Thursday 28 April 2011

Sunshine Snackings

Not much in the way of "news" to report, just have a few pictures to share.
These were taken on Easter Monday when it was a glorious 27C and Kika had the first of her days off this week, darn beeing busy! *blush*
Snapped a few shots on my phone as I held her while she grazed. She can officially go out in the field for the summer on Sunday (May 1st), but am planning on only leaving her out for a few hours that first day so that she gets to know her field mates and doesn't pig out too much on the rich grass!
Right, before going on more about that here are the promised pics:

vvv Probably my fav of the bunch (Or at least tied with the last one) vvv

vvv Tied favourite vvv

No other news, as i mentioned above this week has kept me pretty busy. Monday was our day off and we were able to graze (see above snapshots, ;) ) and Tuesday we lunged in the pessoa. I was meant to ride yesterday (according to my own little schedule), but that didn't happen. I just about managed to get to the barn and give her stable a shake up and give her her homeopathic stuffs - we have brought the dose right down to 5ml 2 times a day. Planning on changing her to one dose of 10ml once she starts going out on the field and then judging on how much is left will cut her back to 5ml once a day until it's finished. Weaning process as discussed with the homeopathic lady...
I plan to loose lunge her tonight to give her a chance to clear any and all kinks out of her system after the little work she's had to date this week, then tomorrow, saturday and sunday I will chance riding three days in a row to make up for the messed up schedule. This will be the first time since Jan that I'll be riding her three days in a row, so hopefully I'll be able to keep it interesting enough for her that she won't go looking for her own fun!
Contacted the osteo and another saddle fitter, both require a minimum of 3 horses to come for a visit so have to go this evening and see if i can rustle up a few other bodies who want their horses looked at... Wish me luck!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Sleepy Sundays

First things first, before i go into my spiel describing our thankfully unexciting week I just have to share 2 pics of the greeting i got when i got to the barn this morning.

And she was not one bit bothered by me making faces at her, she was quite happy to stay where she was and had no intention of getting up to say hello!
One Chilled Chick! *nod*

The "Leave me alone - I'm not getting up face" was out:

Now for a bit about what we got up to this week... Flight was late getting back on Monday so i didn't make it to the barn, and thankfully the friend who had been looking after her for the weekend noticed my absence and left out her homeopathic stuff for them to add to her feed the following morning, so thankfully she didn't miss a dose - Win! Got up to visit her myself on tuesday evening and managed to catch up with the friend who rode her for my while i was away and she said they had had no problems. That she had even ridden her in the outdoor on both days and was happy with her. I had been slightly afraid to find out how she'd behaved with me gone as the last time i'd left the RI's riding her she did so much messing that she dumped one of them and attempted to dump the other! I didn't ride her myself on tuesday so just put her in the walker and did her box etc. As it happens the saddle fitter who sold me the saddle was there on tuesday evening so i asked him to have a look and see that it still fit her correctly as she is after filling out and muscling up an unreal amount with her new work schedule. He checked it and said it still fits fine, i'm not so sure so will be going for a second opinion and another osteo visit as the saddle said she has two issues which could be contributing to some of the misbehaving, so will get her checked out again. It's no harm to get the osteo back to her as it was early december when she was last seen - and although she has had a good bit of massage work and is now on the homeopathic train, best to get everything checked once more.
Wednesday we lunged in the pessoa, she went really well. I have started varying the lungeing slightly in that i now use the whole arena to lunge her, we move up and down the arena as she turns around me at different speeds. We also increase and decrease the sizes of our circles to keep the brain ticking over all the time! No excuses or concentration lapses allowed, gotta keep her busy, ;)
Thursday saw my return to the saddle with some arena work in "our arena", my sister came back the day before and wanted to come see her, she was playing with my phone as i rode and took some pics - but i ended up deleting most of them as they were unflattering to myself and K, hahaha. I did keep one that was taken at the end just after i'd dismounted, was the only on worth saving (sorry if it's a bit hard to see in this size - not very exciting in any case, hahaha):

She wasn't as well behaved as she was a few weeks ago, but we can't all have great days everyday. She wasn't bad either and did everything i asked without fussing, so all in all i was very happy with her. She satayed calm and concentrated on what was being asked of her.
Friday then was a day off for her so i put her in the walker while i tidied up her stable as she's annoying when left tied up as she spends her time stamping her feet like a petulant child, so rather than wreck my head she goes into the walker for the 15-20mins it takes me to shake back up her bedding which she insists every day on pushing to the back of her stable, refilling her water trough (it is automatic but i like to just fill it - i guess to check it is working), giving her some hay too keep her quiet till bed time and setting up the little bit of garlic cubes she gets in the evening with an apple and her homeopathic juice on top mmmm, yum right?! ;)
So once her stable was ready went to rescue her from the walker and myself and another lady went up the back and let our horses graze as the sun set, not a bad way to spend my friday evening, :-D
Saturday was another arena day, i decided to put down 10 trotting poles to do something a little different, 5 and 5 not 10 in one line... By the time I had her tacked up another person was just starting work in the arena i was going to use, and she ended up using the poles aswell, so i didn't feel like i was inhibiting her, *blush* Took K a little time to settle and start listening as the other horse had started a little ahead of us and was trotting and cantering before we were ready so K was happy to try and mess a bit, but nothing bad or work avoiding, just some head tossing and watching the other horse / craning her head and/or neck and not wanting to work correctly. But once she realised she wasn't going to be allowed stop working she got over it and settled down to do work; trotting circles, figures of eight and lots of rein changes with and without using the trotting poles. She remained well balanced the whole time which made a change from thursday evening where she was tripping over her feet a bit. Nothing like some trotting poles as a bit of bribery/ incentive to do propper work, ;)
Today was a good day, we had another hack in the woods with the friend who has been helping me and her two dogs (same girl who looked after Kika for me last weekend), we just walked today as my nerves were a little at me after how the previous forrestry outing had ended. All went well, we had no issues and the dogs didn't run off this time so all in all a lovely way to spend a morning - despite herself not wanting to get up to begin with, ;)

Thursday 7 April 2011

Kandel's Next Top Model

Kika was spoiled rotten last night, not only was the sun shining again (a glorious 23C at 6.30pm) but the masseuse came out to see her again and give her a once over.
She was well impressed with how Kika has come on since she last saw her 5 weeks ago, she said she has really filled out, grown up, settled down and looks happier in her skin. All music to my ears, boils down to the fact that I may finally be doing something right by my horse. She was glad that decreasing Kika's dose of the homeopathic oil by 10mls a day hadn't had a negative effect on her. She agreed with my plan to wean her off it while finishing off this bottle, as we both figure she shouldn't need it while she is living out for the summer (May to October).
Her prognosis was that she is still stiffer on her right side (bad side), but considerably better than she used to be. The right hind which had required work on her last visit was now much improved and looser. As i feared from the musculation she also agreed that i should get the "new" saddle checked to make sure it isn't pinching - bought this saddle in October/November, hopefully the saddle fitter who sold it to me will be able to widen it if necessary or else i still have my Berneys saddle (can't sell it - LOVE that saddle!) which may fit her better now that she's toned up, so we can always try that again if needs be... If not I'm hoping seeing as he sold me the saddle he may agree a trade on a new one if necessary!

So that was last night, rode her on monday and while she wasn't great she wasn't bad either. We did get some nice calm correct trot before finishing up for the evening. I am heading back to Ireland for a long weekend this afternoon, and my friend or "mentor" as I am now going to call her - see older posts for more info on her - she has been a fantabulous help to me since the 'troubles' started, is kindly looking after Kika for me while I am away. She will lunge her this evening (as the pessoa gear is hers shouldn't be a prob for her) and then she's going to ride her friday and either sat and/or sunday depends on time i think. I have no doubt that she is in good hands, *nod*, in fact she is probably better in better hands than if i was satying here as normal!

Anyways, now for the point of the title! *sniggers*
As I am heading back to Ireland for the weekend I will be goign back to where I kept Kika before moving her out here to me, so I obviously had to get some snapshots of her since she bulked up. Not sure if it comes across onscreen as wella s it does in person, but this is the best i can do i'm afraid!
Photos taken on my phone as I still haven't figured out my camera! *blush*

Sulky McSulkypants

But then she cheered up a bit, Tyra & Mr J must have had words with her ;)

There are images for comparisons sake in earlier posts if anyone wants to see a before and after... Post a comment and I can direct you to the right entry.

Monday 4 April 2011

Sunshine, Weigh-ins and Woods

Saturday was a glorious day, 20-21C out here in Lux. About three weeks ago I signed herself up to be weighed and measured as someone was coming to do so and a load of people from the barn signed up. My time slot was 9.30am, so i was at the barn bright eyed and bushy tailed just after 9am.
As usual things didn't quite go to plan, and two people were seen to before me, but no harm done we still had our turn.
K was an angel and didn't make a fuss about standing on the weighing scales, which i thought she might... Took us three tries for her to realise not only did she has to step up onto it but that she had to stay there for a few minutes to get her pats and praise - she weighs 582kgs that's almost 10 times little old me!
Once that was done, she got sticked, now when they told me her height i thought there must be something wrong with their stick! Last time i measured her about a year and a half ago, she was just scraping 160cms. She is now 165! She has grown 6cms, and most of this growth spurt i'd wager has happened in the last 2 months since we changed her work load. I cannot explain how much she is after filling out! She now has a massive hindquarters compared to before, and her neck, shoulders, back etc are all after toning up! I really must get pictures and see if it comes across on film!

Once i re-ajusted to this information and had her tacked up myself and the friend who has been "mentoring" us for want of a better term - she rode K for me and is lending me the lundeing gear as well as keeping an eye on our progress and is always offering me tips and advice, so I think mentor is a suitable term for it, lol! Anyways we'd arranged to go out into the woods, few other people want to go with her as she has two lovely big bearded collies that run around loose as she hacks in the woods. I had no problem with this as i'm of the school of thought that my horse should be desensitised to everything. Plus after having been hunting (with another rider) a couple of times in Ireland i didn't honestly think the dogs'd bother Kika! Thankfully I was right!
We had a lovely quiet and calm hack in the woods, K and my first outing since Sept or October, can't remember exactly when we last ventured outside an arena! All went lovely till we got towards the end of teh spin and were a stone's throw from being home when the younger of the two dogs spotted someone walking there dogs and wanted to go say hello - refusing to come back when called. So my friend had to hop down of her horse, at this stage we were stopped half way up a hill and she was whistling and calling for the dog, the two horses started to get a little excited with the commotion so when she hopped off so did i to hold her mare while she went to get the dog who typically woudln't come near her cos he knew he was after doing wrong.
So we led the horses back up the hill slightly as a solo rider came up behind us and overtook us while we were still waiting for the dog to approach one of us so we could put him back on the lead. Still no problems, she managed to catch the dog as he was distracted with the other horse passing. When two more riders came up the hill behind us - trotting - sure they walked past us, but as soon as they had they trotted on up the hill again winding our two horses. With the dog on the lead my friend hopped back up, but i opted to lead Kika a little further up the hill until we were on slightly more level ground as i could tell how the turn in events was affecting her, and knew i would be at a disadvantage mounting on a slope, plus getting her to stand still for mounting at the best of times can be challenging let alone when she feels she's been left behind. After being led for a while she settled down well and stood quietish while i mounted. But as soon as my backside was in the saddle she started to bounce in excitement, the joy got too much for her and up she stood with me only having one foot in the stirrup! Silly mule, thankfully my friends horse and dogs weren't making a fuss and after she expressed herself Kika settled and walked really calmly back up to the yard while my friends horse bounced along beside her wired.
It didn't quite ruin our hack, but it did put a definite dampner on the days proceedings. Although annoyed that rearing would now appear to be her defence mechanism/go-to-reaction when she gets excited/frustrated I cannot be overly mad at her as until that point she had been so good! Especially considering this was the first "outdoorsy" outing in a long time, things could have been a lot worse!
She was lunged yesterday and will be ridden this evening by myself. Tomorrow is a rest day and then I hope to ride again on wednesday, I'm heading back to Ireland for a long weekend from Thursday to Monday s abovementioned friend is kindly going to work with K for me while I'm away. Thankfully she seems to be looking forward to it as she loves riding all different types of horses and i think she quite enjoys the different challenge K presents to other horses. She sees a lot of her own mare in Kika, although her red-headed lassy is more fond of the bucking bronco to circus pony tricks. However both a very intelligent thinking horses, so we've to always keep them busy and their mind on something else - she's a great help when it comes to suggesting things, trading tips and tricks when it comes to distracting the pensive girls, ;)