tisdag 25 mars 2008

Horse shopping in Hungary. Part 2.

For sale:

A gorgeous stallion especially trained for dressage.
Father: Olympic dressage horse Aktion.
Mother: Sandro hit and andalusian mix.
No papers but we can show you a photo of the chicken flock we got for exchange.
Price: A lot or more. Or a change to anything that does not bite or just gets up when asked.

A saddle. Kood kuality. Handmade from our neikhbours goat. Fresh. Komes with a hucul-pony.
Only used once.
Needs to be sold fast due to angry neikhbour.
Price: 1000 forints

A man. Aged 17 and half. Comes with some bad habits and needs re-schooling. Good duer.
Good moving with high knee-action. For good home only.
Price: Negotable.

Interested can take contact to: runasfastasucanorgiveusyourmoney@gipsieland.com

söndag 23 mars 2008

Horse shopping in Hungary.

Dear shopper,

If your horse shopping has always been just small arguments about the level of riding, colours of the bandages coming with the horse and few grammatic mistakes in the contract made by a professional laywer with specialisation to horse business, it is time to go to a higher level!

One of the highest levels for horse shopper is to buy a horse in Hungary. Be prepaired to drive hundrets of kilometers to see a gorgeous Aktion-foal with your stinky old lada. (That is to make sure the seller knows you are not rich and hopefully dont ask more than twice what the horse is worth...)
You wait for arriving to a modern stable with covered arena to be able to try this ridden amazing three year old who was so shiny and muscular in his photo that you could not sleep in few nights thinking of him. BUT you find the "stable" after several mistakes in the end of aweird village with no name. In a garden of a huge family house and in one second you are surrounded by millions and millions of gypsies.

In this kind of cases the horses are always fed with non-stop alfa-alfa grass and kilos and kilos of corn, so that they will walk out from the barn on two legs. There is always minimum two men going after them shouting and shaking plastic bottles with dried corn inside. The poor owner is hanging on the stallions headpiece with two hands, legs hardly touching the ground.

There is no inside riding hall, round pen or even field. This horse is not even the one you drove these kilometers to see. It is not grey like in his photo. It is not a foal from Aktion, but according to the owner "you just need to see how he is flying like an angel".Only thing you actually pay attention to while hiding behind the biggest mama to survive this show, is that his hoofs are painted with black paint. Matching the body colour...you see.

The wild youngster is taken to the main road of the village. The family and fifteen family's best friends with their familie's and their fifteen best friends (you get the picture) are running after the horse to "show his movements". The horse is nothing if his ears are not crossed, tail up on his back, blood ,fire, salive or small bats shooting out of his nosetrills and minimum four old women kicked to death during this show.

You are considered to be a total novice when you ask them to just let the horse to calm down to see his normal trot, wich actually seems to be quite promising. You are looked at with total attonishment the corn-bottle stopped in the air when you politely refuse to climb on this young horse to try how good it is to ride. For heavens name, he was ridden a lot as one and half year old by Janzsi-bazsi's one armed son from the next village! And he is fast, can also pull a carriage and is fat, what more do you want, woman?! (This is true about the horse and the son.)

You want to see the Aktion foal now when you drove all this way. Men are smiling, women are shaking their heads, you need to see all the twelve horses. They are all good. All the twelve? Yes, all the twelve horses and one uncle Ferenc's donkey. All of them tied side by side to a minimal barn, sized maximum 3 quaradmeters.
Then, if you have eaten ten cakes in the golden kitchen , you skinny, skinny girl, you get to see THE Aktion foal.

Several hours, horses and gipsies later, when the sun is down, shaking corn sounds hurting your head, THE Aktion foal is brought from the village near by. It is huge as a farm house, short cut hair, big stallion neck. You pull your husband out of the reach of his front legs wich keeps waiving in the air above all the gipsies. He has no bran marks anywhere on his body, put the owner remembers his breeding, for sure. It is even named after his olympic horse father...said the dealer who dropped it here four weeks ago for exchange of thirty chicken.

All kind of prices are flying in the air. Hitting the hands, shouting, laughing, dangerous jumping of the huge horse wich reminds you of the neighbours cold blood who came across you hours and hours ago. It even has the wooden pieces nailed to his front shoes like the working horses...

You start getting tired, your husband is drunk after all the Palinka. You start to be ready to buy what ever if they just let you go.

Now, here, dear horse shopper is your change. Either to buy one of the horses or run as fast as you can.
An advanced level horse shopper in Hungary leaves his lada running and runs away after seeing the first signs of rosted bits, huge leather boots, corn bottles and golden teeth.

A lesser experienced one should just back the less lame and crazy horse to your trailer and hope to sell it to abroad to get even half of your money back. Home you notice that he is not ridden, is ten years older than you were told, but knows how to sit and its all he is doing. Non-stop.

And all you really regret is that you did not buy the small old gipsy, third from the left without lower teeth. Boy, he really had the best extended trot, crossed ears and fire coming out of his nosetrills...

tisdag 4 mars 2008

Shit happens.

But sometimes on the top of the shit pile there is a cherry:)

This time the cherry was called: pedal bone.

I never knew that rugs could be so dangerous. During all these years with horses, I have never been attacked by one, kicked, strangeled or even spitted at by one. ( To tell you the truth, drunken vet students are much more worse...)
I thought they were harmless, helpfull pieces of fabric with nice colours, soft in-side materials with outside suitable either for rain and snow or drying of the sweat. Coming in all new season colours, cross belts, leg straps, fixable locks, sizes from a small pony to an elephant. From cacao brown to light sweet green, shoulder flaps, tail sraps, thick good quality wool, three-point closing, high neck, sweat rug, turn-out rug, stable, travel, underwear, soft, warm, easy, long-lasting...

I admit that I have been kind of a rug-a-holic and carried for my horses every winter new ones. I mean, you get those so cheap in Finland, the land of a good rug-making.
No harm, so struggle.

My lovely four year old lipizzan stallion always thought different.

Őcsi was suspisious from the beginning. The first light weight cotton rug he put in order by pulling a piece off from it during the first cold Autumn nights. He never actually told me what really happened. It will always stay between him and the Evil Cotton Rug. But what is most important, they begun a very fragile friendship.
This weird friendship lasted untill the first rainy ice-cold days when the Awfull Rainblanket landed his blood-hungry paws on the Hungarian ground...

For Őcsi this cross belted dark blue monster was more difficult to win. It had three-point closure for better fit, the secret TPCFBF-code wich young horses learn about "How to kill your clothes"-evening school.
Őcsi took those blody things off with an extreme jump from full galopp to one shoulder. It hurt a bit but it was all worth it.

I still could not think that so harmless looking piece could really be so bad. I tied it on with some ropes, closed the cross belts "klick klick" and put the youngster to the windy cold winter.
What happened is a mystery, but it must have been a fight about life and dead. Only the neighbouring horses could witness these kun-fu jumps and bites. The Awfull Rainblanket lied dead cold in the rain when I came for my tired, but happy youngster.

Then came the day, what Őcsi had been scared of. The day when The Blanket won. The day when I learned that rugs really can hurt horses.

The heavy-weight, cotton-filled Ninja Thermo rug got an bite from my stallions tail, where it hang about ten minutes. I witnessed this unfair fight without being able to do nothing. It was all me to blame and I suffered to see Őcsi running in panick around the riding hall to get rid of the ugly thing.

At one point Őcsi tried his Triple- Karate-Kid-jump, (very close to the combined capriole plus buck practised by the disobedient Piber boys...you can have a curse on this in the third year of "How to make your owner mad"-school.). The jump failed due to the wrong position of the stars and he hit his hoof to the wall.

The rug gave up a bit later.

Őcsi was complete lame from right front.:(

Our veterinaries are Dr. Horvath and Dr. Simons from the Ullő large animal clinic. Thank you and sorry if I spelled your names wrongly.

X-rays showed a broken pedal bone. Medial side.

Now the cherry-thing is this tradegy is that if you should choose a bone to be broken in your horse, always go for the pedal. The prognosis is very good and horses suffering from this normally recover to full work in some (3-6) months. It needs stabilising the hoof and boxrest.
(The later will be veeery difficult for Őcsi cause he said he should meet James Bond and Superman at Batmans summer cottage next Wednesday at noon to share different methods fighting against the leg protections.)

We will get a cast over hoof, some new more precise x-rays and ice, acupuncture, laser, new diet, trick training against boredom, a lot of love and ..... I was thinking about a new rug....?

Tidudiii-tidudii-tidudii-tada. Tiu-iii, tiu-iii, tiu-ii, Tada. Music from the mission impossible. Everybody, sing together....
Ta-ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta.....

måndag 25 februari 2008

Bent Branderup clinic in Austria

What an amazing weekend!

Me, Philipp and Fifi spent an inspiring weekend in Graz to take part to the Dannish academic riding master, Bent Branderup's clinic. We did not take horses with us, but got a lot by listening the theory and watching the lessons.

I, as a woman enjoyed not only the beautifull and light riding, but also the gorgeous curbs, barock saddles and saddle cloths....someone is going to do some shopping....

It was all about relaxation, streching the neck and topline, flexion, slow work in all the spaces in shoulder-in, travers, renvers and piruet. Some piaffer, plie (continuous slight shoulder-in), all of this written with reins in one hand only. Harmonous, easy and light, light, light.

We could see horses on different levels, breed and age, all worked with same principles. The beginners with cavesson and curb, reins in two hands; more advanced only with the curb, reins in the left hand. Right hand holding a wooden whip carried upside-down in front of your upper body.

My favorite horse was a criollo, worked classically over five months during wich time he has practically started to fly.

We also saw some in-hand work in walk to teach a horse to strech down with walking in plie and flexing his neck inside around the two first vertebraes. Academic riding uses a lot of working the horse from the ground. Branderup works with young horses like that over one year period before sitting on them. He makes them soft and relaxed, teaches them the aids and prepaires them like this for the future work.

Nothing is forced. There is no painfull, stiff muscles. It all works according to the old masters as an art. As I said, beeeaaauuuutiiifuuullll....

I hope to put some videos up later.

I just wish that someone would have warned me that Austria is not always about skiing and I would have left my moonboots home. They looked quite ridiculous in +15 c. But who cares? It is always worth to sweat if you can see Bent Branderup.

måndag 11 februari 2008

Hey dude, what ya doin' ?

I saw you* yesterday and the day before.

You look like you were going to war instead of riding. Equipped with half a mile spurs stolen from John Wayne and all those side reins...I had to look twice just to be sure that you were NOT going to perform some kind of stunt or marionet show with all that material. I mean, my mum can dry whole familys laundry with less ropes than you have on your horse.

Tell me what's the deal with it. First you tie the horses head down and hang in the reins. That means for the horse: "stop". Then you push and kick to make him move. How the poor horse should know what to do? And dont come to me with explanation about how you are "collecting" the horse, cause collection has nothing to do with pulling from the reins.

The horse has all the weight on your hand, behind legs dragging after and you just keep going cause "the horse just has to do this".

And if he is not, you start sawing his head right-left-right-left.

Is this a horror show, cause I wanna go out!

Leave the ropes. Its not even a short cut cause it puts you out from the right way. Leave the spurs untill your horse works collected. A horse can feel a fly touching his skin, why would he not feel your leg touching him slightly?
Just make it easy for you and your horse. Legs without hands, hands without legs. One aid at the time.
Legs-forward, reins-stop. Voilá!

Horse starts working "in the right form"or "on the bit" when he easily reacts to your aids. When he thinks forward, moves in a right tact. DO NOT run, but is active behind. He can relax his back muscles and tighten the abdominal muscles and reach the inside behind leg under his belly.
And .... a secret: He can flex his neck just around the two frist vertebraes laterally. Make a small rotation between the first and second, pointing the nose a bit sideways. So, NO pulling backwards. Other hand allways still and soft, no sawing. He will be light to your hand and CARRY himself.

So, flexibility is the key for lightness. From behind, over the back, towards the hand.

Now.... this could be a start of a beautifull relationship. :)

* Yes, ofcourse this "you" in this blog is an imaginary person and no-one in my stable. So, all of you there can just relax and continue pulling and kicking your horses with good feeling for the rest of your life.

lördag 2 februari 2008

A real "Dear diary" moments....

Ooh, what kind of couple of weeks....

1. Our horses moved to a new stable.

No more early mornings, badly slept nights listening if there are problems. No more fighting with grooms, who do not come/get drunk/ try to kill them self/ give 5 liters feedstuff instead of 5 dl/get insulted if I ask them to sweep the floor etc. and drive this old lady maaaaaaddddd and more happy to do everything by myself.
No more mucking out , turning out and in. Million steps in the rain, wind, snow, sun. Millions and millions balls of shit.

Now, do not get me wrong. I have worked with horses all my life and I love it. I love shit. But ain't it nice to just go to stable and ride? Spend time with the horse, train some new tricks, constentrate to ride and all this in an inside hall with no ice or mud? Wow, I am in heaven.

2. Heather Moffet from Enlightened equitation from UK visited us. (Check the website from my first mailing.)

We spend a nice evening in the Xenophia show, had a quick "hello" for the Borso girls, spend a long and interesting dinner talking about classical riding with the always so cute Philipp Sholtz, who knows the La Guerniere by heart. Praised the Hungarian Lipizzan horse and got both in such an awfull flu that Heather had to fly early back to UK.:(

She will be back in Mars. Anybody interested to join us, let me know.

I want to propose a toats:
To coldrex, anti-biotics, echinea dropps and all the pain killers in the world. To classical dressage, treeless saddles and my dear stallion Fantom, who always placed his shit balls in a nice pile in one place.

Dear diary, I'm done.

fredag 18 januari 2008

The horror gallery

Dear reader,

if your horse looks like a hairy quitar, weights 2o kg with a iron bed on his back and keeps the wool on also during summer months, is time to use your Mc Donalds money to refresh your four legged friend.

If you dont care, dont have a horse.

1. Water. Always. Not enough to give a bucket or two three times a day.

2. Salt and electrolytes. (If you dont know what is electrolyte, use "google". When the horse has acsess to free water 24/7 you can put a big spoon of salt to his food daily. Electrolytes when its hot, he is working or sweating due to long hair. A horse CANNOT replace his lost body water by himself. When a human sweats, the blood salts gets high and we feel thirst. Horse sweats much more salts than we and the blood salt level dont get enough high for him to feel enough thirsty to drink enough to replace the lost fluids.

If a horse dont get salts back, he does not drink enough. If he does not drink enough, he does not eat enough.

3. Hay 1.5 kg /100 kg body weight. good quality. Or lucerna or straw (needs more salt to get more water.) Or as much as he wants to eat.

4. Mineral mix with Ca-P ratio minimum 2:1

5. Good quality proteins: Lysine. That means soya, lucerna granulatum, sunflower seeds.

6. If in work or growing, some "gas": oats,barley, corn.

If you got bored and skipped the earlier part, please, sell your horse to someone who cares. This was only a small , simple part of the well-being and you should study more.

Dont forget: Teeth rasping minimum once a year.
Parasite control 4 times a year. (Ivermectin+Praziquantel winter and summer, Ivermectin spring and Autumn).

Now, the first price of The Horror Gallery of the year 2007 on XVII district goes to :

"Repulőter istallo" when kept by Sanyi. (Dont know where he has taken his skeletons now...)
And to "Horgasto"-stable kept by Gabor.

And you, who have your horse in these places to work and you who buy riding lessons with such a bad looking horses: SHAME ON YOU.

The ilovelipizza has spoken.