Saturday 25 December 2010

Christmas Eve Spin and Snow Pictures!

No real update as such to post, just a quick video taken by my sister yesterday of K and I doing a spot of sitting trot. She had 30mins lungeing before i sat up after 2 weeks off work!

Please ignore the sound, I have no idea how to get rid of the knocking or my sister's encouraging words, *blushing*

So that was yesterday, now today for Christmas - well it wasn't Christmas for us so much as my middle sister could not get out of Ireland yesterday so we are waiting for her to get back to celebrate (open presents and eat turkey) - so today was a lovely relaxing day as Christmas goes, :)

Kika, on the otherhand, got to celebrate. Not only did she get to play in a paddock for the first time since October (pictures to follow - promise) she got yummy Christmas treats curtesy of my mother. Yesterday my mam insisted on going to the tack shop to pick up some treats for Kika so that she'd get a present today - she didn't want her to be the only horse at the barn not to receive presents and feel left out *sniggers*
So Kika got a slap up meal of: banana treats, red berry treats, carrots and apples on top of kicking up her heels in the snow!

(Pictures from my phone  so sorry if quality not great!)

Bit of a roll first!

The snowy face of her!

Then time to kick up her heels a bit!

She's gotta stretch her legs somehow right? *sniggers*

Thanks for looking and reading since I started this joyful endeavour!


Hopefully you'll stick with us for the rest of this year and then perhaps tune in again in 2011! :D

Monday 13 December 2010

First Foreign Fall

Title says it all really, after 8 months here, K managed to dislodge me on saturday!
Bless her I think she was just full of beans as I hadn't seen her since Tuesday, between the 20cms of snow that fell between 4.30 and 6pm on Wednesday which stopped me getting up to her and then Thursday there was the work Christmas Party and Friday I was exhausted and I am ashamed to admit couldn't face the walk up to her in the cold, let alone sitting on her.
Made my way up to her on Saturday, tacked her up and went into the largest of the arenas, there was 2 other horses finishing up as I entered. She started happy out walking around and we did a bit of trotting after the first horse left. But i could feel her making goo-goo eyes and looking for reasons to act the hound so i kept talking to her to keep the pair of us calm, but no go she just had it in her head that today was going to be "fun" (for her that is!).
Cue bucking, plungeing and play acting on her part. Kept her going twice, including her first attempt to dislodge me where she very nearly suceeded! Her nose was near the ground to facilitate the pluneging and bucking, and i was flat out down her neck (well I think I was, i remember sitting back against the bucks, but then last one i found my head beside her ears). Just as I was sure I was going to hit the deck, she seemed to realise where i was and stopped! She kept very still and allowed me slide back into the saddle and off we went again with her happy out almost skipping!
After a few more minutes she kicked off again, but having sat the first one (sort of, lol, had she not stopped and let me back up I'd deffo have hit the deck!) I wasn't as suprised when she threw another wobbly, squeezed the legs and kept her going forward.
At this stage we were on our own in the arena, but the last rider was just outisde the ring and picking ut her horse's hooves. As we passed the radio which was playing god knows what, i just had a split second feeling she was going to chance her arm again. But knowing it and preventing it was another thing, in the moment it took me to relise what she was "plotting" she had dropped her head and bounced about again. This time she succeeded and i flipped over her neck. Can't be sure exactly what happened, but I landed in the thankfully soft arena and still had the reins in one hand! I was the stretch of the reins away from her and pretty sure i was facing the opposite direction to which we had been going in, not entirely sure how i managed that. But i do remember felling her twist in the air (bronco-style), so god knows what we looked like! Probably like a doll being buffeted about on a bricking horse, *blush*
Thankfully I wasn't hurt, just pissed off with her for acting the maggot. I'll hold my hand up and admit i was starting to feel the nerves at this stage, but hoped back up and started walking around again. As I was making my first lap of the ring in walk another lady arrived to ride her QH, when she was at the door to get in i happened to be heading towards her, so i just warned her that my missus was acting the hound and checked that her lad was quiet so that if  K kicked off again it wouldn't upset him (I could still feel the mischiviousness in her). The other lady was lovely and said, not a bother that her fella was calm out.
As I finished my first lap in walk, with yourone still sufficiently on her toes, i heard the grind of metal as they opened the large arena door and the entrance gate. At this stage I was wondering was anything going to fall right for me that day, sure enough as i suspected a dude walked in and asked us to vacate the arena as it was the turn of the carriage driver. So i hopped down and led Miss K out to see which of the other arenas were least busy.
I didn't feel the need for an audiance with her acting the fool, but lady luck was not on my side, the only arena "free" had 2 people trying out saddles, with the saddler and at least 2-4 other people popping in and out, the lady and her QH who had left the main arena with me and another woman who had just finished lungeing her horse.
K was not going to get away with unseating me then walking around for a little bit and think that she was done for the day - not a lasting lesson i wanted to give her, teehee!
So I bit the bullet and went into the smaller arena with all the bodies and rotating spectators (people were coming and going). Hopped back up and walked around, deciding to stay in the top half of the arena and hopefully not get in the way of those trying out the saddles and keeping away from excuses for yourone to show-off her bronco tricks.
Think it stopped her messing, *rollseyes*, Not A Chance! I was feeling pretty tense at this stage, so chatted away to her to calm myself mostly and try to relax.
Walking around she was fine, first few smaller circles of trot she was fine, then out of nowhere decided to try another spot of broncoing. Didn't manage to dislodge me again though, and she tried at least another two times although all of her attempts in the smaller arena were moderate compared to her wobblies in the main arena before and resulting in my spill.
We worked away for a good thirty minutes and i suceeded in holding her attention between outbursts and actually getting some nice work out of her. Had it not been for her plungeing/bucking carrying on her other work was fab, including lovely collected sitting trot in a fab outline! But thankfully her misbehaviour was for the most part left in the main arena on! Any little bucks, bounces she attempted in the smaller arena didn't result in her getting to stop her work, teehee! Just got her a dig in the ribs from my heels!

Sunday was a much better day, back in the main arena, to exorcise our demons from the day before (mine obviously not hers!). Plenty of bodies about again, there were 2 in there when we entered, and 4 more joined while i was there while one of the two left. So there was 5 or 6 of us in total at the end i think, with a few bodies loitering around watching friends and stuff. She was a bit on her toes when we started, i could feel her thinking about looking to mess again, but I was a lot firmer sunday. I wasn't going to take the same messing as the day before.
Again i decided to work up the top of the big arena, as one of the others riding had her dog in the bottom corner by the entrance. And while he is good and doesn't bark or anything, he has been known to wander out of his corner and I didn't need K finding anymore excuses to shy ans i knew if she found something to be scared of the plungeing/bucking would start again. So we stayed up the top of the arena and worked away with only one half hearted attempt at messing before she settled and rounded into an outline.
The silly billy tripped herself when we were changing leads in trot, i had a feeling she wasn't really paying attention and she proved me right by falling over her front feet and landing on her knees before scrambling back up and trotting on. Thankfully she hadn't hurt herself, she had just been distracted by the two handsome black geldings coming towards her *sniggers*. I was very relieved when she contínued to work obediantly after this, as if her mood from the previous day had carried on I'd probably have found myself deposited again as she'd have taken advantage of the trip to decide to spook at something on the next corner, ;)
Our work including some lovely canter, albeit with a bit of messing threatening in canter - she did throw one big buck and tried to start plungeing when we were cantering after a good 25minutes work, one of my friends from the barn who was watching commented when we'd finished that she did a lovely lead change, teehee!

As usual a big long winded addition to the blog, sorry I write so much!
Fair play to you if you've read this far!

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Back in the Saddle

Well my weekend trip to Ireland did not happen due to plane being stuck in Spain and there being an 8 hour delay in take off which would meant we were going to miss the match, and therefore the whole reason for the trip back to the Emerald Isle! Thankfully as the delay was not our fault, airline refunded our flights there and back and we were able to cancel hotel reservation, only expenses were unused match tickets and the bus to and from airport. Turns out that it may have been a blessing in disguise as it got so foggy during the match that i doubt spectators could see much from the sidelines, watching the match from home you deffo couldn't see a whole pile on the cameras!
Silver lineing to all this is that i got an extra day to get re-acquainted with Kika's back, ;)
On sunday afternonn she got 20-30mins lungeing with her tack on before i sat up on her. There was a bit of messing on the lunge line when asked to canter, but I'm beginning to think that that is just her reaction to being asked to canter when lungeing (whether loose lungeing or on a lunge line, messing is still the same *roll-eyes*)
I was a bit apprehensive about getting back up considering what I'd been told about her misbehaving while i was away, bearing in mind that i hadn't sat on a horse in 4 weeks and she had not been sat on in 3 and a half weeks. But over the last few days she has returned to being the affectionate horse i know and love, I'm assuming going back to our carrot stretches in the stable has helped there as well as the three weeks off. Which considering she had been in ridden work since she arrived in early May was a deserved rest, and once i realsied this fact i could kind of understand her sullen behaviour (but still not an excuse in my book).
So i fixed my stirrups and hopped up and we walked around a bit, trotted a few circles and figures of 8, changeing reins and stuff. Then came the tricky canter... As usual i needn't have worried, she was good as gold. Didn't put a toe out of line under saddle and was probably wondering what all the fuss was about when i was so elated after the spin, patting her and 'good girling' her in my relief, *blush*.

The reason I didn't post this update on sunday night was that after that successful re-aquaintance under saddle, i had decided that monday i was going to ride without lungeing first and see how we got on - and thus hold of on posting a happy-go-lucky update until after that experiment.
I had monday booked off work as i was due to make a late return from Ireland on sunday (see above as to why trip was cancelle, ;) ), so original plan had been to tackle K on monday, so not to far off track (in fact ahead of schedule due to being able to get initial re-aquaintance done on sunday) and actualy better as yard is quieter during the day with most livery owners at work and/or in school for the younger ones.

So arrived to yard yesterday afternoon to be pleasantly suprised to see that St Nicholas had passed through the barn and left a parcel of goodies attached to K's stable door! Win!! :-D Silly billy thought it was for her and kept nuzzling at it, so i had to take it away and put it in my tack locker, ;-) After she having only had her teeth done last week, couldn't be giving her chocolate :-p (That's my story and i'm sticking to it! In fact i didn't even open the parcel myself last night when i got home, it's still sitting on the kitchen table!)

Tacked herself up and was hoping to ride in the quieter arena up the back of the yard, but someone was having a lesson in there, so bit the bullet and went for the "busier" one which is also bigger. There were two people in there when i arrived, a girl just starting to get a lesson (but she had a headset to listen to instructor so i wouldn't be disturbing) and a guy riding western style trotting and cantering, loping around the place. Not an ideal re-introduction, i'd hav preferred a quieter setting myself, but this was what i was being faced with so took a deep breathe and got on. I must looked like a right eejit as i kept soothing her (*ahem* me) as we walked around a bit till she settled. I'll admit the guy in the western garb careening around the place in canter did not help our case!
But sort of settle she did and she calmed further once we started trotting, and started circling down the bottom of the arena. I was glad to see that she hadn't forgotten everything we had been working on prior to her "episodes" and was willing to work in an outline and bend around me leg on our circles. Another girl joined the arena on a grey pony and K and i had a few disagreements then as to what we were doing. I wanted her to trot forward, she wanted to be a kangaroo! After a bit of prancing she moved continued down the diagonal to change the rein like i was asking her to do when she started to throw her wobbly. Then came a circle in trot, which she decided to test the boundaries again with a few more half-rear/buck type bouncing things. I'm not entirely sure what she was doing, perhaps plungeing?! But whatever she was at didn't last long as i got her head back up and continued on with our circle! We stuck to our end of the arena circling for a bit and changeing the rein down there, but she seemed to have decided that the battle wasn't worth it and just got on with what was being asked of her.
I guess familiarity is a good thing, she knows better than to mess with me as i can be bloody stubborn when I want to be, she always loses our battle of wills!
She settled back into a nice outline and got back to work, trotting circles, changeing rein, figures of 8 etc etc. Another young girl on a pony joined the arena (the cowboy guy had left) and she didn't even pay it any attention she was actually listening and concentrating for a change! So i braved the canter transititon, honnestly fearing a bit of fireworks, so i was sure to be well away from the other riders when i asked her to go up a gear. Ever the surpriser she changed up without an iota of fuss and cantered her circle in a lovely contact and bending correctly, calmly returning to trot before changeing rein and doing something similar on the other rein. I was so relieved and happy that i cannot express it correctly in words!
We continued working our paces (all three) on circles, changeing rein etc for close on an hour's work altogether.

To say I was a happy camper last night would be an understatement!!!
I was over the moon, I guess a bit of a holiday was all she was after, and in all honnesty i can't say that i blamed her. It had been pretty selfish of me not to have given her one sooner! Fingers crossed that this upward curve of good behaviour continues this evening and for the rest of the week. Will (hopefully) be in Ireland this weekend so she should get friday-monday off to recuperate.
I am so glad to have my happy ponio back and no longer have to face the sullen so and so that used to greet me when i arrived at the barn.
Long may it last!