Thursday 3 January 2013

Shiny Shoes

As per title farrier came last night, Kika is now the proud new owner of two shiny front shoes - she is proud as punch as now when she stamps/scrapes her feet off the floor she can make even more noise!
Of course she doesn't recognise that it is as a consequence of such flagrant disregard for her front feet that she had ouchy feet for the last two weeks - that was just a coincidence she'll tell you!

I shall have to wait and see this evening how she handles them again, farrier said the soles of her feet were quite sensitive and sore when he was putting them on so I'll probably give her a wee lunge this evening to see how her legs/feet are holding up with the new bling.
I am partly cheating in all honesty, as having put two days work lugging branches to the recycling center from the turnout area to enable us to better fence off the hay to be able to let Horsey Houdini back out during the day, I have managed to tweak my lower back and wouldn't fell 100% comfortable riding - although that may well could also make things a lot worse. So best to stick to ground work for today and hope another night's rest will help, it already feels better today than yesterday and if it can hold up to 8 hours sitting in the office - it'll be much better tomorrow!
Yep, I am convincing myself!

I can't complain though Miss Kika was an angel last night in her lunge work with side-reins. I popped down four poles in a cross-like shape on a circle for her to lunge over.

Inspired by L. Williams Karley who often use DYI diagrams

We warmed up with some walk and trot without the side-reins on a circle below the four poles, then popped the side-reins on the lowest hole setting for some more walk/trot transitions before also asking for some trot/canter transitions. The side-reins were then tightened three holes and the transitions repeated. All going well we walked up and over the poles, I realised my spacing was a bit off so we practiced our stop/start - halt commands as I readjusted for a horse striding between the poles. We then trotted through them a couple of time in each direction. Came back out of our poles and trotted over only A on a circle below the rest of them - this also allowed us to canter one pole - which she did on each rein.
This required considerably more concentration out of me and where I was standing so that she could get the right line over the pole and not have to break back to trot ... took some practice, but we got there.

We slowed and tightened the side-reins by two more holes walked & trotted on a circle without any poles before moving back up to the four poles in each direction a couple of times again. Also increasing and decreasing circle size over the poles to alter the striding and where she was stepping over them: further from me, middle of the pole or closest to me. We then repeated the cantering over A on it's own on a separate circle below the other poles. Being more aware of my positioning for her to get a good shot to the pole we got it right faster and were able to finish up and warm down without any side-reins or poles.

Happy Days as we finished up without any swelling or heat in the legs, lunging was prior to farrier visit - so still no shoes!

Found the above picture after a google for "horse escaping from stable cartoon" as that is what Miss Houdini did when I visited her on my lunch break. I can't blame her really, it was my own fault! *roll-eyes-at-self*
Her stable is right beside where the hay & straw is stored for her section of the barn, happy days as it means less lugging for my lazy ass. So anyways I typically grab some hay and stuff it in the corner to keep her happy while I then leave the door open to get more to tide her over until the afternoon rounds are done by the barn staff between 3 & 4pm.
All was fine, managed to shake up her straw and add some to stop her standing/scraping her feet off the concrete floor as she is inclined to push/pull all the straw back into the back corners of her stall - I swear she does it on purpose to ignore what is best for her...I mean really Kika?! Cold floor cannot be more appealing then comfy straw!
Anyways, she munching away happy out with her hay, so I left the door open (can you see where this is going?!) as i hurried to my locker (just around the corner) to grab some treats and a couple carrots. I hear a bit of noise from the corridor and hurry back to make sure it's not her...only of course it is! Stupid me!
She had wandered out of her stall (no headcollar of course as a smart person would have put one fact a smart person wouldn't have left the door open - but i digress!) and found her way into the closed feel bucket of the neighbouring horse across the aisle. When she spies me she knows she shouldn't be out so starts to walk quickly away from me - my hands are full of the treats and carrots I now do not wish to give her - but can't not as I know it's my fault she's out not hers - rationally i know this although id idn't feel so generous at the time!
However, I was a big girl, dumped the treats in her stall hoping they would turn her around and went back out to catch her. Got ahead of her, manage dto turn her and use her rug to guide her back into the stable!

Phew - I don't half make extra work for myself!

Thankfully I don't think anyone saw my sillyness - although I am now about to blog about it in the t'interweb so it'll be immortalised for ever. Oh the dramatics! ;-)

Hopefully I and perhaps someone else will learn from my mistakes!

No new Nancy news I'm afraid! :(
Am still awaiting word from the transporter as to dates for moving, they had said that they hoped to have a full truck to move by the end of the first week of January - I am now beginning to think that either they haven't managed to fill a truck coming in this direction or they meant the end of the first full week in January. Eitherway, I'll be posting as soon as I have an arrival date!
Fingers crossed we won't be waiting too much longer!

Sorry this has gotten so long-winded despite no really saying a whole pile!

PS: As this is the first post of the New Year - I shall take this opportunity to announce the new title of this blog! As Kika will (hopefully) soon not be the only equine in my life the blog name must be altered to reflect this change.
Welcome to Pampered Ponies everyone! :D


  1. I might try that pole grid while lunging next time. Sometimes I feel like our lunging sessions aren't as productive as they could be, and that's my fault for just being lazy sometimes.

    1. There is probably some proper measured way of placing the poles for maximum effect, but I haven't looked it up I'm afraid. I just pop the poles down, walk Kika over them on the lunge seeing that she has the same amount of strides in walk between each pole - pushing them further away from me to make it easier for her to smoothly step over them in trot when I am in the center of the ring.
      I'm afraid i operate on trial and error.

      I also like placing 3 poles in a row and having her trot through them in a straight line before arking to continue the circle bend...I might need to make another poor attempt at "drawing" with the paint tool.

      The third poles exercise I have tried is similar to above, but removing poles B &D and encouraging K to canter in a circle over A & C. Can also be done by removing A &C and leaving B & D...if you see what i mean?

      Apologies if I am not making sense! It was actually an osteo friend who suggested i do pole work with K on the lunge to encourage her to stretch across her back and to pay more attention to where she is putting her feet. I have also been known to lay two poles side by side about a meter apart like tram lines and walk & trot her through the middle of them. As well as getting her to reverse through them (standing by her head with my hand on her chest to encourage her back & guide) - again not sure if any of these are proper exercises - but as you said...they spice up lunge work. :D

  2. Love the diagram :)

    Henry is the master escape artist too! :)

    1. Thanks Karley!
      Although if it wasn't for yourself & L I'd never have thought of using paint to help me explain (through poor artistry on my part) what Kika & I got up to!

      I hope Henry doesn't give you anywhere near the trouble I have with keeping Miss Kika fenced in an enclosure!
      Horsey Houdini has earned her name! Just check out the previous blog entries this entitled. :p

  3. Nice diagram. Hope the shoes help K out :)

  4. Thanks Hill so do I! :-)
    She was well able to toss herself about the place like a muppet on the lunge last night - so they deff don't seem to be doing her any harm ;-)
    Hoping to lunge with her gear on and hop up for a spin today - but I'll have to see how my back holds up. Might just be walking when I'm in the saddle - but I will get up! :D

  5. I love using that lunge pattern myself. Dakota on the other hand not so much!! Reminds me its time to introduce the cross to Echo... hmmm....


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