Sunday, 29 July 2012

Wonderful Weekend

After a quiet few weeks I managed to string a couple of schooling sessions together and am very very please with how we got on considering the lack of work since the start of June!
I was in Ireland from Friday 20th to Wednesday 25th, so Kika had another wee break for herself - a friend kindly popped up to check on her in the field each day I was away. I did snap a couple photos of Kika showing off her new circus pony tricks before I left on Thursday evening (19th):

"I can show off on one leg also!"
"What do you mean you've no treats?! - Like not even in this pocket?"

And a tender moment with her Babysitter
I got back too late to do anything Wednesday evening, bar stroll up to the field to say hi. Thursday was a scorching day here 31C at 8pm at night, I had brought Kika in with the intention of lungeing her - but considering the heat I changed my mind, hosed her down to cool off and I lead her for a 45min stroll in the woods.
Friday was another scorcher, still 30+ when I got to the yard at 7.30pm - I'd waited as long as I could to bring her in. I knew the arenas would be stifling if we'd attempted to work in them any earlier! Tacked up and after two leisurely strolls around the arena, up I hopped in my new jodh boots and gaiters. Almost forgot to mention I finally picked myself up some new ones while in Ireland - my other ones were falling apart and really should have been replaced 12months ago. I managed to get the same boots as I had worn into the ground, my trusty Mackey Oak Paddock Boot (LINK - this is the shop I bought them from) and although I had hoped to get stick with the brand and stay with the gaiters I'd been using they unfortunately did not have my size in stock and they told me that the manufacturers were discontinuing the Glen Gaiters. So the staff were very good and fitted me with the shiny Tredstep Pro G2 Gaiters 13/17 (LINK), they are considerably higher then what I had been using and will take some getting used to - cue slight bruising behind my right knee where they are a little tight. This is why i had put off splurging on new boots & gaiters as i didn't want to go through the breaking in process again hahaha.

Enough side-tracking - sorry!

Worked only in walk and trot on Friday, while we got re-aquainted with each other and working life. Lots of rein changes, circles and serpentines - these however were a bit sticky as Kika tried to fight me on some of the turns pretending to be afraid of the sides of the arena - silly sod!
She (well we both were) well sweaty after 30+mins so cooled off and hosed her down completely again and prepared her first of many feeds with her supplements for her low Selenium levels and Liver issues. Shall see how we get on with them.
A mahoosive thunderstorm rolled in Friday evening, the lightning and small rolls of thunder were lighting up the sky as i turned her back out and I thankfully managed to make it to the door of my house before the heavens opened! It spilled down, sheet & forked lightning for a good hour and a half to 2 hours! Interrupted our viewing of the Olympics opening ceremony, hahaha!

Saturday was thankfully considerably cooler at 21C at about 5pm when i made my way to the barn with great intentions of doing some pole work to keep things interesting for Miss Kika. Unfortunately it was after 7pm before I actually managed to get my backside in the saddle as the arenas were busy so i couldn't get the poles down any earlier. However I did endeavour to put down 8, two lots of four poles along the shorter sides of the arena in the upper and lower half. My intention was to work on our serpentines which had been sticky the day before by distracting Kika's attention from being silly on the turn by engaging her brain by paying more attention to what her feet were doing.
This didn't quite pan out as planned...not in a negative way - in the most pleasantly surprising positive way. We worked in walk trot and canter, circles, figures of eight & serpentines maintaining positive stress free relaxed work - which i am over the moon about. As i have been tensing in our canter transitions of late and skewing us both up - so was so happy that we seemed to have a bit of a breakthrough yesterday. The initial canter work can still be a bit head-in-the-airy, but i managed to not tense my lower back and sat into the saddle keeping my balance and allowing her to come to me - which doesn't often happen!

I have taken to listening to music while I ride and find myself much more relaxed and that we work better together keeping me out of my over-analysing head! This was probably a hugely contributing factor to our better canter work yesterday - here's hoping i can come close to replicating it tomorrow evening!
She did all this great work prior to us going near the poles on the ground, after having taken the time to put them out I did take her through them a couple of times from each rein but not on my originally intended serpentine plan as she really was quite whacked at that stage.
After another thorough hose down and her second day of supplements she returned to the field with one happy owner reliving a great spin.

Following the, IMO, very good schooling session yesterday I re-organised my plans for today and decided to lunge Kika in the pessoa and give her a proper Shampoo wash. She worked very well in the pessoa in the outdoor on a much cooler day than of late (18-20C). Walked her around a bit to dry off after the wash and then tied her up outside for a spot of sunbathing while i cleaned some tack. The plan had been to clean all my gear, but after bathing her I wasn't so much in the mood for a whole hog cleaning session of 2 bridles, 2 saddles, breast plate, martingale, new jodh boots, 2 sets of gaiters (new & old) & the leather headcollar. So i settled on doing the newest items in my posession namely the boots, gaiters (both sets), leather headcollar and my bridle just for good measure as she has been sweating so figured it wouldn't do any harm!
She got some dinner & her supplements shortly after this photo was taken, then i turned her out before soaping my gear and tidying up shop for the evening!

Was hoping a good scrubbing might help with her coat - she's still very wiry so we'll just have to wait and see what kind of impact the supplements will have on it.

Thanks for anyone who has read to the end of all my happy-head drivel! 
Going to squeeze another spin into her tomorrow evening and then give her a rest day on Tuesday as I won't make it to the yard till too late to ride due to a class, shall go visit her in the field after my class to give her her  supplements & some feed to ease it down - buts he'll have a well deserved rest day. Thankfully she seems to have managed to slightly shift the bloated hay belly she'd had 2 weeks back, here's hoping i can up the workload a bit more to trim her down some more and keep it at bay.

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