Monday 18 February 2013

Cool Customer

Title sums up my spin on Nancy yesterday afternoon.
Sunday was Kika's day off, so L kindly turned her out with O in the morning for me and subsequently brought the pair of them back in that evening - so me being a bad mammy didn't see Miss K at all yesterday, *shame-face*
I got to the yard around lunchtime planning to do pole work with Miss Nancy and another yard friend on her OTTB who as it happens hadn't been ridden in a week, he had himself a little holiday - lucky him! :D
Anyway combine that with warmer temps and we're setting the scene nicely for the snow melt "avalanches" from the arena roofs as we rode. I can't say that Nancy was completely immune to the sound, but she reacted much better than I could have ever hoped for and a thousand times better than the older supposedly more mature Kika does. Nancy did a bit of a giraffe impression when the snow shifted, but other then that stayed good as gold and in the gait we were working on without so much as swerving a toe off the track we were riding!
A completely different reaction to Miss Kika who spins, jumps, dives sideways and stops poker legged with eyes on stalks at the snow falling off the roofs - which one is the older horse again? ;-)

Not only was a smiling like a cat that got the cream from her level-headed response to the snow melt, but she was very good under saddle in general. We are having issues with walking, whereby she wants to break into trot all the time, so we have plenty to work on there to get her to walk around the arena without breaking into trot - although this is an issue we had when I was trying to lunge her on Saturday - testing one's patience - young horses!
However when we did buckle down to trot & pole work, she was very very good - only slightly resisting + jaw locking on one rein at the start of the session, but then settled beautifully and stopped fighting with me - maybe I relaxed more after the first snow fall, who knows. But between us we sorted out our differences and had a wonderful spin! :D

Token piece of "art" work for layout of our pole work
She was quite warm and steaming when we were finished, as I mentioned temperatures are riding here - Roll on Spring! *dance*
So I decided to try Nancy again in the walker to see what she makes of it now that she's a little more settled. I went in with her once before, shortly after she arrived and to say she wasn't overly enamoured with it would be hitting the nail on the head. It is the only thing we've introduced her to so far that she hasn't been 100% ok with immediately - as title says - she is one cool customer!
So I walked around with her in there for 3 spins, then came out and left her alone following my friend S' horse. She was fine, not 100% happy but not freaking out either - unlike Kika who dawdles towards the end of her partition and attempts to sit on the divider to slow the whole machine down - Nancy was up at the front. I imagine she'll settle as she gets more used to it, or perhaps she'll be one who doesn't like the walker - which I will of course not hold against her - it is not for everyone after all.
So anyways, I left her in there till it turned so that she could experience that also - wasn't too sure what to make of the divider coming back towards her and she worried me for a few seconds until she did turn around - bless her she was good as gold, although she did want to turn around again a bit at first as S' horse was now behind her and unfortunately there were no other horses in the walker so she couldn't follow anyone anymore. However she did settle down again and when she walked the whole way around without trying to turn I took her out and praised her to high heaven as she is such a good girl! :-)
There also may or may not have been a treat included in the praise and dinner in her stable when she got back to it, ;-)

That's my Nancy news all caught up.

Miss Kika was an angel to ride on Thursday (I think i updated on that spin in my last post) in the main arena with the dressage markers littering the arena giving her plenty to look at if she'd been of a mind to. Friday afternoon (I had a lovley half day - thank you work!) I got a great spin in on Nancy, forgot to mention that in my Nancy catch up above. I then went back to the barn in the evening to bring Kika in from the turn out and have a bit of a spin on her, we had a wonderfully chillaxed spin - which made me so happy that both girls are going well.
Saturday we worked both ladies on the lunge, Kika took a little to settle as the big scardey cat heard a teeny tiny noise just before we started on the lunge and took a little longer than normal to settle, however when she did and I got her warmed up we worked with the side-reins on and got some lovely canter work in on the lunge - she looked lovely in my very biased opinion. I already mentioned Nancy's reluctance to walk when lunging earlier in the post, so i was a little frustrated with that, but not at her moreso that I couldn't help her/coax her to relax enough to walk while lunging. Plenty to work on as always with young horses, and we'll have many ups and downs ahead of us.
I must just remember to focus on the positives and let the negatives wash off me like water off a duck's back, while not letting any bad habits develop - a fine line but here's hoping i can find my balance and keep mistakes to a minimum! ;-)

Hope you all had as wonderful a weekend as I did! :D


  1. Sounds like a lovely weekend! Glad that N was so great and seems to be so level headed!

    1. It was a fab weekend Hill, Nancy is so chilled she is such a pet! Fingers crossed I don't have too negative an affect on her personality! Would hate for her to change because of me - what with animals becoming like their owners ... especially if quirky Kika is anything to go by, :p

  2. everything seems to be going swimmingly with you and your girls! Laughing at the fact that Nancy is less spooky than miss Kika. Kika reminds me of another mare I know, wonder who?? Who at 15 years of age this year should know better. Made a disgrace of me yesterday at the trec event :)

    1. Here's hoping Nancy stays this spook-free, it is a refreshing change from the other one who freaks out big time - bless her!
      Sounds like Misty is keeping you on your toes! ;)

  3. Well done Aoife. Everytime I catch up on your blog, your posts are better and better. You are having a great time with both girls, and they are going so well, long may it continue :D
    Also love Kika's blue and yellow outfits in the dressage videos, I love blue on her. Looking forward to more updates :)

    1. Thanks Laura, both girls are a pleasure to work with in their own way, quirks and all :)
      Love them both and couldn't imagine being without either of them now that I have been lucky enough to have had some time getting to know them. :D
      Thanks for your kind words on Kika's outfits, none of that gear is mine though ;-)
      L has all the pretty colours and matchy-matchy stuff!

  4. Sounds like you and Nancy are doing really well. I love how you are being patient with her.

    1. I hope I am!
      She is so good in so many respects that I have to try and keep in mind she is still so young and everything is so new to her - it can be easy to forget and get annoyed when little things go awry.
      Have to keep my reminding myself that she is only a baby!


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