It’s the..

..last day in Ireland and the sun is shining.  The kids are practicing in the indoor school at Gransha…

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..and I have indoor school envy.  What fun we would have playing Waterloo in this arena.

At lunchtime we had a massive game of King ball with parents joining in too and then in the afternoon the kids all played practice chukkas on lovely green grass..

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So we are sitting at the docks waiting.to board the ferry home now..

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..arriving back in scotland at 10pm and all refreshed ready for the 3 hour drive home.

posted by shaun

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It’s the..

We went..

..this way, that way, forward, backwards, over the Irish Sea with a Truckers Lounge Dinner to settle out tums and that’s the life for me.  Actually despite the threat of Storm Katie we didn’t need anything to settle our tums as the sea was as flat as a pancake and both the humans and the horses had a steady and sound crossing.

So why are we in Ireland?  Well we have come over to support our Area 17 and North Down Pony Club friends and visit their Easter polocrosse camp at Gransha Equestrian Centre near Newtonards.  Ru had to stay at home to do his history assessment so it was Katie and me and Freya and Isla with Turbo and Sploge.  Whilst here we have settled on our dates for the Scottish Polocrosse camp and even had a flier drafted up by Freya MacColl..

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So we arrived monday night after a 3 hour drive to Cairnryan and a 2 hour crossing (did I say it was very flat calm) and then half an hour drive in Ireland. It took us less time to get here than it takes us to get to most of the ukpa polocrosse competitions in the UK.

We were met by glorious sunshine and gave the ponies a walk out and pick of grass and then got then popped into their stables with fresh water and hay and then set up camp. This involved mucking out the back of the lorry and moving the partitions to the back door, putting down a camping carpet that isla brought and making up the girls camp beds then hooking up the electricity and away we went. Freya and Isla are sleeping in the horse compartment converted to bedroom and katie and I are in the Luton. It is however quite cold at night and so we have borrowed a heater for the girls room.

Tuesdays training went well and both isla and freya are loving it. John and Rob are also over with us on sally and Zimba and megs and freya are over visiting grandparents and have hired ponies. All in all we have a Scottish team here.

So its more training today and Thursday before we get a Thursday evening ferry home to get back to the stables very early Friday morning.

And while we have been away Mollie and Becca have been running the yard and teaching lessons as normal. Obviously without Sally Zimba Turbo or Sploge to teach on. It sounds like it has all been going well which is exactly as we knew it would.

More adventures in Ireland to follow..

posted by shaun

We went..

Pony club night was..

..team games outside and the ponies and horses (and riders I hope) loved it..

Our Instagram page has a video of John and Sally at full gallop.  If you have Instagram then give it a look at Over Dalkeith Stables.

We also had Rob ride Majik before Pony Club. We are determined to get Majik schooled during the holidays so that we can start using him in lessons as he is a very handsome pony..

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And the weather was really fantastic with lots of sunshine for Toby to bathe in..

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.. and everything got even more interesting today as Iceman came back home after his trip to the vets.  I went to pick him up at Loch Leven Equine clinic today and drove up to find him sunning himself with his head out of his stable window…

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..so he came back home into our quiet stables..

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Unfortunately for Ice it might be 3 months box rest for him so his view from the isolation stables is one he is going to get used to.

And then tonight we took the lorry to Highfield at Howe to do a little showjumping and came back with 1st 4th and 5th rosettes in the 85cm class. Our senior saturday girls have worked hard through the winter coming each week despite having to study for exams so we though a trip to Howe to do a little showjumping would be fun. It was and our little riding school horses had a blast as well.

posted by shaun

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On Monday we had our annual..

..riding school licence inspection so it was an early start to get enough boxes mucked out before the inspection started so we could keep the ponies and horses in them and so we could finish the remainder of them off before lessons started at 4.30. Each pony or horse needs to be checked for fitness and soundness by the vet and with 32 being checked out we didn’t have time to collect them from the fields so we needed to keep them in and then turned them out after they had been checked.

Everything went smoothly and non of the ponies or horses trotted up lame, which is always nice, and so we should be getting a licence for this next year.

Ice is doing very well and may possibly be coming home tomorrow. Despite a fractured splint bone and massive cut to the skin below his hock he isn’t showing any signs of lameness. Phew.

Mollie taught the 4.30 lesson again that evening and did some more jumping with them and I taught the 5.30 and we continued the canter lead theme from last week. This week we tried to get the correct canter lead when riding down the centre line of the school. It was actually very hard to get the little ponies cantering when they weren’t in a corner never mind being on the correct lead.

posted by shaun

On Monday we had our annual..

It felt like a proper..

..spring day on Saturday with the sun shining all day long.  We had the horses and older riders outside because most of the horses have already had lessons outside but I was not brave enough to take the little ponies out. It’s going to have to happen some time…

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Ice man is doing well at the vet hospital and we are getting daily updates. Hi isn’t lame on either leg which is great and hopefully he will come home on Tuesday.

We have started a rota for working on Sundays and today it was me and Katie and once again it was a glorious day..

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..with flowers all round. The horses enjoyed going out for a play and some sun and we had a coffee break outside in the summer shine too. All in all a great day to be working on and we finished off with some unmounted polocrosse practice.

And the best news is that from now on the days are longer than the night as today was the vernal equinox. Yippee.

posted by shaun

It felt like a proper..

Ice man was..

..cool as a cucumber this afternoon when we rushed him into the Loch Leven vet hospital.  After a busy morning of mucking out for katie mollie and Beki (I had a day off).  Beki started bringing the horses in in the afternoon and when she brought ice in he looked to have a little cut on his left leg.  When she looked closer it was a very deep wound and he had a massive cut across his right leg under the hock.  Call the vet straight away…

Hannah came down quick as and was cleaning out the wound and checking it.   She said she knew Ice had fractured his splint bone on the left leg.  And we said how can you tell that without an x ray and look he isn’t even lame.  She then showed us the fragments of bone she had pulled from the wound.  Apparently he is very brave which is why he isn’t lame.  Anyway she organised for us to drive him into the vet clinic at Cleish where Pete x-rayed both legs.  After a lengthy examination  we had the phone call this evening.  Apart from being a darling to handle Ice was also very brave and very lucky.  The splint bone is broken but that will heal and with the treatment over the weekend he is getting won’t get infected and won’t stop Ru playing polox on him.  The cut isn’t deep enough to damage any tendon sheaths and hasn’t damaged the joint capsule and he hasn’t a fracture so just needed cleaning and stitching up.  Phew.  Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of any of this.

Katie and Mollie and Beki mucked out like ninjas and then Mollie taught the 4.30 lesson before dashing off to Edinburgh to see Robyn and Ellie.

And Hamish is playing his first Australian polocrosse match at Bungadore. As I write this he should be finishing his first game. He has already met many of the people Ru and I made friends with when we were over there last Easter.

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posted by shaun

Ice man was..

At last..

..the hay has gone and the Shetlands and Reba have come down to the pens..

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..don’t they look sweet.

So today was another busy day mucking out in the morning and then lessons in the afternoon and Pony Club in the evening. It was Waterloo and so we had plenty of riders. Mollie and Becca ran pony club which was great for me as I felt really rough with a cold and stayed in the warm.

In the afternoon we had Strathallen riders and let them decide whether they wanted a jumping lesson or a flatwork lesson. Mollie taught the flatwork and I taught the jumping. We also had all the horses and ponies in so they got to choose whichever pony they wanted. 5 of the girls wanted flatwork with Mollie and 3 went out into the outdoor school and we did a small grid of jumps.

posted by shaun

At last..