Friday 2 December 2011

Where did i leave off?

I haven't had much to report of late - yet am sure this post will still manage to be ridiculously long! Apologies in advance!
Let's see since i last update the oseto came to see herself for a check up where teh friend who was helping me out by being there (I was away in Germany at an Equi Expo - where i bought a lovely new bridle amongst other things, unfortunately no photos as yet as a cheek piece is missing and i've to buy two new ones!) reported back that Kika's back and arse-end were alright, one minor manipulation but that the main problem area for her was her head/neck, she hinted that damage to that area may have contributed in some part to her rearing - it may do but i reckon rearing is just her go-to defence to discomfort as since we know she isn't muscled enough for certain requests we have kept rearing to a minimum which is great in my book! My friend M who was there with her also commented on the fact that she had never seen a horse being treated react so indifferently to what the healer was doing, Kika was way more preoccupied with anything and everything that was going on around her then what was being done to her - something i may have eluded to in previous posts when she's being massaged, she's not one to relax and enjoy it (but then again neither am I so perhaps the link is there! Woopsy, more that is my fault/doing!). The osteo also said that there appeared to be a disconnect between Kika's brain and what her legs were doing - which led me to ask another osteo friend if this meant my horse was somehow "retarted" - she laughed and said no that sometimes this comnnected with horses being more clumsy/lazy - words i have previously used to describe her Ladyship. She advised pole work on the lunge and from the saddle to increase herself's awarness of where her feet are and what they are doing! The osteo that visited advised me to concentrate on long and low work to muscle up Kika's neck and stretch down through her back - another thing we are working on but Kika get's herself all strung out distracted by anything and anything else that she tends to spend more time imitating a Giraffe that stretching her nose to the ground - we are managing to work consistently in an outline these days so it's getting ehr to relax further and stretch is being worked on, although typically i can only get her to do this after "proper" work - but baby steps and hopefully we'll get there some day! I have also re-started work with the pessoa once a week/ every two weeks depends on time/work and changed the setting i use it on so that it will encourage her to stretch down into the movement - thereby (hopefully) building up the neck/back muscles! I have a few videos of L lungeing her like this for the first time last friday for me to see how it's done properly and learn from/aim to replicate. However I don't want to kick upa  fuss with anyone who might read this and disagree with the use of lungeing aids - however i have found that this works for me and my horse in the past and she actually enjoys the work she does in the pessoa, or believe me she would kick up such a fuss as to let you know she was having none of it!

As for actual riding we have had a few good sessions, one over trotting poles wedneday week (23.11.11) where i rode for the first time since before our holidays without putting her in the walker or lungeing her first. Not only that but we also worked in the arena she typically behaved worst in and thankfully had no problems! She stelled and worked away like a dream, :-)
Saturday (26.11.11) was our best session just the two of us in a long time! We got lovely calm and controlled walk/trot/canter and worked on our serpentines with volts on each bend, figures of eight, rein changes and increasingly smaller circles when she was well and truly warmed up - we got our tightest circles today without any issues on both reins! I was so happy and proud of her and myself by proxy!
Other spins since then took place wednesday and thursday this week (30.11.11 and 1.12.11), wedensday i lunged for a good 20mins before hand as she hadn't been ridden since saturdays good session - we had worked with trotting poles on the lunge on monday but then i had to miss tuesday as i was unwell and stayed at home in the toasty house - shame on me I know! :-(
Think Madam would settle on the lunge? - not a chance, someone else was lungeing in the small arena at the same time and they were in the top half so we went down by the door - well if Kika is to be believed it is the scariest door in the world as she was incapable fo passing at at walk/trot or canter with anything but scared bug-eyes fixating on it and lopsided un-even circles! Anyways we survived and i went into the "big" arena where one other person was working on his recovering fiesty horse (poor fella can only to a max of 10mins trotting and the rest he has to walk - this is a horse that is so full of beans he literaly explodes occasionaly!), thankfully Kika paid no attention to the one explosion that occured while we did some walk/trot canter work - although I'll admit the canter was woefull and my fault as i just wanted to get the canter in that arena over with without upsetting the big black fella so as not to set him off, so i really did Kika no favours there! But i did come away knowing that she is well capable of behaving and working without a fuss in the biggest arena (I tend to stick to the smaller ones as they are usually less busy)
Last night we attempted to work in the big arena as the evening before but without lungeing first, usually wouldn't have been a problem - only rain was intermittently hammering off the roof, the length of the small side mirror was completely fogged up and there were three other horses in the arena with us, one of which was the fiesty black fella from yesterday spontaneously exploding/buck/cat-leap/farting about the place - all of teh above combined to put both Kika and myself on edge so i bailed before we got into trouble and went to work in a quieter arena. We did get some nice work in the second arena, but she was very much still on edge and i couldn't quite get msyelf to relax either so once we'd had some nicely trotted circles i called it an evening and let her loose in the small luneging arena - if proof was needed that tehre was something off with her she stuck to the door eyes on stalks when i let her loose and wouldn't move anywhere but up and down the small side along the windows and door of the littlest arena. So i grabbed her headcollar and walked her round and around (coaxed her for the first round and avoided being trampled as we got the the terrifying scary corner with the other door which had caused such issues in luneging the previous evening) till she calmed and was walking happy out quiet as a lamb beside me. So i let her loose once more and went about cleaning the stable and sorting her feed. She still wasn't quite right as she stuck close to the non-threatening door but was no longer terrified looking...very odd behaviour if i may say so myself.
She did relax enough to have a roll for herself, typically just as i went to bring her in secretly delighted that she wasn't going to bring half the sand out of the arena with her for a change...not to be. I'm not complaining tough as she stood good as gold to get her feet washed, herself de-sanded and brushed and her rug put back on without necessitating my having to tie her up in cross-ties.

So that's us all caught up no so swiftly as per usual. Fear not as i have a bit of a reward for your perseverenc ein teh form of a snapshot i captured after our polework under saddle session last wednesday (23.11.11) as i left her loose in teh arena we'd been working in and L added her horse O and another friend C tossed in her lad E who Kika had shared the field with during the summer...Here's the reunion fo the wall, ;)

LINK - if it's too small for viewing!

I'm off back to Ireland for the weekend, L is going to help keep an eye on K and possibly give her a lunge/spin if she has time. I will be returning to the yard i use dto keep Kika on in Ireland - as it's owned by my motehrs family and where we stay when we visit, still odd to go there and not have Kika. But i'm not sure if they'll have anything for me to have a spin on or if i'll have time...We'll see!
Thanks if you've read so far, very sorry yet again for the length of it! (oh and apologies if spelling mistakes - afraid my fingers can sometimes go faster than my brain can keep up!)

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