Saturday 14 June 2014

June 2014 - Final post ;)

My new blog for new horse Bella and Stormy from original herd is:


Well it's been almost SEVEN years since I started this blog to show how far my dear Solly has come on his journey with me. It started as his and my journey together and has ended up showing all our horses with their own accomplishments each month. I have thoroughly enjoyed charting our fun, success's and Natural Horsemanship ideals and training.

I have decided after this time to stop blogging on this blog as we have come as far as we wish to go with our horses and a lot of the stuff we now do is not new per say but wonderful new days of similar stuff that we are thoroughly enjoying.

My Solly is now a very nice riding horse who loves agility fun and liberty play, does some nice lateral work and loves his jumping all bitless. He is a joy to be around and I adore him a lot. He has taught me to be thorough, take things slowly, to keep progressing but to allow the horse the time he needs to be confident. He has also taught me to give even more of myself to him so that he could trust me more and to trust him more too.

Holly is also a very nice riding horse who hacks out on her own and in company, does some lateral work and pops a jump now and then all bitless. She is a pleasure to be around in all ways. She has taught me to flow more with a horse, physically and mentally and to not be stuck in a plan but to grow with that plan and what the horse has to bring to the day.

Our Stormy has grown up to be a very lovely horse who adores humans, is coming along nicely with his bitless riding work, enjoys jumping and loves his liberty and agility play. He is fun to be around and loves learning new things. He has taught me to PLAY more, to use my imagination and to figure things out without saying NO to my horse...he is so much fun to be with.

Tara, my first horse and my biggest love. She has taught me patience and to take things really really slowly, to be thorough and also to find out what the horse enjoys and to enjoy that rather than putting my likes onto the horse ;) Now at aged 20 is mainly retired due to stiffness in her back legs. She has taught me patience and lightness and helped teach me what I needed to know for the other horses in our herd. She is a fabulous hacking horse who is happy on her own and in company. She pulled a lot of logs for us for our stove and gave me the techniques to be able to start our Stormy driving too. She is my most beloved horse and even though retired I sometimes roam around riding her in a slow walk to get 'our time' together when she feels up to it either bitless or bridleless. We've done a LOT of hacking about here in the hills me and dear Tara and many many lovely memories ;)

Thank you for reading Solly's blog and I hope it has inspired you to have a Loving, Friendship based, Natural relationship, Bitless life with the horses in your own lives.

Shelley, Mark, Solly, Holly, Tara and Big Stormy :)

For more info and my new work related blog go to 

Holly 2016 ;(
Solly 2018 :(
Tara 2019 ;(

Tuesday 6 May 2014

May 2014

Saturday 24th May

Not a bad day weather wise, quite muggy at times so played and rode Solly ready to re-film our jumping test/competition. He was a bit under impulsed and we had the jumps up just over 50cm but we had difficulty getting energy enthusiasm about it SO we put the jumps back down to 50cm's and it all went better the more we did it. We were cantering around most of the course going into jumps from canter and a beautiful double (2 strides of canter) and the fab bounce (in and out, no strides)...really enjoyed it and we have now sent off our entries to the competition (dressage and jumping) and will put them up on here when I know the results (entries close end of June)

 Tuesday 20th May

Managed, between rain showers, today to do some nice video'ing for the competition I'm entering. Also Mark did some lovely bareback and bridleless work with BOTH his horses ;)

So, there were a few FIRSTS today:

1) Mark going bareback AND BRIDLELESS with big Stormy

2) Me and Solly doing a ridden BOUNCE JUMP

3) Me and Holly doing a dressage test

It was a fun day and here are some pics from the session ;)

Mark taking Holly around some of the jumps at liberty ;)

Mark and Holly - Bareback and Bridleless warm up
Mark and Stormy - Bareback and Bridleless fun
Me and Solly - Liberty jump warm up ;)

Me and Solly - Jumping test

 Me and Holly - Dressage test ;)

Sunday 18th May

Weather is dry and mild today. 

Firstly it was STORMY:

I played at liberty with him in the large dressage arena. We did backups, circling in w/t/c and some lovely trot and canter draws from quite decent distances. We then did some backup/turn the forehand towards me to lighten his forehand...he LOVES this game and then we did some liberty 'Rolling Rock' pattern. (backup/turn fq's, sidepass, dhq then backup, turn fq's other way, sidepass, dhq) ;)

He was a lot of fun and really enjoyed his session.

Second up was HOLLY:Going to ride her so did some nice things on the 22' feather lights. We did circling w/t/c both directions. .

She's not been ridden for about two weeks so I could tell straight away how stiff she was on her right side SO we did lots of big circles to L&R and asking her for some 'bend' in her body, some gentle leg yielding and straight lines in w/t and then some shoulder-in L&R to help supple her up a bit.

I then ran through the w/t dressage test I have filmed for the competition to see how she managed it....could tell straight away how unstraight she is, how not on the circle she was and how uneven her trotting was....going to test it again on Tues to see how she does then, hopefully a bit more supple ;)

Next up was TARA:
She has put on a bit of a grass belly so not asking her too much but ran through the w/t dressage test with her but riding her bareback and bridleless. She was so funny...stopping at each gateway to see if it was time to go and find dinner. I think it will be good to try this test out with her on Tuesday to see how it goes, it's such an easy dressage test and it's fun doing something for a purpose ;)

Last, but by no means least was SOLLY:

He came down from where he was at the top of the hill getting some water with Holly and Stormy and we went over the jumping test for the competition we'll be submitting. It has a double jump and a BOUNCE in it!!! Not sure I've ever ridden a bounce jump before SO, before trying it all out ridden I asked Solly to do the course of just 6 jumps at liberty with me.....he sailed through it no problems....adjusted a couple of jumps and directions of jumps and we went through it a few times in different ways. Firstly at canter, then trot/canter. Then did a few jumps from a walk or standstill and then in reverse. Lastly we did a couple of jumps at an angle. I think we covered every way the jumps could be done so hopefully on Tuesday we can try the course out ridden. I just need to get my head around the bounce and double as not jumped to a jump in canter with Solly before, canter out of them but usually trot into them...we'll see what happens when we ride it. Luckily the course can be done in trot or canter ;)

Friday 15th May
What a beautiful day today was....HOT SUNSHINE here and a warm breeze...very tropical ;)

Got to horses around 2pm and I groomed Solly and then Mark filmed our Agility test for a competition in May with (Australian Bitless Group). It's a lot of FUN doing competitions this way, no travelling or fuel/insurance costs and a calm, relaxed horse that's used to the environment...perfect ;)

We started off with some ball practice as not seen that for a few months and then put two challenges together with a small jump and the curtain....Solly did the jump easily and with calmness....I'm SO proud of him, he's just great.

We then filmed our agility test and then went and saddled up and did our dressage test. It's only a walk/trot test but as it's our first ever dressage test I thought we'd take it easy and keep it fun ;) I'll put the entries in soon, the final date for entries is April 30th so after that I'll know how we did and I'll let you know.

Thursday 15th May

Another great day, dry weather, Mark, Me and our herd ;) Mark and Holly practiced the things that were hard yesterday (moving curtain, narrow gap, scary corner with flags and foot in a hula hoop)....they both did very well today.

Mark then rode big Stormy and had a good ride with some really nice, light transitions into canter.

I played at liberty with Solly preparing for a video competition and then we prepared our dressage test for the same to do something for someone else's competition for a change

Wednesday 14th May

Mark and I managed to do FOUR Liberty Challenge video's today. I did it with Solly then Tara and Mark did it with Holly and then Stormy. Holly was the only one that had difficulty but then she's not done as much liberty with tasks and some more work will make it all easier for her ;)

To see the video's from LC4 go to my video-blog:

Here are some pics taken from my video with Solly...enjoy ;)

Squeeze through gateway

 4 feet in 2 hula hoops (he manage 3 feet which is pretty good)

 Trot through a narrow, high gap
 Trot over pole, count 5 then back off pole

 Trot through the scary corner

 Sidepass around me, facing me whilst I pivot

 Weave around long poles, dhq's around ends ;)

 Jump :)

 Trot under/through curtain

 'Park' horse and walk away and back without him moving ;)

Solly and all the horses did great and
Mark and I had a lovely day ;)

Tuesday 6th May

Solly did a first today.....cantered around the arc of the short side of the arena.....I see cantering circles coming into play soon ;) fab

Solly and I then did 6 jumps including the 'double'.

Monday 5th May

Lovely ride on Solly today, he gave me some  nice relaxed trot and our first really nice relaxed canter. He also did 11 of the jumps one after the other today with two of them being only 3 canter strides apart (almost a double) ;)

Saturday 3rd May

Mark play/riding Stormy and Me having a bit of a bareback/bridleless ride on Tara. What a lot of fun we had and horses enjoyed it too ;)

Friday 2nd May

Lovely ride on Holly today to get her more supple.

Thursday 1st May

New thing today with Solly......two jumps towards ;)