Monday 4 October 2010

Tempermental Temperatures

Yesterday was not such a good day for Kika and myself.
After sleeping on it I have come to the conclusion that the weather may be to blame for her downright misbehaving yeterday. She was in foul form, not so much when I was riding her (although she did have a few wobblers) but on the ground her manners were seriously found wanting, and in such an out of character way!
Although I think the temperatures may be to blame, it has picked back up to mid to low twenties during the day and this is looking like lasting the week if the forecast in the paper is to be believed. If this is the case I can empathise with her frustration, her winter coat has been coming in and she looks like a fine fluffy teddy bear. So I'm sure the temperatures picking back up yesterday did not do anything to endear her mood.

I don't want to list what she did online, as it was so out of character that and I am hoping a once off that I don't want her actions 'set in stone'. I'll be taking her out again this evening, then we have a flat lesson tomorrow night and our first jumping lesson on wednesday. I'm trying to rein in my disapproval of her behaviour yesterday and keep it in context, namely that this was the first time in 3 years of ownership that I have seen her act this way. So unless her misbehaving continues, I am hoping it might just have been a blip.

On a brighter note, our flat lesson last thursday went well. We are slowly getting there, I know our efforts are going to take time. Especially as for the last three years, I have been riding her without asking her to "work" correctly. This is because I myself have not known how to do it, to get her to use herself properly and engage her back end so that she can work in a correct outline. As this is all new to the pair of us it is a slow process, but one we are working on. I am the first to hold my hand up and admit that my own limited riding ability (for what I want to achieve with her) is contributing to our slow progress.
I have picked up plenty of bad habits over the years and must right these if i want Kika to achieve the goals i have set out for us. My goal for now is to get her to use herself correctly, from behind which will encourage her to work in a correct outline and responding to my legs and aids obediantly so that when/if we do return to competing I will have an obediant concentrating horse at all times.
Just a checklist for myself so that I remember what it is i have to work on with my own riding:
 - Heels down (more) and stop gripping with my knees, therefore popping my heels back up and making my feet loose in the stirrups.
 - Sit up straight with shoulders back
 - Stop looking down (getting better at this one, until we circle - working on it!)
 - Stop leaning around circles thereby upsetting our combined balance unecessarily
I'm sure there are more, but if i can get to grips with these, I'll be in a better position (no pun intended) and we'll be heading in the right direction!

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