Friday 10 January 2014

Working Woes

Sadly another week has slipped by without my seeing much saddle time.
I need to get my act together, work out a routine/schedule & stick to it. Now if only work'll play ball and let me get out of there at a reasonable time ;-)

I've to discuss this with the Guru, but if possible I'd love to get a lesson/pointers on a Sunday. Wednesdays I have decided are going to be lunging days, to break up the week a bit; change the scenery slightly, work on ground-work and mostly it cannot do any harm. Especially for Miss Nancy's muscle building & strengthening.
As L (the Guru)'s mare is not 100% and with navicular will sadly never be again, if she's willing I'd love for her to be able to ride one or both girls at least once a week also - I view this as training rides for them while hopefully helping to keep my friend happy.
So that should wrap up 3 of the 7 days of the week, they'll also get at least one day off depending on how hard they work they may get another one to mull stuff over. Which leaves me with 3 days to play with - already I am feeling better about this haphazard schedule than the floating I have been doing thus far this winter.

Monday was the 6th of Jan - Epiphany or Nollaig na mban (Women's Christmas in Irish). Some people (read:women like my mother & her sister in Ireland) have taken to celebrating this day by having women-only meals, gathering groups of female friends and going for dinner or cooking up a storm to mingle & chat and make new friends or see familiar faces that you might otherwise only see rarely.
Basically it's a great excuse for an evening out with friends & banter. :-D

Tuesday I sadly got a migraine while in work - my first one & an experience I hope to avoid repeating in the future. I have been prone to odd bouts of tunnel/fuzzy/squiggly vision when staring at a screen too long if I'm over tired, but this was the first time it has blossomed into a proper headache.
NOT FUN! :-(
So sadly again no riding that day - my horses live the life of Riley as I stress myself out traipsing across the city by public transport (2 buses each way) and a 10min power walk up hill to get to the yard, change rugs, turn the three of them out and power walk back down the hill within a half hour window to get the buses back to work so that I am not away from my desk for too much over 1h30. (Technically I only have an hour lunchbreak but I am in half an hour early and often stay late to make up the time - I'm on a badge in&out system at work so don't get away with doing less then my allocated hours)

Wednesday the hope to lunge the girls half went to plan. As sadly became the norm this week I was later leaving work than intended and only managed to lunge Kika. She however was a superstar despite us having to change arena just after hooking up the pessoa, which meant interruption of warm up & changing of surroundings which has been known to lead to a Kika brain meltdown in the past.
Not so that day, she settled straight into a lovely floaty striding trot (not easy to get under saddle as she tenses her back & prefers to start with choppy short strides). Another livery was riding her young horse in the arena, which always helps K settle to have equine company. We worked on circles of varying sizes moving around the arena, changing direction, tempo and transitioning between w/t/c. I honestly couldn't have been happier with her nor prouder.
♥ her!

Thursday was Nancy's turn to do something ;-)
I had last ridden her on Saturday, very briefly outside in a downpour on  a very wet arena surface. We stuck to walk & trot that day as farrier is needed and I didn't want her tripping or losing her balance on sopping footing. She had been very good, much improved on the mixed-bag from the day before. As always I am the problem and forget that I am actually capable of riding sometimes! Take me out of my comfort zone and suddenly the things we struggled with the previous day worked because I was worrying about something else (weather/footing) - happy side effect: ability to just let my body & hers do their things in synch for a wonderful change.
As is often the way when things go so well for me, the next time I ride I become a sack of spuds trying to recapture the previous good work.
Thursday evening was another mixed-bag; we had lovely soft work at times and importantly for us managed to work our transitions without speeding as much as usual after changing down a gear. It sadly went kind of south, on that front, at the end as one of the other riders in the ring kept getting too close & while this didn't bother Nancy, I was unable to keep relaxed and concentrate on us & frustration got the better of me which translated to Nancy who was already tiring. It ended up unravelling a little and our trot work was more rushed then we're capable of, which is a pity but I have no one to blame but myself - as always I need to concentrate more on me & my horse then what those around me are doing. It is as much up to them to keep out of my way as it's mine to keep out of theirs!

Friday (today) was another wasted day sadly as I didn't het out of the office until 6.45, which meant it was going on 8 when I got to the yard. With three horses to bring in, prepare stables for the night, feed + vitamines (thankfully they are almost finished), carrots/apples & hay etc all to be completed before lights out at 10pm it made riding impossible. :-(

As an aside, I was able to snap the b&w headshotss in this post (sorry there aren't more photos to balance out the verbal diarrhea); I also met a lovely new livery who owns a young Irish Draught horse recently imported from Ireland - small world, eh?! Hoping to cross paths with her again & learn more about them both.

The plan for the weekend is to meet L at 10.30 tomorrow morning to turn out the three girls and catch up. We haven't seen each other since Tuesday as her company spent the last two days doing crazy hours to log inventory. I am hoping to run my PoA (plan of attack) to counteract the poor run of saddle time I've logged so far this Autumn/Winter - namely; lunging Wednesdays, lesson Sunday & a schooling ride by her for each girl (preferably separate days so that i can ride one and she rides one).
Fingers crossed this PoA appeals to her & that we can make it work. Both Kika & Nancy are being so good that it is unfair on them that they are getting worked so haphazardly which is completely my fault! And while i am eternally grateful for all the work L puts in to them, i want to learn with them - does that make me selfish?


  1. I like this Nollaig na mban, what a splendid holiday idea. sorry for the lack of saddle time, its a hard balance this work and horse life.

    1. Oooh set up a Nollaig na mban get together in Cali! They are so much fun, a great night out and a good way to meet new people - especially if friends you ask; ask friends of theirs that you mightn't have known before :-D

      Work has been pretty cray-cray this autum/winter - I don't know how I have ended up with so many extra chores round the office, prob my inability to say no to diff types of work...stems from having been on a temporary contract for the last three years! I didn't want to give them a reason to get rid of me as I'm working where I've always wanted to be! Now that I've passed the exams & been made permanent I can't suddenly stop doing the things as I'd look conceited or complacent or something, lol!
      I don't want to change just because I can no longer lose my job - saying yes to helping others is in my nature...I just have to start looking at the time before agreeing to help ;-)
      I'm kidding! I hope to be always approachable & helpful to colleagues (and people in general) I just need more hours in the day...I don't think that's too much to ask for ;-)


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