Monday, 22 April 2013

Grazing Girls

Only a week to go till the girls can return to 24/7 turnout and I cannot wait!
Not only are they happier (well I'm going off Kika here - although she has been so chilled this year I think she may *finally* be at one with her life) but I can have my lunch breaks to actually eat lunch & re-connect with my colleagues or meet up with friends in town etc - Actually I'll probably pile on the pounds considering I won't be doing my mad-dash across the city by bus & foot to turn the little darlings out.
Anyways, sorry, I am waffling again!

Kika & my shadows from Saturday evening
In preparation for full time turnout we tend to take the girls grazing in the weeks leading up to May 1st. Unfortunately the weather has been so cold & grass growth so poor until recently that we haven't had much opportunity. So the rush is now on to try and up the grass intake for both girls by hand-grazing so that when they do go out on grass next week they won't be sick from all the freshness.

Nancy chowing down
I was so proud of Nancy on Friday evening when these pictures were taken (Kika's pics come from Saturday's grazing session) - it had been Kika's day in the turnout on; so Nancy had been inside all day and I was apprehensive as to how she'd handle grazing when she hadn't been worked or anything beforehand. In wonderful Nancy-style, she was not phased in the slightest :-D Even when other horses were ridden past and horse boxes cleaned out nearby - she just kept the head down and grazed away to her hearts content.

Bad Mammy leaving straw in her tail!
Saturday was a bit of a mad day, I turned O & N out about 1pm before heading into town to meet friends for lunch before Luxembourg's annual Rubber Duck Race! 

Extra water was added to help the duckies along
For those who haven't been lucky enough to visit Lux before, you won't know that there is a valley in the middle of the city, or rather the city center is surrounded by a valley. Anyways, it's beautiful & in the middle of the valley is a little stream (called river) - and this is where they held the Rubber Duck Race - it's a charity event where you can "sponsor" the ducks and depending on where your duck finished the race you could win one of numerous prizes. I got there too late to sponsor a duck, but last year a friend won a fireplace...yeah those are the caliber of prizes! Eek! :-/

Oddly enough, considering how long my family has been in Luxembourg (23years now) - this was my first time going to the Duck Race!

Finish line - re-capturing the duckies
Sorry - back on track with the ponios!

Had a wonderful spin on Kika Saturday evening as N was in the turnout for the afternoon, I really tried to concentrate on improving Kika's trot as the Guru had commented after jumping on Wednesday that it wasn't great again - that K was taking shorter strides. My fault for having spent too much time sitting trotting on Tuesday between our transitions, sitting trot bunches K up and shortens her striding. We had a few discussions when cantering as she took offense to passing one of the corners in the top half of the arena - but only in canter, the silly sod! So we worked at it until she passed it without jigging inside and losing her outside bend - she is still opinionated as ever and let me know in her own special way that she didn't appreciate the reminder that I had a crop in my inside hand when I asked her kindly to keep on the track I wanted, lol!

Grazing after our spin on Saturday
When i took her for a half hour grazing session after our spin, she was good as gold and once more exhibited her maturity by not getting herself all wound up grazing alone or when a horsebox returned from competition or when two other horses joined us to be grazed by their owners. At this time last year I could only graze K with the lunge line on as she'd take fits of joyfulness and want to play with passing horses/birds whatever moved basically, lol!


Nancy was next for a workout, I tried to put my instructions from Wednesday into practice - namely not using the whole long side of the arena at any stage, but to keep circling so as to avoid building up speed - not to be continuously trying to slow her down with my hands when she invariably did build up speed & to use my voice more.
I am struggling a bit with Nancy when I am in the saddle, as I know what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing - but we are having a negative effect on each other where we are being suckered into doing the things we shouldn't be doing. I think we just need a break from arena work to build up a better relationship out hacking or something - we need a change of scenery before i ruin her wonderful friendly approach to life.

21 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was super fun, hopefully next year I won't be late and can (a) sponsor a Rubber Ducky & (b) get a better spot for taking photos! :)

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  2. Hacking sounds like a great idea, she is so young she may get bored of the arena easily (as well all can). Don't think of it as both having a negative effect on each other, you two are just both learning the good and bad about each other. Maybe you could start with some arena work, then once you have a couple good laps go on a hack so you both can relax and bond. I really miss hacking.

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    1. I think I am having a negative affect on the poor creature, because I am going in thinking it's going to be bad which invariably it then is - I can be such a negative ninny!
      I then proceed to mentally beat myself up for not being able to do anything right - vicious circle - but I've been there with Kika, I know I can come through it. It just takes time but what worries me most is how the amount of time it will take me to cop on will negatively effect my relationship with N! :(

      I really hope I can get out into the woods either this evening or tomorrow as I don't want to be doom & gloom. At least Nancy will get a break from me as I head off for a long weekend back to Ireland from Wednesday to Monday when the Guru will look after both girls.

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    2. Ha, you and I are both negative ninny's lol. I found I am apprehensive about my jump lessons, and therefore I get the lesson I expect, awkward and tense. I have started trying to think cheesy, but positive thoughts as I drive to the barn, and if I am not riding well, then I just take a break and we walk around until I get my head straight.

      Hope you get a hack in. Have a great weekend!

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    3. Aren't we just!
      If i could only get a better handle on my mind this whole horse-riding lark would be much easier :p
      As it is i seem to do everything backwards, so i need to wholly re-boot the brain & we'll be good to go then! LOL!

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  3. Rubber duck race!! I've always wanted to enter one of those, hmm

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    1. It was great fun, I couldn't believe I'd never been before, it is an annual event and I've lived in Lux for the bones of 20 years!
      It's crazy to think this weekend was my first time going!

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  4. Love the Rubber Duck Race! May daughter would be so excited!

    Just think that you are exposing her to lots, not having a negative affect! :)

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    1. There were loads of kids, but plenty adults too ;-)
      One s never too old to enjoy a Rubebr Duck race...except maybe when one is a "too-cool-for-school-teenager"!
      But I'm past that phase now and back in my second childhood - hahaha!

      You're very good to say that, I think I'm having a bit of a negative effect - we shall stick to hacking and further exposures that way and then return to the arenas when we make a happier partnership - I am just so conscious of not wanting to ruin her! Yikes!

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  5. The duck race is too cute! Here we have wiener dog (Daschund) races. Cute AND funny!

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    1. Daschund races sound like mad fun, :D

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  6. That rubber duck race is hilarious, what a cool event!

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    1. It WAS great fun, next year I hope to get there earlier so that I can sponsor a duck & be more invested LOL!

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  7. Rubber duck races are great fun ! Oh dont worry about Nancy so much. She will be be just fine in time. She is only a baby, see it as a form of the "terrible two's" (a difficult time nearly every two year old child goes through) It will pass :)

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    1. It is because N is a baby that I am so conscious of not instilling bad habits at such a young age - they can be so hard to come back from later - you are right though I need to lay off myself & her and the pair of us need to have fun...this is where the hacking comes in! :D

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  8. A rubber duck race seems fun!

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    1. It was great fun...If you do ever decide to come to Europe & stop off in Lux we'll have to make it so that you're here at the same time! :p

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  9. The hacking and 24/7 turnout would make any horse happy :-)

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  10. Must. Come. See. Rubber. Duckies. Awesome.

    Good pics of ponies enjoying some chow time. Glad they'll be back on turnout 24-7 soon, they always seem so happy about the extra time outside.

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