Wednesday 22 August 2012

Saddle Sore Again!

Am I the only one who suffers from this ailment? One week without riding and I'm as leg sore after two spins back as I would be if I'd been a month out of the saddle.

Monday evening's spin was interesting - it was a tale of two halves. Always before riding i walk Kika around the arena a couple of times in each direction while tightening her girth to make sure nothing pinches and I guess to remind her of the lay of the land therein so that she can't have an excuse for silly spooking or shy-ing when I get on. All well and good in theory - as obviously nothing is going to scare her or get her while I am leading her around, but once i get on her back and she has to "fend" for herself in the big bad scary "manege" - well now that is a completely different ball game for Miss Kika!
In case you can't see where this is going, I led herself around the arena twice in each direction as is the norm for us and then hopped up walking on a loose left rein along the short side of the arena then followed the side along the long side - Low and behold there were Kika-eating-monsters hidden there that only she could see *of course*, cue a bit of a skite towards the middle of the arena away from the offensive section of the arena side. Managed to coax her back on track and continued happy out around the arena till we got to the same place again - where the monsters had not yet vacated. I decided to ignore her and continue with my warm up as if she wasn't sidestepping across the arena at the same spot on that rein each time - Point of information - the same section of arena did not cause a single problem when approached from the other direction. However the opposite corner was terrifying on the right rein! *eye-rolling*
Silly Nag!

I decided to ignore her and work away as if we didn't have a problem, we worked on spiralling in and out of circles, where I was really trying to focus on keeping my inside hand soft, holding with my outside hand and leg so that she wouldn't cheat and drift out while trying to encourage her to bend around my inside leg - a lot to keep in mind when like me one is not used to isolating and asking the same body parts to act slightly differently to one another. Our smoothness and rhythm was also continuously interrupted by the scary Kika-eating-monster on the left hand rein which just didn't seem to be able to leave the poor scardy cat alone!
We also worked on some serpentines - however these were also hindered in their smoothness by the terrifying monsters lurking out of my eyesight - but that she could see without any problems.
Once warmed up properly we moved up into cantering circles with me focused on keeping my backside in the saddle, heels down, not gripping with my knees and relaxing in the saddle so that I don't tense my back, I am getting slightly better - although can still be hit and miss.
Finally in the canter work the scary Kika-eating monsters finally disappeared and we finished our session on a very happy note. I was glad we managed to overcome her fear without incident and worked through the issue which finished with some quite nice work - I thought.

Tuesday evening (yesterday) I rode on this day for the first time in what seems like ages - for the last few weeks I have had classes once a week and couldn't make it to the barn. However yesterday I just couldn't face the thought of spending the evening in a stuffy classroom and wanted to ride my horse to make sure we had gotten over our issues from yesterday and not give her another day off! She has had way too many of them this summer!
So brought her in from the field and tacked her up - the cheeky sod nipped my thigh as i put in the bridle! I have a bruise there today now and everything! I have no idea if it was intentional or not as she has never nipped me before - but i had just put the bit in her mouth and was just finished slipping it over her ears when i felt the nip on my left leg. She got a slap and some choice words flung at her before i finished closing up the straps.

The arena I usually like to ride in was busy which was no bad thing really as I do have to ride elsewhere more often - but i do like "our" arena. The main arena was blissfully empty which was unusual for a weeknight - but who was i to complain. At 30C at 7.30pm at night the larger space with less people in it the better in my experience!
Walked our couple of laps while tightening the girth then hopped up and got to work. Took us a while to settle as there were some monsters again on one side - but nowhere near as scary as the day before and forgotten about a lot quicker then the previous day. I had only intended to work in walk & trot as it was so warm - but as she was being so good I figured it wouldn't do either of us any harm at all to work on our canter in the larger arena as we'd have more space to work with then in our usual spot. Took us a lot longer to click into our better canter work - but we got there in the end so I cooled down with some stretching trot work and gave her a rinse, popped her in the walker as i prepared her food then tossed her back out for the night.

Plan is to have a bit of a jumping lesson with L this evening, last minute decision based off yesterday's good work - i figured we both need a reward and a happy distraction from schooling on the flat. Hopefully all goes well and we don't faceplant in front of half the yard as they'll undoubtably be sitting on the benches by the outdoor arena where the fences will be set up - But who am I kidding in thinking they'd even pay a blinds bit of notice to what myself and Kika be getting up to!

Oh - Before i sign off here for this update - I'm slowly getting all my pictures from the weekend uploaded. LINK
Shall have to do an RDS post once i do, to give a run down of the wonderful weekend L & I spent at the Horse Show in Dublin - and of course list off the purchases I made! ;-)

Thanks to anyone who has read this update - don't forget that anyone can leave comments. Would love to know what people think of the blog and any and all tips and/or constructive criticism is always welcome!
I'm continuously looking to improve!

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