Saturday 7 January 2012

Weekend Plans & Mucho Rug shopping required!

Hoping to make this quick, but more than likely will end up longer as usual!
Apologies in advance!

Starting with my "return" to the saddle yesterday after a week and a half unplanned riding break for Kika - she was still lunged a few times and turned out almost everyday so she wasn't just sat in her stable storing energy, ;)
Arena space was limited last night as there is to be a display on at our yard for a belated Christmas/New Year party of sorts taking place on sunday, so the largest and most used of the arenas was booked for practice, the RS had lessons in one of the smaller ones so the one i usually ride in and find the quietest was actually quite busy due to spillover!
So there were 5 of us in the arena at once - bit of a tight squeeze, but manageable. One was warming up for a lesson, so mostly walking and trotting, one was finishing up so spent about 10mins walking to cool down and then a friend of hers arrived after having lunged her ride in another arena to walk him for 10mins with her friend cooling down...two abrest was not ideal as it was already a bit cramped, but we didn't complain as space is tight everywhere...The last two were myself & Kika and L & her mare O (Kika's field companion and best buddy) - last night was the first time the pair of them had been excercised in the same arena since they had been being turned out together and before that hacking buddies - to say Kika was pre-occupied and distracted to keep her eyes on O was an understatement...She also had to keep tabs on all the other horses in the arena aswell in case she mised something scary they saw!
Trying to get her to listen at first was a nuissance, L could see we were struggling and in her fantabulous Guru-way gave me the tools i needed to help. Namely shortening my reins and pushing her forwards (complete opposite to what i thought i had to do which was to leave reins loose-ish so that she'd have nothing to fight against and trying to keep her slow and steady - I don't half get it wrong in my thought process - eh?!)
Needless to say that that helped immensly, as did the two cooling down vacating the arena after their 10minute strolls - which in itself lead to a silly Kika moment!
We were working away happy out and as it is winter most people now have their horses clipped and so have varying excercise sheets & fleeces to keep things moving as we warm up/cool down - these invariably are left hanging on short side of arena near gate - logical and not a problem for Kika...Until one of the is removed!!! Dun dun duuuuuunnnnnn - "DANGER, the gap that has appeared could eat me"  - what i imagine to be Kika's thought process behind her spook. She lept to the side completely ruining our attempted corner, so brought her round in a circle and passed the offending gap twice (once in walk and once in trot) to prove it wasn't going to savage her. Oddly if i am in the arena on my own i ignore such antics, but when there are other riders around i feel the need to reassure the silly horse so that she doesn't continue acting the maggot in that spot and end up distracting the others.

Anyways despite the spook which in all fairness was not earth shattering, she was good as gold and worked away lovely. Did a good bit of sitting trot on our bad rein to see if she'd hunch up against me/start bouncing due to uncomfortablness in preperation for increasing my no stirrup work over the coming weeks/months!
For those who hav expressed concern over my well-being with regard to removing my stirrups from my saddle, please fear not as i intend to do it gradually and build up my strength as well as Kika's. Starting with keeeping the stirrups on the saddle of this month and slowly increasing my work without them during schooling sessions.
I mentioned my plan to the Guru (my friend L) and she is in...She's giving me a helping hand today and is wholeheartedly behind working up to no stirrups (she actually seemed almost gleeful at thought of pain i'm going to be in lol - sadist!) and agreed with my reasoning for taking things slowly and building up to removing them from my saddle (aka Kika's not physically ready for that just yet...back needs strengthening)

Then tomorrow we're hoping to go for a leisurely hack in the woods in the morning, grab a bite to eat together and then be back at the yard for 2pm for the "Party". There is going to be a quadrille display - which i saw a bit of the start while they were rehearsing yesterday and there are actually 8 riders. Last year there was a jumping quadrille and a flat quadrille display with 4 riders in each...So nice to see thngs changing up, :)
Then there will be a Pas de Deux ridden by two of the competitive dressage riders from our yard - they compete at around teh same level (Intermediate i think) and I've also seen that being rehearsed over the holidays and it looks like it's going to be fab!
The final display we're being blessed with is the RS kiddies - they are the cutest things ever! Gluwein, Hot Chocolates and Cakes are being laid out by the Yard Owners so really looking forward to this! Am hoping to try and film the displays with my phone,  so all going well i might share them here, ;)

As for my rug "dilema", was afraid this was going to happen but it has happened considerably sooner then I'd hoped! Due to all her wonderful filling out Kika is now finding her 6ft3 rugs tight - they are after rubbing her shoulders, chest and are starting on her hips, not to mention she can attempt to be a grouchy so and so when they are being put on/taken off - but one stern word and she stops with the ears!
Typically due to our being able to turn them out over winter i splurged and bought a Horseware Duo Turnout rug with neck cover and 2 under blankets/linerrs (200g and 300g) - spent a fair whack on it to be honnest and guessed it all are size 6 3 and still in their packaging as thankfully weather has been very mild compared to last year and I've been able to use her lighter turnout rug over her stable rug to keep her cozy. On the upside this means that i can sell all on as being un-used and hopefully get close to retail price for them. I also have the following used rugs: Shire turnout with hood, can't remember the brand; 2 Horseware stable rugs (HW and MW) and a fleece from Horze - but may keep that as not too small, if anything cut funny and appears a little on the large side. So shall be cleaning those that are currently in use and attempting to flog them to cover the costs of creating a new winter wardrobe for herself - on the upside SALES should help on that front, ;)

So that's me caught up for today - as usual longer than intended, sorry I know i talk too much when it comes to my horse! Speaking off, must go let her out for a bit before riding at 4pm!

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