Tag Archives: horses

Sleep Training Live: Night 17

(To my astonishment, people are actually enjoying reading this saga, so if you want to catch up, click on night 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12)

Sleepy Time

Textbook. Down in no time at all. Probably due to the fact we spent most of the day outdoors. Kudos to Rod, it was his work, I was busy doing this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 09.04.49

12.30

Footsteps and he appeared by the bed clutching his teddy. I carried him through and he went back to sleep within minutes.

2.30 ish

I intercepted him in the hall this time. His duvet was on the floor, but he climbed back in, let me tuck him in and was asleep again quickly.

3.30

A big sigh from Rod. He was up again, but as with the previous twice, went back to bed and to sleep without a fuss.

So here’s the thing. We have made huge progress from the 62-time-challenge of night 1 – and the stool-removal-debacle of 140 times. There is no longer any screaming, or really any fight at all when we put him back. He is going down at night easier than ever, we’ve got it down to ten minutes on average. So these are all massive achievements.

Our challenge now, into week three, is how to get him to turn over and go back to sleep when he wakes up, instead of actually getting out of his bed. I’m wondering whether to buy him a cabin bed…. Once his brother is a bit older I plan to put them in together in bunks, because I think the Wee Man just wants company. I remember feeling quite lonely and scared when I woke up during the night as a wee tot – but being the well-behaved girl I am, I rarely ventured through to mum and dad’s bed. I’d just lie there in the dark. Even now, lying at 4am trying to get back to sleep after my third Supernanny mission, my mind wanders towards worrying and stressing. It must be part of the human condition.

So any tips on how to join those final dots would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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Sleep Training Live: Night 12

(Catch up on the rather long saga: Nights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)

Sleepy Time

I was in a good place, mentally, having spent a blissful couple of hours with my third boy Lucas this afternoon…

MummyKimmy Lucas forestMummyKimmy Lucas view

We took them up at the same time. Post-teethbrushing we peeled off, Rod to the Wee Man’s room and me to KD’s. It was my charge who caused the bother. I had to go back in to settle him in order to let Rod escape – but it didn’t take long and we were back downstairs by 8pm.

11.30

I didn’t realise it was this early until I got back into bed. I’d intercepted him in the hall, tucked him back in and taken up my position. He was asleep in a few minutes so I sneaked out without mishap. I checked my phone for the time and sighed inwardly. It could be a long night…

6am

It wasn’t! He was only up once! When he appeared at 6 I pulled him in for a huge hug. He lay happily for ages as I dozed, and when he started to squirm I just handed over my phone. We didn’t get up until 7.10am which may sound early for a Saturday but was actually pretty damn civilised by our standards.

Only once, I tell you! Breakthrough!

Keep reading for the good or bad news…

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There’s a new boy in my life…

I seem to have acquired another boy to look after – but this one is only two days a week. Meet Lucas:

LUCAS

I can’t quite believe my luck.

Since I was seven years old, I have longed for a horse of my own. I used to actually shake with excitement before my riding lessons. Every year from the age of about eight to thirteen I asked for “Pony for the Week” for my birthday – it was the highlight of my year to spend five whole days at the stables, grooming and feeding and riding the ponies.

Of course around the age of 14 it became more important to spend my money at Topshop than the tack shop. I’d spend the weekends planning, going to and then analysing who we’d kissed at the Archaos unders. My purple grooming kit lay forgotten in the garage, I outgrew my jodhpurs and my horsey days were over. I always tried to go for a hack on holiday – I still loved it and it’s a great way to discover a new place. My friend Dionne and I rode ponies western style across the Andes in Chile in 2005 and my friend Mairi and I would randomly book a three hour hack on the beach – took us days to recover.

But now I am right back there in the midst of my childhood obsession and I am happy as a pig in shit.

It’s all thanks to Facebook. A friend reposted Louise‘s request to find a new person to horse share and I happened to see it. I saw how close her stable was and thought I’d just send her a message and see what happened. The next evening we met up, had a chat, went for a ride (she has another horse called Corky) and it all just fell into place. It was as if it was meant to be.

Lucas and me

It has taken a fair bit of juggling to find the time to properly commit to this. Luckily Louise is flexible and I work for myself, so between us we make it work. I turn up, I muck out his stable, I lay new shavings, I fill his haynet, I collect him from the field and bring him into the stable where I take off his rug and groom him. He is so affectionate and easy to be around – the only thing he’s not too keen on is having his rear hooves picked out – we do a wee dance round the stall while I try to persuade him. When he’s gleaming I tack him up and have the joyous freedom of what happens next. For someone who’s only ever had lessons on riding school ponies, this is definitely the best bit. Today we did some work in the school without stirrups so I could improve my balance and then we went for a hack through the fields in the sunshine. Bliss.

IMG_6485

I’ve come to realise that horse riding is the ultimate exercise in mindfulness. While I’m out with Lucas all I think about is him and me. He’s a big horse (16hh) with plenty of energy and strength, you can’t afford to lose focus. But more than that, when I’m out in the countryside, with the sound of the birds and the gorgeous views up to the Pentlands and across empty hayfields, you lose yourself in the experience. It’s exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. It’s one of the only things I do that doesn’t involve any technology. No one talks to me. I don’t need to say a word (except maybe “whoa” or “good boy”). It’s very far-removed from my noisy, harassed daily life, and I appreciate every minute of it.

I even got that old grooming kit out of the garage.

Now, where’s the nearest tack shop? I need some new jodhpurs…

 

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