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, ;)

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