Please don't get me wrong I am not be-litteling the achievements and progress Kika and I have been fortunate enough to make since i started keeping this blog, I just mean compared to more actively competitive bloggers we haven't achieved anything on that front!
Anyways I promised two photos, so here is the first one - both were taken yesterday as i hand-grazed Kika on the lunge to re-adjust her belly for grass consumption before she gets turned out for the next six months on Tuesday (May 1st) - Woohoo!!!!
Monday and Friday she was worked in the pessoa, Tuesday she got some loose lungeing with her ex-field buddy O - always easier with O as O loves to run and loose schools herself so Kika has to keep moving also with minimal encouragement from me in the center of the ring, ;)
Wednesday L (The Guru) had the day off work and offered to excercise Kika for me, as I wasn't going to have time that day - very generous of her. She rode her in the main arena with 5 other horses working at the same time, she said she was pleasantly suprised (as I would have been) with how good Kika was. She agreed with me that something is however off with my dear girl and that the oseto should come back to see her.
Kika has not exactly been lame when luneging/loose lungeing the last few weeks - but she hasn't been 100% sound either. However under saddle she has been very good - bar for the cantering issues we've been having. So to be on the safe side I have contacted the osteo and waiting to hear back from her now as to when she can fit us in for a visit.
Left her alone then for a couple of hours in the stable before going back to ride her in the dressage saddle for a while. As may be evident from the pics, yesterday was a gloriously sunny day after all the grey and rain of the last few weeks, however it was also incredibily close, heavy and sticky. So we only worked for a grand total of 30mins, L stopped by for a bit to offer some pointers and tips - all much appreciated and Kika was very good despite us both getting very hot and sweaty - nasty rider!
To cool off I decided to be brave and ride Kika in the woods as L walked her dogs alongside us. Bearing in mind that this was our first forray into the woods since our disasterous "Frosty Morning - Frisky Mare" post a few months back now.
All went really well with our stroll including passing a campsite with camper-vans and tents & a house with barking guard dogs ... until we were looping back towards home when Miss Kika spotted O across the fields. She started her head tossing, front leg throwing and bouncing in her I'm-still-capable-of-rearing way. Whens he does this i loose all control through the reins and she is only hanging for me to use my legs so she can propell herself forward - so we do a bit of a dance where I attempt to get her to stand still so i can slither shamefully to the ground. Why she insists on this carry on when we are riding on road/tarmac feeds my fear. I lead her prancing and acting the maggot until she settled enough for me to get back up - this carried on till we'd passed O in the field - which she had passed quiet as a lamb at my side.
So i hopped back up - no sooner had my backside hit the saddle then she was off on one in her special prancing way which was just in time for me to realise that i har forgotten to close the chin strap on my helmet after my stroll beside her!
Thankfully I kept L's words in mind of leaning back and not forwards and using my weight to slow her not my hands as she uses the excuse of fighting rein pressure in these scenarios. L rightly pointed out to me after her first outburst that i should never lean forward as that just encourages her to go faster - which logically negated my argument of i lean forward so that i don't fall off backwards if she does rear...sounds silly now, but as usual my self-defence mechanism is bad riding, so shall keep this in mind should such an opportunity arise again - which knowing Kika as I do more than likely will.
Long story (as usual) not so short, I ended up hopping off again as she had spun away from the yard and was prancing her way back down the road towards O's field, so I managed to stop her before she got there, hop off, turn her around and march her back to where she'd spun from and where L and the dogs were waiting. She got a couple of "Remember-I'm-The-Boss" slaps from the stick as we walked back along the road - I didn't hammer her or anything abusive like that, just a timely reminder that we were to keep going in the direction I wanted!
L held her as i hopped back up and kept the stick on the ground touching K (not hitting her) to keep her going forward as I used my legs and seat - we got around her this time and I learned a fvaulable lesson about my defence tactic which I hope I can now correct should the situation arise again...which i still secretly hope that it won't - but know that it more than likely will. :(
Because that is the nature of the intelligent beastie - she knows I have a slight weakness when riding on tarmac and she knows how to take advantage - my knowing this helps me though so hopefully I can work on it and not be bested by her while remaining safe!
We rode back to the yard without any issues, including passing one of the YO's mowing the lawns without any issue whatsoever - silly horse acting the hound.
Washed her off and hand-grazed with O and L for another 30mins or so yesterday evening.
This morning (Sunday) I hand-grazed her alone for 20mins or so this morning without any lamb-like misbehaviour. Then I joined L as she turned out O before we walked the dogs together and then headed off to another yard to watch jumping classes for the afternoon. Got back to the yard after 6pm to set myself up some trotting poles. I had decided yesterday to only work Kika in walk and trot until osteo comes to have a look at her specially as canter has been so problematic of late under saddle and i don't want to do any lasting mental or physical damage by trying to force things - we aren't aiming for anything in particular so I'm quite happy to take my time and do things right.
Polework went really well, as did outr walk/trot transitions which l reminded me yesterday need to be sharper - I cna be inclined to let her stall down to walk from trot whereas L keeps reminding me that i need to keep my leg on and maintain the power in walk as well as trot.
Rinsed her off again, sorted out her stable for the night and tidied away the poles as she dried - as she was still a little damp we went for a stroll and a bit of a graze, however as she showed enthusiasm for cavorting and I had her without the lunge-line I decided against condoning such carry on. Stood in beside her and marched her back to the yard after only 5mins grazing. She was still a little damp so popped her under the solarium for 10mins before returning her to her stable for the evening.
Silly sow makes me so mad at times as she doesn't know how good she has it and ruins things by acting out - spoiled creature!
What make sit worse is (a) that I know she is spoiled rotten and (b) that it is my fault! :(
On the upside however, arena work has been great - she'll be going out for good until November by the end of this week and this i'm sure will have a soothing effect on her current carry on.
Officially they can go out as of May 1st, however rich spring grass could lead to upset tummies if left at it 24/7 so shall ease her into outdoor life for first few days by progressiviely leaving her out for longer periods of time during the day, but still bringing her in in the evenings.
Sorry, this ended up considerably longer than I'd intended!
Thanks so so much for reading if you got this far - sorry if it got a bit whiney at the end. Despite our minor tussles yesterday and today, I couldn't be happier with her work under saddle and the lack of rearing - there were only minor threats, she didn't actually feel like she was planning on rearing at any stage - so all positives in the grand scheme of where we've come from, :p
Fingers crossed all can continue to go well and that yesterday and todays messing are just little blips/bumps in the road.