I can't believe how quickly time flies when you are having fun, sorry for the lack of communication from myself & Kika!
Also apologies in advance as this will probably end up getting long and wordy!
Although as always I shall endeavour to keep it as condensed as possible - and probably fail miserably!
We've had a productive few weeks with a sprinkling of lessons both on the flat and another jumping one last night. Towards the end of last week L commented that my positioning in the saddle was after deteriorating again in my GP so on Saturday I made the switch back to the Dressage Saddle. It took some getting used to again with the longer stirrups and different leg position - but we got there in the end. L has asked that i work more transitions into my schooling so we worked on that once warmed up & actually got some quite respectable canter work. I was delighted with our session and how well it went - so much so that we'd accidently worked her for almost an hour without realising it!
Ouch is all I'll say, the knee blocks on the dressage saddle left my legs quite sensitized on Sunday, lol, so I ended up taking K for a stroll in the woods like a big dog on the lead. Fun times as it's a break from the humdrum :-)
We had a flat lesson on Monday in the dressage saddle, where I rode in small spurs for the first time in well over a year. The move to riding with spurs is twofold:
(1) my legs aren't as strong as they should be so Kika is inclined to ignore me and
(2) due to Kika's ignorance I have developed a nasty habit of niggling & nagging with my heels which pulls them up and just fuels Kika's ability to ignore me as if i'm a fly.
The idea behind the spurs is (a) my being more aware of what my lower legs are doing and thus not nagging and (b) to get a quicker reaction from the mare.
Our "bad" rein canter strike off was more miss than hit so L asked if she could hop up so as to figure out where we were going wrong, whether it was me asking incorrectly or K being a sod. I was convinced it was my request method being wrong - however she assured me it was Kika acting the plank and not wanting to strike off correctly. They had a few discussions, which thankfully didn't result in any rearing although there was "head-in-the-air-Don't-push-me-threats" from the main madam herself, stinky sod!
L explained in more detail what I was going to have to do to get what I wanted from her and to stop her taking the P. I hopped back up and practised a couple of times before we called it a night.
We are now under strict instructions to always ride on the inside tracks when in an arena to strengthen my outside leg and hand aids and get Kika listening better all the while continuing our work to round her more towards the inside when working as she's inclined to always try to keep an eye on what's going on outside - it is ALL a work in progress. We are still lightyears away from any sort of finished picture - but every little helps and the learning is half the fun as we are doing so together. :-)
Of course it would have been much easier to have bought a horse that could do all this - but when i was in the market for a beastie I couldn't afford the prices those were selling for - so had to do things the hard way and buy an unbacked horse and we're learning together.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the word count of this post) i was unable to ride on Tuesday, so Kika got a sneaky day off and last night (Wednesday) we were lucky enough to be given a jumping lesson in the outdoor under lights as it gets dark so early now in the evenings - Sad Times!
For some reason I was in nervous form last night, can't put my finger on it as to why - but i think it was a combination of nerves stemming from Kika's discussions on Monday and my fear of her returning to her previous bad girl rearing days. Either that or we were both on edge due to riding under lights and the noises and scary shadows that accompany such endeavours.
Despite my misgivings we warmed up keeping to the inside track as best I could around the fences and trying to keep my lower leg where it should be (no spurs for jumping - but I must still be conscious of my wayward legs).
Kika was a superstar despite my nerves she didn't put a foot wrong and we tackled everything asked and negotiated the twist and turns as bet we could with surprisingly good control from me. My weird nervous sensation and the knots in my stomach didn't abate during the lesson which I found odd as usually if all is going well they disappear - but for whatever reason the sneaky beggars stuck around last night to haunt me. Which means Kika earned a definitive spot in the good books last night for her stellar behaviour as if she had been of a mind to she could've taken advantage of my nerves and put me through the ringer.
So that is us more or less caught up for the moment...sorry i don't have any pictures to add to make all this drivel easier to read. I must actually snap some pics as the supplements she has been on for the Selenium deficiency & liver niggles have worked wonders. Her coat is after turning inside out and the poor confused creature has now finally got a semblance of her summer coat just in time for the cold nights - poor sod!
I had the vet out on Monday morning to take another blood sample as we finished the Selenium treatment to see how the supplements have affected the levels within. I'm hopeful of having the results before the week is out and we'll go from there to decide whether or not further treatment is required.
I really must get some pics to show the improvement - although she's sprouted another hay belly after her day off on Tuesday hahaha - so might wait till I trim her down with more work over the weekend before snapping the pics, ;-)
As always thank you for reading and hopefully it wasn't too long and waffly a post!