Wednesday 2 October 2013

Random Ramblings

I am after getting very bad at keeping my blog updated -sorry guys!
But on the other hand this means that things are quiet on the horsey front & there are no dramas. :)

Sleepy Sunbathers
This photo was taken Saturday 21/9/2013 - I had just ridden Nancy and the plan had been to ride Kika but the two horses they share the field with were going on a hack and rather than turn Nancy back out on her own or leave her tied up while I rode Kika. I gave Miss K the day off and shared a bucket of carrots between the two of them.

Sunday 22/9/2013 I did pole work with both girls. The Guru set poles down in the outdoor and gave me a lesson with Kika and then rode her mare O at the same time as I rode Nancy - her first time in the outdoor. Of course she was her usual angelic self, one or two spooks at a pram & a dog that suddenly moved, but Nancy being Nancy those were more sideways scoots than actual "spooks".
I had hoped to attempt to do a paint recreation of the pole work layout - but as it has been so long since I rode them I have forgotten! *shame*

It was, however, very good for both horses & me. Kika and I worked on canter poles and had a funny semi-argument where she knew what I was going to ask and wanted to strike-off in canter before I wanted her to, as this was immediately after a set of trotting poles she almost snotted herself in the process - silly mare! However we got there in the end, managing to calmly canter poles on a bend - it felt awesome when we *ahem* I *cough* got it right and helped rather than hindered her!
Nancy was a doll, we stuck to the trotting poles - neither of us is balanced enough ensemble to tackle canter poles just yet so we worked on our tempo, steering & remaining focused on me and what I was asking as opposed to the distracting things going on around her. L & I then went for a quick hack in the woods to round out the weekend before coming back to tidy up the poles.

Post pole-work & hack matchy-matchy shot ;-)
Monday through Wednesday following that weekend were lazy days for the ponies as I had no energy to do anymore than visit them, sadly. I was a very bad mommy!
Thursday I had an after-work do as one of my 5 colleagues that got married this summer (crazy, right?!) had some cakes & drinks after work so that we could all meet her new husband.
So Friday  27/09 was my first time putting my backside back in the saddle after Sunday. L had asked to ride Kika as she is riding her in a training clinic again this coming weekend, so I got to focus solely on Nancy & not clock-watch to be able to fit the pair of them in. We shared the arena with another rider and we had a great time. L & Kika finished up before we did (they had been working outside) and came to join us as it was after getting too dark so she cooled K off while I finished up with Nancy. I got some helpful tips, mostly to encourage N to stride when walking & not take baby steps. Also to really focus on keeping her head slightly to the inside when working - something she finds quite difficult as her balance is still off. Baby steps but...we'll get there. Our arena work is miles better than it was at the start of the summer - so the summer hacking & trail riding in the woods did the trick and helped me relax & trust Miss Nancy more! :D

Saturday 28/09 The Guru rode Nancy for the first time in the woods while I hacked Miss Kika, who was of course on her toes & a bit of a goon as she hadn't been hacked in these woods in a couple of months - she is such a silly sausage and insisted on spooking/sidestepping sideways at every ray of sunshine and/or bench + tree stump we passed. She is such a character & that is why we love her...allegedly! ;)

Sunday 29/09 ended up being a day off for the ladies as there was a national show for lower level riders at the yard and between a charity walk up the country & family friends visiting I didn't manage to sit on either girl. However myself & the family friend did go visit them and fawn over them in the field for half an hour without realising that much time had passed - woopsy...but yay for pony-lovin-time!

Again "old" photo from 22/09, I was hoping for a N body-shot but she had to keep coming up to me!
Monday 30/09 I rode Kika in the main arena and we had a great session. L had mentioned after her spin on Friday to try to focus more on transitions with her, so that she could better maintain her shape when transitioning between gaits - so we worked on that while doing all the usual circles, serpentines & changing of rein. I spent a lot of time with Kika that evening as L has taken her on "holiday"/bootcamp for a couple of days.

I'll back-track a bit, the reason the Guru had asked to ride her the previous Friday was that she has signed up for a training clinic (I think I mentioned that above) with the instructor that she has ridden Kika for twice before while her mare was out of action this time last year and earlier this year.
Older posts about these occasions can be found for Nov HERE & HERE [videos] and for Jan HERE & HERE [videos].

L has signed up for lessons with both Miss Kika & her own mare (all going well) on Friday & Sunday. She has a good friend from her uni days who has a Riding School/Club just over the border in France who she often goes to visit when she has a week off - can you see where this is going? ;)
L was invited to visit her friend in France for a couple of days and was taking her mare & dogs. Knowing the training clinic/stage was going to be on this weekend I said that if her friend had room at the inn for Kika that I would have no problem with L taking her with for a few days bootcamp to re-establish the bells & whistles before the lessons with the external trainer this coming weekend. So Kika loaded up like a good girl yesterday morning, or so I have been told as I wasn't there, and everyone arrived safe & sound in France. I'm vainly looking forward to Thursday evening when they get back and I can see my Keeks again & hear all about what they've been up to.

Sadly I won't get to see any of the clinic this weekend as I have to make an unplanned trip back to Ireland due to a family member's ill health. :(
Hopefully someone can film it for L, so that we can both watch it & learn from the external teacher.

Gosh, sorry this post is getting super long - I'll make a warning up the top of the post and apologise here!
Last night I had a wonderful spin with Nancy, we worked solely on walk & trot with my focus being on keeping her correct - not letting her rush away from me to avoid work or pull faces/lock her jaw when things got a little harder to maintain and less to her liking. I concentrated on keeping her striding in walk & not running in trot, all the while maintaining our shape and trying to coax her head slightly to the inside, however this is very difficult for her as she still has to build muscle & learn balance better. When we started, she wanted to rush into her trot work and stay there while also refusing to circle nicely, whenever we'd leave the track for our circle she'd stick her nose in the air and try to lock her jaw. So I went back to walk and worked a lot on changing the rein across the center by making a big "S" between circles and only trotting down the long sides to keep things alternated and not allow her to focus on one evasion tactic. By the time we finished up she was nicely trotting and walking circles without locking her jaw and trying to run through my hands.

She is so different to Kika, yet both are such fun to ride and try to work through the kinks with.

I had been hoping that the friend who took the pictures of myself and Kika two weeks ago might be at the yard at the same time as me tonight to take some snapshots/videos of myself and Nancy - the only imagery I have of us under saddle is the first video when I rode her for the first time in July 2012. So apologies to anyone (myself) included who would like to see images of myself & Nancy working under saddle - it looks like we are all going to have to wait a little bit longer. :(


  1. You've been doing a fair bit of work - more than me, for sure. I finally have a lesson booked for next week, hopefully that'll kick start me back into action.
    Sorry you have an emergency trip home too. It seems like there's a lot of that around at the moment. I hope your relative is ok.


    1. Thanks, hope your lesson goes well. Have fallen badly behind on my blog reading again and need to catch up on yours. Glad your back is better and you are having a lesson :-)

  2. Sorry for the ill family member, hope they recover. You have no idea how dreamy it sounds to trailer horses to just trailer a horse to France from over here across the pond ;) You and your ladies have made great strides, and I saw you sign up for the sit-up challenge, join the two-point too! You can do it on whichever horse is smoother lol

  3. Thanks ladies. Trying to ease myself into sit up challenge as am not the fittest. Started with 25 last night and 50 this morning. Here's hoping I can catch up to the 100 a day and missing the 1st of Oct as only saw post yest.
    Lux is the ideal place for country hopping as we're 10-15minutes from 3 borders!
    If horses got stamps in their passports for new countries, Kika would have Ireland, UK, Belgium, Netherlands and now France. Not sure which route Nancy took to get here from Ireland but she deff came tbrough the UK and she's been through Belgium to get to the Netherlands for our holiday at the beach this summer :-)
    Which reminds me...I still need to get the beach photos from the Guru


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