|Apologies all slightly blurry & my hands and heels are awful!|
This is why I wanted the pictures & videos to see exactly what I am doing and hopefully attempt to fix it!
|Eurgh not sure what my upper body is doing here,|
but I LOVE her floppy concentration ears.
|Brief pause as someone else joined us in the arena - hence Kika's interest & pointy ears.|
Thankfully the thorough examination was good, and after an initial scare that one of the back teeth might be fractured, once cleaned and examined more closely verdict was no infection in mouth and all teeth looked good, however Nancy did get three milk teeth removed at the front of her mouth as her new teeth were starting to come through behind them - so I now have three of Nancy's teeth which I must clean up and find somewhere for safekeeping.
Any of you wonderful creative & artsy blog-readers have any tips as to what I might be able to do with them?
|Nice soft Kika - gargh my heels!|
|Not quite so soft Kika, she had an eek spell where it took me a good 5 minutes to convince her the arena-monsters weren't going to eat her.|
I did feel kind of bad leaving Nancy all alone in the field, but she got used to it before and I didn't want to leave tied up to be devoured by the flies while I rode. So she got a bucket of carrots all to herself to assuage the feelings of abandonment, however judging from the dried sweat when I returned Kika to the field after riding, my guess is she exercised herself on my behalf.
|Click to enlarge|
Hate me in this,
but had to share as Kika lost a foreleg - LOL!
|K watching the horse below in the mirror,|
but makes for fun snap.
|Checking I let the girth out right.|
|Don't know why - but there is just something I love about this shot|
It was Nancy's third time ever on the walker and while she wasn't bad, she didn't relax into it like Kika does. In fact if Kika could she would fall asleep in the walker and regularly walks so slowly that the back bar rests on her backside so she can slow the whole thing down! However Nancy stays up near the front bar and sways back and forth looking for a way to get by it, I don't know if she will settle better with more walker exposure - but i don't think I am going to test the theory and potentially scare & scar her (mentally) as she doesn't need to go in the walker - she can be pulled out of her stable and ridden straight away, unlike Kika who used to need the time on walker as warm up time to get her head in the game before riding - we shall see if this will still be the case this winter or if she has mellowed enough in herself to also be able to be ridden from the stable - although this point may be moot as hopefully we will still have the winter turnout & this year the three (my two + the Guru's O) will go out together every afternoon!
|Prob my fav photo of the night!|
Sorry, went off on another tangent there! I guess I should just update the blog more regularly and then I wouldn't have so much to say! Although I feel bad updating without pictures, hence the overload today!
Anyway all of this waffle brings us right back to square one and my spins last night, the photographic & video evidence documents Kika and my spin last night in our least favourite arena hence the tension - she has been riding a lot more relaxed than this of late - but our preferred arenas were too busy.
|Mirror shot from arena|
|Close up after work, as always Nancy wanted to snuggle|
After the quick Kika spin & photo/video-shoot, I managed to have the time to toss her out and haul in Nancy for her first spin since coming back to the yard last Wednesday. We were alone in the main arena (photo from mirror above), it is the largest arena and although I turned on the radio for some background noise, N was still on edge and antsy. So we stuck to walk & trot down the lower half of the arena to ease ourselves back into "working" mindset after our summer of forestry hacking. While far from perfect and nowhere near relaxed - we both survived and I managed to not stress her out any further like I had been doing prior to our summer of hacking - fingers crossed I can keep our happy hacking attitude when we play in the arenas and our fantastically fun summer in the sun & woods will have totally paid off if i can transfer our relaxed work out there to an arena setting! :D
Videos now - posted in the order they were filmed, as always apologies for sound - I have never figured out how to edit videos and7or remove things like sound & background noise.
Watching this first video on my computer screen has me questioning her soundness at the start, is it just me or is she head-bobbing at the very beginning of the clip? She didn't feel uneven last night - but now I'm worried as I'm not always the most perceptive! *another-bad-mommy-moment*
The second video is the longest at 3mins, features left-rein cantering. Watching it enlarged on my computer screen I can no see why the Guru is always telling me to sit into the saddle when cantering, I swear when riding I don't feel as loose as I appear in these videos - another thing to add to hands & heels on the laundry list for working on - am loving watching these videos as I need them to see where I am going wrong, i honestly don't know the last time I saw a video of myself riding - I'm sure it's on this blog & prob back in December when my sis was home for Christmas!
Coming up to the 1m30 mark, when we change rein, Kika decided that the arena going in this direction was scary and had monsters lurking & hiding down one side - hence more walking then trotting or cantering to get her to settle again. 3m20 mark is where someone asked to join us in the arena - worked to my advantage as K (like any horse) is happier when there is another equine in the vicinity, herd animals, eh? ;-)
Right rein cantering - our more difficult side -although this was a lovely soft canter to ride. Much more relaxed then her previous left-rein canter from previous video.
My initial take-aways after watching these videos for the second time are:
- HEELS (as always), I absolutely have to stop lifting them and niggling her with them, it is tipping me forward and looks awful. I really need to strengthen my legs and work on squeezing with my calves & not niggling with my heels. Gosh talk about CRINGE - i didn't know I was this bad!
- HANDS (again as always), I am carrying my hands too low and again niggling at her with them, eurgh! I need to make more of a 90º angle at my elbow and carry my hands, they are practically sitting on the pommel of the saddle. I also need to shorten my reins - Lord, where am I going with them at that length!
- SEAT, I need to sit my ar$e into the saddle, i have been told this before in lessons with the Guru when working on canter, but i honestly didn't feel like I came out of the saddle like this videos are showing me - methinks if i can get a handle on my heels and stop lifting them, I'll stop compensating and gripping with my knees which will hopefully help me keep my bum in the saddle.
I am sure there is much much more for me to work on that is obvious to others that I am failing to see, so please CONSTRUCTIVE criticism welcome - and of course for longtime followers of Kika & my story any improvements will be welcomed...if there is any!
Again sorry for blurry/grainy videos & photos - I forgot to tell my friend that if she taped the screen the camera would focus again. All images taken with my camera phone - so again quality not super - but shows me what i wanted to see - namely what we need to work on!