My apologies for the delay in posting this Autumn/Winter, I'm afraid life has been a little hectic and I sadly have not been logging in anywhere near as much saddle time as I would like. As such my updates would be pretty redundant & boring if I wrote every day.
However I am thankfully still getting to see the little darlings daily as most lunchtimes I make the mad-dash from work through town to yard & back by bus and foot to turn the three girls out every afternoon for some fresh air & leg stretching.
I hate the idea of them being stuck in their stables all the time, not to mention the immeasurable difference turnout makes to Kika's (in particular) well being - both mental & physical as her hind legs get quite swollen/stacked when she can't be turned out - usually her own fault for being a Horsey Houdini.
Thankfully my good friend & guru has been a life-saver for me and has been riding the girls when I cannot get there. Sadly, this means I will be lucky if I can ride one side of them when I make my return to the saddle, as between the training clinic and her superior riding ability in general...iI'll deff be playing catch up trying to learn to ride the girls with all their fancy new buttons.
Right without further ado, here are the videos of Nancy from the training clinic. Again, PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON THE RIDER AS IT IS NOT ME!
All these videos and those of Kika in the previous post were taken by me on my camera phone on Sunday the 8th of December. Both the girls & the guru had had a lesson with the trainer on the Friday & i rode the pair of them on the day in between - i cannot tell you how terrified i was that i would undo & ruin all the work L & the trainer had put into them on the Friday. Thankfully this was not the case, or if the trainer noticed or commented to L, it was all done in German & as such i was blissfully unaware of it!
The overall consensus from rider & trainer was happiness. It was his (the trainer's) first time seeing Nancy and despite an initial aversion to her due to her Friesian papa (dressage snobbery @ work) he gladly changed his tune after the two lessons. He said she was a lovely mover and seemed like a fun horse and level-headed animal to work with. Perhaps a not so covert a dig at Kika's quirkyness? ;-)
As you can see from the videos (I do not blame you for not watching them all) Nancy is showing more personality under saddle and pretends to be unable to bend on her bad rein - now she may need some adjustment which will be seen to this week as osteo is due out for both girls on Wednesday.
Kika did try to throw the toys out of the pram in Fridays session (which i missed as i was still in work) and reared once in defence as she didn't understand what was being asked of her. I in no way condone her behaviour, however it would sadly appear that this is her go-to defence mechanism when confused. She does have a tell though and can be cut off at the source and diverted back to the riders way of doing things without getting into a full blown argument.
Sadly she will always be opinionated, quirky and challenging but this os just part and parcel of her charm. She is your typical mare that cannot be TOLD what to do, you mist ask/cajole and win her around to your way of doing things.
In saying all this the trainer was very impressed with her and how far she has come since he first saw her, in fact he said that if you'd told him after her first session, that she would be doing the movements in the previous post's videos at all let alone this quickly he would have said it was impossible as he thought her dangerous initially, which i deff did not know at the time and with hindsight am glad i didn't know as i'm not sure my confidence with her would be what it is now if i'd known then the professional thought her dangerous. It is a fine line to tread, i know, but seeing how far she & i have come i am super happy i was ignorant of that fact at the time!
He also said it is too soon for her to be working on lead changes in the canter that she needs a better foundation in counter cantering first. However those of you readers who have followed Kika's journey over the last few years will know she is very fussy about a strong hold being taken of her head, collection, proper use of her backside and opening up her back are not things she likes being asked to do - these types of requests are typically met with the severest resistance (rearing).
Bearing all that in mind you can imagine mine & L's (the guru's) pride when Kika calmly performed the canter/halt transition on the FIRST ever asking during the lesson (I hope I caught it on video and shared it, sadly at this moment in time I cannot remember). L said that when the trainer asked her to do that during the lesson she was very apprehensive of Kika's reaction & extra proud when K performed the downward transition without an iota of fuss.
Right i think this has been more than enough blabbering for one post! As always it is after getting SO MUCH longer & wordier then i thought it would when i started the update. It was supposed to be mostly videos and very few words, however, sadly the proud-mama in me raised her head & demanded to crow about her little darlings successes!
One final thing before i go...i would love to host a Christmas Photo contest with a prize giveaway. Would there be any interest in this kind of a contest?
Please comment to let me know along with any and all comments on all the rest of my waffle!
Please remember NOT TO COMMENT ON THE RIDER as it is not me. Massive thanks & congratulations if you have read all of this post and viewed some or all of the videos. I can only hope watching those snippets of "dancing" ponies & strops can be considered a form of reward for the epic wordiness of this post!
I only wish i could give those who've read this far, some milk & cookies or perhaps a shot of something stronger to revive you after the snoozefest of this novel post!
PS: this marathon post has been written on my phone at stupid o'clock in the morning as i couldn't sleep - I can't imagine this will be a problem for anyone who has reached the end of this mammoth post!