Thursday 5 January 2012

Jumping Pictures as promised - but belated

My first post of 2012 is actually pictures from 2011 - woopsy!

I was humming and hawing about posting these as they are far from super and no where near all of them, but they are a selection that i was ok about posting online - although not at all happy with myself!
Kika was an angel despite not having jumped since September/October, although we have been doing a lot of pole work under saddle and lungeing so this may have contributed to the calm I experienced - or perhaps she is just in a better headspace! (Ona can live in hope right?)

As always photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse quality and as always please excuse the state of me!! (28/12/2011)

Happy head on her after jumping fence!

Despite my being uber-happy with her non-exitability i found her kind of flat in her attempts to take on the fences - she wasn't pushing herself off the ground with her rear end although this may have somehting to do with the size and her possibly thinking them small. Shall use ground poles if/and when i jump again to concentrate her mind and give us both something to focus on for a better take-off point.

Plenty more work to be done in any case!

Unfortunately that was the last day i sat on her lovely self as a university friend arrived that evening ahead of New Years Eve celebrations and i felt guilty about stealing my typical 2-3hours at the barn of an afternoon/evening when i had a visitor. Although she is horsey herself and very understanding about the dedication required - including encouraging and accompanying me to bring her and O in/out of the field and watching me lunge on friday (I had been planning to ride but Kika was wired when we brought her in from the field and as time was tight due to other engagement i settled on lungeing her which although she responded to gait change voice requests i didn't really have her full attention at all!).

As always I'm prattling on here, basically surrounding New Years Eve celebrations i was too tired to ride Kika and felt it best to give her some downtime rather than attempt half-hearted riding as neither one of us would take anything remotly positive from that! Then Tuesday and Wednesday i was unfortunately ill (missed a day of work - tuesday afternoon and wednesday morning) friends kindly popped her in the walker and let her run free in an arena for me!
Got up to her this evening and she was well happy to see me, actually makes me wonder if my friends had been spoiling her with treats - as it's unlike her to actually miss me! We worked on the lunge with the pessoa and i am very happy with her as the wind and rain were pounding off the roof of the arena and she didn't give it a blinds bit of notice! All systems are go for a hopeful return to the saddle tomorrow afternoon - yay for a half day!
The plan is to flat work tomorrow, pole work under saddle on Saturday (pending arena availability) and then if L is up for it and weather permitting might see if we can fit in a forrestry stroll on Sunday.

Thanks to all who responded to my previous pictures on the various message boards i posted them on as well as here. Thanks for some wonderful tips which i hope to impliment to improve my riding - particularly re-introducing no-stirrup work to strengthen my core and stop me gripping with my knees (pulling up my heel). My initial thought process was to start with a month no-stirrup work in January. But upon further pondering over the christmas period i thought it might be best to work our way up to removing the stirrups from our saddle! As if i do too much sittting trot work without warming herself up properly it can get uncomfortable for her and as such bouncy for me as she reacts to her discomfort. So my new plan of action is now to work without stirrups (while they are still attached to my saddle) after warming up 1-2 times a week (or every session depending on behaviour) and then if i feel her back is strong enough & she is physically and mentally ready i hope to remove the stirrups from my saddle for the month of Feb or March - depending on how work goes this month!

So that is anyone and everyone all caught up!
Thanks again for all your very kind words (about our new saddle pad) and encouragement and tips to help improve my riding.
Will hopefully have another update after the weekend - although pictures are doubtful - sorry!


  1. Thanks for the lovely pics! :) My only comment is you need to stretch those heels down more! (Lately I've had some trouble with that too!)

  2. Great pics!! Love the 2nd last one. Sooo jealous of your indoor!

  3. @ L - thanks for the tip, my heels are the bane of my equine life, lol! Perhaps a bit overly dramatic, but it sure feels that way at times! I think it stems mostly from my issue in that i have developed the nasty habit of gripping with my knees - if i can get on top of that my heels should stop creeping up! Hence the stirrup-free work in my immediate future! ;-)

    @ Lyoness - Thank you, that is the best photo IMO also, but that is still not saying much for of a bad bunch surmises it better! Plenty Worky McWork ahead of myself and Miss Kika!
    I do feel incredibly blessed and spoiled rotten by the facilities available to me at the yard I am on.

  4. As a response to what you wrote on my blog, thank you for the compliment!

    As a reminder though I want to warn you to not jump into no stirrups right off the bat! I don't want you getting injured (which happens, haha I know!) 1 or 2 laps at a time will suffice until you get stronger and your muscles get used to the work.


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