobody here either knows or remembers when mine is, I forgot too. I actually had to ask my mum when it was. In Poland (or Italy, or France and other countries where Name Day stands), you only need to check the calendar to know someone's day as all the names are written in. Easy.
So my Name Day is on the 29th of October. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's just like another birthday. You get gifts and people call you to say hello ;)
On my Name Day, on the 29th October 2009, I worked all day. And it wasn't too great a day. In fact, it was pretty bad for reasons that will most likely pass quickly so no point of airing them.

The good thing was hearing from my friend and knowing she got through one of her check ups with all clear again. It's quite paralysing to know that your life can turn all the ways round depending on what you get told one sunny afternoon. So every time I am willing any sort of god into right kind of news.

My brother phoned me while I was waiting for a lift home in a tack shop at work and I ended up in fits of giggles as we tend to.

Today, Ricky bought me a super breakfast and a divine hot chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream - delicious. I had the longest sleep since I remember. I had a scented bath in the middle of the day and read books and magazines while scenery behind the windows did not move. A day away from trains. I had some lovely restful time and I am looking forward to running a Training Day tomorrow :)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Next Station Stop: Upupandsmile

Having been in and out of trains and buses and running in between yards and towns today I am very much enjoying the evening at home - just finished watching yet another Attenborough's documentary and I am sitting here munching my well deserved apple and cinnamon cake. Nature programmes, cakes and tea are firm part of my definition of cosy.
In fact, that's what I really like about winter. The evenings when you can wrap up in warm scent of sweet spices, the hot cups of tea. Back in Poland, my friends and I used to meet up after riding and watched some training videos trying to warm up after being out in -20C for hours. I miss those times. I certainly don't miss the cold and I am loving the English October this year.
Following a little lie in I went to do Kingsley in the morning. We had a show at the yard and as I didn't have anywhere quiet to ride him I decided against doing so. It's probably better for him not to engage into any gallops under saddle and as quiet as he is I doubt he would not react to the commotion of the show. Darling boy destroyed yet another haynet, he seems to have a knack!
Kingsley done I set off to the yard of someone I used to work with and who offered for me to come and ride her event horses. Now, that was an opportunity not to be missed especially that I am planning to take my Stage IV in summer next year so really need more hours in the saddle.
I really enjoyed riding all four but totally fell in love with a little chestnut, I could take him home there and then! I am convinced that horses are just so built that they either suit the way you are built and the way you ride or they not. I guess you could compare it that great pair of boots, which although new, just feels right. Or a pair of perfectly fitting gloves. You put them on and they feel like second skin from the word go.
With horses, those that fit you, ride as if you've been riding them for years even though you have just sat on them for the first time. I am hoping to make some time to be able to ride them all again in a couple of weeks.
As fabulous as it was I am so unused to schooling for so long anymore that I am now rather exhausted! It's been ages since I'd been riding several horses a day and I can tell you my muscles are aching. In the same time though it feels great to have a sit on some competition horses and although I am sure I didn't really do them justice they coped with me well :)

On the life front, thanks to my Dear Man and a very generous friend I have sorted a few money problems. I love my job but god, it does need to pay more :(
Small miracle - my dad found a way for my granddad to have a life saving operation and he is now back home recovering well.

On the work front - I can now tell you that my little project, which will be called Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy, should be going life before the end of this year. Initially I was waiting for more opportunities to get it going but overlooked the one I had under my very nose. The Intensive Training Days I've been running since January and which were to be an integral part of Aspire Equestrian's programme, will now be the main part until I put all the other elements together. As I mentioned before, as much as I enjoy teaching beginner riders I need to add some quality to it all as otherwise I become demotivated and uninspired in my work.
Things won't happen overnight but I am doing a lot of prep work in the evenings (or nights more like) and slowly slowly the puzzles of random ideas starting to slot together.

Very long working day tomorrow as doing Pony Day AM, then teaching as usual PM till late.


Saturday, 24 October 2009

Hyperflexion: Blue tongue World Cup video. How bad is bad for the Dressage World???!

PLEASE NOTE: This video is protected by copyright. If you are worried, it will suddenly disappear from the surface of the earth, don't fret. It won't. So no need to download to keep it for posterity. If you have any questions or requests, please feel free to emai us at or check out - thanks for respecting our copyright. Luise & Julie,

KWPN Stallion Watermill Scandic ridden by Swedish Patrik Kittel during a two hour session of various degrees of hyperflexion at the World Cup dressage qualifier in Odense, Denmark. Early on in the session, the horse's tongue has turned blue and limp and flops out of the stallion's mouth. Stopping the horse, the rider leans forward and fixes the problem, using the hand furthest from the camera. After this, the session is continued for a minimum of 90 minutes in the same way. This pair is trained by Dutch chef d'equipe, Sjef Janssen, who was present at the warm up arena.

Friday, 23 October 2009

First day of walking under the saddle

Kingsley: 1st Day of Walking from Wiola on Vimeo.

Kingsley doing his Physio programme. 10mins of walking for 2 weeks. This is first day.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Women's Horse Industry Conference 2009

If you are a woman working in Horse Industry you may want to have a look at the below email I received yesterday:

"I am writing to let you know about the really cool conference coming up November 3-4 in Louisville, Kentucky for Women Working In The Horse Industry.

The conference is being hosted by the Women's Horse Industry Association and has an exciting array of speakers, panels, exhibitors etc.. The theme of the conference is MARKETING AND MANAGING YOUR HORSE INDUSTRY BUSINESS.

The WHIA now has over 550 members and growing more each day.. We are a business networking group covering all of the U.S. with chapters starting in Canada, UK, Germany and Australia. Should you wish to join our group, please go to our website and click on "JOIN". The annual dues are only $50.00 and if you enter this promotional code 71000, you will receive a free Member's ad for three months. ( a $150.00 value). This offer is good until October 31st.

If you would like to know more about the conference or the WHIA, please visit our website at

You may also call me directly at 615-730-7833.

Have a great day!

Catherine Masters

Executive Director"

Pic.above: Kingsley: "I'll just pass this bottle to you, OK?" Cheeky fellow, he just can't stand still without getting his teeth into something! :)

I feel overwhelmed by the amount of novice/beginner riders I have to teach at the moment. I don't want to sound like I don't enjoy teaching the basics, because I actually very much do, but dear oh dear, it's a bit of a numbing process if it's experienced on daily basis.


Monday, 19 October 2009

No treats for Kingsley!

I discovered today that little Kingsley just can't be given ANY treats as he becomes the biggest bully ever! Give him nothing and he is as gentle and respective of your space as you would wish but one little treat and he is in your pockets, on top of your head and climbing up to get more. Bad boy.
The sun was so bright and the light so good that I tried to get a good photo on Kingsley but he either followed me so closely I couldn't focus the camera or he would stand in the most unflattering stance there is. Hence the pictures are as they are!

Two more days of walking in hand and then 2 weeks of walking under the saddle. I am not looking forward to sitting on him after 2 months of doing nothing and he can throw a hell of a buck too so I am just hoping he feels weak and not bothered to play up ;)
If I am totally honest I can't see any marked improvement in the way he walks BUT he certainly is much less sensitive to touch around his sacroiliac and back.

Apart from seeing to Kingsley I've been rather good to myself and tried to rest as much as possible. Cosy evening with Rick, hot chocolate, apple strudel and always amazing David Attenborough's documentary. I love nature programmes.

Now, I am starting to file my expenses, even if I do several a day it will be a bonus! Can't for the life of me get organised/motivated enough to do it daily so I pay for it:

I use Manage My Horse website (it's free and it's ingenious!) for all my accounts and I must say that once I have everything filed it's all very easy! I.e. it's very easy to see (as the site lets you do all sorts of reports summarising your income and outcome etc) that I won't be buying any big Christmas presents. Cards this year it is!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Boring Chapter

The thing with writing a blog, this blog, is that what I am really doing is summarising a day, a few days or a week, depending on how often I've been writing.
The thing with summarising is that you see everything in black and white, or maybe rather, you have to re-saturate it until you get just these two tones - and sometimes it might not be what I like to see at all.
I don't like to think I haven't done much of what I wish to be doing. Even more, I don't like to see this written and sounding like some boring chapter in which the main character is constantly feeling sorry for herself and indulges in some form of never-ending self-pity.

There is one thing I wholeheartedly believe and that helps me every time without's the faith in a ridicule of life. It makes me smile. It makes me see myself and my problems from a distance. It helps me to get on with things while in the same time my mind is not getting on with anything at all.
When you keep going, keep working and keep the wheel of cheer turning there is no time for reflection, summarising and thinking.
When you sit to write things down all of these three descend upon you like some unwelcome blessing and all you want to write is nothing at all.

Maybe it's the turn of the seasons. Maybe it's the same nomadic streak that made me move away from home. Maybe it's something else entirely. Either way, it makes me feel a little restless and yet incredibly tired. Driven to do things and yet resigned.

There are some problems that keep me awake at night. Not much I can do about them. It's not the greatest of times but I guess nobody has their life shining on them 365 days of the year.
I am ever so grateful for all the support I get from some fantastic people. Ever so.

Little Kingsley, a pet as he might now be, has so quickly become such a big part of my days. I like coming to work and seeing him munching his hay in the morning. He pops his head out from time to time when I enter the stables in between my lessons or to grab some horses out as if he was laughing at me or checking on me or both.
I finish my day plastering the electrodes onto his bottom and giving him a good groom and it's somewhat calming and peaceful.

For now, it's time for a Boring Chapter in this book. One that you tend to skim read or turn a few pages forward until you get to more interesting parts. Bare with me. This book writes itself as we go.

P.S. One year today a very good friend of mine lost someone very close to her. My thoughts and hugs go to you xxx

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Apologies to those who wanted to view this blog tonight. I was playing around with some settings and have accidentally made all my blogs 'private' - all back to normal now, including my waffle blog (that's for those of you who know what that is!).

I am not posting that much recently mostly because a) nothing much is happening b) I am not feeling particularly great with some sad family events.
Anybody with good advice on how to sleep better when you are worried feel free to share!
On the working life front it's great to be teaching with my friend again :)

Some more thoughts: not looking forward to the winter. Even the idea of cold is making me shiver!
Need more sleep. Did I mention I would like more sleeping?
Anyway. As you can see I am not making much sense. All my energies are ploughed into work right now so I am pretty much brainless and powerless at the end of the day.

Tomorrow, I am teaching Pony Day kids all day. I will probably do Kingsley at lunch time so I can leave the yard earlier than night time, then back home for some rest therapy ;)

Monday, 12 October 2009

Million Little Things

The most important thing I've learned is that tomorrow is equally distant and unknown as is the next week or the ten years later.
Love watching the sea, the water coming and going, coming and going. Water made up of billion of tiny molecules of invisible hydrogen and oxygen. The details.
The sand so fine. If you put the particles of it on the palm of your hand you would never have called it a beach.
And yet, here they are, creating the spectacular view of yellows and blues.
The most important thing I've ever learned in life is that it's the details what makes up the true meaning.
Million little things. Is what I appreciate.
Not heroic gestures but the hydrogen and oxygen of everyday life.
Because tomorrow...might never materialise anyway.

The most important thing I've ever learned so far is that my biggest weakness is also my biggest strength.
And today, I'm in peace with it.

Kingsley enjoys his daily TENS sessions I think. He certainly enjoys being turned out again too judging by the amount of rolling in the mud he does.
He doesn't really look any stronger through his right hindleg but he shows less response to me digging my fingers into his sacroiliac area on the right side. Whether that's of any significance I am not sure.

One of my employers is paying for me to go to: (YAY!!:):

BHS National Coaching Conference

The first National Coaching Conference hosted by the British Horse Society was held in 2008 and due to its resounding success another is planned for Autumn 2009.

The Coaching Conference is a day of presentations and seminar sessions from leading industry professionals that will typically include motivational speakers, sports coaches and sessions with other professionals from the equine and human sporting world.

It is supposed to be some time in November. Another interesting thing happening in November will be the first one of a series on Bio-mechanics of riding lectures my friend had told me about so I am very much looking forward to it :)


Friday, 9 October 2009

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

I wish I could...

I really want to just fall asleep like polar bears do and wake up in the spring of the mood...when everything seems like it's going up rather than down. I really wish I could programme myself like a washing machine on a 30C standing for Constant happiness. Greedy me.
Switch On button working and spinning the life in the cloud of pleasingly scented layout of the day.
Blah, blah, blah sometimes I wish I could stop living in a dreamy bubble.
The little creature on my left shoulder is moaning and crying and complaining. The right shoulder's creature is yelling at the left shoulder's creature to stop being such a victim of Life's Whereabouts.
I'm in the middle listening to their antics.

Kingsley had a visit from Physiotherapist who found:

1) Very sore sacroiliac area
2) Lameness in the right hind possibly due to sacroiliac problem or other way round
3) Sore back on the right side
4) Lack of bending to the right

As per today's observation she didn't think there was any significant lameness to be seen in front, just a loss of balance now and then due to compensation for the back end pain.

The rehab plan for the next month is as follows:

TENS machine (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) - Daily
Mode: Normal
Pulse Rate: 4Hz
Pulse width 220
Time: 20 minutes

The electrodes go to: 1 day withers plus sacroiliac; 1 day sacroiliac plus hindquarters area alternate in between the two.

1. Turn out 1/2 a day as previously
2. walk in hand 5 min 1x daily for 2 weeks
3. walk ridden 10 min x1 daily for 2 weeks

Physio to review Mon 9th Nov.

Pics. below: Kingsley's first TENS session:


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Another Vet later and...

And we still are nowhere near locating the source of pain and cause of Kingsley's lameness. He has now been on box rest with short walk outs for the last two weeks.
He's been seen by three different vets including laminitis/feet lameness specialist today. Nobody seems to have a clue or an idea where is the primary source of pain or where is the lameness coming from.
The vet who saw him today concluded that he exhibits a very difficult type of lameness/unlevelness to diagnose, that he isn't lame enough to nerve block (????), that the lameness is in front and the back end is fine.

After almost an hour of walking, trotting, prodding, lungeing on soft, hard surface etc I was told 'I'm sorry but I can't really say what the real problem is here'...!!!!
He said he can see the unlevelness in front which gets worse on hard ground and when circles get tighter. Kingsley preferred to pop himself into canter than stay in trot on the lunge. At times, it looked like coordination issue when he would trot with hindlegs and yet started cantering/hoping himself into canter with front legs.
Canter generally looked level BUT varied from three beat to four beat at times.

Vet said that as he sees it right now, there are 2 options:

OPTION 1 Start bringing Kingsley back to work, first by turning him out for a week or so, then starting to walk him under the saddle for 10-15 minutes a day if safe to do so, strengthen his muscles and check whether the problem resolves itself. Get the physiotherapist to investigate the muscle imbalances, analyse gaits etc (vet found a very sore muscle in Kingsley's neck which apparently means he is holding himself to avoid loading the front legs with excessive weight).
This will either make him become sounder or he will get lamer. If the former than it might be that for some reason he stressed his front legs and due to his conformation (wide moving in front) he is finding it difficult to re-educate his gaits and move correctly.
If he gets lamer, the theory is we can then see what really is sore and proceed with nerve blocks and/or X-rays and MRI.

OPTION 2 Second option is to bone scan straight away. This is a cost of around £800...

For now we will try to find the best physio in the area and see what they can tell (good physio should be able to do do gait analysis and pin point muscle imbalances and tightness etc). We will get the vets to talk to the physio and see what we can do from there. He will also go out into the field as he is generally quiet there and doesn't really run around.
Having said that, he was rather creative on the lunge today launching himself into orbit and looking rather jolly!

His legs are swelling/filling free entirely at the moment. He seems generally happy within himself, interested in everything and doesn't seem to be in any discomfort.

Puzzling or what? Any ideas?

© Riding Instructor's Diary | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig