Tassie was well into her 30s by the time I rocked up and started bopping about on her back - she was a super star & I cannot imagine how heart-warming it was for my mother to have myself and my sister learn to ride on her old pony. I know if I ever have kids it'd warm my heart to have them learn with Nancy...methinks Kika might be too much of a headcase lol!
|Left = me on Tassie, Right = my sis T on Nipper|
Thankfully I did get to ride both girls this morning, although I really shouldn't have bothered with Kika. We have CRAZY winds here this morning - 36km/h (fun fact - in a car that'd be breaking the speed limit in residential areas). To say the arena were noisy is an understatement - and we know how Kika loves unsuspected loud noises out of the blue.
I hand-walked K around as I'm wont to do prior to riding in case there are any gremlins hiding in the corners - I'd rather reassure her from the ground before tightening the girth and getting up, it makes it such a non-issue once in the saddle. There was some whirring sounds from the wind on the roof, so I decided to turn on the radio - after walking around another lap (did I mention that the yard is hosting a small livery show on Sunday so a dressage arena is boarded off in the large arena complete with judges table / plenty for Kika's frazzled brain to oogly-eye at) I stopped at the entrance end to take off my jacket as before hopping up I was after getting quite warm.
Thank God I was still on the ground, the wind suddenly hammered & battered the roof with such gusto that I couldn't hear the radio and despite being absolutely terrified Kika managed to contain herself to stepping slightly away from me and tensing with eyes-on-stalks. One reassuring/heartwarming thing despite her usually completely irrational fears - is the complete trust she has in me when i tell her it's ok so long as I am on the ground with her once in the saddle it is an utterly different ball game - but such is the enigma that is Kika! Lol
|RIP Blue Triangle EquiKozy Socks|
Needless to say I decided against riding in that arena and went to seek refuge in the oldest arena where one girl was getting a lesson, rather than my preferred arena where 5 people were riding they obviously all had more sense than me! While the "new" arena was considerably less noisy than the main arena it was still nowhere near quite enough for the hamster in Kika's brain - as always she settles better when hand-walked so I did a couple of laps on foot before hopping up. We got some nice walk & trot under saddle and lot of distracted eye-balling of the sides when we changed rein - when glass collectors outside started making noise I decided to call it quits before her brain gremlins took over completely and I lost any semblance of sanity from her. I took off her saddle and lunged her in the smallest arena where she behaved beautifully then tucked her back into her stable while I rode Nancy.
N is such a gem and behaved like an angel as I put her through her paces in our preferred arena, where I'd also ridden her last nigh. Both spins were very productive and allowed us to practice the lessons L had given us on Sunday & Monday. While we still have a lot to work on, when I remind myself to keep out of her face and attempt to un-knot/straighten myself on my bad rein we really do get some quite nice work done.
There were three other riders with us in the arena, so maneuverability was questionable at times - but despite this we got some really lovely soft & calm canter work with lovely non-stressed transitions back down to trot afterwards. Our trot/walk transitions as usual left a lot to be desired ... but it is all a work in progress.
Heck two weeks ago I was down in the dumps about my inability to ride Nancy, so to have made some progress since then is a huge stride forward for me.
Positivity & manageable goals + eyes on the ground is the key to improvement!
Sadly the crazy wind, meant I decided against turning the girls out today which I am super disappointed about as it really helps them mentally to spend a couple of hours a day out in the fresh air. Sadly such is life sometimes - i am super lucky to have access to winter turnout. One day inside in cozy stables with plenty hay won't kill them.
Right that's me all up to date & I'm now ready for road.
I'm all packed and on my way out the door to catch train to Brussels to fly back to Ireland tonight.
Fingers crossed the Mammy & I have a safe journey! The weather has been awful in Ireland since Christmas and most western coastal areas have been battered and are sadly flooded. So many people affected & businesses ruined. Hopefully we can get away with a hired car and not require a dingy or speedboat!