We are not the same team we were 12 months ago where my confidence could still readily be shaken and where we'd often run into speed bumps along the way.
I can now actually recognise the progress we have made, which for those of you who regularly read this blog and know how hard I can be on myself will recognise that admission in itself is a large step forward for me!
Today I got a wonderful sign off to 2012, exactly two weeks to the day I last sat on Miss Kika, I got a very quick spin this evening after her lameness over the last two weeks.
L and I lunged her last night, a quick walk/trot/canter on the lunge to see how the front legs would hold up. She was a bit stiff at first but worked out of it quickly and was soon back to her messing, plunging antics - which in itself was a good sign as it means she is feeling better in herself.
This evening, I checked her legs when I took her out of the stable, thankfully all was well, there was no heat or swelling. Tacked her up and popped her on the lunge again for 15-20minutes to see how she was before I decided to hop up. She took every opportunity she could to throw in a buck/prance/plunge but yet still worked well in between. Again the fact that her messing on the lunge didn't intimidate me or scare me off hopping up is another testament to how far we have come in the last 12 months!
I'll add three little videos my Mam managed to grab as I gave Kika a bit of a trot & walk to see how she felt. Again like when on the lunge she was a bit off at first but then worked well enough once she loosened out and relaxed in herself.
You'll see from the first video above, she was still up for a bit of divilment (messing) when I first started trotting, but we got some nicer work afterwards.
Apologies that the next one is a bit blurry, I'm not sure what the Mammy's phone was doing...autofocus perhaps?
I was in the saddle for about 10minutes total, and kept it to large circles and diagonally changing the rein using the whole arena. No serpentines or spiralling circles so as not to do too much on her legs especially as she hasn't got her shoes yet and if that is/was what caused the lameness I definitely did not want to over do things!
I realise that I am not in "proper" riding gear, but I wasn't sure I was actually going to be hopping up so I was just in my Ariat Windmeres & normal clothes - thankfully no buttons on the pockets of my soft jeans! Had spent the day packing the boot of the car with branches as The Mammy & I brought 6 car loads of cut branches to the recycling center. Another day's work and we'll have the turnout sorted for Miss Kika to start going back out and in time for young Nancy to arrive, hopefully she's not another Houdini!
And last one for the year...
Looking forward to 2013 ...
I should probably set some goals for myself, but in all honesty if I can just keep making baby step improvements and enjoy my horse riding I'll be overjoyed.
I haven't really gotten into the competitive scene out here, but who knows maybe if we can keep on our upward cycle of improvements we might look into taking out a license and trying to get some outings under our belts...
Balancing two will be interesting and a whole new challenge, but one I am thoroughly looking forward to!
PS: I know I need to stop looking down and must also work more on my heels to (a) keep them down and (b) stop niggling at her with them...amongst all my other faults - but sure if I'd nothing to work on 2013 would be boring, right? :-)