Thursday, 12 April 2012

Return to Jumping & Anniversary

First off today is the 5th Anniversary to the day that i first met Kika - although she was an unnamed scragga-muffin then. I went to view her on this date in 2007! I had spent Easter Weekend at my mother's family farm where my aunt now runs a foaling unit and we had decided to view this 3yr old filly on a detour route on my way back to college. It was potential madness really as it was dusk/getting dark when we arrived at the yard of her breeder - he had her in a corral type area with a headcollar and leadrope and another pony/cob which he could catch before catching the flighty filly that has since become our Kika. When the other mare was put away again Kika ran around the breeder for a few circles calling for her companion, my first thought was - yikes! No way, she's completely unhandled!
But she then settled down and stood quiet as a lamb as we asked all our questions and checked her legs/limbs etc. Her big kind brown eyes and calmness (after the initial confusion) won me over - an offer was made and a deal struck, she was delivered to my aunt's place two days later. However I didn't actually get to see her myself again till the following weekend as I was away that first weekend and college work prevented me from going down during the week.
Here are two of the first pictures I  took of her on the 21st of April 2007 when i finally got to meet "MY" horse!


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I must actually remember to do a then and now post on the 21st of this month with new pictures also taken on that day, :p

Last night we had a Jumping session with The Guru L on the ground to keep me on the right track.

Unfortunately I got no pictures or videos as my phone battery was dying and refused to even snap one little pic of Kika all glammed out in purple finery - she had purple tendon & fetlock boots (a christmas gift from L getting their first outing) and the purple saddle pad that i posted pics of ages ago (a birthday present from one of my best friends). I was suprisingly also colour coordinated - i'm typically a bit of a multicoloured shambles, but last night i found myself in brown jodhs, brown & beige Horseware socks and my new brown soft shell jacket which i again forgot to take a picture of - so i tied in nicely with Kika's tack, lol!
I swear it wasn't planned!

I happened to go to the yard at lunch time to let O on her own - Kika is still on stall arrest until i can find a way of (a) keeping her in the turnout area or (b) being at home while she's turned out so that at most i am 10mins away and can bring her back in if she goes wandering again! So after turning O out, S (the friend who works near me and gives me a spin to the barn) and I handgrazed our horses for 25mins or so. I sorted out Kika's shambolic stable, S likes to joke that K is trying to dig her way out as everyday without fail she manages to make a bare patch in the middle of the stable by pushing all the shavings to the side; I topped up her hay supply to keep he rquiet for the afternoon and went back to work.

When i got back in the evening i popped Kika on the walker for 20mins while jumping lessons were finishing up so that she wouldn't be too fresh when ridden after not being turned out. Sorted out her stable again - as yep, she'd re-dug her "hole" - silly horse! No wonder she has back troubles when she insists on slipping up and down in her stable! I must look into rubber matting!
Tacked up and did my usual trick of leading her on 2 laps of the arena in each direction before hopping up and starting to warm her up in earnest. One of the riders who was in the final jumping lesson was chatting to L as Kika and i worked around them and the fences. My circling was very lopsided due to the fences positioning so our canter was very bad compared to recent efforts - most likely my fault as i cantered her on our "good" canter rein first and then couldn't get a correct strike off on our bad rein afterwards - I was quite disappointed with that as the last 2-3sessions we've done we got our correct leads without a fuss...guess I was possibly trying to hard with L watching or else just let other silly things get to me - who knows, it wasn't a concious decision to stuff up on my part so shall put it behind us and see what tonight brings.

The jumping itself went really well. Or at least Kika jumped really well, I took some time to get back into the swing of it as i was folding to soon and then ending up left behind - it felt awful, but couldn't tell you how it looked!
We started in trot over a  pole on the ground before a cross pole - did that with three different fences from different directions. Then I had to canter on landing and take on another fence then come back to trot - took us a couple of times to get this right. Working our way up to a course in canter including a double - nothing especially challenging height or line/striding-wise as it was our first time jumping supervised (so properly schooling) since some time back in September/October - and I've only jumped twice since then. Once around Christmas time taking myself and Kika around a course set up for the lessons and then the other time a few weeks back where I did some pole work and my mother was watching and fixed us a cross pole.
With so little work done over fences in so long i was really really happy with how Kika behaved and how we got on overall even if it did take my body a bit of time to cop op and go with the horse.
I shall endeavour to try again next week - and hopefully improve! :)

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