Thursday, 16 March 2017

Truth Time

Full disclosure I have so far failed to meet the few goals I set myself in my last post in the first three months of the year. Fear not however i am hopeful of rectifying that fairly sharpish.
I started following that post with great intentions of getting Kika going again under tack after her mini-hiatus since some time in November (shame on me for not blogging and therefore losing track), we lunged a couple of days in a row with and without lunging aids to get her brain back to working mode. She passed with flying colours not giving a flying flute about going back to work so you'd think I'd have hopped back up following those successes. However due to my aforementioned woeful blogging I can now not remember why I didn't hop up on her after that...whatever my reasons I'm sure they were pitiful. So the darling dear returned to daily turnout and little else to stimulate her beautiful brain.
I hopped up on Nancy a handful of times after PL rode during the week and played with her a little bit and actually rode her for a full 30-40minutes one evening PL couldn't come - I had to regain my own sealegs before braving the Kika.

Weather has been fab so the girls have been "naked" all week

Last Friday I decided to lunge her again and see where we were, bear in mind I lunged her in just her headcollar as I was aiming to ease her back into lunging before reintroducing the pessoa and/or tack. She started out a bit bug eyed as she listened to other horses walking outside the arena but then settled delightfully without once putting a paw out of place. We only lunged for 20 or 25 minutes as I didn't want to push her too hard after she had been out of "work" for so long. Saturday didn't quite go to plan for me, i didn't wind up riding either of them and it was Sunday evening before I decided to sod it. I tacked Kika up and brought the lunge line and whip to the arena with me and figured if things got hairy or we wound each other up I'd pop off and lunge her.

I needn't have worried, homegirl is a trooper and despite my terrible track record of keeping her working the last few years she didn't hold it against me and went straight back to work with w/t/c, changes of rein and mucho transitions as I played with the buttons to see what we both remembered - answer all the good stuff. Another boarder was lunging in one half of the arena so we worked mostly on a circle which can sometimes annoy K but I somehow miraculously managed to keep things different enough that neither of us got bored (long may that last).

Monday she had another day off and Tuesday I rode her in the large arena at the same time as PL rode Nancy. This time we stuck to w/t work with more of a focus on my part on consistency, transitions and tempo. Again K rose to my challenge without putting a toe out of line. I almost fear saying it, but I honestly think with her 13th birthday approaching in May we may be in the best place we've ever been in our almost decade long partnership. Yesterday the three of us went for a stroll in the woods, I rode Nancy and Kika came along on a lead for our first forray into the forest this year.

We've a busy few weeks coming up, PL & I are heading overnight to the absolutely awesome Equitana (the mahoosive equine trade fair that takes place in Germany every 2 years - LINKS to my previous posts 2015-12015-II2013-I, 2013-II2013-III) for the last weekend in March. Then the following weekend we've organised a Ride With Your Mind clinic at the yard (my first time ever doing anything like this) with Elaine Butler a practitioner of the Mary Wanless technique who PL has ridden with a number of times. I am super stoked about this and hope she can help me straighten myself out once and for all!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New Year Resolutions

This will hopefully be a word starved / photo dump post from me as I lay out the few resolutions I have made thus far for 2017.

Poneh ♡

Trying to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) to allow myself a hopefully higher chance of success.

Kika's Giraffe impression
No. 1 
Leave work between 5.30-6pm
No excuses, almost everything can always wait till tomorrow 😇

No. 2
Ride my horses!!!
This should be straight forward, yet as is obvious from the lack of blog content last year - I failed pretty miserably at this immeasurably enjoyable task. To my own detriment no less!
Towards the latter half of 2016 I was lucky if I chambered aboard Kika once every 2 weeks as for Nancy hardly ever 😓
Thankfully she has her part-leasee that comes three times a week without fail. So it's really only me that is failing Kika & I really do miss riding more regularly. Hopefully sticking to resolution No. 1 will have a positive affect on resolution No. 2 *fingers-crossed*

No. 3
Read more
This is a personal goal which Goodreads thankfully reminded me of. For the last number of years I've wanted to set myself a # of books "to-read" goal. I've kept it low to start with at 25 books - I will scale up if I manage to set aside more reading time in the coming 12months than I have in the last few years. 

Nancy is a Sneaky McSneakerson

No. 4
Blog more
I really miss interacting with you guys! Hopefully the last two goals will help give me more content to share as I hopefully (a) ride more and (b) actually review the equine themed books I've read over the last few years and kept meaning to review 🤓

Kika playing coy & Nancy all up in Ya grill

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Best Wishes

Frosty & frozen today
Happy New year from Luxembourg - may 2017 be a fab fun filled year for all & here's hoping I can be a better blogger going forward.

Love always,
Myself, Kika and Nancy

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

WW - Clippity Clop

Fuzzy before shot
First clip is the deepest
Posing fail #hellodistraction

Acting coy in her new pjs
Fuzzy before 
So much hair
I still have to tidy up her mane & tail 
#awkwardpose but cute pooch photobomb
Patented 😇 face

Monday, 7 November 2016

Make-up Monday

Apologies again for falling off the blogosphere, I'm afraid I just don't have much to share. Thankfully all is going well with the ponies. They moved in at night on Friday & got clipped Saturday so be warned photo dump coming...maybe for a wordless Wednesday 😈

Nancy's best bud F, Kika's lookalike
I rode Nancy in an arena yesterday for the first time in ages and she was lovely. A couple tense moments here and there but overall a good girl. She gets a little stuck in her head thinking about what might be asked of her next; but all I want is for her to work in a straight line - no lateral work. No biggie, we'll get there 😇
We did manage an amazing solo hack on a new trail last Tuesday as Kika made friends with the newbie on the field. Nancy and I haven't been on a purely solo hack (without Kika on a lead) in years. Nancy was a rockstar, didn't falter once nor was she anything but willing to move on with a happy swinging stride. Not an ounce of stress at being all on her own - I obvs don't count as company ... well not in Kika's mind 😂

Love the leaves on our solo hack 
Kika and I have been mostly accompanying people into the woods and have really worked on her "bravery". K likes to pretend she is a giant chicken and incapable of leading when strolling in the woods - however once she does get (ahem is coaxed) in front she marches on like a boss & actually leaves Nancy in her wake. Nancy does also slow way down when K takes over the lead so there are two of them in it as K does stride when in front lolz
We are getting better at keeping them both side by side for better chatting opportunities 😀

Big brave Kika leading the charge in the woods

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunny Sunday

I have been both a bad blogger & a bad rider of late.
I think it has been 3 or 4 weeks since I last rode Kika 😶

I have haphazardly hopped on a friends horse that is rehabbing from a 9month layoff due to injury just to walk & trot as he can be fiery with her. Although knock-on-wood he didn't try anything the times I rode him. He is kind of cob sized & his stride is much choppier than what I was used to, but he's a fun sort. Very willing and takes correction better than my two. I guess that's the joys of geldings over mares - less drama 😂

I finally got around to lunging Kika in the pessoa yesterday, I prefer the re-engage her brain with that training aid than risk undoing things by hopping into the tack without making sure the marbles are where I left them 😁
She was brilliant on the lunge, despite an interupted warm up to give someone directions as they'd come to the wrong stable and then once we got going with the pessoa rigged up we wound up having to change arenas and work outside to finish off and she was ace. Good as gold to change arenas & didn't bat an eyelid once we did. She went straight back to work without fuss.

Nancy has been kept on her toes with PL coming three times a week to ride her & in fact a friend of PLs  (who funnily enough has the same first name) and has been helping PL on Sundays with lessons has expressed an interest in coming one day a week to ride. She is a better rider than I & once K is running again will have the choice of riding Nancy or Kika once a week so long as it doesn't clash with original PLs chosen days. But the one day a week leasee will pay as she goes as she does have niggling injuries and may not be able to ride weekly so we'll just play it by ear and see how things go.

Eep - sorry this is getting wordy again when really I was just posting to share a video of Kika & I "jumping" a fallen log in the woods today. I am all over the place in the dressage saddle, so please forgive me Kika - but it was fab fun & hopefully I'll find some time to pop her over some poles in an arena again soon. I don't think we've jumped in prob close to two years 🙈

Also, as of yesterday I have become obsessed with Words with Friends!
Do any of you play?  😇

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Facial Features

Mine...not the horses. Kika's noggin made contact with my schnauzer last night as I was going to give her a kiss when she got a fright and caught me with an almighty wallop in the snout. Having never broken my nose I worried for a few moments that I perhaps now had & wondered how I might know for sure without having to go to A&E.

"I meant no harm!
Your face just got in the way of my fear"
- Kika
As darkness was falling & I was on foot, I decided to go about my business and give them their hay for the night before making my way home and seeing how I felt in the morning. If i had trouble sleeping and/or panda eyes when I awoke I would make my way to a medical establishment. Thankfully despite some swelling I do not think it is broken, perhaps a little sensitive and I'm very glad to have contact lenses and not have to rely upon my glasses for sight as they are a little uncomfortable when I put them on.

All photos taken today
I have to admit that I had never realised how much ones nose moves at every twitch/eyebrow movement/smile & I have to admit I fear the need to sneeze!
Thankfully I was not prohibited from a delightful hack in the woods on Kika while PL rode Nancy. We even discovered a new trail that I had never taken before which also branched off with other new trails which I hope to venture onto soon 😊

Lest we forget her adorkable
 face without mask

All going well with the beak tomorrow I hope to play with Kika's transitions in the arena while PL has a lesson with Nancy. Having been inspired last week by a Horse Listening canter article I read about using transitions to improve the horse's gaits. Neither the horses nor my fitness would be up to the 10 transitions suggested, so I shall aim for 5 between halt-walk/walk-halt, walk-trot/trot-walk & trot-canter/canter-trot. We didn't quite manage 5 in each direction last weekend as it was super hot, but those we did manage were a mixed bag of nice & fussy. In saying this however, i did notice that my concentrating on setting us up better for the transitions meant little to no flailing in our canter work. Here's hoping I can improve upon them tomorrow - funny how paying more attention facilitates such things 😆