Our Centre is seeking reliable ponies and horses for our riding classes.† We offer professional equestrian care with lots of love and attention.† If you have a mount standing around in a paddock or retired from Pony Club Competition, please consider the pleasure they could be giving as part of our program.†
Please phone (02) 9679 1246 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org†† for further information.
I am so tired! All I seem to have done lately is go here, there and everywhere! Itís been heaps of fun though, doing all sorts of different stuff.
Firstly I went to State Dressage. I didnít get to go last year but since everyone got stuck there I guess that was probably a good thing! There were 5 of us who went Ė Pippa, Murphy, Polly, Vegemite and Me, and if I do say so myself, we were all on our best behaviour. I reckon the worst part about these outings is that they always start with a bath. The shampoo massage I can handle, but is it really necessary to drown me in water? Itís no secret that Iím not a fan of the truck ride either, but at least I had friends to support me on that one. We arrived on Friday afternoon, got settled into our accommodation Ė Pippa and Murphy seemed happy to be back in their honeymoon suite! This was Pollyís first big dressage comp. I have to say she was very calm about it all, first timers usually have a lot more to say, I know I did, but she just seemed to take it all in her stride.
All of us except Murphy had three different tests to learn. Murphy was lucky, he just had two. We rode two of them on the Saturday and we were all so tired by the end of it but we all just wanted to do our best for our riders. It was an early start on Sunday morning but we only had one test to do then we could all go home. We couldnít wait. While we were in the warm up arena Polly looked really tired. She whispered to me that she tried so hard for Danielle on Saturday but didnít think she could give her the final ride she deserved that morning. I understood how she felt, she didnít want to disappoint Danielle so I offered to help and let Danielle ride her final test on me. Everyone thought I was great, I just thought I was helping out a friend. We were all so proud of each other and VERY happy to get home for a well earned sleep!
In what seemed like no time at all we had switched practice to mounted games. This is so much more fun than dressage! This is just a one day comp, we went to Nepean Centre and we had a pretty good day, everyone walked away with ribbons and seemed happy enough. It was only Pippa and I that went this time and we were lucky enough to travel on Deniseís new angle load float. I wasnít scared at all, I walked straight on, which amazed everyone, and I wasnít shaking when I got off. It was great! I think the only downside to the day was the wind, for some reason itís always windy when we go to Nepean, but at least the roof didnít blow off the arena this time. The best bit had to be Pippa letting herself out of her yard to introduce herself to all the other horses. She found the best dust bath to have a roll in, I asked her to let me out too but she wouldnít. Not that it mattered much anyway, they came and caught her straight away but she was pretty proud of herself.
After mounted games everyone went on holidays so we finally got a chance to rest. There were a bunch of people here for a few days in the middle. Iím not sure what they were here for but they dragged me, and a few others, into the arena and asked us to stand there while they stuck dots all over us. It looked like we had multicoloured chicken pox! I just went to sleep Ė it had to be the easiest lesson Iíve ever had to do! Another strange lesson I had to do the other week was at night. We did normal classes during the day, then after a break went back into the arena to just stand there again, while kids ran around on foot playing the games that I normally get to play. There were people all lined up on the balcony cheering and clapping, but I donít know what for, and they had to turn the lights on because it was dark outside but all we had to do was stand there. It was so boring I just went to sleep in the corner. And just to confuse everybody we didnít get fed till 8:30 that night, I was sooooo hungry. Sometimes I just donít understand humans.
Well, I guess Iíd better be going. Iím getting hot standing around writing this. I refuse to take my fur coat off until the weather makes up its mind about what temperature itís wants to be. In the meantime Iíll just have to go for a swim in the dam to cool off!
Tough as nails, yet full of bluff
You really were made of sweet stuff
You liked to scowl and kick and bite
But you never gave a rider a fright.
You taught so many over the years
Even though you caused some coaches some tears
Horse of the Year you deservedly won
Though some cut out cows nearly saw you undone!
You loved a banana
Not all horses do
But you always liked drama
You had such derring-do!
For 25 years you served us so well
No other horse has endured such a spell
Denim you were the most special of beasts
May your new pastures run rich with treats
Personally speaking I loved you dearly
Though once you floored me very nearly!
Heartfelt thanks to a special horse
Till we meet again when Iíve run my course.
Rest in peace beautiful boy.
Judy Brightman 19 September 2007
Wow! Itís been so good to have a holiday. All I did all day was hang with my mates and eat. It was something I could definitely get used to. The downside though is that I have put on sooooo much weight! If Iím going to be honest I did kind of miss working. Thereís just something about having a routineÖ. The smiles on the kids facesÖ.
I must say, my paddock got kind of empty towards the end of the holidays, first Apex left, and then BB. People might think I smell! Iíve heard that Apex has some sort of infection in his leg. He was having so much trouble walking when they first took him away. He looked so sad. Iíve seen up at the barn lately and he looks like he REALLY wants to get out of that small yard Ė not that I can blame him. He calls out to me sometimes but they just wonít let me go and see him. Iíll have to find a way to get up there and visit him, I do miss him.
They tell me BB went to live with a new family in Queensland. They didnít even give us a chance to say goodbye, they just took him out of the paddock one day and he never came back. Oh well, it was probably for the best, Iím not very good at goodbyes. I hope he enjoys his new life, it sounds wonderful with the bush and the beach nearby. It would be good if I could visit him sometime.
I noticed the other day that King hadnít been coming to the rails for breakfast. When I asked Ozzy about it he said that King had gone back to his owner. I thought that was pretty cool, but now who am I going to fight with at the rails? Iíll just have to start picking on Mr Ed!
Lately I almost wish Angel would have left too. She spent most of the holidays prancing around the paddock like she owns the place, all because she won some Horse of the Year Award. I mean, congratulations to her but she was being a bit of a princess about it. Iím sure she was trying to use it to pick up Ishmar too; it was pretty funny watching him ignore her!
There have been a few new additions to this place lately. There was one mare causing quite a stir in the holidays when she wouldnít shut up or stand still when she was at the rails. Man, she was annoying. I think her name was Rose, or Rosie or something. But I havenít seen her lately so I guess she wonít be hanging around. Itís a shame really because deep down I think she wouldíve liked it here.
Thereís another couple that Iíve seen being ridden around the place. One of them, Stormy, looks like a bit of a mummyís boy but he seems sweet enough. The other one, Maggie, was in a class the other day.† She didnít have a rider, like they used to do to me when I first got here. She seems pretty cool.
Anyway, I guess thatís it for now. Now that the holidays are over Iím going to have a lot of work to do so Iíd better get some rest.
Take care, Pippa
Wow! How good is it that fourth term is here already! Not long now before I can get my bikini out and do some sun baking by the dam. How cool is that?
Can you believe how many new guys have come through this place this year? I donít really know many of them but some of them are really cute! I am going to miss the ones that have left though.† I think everyone knows that Rocketís gone but I was so upset when I realized that Jody and Sheba were gone too. I was only just getting to know Jody but Sheba and I have been friends for ages. Now I guess Iíll have to think of them every night when I look up at the moon and the stars and know that they are watching over me. Oh well, enough of the sappy stuff!
OMG! Have you seen how many good looking guys there around here? Now that Bonnie has moved houses I thought Iíd have a chance with that BB but, no, heís chasing around after Pippa (man I really hate her!). He follows her around like a little lost puppy, itís sickening! But hey, look on the bright side, now I can make a move on that spunk Apex. I know Iíve been playing hard to get up until now but you canít deny heís good looking and Iím pretty easy on the eye if I do say so myself.
Anyway, if heís still too hung up on Pippa then there are plenty of other hot guys to choose from. Iíve always had a thing for Tiger but now that theyíre using him in classesÖÖI donít knowÖÖ.Letís just say Iím seeing him in a different light.
Then of course thereís Scooter. There could be a height problem there though; I like my guys taller than me. Besides heís ruled a little too much by his stomach for liking. I heard he was running around the round yard with a weed hanging out of his mouth Ė now thatís desperate!
Rebel was pretty cool but I guess he missed his Mum too much so he had to move out. That sucks though; we could have been good together.†
I suppose Iíd better watch myself since Iíve got some competition now. There are two new girls on the block Honey and Savanna. Theyíve only been here for five minutes and theyíve already hooked up with a couple of the other new guys. They sure didnít take long. Mr. Ed is kind of cute and Iím sure he and Honey only have a casual thing going but, again, I like my men tall. I do have to admit that my heart melts when I see him and Chris together on a Thursday morning, they make the cutest team!
Rickyís a bit of a pretty boy but Savanna is so hung up on him. I mean, he was scared of the birds in the arena when he first got here. Who is scared of birds? He did redeem himself in the end when that plane flew over a couple of weeks ago. The whole arena shook and while I could tell he was scared he tried his best not to show it.
Well I guess, after all that, thereís really only one guy for me Ė Ishmar!††
Um, Yeah, Hey! Diaries are for girls so I figured Iíd just write a letter. I know you canít read this but I really wanted to tell someone about what Iíve been up to and whatís been going on around here and you were my best friend. Iíve gotta say though, there is this new filly next door who I think really likes me. Itís a real you scratch my back and Iíll scratch yours kind of relationship but that suits me just fine!
Hey, guess where I got to go at Easter. The Easter Show! How cool is that? I got to go with Ishmar and Pippa for some competition against other Centres from all over NSW. It was a great day but I canít say I appreciated the bath, or being made to stand still while they pulled at, and knotted, my mane OR being forced to look absolutely stupid in whatever that striped thing they put over my head was. They call it a skinny hood. I call it embarrassing! But I suppose it was all worth it in the end. I mean, I did look pretty handsome when they were done.
I must say, one of the worst bits of the day was being woken up in the dark I had just gotten to sleep and then they wanted me to stand still in the dark while they put these itchy boot things around my legs and wrapped my tail round and round and roundÖ.. Anyway, it was all a big adventure, the trip on the truck was fun (I donít think Ishmar enjoyed it as much as I did) and when we got there so much was happening, there were people and horses everywhere, big ones and little ones Ė even ones that were smaller than Scooter! Oh yeah, and we had to stand in stables which I havenít done in ages. Ishmar didnít like that either - he wouldnít settle until they put a window in between him and Pippa so that he could see her. I donít think theyíre boyfriend and girlfriend or anything I think he was just a bit scared and wanted to see a familiar face. The arena was so big and there were people sitting all around us watching and cheering it was like we were famous or something, I felt so important. Firstly we all had to line up with our team mates and then one horse, rider and coach from each team had to step forward. From our team Pippa, Harrison and Wendy stepped forward along with other centres while some guy walked around them, writing things down and looking all official. The rest of us were starting to doze off in the sun and all of sudden someone announced over the loud speaker that Tall Timbers had won the best presented! YEAH! Well, back to me, I had 2 riders that day, Desiree and Natalie, and I was so careful not to do anything silly so they wouldnít fall or get scared, after all, we were on show and I could tell they were nervous (so was I!). We had to do 4 events (all stuff weíd done heaps of in class) and it was so much fun. Unfortunately we didnít win but everyone kept telling us that they were proud of us, so we were happy.† The same went for Ishmar and Susan, and Pippa and Harrison. We didnít care; we were getting so many pats and carrots that were having a great day! But the day wasnít over yet. After a quick lunch we went back to the arena where an obstacle course had been set up. It looked pretty scary in places but I had to be brave Ė I had to show Pippa that everything would be ok. Susan and Wendy rode me this time. Susan and I had to go first so that was a bit scary but I think we went really well, I didnít jump at the lizards or at the cows (the fake ones OR the real ones). I looked after Susan just like I did Desiree and Natalie and I am just as proud of myself as everyone else is. I didnít win the obstacle course either but Pippa came second so thatís pretty cool. They tell me I came ninth, but everyone keeps saying that I was robbed and I shouldíve got more points, but I donít care I had fun and I hope I can do it again next year.
After the Easter Show it was holidays so most of us got to wander around our paddocks eating grass for a couple of weeks. It was great. The new horses though didnít get a holiday. They had to go through that stuff we all had to go through when we first come here. You know, the balls, the flags, the hoops, the toys, the ramp and that one where they jump off you while youíre still walking. Iím not really sure what that one is all about; I think they just enjoy it! Iím sure that when everyone first comes here they think the people are crazy Ė I know I sure did! (Sometimes I still do!)
One of the new horses, Stormy, is in one of my classes and heís not doing too badly. He seems to be enjoying himself most of the time. He just has to get used to the routine and realise that you use a lot less energy if you walk slowly. Heís still new; heíll figure it out soon enough.† Stormy and his paddock mate, Dodger, live next to me. Dodgerís pretty funny. It seems like heíd rather hang out with people than other horses. I mean, whoíd pick a human over grass? Everyone thinks heís just gorgeous, personally I think heís annoying. Sorry, I shouldnít say that, but itís just that everyone used tell me how gorgeous I was but now thereís this new kid on the blockÖ.† I guess there are two people out there who love me even if one of them doesnít count cos sheís my Mum! Oh well, at least I know Pip will always love me, itchy patches and allJ
Hey, guess what theyíve built since youíve been gone? Stalls for us to stand in, so we donít have to be tied to the rails all day. Theyíre really cool and theyíve even got shade cloth over the top to give us shade in summer but Iím so glad theyíre finally finished. Charlie, the guy who built them, was using a nail gun to put everything together and the sound is still ringing in my ears, it echoed from under the roof of the arena. Man it was loud. Oh well, they are finished now and I canít wait till we can use them cos then I wonít have to stretch my lead rope to scratch my backside!
Well, I guess thatís all I have to say really. I just wanted to tell you what a great time I had at the Easter show. I really wish you could have been there to see me but Iím sure you were watching me.
From Murphy† (as dictated to Chanida)
Iíve found the love of my life! Heís tall, dark, and handsome and heís well and truly drowning in my big brown eyes! He was my neighbour for months but we recently holidayed together at Horsley Park and I finally saw the light. It was so good I didnít want to come home. Weíre living together now and life is great.
Things have been so messed up around here lately. Getting woken up in the dark by trucks and big machines that were digging stuff up. They were so noisy. Everything has been changed and it looks so weird, there are holes everywhere and flappy orange stuffÖ. Itís all good though Iím brave, I can handle the change.
Throughout all of this Harrison was coming to ride me a couple of times a week. I didnít realise at the time but we must have been practicing for something. It was so much fun being trotted around, I so looked forward to him coming. It turns out we were practicing for state dressage. Apparently itís some big deal? It was nothing I havenít done before but everyone was making such a big deal out of it. We (Murphy and I) got washed, and then four of us (Murphy, Vegemite, Gossip and I) went for a truck ride before we ended up at our holiday destination. We had private rooms, the decorations were amazing, and we were waited on hand and foot. It was great! It seemed that all we had to do was trot around the arena a couple times, just like Harrison and I had been practising, and whatever we wanted we could have. I stamp my feet, theyíd take me for a walk. I stamp my feet, they feed me. What else could anyone want? Then things changed.
I thought Iíd done my work for the day and I was snoozing in my room when all of a sudden I was woken up, saddled up and in the arena again. It took me by surprise, it all looked so different at night and I didnít like the lights, they were so bright. I didnít want to stay in there but Harrison sat up tall and told me that we had to finish, just like we practiced and then I could go back to my room and have some carrots. All I had to do was trust him. Heíd never hurt me before so I took a deep breath and finished the test. Harrison did so well to convince me.
We were told we could only have the rooms for the weekend but they surprised us and we got to stay for nearly a month! 20 days to be exact Ė it should have only been 15 but I put my hoof down and refused to leave. I was having too much fun! Gossip and Vegemite had already left but Murphy and I got to stay the extra 5 days. My tantrum must have made them nervous because the next time they asked us to leave they offered us a stretch limo for the ride home! I must have really let myself go while I was on holiday as no sooner was I home I got so sick. Everyone in the area got whatever evil thing was going around. I felt so hot I couldnít breathe properly and the thought of food made me want to throw up. We were all coughing so much our stomachs were screaming and our noses Ė I didnít know there was that much yellow slime in me! Poor Denim though. He was already sick to start with. Iíd heard rumours that he was over 30. Heís in a better place now and I hope I can continue his legacy and keep giving everyone grief until the day I die too!
Iíll tell you what, Iím feeling so much better now and Iím so bored. Murphy and I run laps of our paddock just for fun. Itís especially fun kicking up our heels and racing the tractor down the fence. I think some of our new neighbours have been watching us cos theyíre starting to copy us. I saw Jet racing the wheelbarrow the other day. Itís not much of a challenge to beat that now is it?
Anyway, I guess Iíll get pretty busy soon. Thereís talk that we are nearly well enough to start work again. Yeah, I canít wait!!!
Pippa (as told to Chanida)
Wow, things have been so hectic lately and man has my life changed! I started getting ridden a lot more and led around the arena with some of the other horses. Itís been fun and I like having a routine. Itís nice to know whatís happening.
I had heard talk about Ďclassesí but, trust me, until you have been in one you have no idea what youíre in for! Thereís clapping, yelling, banging, things being thrown at you, fluorescent stuffed toys everywhere - itís definitely a sight to see. Each day someone different leads me which was a bit confusing at first but as I got to know the people and the different riders on each day of the week I think I settled into the groove fairly well.
Every morning we come out of our paddocks and into our yards for breakfast. Sometimes Iím allowed to run up on my own but I usually have to be led up because I get too excited and forget where Iím going. When I get lost I usually just try to steal someone elseís breakfast but that always gets me in trouble. My yard is in between Apex and Kruger. When I first moved in I didnít really like Apex. He wouldnít talk to me and always wanted to sleep. I used to bug him all the time and he would get cranky with me so Iíd be mean back to him. I would like to apologise to him though, because now I see what he does everyday I understand why he just wants to sleep! Kruger on the other hand - I guess our personalities just donít match. Now Rennie is like my kindred spirit or something. We just clicked from day one. He is so much fun to be around, he loves to play, we get the same jokes and we both love to cause troubleÖ
Writing that makes me think of one of my Mums favourite sayings when I was growing up -† Ďlaughing turns to cryingí.† Rennie and I have so much fun together but as I write this we are not allowed to play anymore. Unfortunately our play got a bit rough a few weeks back and I got hurt. Even though I had a major headache I still wanted to play but those boring humans told me I couldnít. I got really upset and objected, and it worked at first, but it turned out they were right and my face needed to heal first.
When they took me to visit the doctor it was the first time Iíd been on a float in 2yrs and I wasnít very impressed! When we got there I was taken into a room where a machine was pointed at my head to take photos of my bones. After a few pictures were taken most of the people went into the other room. Although I was a bit sleepy throughout all of this I could see their faces were very different when they came back and I just knew something was wrong. They were saying something about a fractured cheek bone. I didnít put up much of a fight to get back on the float; I didnít think they could deal with it.
About a week later they took me back to the doctor only this time they left me there. I didnít know what was going on. There were strange horses and strange people who shaved my hair off in random patches - they could have at least given me a decent haircut. They put me to sleep to fix the bones in face and when I woke up I had 19 staples down my face - Iím so glad I was asleep and couldnít see that stapler coming at me!† Anyway, Iím home now and I guess I havenít learnt a thing because all I want to do is play!
What a weird few months this has been. This weather is out of control, one day its 37 degrees and the next Iím all rugged up trying to stay dry and warm - ridiculous!
Iíve had heaps of fun though. I got to play in the mounted games in August. With Bruce leading and Mackenzie riding me we had so much fun playing the bending and flagging races and going around the barrels. We even ran a new race called the keyhole. It looked pretty easy at first - just walk up the alley, turn around in the circle and walk back. Then I realised I wasnít allowed to step outside, or even touch, the lines painted on the ground. I managed it but Iím sure my belly was wider than that alley!
About a month ago I took a week off work. They assured me it was a slow time and said I should take them now as weíd get busy again before Christmas. I persuaded Indi to join me as he had not been feeling well a few weeks before so the break would do him good. We went all out on our holiday; we slept in, had breakfast in bed, occasionally exercised but mostly just lounged around. We did get all our check ups done though - you know, doctor, dentist, podiatrist etc. The pedicure felt good. My toenails were getting a bit long and cracked but, if I do say so myself, they are just perfect now. The dentist on the other hand was not so fun. I have a fear of dentistís tools and I just hate seeing them come at me. I mean, have you seen those things? Theyíre huge! The rational part of my brain knows it doesnít hurt and once they start Iím fine - just as long as I donít have to see it! Indi of course was calm as can be. Sometimes I wish I was as strong as he is.
Near the end of our holidays we decided to splurge and get a massage. It wasnít a normal massage, it was something called Bowen. It was a bit weird at first but once we got used to it, it wasnít so bad. Itís alright to do that sort of thing once in a while but itís not really my thing. Indi reckons massages are for girls but I think he enjoyed it more than he let on.
We also had a combined farewell party for Mr Ed and Stormy. Stormy was off to a new home to get lots of love and brushing, go on lots of trail rides and maybe even join Pony Club. It was so hard to watch him say goodbye to Jet, they were best friends. That would be like me having to say goodbye to Indi and I donít want to even think about that. Mr Ed went back to his old home. Heíd been missing his Dad so was looking forward to catching up with him before he started looking for a new job. It was sad to see them go but Iím sure theyíll be happy.
Anyway, they werenít wrong when they said work would get busy again before Christmas. Things are back in full swing now and everyoneís super busy, but itís not long now til the end of the year. How scary!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
INDIíS DIARY ENTRY
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday, because I know I did!
So much has happened in the last few months but the best bit came at the end of last year. We got a surprise day off, I wasnít sure why but I could see all the different volunteers had came in on the same day. Anyway, that afternoon I was told that Iíd won Tall Timbers Horse of the Year! I was shocked. I got lots of pats and carrots and I even got a trophy. They said I won because I Ďdo everythingí but I like mixing things up - it stops things getting boring. SoÖThanx everyone for loving me!
I had a good rest over Christmas. It was nice to just sit and do nothing for a couple of weeks. The only thing that wouldíve made it better was if the mozzies had left me alone, I was so itchy! I had rugs (several because I kept ripping them when I was scratching on the trees) and put fly spray on but they just kept biting. Why do they do that???
Iíd let myself go over the holidays so I new Iíd have to start exercising again soon, but I really had no motivation. The first time the saddle was put on I was not impressed but Iím slowly getting there. It was all worth it the day the float turned up and I was asked to get on it. I hadnít been on a float in 2 1/2yrs but Ishmar and Kruger were with me (I wasnít sure I wanted to leave Boomerang behind but I had to trust that the others knew what they were doing) so I walked straight up just for something different. Once we were all loaded I was so excited, I had no idea where we were going. When the doors opened we were in the bush, I couldnít wait to have my saddle put on - this was gonna be fun! After a pick at the grass we had our tack put on and off we went. We wandered through trees, crossed creeks and I led out in front the whole way, it was so cool. I hope I get to it again sometime.
We had a new horse come in a couple of weeks ago. His name is Anchor and heís huge! Well I guess huge is an overstatement but he is compared to me. On a sadder note we lost poor old TJ last week. At his age the hot summer was hard for him but at least he got to live out a happy retirement, and I know heíll be watching down over all of us.
Anyway, I hear things are going to get noisy again around here soon. Let the fun begin!
Love Indi† (from Indiís Diary as told to Chanida)
KRUGERíS DIARY ENTRY
Isnít it funny how things can be so hectic without anything really out of the ordinary happening? Things had been so busy lately I was looking forward to the school holidays very much. Itís kind of sad though, after the holidays there will be a whole new lot of riders coming to join in the fun. Iíll miss everyone but itís always nice to meet new people.
The most interesting thing Iíve done in the last few months was compete at the Royal Easter Show. It was the first time for both Katrina and I and I had a great time. Everyone kept telling me to do what I do at home, so I did, but I wish Iíd listened to Indi about the bath Ė if you just stand still, itís over much quicker!† I didnít win on the day (after Ishmar and Pippa there was nothing left to win!) but I was very proud to wear TT colours (who doesnít like to get told how handsome they look!) and I would like to thank Katrina for taking me.
We had to say a sad goodbye to Jet a while back but, you know how it goes, when one door closes another door opens, or two in our case. We have welcomed Anchor and Bowie into the program. Bowie has slotted in like heís done it all before. Heís a great guy but sometimes I get so jealous when everyone says how pretty he is Ė just because he was lucky enough to be born buckskin...† Anchor has already figured out thereís no need to exert too much energy, but even when heís walking slowly he takes such big steps he overtakes everyone else in the arena! I hope the two of them have as much fun at TT as much as the rest of us do.
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays as much as I enjoyed mine!
HANNIBALíS DIARY ENTRY
Hi Everyone!†† Iím fairly new around here so I thought the best way to meet everyone was to introduce myself.† My name is Hannibal, I am an Arabian Riding Pony, 14.3hh, 17yrs young, if I could Iíd spend all day, everyday eating and I absolutely love a good face rub. Thatís pretty much me in a nutshell!
Iíve only been here for a few months and so much has happened already. Not long after I arrived I had my birthday. Even though the people around here hardly knew me they still made me a birthday cake. It was delicious with lots of carrots, yum! There was a big celebration here just recently to celebrate Tall Timbers 10th anniversary at Box Hill. Iím not sure if they had cake but they threw a big party and it was so much fun. I got to show off what Iíve learned since I came here to all the guests when they watched Hannah ride me in a class. Everyone said I was so gorgeous and complimented Hannah on her riding and I spent the whole day with a smile on my face J
There have been a couple of competitions too, I didnít compete in either of them but hopefully Iíll get to next time. One was a mounted games day which looked like so much fun. Lots of ups and downs and turns, all as fast as they could go so that they would hopefully qualify to compete at the Easter Show. How cool would that be?
There was also a dressage day. This one was to qualify for the State Dressage competition. The riders looked very smart all dressed up in their jackets and they all rode so well. From Tall Timbers two riders qualified. Iím guessing that since Pippaís all rugged up and Ishmar keeps getting his tail washed (good luck getting that thing white again!)† that the comp must be coming up soon. Good Luck to Erin and Natalie, the best advice I can give you is to have fun and donít forget to smile!
In the short time I have been here there have been quite a few horses come and go. It was really sad to say goodbye to Floss, I only met her a few times but she was like a grandmother to everyone on the property, she was always prepared to give advice and hugs when needed, everyone loved her. Savanna seemed really keen to be moving on to her next adventure. She was talking about it from the time she found out where she was going to the time she walked straight onto the float. She loves kids so she was delighted to be going to a family with young children to teach them how to ride.† She writes every now and again and tells us how spoilt she is, getting lots of brushing and pats and treats. She sounds really happy.
The newest additions (besides me of course) are Kahlua, Daphne and Charlie. Kahluaís little with lots of attitude, but in a good way. She likes to speak her mind and I pity anyone that tries to steal her food but sheís actually quite sweet. Daphne gets lots of attention because sheís so pretty. I heard today that she and I could almost make pigeon pair. Iím not entirely sure whether to take that as a compliment or not, comparing me to a girl, but I certainly wouldnít mind spending more time with her! And lastly, Charlie is the newest of the new. Heís only been here a couple of weeks so I havenít met him properly yet but Iím sure Iíll get to know him soon.
Everything I have mentioned makes me love this place. Thereís always something going on to keep us all busy so I know Iíll never get bored and I canít wait to get to know everyone. I spend most of my days when Iím not working† in yard number 15 so please donít hesitate to drop by and say Hi, Iíd love to see you!
Hi, My name is Savanna and I am a 20yr old Pinto Mare who used to work at RDA Tall Timbers. I was very happy working with all the riders and volunteers. Nicole and Chanida thought I needed a rest so one day I was very surprised when a family came to see me. I was very well behaved and felt special as I walked up and down like a model. They looked at my feet and teeth and asked lots of questions about me. I think they liked me as the next day I was taken on the horse float for a little drive. I knew I was safe because my friends Chanida and Nicole were with me. When the horse float opened, I was at a new house. It was very exciting but also a bit scary. I had a new stable, food and water so I soon settled down. My new owners are Abigail (6), Bridget (5), Isabelle (4) and Emily (2). They all love me very much. Every day they come to see me and brush my coat. Sometimes I let them have a little ride as they are just learning and need someone safe as me to show them the ropes. I enjoy the fuss and cuddles not to mention the carrots and apples at the end. I now have a new friend called May, she is a 2year old Australian Pony, so she has a lot to learn. She is like my little sister. I am very happy now at my new home. My ďMumĒ says you can visit me if you would like to. Some of my other horse friends at RDA will need new homes, so if you feel you could share your life with one, Iím sure you will be rewarded. We also need new horses to replace us. Just talk to RDA.
Love to all my friends,
†(as told to Sandra)
Hi Everyone!† Can you believe its 2011 already? The end of last year was so busy I was definitely glad to have a nice rest over summer.† Firstly, I want to congratulate Pippa & Ishmar on a great performance at the State Dressage Championships in November. Both of their riders achieved personal bests & I know Pippa & Ishmar were very proud of both Erin & Natalie; they couldnít stop talking about it when they got home.
I was very honoured in December to be announced as Tall Timbers Horse of the Year for 2010. I canít say Thank You enough. My name is now engraved on the trophy & everyone said heaps of nice things about me. They were going on about me being so good to all my riders & working really hard but how can I consider what I do as work when every day I get to put huge smiles on peopleís faces. Besides, I reckon I make my leaders work harder than I do!
Cheyanne came to live with us at the end of the year. He is a pinto & about 14hh. Heís going to be one that everyone likes because heís pretty.† He spent the holidays with Daphne, Charlie & Kahlua learning how to be an RDA horse. Iím really glad I already know what Iím doing so I got stand around watching them do all the work while I had a lovely holiday. Kahlua, Charlie & Daphne have all passed their tests & been given their P plates, with all three starting classes in the first week of term. Itís great to see the looks on the new ones faces when they make their first rider smile, how they swell up with pride. I hope they have a long happy RDA life.
I do feel sorry for Daphne sometimes. Sheís always getting teased about her name. She gets all shy when people laugh & point at her or say that Daphne is a silly name for a horse. I think her name suits her, itís what make her unique(I certainly donít know another horse called Daphne) & besides, maybe some others around here should listen to their own names & see how silly they sound - I mean who in the world came up with Chanida???
Itís a relief to have a proper routine again now that school has started back. I think most of us were thinking the same thing. We have met our riders for this semester & while itís always nice to meet new people & teach them how to ride, I am actually enjoying having some returning riders & am secretly ecstatic that they remember me. Itís nice to know that I leave an impression on the people I meet J
Anyway, I hope to see you all soon. May 2011 be full of fun, laughter, success & most of all smiles, I love the smiles!
Apex (from Apexís Diary as told to Chanida)
Hi Everyone!† Where has this year gone???† Weíre already at the end of semester one & as sad as it is to say goodbye to our riders itís been great to see them improve in their riding skills & confidence.† I hope to see them all again in the future.
We started the semester being movie stars! Well Australian TV stars, but it was fun all the same J Jamie, from the Kerri-Anne Kennerley show, came with his camera crew to watch us work & talk to our riders. They were a bit annoying & I really donít get why they have to have that big fluffy thing on the end of the long stick but the riders loved all the attention & I guess it was kinda cool to get my face on national TV!
Once again Pippa & Ishmar got to go to the Easter Show. How come they always get to do the exciting stuff? Of course everyone was talking about them & praising them when they got home, something about Ishmar winning his section of the mounted games & Pippa winning Horse of the Year.† I know Pippa & I donít really get on but even I have to admit that winning Horse of the Year 2yrs in a row is a pretty good effort! Well done to them but I think Iíll stick to the National Park, Denise & I had to so much fun that day but with lots more laughter & a lot less stress J
We said a tearful goodbye to Bonnie in early April. She was a truly sweet lady & I am honoured to have had the privilege of running with her during her retirement. No one will ever replace Bonnie but we have had a few new faces arrive recently. Sandy doesnít say much but I think she likes it here, I did spot that look on her face that we all got when we had our first rider in our first RDA class, that combination of smug & proud.... Sheree is my new next door neighbour. She is much more talkative than Sandy, sheís quite bossy actually. I keep hearing that sheís still getting used to the place but I reckon sheís just trying to figure out how to take over! The newest recruit is Sonny (what is with all these ĎSí names???), heís the tall dark & handsome type; I reckon all the girls will be swooning over him before he knows it.
Weíve all been having fun with our brand new obstacle course, made for us by YR12 design student, Kylie. I wasnít all that impressed at being kicked out of my paddock for them to set it up but itís really cool, I just love how colourful it is, the riders -& coaches- are going to love it! The wooden bridge we have to walk over is something new & bit scary at first but Iím sure weíll all get used to it. Itís always fun to get new toys!
Well, Iím off to start planning my birthday party! I canít believe how quickly itís come around again. Thereís so much to organise & I still have to squeeze in a holiday & meeting a whole new group of riders. I think Iíll start with the cake....
Love Polly†† xoxox
Wow, what a whirlwind these last 4 months have been! So much has happened & so much has changed for me.† Iíve had to make new friends & learn new things, some of it was a bit daunting at first but now Iím in the swing of things itís all good!
When I arrived here there was lots of talk about Regional Dressage. Apparently it had been held here at Tall Timbers only a few weeks before I came.† From what I hear it was a great day with lots of ribbons & smiles all round. Well done everyone!
I had my birthday not long after I arrived. I was very honoured to have ĎHappy Birthdayí sung to me & be allowed to share in some cake, mmmm apple bread cake with carrot candles, yum! These people really know how to throw a party J
A couple of my new friends went to the State Dressage Championships. Ishmar & Hannibal we gone for two whole days but they came back with great stories to tell. Hannibal came home with such a big head he nearly didnít fit through the gate!† Apparently he & his rider Erin were the section C Champions & he was awarded best RDA Centre based horse. I suppose thatís a good enough reason to be a bit snobby for a while but Iím glad heís back to normal now.†
Not long after that Hannibal had to say goodbye to his best friend, Charlie. Charlie was going to a lovely new home to have a happy retirement with lots of hugs & brushing. We were sad to hear of Charlieís passing a few weeks ago but were happy in knowing that he greatly loved in his short retirement. I tried to cheer Hannibal up by sharing my food & taking him out but at the end of the day time is the only thing that can heal those wounds.
Erin, Kim, Grace & I took Hannibal out to the Regional Mounted Games competition held at Nepean centre. It was a fun, relaxed day out & all 5 of us had a great time. Hannibal was so relaxed he stopped in the middle of one of his races to have a scratch Ė his flank was itchy! We all had a good laugh at that one. He made up for it by looking like a right dressage pony while doing the barrel race but hey, it worked for him, he won the raceJ All 3 girls spent the day with huge smiles on their faces & came home with lots of pretty ribbons.† Well done!
While we were at mounted games I kept hearing people talk about something called Equitana. They said this was a test for me, to see if they would take me to Equitana with Hannibal. I had no idea what they were talking about but it sounded really interesting so I made sure I was on my best behaviour. I wanted to go & talk to all the other horses & learn how to do reining & campdrafting & dressage & horse agility & jumping & of course try all of the feed samples.... As it turns out Equitana wasnít really for me, there was so much going on & as hard as I tried I just couldnít be in so many places at once to see everything I wanted to. Hannibal said he was happy being a dressage pony & didnít really care about what was going on around us. We both decided not to go back for a second day, weíd much rather spend our Sunday snoozing in the paddock.
We have a new addition to the stalls. Her name is Bella & she is a 14.2hh Percheron x who I think will really like it here (well I do so why wouldnít she?). I have to say Iím glad to not be the newbie anymore, not that itís a bad title, itís nice to be fussed over by everyone but itís time I let someone else have all the attention.
Well, itís such a beautiful evening & I just love that itís still light at 7pm. Hmmm I think I might go & see if Bella wants any company for dinner....
Hi, my name is Calwalla Helmsman but everyone calls me Mr Poppet. I am a 22yr young Welsh Mountain Pony & although Iím only little I like pretend that Iím bigger than everyone else. My friend Blue & I arrived in November & Iím sure all itís done ever since is rain!
It was a bit crazy when we first arrived, so much was going on. There were a couple of other new faces who arrived around the same time we did. Jaffaís pretty cute but she looks a bit like a spotty zebra the way her mane stands up on end. Then thereís Bella, sheís pretty laid back but a word of warning, donít try & steal her food! I was only dumb enough to try it once....
Apparently at the end of every year a bunch of people get given awards for stuff theyíve done during the year & thereís even an award for the horses, ĎTall Timbers Horse of the Year.í I would like to think I could win it someday but this year it went to Kruger. I might not have known him very long but I can already tell he really deserved to win.
Things went a bit quiet for a while, we still did lots of riding & played with toys but the people seemed to just come a few at a time instead of all at once. It was a bit strange cos everything was so busy when we first arrived but I still had fun. Sometimes Iíd go out on my own or with Blue & sometimes, if the people decided I needed to make new friends, Iíd ride out with someone else. Weíd ride around the property or play with toys in the arena. I heard it called Ďtrainingí???? I call it fun J
It seems all this Ďtrainingí leads to Ďclassesí where a group of us are led around while kids ride us. Well Iím only little so I only have children ride me but some of the really big horses have adults riding them. Iíve done stuff like this before so it was nothing new to me but Bella took to it really well when she did her first couple of classes last week. There are lots of different people who ride us, there are even some so little they need 2 people to hold them on! Regardless of how big or little they are they all have 1 thing in common Ė how much they smile when they ride us! J
Anyway, just thought Iíd introduce myself. Come visit me in yard #10 if you get a chance, I hope to meet you all personally very soon!
HORSE OF THE YEAR -† KRUGER
In September 2008 a sweet, toothless, chestnut Thoroughbred came into our lives & we have never looked back. His name is Kruger & he has been an integral part of the Tall Timbers team for 3yrs now.
Once upon a time Kruger Rand was racehorse who was just too slow, though anyone who saw him run up for breakfast would swear heíd give Black Caviar a run for her money! Now going by the name Kruger, he seemed too good to be true. He was the perfect size, 20yrs old, had done everything from PC & showing to pony rides & teaching beginners how to ride. He was a perfect gentleman during his initial assessment, a touch on the lazy side but did everything asked of him & coped with everything thrown at him (both literally & figuratively!) without resistance. Definitely a horse we could use.
He arrived a few days later & after a short settling in period it was time to get on with his training. Well, too good to be true seemed to be right. He was very impatient, wouldnít stand to be saddled & apparently he hadnít been in an indoor arena before, or at least not for a very long time. He would fly around the arena at a great rate of knots, would jump from the long side to the centreline in one flying leap & donít even think about asking him to go near his Ďmonster corner!í As usually happens though, one day after about 3 weeks something clicked & the Kruger we initially assessed came up from the paddock for his breakfast & his evil twin has never been seen again.
From the beginning he has been one of the most wanted horses by our coaches for his trustworthiness & versatility. He is kind to volunteers of all abilities & accepts riders of all capabilities. He is very patient at the ramp for any nervous riders or those who have difficulty mounting & he is just as patient during dismounting whether to the ramp or the ground. He has no problem with side walkers for those who need extra support or the helpers on the ground offering up games equipment to the riders. He is mostly used in group lessons for both led & unled riders & he has also had independent riders in the past.
Kruger has represented Tall Timbers in Dressage, both in the video competition & at regional level & he has also represented us at both regional & state level mounted games. In both class & competition his first priority is always looking after his rider. Our fear of him remembering his racing days, when he arrived at the Easter Show, were definitely not realised and he spent the whole day being our big old plodder that we know and love with a first time competitor onboard.
Kruger is a horse who excels at always being there when you need him. He is the horse you wish you could clone, the one you always find yourself relying on. He consistently has the highest workload with the largest variety of riders. He is truly a special horse who deserves all the praise he gets and would be worthy of being remembered as a Shush Memorial Award winner.
Guess what everyone, my birthday is coming up! I am so excited; I wonder what Kahluaís going to get me??? She played a joke on me last week, thereís a new trick wall in the arena & when you walk past it you think there are other horses in the arena with you. I wanted to meet them but when I got there the other horse just copied everything I did, he wouldnít even say hello. Then I looked over & saw 2 Kahluas &that got me worried because one of her is enough! She laughed at me & said it was a mirror & that the horse that was copying me was me. No wonder I thought he was a good looking guy J
I was talking to one of the new neighbours the other day. His name is Boris & heís a bit stuck up if you ask me. He actually laughed at me when I tried to be nice & warn him that something was chasing him. He was wearing covers over his eyes & I was worried he couldnít see it. It turned out to be his carriage, he was saying that he doesnít understand why other horses let people sit on them, he reckons it makes much more sense to have them sit in the carriage so he can tow them around, letting the wheels of the carriage do all the work. I guess I can kind of see his point but I really donít like the idea of having that carriage chase me around the arena. I guess if heís happy then thatís all that matters.
There has been so much other stuff going on around here lately. Everyone is still talking about Hannibalís day out at the Easter show. Apparently winning RDANSW Horse of the Year is a pretty big deal. Hannibalís a pretty laid back guy, he doesnít boast but I could tell he was very proud of himself & his riders. There was also a regional dressage day held here. It was a pretty quiet day, not at all a normal competition day at TT but I loved seeing the riders all dressed up in their fancy jackets riding their dressage tests in front of the judge. Everyone looked like they were having a ball. I was just remembering the other day how much fun I had when I entered regional dressage a few years back. Oh the memories....
There was sooooo much noise the other week when cement truck after cement truck kept arriving, man those things make an almighty racket! For days on end this place resembled Pitt Street while people dug out & levelled the yards, poured the concrete & made sure it was just perfect, ready for the rubber mats to be laid. Unfortunately the rubber isnít here yet but I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. Boris already gets to stand on one of the rubber mats while he gets his harness on & he reckons everyone is just going to love it when itís finished. There were also people out in the paddocks replacing the back fence & just when it looked like things were settling down the arena ended up full of tractors, forklifts & bobcats . Talk about hectic! There was a lot more chopped up rubber dumped in the arena. It came in a truck advertising grass which confused me at first but then I was just obsessed with the really cool forklift which was lifting the huge bags out of the truck. I want to learn how to drive that thing!
At long last there have been a few quieter days to have a rest & get ready for the new semester to start. If what Iíve seen so far during orientation is anything to go by then I need to rest up!
Can you believe Iíve been here two years already??? Talk about time flying when youíre having fun! A lot goes on around here but I like to keep busy so itís all good.
Having only been here a short time I was surprised to be named as Tall Timbers Horse of the Year for 2012. I am very honoured to be considered in the same league as all of the amazing horses on the trophy but feel it is the least I could do to live up to the expectations to repay the kindness I have been shown. I have had some bad experiences in my life but I was taken in by some lovely people who showed me that I deserved to be loved. Now itís my turn to help others & show them what the love of a horse can do. I still have a few scars but I just use them to remind me where Iíve come from & give me the motivation to keep on being there for those who need me.
Now that summer is coming to an end (I will be SO glad to be rid of the heat!). Talk is turning to the Easter Show. This year TT is sending three horses & riders & boy are there some arguments going on! You see, last year Hannibal won the RDANSW Horse of the Year title but Pippa had won it the previous 2 years (she didnít go last year). Both of them are going this year & they have been trash talking each other for weeks! They donít know this but Kruger has started taking bets on whoís going to win. I was considering putting half a biscuit of hay on Pippa but all I keep thinking is that Pippa & Hannibal will be so busy trying to one up each other that they wonít even notice Bella step up & take the whole thing out! I might have to think about that one a bit more.
Itís great to have the riders back for another year. I remember some from last year but some have never seen a horse before, I love taking kids for their first ride they just squirm with excitement. Sometimes I get a bit nervous when they get so excited but once I realise how big their smiles are itís hard to not start smiling myself J†
I hope everyone had an amazing summer & that 2013 is filled with all the wonderful things anyone could wish for. Happy New Year Everyone!!!
Brrr, itís getting cold out here! My halter was even frozen the other morning, it took forever to undo so I could put it on. All I wanted to do was get dressed & run up for my nice warm breakfast but that stupid buckle just wouldnít undo! Oh well, breakfast was worth it J
Guess what! I got to go to the Royal Easter Show! I had a bath & got all dressed up, I just love being the centre of attention... It was a bit scary in the big arena but thanx to my rider being so calm & brave I realised that things werenít so bad & I ended up coming in 3rd place. Hannibal & Pippa were amazing too, with their riders Erin & Mackenzie they came in 3rd & 4th places. A long but great day all round.
Mounted Games was fun but I was looking forward to doing something a little slower for a while. Dressage was next up & I had 2 riders in this event & guess what, I got 4 first places! Renee rode 2 walk tests & Natalie rode 2 trot tests & all the practice definitely paid off. Both girls looked very smart in their fancy jackets & clean boots & despite being covered in mud I think I looked pretty smart too. I heard a couple of comments today about something called state dressage champs??? & needing my tail washed??? I think that means I get to get all dressed up & show off again. Yay!
On a very sad note there were lot of tears shed when Pippa earned her Angels wings L I know Ishmar misses her a lot. I wasnít close with Pippa but we did get to know each other while we were travelling to the Easter Show, she was so excited to be going back to the show it was her favourite competition & she was ecstatic that she got to see her Mum while she was there. She was an amazing horse in a pony size body who absolutely adored her job Ė she was a natural born teacher. There are many young riders out there who smile every time they think about her.
We also said goodbye to Poppet, Clint & DíArtagnan who went back home to their Mums, & weíve welcomed Jack & Shiraz who are having a look around to see if they like the place. Please make them welcome if you see them.
I canít believe that we are half way through the year already. Hereís hoping the next semester is as awesome as the last one.
Hi Everyone!† Can you believe its November already???? It seems like only yesterday we were on holidays now Iím hearing all this talk about presentation week. I will miss my riders when they leave but I certainly wonít complain about not having to work with all these flies around. I hate flies!
In the holidays Bella, Hannibal, Ozzy & I got to go on an excursion to the National Park. Iíd been promised this trip for ages but they kept coming up with all these excuses about too wet, too hot, no time.... Finally they came through & it was so much fun! I travelled with Bella & sheís not as bossy as she seems. Ladies first, so she got to go in the front of the float but at least she was as excited as I was so I didnít have to wait long before I could get on. The only problem was that Ozzy decided he didnít want to leave Kahlua so Bella & I had to stand around on the float waiting for them to convince him that sheíd still be here when we got back. Hey, I wish Daphne couldíve come too but I wasnít going to pass up the opportunity! It was a great ride I just wish theyíd figured out that I wanted to be in front, apparently trotting & cantering on the spot wasnít a big enough hint. I hope I get to go again soon & maybe Daphne will even get to come. Hooves crossed!
While our people were gasbagging Bella & I got to talking too, she said she was happy they picked her to go to the park because she was really upset when she didnít get to go to State Dressage. She, Renee & Natalie had worked so hard in the lead up but a couple of days before hand she just felt so sick she could barely even eat. The doctor ran some tests & gave her some medicine but no matter how determined she was she just wasnít strong enough to compete. She feels like she let the girls down, I tried telling her she didnít, that everyone just wants her to be well but in the end we agreed that she wouldnít think about this year & look forward to getting there next year.
You might have seen some new faces in the arena, Jack & Chocolate have started RDA classes & I overheard someone say that Shiraz was hopefully going to start very soon. I know it took me a while to get used to a new routine but I really do love my work now, itís nice to know that Iím helping people & making them smile & I hope that they† enjoy it as much as I do. Ellie is also thinking about working here but she hasnít made up her mind yet so if you see her around please tell her that youíd love her to stay.
Iím sure youíve all noticed how smoky itís been around here lately, I hope everyone impacted by the fires is OK. It got exciting here the other day when a part of the National Park caught on fire. I got nervous because if the park burns down we wonít be able to go back for another ride! It was all good though because one of those really cool helicopters came down & dropped a big hose into the neighbourís dam so it could water the fire from the sky. I thought it wouldíve been fun if it had come to our dam but then I looked over & saw Polly having a drink out of it & started imagining the hose sucking her up! That wouldnít have been good at all.
I know the year is coming to an end so I want to thank everyone for helping me to help my riders & wish you all a Merry Christmas. Stay safe over the holidays & I look forward to seeing you all again next year!†† Cheyanne
Hi Everyone!†† Welcome to 2014! I hope you all had a great summer & managed to stay out of the heat. I donít like the heat so I made good use of my shelter to stay cool.
What did you all get up to on your holidays? I got to have a bit of a rest after a busy end to the year. It was a bit of a shock when I moved in last year. There I was just chilliní in the paddock with my friends & then out of the blue I got offered this job. I wasnít sure at first cos it meant Iíd have to leave my friends but it all sounded kind of interesting so thought Iíd give it a go & as it turns out Iím a natural! It can be a bit daunting sometimes when you realise how important the children that ride me are.† Some of them canít even sit up on their own so they have to have people on each side of me to help them but as long as I stay slow & steady & am careful not to tread on their helpers feet itís all good! I also got to play in the big obstacle course a few times. I think the crazy human was trying to scare me but I thought it was fun. You see, I think she thinks Iím only 12hh & would scare easily. A lot of people make that mistake but I just look little, Iím really 16hh & not scared of anything ;) I had just as much fun laughing at her as I did playing on the tarps, in the streamers & going over the bridge. I wonder what sheíll come up with next....
Iím so jealous of Shiraz; she got to be on the front page of the paper. I hope I get to be famous like her one day but I wonít be as mean about it as her. We used to be neighbours in the yards but I asked for her autograph one day & she just told me to stop bothering her. I know we were never close but I still wanted to tell her how good she looked in the photo. Oh well, Iíve moved yards now & if anyone wants my autograph come & see me in yard 19 J
Iím looking forward to trying new things & meeting new people this year & maybe even getting to see firsthand all of the activities I hear so much about from all of my new friends around here. Thank you all for offering me this job, I hope I can l do you all proud & prove that good things really do come in small packages!
Hi Everyone!† Are you all coping with these c-c-cooold mornings? I donít like it when the grass is crunchy; it makes it slippery when I want to run really fast up for my breakfast. I also donít like putting on my halter when itís so cold; youíd think the least they could do is warm it up for me first!
So much has been going on around here lately, I know I say that often but seriously, this place never stops! I was so jealous of Chocolate & Cheyanne for getting to go to the Easter Show. They got to compete in the RDANSW Horse of the Year event & it sounded like they had a ball. Cheyanne was a bit nervous since neither he nor his rider had ever been to a competition that big before but he stayed brave & trusted his people & completed the course with a smile on his face. Chocolate was super keen & flew around the course, taking her rider to a 5th place. Not bad for a pony who was out of practise & a rider who had never done anything like this before...† It was a very long day for them but they both came home boasting about what a good day it was & how proud they were of their riders J
Over the Easter break I said goodbye to 2 of my friends who moved to new homes. I lived with Jaffa for a little while but she liked a faster lifestyle than I do so she has gone to live with a teenage family. Bella & I were neighbours & although she could be cranky sometimes I quite liked her. She decided she wanted to do something different so she has gone to live with a young girl where she will get to show off at Pony Club & gymkhanas. I wish them both all the best & hope they stay in touch.
I have made some new friends though; Bailey & Yoffie have come to see if they like it here. They are used to going for really long trail rides, like 40km ones, but theyíre thinking theyíd like a change of pace so thought theyíd try RDA. I hope they stick around but if youíd like to meet them go & hi to them in yards 21 & 22.
Ishmar, Hannibal & Cheyanne got to compete in the Regional Dressage competition & they all did very well in some yucky, cold & windy weather. I saw lots of blue & red ribbons floating around the TT camp...† Cheyanne did get a bit confused when the cows next door started running up the paddock for their food but he soon remembered what he was supposed to do & finished his test (though I think he just wanted his rugs back on!). Hannah Dodd & her horse Grand Sam held a master class after the comp to show us & our riders what we can achieve if we work hard & try our best. They are an amazing team to watch but I couldnít bring myself to talk to Sam, he is so big he makes me look like a pony!
After dressage we had holidays Ė yay! Except in the middle of our holidays we had to go to the dentist. No one likes the dentist & I certainly did not want to waste a day of my holidays dealing with them. OK, I know, we all have to go to the dentist, itís over now & I can hold my head up high that I didnít have a panic attack & need the doctor to give me medicine like some of my neighbours....
Well, semester 2 has begun & there are a whole heap of new faces to get to know but at least one thing never changes Ė the smiles J
Hey, guess what! My birthday is coming up! There is so much to do, a party to plan, a cake to make, a present request list to write.... hmmm liquorice....
By Chanida Thew, Horse Manager
Earlier this year thanks to some generous support we were lucky enough to purchase an Equissage unit for our wonderful ponies. Equissage is a massage therapy system specifically built for horses used to stimulate blood circulation, assist with lymphatic drainage, relax muscles & help with increased joint mobility. It can also assist with the healing of injuries & illnesses such as colic & laminitis.
The average age of the horses in our riding program is 24yrs with 6 of our precious ponies actually over 26yrs of age. Like an older person, an older horse needs some extra care to remain healthy.
An equissage treatment provides a full body workout, gently working deep into the bone & tissue providing benefits such as:
∑ Increased blood flow to relieve aches & pains & improve muscle tone
∑ Improved lymphatic drainage to assist with inflammation in the joints & relieve arthritic symptoms
∑ Muscle relaxation, helping to keep the horse comfortable & reduce pain
∑ Improved joint mobility offering some relief from old age wear & tear
Given the physical & emotional pressure our horses are put under everyday it can be hard to tell exactly where their issues are coming from & what therapies they benefit from but itís easy to see how much they love their equissage treatments, they visibly relax, their eyes glaze over & their breathing slows down. If they are relaxed & happy to have the treatment then it has to be doing them good.
Our Tall Timbers horses are worth their weight in gold & they deserve only the best!
I thought it was about time I introduced myself since I still hear lots of people asking who I am. My name is Yoffie; Iím a 14.1hh, 16yr old liver chestnut mare. My Mum says my name means beautiful in Hebrew, she thought I might like to come & work at RDA with my paddock mate Bailey since we were complaining about being bored at home. Weíre still deciding if we want to stay - you do some weird things around this place Ė but weíve made some good friends & certainly enjoy the attention!
One thing I have noticed is that this place is always busy, my old home was in a quiet little dead end street & the only thing that kept me entertained was the dogs. Here we have parties, competitions, clinics & there are people everywhere. I think it was very sweet of you all to have a birthday party for me, I didnít even know you knew when my birthday was. I got to eat carrots & have a massage & spend the day my new friends.
Speaking of new friends I have a new neighbour, his name is Buddy & heís quite a good looking boy, if you like that tall dark & handsome thing, but is very protective of his space Ė he has removed many a rug & lead rope that he didnít want hanging on his yard & even removed his halter because he didnít feel like wearing it anymore. Rather annoying for those around him but he thinks heís smart.
Hannibal, Ishmar, Daphne & Cheyanne got to compete in the Regional Mounted Games. There were even horses from another RDA centre here to compete against them. Everyone from both centres did very well, going home with big smiles & lots of pretty ribbons. Who knows, maybe Iíll get to compete in a competition here one day...
After the mounted games things got pretty quiet around here, there werenít nearly as many people as normal & everyone kept talking about being on holidays. Iím not sure Iíd call it a holiday when something called Ďcrazy cornerí is involved! While everyone else got to lounge around in their paddocks I had to contend with tarps, flags, streamers, beach balls & a floaty ring. Who has blow up pool toys when weíre nowhere near a pool????† She even made me walk in dam Ė I donít like getting my feet wet!
I guess my problems are put into perspective when so many of my new friends have been so sad lately. You see, some of their friends who I didnít know very well had to leave us. Angel, Anchor & Polly all earned their angelís wings & are watching over us from that big green paddock in the sky. I know thatís little comfort for all who have known them for so long but when you think of them just imagine them galloping free across an open pasture & remember to smile, because thatís what they would want you to do.
Can you believe itís November already? So much has changed for me this year & now is the time to start thinking about New Year resolutions. Iím thinking maybe stop fighting with my neighbours??? Or learn to love tarps & floaty rings???
Wishing you all a great holiday season & I hope to see you all in the New Year. If you want to say Hi, come see me yard number 10 J
Hi Everyone, Welcome back! I hope you all had great summer; I know I did Ė so much grass & so little time to eat it! As always this place has been a hive of activity over the holidays. There have been new fences built, semi-trailers dumping stuff, bobcats driving around & new horses arriving. Itís been busy, busy, busy! But I donít think any of that comes close to Ďcrazy corner.í For starters it wasnít just a corner Ė it was the whole arena! And where in the world do you find a 6ft high, bright yellow rubber duckie???
Iíve made a couple of new friends in the last few months, Nugget is little & young & wants to be involved in everyoneís business. Ruby is friends with Yoffie & Bailey; theyíve known each other for years. Ruby doesnít get on very well with Chocolate though, but then who does????
Nugget has made quite an impression since he arrived in November. He wants to make friends but sometimes I think he goes about it the wrong way, he tried to make friends with Pepper the cat but he just couldnít take the hint that she wasnít ready yet. He kept poking her with his nose & Pepper politely told him, Ďnot nowí on several occasions but then she had to get her claws out to prove her point. He jumped but then started to poke her all over again! It was hilariously funny from where I was standing but Pepper was not impressed! I was jealous that Nugget got to play with the bobcat while it was here fixing the driveway. I always wanted to drive one of them when I was a little pony... Nugget was too young to drive it but got to have his photo taken with it.
Itís no secret that my next door neighbour Kitty is obsessed with food, itís all she ever thinks about! She had obviously eaten something disgusting the other day that had given her really bad breath cos she ate a bunch of mint to try & freshen her breath.... She thought she smelled lovely but the smell was so strong it really just made me want to throw up. I have never though it fair that every week the farrier gives Kitty a treat of liquorice but never anyone else, just because she pretended to be scared of him when she arrived to get special attention, sheís not the only one who likes liquorice you know! So I took great pleasure last week when the farrier played a trick on her & gave her red liquorice instead of black, you should have seen the look on her face as she spat it back at him! It was priceless!
Anyway, now that Iíve stopped laughing through my holidays itís great to get another year underway, meet new riders & welcome back old ones. I hope that your 2015 is as good as I know mine is going to be J
Wow, I have so much to tell you I donít know where to start! I havenít been here very long but Iíve already been on lots of adventures & made heaps of new friends Ė both 2 legged & 4 legged. After lots of practicing I was finally allowed to start teaching riders for real, sometimes just me & them & sometimes in a group. Itís been so much fun & if all the talk Iíve heard is true itís only going to get better!
Last term was really full on, it started with something called a Ďsuper stormí where basically it rained for 3 days straight & we all got really wet & ended up with rivers running through our paddocks, & it ended with our Regional Dressage competition. The middle was full of smiles & laughter from our riders, just the way I like it J Horses & riders from Blue Mountains Centre came to compete with us at the dressage day & a special judge came to watch us. Hannibal & I got to enter for TT & we were both very proud of our riders, they looked very smart all dressed up & both got to go home with 1st place ribbons J Apparently that means we now get to go to the State Championships in August; you should come & cheer us on if youíve got time.
My school holidays had lots of ups & downs, I thought holidays were supposed to be for fun stuff NOT worming & dentists! I did get to go for a ride in the National Park though, that was cool but I thought the decor was a bit scary... Why would you put a recliner chair in the middle of the bush where thereís no TV??? I heard the humans talking a little while later about bombs exploding & burning the National Park down, I got scared that they were going to do it for me because I was scared but really, I promise I wasnít that scared! So I told them that it wasnít necessary to set fire to everything over a lounge chair & they just started laughing at me. Once they stopped laughing they explained that I shouldnít worry, it was just that some TV show was filming there, that the bombs werenít real & only their fake sets were going to get burned but just in case something went wrong the awesome fire fighter people were going to be there watching everything. Well didnít I feel embarrassed for making such a fool out of myself! I think Iíll have to watch this TV show a make sure they didnít burn it all down, maybe youíve heard of it? Love Child, apparently itís won Logies & everything...
Itís my birthday soon & I heard on the grapevine that the humans are throwing me & my friends a big birthday party. How cool is that! The only thing I donít understand is that weíre not allowed to go; apparently the restaurant doesnít allow horses... Since Iím not allowed to go Iíd better get lots of carrots instead!
I hope you are all well; I am looking for to meeting my new riders for this semester & finishing the year off with lots of fun & laughter. Come say hi if youíre free, Iíd love to see you!
Can you believe the year is nearly over? Iíve been talking to all of the new friends Iíve made in the last year & they are all sad that their riders will be leaving but they are all so proud of how far theyíve come this year. Maybe theyíll get to see them again next year. I canít wait until next year when hopefully Iíll get to help some riders too.
So much has happened in the last couple of months, Iím a bit jealous that my friends got to have all the fun & I only got to watch but just you wait until next year when Iíll be making sure Iím out there with them....
Buddy & Hannibal represented us at the State Dressage Champs with their riderís Renee & Erin. They had to stay away for a whole weekend, I missed them but they did really well winning lots of first places & Hannibal even won reserve champion in his section as well as some special trophy for being the best RDA horse at the comp. They arrived home with new rugs & lots of presents, lucky ducks!
Renee did so well at State that she was picked to go to Nationals! Buddy was jealous that he didnít get to go with her, he reckoned that he did all the work at state so he shouldíve got the credit but I pointed out that it was a team effort & did he really want to stand in a float for 10hrs all the way to Melbourne? We read all about Reneeís adventures & I think I convinced Buddy that she preferred him to this Custer that she was teamed with at the competition (he sounded a bit full of himself). Anyway, Renee did awesome & she came 3rd in the country! How cool is that???
There was also regional mounted games. I got to watch this event since TT hosted it. I like this event better than the last one we hosted, the last one had strange people in clothes that made scary noises but mounted games is fun! There were lots of new friends to meet from the Nepean, Blue Mountains & Richmond centres who were here to compete against Indi, Cheyanne, Chocolate, Ishmar, Hannibal & Buddy. All the riders looked so good steering their ponies around the poles & barrels & everyone went home happy with lots of ribbons.
I know I shouldnít eavesdrop but I overheard talk that I am getting a new saddle for Christmas. I canít decide what type of saddle I want but I need to decide soon so I can start dropping hints in time... Maybe I should ask for some toys instead? What do you all want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, stay safe over the holidays, have some awesome fun & I canít wait to see you all again next year!
Well, here we are again, another year where we get to have fun everyday doing the best job in the world!
OMG! I was named TT Horse of the Year for 2015!!! I am so honoured to be in the company of the many great horses that have been awarded in the past. They say I won because I am reliable and trustworthy but of course I am Ė I love my job! Iím not sure I deserve an award when I wouldnít want to be doing anything else but I will take this opportunity to say Thank you to everyone who believed in me and trusted me, I am truly grateful.
I had a great break over Christmas; I got to sit back and relax in my paddock and watch others do all the work. It was a great reward after a long year of hard work. After my holiday I did have to do some work, I got excited when they told me I was going to the beach but really they meant a pretend beach in the arena. We had to put our floaties on to get in the pretend water and get under the beach umbrella so we didnít get Ďsunburntí (we were in the indoor arena!!), we played some cricket and took a penguin for a ride.... I wouldíve preferred a real beach but it pretty fun anyway.
My summer wasnít all fun and games, sadly we had to say goodbye to Kruger when he suddenly fell ill. He was a very special friend who I looked up to (both literally and figuratively), his work ethic and reliability were second to none and he is sorely missed. RIP Superstar, spread your wings and fly high, we love you xoxo
As a new year begins we are meeting our riders and sorting out our schedules and I am realising just how lucky I am. I have a job I love, friends I adore Ė both 4 and 2 legged Ė friends who adore me and the most awesome boyfriend in the world. Life is good!
By Denise Corbett
Well, it was that time of year again when I had to dust myself off, shine my hooves and head out beyond the gates of Tall Timbers for the Riverstone Parade.
I was really looking forward to feeling the wind over my coat again and riding up in the back of the Ute, standing tall and proudly representing our centre. It never ceases to amaze me how many people take a double look at me standing up there on the back of the Ute as Iím driven down the streets! This year I even got to have a stop-over and meet some other equine friends before the big event Ė they found me quite intriguing.
We were blessed with another sunny autumn day as we parked at Mills St Reserve where others had begun to congregate. The number of participants has become noticeably smaller over these past years but I was glad to see my Australian Light Horse friends there again this year.† So I proudly donned my TT rug and the Ute was enthusiastically decorated. And whilst I got to stand in all my gallantry, with many passers-by making reference to how well-behaved a horse I was standing up there so still, my human companions embraced a warm cuppa in the chill morning air before the parade began. As we left the reserve and rounded the bend up Garfield Rd, I stood ready for our big moment as we passed the announcer only to be sadly disappointed when we reached the usual point where the man with the microphone stands and he wasnít there Ė oh no!! Has the parade deteriorated that much that they no longer have an announcer, that thereís no one now to tell the crowd what wonderful work TT do?† Well, as we continued on, we kept our smiles and waves going regardless, continuing around the block. But no, wait, up there, there he is, thereís the announcer Ė heís now located in Pitt St behind the bowling club where all the little market stalls are!!!!! So I quickly set myself for my moment of glory, the horn was honked, hands were waved to and fro and the man with the microphone did his thing, telling all that were there of the amazing work that TT does for our community!!
I love my time at the Riverstone parade and being the unfaltering ambassador for TT. Talk to you all again next year!!
Can you believe that the year is almost gone already? It has been full of such highs & some excruciating lows but if Iíve learnt anything from this year it would have to be that if you just keep going youíll have to eventually come out the other side...
Saying goodbye to one of my best friends was so hard, Yoffie & I had been inseparable for many years & I miss her dearly. RIP gorgeous girl, I will love you forever xoxo
There is always someone worse off than you, we had some guests from RDA Nepean Centre who had to say goodbye to three of their friends at once. Their home was devastated by floods so they had to come & stay with us for a bit while their place got cleaned up. It was fun getting to know them & I hope they are settling back in to their home.
After all that drama I had to pull myself together because I was going in my first ever dressage competition! It was held here at TT but I was still super nervous, there were strange horses & judges sitting at tables in the arena Ė tables in the arena!!! I stood tall & Renee was all dressed up & guess what! We qualified for the State Champs! Now that weekend was a whole other experience. I had to have a bath for that one.... But seriously, that competition was a lot bigger & Hannibal & I had to stay at SIEC for the whole weekend. I tried really hard & did my best for Renee but boy was I glad to come home! I was shown a photo later of Renee with all our pretty ribbons & Hannibal won the SIEC trophy (again) & everyone was happy so I guess we had a pretty successful weekend.
Following dressage we quickly switched our focus to mounted games, which is a big change but lots of fun. Again this was held here at TT & we were competing against horses & riders from Richmond & Blue Mountains centres. I heard someone say something about qualification event for the Sydney Royal, Iím not sure what that means but everyone was smiling a lot & seemed all excited.
Now, Iíd like to think me & my friends are pretty cool, we like to keep up with all the current trends & fashion statements. So a couple of months ago we all decided we wanted to start playing Pokťmon Go. When we started to get some new neighbours next door we let them join in too, we were all running around together, having so much fun. That is until all the people started telling us off for too much playing & not enough working. They are all so boring Ė donít they know how to have fun??? It was so embarrassing getting told off in front of all my friends, I kept trying to tell her that there was a Pokťmon in the flower bed but I just had to let it escape because the fun police were on patrol! We ended up compromising & we will be allowed to play all we like in the holidays which are coming up really soon.
I know I speak on behalf of all my friends when I say we hope you all have a safe & happy holiday & we canít wait to see everyone next year!
Luv Bailey xoxo
OMG, it's been soooo hot! I haven't wanted to do anything at all so I guess it's a good thing we've been on holidaysÖ I hope everyone out there, both two & four legged, is coping & all the heroes fighting fires are safe.
I hope everyone had a relaxing break & are ready for 2017! It's only early in the year but† there is already so much going on, hellos & goodbyes, scary changes & exciting new adventures; pretty standard stuff around hereÖ
I have to say thank you for naming me as Tall Timbers Horse of the Year for 2016. What an honour! I love my job, I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do but I will be honest with you all, sometimes it's just easier when your riders just fall asleepÖ Words like Ďreliableí & Ďsensibleí get thrown around but forget about all that, trust me, there's no need to butter me up just try Ďcuteí & Ďadorableí instead!
We welcomed a new neighbour, Roxy, she's already popular just because of her colour which is really unfair, I could have been a buckskin too if I wanted! OK, maybe I'm a tad jealous but at least I still have the, Ďlittle & cuteí factor going for me. Roxy is pretty cool, she's done heaps of really cool stuff in the past & I hope she sticks around so I can hear all her stories. If you want to say hi to her she's in yard number 14, she's not much for small talk but once she gets to know you she softens up.
The Easter Show is coming up! TT will be there along with horses & riders from RDA centres from across NSW to compete in the mounted games state championships & the RDA(NSW) HOTY competition. Buddy even won HOTY last year! I competed a few years ago too; it was heaps of fun :) So, if you're at the show & anywhere near the Schmidt arena on April 12th we'd love to see you!
Well, the year has started, we have met our riders & everything is on track for an amazing year. Here's to 2017! May it be full laughter & happiness because the smiles make everything worthwhile :)
Can you believe we're half way through the year already?! We've had an awesome semester of riding & we are so proud of how much our riders achieved. It was sad to say goodbye to them but I'm sure we'll see them again.
It's been a busy few months which started with the Easter Show. I was glad I didnít have to get up as early as Hannibal & Buddy did that day; they left before the sun came up & didn't get home until it was dark! They were really tired but we were all so excited to hear how it went. We made them tell us all about it while we were waiting for dinner (which was late AGAIN!!!) They couldn't stop beaming about how awesome their riders were that day, Caleb, Maddison & Jessica in the mounted games & Riley in the Horse of the Year; well done everyone!
Did you all see me on TV? Well probably not because I was only in one background shot & they chopped my head off! Channel 9 came to film a segment for Today Extra & they decided to just film Chocolate. How rude! She already thinks she rules the world, I mean donít even think about asking her to share her food! Chocolateís riders had the camera wrapped around their little fingers & didnít fail to impress Ė I can see Logie awards in their futures! †Seriously though, it was great to show Australia what we do because every RDA centre, RDA horse & RDA volunteer is invaluable & the world needs to know!
Tall Timbers once again hosted the Regional dressage day & what great day it was! The weather was amazing & the riders really put on a show for us. There were riders from Richmond centre & an associate rider as well as riders from Tall Timbers competing. Pancho, Hannibal, Buddy & Bailey were representing TT & they all couldnít stop talking about how much fun they had. Some of the riders were competing in their first ever dressage competition & they were awesome! Well done to everyone who competed, even though I didnít get to join in this time itís always great to see the riders all dressed up, smiling & having fun.
We welcomed some new neighbours; Coco & Karoo have come to see if they like it here. Karoo is a bit shy & I know he thinks Iím a bit loud but Iím sure once he gets to know me heíll see I just like to speak my affection out loud... Coco, on the other hand, is a bit weird! He doesnít mind me being vocal but instead of being ridden he prefers to have people run around after him! Each to their own I suppose but having some contraption on wheels tied to you really isnít my thing! Anyway, I hope they like it here, you should all say hi to them if you see them.
Hey, guess what? My birthday is coming up! Apparently you are all having a party for me but Iím not invited? How does that work? How can a restaurant not allow the guest of honour to come to their own party? Well, I hope you all enjoy my party; can someone at least bring me back a piece of cake? Pretty please?
Luv Pepper xoxo