Saturday 3 September 2011

Wonderful Woods

We went for a lovely long hack today and she walked really well. I was with my trusty pal L and was talking to her about the pacing, as she identified it for me - she reckons it's another defence mechanism of Kika's (we're starting to rack them up, admittedly this is less dangerous to my well being then her go-to defence of rearing ) happens when i stiffen or she feels tense/worried about something the mare starts to pace, although only in walk.

As for our hack we had a fab time, weather was a toasty 29C today so i really didn't fancy a lesson (having one tomorrow instead) and L had had a long day of running around for appointments etc so a gently wander in the woods did us both (and the two mares) a world of good,  Shade = our friend today!

We only had one minor disagreement when we came across the first of 3 tents (mini-marquee type things, L mentioned she thought there might be some type of rally or relay thing going on in the woods at some stage today or over the weekend). The first tent/mini-marquee K spotted before L's horse O, when she saw it Kika stopped and stared eyes on stils, but moved forward obediently as O had kept walking. Then when O spotted it and stopped to stare Kika had to stop again, we coaxed the pair of them forward a few more steps but then it was just too scary. Bad news is that O has a not too disimilar defence mechanism to Kika's in that she spins away from what she's scared of but if forced back can rear/buck/bolt - if really scared. So L got down and decided to lead her mare up to it and passed it, i was going to also get down but she said no to stay in saddle and see if K'd be alright "following" O. Kika's second spook and O's reaction made K think about rearing, but when i felt her think about it and L saw it cross her mind that's when she decided to hop off as there was no point in the 4 of us getting injured. So with O blowing, huffing and puffing trying to blow the thing down, K tootled along behind her stopping each time O stopped, she'd give a little start each time O snorted (which was every few steps - you know in the horse's scared of something way teehee) anyways i could feel that K had relaxed and had already decided this tent/mini-marquee thing wasn't really as scary as first impression implied. I was able to turn her away from O who walked passed the tent and L hopped back up off a conveniently placed bench on the other side, while K and i took wander around the tent to see that it wasn't scary from any angle - I toyed with the idea of riding under it, but it was just that little bit too low that i knew even if i bent down beside her head that i'd run he risk of rubbing my back off it and didn't fancy the reaction to such a sound while we might be under the low tent - so decided to leave it till we come across a larger one some day...if ever,
Anyways met another one a little further on that neither one batted an eyelid at, they both walked passed happy as lambs not even looking at this one. A little further on we crossed another one, Lord this one was terrifying again as this one was completed with a table which two people were setting up on and a car parked alongside it. The two mares stopped again, and L hopped off to lead O passed it while K followed happy as a pig in muck behind. They make a right double act the pair of them

Mosied on home after that thankfully none the worse for wear and i actually think perhaps foolishly bigging up my own capabilities, but i think that had i come across such items on my own on a hack with Kika we'd have coped differently. I think she'd have been more trusting of me when i told her it was alright rather than balking when O backed off the same things she was wary about... But live and learn, unlikely to be hacking on my own for a while as it's more fun with someone else natter-wise, especially when they know all the routes and trails,

L and I are going to work on some flatwork schooling tomorrow evening and may be heading to a tack shop in Germany in the afternoon as apparently they have fab reductions on at the moment (like up and above 50% off)!!!
I really shouldn't be spending monies as a) I don't really have it to spend after the saddle purchase last month and b) I still have to pay the insurance on K which has been out with the last month , but x) which to my mind cancels out a) & b) is that if i can buy a nice new matchy-matchy bridle and the girth with a ring for the pessoa for half the prices I'd be paying for them here...well that is just more money concious in the long run, right?!

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