Thursday 5 April 2012

Happy Camper

I have such a smile on my face this evening I'm like the cat that got the cream.

I haven't ridden since Sunday. I've been looking after O while The Guru L was away for a few days, she came back last night. Work was being done on two of the arenas in the yard so space was tight the last few days...So my lazy ass too the easy and less congested route of loose schooling the two ladies together on Monday evening, then popped them both on the walker Tuesday evening and then naughty me did nothin with them last night as Wednesday night is Jump lesson night so another arena was off limits.
I know I'm spoiled rotten with having a choice of arenas to ride in and shouldn't be shunning them because they are busy, but I know I work better when i don't feel like the world and their mother is watching me and as such the mare works better. I no longer see the point in "working" her just for the sake of sitting on her - I'd rather have a good session then a lacklustre one because I'm distracted!

So now that that covers the bases and explains how little work Kika has done since Sunday - you will understand (I hope) my excitement at how well our session went this evening.
First off I'd like to point out that there was no lungeing or walker activity prior to mounting up, we just did our usual 4 rounds of the arena with me on foot to make sure saddle settles comfortably on her back.
I started with some nice walk, encouraging her into an outline, changeing rein and circling, she was lovely and responsive - not perfect, God forbid anyone think we were perfect but markedly improved on her usual Giraffe (head in the air) / Snake (looking from side to side) impressions when we walk - we did manage to get some calm correct carriage.
Moved up to trot and continued altrenating reins and circling, incorperating serpentines and smaller circles as we met the track. She was very responsive and concentrated on me - a friend came into the arena to clear her horse's deposits as we were working (the friend whose dressage saddle I bought and rode in this evening), Kika didn't lift her head out of position to gawp or skirt around her when it came time to pass her poop-a-scooping. N very kindly complimented me on how she was going - I told her it was all in the saddle, teehee.
We continued with our trot working having moved into sitting trot circles, serpentines and of course rein changes and were considering moving up to canter circles (still have to ask on circles till we can get consistently correct strike off - my fault and i'm trying to work on it.) when another livery asked to share the arena to lunge her young mare. Of course i welcomed her in and she worked in the lower half of the arena while i circled above her - Kika was a star. Even when her horse was messing on the lunge (she's only going on 4 so plenty pep in her step) Kika didn't break stride or look in her direction - she remained calm, responsive and supple in her work - including when we did move up into canter work...which I'll admit was a mini-ordeal in itself - we still have a lot of work to do on canter transitions and indeed the canter itself. But we are better then we were 3 months ago and even 2 weeks baby steps and small victories :)
S (the other livery) then left after a short while and we moved our circling down to the lower half of the arena nad changed rein to canter a circle on the other lead - which was our old bad side but had become our better side but today was back to our bad side...never-ending cycle for the moment my canter woes *sigh*
I'm sure it is something I'm doing - so will see if I can corner L to have a look and give me some tips/correct what I'm doing wrong.
Speaking of L actually, she had suggested helping me this evening but didn't end up coming up to help out - no biggie i figured she'd got distracted chatting, turns out the sneaky sneak mcsneakerson was spying on us without my noticing. She found me after we finished and apologised for not coming to help like she'd said, but she said she'd been spying and that we were getting on well so she left us at it.
I'm still hoping I can coax some help out of her at some stage this long weekend as i haven't had a lesson in a few weeks now and while things are going good i don't want to get stuck in a rut or slip back into bad habits!

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